#5SmartReads - March 3, 2022
Marisa on breakthrough COVID cases, supply chain shortages, and miniature worlds
Today’s regular guest contributor is Marisa Hamm-Malanowski. Follow her here for more adventures in the midwest!
Who Had Covid-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Cases? (New York Times)
I had a Covid-19 breakthrough case that was diagnosed at an urgent care center and as far as I know, it was never reported to anyone - at some point in the pandemic the CDC stopped counting asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic breakthrough cases amongst the general public and only counting those that were identified in a hospital setting (infections in long-term care facility residents and healthcare workers are still counted). I understand that you can mathematically extrapolate incidence from the numbers that we do have, and that the numbers of deaths in the vaccinated vs. the unvaccinated clearly show vaccine efficacy, but I do wonder if breakthrough cases have been underreported? Which would in turn mean that the vaccines are potentially even more effective at preventing death than illustrated here? If someone out there reading this is really good at this kind of stuff and wants to DM me I will happily accept correction/education!
CDC Adds Mental Illness to High-Risk Covid List (Washington Post)
On another personal note, I am a lifelong sufferer of generalized anxiety and clinical depression and so was very interested to see mood disorders added to the list of conditions that could potentially exacerbate a Covid-19 infection. What's most interesting to me here is that the data showed that this remained true even when adjusted for things like insecurity in housing - which would seem like a strong potential correlating factor for something like say schizophrenia. Key takeaway? "Several experts noted that not enough is known about the biology of mental illness and the coronavirus to understand why the outcomes are worse when both are present."
Honestly these are the kind of scenarios that keep me up at night: the idea of a shortage in much needed medical supplies for both emergent and chronic condition care. Healthcare is an incredibly delicate ecosystem, and until the pandemic swooped in, I don't think most people thought about how fragile it is and how reliant they and their individual health are on the functioning of the whole. I hope we are able to figure this one out before the next serious wave hits, because I know that our healthcare workers are already stretched so, so thin - even without worrying about a diminished supply chain or non-existent supplies.
Why Does the Father Usually Pass Down His Last Name? (The Atlantic)
An interesting read on the patriarchal tradition of using the father's last name as the family name in the Western world. A thought that is only briefly touched on but I will expand on here: there is a streamlining and ease of administration that comes from choosing only one name or the other. As a married woman with a hyphenated name who chose NOT to give the hyphenated name to her daughter, I can't decide whether or not I agree that the burden should be on the world to make a "different" last name easier, or if it's honestly just not even worth it. For my own kid, I obviously decided the latter.
I loved this piece so, so much. I, too, bought my two-year old a dollhouse last Christmas, and for many, many reasons I related so deeply to all of this. The tedium of parenthood and the chaos of the last couple of years paired with the soothing organization and imagination of a pretend little world speaks to me the way few things have of late. Author Caitlin Kindervatter-Clark's words are like a balm for this weary mother's soul, and I'll definitely be looking for more from her in the future.