Here are this week’s timely links. I would recommend making sure you’re not feeling overwhelmed or overly depressed when reading the Politico article, because it will make you feel worse.
- The Real Reason to Wear a Mask (The Atlantic)
- Much of the confusion around masks stems from the conflation of two very different uses.
At the beginning, I did not support mask wearing because it didn’t protect people from getting sick – and we didn’t know that the virus could be spread by people without symptoms. In mid-March I read somewhere (maybe on twitter?) about how it’s not about protecting ourselves, it’s about protecting other people. I now believe we should all wear masks. This article does a good job of explaining why. If you only read one of these articles, read this one.
- ‘The Nightmare Scenario’: How Coronavirus Could Make the 2020 Vote a Disaster
Trump can’t cancel the presidential election. by Zach Stanton (Politico)
- Here’s what you should really be worrying about.
While much of the hand-wringing for the past month of more has been forward-looking — how coronavirus will change life at some point in the future — Hasen says the coronavirus is already changing American democracy, and that unless we adapt swiftly we’re headed for a world of pain in November.
Like I said – you need to be in a good place (if at all possible) before reading this article because it will make you deeply unhappy.
Now, something a bit lighter. I found this article over the weekend, but NPR beat me to the punch this morning. You can listen to their story here.
- Japanese aquarium urges public to video-chat eels who are forgetting humans exist (The Guardian)
- Sensitive creatures are starting to hide when keepers walk past, as a result of the lack of visitors
And now, a very good (and long) read from the before times:
- In Deep (The New Yorker – 4/2014)
- The dark and dangerous world of extreme cavers.
Deep caving has no end. Every depth record is provisional, every barrier a false conclusion. Every cave system is a jigsaw puzzle, groped at blindly in the dark. A mountain climber can at least pretend to some mastery over the planet. But cavers know better. When they’re done, no windy overlook awaits them, no sea of salmon-tinted clouds. Just a blank wall or an impassable sump and the knowledge that there are tunnels upon tunnels beyond it. The earth goes on without them. “People often misunderstand,” Short told me. “All you find is cave. There is nothing else down there.”
This story is excellent and a nice way to spend some time reading.
Your moment of calm:
Shedd Aquarium (c) Pete