EScAPE Newsletter, Issue #6

Reports that are of interest for the week

Not ‘off to the races’: UK science advisor urges caution in easing COVID lockdown 
As England starts to ease their lockdown, there is a question on how quickly they will do so. To make sure they can ease these restrictions, they will be going block by block and waiting 4 to 5 weeks after each stage. 

Press Briefing by White House COVID-19 Response Team and Public Health Officials
Due to weather conditions, there is a problem with getting the vaccine to as many people at the same rate as before. The US also wants to educate their people about the vaccine and the benefits it has as well as how well it works. 

COVID-19 Spurs the Launch of a Science Journalism Platform in Egypt
Al-Ghazaway created a digital platform to deliver accurate scientific information regarding the pandemic to the public of Egypt. Here is the link for the digital platform.

Science advice for policy is here to stay
This article describes the importance that science has had during the pandemic in Canada and globally. It explains how policy makers have needed to look towards scientists to make the best decisions and how those relationships should continue in the future. 

COVID: School return ‘in line’ with science, says UK’s Welsh Secretary
Wales and England have different ideas about the best way to send students back to schools. Wales is going for a more phased approach and bringing them back bit by bit to reduce the reproduction number while England is sending most students back all at once. 

Members of CT’s vaccine advisory group, surprised by Lamont’s new vaccine rollout plan, contemplate path forward
Members of the vaccine advisory group in Connecticut were not given a heads up on the strategy for rolling out vaccines nor were they able to have input in the way they were going to be given out. The belief is that an age-based rollout strategy does not address inequalities. 

FDA says single-dose shot from J&J prevents severe COVID
Studies have been done on the J&J single-dose vaccine on 44,000 adults in the US, Latin America, and South Africa and sound it effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 72% in the US, 66% in Latin America, and 57% in South Africa 

Survey reveals racial, political differences in COVID-19 responses
There was a study done by Michigan State University that found that when COVID is politicized, people can put themselves in danger. They found that White liberals and Black Americans were more likely to comply to COVID regulations than White conservatives. 

Was “science” on the ballot?
• When Vice President Harris and President Biden were victorious, there were screens next to the stage claiming that “ The people have chosen science”. This article talks about if science was ever really something the people were able to choose on the ballot and if it was, whether or not the people really wanted science.  

How norms, needs, and power in science obstruct transformations towards sustainability
There is a shift in climate research from data and modeling to the socio-political obstacles pushing us away from transformations toward sustainability 

Policy Making in the Post-Truth World
This paper talks about seven things they believe to help make our policies better align with our government’s democratic foundation in the US. 

Scientists Call on C.D.C to Set Air Standards for Workplaces, Now
This article describes how COVID can linger in the air in crowded spaces. Due to this and the slow vaccine rollout people are trying to get more regulations around circulating air. 

Worker at Trader Joes asks for better air standards and filtration and gets fired
This includes the employee’s (Ben Bonnema) letter and other information on why there is a Trader Joes Workers Union 

We’re Just Rediscovering a 19th- Century Pandemic Strategy
The Miasma theory is the theory that disease came from bad air and so in hospitals in the 19th century they would focus on having good airflow. Florence Nightingale fixated on ventilation and its importance on health and the author of the article sees that in some ways this could be helpful during the pandemic.