#5SmartReads - August 12, 2022
Hitha on what's causing the rise in infectious diseases, when air travel was glamorous, and changes in public safety
How Climate Change Is Supercharging Infectious Diseases (Katie Couric Media)
Good morning! Let me share some terrible, terrifying news:
“218 of the 375 known human infectious diseases were aggravated by climate change.”
That’s nearly 60% of known human infectious diseases.
While this piece tackles the why and the how of this troubling shift for infectious disease, my fears are rooted in how the life sciences industry is increasingly reactive to this, versus proactive.
Antibiotics, antivirals, and vaccines traditionally are not huge margin products, which means the private industry takes a very reactive approach in the R&D of these class of products (public funding and research institutions, mercifully, are very focused on this and doing a lot of incredible work). It takes a lot to make a commercially available product from early research, and industry is only aggressive about licensing and acquiring these development programs only when there is a need. Vaccine development is a little more proactive (and I’m heartened to see Pfizer really lead on this), but I’m incredibly worried about the rise of more infectious diseases, and the highly reactive nature of figuring out treatments and preventions for them.
Wondering what you can do? I’m glad you asked. Please only request an antibiotic prescription when you have a confirmed bacterial infection, and please take the ENTIRE course (aka don’t stop taking it the second you feel better). Antibiotic-resistant infections are also on the rise, and you can help your body continue to respond to antibiotics by only taking them when you really need them, and taking the full course. Thank you for coming to my pharmacological TED Talk.
Since flying is pretty hellish at the moment, let’s go back in time to when it was pure luxury.
Caviar and champagne. Fashion shows as in-flight entertainment. Multi-course meals. A cocktail lounge ON THE PLANE.
And this was the norm, not the exception now reserved for Emirates’ premium cabins.
The way people flew in the 60’s and 70’s (granted, at significant expense and much higher risks of mechanical failures and hijackings) is such a departure from how we fly today. This piece has me wanting to rewatch the short-lived (but spectacular!) Pan-Am and to finally finish The Great Stewardess Rebellion, which taught me so much on how the women flight attendants of this era really led the modern labor movement.
Racine County is getting a first-of-its-kind 'Violence Interrupter' (The Journal Times)
Now this is the direction we should be taking when it comes to public safety.
Nakeyda Haymer is an incredible woman who has worked as an organizer (and now the Wisconsin state director) for Voices of Black Mothers United to support families affected by violence and a re-entry coach for young people exiting incarceration. And now, she’s very likely to be Racine County’s first Violent Crime Reduction Coordinator.
This empathetic, supportive approach to care for communities and intervene during the crises by leaders like Haymer is the kind of justice I want to see more of (and to use our massive police budgets to fund these employees, versus the already-strapped health departments).
This is what I’ll be calling my city council member, borough president, and mayor’s office about, and I hope you the same.
Are You Sure You’re Not Guilty of the ‘Millennial Pause’? (The Atlantic)
I am. The inclination I have to pause and say “hi guys!” before jumping into my schpeal on a Instagram Story is so high that I rarely do the talk to the camera videos outside of sponsorships (I prefer writing novellas on my Stories instead, thank you very much).
I am so guilty of every single cringey millennial moment outlined here that I envy my very offline husband (who will probably laugh after reading this article, as he’s witnessed me do every single thing listed here).
Mock all you want, Gen Z. I can’t wait for my Gen Alpha kids turn the tables on you (and trust me, Rho is coming for you).
Two things strike me about this article.
First, I am in awe of the preparation and the dedication of healthcare workers and organized committed to providing comprehensive reproductive care and the work they’ve done to care for as many people as they can.
The second thing is that it doesn’t and shouldn’t have to be like this.
The success of this model will certainly be the blueprint for other states (one where abortion is legal and accessible, and its neighboring pro-forced birth state) to continue to provide care, along with medication abortion via telemedicine.
But it shouldn’t be like this. Abortion is healthcare. Pregnancy is not a health-neutral event and carries more risk than an abortion. And politicians with no knowledge (or care for the knowledge) of the reproductive system should not be making these decisions.