It's a Long Story

Medical Mystery, Getting Paid for School, Paying the Homeless.

When you experience something traumatic, the last thing you want to do is to relive it. The second to last thing you want to do is to even think about it. Covid was a nightmare. We were sick of it while the pandemic was still raging. But there are some people who can’t stop thinking about it, because they’re still sick. And they’re sick with symptoms that no one seems to be able to fix and they’re dealing with an issue no one wants to hear about anymore. The only thing worse than going to a doctor’s office where no one wants to deal with you is walking out into a world where most everyone else feels the same. “Long-COVID patients, generally speaking, have been very miserable for a very long time, and because the illness attacks their brains, their hearts, their lungs, their guts, their joints — sometimes simultaneously, sometimes intermittently, and sometimes in a chain reaction — they bounce from specialist to specialist, none of whom has the bandwidth to hear their whole frustrating ordeal together with the expertise to address all of their complaints: the nonspecific pain, the perpetual exhaustion, the bewildering test results, the one-off treatments. ‘These are people who have not been able to tell their story to anybody but their spouse and their mom — for years sometimes … And they are, in some ways, every doctor’s worst nightmare.'” NY Mag: The Mystery of Long COVID Is Just the Beginning. At Yale’s clinic, medical sleuth Lisa Sanders is trying almost everything.

+ WaPo (Gift Article): Many long-covid symptoms linger even after two years. Of course, the recent rise in cases is a reminder that short Covid is still around. No one wants to think about that either.


You Can Pay Me Now, Or You Can Pay Me Later

“Danes do end up paying for the free education … through the country’s steep taxes that can carve out over 50% of one’s income. (It’s a progressive tax system, so the more you earn, the more you pay.) But polling in the country has shown satisfaction with the high taxes, which not only contribute to free education, but also free health care and pensions.” The World: Denmark pays students to go to college. But free education does have a price.


Direct Payment

“We spend billions in a year to manage homelessness and that investment is not getting good returns, because the homelessness crisis is only growing.” It’s hard to argue with that. So what are the other options? What if money was given directly to the homeless? A B.C. study gave 50 homeless people $7,500 each. Here’s what they spent it on. “They did not spend more money on alcohol or drugs, contrary to what people believe, and instead they spent the money on rent, food, housing, transit, furniture, a used car, clothes. It’s entirely the opposite of what people think they’re going to do with the money.”

+ Another strategy is to identify cities that have dealt effectively with the problem and then copy them. How Houston Cut Its Homeless Population by Nearly Two-Thirds.


Everybody Must Get Stones

“Only six men are known to have lifted the stone, including a man called Michael Clarke, who, according to legend, hoisted it onto his back over a century ago, walked 150 feet to the local pub, downed a glass of whisky with the stone still on his back, and walked right back to the graveyard. Keohan is hoping that if he can find it, he can claim his place as the seventh.” Tired of Kettlebells? Try this. GQ: The Quest to Pick Up the Lost Lifting Stones of Ireland. (I get hand, arm, and shoulder stiffness just scrolling through long reads like this…)


Extra, Extra

Biggly: Joe Biggs, “a leader of the Proud Boys who led the far-right organization’s infamous march to the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison – among the longest sentences handed down yet for a convicted rioter.” Yes, the insurrection was a remarkably serious crime against America. And people who were involved deserve bigly sentences. Related: Trump pleads not guilty to Georgia election interference charges.

+ Frozen: “If the Kentucky Republican’s health was a concern before, it’s ballooned into a serious worry now.” Mitch McConnell froze for a long time during an appearance yesterday. leading to more speculation about his health and his future leadership role. Who ever imagined that we’d be worried about Mitch McConnell’s health because he is one of the reasonable, sane ones? What do I mean by that? “Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, and Fetterman are examples of people who are not fit for office and it’s time to be serious about it.” So said Marjorie Taylor Greene. Meanwhile, Biden says he has no concerns about McConnell’s health after speaking to him, “I spoke to him today. He was his old self on the telephone.”

+ Johannesburg Fire: “A nighttime fire ripped through a rundown apartment building mainly occupied by homeless people and squatters in Johannesburg early Thursday, leaving at least 74 dead.”

+ Liv and Let Liv? “A retired teacher in Saudi Arabia was recently sentenced to death for his tweets criticizing the country’s leadership to his handful of followers.”

+ News Flash: “Even in the thick of the crisis, as the details of a mass evacuation swallowed them, the members of Biden’s inner circle could see that the legacy of the month would stalk them into the next election—and perhaps into their obituaries. Though it was a moment when their shortcomings were on obvious display, they also believed it evinced resilience and improvisational skill.” A detailed book excerpt from Franklin Foer in The Atlantic: The Final Days: Joe Biden was determined to get out of Afghanistan—no matter the cost.

+ From the Crow’s Nest: Clarence Thomas officially discloses private trips on GOP donor Harlan Crow’s plane. “In one instance, Thomas said he took the private transportation in May because of ‘increased security risk’ following the leak of the Dobbs opinion overturning Roe v. Wade that had occurred a few days earlier.” Safety First!

+ Dungeons and Drag Ons: “To cope with the isolation they face daily, the men on death row spend a lot of their time in search of escape — something to ease the racing thoughts or the crushing regrets. Some read books or find religion. Some play games like Scrabble or jailhouse chess. Others turn to D.&D., where they can feel a small sense of the freedom they have left behind.” Here’s a story you probably didn’t see coming. For men awaiting execution in Texas, illicit games of Dungeons & Dragons became a lifeline.

+ Grabs Popcorn: People don’t go to the movies anymore. Oh wait. Barbie. And Oppenheimer. And… Taylor Swift Concert Film Headed to AMC, Cinemark Theaters for Big Screen Release. (This will probably lead to a worldwide buttered popcorn shortage.)


Bottom of the News

“Police said shortly after 6 a.m., a pickup truck was hauling about five million bees in crates using an open trailer when the crates slid onto the roadway.” Local beekeepers help police catch millions of bees accidentally set loose near Toronto.

+ Driver with Adult Bull in Passenger Seat Pulled Over by Nebraska Police: ‘Some Citable Issues.’ (This gives new meaning to riding the horn.)

+ “After a particularly congenial bit of banter with a cutie in a Hawaiian shirt, maybe you’ve found yourself wondering, ‘Is this Trader Joe’s employee flirting with me?'”

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