#5SmartReads - January 4, 2022
Hitha on uniform dressing, libraries, and mucins.
The Coronavirus in a Tiny Drop (New York Times)
I want to talk about mucins.
They are proteins found in your lungs’ mucous lining. And they’re also found in aerosols, which you emit when you cough, sneeze, talk, and just breathe.
All of us became far more aware of aerosols in the past two years with COVID, and as we learned more about the aerosolized transmission of the virus.
But let’s talk about mucins, specifically. They have a negative charge (like electrons - a throwback to high school chemistry). The spike proteins on the COVID virus - which help the virus enter your cells and replicate - are positively charged (like protons).
Negative, positive - they’re attracted to each other. And with the newer variants, these spike proteins seem to have a more positive charge - Delta more positively charged than Alpha or Beta, and Omicron even more positively charged than Delta.
So what does this mean? When someone with the Omicron variant releases aerosols, the mucins that are emitted in those droplets act as a shield for the virus, lengthening the time the droplet lives in the air which would inactivate them.
This early research is why I’m taking the precautions that I am right now - wearing my KN95 masks even when I’m out for a walk, minimizing my social interactions as cases are still rising, testing as frequently as we can, and upgrading our whole family’s mask game to KN95s or double masking.
We didn’t know much of this until last month - this study was just released by the University of California in partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory last month, and has not yet been peer reviewed.
The Divine Art of Uniform Dressing (W Magazine)
You know that TikTok/Reel trend of “I got 3 looks, and that’s it?” that is super old but I’m old for the Internets?
Yeah. That one.
My three looks are:
Eccentric elderly broad - caftans or luxurious pajamas, fancy headbands, fun jewelry, and zero cares as to what anyone else thinks about how I look. She’s my favorite.
Schlub - sweats, sneakers, hair in a dry shampooed top knot or hidden under a hat. Total schlub mode but we all need it sometimes.
Suited up - whether it’s a jumpsuit or a pantsuit or a tailored dress, this is my Boss Ass Bitch look (very inspired by Rebecca in Ted Lasso) and I miss her.
Uniform dressing doesn’t have to be a singular look you commit to. You can have fun trying on different uniforms for your different moods or the roles you have in life.
I will say that it has made shopping and getting dressed much easier. My mood dictates which uniform I put on, if and how I accessorize, and what kind of work I feel called to do in my open time blocks.
I highly recommend it. And so does the GOAT, Fran Lebowitz.
The Vaccine Scientist Spreading Vaccine Misinformation (The Atlantic)
“What do you know of Dr. Robert Malone? He seems legit…”
Dr. Robert Malone is a seasoned, respected scientist. He is also one of the biggest sources of vaccine and COVID misinformation, and has been suspended on Twitter as a result.
Both things can be true at the same time, and it pains me to see an intelligent scientist eschew peer-reviewed research and his colleagues who all together have brought the first mRNA therapeutics to the market for his 15 minutes of fame.
I won’t comment further, because I do want you to read this piece and come up with your own thoughts. But I will leave you with a quote from the piece to reference when your loved ones do bring up Dr. Malone and his comments:
“It’s only in the curious world of fringe media that Malone has found the platform, and the recognition, he’s sought for so long. He talks to hosts who aren’t going to question whether he’s the brains behind the Pfizer and Moderna shots. They’re not going to quibble over whether credit should be shared with co-authors, or talk about how science is like a relay race, or point out that, absent the hard work of brilliant researchers who came before and after Malone, there would be no vaccine. He’s an upgrade over their typical guest list of chiropractors and naturopaths, and they’re perfectly happy to address him by the title he believes he’s earned: inventor of the mRNA vaccines.”
The past 2 years has been a challenge for kids in this country and all over the world. All of us lament about the hours spent on Zoom, the printing and uploading of worksheets, the muting of your kids when they get understandably restless or bored.
Now imagine if your kid had special needs, needs that required therapies and tailored instruction and supportive, caring environments.
It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? But it’s why you should read every word of this article and share it, at the minimum. I hope you choose to advocate for better environments for neurodiverse students in your local schools or your kids’ schools.
As we build back better, I hope we begin rebuilding our education system to be inclusive environments where all students can be supported however they need, teachers have the resources and time to offer them the help they deserve, and the administration and school board supports the students and teachers both rather than playing politics.
Reason 43829348239857 I love libraries (many libraries in the United States have free COVID tests to distribute - if you need one, call your local one!)
I digress. If you or someone you know needs help seeking social services, the library may soon be the place to go.
Social workers in libraries are a new addition, but their impact is tangible in just a short time. As we think about what can make our communities safer and to help people access the services that are available but difficult to find, this makes perfect sense.
And is an excellent use of tax dollars.
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See you in the comments!