Omicron is kicking delta's behind: It now accounts for 73% of new infections in the U.S. in the last week, a six-fold increase from the week previous, reports AP News. That number is even higher in the New York area, the Southeast, the Midwest, and our own Pacific Northwest, making up around 90% of new infections. This explosion in omicron cases inspired Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, to give this scary quote: "All of us have a date with omicron." Bruh, wtffffffFFFFFFFFFF, get me out of hERRRRE.
And here in Washington state: State health officials have confirmed 1,462 new cases of COVID today with 21 deaths since Friday, reports The News Tribune.
King County has seen a 93% increase in COVID cases over the last week, according to our most recent data from the county. We'll have to wait and see how the increased transmission impacts other key indicators of COVID-19, like hospitalizations and deaths.
The Kraken postponed tomorrow's game against the Arizona Coyotes, citing ongoing concerns about coronavirus.
Some restaurants have had to temporarily close due to people getting exposed to COVID or getting sick.
Durkan expanded the hours and location of some Seattle vaccine and booster clinics through the end of the year. Everything feels like a Hail Mary.
Really makes you rethink those "Fuck You Techie" stickers, huh: According to GeekWire, Amazon employees were among Councilmember Kshama Sawant's top contributors to her effort to defeat the recall. Employees of the e-commerce behemoth contributed $11,149.24 to the Kshama Solidarity Campaign, coming in as the fourth-largest employee group. Apparently Microsoft, Facebook, and Google workers were up there as well. Meanwhile, the Seattle Times sat down with Sawant, who basically said being on the city council isn't a game of "Rupaul's Best Friend Race."
Dave Chappelle is doing stand-up in front of a sold-out audience at Climate Pledge Arena on New Year's Eve: This show comes after several transphobic jokes the Gen X comedian made during his latest special, The Closer, streaming now on Netflix. Seattle Pride has already called for the arena to postpone the event until Chappelle apologizes. Today, the Seattle Times' Naomi Ishisaka spoke with several Black and Indigenous trans leaders here in the city about their perspective on the event.
Who needs a walk to think some deep thoughts? A community-sourced list of places to do just that.
A devastating blow to the cafe intelligentsia: Cafe Presse is closing for good in February and the community is absolutely bereft. After 15 years, owners Jim Drohman and Joanne Herron are ready to retire and have already agreed to a restaurant takeover deal, reports CHS Blog. Their other French spot, Le Pichet in Belltown, has a lease through 2023 with an option to extend "depending on how retirement planning is going." Chef Grayson Corrales told the neighborhood blawg she will take over Presse's space with Maripili, a Spanish tapas restaurant bringing the flavors and vibe of the Galicia region to Capitol Hill. I lived in Ourense—a tiny town in Galicia—for two years and let me tell you it's definitely a win that we get Estrella Galicia on tap. Read the official announcement here:
A 6.2 magnitude earthquake hits northern California: Striking just off the coast, there are some reports that the quake was felt in San Francisco, reports KOMO. So far, no major damage or injuries have been reported as some counties are reporting aftershocks. Officials say there is currently no threat of a tsunami at this time.
Landmarked building in Belltown set to be demolished: Built in 1890 and receiving landmark status in 2015, the Wayne Apartments are scheduled to get knocked down and redeveloped into
affordable market-rate housing, reports KING 5. Developers took advantage of a loophole in the city's landmark ordinance that allows them to knock down the historic building. Another one bites the dust!
I'm literally writing this on the floor next to my portable heater because idk how to better insulate my windows or turn on my apartment heating: Which is all to say—it's freaking COLD. I even (briefly) glimpse fat-ass snowflakes fall to the ground for five whole minutes. Other neighborhoods across the city also experienced some light snowfall and there might be more where that came from. A white Christmas is looking more and more possible if this keeps up.
⚠️❄️COLD & SNOW FORECAST
- Much colder this weekend into next week.
- Any precipitation will likely fall as snow.
- No single day stands out as a BIG snow storm at this time.
- 50%+ chance of 3-day total snow accumulations of 4+ inches for much of western WA.#wawx pic.twitter.com/uxVEeDHvZJ
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) December 20, 2021
Speaking of white Christmas...the holiday hit from Bing Crosby turns eighty years old this week. Seattle Met has more on the history of the unlikely bop by the Tacoma-born, Spokane-raise crooner.
A woman gave birth in a Tesla while it was driving on autopilot.
Jack Dorsey-backed guaranteed income program in Tacoma goes live: 110 families in the City of Destiny will get $500 a month starting today as part of a program by the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, reports GeekWire. The erstwhile founder and former CEO of Twitter coughed up $18 million for the program, which is "studying the impacts of providing regular incomes to families."
Hope in Chile: As Matt and Hannah mentioned in AM, a leftist millennial by the name of Gabriel Boric was just elected the president of Chile, making him one of the youngest and most liberal leaders in the world, reports the New York Times. He beat out the far-right José Antonio Kast on a platform of taxing the wealthy, expanding the social safety net, a greener economy, and reducing inequality. What they didn't mention this AM: he's a Swiftie.
"I will be a president who cares for democracy and does not risk it," Gabriel Boric said after he was elected to be the youngest president in Chile's history. The 35-year-old is the most liberal since President Salvador Allende in the early 70s. https://t.co/DEW4g8aNab pic.twitter.com/bijxRztHoZ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 20, 2021
Trump got his COVID booster shot: And when he told that to an audience in Dallas, they booed him lol. Too bad he has no sense of shame. In other news, our former president is also suing New York attorney general Letitia James in a bid to stop her "long-running civil inquiry into his business practices and to bar her from participating in a separate criminal investigation." He really knows how to stay busy!
Make like the queen: And maybe think twice about your holiday plans if they involve a shit ton of people. Queen Elizabeth II just canceled the royal family's Christmas gathering over the omicron-related COVID surge beating the United Kingdom at the moment, reports The Hill. Unrelated, but have you heard about this conspiracy?
Have you ever wondered what a film set in 10th century Iceland about a vengeful Viking prince—loosely based on the same figure that Shakespeare drew on to write Hamlet—would be like if it starred Alexander Skarsgård, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, and fucking Björk? Well, Robert Eggers's The Northman might settle your curiosity. A trailer for film was just released today.
I'm so jealous I could die. Oh to be a Japanese capybara swimming around in a yuzu-infused hot bath on the eve of the winter solstice...some of us are just born lucky...
For your listening pleasure: Literally the only thing making me feel better right now is Blood Orange's Cupid Deluxe, one of the best albums ever made. Here's "Time Will Tell" because time will, in fact, tell...