How sick will you get from COVID-19?
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Monica and Adrian Arima both were infected by the COVID-19 virus at the same time on the same Nile River cruise, probably during a shared dinner buffet between the Egyptian cities of Aswan and Luxor. As they traveled home to Palo Alto, the couple’s early symptoms — body aches and low-grade fever — were identical.But then, mysteriously, their experiences suddenly diverged. Monica spent 13 days at Stanford Hospital; Adrian was there for just three days. She needed extra oxygen and an experimental drug; he didn’t.Now, weeks later, she still has a cough. He is fully recovered, h...
The Mercury News
'Tales from the Loop,' Amazon's sci-fi anthology, makes sense for our current alternative universe
A gentle slow-burner ideal for our alternative pandemic universe, the eight-episode Amazon Studios series “Tales from the Loop” begins Friday. It’s a moving, determinedly solemn adaptation of Swedish author/artist Simon Stalenhag’s lavishly illustrated book, published in 2014 after his retro-futurist visions of a 1980s Sweden became an online sensation.Comparisons have been made to grabbier shows that do all the work for you, such as “Stranger Things,” but they’ll only mislead. The pilot introduces us to Russ Willard, portrayed by Jonathan Pryce. Watching his face in extended close-up, with th...
Busy hurricane season projected, but early months could be light as coronavirus concerns continue
ORLANDO, Fla. — With just two months before the start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season meteorologists are expecting some overlap with the coronavirus pandemic.However, meteorologists at AccuWeather predict low activity in the Atlantic during the early part of the summer, but they’re also expecting the peak of hurricane season to experience an above-normal rate of activity, said Dan Kottlowski, lead AccuWeather meteorologist, during a Tuesday webinar.An average hurricane season has 12 named storms, according to data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.The 2020 season beg...
Mary Schmich: The pandemic, a professor and a duck named Honey: A story of life in a time of death
Honey returned to the Botany Pond at the University of Chicago in the first week of March, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic chased almost everyone off campus.From his lab in a 19th century building overlooking the water, Jerry Coyne could see her, a female mallard with unique black mottling on her orange bill, and he was elated. This would be his fourth year of feeding and nurturing Honey as she nested and gave birth, a task that kindled a feeling in him that he calls “maternal.”But almost as soon as Honey came back, a rumor spread: To guard against the new coronavirus, everyone but ess...
He's on a one-man mission to clean up trash and help save sea life
PHILADELPHIA — Madis Pihlak looked into the eyes of a loggerhead sea turtle at a Florida rehab center and knew he had to help.“You look at that face and they are so beautiful,” said Pihlak, a retired Pennsylvania State University professor of architecture and landscape architecture.In January, Pihlak and his girlfriend, Toni A. Flanigan, were visiting the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach, where they learned that a portion of the garbage generated by Americans will end up in waterways. It gets washed into sewers, moves into creeks, streams, rivers, and oceans, and gets mistaken for p...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
What is college like in a COVID-19 world? Hamsters, pajamas, uncertainty … and hope
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — John Hoopes began teaching his first online courses in a most unique way.With a pet introduction.Hoopes, a University of Kansas professor for 30 years, started one of his Tuesday sessions by showing off “Sugar” — his purebred Samoyed — while leading a video conference call from his Lawrence basement. Remotely from their bedrooms, kitchens or living rooms, his nearly 20 students followed suit, showing their dogs, cats … and even hamsters.“The funniest thing,” Hoopes said.Welcome to the new world of college in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.Gone are the large lecture ha...
The Kansas City Star
Will Bunch: Will a coronavirus mirage of clean air, water inspire climate action — or make things worse?
OK, let’s be clear about one thing: Dolphins aren’t actually frolicking in the canals of a deserted Venice, a city on lockdown like the rest of Italy because of the global pandemic. But — as is sometimes the case — those misleading or faked viral tweets are an exaggerated version of something that is true, and also compelling: The shutdown of scores of tourist-packed gondolas has cleaned the murky waters of the ancient city to the point where fish are now visible.And that’s not the only remarkable vision — practically a mirage, really — as the coronavirus crisis shutters the developed world’s ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Astronaut Christina Koch hopes to inspire others to reach for the stars
DETROIT — Astronaut Christina Koch spent almost 11 months aboard the International Space Station, and seeing the distant beauty of the Great Lakes from her outer perch changed her view of humanity.“ … I’ll never forget the first time it kind of came into focus over the horizon and realizing you see the Great Lakes all together and then suddenly realizing … there’s like Lake Michigan, there’s the mitten … . It’s a really incredible feeling.”The Michigan native has been back on Earth for about six weeks after 328 days in space, the longest single spaceflight by a woman.Her status as one of few w...
The Detroit News
More hurricanes possible this season with a weaker El Niño, experts say
ORLANDO, Fla. — While still more than 10 weeks away, hurricane season 2020 is already showing signs of being a year flooded by storms.El Niño, the large series of climate changes seen in the Pacific Ocean, has a profound effect on deterring and enabling a prolific Atlantic hurricane season.Think Punxsutawney Phil, but with actual power and influence.So far, westerly winds from El Niño have been weak, according to the Climate Prediction Center, and that spells troubling signs for the upcoming hurricane season, said Jayme King, FOX 35 meteorologist.“Early indications show El Niño may not be of a...
'Single point of failure': The CDC's past successes with an FDA process set the table for coronavirus testing debacle
SEATTLE — In late April 2009, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, then the Food and Drug Administration’s principal deputy commissioner, received an urgent weekend phone call from the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Dr. Rich Besser told Sharfstein that the CDC — and by, extension, public health departments nationwide — faced a serious problem.Less than two weeks earlier, the CDC had identified a virulent new strain of swine flu in a 10-year-old patient in California. Within days, the novel strain cropped up in another California child, two patients in Texas, a cluster in Mexico a...
The Seattle Times