The pandemic still isn't over: As of today, the COVID death toll has surpassed 6 million. And that's just what's recorded—the real number is likely much higher. However, the global daily death toll has gone down over the last month, from about 11,000 during the second week of February to 7,000 daily today, reports CNN. "It's too early to declare victory over #COVID19," twote WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. "We urge all people to exercise caution and all governments to stay the course."
It's too early to declare victory over #COVID19. Many countries are facing high rates of hospitalization & death. With high transmission, the threat of a new, more dangerous variant remains real. We urge all people to exercise caution and all governments to stay the course. pic.twitter.com/hLtKCsp4ER
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 6, 2022
And on that note: President Biden just opened another round of free at-home COVID-19 tests at COVIDtests.gov. Better extremely late than never.
And with the state and county's mask mandate lifting at the end of the week, navigating Seattle-area cultural spaces' new protocols will be confusing: The journalists over at the Seattle Times spoke to several performing arts venues, theaters, museums, nightclubs, and bookstores to try to make sense of what precautions they are keeping and what they are getting rid of. Suffice to say, it's complicated.
Gas prices are surging across the country: Prices are currently at their highest level since 2008 as the Russia-Ukraine War upsets the energy market, reports The New York Times via the Seattle Times. Locally, the statewide average price for a gallon of unleaded gas is $4.449 today, a record high, up from $3.955 a month ago. A good time as any to take public transit or bike or walk or literally any other form of transit that doesn't belch tons of toxic fumes into the stratosphere.
Speaking of the Russia-Ukraine War: Over 1.7 million Ukrainians—mostly women and children—have left their country and fled to Central Europe, reports Reuters. More than 1 million are now in Poland, and the European Union estimates that they could see as many as 5 million Ukrainian refugees before the war is over. Meanwhile, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke from his office on Monday night for the first time since the Russian invasion began on February 24. And a third round of talks between the two warring countries "ended without any breakthroughs," reports NPR, but they agreed to meet again to discuss "humanitarian corridors" to get citizens out of the way of fighting.
And in Florida: Students across the state walked out of class on Monday to protest the Parental Rights in Education bill a.k.a. the "Don't Say Gay" bill. The homophobic legislation would "prohibit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade," reports Spectrum News in Orlando. The bill passed in the state's House chamber and is due to be voted on by the Senate on Tuesday, where it "appears that the legislation has enough support from senators to pass." Fuck those assholes.
Students across Florida are walking out in protest of Desantis’s don’t say gay bill
Tweet out your support with #LetFreeFloridaSayGay
— David Hogg 🌻 (@davidhogg111) March 7, 2022
Here's your early warning: We're springing an hour forward at 2 a.m. on Sunday for daylight savings time, which is likely to fuck up your sleep schedule for at least a few weeks. Didn't Washington's state Legislature vote for permanent daylight savings time back in 2019? Yes, we're just still waiting for a federal waiver from Congress to make that a reality. Until then, we're time hopping.
Two Seattle-area museums get new directors: Last week, Wing Luke Museum announced that Joël Barraquiel Tan will be the institution's fifth executive director. According to the press release, he's coming over to Seattle from Hawai'i Island where he served as executive leader for the East Hawaii Contemporary Arts Center, Kalanihonua Retreat Center, and Touching the Earth. His first day is on April 15. And this week, the Burke Museum welcomes Dr. Gabriela Chavarria as their new executive director, who recently served as vice president and chief curator of the Science Division at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Welcome welcome!
Ex-Seahawk Richard Sherman has been sentenced to "a suspended sentence of 24 months, 24 months of supervision and 16 hours of community" and also pay a $500 fine plus restitution, reports KING 5. Sherman recently pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors and an infraction following an incident last July where he trespassed on his in-laws' property. He said he was "deeply remorseful" of the incident.
Just checking in on the vintage store within Macklemore's golfwear boutique: Inserting my "that's $50 for a t-shirt" thrift shop joke here.
Queen Elizabeth beats the "she's dead" charges once again: The 95-year-old monarch met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in her first public in-person meeting since catching COVID last month. Of the meeting, Trudeau commented that the Queen was "insightful and perspicacious as ever," which makes me think he's definitely covering for her.
That stray rocket smashed into the moon: The unclaimed rocket had been zooming around space for years, but it finally hit the blemished face of that beautiful, heavenly rock sometime on Friday, reports Science Alert. But because the crash was not directly observed, scientists are waiting for photographic evidence to confirm the crash on the far side of the moon.
My allergies are driving me absolutely crazy: Sorry if this PM is a bit humorless—nothing makes me more miserable than sneezing and rubbing my irritated-ass eyes. That's all because the pollen count in the Seattle area is very high. While allergies are obviously real, this New York Times column is telling me that my psychological reaction to my allergies might be making my symptoms WORSE. I will never be at peace!
For your listening pleasure: Coco & Clair Clair's "Crushcrushcrush" featuring Paul Maxwell.