Coronavirus Tidbits #221 11/26/22


First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I'm getting.

Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don't be shy about that.

New format:

Apparently Tidbits is not loading properly for some. While my web techie helpers try to figure this out, I've drastically reduced images. If this doesn't work, I will be sending posts in 2 parts, 1 the Covid/medical and the other, the Politics.

I will also be embedding far fewer Tweets and images to try to reduce load time.

Please let me know if that helps it work better, though it's not as eye-catching.

Or would you prefer more images (like those that go with Tweets) and the newsletter split into two? You can reach me at drjudystone at gmail dot com. Please put "Tidbits" in the subject line. Thx.




Study ties Paxlovid to lower COVID-19 hospitalization rate

Adult US COVID-19 patients who received the antiviral drug Paxlovid within 5 days after diagnosis had a 51% lower hospitalization rate than nonrecipients, according to an observational study yesterday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Omicron variant BQ.1.1 found to be resistant to all monoclonal antibody treatments

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New research shows that COVID-19 negatively impacts memory function

The factors which significantly affected memory scores were found to be COVID-19 status, age, time post COVID-19 and whether individuals were experiencing ongoing symptoms.

Memory scores for all COVID groups combined were significantly reduced compared to the non-COVID group in every age category 25 years and over, but not for the youngest age category, 18-24 years old.

The study also found that memory scores gradually increased over a period of 17 months post-COVID-19. However, those with ongoing COVID-19 symptoms continued to show a reduction in memory scores.

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NFL games with many in-person fans may have spiked COVID cases

study of National Football League (NFL) home games attended by 1.3 million fans suggests that those with high attendance were tied to subsequent county-level COVID-19 surges during the 2020-2021 season.

Games with fewer than 5,000 fans weren't tied to spikes, but counties with teams hosting at least 20,000 fans saw COVID-19 spike rates that were 2.23 times higher than those with lower attendance.

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@mattotcha  Nov 20
Coffee Compound Reduces Binding of SARS-CoV-2 Virus to Its Human Target, Study Shows: A polyphenolic chemical compound found in coffee reduces the binding constant between SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein and human ACE2, which is the entry receptor for the virus
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Covid19 patients show clusters of plaques on the brain
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Small UK study shows 78% protection from 1 dose of monkeypox vaccine

New UK Health Security Agency (HSA) data that are not yet peer-reviewed indicate that a single Jynneos vaccine dose provides 78% protection against monkeypox 14 days or more after vaccination, but the number of vaccinated men in the study was small.

But "People who seek out vaccines may be behaving differently from people who don't," Osterholm explained. "Did they also take a pause on sexual behavior?"

Or are vaccinated individuals were less likely to abstain from high-risk sexual activity as a result of having received the vaccine?



Measles now an imminent global threat due to pandemic

Nov 23 (Reuters) - There is now an imminent threat of measles spreading in various regions globally, as COVID-19 led to a steady decline in vaccination coverage and weakened surveillance of the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. public health agency said on Wednesday.

Measles is one of the most contagious human viruses and is almost entirely preventable through vaccination. However, it requires 95% vaccine coverage to prevent outbreaks among populations.

A record high of nearly 40 million children missed a measles vaccine dose in 2021 due to hurdles created by the COVID pandemic,

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Toxoplasma Parasite gives wolves what it takes to be pack leaders

Study is one of the few to show the behavioural effects of Toxoplasma gondii in wild animals.

Nature Emma Marris 24 November 2022

Wolves infected with a common parasite are more likely than uninfected animals to lead a pack, according to an analysis of more than 200 North American wolves1. Infected animals are also more likely to leave their home packs and strike out on their own.

The parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, makes its hosts bold — a mechanism that increases its survival.

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Florida state health officials reported an additional seven autochthonous, or locally acquired dengue fever cases in Miami-Dade County in the past week, bringing the state total for 2022 to 48 cases.

Locally acquired Dengue also reported in Maricopa County, AZ

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Artificial sweeteners found to kill off antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Sugar substitutes found in many supermarket foods have been shown to kill off antibiotic-resistant bacteria that cause pneumonia and sepsis. Three artificial sweeteners used in products such as diet drinks, yogurts and desserts dramatically halt the growth of multidrug-resistant priority pathogens.


@bhrenton  Nov 22
Today the NIH announced the launch of, the first national website for Americans to self-report at-home COVID-19 test results. These data will be shared with local public health systems and researchers.

Drugs and Vaccines:


Scientists develop 20-subtype mRNA flu vaccine to protect against future flu pandemics

An experimental mRNA-based vaccine against all 20 known subtypes of influenza virus has provided broad protection from otherwise lethal flu strains in initial tests, and thus might serve one day as a general preventative measure against future flu pandemics, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The "multivalent" vaccine, which the researchers describe in a paper published today in Science, uses the same messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology employed in the Pfizer and Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

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RSV Antibody Approved in Europe and the U.K.

Following the European Commission's approval, the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency recently approved Beyfortus® (nirsevimab) to prevent respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease in newborns and infants during their first RSV season.

As of November 24, 2022, Nirsevimab is the first and only single-dose RSV protective option for the broad infant population, including those born healthy, at term or preterm, or with specific health conditions.

Nirsevimab is being developed jointly by Sanofi and AstraZeneca.


Epidemiology/Infection control:

@wsbgnl  22h
New CDC “community levels” are out Under the pre-Feb 25th guidance, universal indoor masking would be recommended in 74% of counties. Under the new guidance, universal indoor masking is recommended in 4% of counties.
Image Image
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@nexta_tv  Nov 25
For the second day in a row, China has recorded an explosive increase in coronavirus infections. In the city of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, which has the largest number of cases, the construction of a quarantine center for 80,000 people has begun.
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China's daily COVID cases highest since pandemic began

China's daily COVID cases have climbed to the highest since the pandemic began, official data showed Thursday, despite the government persisting with a zero-tolerance approach involving grueling lockdowns and travel restrictions.

The country recorded 31,454 domestic cases—27,517 without symptoms—on Wednesday...The unrelenting zero-COVID push has caused fatigue and resentment among swathes of the population as the pandemic's third anniversary approaches, sparking sporadic protests and hitting productivity in the world's second-largest economy.

On Wednesday, violent protests erupted at Foxconn's vast iPhone factory in central China, with video showing dozens of hazmat-clad personnel wielding batons and chasing employees.

China has yet to approve more effective mRNA vaccines for public use and only 85 percent of adults over 60 had received two doses of domestic vaccines by mid-August,

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Divergent SARS-CoV-2 variant emerges in white-tailed deer with deer-to-human
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Study finds that risk of severe asthma attacks doubled in UK after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted

Adults with asthma had, at one point, an approximately doubled risk of a severe asthma attack after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed in the UK, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London.

Tips, general reading for public:




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Fire safety - Space Heaters

With cold weather, it brings space heaters. They CANNOT be plugged into power strips or extension cords. Plug space heaters directly into the wall outlet. Power bars are not designed to handle the high current flow required by a space heater and can overheat causing a fire.

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Excellent summary and links to major reports on Covid:

You May Be Early, but You're Not Wrong: A Covid Reading List

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@mcuban  Nov 23
Every day @costplusdrugs uncovers generic drugs that are insanely priced. If there is a generic that you can not afford, or that is charged for hundreds or thousands of dollars to your employer's insurance, please reply with the name and we will see if we can source it. Thanks



@j_g_allen   Nov 18
New from Lancet @CovidCommission Task Force on Safe Work, Safe School, and Safe Travel ---- Proposed Non-infectious Air Delivery Rates (NADR) for Reducing Exposure to Airborne Respiratory Infectious Diseases ----
Current building standards, however, promote bare-minimum ventilation and filtration targets that do not protect against infectious disease transmission.
There is urgency in setting new minimum standards that can help reduce respiratory disease risk indoors and promote better health overall. Yet... date, leading organizations have not established clear health-based targets for use outside of healthcare settings. There also remains significant confusion regarding which metric to use (volumetric flow rate of air per volume of the room, per person, or per floor area).
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@denise_dewald  Nov 21
US Dept of Health and Human Services is planning to kill Telehealth for everything but mental health visits once the Covid-19 emergency is declared "over." Medicare reimbursement policies generally set precedent for the rest of the health care system.


Jan 6th Committee:

@RepLizCheney Nov 19
With Trump back on Twitter, it’s a good time to watch this Jan 6 hearing. It covers each of Trump’s tweets that day, including those that have been deleted, and features multiple Trump WH staff describing his inexcusable conduct during the violence.
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TFG and Pence:
@davelevinthal  Nov 20
Trump's White House blocked dozens of federal agencies from creating new gov't websites aimed at aiding homeless people, fighting human trafficking, & helping people vote, according to records obtained by @BusinessInsider through a FOIA request.

Proposed websites that Trump's WH rejected include (

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@nlltrt  Nov 23
CBS reports that Pence's wife underwent IVF as they were trying to have a family. Damn, there's so many things I could say, but I'll show restraint. However, it does seem to me the Pence's were using science to contravene God's will.
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Two men have been arrested at Penn Station, allegedly plotting an attack on Jewish sites. They were carrying a Glock-17 w/ 30-round mag, large hunting knife, nazi armband & other items. The threat of antisemitsm is for more that words. Truly horrifying.
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Prisons & Pregnancy; Police
Many people are expressing concern about the fact that Elizabeth Holmes' 11-year prison term is set to begin while she is pregnant. They are right to be concerned, and they should be for thousands of other pregnant people too. A thread on on pregnancy behind bars: 1/
Holmes paid cash to remain free pending trial and sentencing. Most other people would've been in jail this whole time. Each year, about 55,000 pregnant people are caged in US jails. Most are forced to stay there pretrial simply because they can’t afford to pay cash bail. 2/
55,000 comes from this important study. It shows rates of preterm birth, complications, and miscarriages are far higher among incarcerated populations than free. Quality of pregnancy care behind bars is wildly variable; in many cases, it's horrific. 3/
In many states, pregnant people in jails are now denied access to abortion care. They are forced to carry pregnancies to term and to give birth under what are often abhorrent conditions. Their babies are then immediately taken from them –– a cruel, traumatizing experience. 4/
Although jails and prisons have a constitutional obligation to provide proper healthcare to all people in their custody, incarcerated people’s rights in America are rendered meaningless by the absence of mandatory healthcare standards or adequate oversight systems. 5/
Thousands and thousands of pregnant people are brutally abused and neglected inside jails every single year. Without proper systems to protect them, there is no way to prevent this. It's not only Holmes who shouldn't be subjected to such unsafe conditions; no one should be. 6/
Of note, Holmes, due to her wealth in our egregiously unjust system of wealth-based detention, will skip jail altogether and go straight to prison. Prisons contain fewer pregnant people, but unsafe conditions and medical neglect are often just as bad. 7/
APHA on pregnancy outcomes 2016-17
@cbsufrin is a leading expert on the experiences and mistreatment of pregnant people in US jails and prisons. I recommend you read her work, including the pre-Dobbs AJPH article linked below and her important book, Jailcare ( 8/
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@MorganGodvin  Nov 19
I was in prison with moms who didn’t have anyone to care for their kids during their sentence. Their parental rights were permanently revoked, which is the most cruel and permanent collateral consequence that exists.
So many women had families where every member had felonies that made them ineligible to become legal caregivers, per CPS rules. My friend had been undocumented and couldn’t find anyone to present to Texas CPS to take her kids. She lost them forever.
A sentence for any crime, no matter how minor, can trigger the permanent loss of parental rights. Its a fate worse than death for many moms I met, and they mostly did not do well after release because of the trauma and grief.
In federal prison, they'll ship you anywhere. You could be across the country from where you live and caught your case. They'll make no effort for you to show up for your family court hearings, of course. All the moms could do was write desperate letters to their judges.
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@BullyCreative Nov 19
Minnesota cops said they cannot accept a potential ban on white supremacist affiliation in POST certified officer ranks, cuz it will hurt recruitment. Please let that sink into your every consideration of each and every city/police budget conversation.
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Student loans:

@Acyn  Aug 24
Greene: For our government just to say ok your debt is completely forgiven.. it’s completely unfair
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After 30 years of deadlock, rich countries agree to pay for climate damages in poor nations.
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@Victorshi2020  Nov 23
BREAKING: Lisa Murkowski wins re-election in Alaska, defeating Kelly Tshibaka. I don't see eye-to-eye with Sen. Murkowski, but I am very glad she beat Tshibaka, who was endorsed by Trump and constantly spread election lies. A loss for Trumpism means a win for democracy.
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@BrianKarem  Nov 22
The mother of a teen victim of the Parkland shooting has just DEFEATED the school board chair hand-picked by Gov. Ron DeSantis and will now chair the school board.
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@Jason_Garcia  Nov 24
And DeBartolo is one of the more than 40 billionaires who are helping finance Ron DeSantis’ political ascent (hat tip @zacjanderson):
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@TristanSnell  Nov 23
BREAKING: Herschel Walker names Texas home as his primary residence on his tax forms to get a tax break, per new CNN story. Legally, Walker lives in Dallas — not Georgia.
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#Fracking likely caused 5.4 magnitude #earthquake hitting West Texas, with reports of shaking all the way in Austin
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@RBReich  Nov 19
Why are food prices continuing to increase? The four largest food companies control 82 percent of beef packing, 85 percent of soybean processing, 63 percent of pork packing, and 53 percent of chicken processing. Corporations are raising prices because they can.
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@JohnFugelsang  Nov 19
The 85 richest people on Earth now have as much wealth as the poorest 3.4 billion, so please just give them another massive tax cut so they can create more jobs already.
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Airlines want you to get comfortable with flying without a co-pilot. 
From two to one pilot push by airlines wouldn't make safety sense in normal times. Even less sense for high rates of sudden death from Long Covid heart damage. Illness and incapacitation of pilots is a problem for airlines so they are pushing for this.1/
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Colorado and Shooting:
@donwinslow  Nov 19
Lauren Boebert won by less than 600 votes. Do you know what might have made a difference? If the @January6thCmte had subpoenaed her and made her testify on TV and explain her actions in and around Jan 6 and the tweets below that told insurrectionists Nancy Pelosi's position.
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The Colorado Springs gay nightclub shooter is reportedly the grandson of MAGA Republican representative Randy Voepel, who supported the January 6 insurrection and compared it to the Revolutionary War. Source:
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@TristanSnell  Nov 23
Right-wingers love to pin gun massacres on America's mental health problem. In September, the House passed legislation to increase funding for mental health. Only 1 Republican voted yes -- 205 voted no.
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@UnluckyBanshee  Nov 21
The one who saved my life and stomped the shooter’s face in was not a drag queen, she is a trans woman. Let’s not call trans women drag queens during this time of grieving over a transphobic attack.
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@Esqueer_  Nov 22
They brought back every major anti LGBTQ account and then suspended the Elm Fork John Brown Gun Club which protects LGBTQ events in Texas from armed neo-nazis and proud boys who are threatening them. Really showing who Twitter is prioritizing.
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@NoLieWithBTC  Nov 22
Richard Fierro, the Army veteran who disarmed the Colorado Springs gay bar shooter, on what he thought about being at a drag show for the first time: “That is what I fought for, so they can do whatever the hell they want.”
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@JohnFugelsang  Nov 24
You mean the Colorado shooter with a homophobic Republican father and a pro-insurrection Republican grandfather who was able to easily get an AR-15 like all those other unstable 20something white guys bc of a certain political party?
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@fakedansavage  Nov 20
Unarmed queers in a gay bar in Colorado Springs were able to do what hundreds of armed men couldn't do in Uvalde.
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@abughazalehkat  Nov 22
Tucker Carlson guest: Shootings like the Club Q shooting are going to keep happening "until we end this evil agenda" of gender-affirming care.
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@LizSzabo  Nov 20
Does anyone care? This community has no one to defend them. 2021 is the deadliest year on record for transgender and nonbinary people
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@katiebparis Nov 18
People need to know what’s happening in OH. The GOP is trying raise the threshold for passing CITIZEN-led ballot proposals from a simple majority to a SUPERMAJORITY. They want to make it harder to pass repro rights, voting rights, & min wage like MI has. But wait, there’s more,,,
When the GOP supermajority legislature refers a measure to the ballot, THEY will still only need a simple majority to pass it. 1 set of rules for them, another for the rest of us.
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@DC_DeWitt  Nov 21
Democratic-affiliated candidates won control over the State Board of Education in Ohio, and one week later, the Republican lawmakers moved a bill forward to strip their powers. By @MorganTrau
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@CalltoActivism  Nov 24
THIS IS HUGE: State Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden, whose great-grandfather was lynched in Tennessee in the 1930s, will become the first Black woman to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court after being appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
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@Palle_Hoffstein  Nov 20
So Musk sent emails to European Twitter employees, firing them. Problem is, you cannot legally fire people that way here, so legally they're still employed and legally owed money for their time. But also, firing people as exists in the USA doesn't exist here...
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@alexeheath  Nov 22
hours after telling employees that they need to email updates of what they are doing every week, Elon Musk has cut basically all of their company perks, including wellness, productivity, home internet, training, and daycare allowances
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@RobertMackey  Nov 24
Elon Musk's Twitter just suspended the account of antifascist researcher @chadloder likely to suppress reporting on right-wing extremists. As I reported, Loder's painstaking research identifying a Proud Boy who attacked police on Jan 6 was cited by the DOJ 
@AliaGvR   Replying to @RobertMackey and  @chadloder
Loder was in the middle of reporting a US and EU data breach. Yesterday, the entirety of the EU Brussels Twitter staff quit. Over privacy concerns.
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the @WSJ reported that "Elon Musk said he would reinstate suspended accounts on Twitter, bringing back users that previously had been banned for posting hate speech, inciting violence or engaging in other behavior that violated its policies."
Since Musk's takeover, hate-speech on the platform has grown exponentially as many far-Right and white supremacist accounts have lobbied Musk to allow banned accounts ranging from Trump to Alex Jones to Gavin McIness back on the platform.
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There's a list of over 5000 "Antifa accounts" that right-wingers are trying to deplatform through a mass reporting campaign Some of the names on this list: Lil Nas X, Britney Spears, The Justice Department, The Onion, Sesame Street, Quinta Brunson, The New York Times
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@ChadLoder’s recent thread outlined evidence he had received of a massive Twitter data breach a couple of years ago in the EU and parts of the US. If confirmed this could trigger massive FTC data privacy breach penalties. Musk acquired Twitter assets and its liabilities.
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@H_MitchellPhoto  Nov 24
Once you realize that Elon’s stepsister is also his stepmother, it all starts to make a bit more sense.
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#Iran football team captain defies regime, backs protests: “We have to accept that conditions in our country are not right & our people are not happy. They should know that we are with them. And we support them. And we sympathize with them regarding the conditions.”
“Whatever we have is from them and we have to fight, we have to perform the best we can and score goals and represent the people. I hope conditions change as to expectations of the people.” /2 — Ehsan Hajsafi
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Photo of the fearless girl statue on the street in the dark. A white piece of fabric is wrapped around her wrist as she looks up defiantly.
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@guyverhofstadt  Nov 23
The European Parliament adopts a resolution declaring Russia a terrorist state. Putin's regime is a state sponsor of terrorism, complicit in war crimes & must face the international consequences.
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Feel good du jour:

Millions of Americans live in rural or other underserved areas known as “care deserts” where there are few medical facilities. @newshourfred reports from New Mexico, where one doctor is trying to change that.
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My son stayed 2 hours after college yesterday and today to help a girl who was falling behind in her engineering work because English is not her first language. He said he's going to stay behind every day until she's caught up to the rest of the class.
@ip_leyland  Nov 23
Replying to @flaminhaystacks
He's actually actively contributing to his own positive mental health or as J.Bunyan said
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
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Comic relief:

Beware of the..





From @Buitengebieden:












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Baby elephant caught tickling reporter with trunk

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@DrBradJohnson  Nov 20
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@GaviSeth  Nov 22
More people are now dying from resistant infections than of #HIV or #malaria. Scientists have been sounding the alarm bells for years, but there hasn’t been enough global action to get ahead of this deadly threat. The time for global and national political action is now.
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@lindyli  Nov 25
Former President Barack Obama served Thanksgiving dinner at a community kitchen
President Joe Biden served Thanksgiving dinner to our brave troops
Trump served Thanksgiving dinner to Kanye West and Holocaust denier and white supremacist Nick Fuentes
Enough said

Bits of beauty:



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