March 1st – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

Immigrants Going Home, Havana Syndrome Report

We need to talk about the mass migration wave at the US border. I don’t mean the wave coming in, I mean the one going out. Yes, a lot of people are attempting to enter the United States, but it turns out that the total number of undocumented immigrants in the country has remained pretty stable (even if our discourse about the topic hasn’t). This is depart you don’t hear as much about. NYT (Gift Article): Many Undocumented Immigrants Are Departing After Decades in the U.S. “Departures have recently accelerated, beginning with crackdowns on immigrants under the Trump administration and continuing under President Biden as many older people decide they have realized their original goals for immigrating and can afford to trade the often-grueling work available to undocumented workers for a slower pace in their home country.”


Havana Bone to Pick

After investigating 1,500 cases in nearly one hundred countries, US intelligence reports that there’s no sign that adversaries are behind Havana syndrome. “Many of those cases, officials said, have been linked to other potential explanations aside from a foreign campaign: medical illnesses, malfunctioning air conditioning and ventilation systems, or electromagnetic waves coming from benign devices like a computer mouse.” When you hear people describe their debilitating and long-lasting symptoms, it’s pretty hard to believe they were the result of a rogue computer mouse. I recently recommended the Vice podcast, Havana Syndrome. It gives a good overview of what we know so far and will leave you wondering about today’s finding.


Texas Lexis

“I have colleagues who say cryptic things like, ‘The weather’s really nice in New Mexico right now. You should go check it out.’ Or, ‘I’ve heard traveling to Colorado is really nice this time of year.’ … Patients have to be well-educated enough to pick up on these hints, do their own research, and figure out what to do next.” NPR: 3 abortion bans in Texas leave doctors ‘talking in code’ to pregnant patients. Texas Hold ‘Em now refers to medical tips.


Stroke of Genius

There’s a new-ish procedure that is creating much better outcomes for stroke patients. It turns out developing that technique is the easy part. NYT Mag (Gift Article): This Revolutionary Stroke Treatment Will Save Millions of Lives. Eventually. “The challenge is that this medical innovation isn’t as deployable as a new pill or device. It can’t be manufactured by the thousands, packed into shipping containers and distributed to every hospital whose administrator clicks Add to Cart. For a qualified specialist, the extraction of the clot itself can be fairly straightforward — but getting the patient to the table in time is a highly complex process, a series of steps requiring layers of training and a rethinking of the protocols that move people around within the medical system. The new ‘miracle treatment’ is the easy part. Bringing it to the people who need it, around the world? Achieving that will be miraculous.”


Extra, Extra

Port in a Storm: “The danger in the streets complicates everything: When gangsters with bullet wounds show up at the gates, doctors ask them to check their automatic weapons at the door as if they were coats. Doctors cannot return safely to homes in areas controlled by rival gangs and must live in hospital dormitories. Patients who are too scared to seek basic care due to the violence arrive in increasingly dire condition.” It’s hard enough to provide emergency medical care under the best of conditions. Try doing it in the middle the middle of Port-au-Prince’s gang wars. AP: In heart of Haiti’s gang war, one hospital stands its ground.

+ Greek Rail Disaster: “At least 43 people have been killed after a passenger train and freight train collided in Greece, in one of the country’s worst rail accidents. Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said in an address to the nation that it appears the accident was due to ‘tragic human error.” The latest from BBC.

+ I’d Cap That: “Lilly’s move comes amid a push by President Biden and some in Congress to cap out-of-pocket insulin costs for commercially insured patients.” Under pressure, Eli Lilly cuts insulin prices.

+ Leak Detector: “The FBI has for quite some time now assessed that the origins of the pandemic are most likely a potential lab incident.” Christopher Wray is the latest in the intel community to suggest a lab leak led to Covid.

+ This One Goes to 11: “Scientists largely from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom looked at data from 196 studies, amounting to more than 30 million adult participants who were followed for 10 years on average.” What did they find? That 11 minutes of daily exercise can have a huge impact on your health. (My beagles usually lie down in the middle of the sidewalk at minute 9, but I guess I can always jog in place.)

+ Chronicle of Forgetting: “I started this project to help others understand that dementia affects not just the person with it but also their loved ones. Through it, I hope to give a personal and intimate look into the world of dementia and the daily struggles and triumphs that come with it.” A Photo Essay from Stat: An intimate look at dementia — and the emotional toll it takes on family and caregivers.

+ Pack of Lies? “In the wild, researchers have found that most wolf packs are simply families, led by a breeding pair, and bloody duels for supremacy are rare.” It turns out that the whole notion of an Alpha Wolf is a myth. (We’re just all part of a wolf pack.)


Bottom of the News

“Cooper says he checks email and does online searches for information to settle dinner table arguments. However, ‘there are many things that I have not yet learned,’ he said. ‘I still don’t know what TikTok is.'” Most 94-year-olds probably don’t. But Martin Cooper is no ordinary nonagenarian. He’s credited with inventing the cell phone. Whoops.

+ The governor who said he’ll ban drag performances is going viral for appearing to have…dressed in drag.

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