simplify's recent activity

  1. Comment on SMART-TD, BLET rail unions initiate steps to strike BNSF properties in ~news

    simplify
    Link
    And in other train news, here's a Twitter link with a number of videos and information about increasing train burglaries in Los Angeles. This shows tons of packages originally destined for you,...

    And in other train news, here's a Twitter link with a number of videos and information about increasing train burglaries in Los Angeles. This shows tons of packages originally destined for you, the consumer, pillaged and lying by the side of the train tracks. The person who made these videos looked up tracking numbers and they're listed as "delayed." So if you're missing a package in transit...

    2 votes
  2. Comment on SMART-TD, BLET rail unions initiate steps to strike BNSF properties in ~news

    simplify
    (edited )
    Link
    We are already having supply chain issues. If railway workers strike BNSF, it could cause even more pain. Here's an image showing BNSF's coverage across the US.

    Yesterday, members of the Transportation Division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation union (SMART-TD) and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) who work for the BNSF Railway initiated steps to go on strike following the railroad’s announcement of its so-called “Hi-Viz” attendance policy, which SMART-TD President Jeremy Ferguson and BLET National President Dennis Pierce called “the worst and most egregious attendance policy ever adopted by any rail carrier.”

    Presidents Ferguson and Pierce said the impending policy, which BNSF plans to implement on February 1, repudiates numerous collectively bargained agreements currently in place throughout the BNSF system. It is so restrictive that employees would be penalized for missing work to attend the funeral of an immediate family member.

    We are already having supply chain issues. If railway workers strike BNSF, it could cause even more pain. Here's an image showing BNSF's coverage across the US.

    2 votes
  3. Comment on US hit by twenty separate billion-dollar climate disasters in 2021, NOAA report says in ~enviro

    simplify
    Link

    The US was battered by 20 separate billion-dollar climate and weather disasters in 2021, one of the most catastrophic climate years on record which led to at least 688 deaths, according to the annual report of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

    Damage from the year’s 20 most costly disasters, which included thousands of wildfires burning across western states, frigid temperatures and hail storms in Texas, tornadoes in the south-east, and tropical storms saturating the east coast, totaled around $145bn.

    This makes 2021 the third costliest extreme weather year on record, with four tropical storms – Elsa, Fred, Ida and Nicholas – accounting for just over half the total price tag.

    The deadly mega-disasters were scattered throughout 2021 and hit communities from coast to coast, starting with flash floods and bomb cyclones in California and ending with Colorado’s most destructive ever wildfire, which tore through almost 1,100 homes and 6,000 acres (2,400 hectares), causing more than $10bn of damage.

    5 votes
  4. Comment on Red Cross declares first-ever national blood crisis in ~health

    simplify
    Link

    The nation's blood supply is dangerously low, prompting the Red Cross to announce a national blood crisis for the first time.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a decline in donor turnout, the cancellation of blood drives and staffing challenges, leading to the worst blood shortage in more than a decade, the Red Cross said. Last year, the Red Cross saw a 34% decline in new donors.

    "If the nation's blood supply does not stabilize soon, life-saving blood may not be available for some patients when it is needed," it warned in a joint statement with America's Blood Centers and the Association for the Advancement of Blood and Biotherapies.

    Blood centers across the U.S. have reported less than a one-day supply of some blood types, the statement added.

    1 vote
  5. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of January 10 in ~health.coronavirus

    simplify
    Link
    U.S. reports 1.35 million COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record

    U.S. reports 1.35 million COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record

    The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing.

    The previous record was 1.03 million cases on Jan. 3. A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks to over 700,000 new infections a day.

    The record in new cases came the same day as the nation saw the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients also hit an all-time high, having doubled in three weeks, according to a Reuters tally.

    There were more than 136,604 people hospitalized with COVID-19, surpassing the record of 132,051 set in January last year.

    5 votes
  6. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of January 10 in ~health.coronavirus

    simplify
    Link Parent
    It's happening in Arizona, too. Arizona health care provider OKs virus-positive hospital workers

    It's happening in Arizona, too.

    Arizona health care provider OKs virus-positive hospital workers

    A major health care provider in Arizona will allow employees who are experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms or are asymptomatic to keep working at its hospitals and facilities.

    Because of the omicron variant’s rapid spread in Maricopa County and in anticipation of a continued increase, Dignity Health officials said they have enacted the “third tier” of the federal guidelines for health care workers with the coronavirus.

    “These guidelines allow COVID-19 positive health care personnel who are asymptomatic or improving with mild symptoms to work without a quarantine period,” Dignity Health officials said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to ensure our employees can safely return to work while protecting our patients and staff from the transmissibility of COVID-19.”

    6 votes
  7. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of January 10 in ~health.coronavirus

    simplify
    Link Parent
    This actually blows my mind and it shows how bad the pandemic truly is right now. So many people are out there pretending everything is normal, but many hospitals are on the precipice of failure....

    This actually blows my mind and it shows how bad the pandemic truly is right now. So many people are out there pretending everything is normal, but many hospitals are on the precipice of failure. Cancel that ski trip and leave those Christmas lights up on the house for a while. Anything you can do to avoid injury and accident. You can't count on the hospital being able to help you.

    11 votes
  8. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of January 10 in ~health.coronavirus

  9. Comment on Youth suicide attempts soared during pandemic, CDC report says in ~health

    simplify
    Link
    In our hyper-capitalist society that's ruled by greed, this is just how it goes. I'm not saying this to hand-wave it away like it doesn't matter (it certainly does matter), I'm just pointing out...

    In our hyper-capitalist society that's ruled by greed, this is just how it goes. I'm not saying this to hand-wave it away like it doesn't matter (it certainly does matter), I'm just pointing out that individual people aren't important to those who are in charge of our economy. If they were, we might have socialized healthcare by now and mental health might actually be taken seriously. If it doesn't make a wealthy person wealthier, nobody cares. Throughout the pandemic, we've hovered around 1000 deaths a day due to COVID-19 (now we're over 2000 a day throughout the last week), but that hasn't made anybody care to do anything that might mitigate that number.

    No one is coming to help. The people who do care and are trying to help are burned out and broken themselves. It's an incredibly depressing situation. It's every person for themselves at this point, as we slowly sink further and further down.

    This article is over 6 months old and lockdowns are a thing of the past (as if we really even had them at all). Now young people are being sent back to in-person schooling and we're seeing exactly how that's playing out. More sickness, more shortages, more chaos. We're living in an unprecedented time and nobody, including our leaders, seem to be taking it as seriously as it should be taken. On an individual level, it's hard not to look at this and realize... they don't care about me. The hard decisions that need to be made would fundamentally change our economy and nobody with the power is willing to do that.

    If you can, save yourself. That's really all you can do now. Make the hard decisions for your own well being because there's no social safety net to save you.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on Do you feel like many systems are on the verge of collapse? in ~talk

    simplify
    Link Parent
    This is interesting. Can you expound on this?

    The parallels are absolutely uncanny

    This is interesting. Can you expound on this?

    2 votes
  11. Comment on Do you feel like many systems are on the verge of collapse? in ~talk

    simplify
    Link Parent
    I appreciate your optimism, but the shortages and overwhelm are now going on a third year. I have a family member who is a nurse working with COVID patients. It doesn't stop, it only compounds....

    I appreciate your optimism, but the shortages and overwhelm are now going on a third year. I have a family member who is a nurse working with COVID patients. It doesn't stop, it only compounds. This is why in my original post I recommended people read the stories at r/teachers and r/nursing because it's becoming apparent to me that the general public just doesn't know what's happening on the ground. People don't seem to realize how bad it is until it affects them personally. A few months ago, my grandmother went to the ER and it took 18 hours to get a bed. And that was months ago. You do not want to go to the hospital right now if you don't have to.

    I suggest you consider reading some literature on burn out and how it affects professionals like nurses and teachers and how it relates to PTSD. We're looking down the barrel of a massive shortage in the professions in the future because of the way these people have been treated for a long time. COVID was merely the thing that brought it all crashing down. Young people are watching and noticing how poorly both nurses and teachers are treated, and how hard they've had it during COVID. Fewer people will be going into these professions, and older workers will not come back because they are retiring.

    It appears to me a lot of people around here, based on the comments so far, just aren't paying attention. By making this thread, I just hope to open some peoples' eyes to what's happening. Even after COVID becomes endemic and life slowly gets back to normal, however long that takes, these professions will never return to the previous normal. They are broken, the professionals are abused, and it's going to affect us all.

    7 votes
  12. Comment on Do you feel like many systems are on the verge of collapse? in ~talk

    simplify
    Link
    r/teachers had an article written about them. If you don't want to spend time at Reddit reading through the sub, I highly suggest reading the article for a good overview of what's going on. I feel...

    r/teachers had an article written about them. If you don't want to spend time at Reddit reading through the sub, I highly suggest reading the article for a good overview of what's going on. I feel it's important to understand what's happening to our nation's teachers right now.

    Inside /r/teachers, the Reddit forum where educators commiserate amid the latest COVID wave

    Given that current positivity rates are above 20 percent and even 30 percent in some parts of the country, the tone of the community is grim. Teachers swap stories about how they feel abandoned by their administrations, taken for granted if not abused by parents and demonized in the media, where the prevailing opinion is to keep schools open at any cost. That position tends to come without a strategy to deal with what happens when large chunks of the staff or student body are out sick with a respiratory virus that’s killed more than 800,000 Americans.

    “This school year, I think the tone has shifted to more of a nihilistic tone compared to last year,” he continued. “My perspective is there seems to be more outspoken agreement that the system is completely broken. I do see some teachers post with a more positive attitude, but the upvotes and downvotes suggest those folks are really in the minority. One other thing I have noticed is an enormous increase in discussion of leaving the profession. Even if all these teachers don't end up leaving the profession, there is certainly a dramatic increase in what I'll call ‘resignation ideation,’ and that does not bode well for the strength of public education in America.”

    Richard said that no particular posts have stood out to him due to their frequency and similarity. “They all blend together. Complaints about school administration mistreating employees. Questions about the journey of changing careers. Reports of COVID outbreaks and school mitigation efforts. General despair that we're living through the collapse."

    6 votes
  13. Comment on Do you feel like many systems are on the verge of collapse? in ~talk

    simplify
    Link Parent
    Leading up to the holiday season, the vast majority of the media I saw concerning Omicron was parroting how "mild" it was. I saw plenty of stories about the health expert from South Africa who was...

    Leading up to the holiday season, the vast majority of the media I saw concerning Omicron was parroting how "mild" it was. I saw plenty of stories about the health expert from South Africa who was the first to proclaim that it was "mild."

    Additionally, my comment that you quoted was more about hospital capacity and what's happening in schools. For example, the Chicago Teacher's Union is getting trashed for their strike when the real story is that schools are floundering everywhere. My local school district was closed Monday and today due to staff shortages, and have already announced distance learning for the beginning of next week. That kind of thing is happening all over, if you read through some of the threads on r/teachers.

    4 votes
  14. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of January 3 in ~health.coronavirus

    simplify
    Link
    Deadly Omicron should not be called mild, warns WHO

    Deadly Omicron should not be called mild, warns WHO

    The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against describing the Omicron variant as mild, saying it is killing people across the world.

    Recent studies suggest that Omicron is less likely to make people seriously ill than previous Covid variants.

    But the record number of people catching it has left health systems under severe pressure, said WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

    On Monday, the US recorded more than one million Covid cases in 24 hours.

    The WHO - the UN's health agency - said the number of global cases has increased by 71% in the last week, and in the Americas by 100%. It said that among severe cases worldwide, 90% were unvaccinated.

    "While Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorised as mild," Dr Tedros told a press conference on Thursday.

    "Just like previous variants, Omicron is hospitalising people and it is killing people.

    "In fact, the tsunami of cases is so huge and quick, that it is overwhelming health systems around the world."

    6 votes
  15. Comment on Do you feel like many systems are on the verge of collapse? in ~talk

    simplify
    Link Parent
    I think, if you look at what both educators and health care professionals are saying, that these particular systems have already been collapsing for some time. The degradation has been visible to...

    I think, if you look at what both educators and health care professionals are saying, that these particular systems have already been collapsing for some time. The degradation has been visible to those in the thick of it for more than a decade. But with how interconnected our systems are, COVID is putting substantial strain on them and they just might not hold. Remember... the pandemic isn't over. There has certainly been resilience over these past two years, but we're not out of it yet.

    7 votes
  16. Do you feel like many systems are on the verge of collapse?

    My post will be US-centric, because that's where I live, but obviously you're welcome to talk about your own location as well. With this new COVID-19/Omicron surge, strange things are afoot....

    My post will be US-centric, because that's where I live, but obviously you're welcome to talk about your own location as well.

    With this new COVID-19/Omicron surge, strange things are afoot. Specifically, those in charge of our systems and government have chose to ignore it, rather than institute more shut downs, mandates, stimuli, etc. It appears as though the plan now is to let it burn through the population and see how that shakes out.

    But if you peruse r/nursing and r/teachers like I do, you can really see how deep the cracks are becoming. Infections are up, as are hospitalizations, and with more and more professionals out sick, we're seeing huge staff shortages in both education and health care. These industries in particular are essential, and the professionals in these jobs are on the front line of our problems. Health care professionals obviously need to be there to help the sick. And teachers need to be there not only to teach, but so that parents can go to work. They're being sacrificed to our economy.

    But as teachers, for example, get sick or get burned out and quit, it puts continued strain on the education system as a whole. We're already seeing staff shortages in other areas of education, such as food service, bus drivers, substitutes, paraprofessionals. With how contagious this variant is, it's only a matter of time until school systems collapse in on themselves due to a lack of people running the show. And when kids have no place to go, parents will have to figure something out or stay home themselves, pulling them away from their jobs and their income.

    With all help being pulled away from Americans--help such as eviction moratoriums, financial stimulus, unemployment benefits--what might happen if these things begin to cascade? There are already plenty of anecdotal reports from those in health care that hospitals are full, short staffed, and falling (and you can check here to see hospital status in your state). It can take hours, if not days, to find a bed for someone in the ER. As for education, increasingly both teachers and students are out sick with COVID, yet administrations are fighting tooth and nail against any kind of remote learning, only exacerbating the problem. Remote learning, as you know, requires a parent to be home with the child, which takes them away from work, income, and economic productivity.

    And meanwhile, the media seems mostly quiet about how things are actually going. The line is that Omicron is "mild" but if you look at hospitals and schools, it seems like that might just be verbiage to reduce panic in the populace. Omicron isn't mild for the health care system. Better hope you don't get in a car accident. And in medical terms, "mild" is a pretty broad thing. It could mean you're home sick for two weeks, feeling like death, but not bad enough to be hospitalized.

    And then there are other front line workers, grocery stores, supply chain, all experiencing similar sickness and staff shortages. But I haven't been keeping up with that as much lately as I have been with education and health care. If anybody has information about these sectors, I'd love to hear it.

    My gut feeling is that the economy is actually on the verge of collapse, and this "let it rip!" strategy is a hail mary to see if the status quo can be maintained by sacrificing the health and well-being of a lot of people. Any other mitigation efforts could topple the economy as we know it (and as those at the top benefit from it), so the people in charge of our systems have decided that we're not going to try to fix things, we're just going to hope it works out in the end and deal with the death and illness. For me, the proverbial canary in the coal mine for this was the recent extension of the student loan payment pause. Borrowers had been blasted for months, both phone calls and emails, telling them that loans would need to be paid after January 31st, it was happening, get ready for it. And then poof... nope. Extended. The government knows. People are stretched thin as it is and restarting loan payments could be the thing that triggers the economy to tumble. Even if borrowers can pay, it sucks money out of the consumer economy which can have far-reaching effects.

    Many, if not most people are absolutely fatigued by this pandemic. I am, you probably are. But it has revealed so many cracks in our flawed system and it really feels like the people in charge of things--whoever that is--are gripping on for dear life, just hoping the flaws can remain because it benefits them, praying that the system holds. I just don't see it. I don't see how we make it through this without some kind of major fall. People want to ignore it all, because it's frightening and it's negative, but it's happening right in front of our eyes. Our most important systems are broken and those with the power to fix them aren't doing it.

    I'm curious as to what Tildes thinks.

    31 votes
  17. Comment on Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of December 27 in ~health.coronavirus

    simplify
    Link Parent
    At this point, from my perspective, it can only be an economy thing. With how contagious Omicron is, it's only a matter of time before people in our various "essential" industries catch it. These...

    At this point, from my perspective, it can only be an economy thing. With how contagious Omicron is, it's only a matter of time before people in our various "essential" industries catch it. These industries are already short staffed, so with more people sidelined in quarantine, we could potentially see a collapse in health care, education, supply chain, and retail. Lowering the time of quarantine allows workers who are technically sick but feeling fine to continue working. It signals to me that the experts know how bad this could get and they're throwing a hail mary.

    6 votes