Ecstasy-assisted therapy could be legalized: A new clinical trial treated people with post-traumatic stress disorders with a combination of MDMA and talk therapy. Ninety people who had long-term PTSD participated in the trial. Of the people who received MDMA and not the placebo, after two months of treatment 67% no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis, compared with the placebo group's 32%. The Food and Drug Administration could approve MDMA for medical use by 2023, depending on the outcome of a third clinical trial that's currently underway. That's a far cry from when the Drug Enforcement Administration criminalized it back in 1985. Scientists believe MDMA could also help people with anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The success of this trial may pave the way for research into the therapeutic benefits of other psychedelics.
We probably won't reach herd immunity in the U.S.: COVID-19 isn't going anywhere, experts say. While over half of U.S. adults are vaxxed, daily vaccination numbers are dwindling. Achieving herd immunity to stifle the virus isn't really a realistic goal anymore, experts say. Instead, COVID-19 will stick around for years as a "manageable threat," the New York Times reports.
Bill and Melinda Gates are divorcing: Bill and Melinda released the same statement from both of their Twitter accounts that said they were calling it quits after 27 years of marriage. They say that they will still work together at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. As Stranger editor Chase Burns wrote in our Slack channel today, we need a billionaire TMZ in this town. I cannot be TMZ for Seattle billionaires, but let me know if Bill or Melinda matches with any of you on Raya, the Tinder for celebs.
Nothing says "dissolution of a 27-year-old union" like internet jokes: So here are a few.
Seattle is now officially the capital of billionaire divorces.
— Charles Mudede (@mudede) May 3, 2021
Kiss Phase 3 goodbye: Tomorrow, Gov. Jay Inslee is expected to announce more counties in Washington that will have to move from Phase 3 of reopening to Phase 2. As of last week, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Pacific, Skagit, and Snohomish counties were failing the two metrics Inslee outlined for counties to stay in Phase 3—case rates and hospitalization rates. He'll likely announce that those counties will head back to Phase 2.
Give the kids the shot: Next week, Pfizer is expected to authorize the vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15.
Judge gives Recall Sawant a signature-gathering deadline: In order for the recall against Councilmember Kshama Sawant to make it on a Seattle-area ballot, recall petitioners will need to collect just over 10,000 signatures by October 19. King County Superior court Judge Jim Rogers determined last week that the petition had 180 days to gather signatures from when Rogers certified the recall's ballot synopsis on April 22, Seattle City Council Insight reported. The Sawant team wanted the 180 days to start when the Washington state Supreme Court certified the recall on April 1. Now, the question is: Will the recall be on the November ballot, or will the petitioners wait for a special election?
Are you going back to the office? Has your employer decided remote work is so 2020? Seattle-area companies are split on when they'll mandate a return to in-person work. When are you going back and are you pissed or excited? Somewhere in between? Send me an email.
No appointments necessary at Seattle mass vaxx sites: More info here.
Starting this week - you (16+) will NOT need an appointment to receive your #COVID19vaccine at a City of Seattle site if you are 16+.
Walk up for your 💉at Rainer Beach, West Seattle, Lumen Field.
Evening hours start at Rainier Beach tomorrow 5/4 and at West Seattle 5/5
— Council President M. Lorena González (Seattle) (@CMLGonzalez) May 3, 2021
Welcome to the vaccinated divide: Spectator events and religious organizations are now allowed to have "vaccinated sections," according to new guidelines from Gov. Jay Inslee. Outdoor facilities can now add vaccination sections until their capacity reaches 50% or 22,000 people, whichever is less. Under current guidelines, outdoor facilities can't exceed 9,000 people. For indoor facilities, it's the same deal except the limit is 50% capacity or up to 2,000 people. These sections won't mandate social distancing, but people will still need to be masked. Venues will require proof of vaccination in order to admit people to the vaccinated sections.
Every Husky needs a shot: Dubs up, baby. The University of Washington will require all students on its three campuses to verify that they have been vaccinated by the fall quarter. Students may claim a "medical, religious, or philosophical exemption.” UW joins the likes of Washington State University, Seattle University, and Pacific Lutheran University which already announced vaccination mandates for students in the fall.
The British Royal Marines have jet packs that work: It's like if Tony Stark was a Tory.
Today in weird pandemic headlines: People in England urged to be patient amid reports hugging may soon be allowed
German couple arrested for allegedly trading newborn babies: Authorities suspect a German couple is involved in "a criminal organization which trades in newborn babies," CNN reports. Apparently, the couple is believed to have brought eight pregnant women from Bulgaria to Greece. When the women gave birth, the couple allegedly took the babies, paid the women, and gave the babies "to other members of their criminal gang for resale." Before you ask, no, I have no idea who is buying these black market babies.
Don't look at this if you're hungry or vegan. I love culture.
Canlis hires its first female executive chef: The swanky Seattle restaurant announced Monday that the seventh chef to lead its famous kitchen will be Aisha Ibrahim, a chef who previously worked at Northern California's Manresa which has three Michelin stars. Ibrahim will be the first woman and woman of color to run Canlis' kitchen.
Masculinity is exhausting: "It turns out three-fourths of men would rather die young than give up meat."
German prosecutors bust child porn site: Authorities announced on Monday that they arrested three German suspects believed to be the administrators of the international dark web child porn site known as "Boystown." Around 400,000 registered users frequent the site.
Japanese nurses are pissed because the Tokyo Olympics are asking for 500 nurses to help out with the games this summer. The nurses argue that they're needed elsewhere to deal with the still-raging pandemic.
Want to go down a morbid rabbit hole? It's a deliciously wet spring evening here in Seattle. If you're okay with feeling a bit sad and horrified, pair the gloom with this morose Ask Reddit thread about people describing the last words someone said to them before the person died. I'm not kidding about it being morbid.