3/9/21 Power Five

1. Covid Long-Haulers Fight Symptoms a Year Later – “One out of three Covid patients, or 8.4 million Americans, have persistent symptoms months after they first got sick, a recent study shows. In post-Covid clinics across the country, doctors are scrambling to find answers and a cure for what some are calling a “second pandemic”.”

2. What Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five Tells Us Now – “The truth is that “Slaughterhouse-Five” is a great realist novel. Its first sentence is “All this happened, more or less.” In that nonfictional first chapter, Vonnegut tells us how hard the book was to write, how hard it was for him to deal with war. He tells us that his characters were real people, though he has changed all the names. “One guy I knew really was shot in Dresden for taking a teapot that wasn’t his. Another guy I knew really did threaten to have his personal enemies killed by hired gunmen after the war.” And later, when his characters, the ones with the changed names, arrive at Schlachthof-Fünf—Slaughterhouse Five, whose name he has not changed—he reminds us that he’s there with them, suffering right along with them.”

3. Wyoming Coal Country Pivots to Wind Farms – “Carbon County shows how the energy transformation that America needs to make is possible, but may happen reluctantly, driven by pragmatism more than a desire to stop burning the coal and oil that release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Here, at least, it comes down to the reality that mines are closing nationwide, and buyers of coal are simply disappearing.”

4. What Does 95% Effective Mean? – “Vaccines don’t protect only the people who get them. Because they slow the spread of the virus, they can, over time, also drive down new infection rates and protect society as a whole. Scientists call this broad form of effectiveness a vaccine’s impact. The smallpox vaccine had the greatest impact of all, driving the virus into oblivion in the 1970s. But even a vaccine with extremely high efficacy in clinical trials will have a small impact if only a few people end up getting it.

5. What Are Magazines Good For? – “Magazine,” which comes from the word for “storehouse,” shares an etymology with the French magasin, or “shop”: the concept was to bring different offerings together, and accordingly they became venues where key dramas of the early nation played out. Debate between the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans (federal control versus states’ rights) was carried out largely in the volley of The Port Folio and The National Magazine. The dissolution of the Whigs into the Know-Nothings (the Proud Boys of the eighteen-fifties, as Lomazow likes to describe them) happened largely in the nativist turn of The American Review. These dramas are borne out in the Grolier’s one-room display, the paper trail of a nation running, stumbling, and trying to carry its unifying ideas forward.

Aaaaannnnnddd here comes $70 oil.