If the coronavirus doesn’t get you…

Los Alamos National Laboratory will release radioactive vapors into the atmosphere to ventilate several barrels of tritium-tainted waste generated during the Cold War.

The lab informed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month that it would ventilate four waste containers, beginning April 17, to relieve the built-up, radioactive hydrogen in the barrels’ headspace to prevent them from rupturing while they’re being handled. The EPA approved the application for the radioactive release last year…

Wind velocity and direction would be factors during the release…

If the federal [radiation] limit is reached before all the drums are ventilated, the remaining drums would be put back into storage at the lab until next year…

L.A.N.L. is more cautious about these containers since their last radioactive leak at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad six years ago. They packed a waste drum with a mixture of cat litter and nitrate salts, causing it to explode and spray radiation.

They had to shut down W.I.P.P. for three years and the cleanup cost American taxpayers $2 billion.

Our nation is neither quick nor bold

The novel coronavirus is forcing Americans to go it alone. This is happening in a shockingly literal way, as families scatter and freeze and shelter in place. And it is happening in a structural way too: When calamity hits, Americans tend to face the shock by themselves.

Americans are no less susceptible to disease, joblessness, and family changes than their peers in rich nations, but they are made more fragile by these crises. The country has a thinner safety net, fewer public goods, and less social insurance than other countries. The United States spends roughly what other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development nations do on pensions, or Social Security, and more on health care, for less coverage and worse outcomes. It spends less than a third of what the average OECD country does on helping the jobless, about a third supporting families with kids, and 50 percent less on incapacity, meaning disability, sickness, or injury that might keep a person from accessing the labor market.

Perhaps the country’s most pressing problem is its high uninsured rate. Every other country as wealthy as the United States has figured out how to cover its entire population, generally at a much lower cost, too…

Yes, we all should know this already. Seeing it in print might help you focus on who you vote for…or not.