Tuesday, May 18th, 2021


Cog Psych-Out

There's no doubt that there's a severe shortage of mental health services in America. Is making clinical social workers available at your local pharmacy the answer? Those services are coming. NYT: Therapy on Aisle 7: Retailers Are Entering the Mental Health Market. "Finding a therapist can be a tough and time-consuming process involving multiple phone calls, waiting lists and insurance hurdles. But what if you were able to walk into your corner drugstore for a bottle of shampoo and also had the option of scheduling a walk-in session for mental health treatment? That's the future that CVS, the largest retail pharmacy in the United States, is envisioning." Will this really be therapy or will it be a funnel to move more drugs? "The social workers partner with the clinic's nurse practitioners and pharmacists to give prescriptions when needed." Getting talk therapy in a place designed to move drugs might not be the best idea. Maybe we should set up the program in a couch store.



"Going ahead with the games this summer has become highly unpopular in the host country. A poll last weekend by The Asahi Shimbun newspaper found 83% of respondents want the games canceled or postponed again." A group representing some 6,000 primary care physicians in Tokyo has called for the Summer Games to be canceled. (The different levels of Covid challenges among countries is really remarkable.)


Peace Pipedream?

Lost in the coverage of the Middle East fighting are the large groups of people from all sides who want peace and have been working together for decades to achieve it. NYT: I'm a Trauma Surgeon in Israel. In My Hospital, We Are in This Together. "In the early hours of Thursday morning, I asked one of our best nurses, a Druze man from a village in the Golan Heights, for a cigarette. I allow myself one a year and this felt like the right moment. He rolled it for me and we stepped outside into the parking lot, together, to enjoy a moment of quiet. And peace."

+ This Statement from Evan Fallenberg on Facebook is worth a read.

+ There's increasing pressure for President Biden to do more to push for a ceasefire. But he'd have little impact on Hamas. And, short of cutting off weapons to Israel, there's not a lot of evidence that Netanyahu cares what Biden says. Here's some interesting analysis of why Bibi needs a strong Hamas in Gaza (no chance of peace is the point). Here's the latest from the BBC.


Money Shot

Your money or your life? When it comes to vaccinations, the answer is pretty clear. The gift of life in a pandemic didn't do it for a lot of people. The distant possibility of a big payday did. COVID-19 vaccinations surge in state that offered $5 million lottery.

+ "In general, vaccine hesitancy is estimated to be higher in rural areas, according to an ABC News analysis of county-level data. Counties with high estimated hesitancy also tend to be younger, poorer and more likely to have been won by former President Donald Trump during the 2020 presidential election. Hamilton defies several of those trends." Inside the tiny NY county with one of the nation's highest vaccination rates.

+ "Hoffman, 39, is fully vaccinated and eager to rejoin the world. But as a kidney transplant patient, she is hesitant to participate for fear of becoming infected. "Risk is very different for people in my situation,' she said. 'I am 100 percent acting like I am not immunized.' The state worker is among millions of immunocompromised Americans, about 3 to 4 percent of the U.S. population, for whom the shots may not work fully, or at all, and who are unsure of their place in a country that is increasingly opening up." WaPo: Coronavirus vaccines may not work in some people. (Something for Ricky Schroder and others to consider before screaming about mask policies.)


Kevin Can Wait

"House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out Tuesday against a bipartisan proposal to establish a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol." NPR: Top House Republican Opposes Bipartisan Commission To Investigate Capitol Riot. (That's how he remains the top House Republican.)


Rock of Ages

"Boat tourists reportedly saw the rocky structure collapse into the Pacific Ocean."
Galápagos rock formation Darwin's Arch collapses from erosion. (At least everyone learned what metaphor means before the end...)


Kabbage Patch Bids

"One entity categorized as a cattle ranch, 'Beefy King,' was registered in PPP records to the home address of Joe Mancini, the mayor of Long Beach Township. 'There's no farming here: We're a sandbar, for Christ's sake,' said Mancini, reached by telephone. Mancini said that he had no cows at his home, just three dogs." ProPublica: Hundreds of PPP Loans Went to Fake Farms in Absurd Places. "An online lending platform called Kabbage sent 378 pandemic loans worth $7 million to fake companies."


Cartel It Like It Is

"In his last campaign message, Abel Murrieta stared confidently into the camera and declared that if elected mayor, the residents of Cajeme, Mexico could live without fear. 'Enough with the bad guys being owners of the streets,' he said. 'I am a man of the law. I am going to impose order. My hand is firm. I am not scared.' A day after recording that video, two gunmen approached him on the street and shot him ten times - twice in the head." Vice: The killing of a mayoral candidate in broad daylight is a chilling reminder that running for political office in Mexico means risking one's life.


Guest of Honor

"Among the films Grodin starred in throughout his career include Catch-22, The Heartbreak Kid, Heaven Can Wait, Midnight Run, Dave, and Beethoven, and his stage work included 'Same Time, Next Year,' which he performed in alongside Ellen Burstyn. In 1973" Charles Grodin dies at 86.

+ If you haven't seen Midnight Run in a while, do so. It holds up. In addition to some great movies, Charles Grodin was the best talkshow guest of all time, particularly when it came to his Letterman appearances. Here's an unbelievable Carson appearance as well. Trust me, watch it. Just go to YouTube and watch Grodin and Letterman for a few hours. Grodin brought out the best in his comedy foils and fellow actors. Perfect comedic timing.

+ See you in the next life, Charles.


Bottom of the News

"His second memoir, 'Flamin' Hot: The Incredible True Story of One Man's Rise from Janitor to Top Executive,' is out in June from an imprint of Penguin Random House. A biopic based on his life, to be directed by Eva Longoria and produced by Christian super-producer DeVon Franklin for Searchlight Pictures, is set to begin filming this summer. Both the book and the movie were sold after bidding wars — Montañez's story is undeniably hot." There's just one problem... The man who didn't invent Flamin' Hot Cheetos. (If this dude doesn't have presidential ambitions, he's missing his moment...)

+ Now that the pandemic rules are loosened, you might need a refresher on the art of saying no: I hate everybody including you.

+ When your company is named Covid.