Customer Facebook-shames barista for asking her to wear mask — the Tips are still pouring in

In the state of California, it is required that people wear masks in public, including restaurants and cafes.

After barista Lenin Gutierrez refused to serve Amber Lynn Gilles because she did not have a face covering, the woman posted a photo of Gutierrez on Facebook, writing, “Meet lenen [sic] from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask. Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption.”

Gutierrez received an outpour of support, and a GoFundMe campaign acting as a virtual tip jar for the barista has raised $47,118 as of Friday afternoon…

Gutierrez said that before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) rendered everyone indoors, he was working as a dance teacher and is an aspiring dancer.

“With this donation that everyone provided me with GoFundMe, I can make these dreams reality,” he said. “I can fuel my passions even better now. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for it. It’s just amazing to see that I can actually make these dreams of pursuing more into dance a thing now. Thank you so much for it.”

Best story about human beings all week.

Climate Crisis Could Expose Half a Billion More People to Tropical Mosquito-Borne Diseases by 2050


Yellow Fever Mosquito gets a full mealJames Gathany/CDC

❝ Rising global temperatures could put half a billion more people at risk for tropical mosquito-borne diseases like chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, and Zika by 2050, according to a new study.

❝ While a growing body of recent research warns the human-caused climate crisis will cause general worldwide “environmental breakdown,” a study published…in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases focuses specifically on a related public health threat: how a hotter world will enable disease-carrying mosquitoes to reach more people…

❝ “Plain and simple, climate change is going to kill a lot of people,” coauthor Colin Carlson of Georgetown told Nexus Media News. “Mosquito-borne diseases are going to be a big way that happens, especially as they spread from the tropics to temperate countries.”

Lead author Ryan emphasized that public health experts should be preparing now for the outbreaks predicted to occur in new places over the next few decades.

Or we could leave responsibility in the hands of Trump-chumps, anti-vaxxers and the Republican Party. They’ll blame it all on weak walls, furriners and G_D’s WILL.

Pimp for Big Coal will repeal Clean Power Plan — that is until American Voters tire of dying for profiteers


You know damned well neither Trump nor Pruitt live near here

❝ Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt told coal miners in Kentucky on Monday that he will move to repeal a rule limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, assuring them, “The war against coal is over…”

A 43-page draft of the proposal, which was obtained by The Washington Post and other news outlets last week, argues that the agency overstepped its legal authority in seeking to force utilities to reduce carbon emissions outside their actual facilities to meet federal emissions targets. It does not offer a replacement plan for regulating emissions of carbon dioxide, which the Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA is obligated to do. Rather, the agency said it plans to seek public input on how best to cut emissions from natural-gas and coal-fired power plants…

None of which involves science or the reality and results of carbon pollution.

❝ “With this news, Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt will go down in infamy for launching one of the most egregious attacks ever on public health, our climate, and the safety of every community in the United States,” Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a statement. “He’s proposing to throw out a plan that would prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of childhood asthma attacks every year.”

RTFA for the details. The POST fulfills the All-American requirement for a certain amount of sophistry; so, you shall, of course, encounter the required percentage of lies from the Trump government, the Republican Party and other pimps for coal profiteers.

I rely not only on current science for my condemnation of this crappola; but, my own childhood growing up in a New England factory town powered entirely by coal. Two of the three biggest factories in town were just uphill from my neighborhood. Breakouts of coal gas from the private power plants providing electricity to those plants were common enough, dangerous enough to lay bodies low on the streets and sidewalks of the neighborhood. The factories were required to have sirens in place to activate in such instances. Not a big deal. They were leftover from the War.

Nothing else was done until the introduction of natural gas to our city. The switchover saved money for the factory owners so, of course, it was done. Only incidentally were the sirens finally removed as no longer needed.

Meet the microbes sharing your seat on public transportation


Boston’s Red LineRebecca Siegel

❝ The subway is crowded–and not just with people. Sharing your commute are trillions of invisible microbes. They’re on the seats, poles, ticket kiosks; pretty much on anything people hold, lean against, sneeze on, swipe, or bump into. “We’re constantly shedding bugs into our environment,” says Curtis Huttenhower, an associate professor at Harvard’s School of Public Health.

Huttenhower is the senior author of a study…that reveals the character of the microbial community that shares the Boston transit system…

❝ …Huttenhower and his team weren’t simply out to catalogue nasty microbes and cause a stir. They wanted to get an overall profile of the microbes in the subway environment, and gain a better understanding of the interactions between humans, microbes, and the space we share. “We really set out to understand how a transit environment — where thousands and thousands of people constantly interact — contributes to the harmless transmission of microbes between people. Does that environment serve as a sort of reservoir or exchange for microbial communities?”

❝ The researchers swabbed a variety of locations — seats, hand rails, hanging grips, walls, seats, and touch screens at ticket booths — on three different subway lines and five subway stations in Boston. Using metagenomic sequencing, the team was able to profile the microbes. What they found was a familiar cast of characters…Huttenhower says, These are the bugs we would have on our bodies anyhow.”

They also discovered who was living where. Skin microbes were the most prevalent overall, found on all of the surfaces examined. But oral associated bugs, which are transferred by touching, coughing, or sneezing, were prevalent on face-level surfaces like hand grips and poles. And seats revealed genital-related microbes, which can be transferred through clothing. The team found little variation based on location of the train lines or the demographics they served.

❝ As for those nasty bugs other studies trumpeted, Huttenhower said in a statement, “We were surprised to find that the microbes that we collected on surfaces that people touch — and sometimes sneeze on — had low numbers of worrisome pathogens or antibiotic resistance genes. These environments have drastically lower virulence profiles, in fact, than are observed in a typical human gut.”

It’s been decades since I left the Boston area. Dunno if life has become cleaner or less clean. BITD I found public transport – especially the rail lines – to be comparatively clean. Is that a Boston thing? Are public health standards uniform nationwide?

In most wealthier nations the maternal death rate is dropping — just not in the United States

More women are dying in childbirth in the US than in any other developed country. And experts say the problem is likely to keep getting worse.

You can see how alarming the issue is in this chart. In other countries, maternal death rates have fallen sharply since 1990. In South Korea, the rate of women dying in childbirth fell from 20.7 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 12 today. In Germany, it dropped from 18 to 6.5.

But in the United States, the opposite is happening. The rate of women dying in childbirth is going up.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. During the 20th century, the maternal death rate in the United States dropped from 607.9 deaths per 100,000 births in 1915 to 7.2 in 1987. But over the past 30 years, the maternal mortality rate trend reversed and steadily marched upward.

Pregnancy-related deaths are still rare events in the US; only about 700 women die out of 4 million live births annually. But the US is one of the few rich countries in the world where maternal mortality is steadily rising. The maternal mortality rate has more than doubled since 1987, the first year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began collecting data through its pregnancy mortality surveillance system.

And experts are just now understanding why this is happening — why the United States looks so different from other countries, and why so many more new mothers are dying. They think maternal deaths are rising because of the rising toll of chronic diseases.

Thirty years ago, women died in the delivery room because of hemorrhages and pregnancy-induced blood pressure spikes. Now they are much more likely to die because of preexisting chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes…

❝ “It’s a larger problem than just dealing with women during pregnancy, it’s the health of our society,” said Dr. William Callaghan.

Too bad for women. Too bad for everyone. Especially if you’re Black, btw.

RTFA, understand the sum of variables collectively affecting the life of a Black woman. They are two or three times more likely to die of complications during pregnancy and delivery.

Please, don’t forget we only had a window of a couple of years in the decades since a small number of politicians first proposed National Health Insurance in the United States – and actually got it passed. Don’t forget one of the two laggard political parties we have – will be campaigning right up to Election day this year to overturn that one significant victory for public health achieved in Obama’s first term.

Republican draft platform claims Pr0n is a public health crisis

Republican sex

Want another sign that the Republican Party is, shall we say, a bit out of touch with much of America? Look no further than the Republican party’s latest platform draft. Among the provisions? A declaration that porn is a “public health crisis.”

If that language sounds familiar to you, it’s likely because you’re remembering a Utah resolution that was signed this past spring. Like the GOP’s party platform, it also wrung its hands over the supposed evils of the adult industry, blaming it for an assorted grab bag of sexual woes — Teen sexting! Campus sexual assault! Unhappy marriages! And so on! — and rallying the masses for a culture war.

As the RNC platform draft indicates, the national Republicans are only too happy to amplify the idea that, even if it’s technically protected as free speech, porn should be derided as something destroying our hearts, minds, and genitals. Except there’s just one problem: whatever issues porn might be to blame for, they’re just one small part of our national crisis of sex education — a crisis the Republicans are largely responsible for

…To the extent that porn is harmful, it’s often because it’s the only source of sexual information and education that many people tend to get. Yes, it might be a terrible idea to get basic sex education from titles like Jizz Biz and Bound Teens. If we, as a nation, were more comfortable teaching kids about the basics of sex (and maybe offering some lessons on media literacy, to boot), we wouldn’t have to worry so much about the crazy ideas that kids are getting from PornHub.

But you’re unlikely to hear that harsh bit of truth from groups like Concerned Women for America, which helped to pen the anti-porn language, because the very people who fret over what porn is doing to our children are also determined to keep honest, comprehensive sex education away from them. That “public health crisis” they’re lamenting? They created it, lighting a massive bonfire in celebration of sexual ignorance — and then, when it all got out of hand, placing the blame on pornographers…

Any excuse for censorship is good enough for the Republican Party. Using religious morality as their watchword – as ever – the GOP will lump 19th Century fear of nekkid people in with the normal range of sexuality and sexual orientation humans are capable of. As they do – further on into their so-called platform. They bring in discredited theological brainwashing courses as a “response” to civil rights for the broad LGBT community.

And they’re gathering in Cleveland to nominate Donald Trump as their candidate for president. Har.

Herd Immunity against measles won’t hold as vaccination rates fall

Avoiding or delaying the measles vaccine has left nearly 9 million children in the U.S. vulnerable to the disease, including roughly 2 million children too young to receive the vaccine…

“With the number of outbreaks that we are seeing around the country, with the increase of events of the virus being imported into this country, it really gives the sense that there’s some work to do to make sure that our kids are safe. The whole world is connected on this issue,” Matthew M. Zahn, MD, medical director for epidemiology for Orange County Public Health in California…

Based on data from the National Immunization Survey-Teen, the researchers estimated the number of measles-susceptible children and adolescents, ages 17 and younger, in the U.S. “This allowed us to look at, not only those who had ever gotten a dose of the measles vaccine, but also at children who have gotten doses late because of parents who choose to delay vaccinations,” Robert Bednarczyk, PhD, of Emory University said…

The investigators estimated that 12.5% of U.S. children were at risk for measles, and for children ages 3 and under, that rate of susceptibility could be as high as 24.7%…

Zahn encouraged primary care providers to avoid the mindset that because there is a low rate of measles incidence that it’s acceptable for parents to delay vaccination.

None of the sillyass reasons for skipping vaccination are legitimate. The mindset – all too often – has nothing to do with the effectiveness or safety of vaccination; but, rather myth, unfounded fears, misconception and very often – folks being deliberately misled.

That last reason usually profits someone other than kids and families.