Newsworthy – April 25th, 2020

A long term drought is likely in the western U.S., videoconferencing can be cognitively and psychologically stressful, primary care practices are at risk of shutting down.

These, and more, are the newsworthy stories from this past week.

Science and Environment

  • Air pollution has declined up to 60% in nine major cities, according to a recent report by the Swiss company IQAir – analyzing government data from Delhi, London, Los Angeles, Milan, Mumbai, New York City, São Paulo, Seoul, Wuhan, and Rome.

    – ZME Science
  • Climate change might be brewing a megadrought in the western US. Warming, shifting climate patterns are likely to push the United States and northern Mexico into extreme, long-term drought.

    – ZME Science

Health and Society

  • Hundreds of New York correction officers are ill, with the Rikers Island jail complex among the most-infected workplaces in the U.S.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • When we breathe air with high CO2 levels, the CO2 levels in our blood rise, reducing the amount of oxygen that reaches our brains. This can increase sleepiness, anxiety, and impair cognitive function, previous studies showed.

    – ZME Science
  • Videoconferencing imposes cognitive and psychological frictions and aggravates social anxieties.

    As experts in human-computer interaction point out, using a service like Zoom means putting on a show for others without being able to rely on the cues we primates depend on in physical encounters.

    – Axios
  • Tuesday was Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day.

    Holocaust Remembrance Day is one of the most solemn dates on the Israeli calendar. Survivors typically attend remembrance ceremonies, share stories with teenagers and participate in memorial marches at former concentration camps in Europe.

    – AP

Business and Economics

  • With many supermarkets sold out of flour, some bakeries are taking 50-pound bags and repackaging them into five-pound bags to sell to retail customers.

    – Axios
  • Nintendo’s Switch is out of stock at retailers across the country, and third-party sellers are offering it on Amazon at a markup of several hundred dollars.

    – The Wall Street Journal
  • Some doctors are reporting that revenue is falling 50% to 90%. Hospital care for COVID-19 — and social distancing — are taking priority over primary care checkups, endoscopies and other non-urgent services.

    20% of primary care practices believe they will temporarily close within the next month, according to a new survey of doctors.

    – Axios

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