The pandemic continues: Experts have an eye on a subvariant of omicron known as BA.2, which appears to be even more transmissible than the original strain. This strain is taking a toll in Asia and Europe. Hong Kong’s total case count just exceeded 1 million. According to the AP, nearly 97% of those cases come from the current outbreak. In Germany, a nation of 83 million people, more than 250,000 new cases emerged Friday with 249 deaths.
While it is “unclear” if this subvariant will make people extremely ill, many but not all of the health experts the Washington Post interviewed said a wave will likely come to the U.S., as our surges typically lag behind those in Europe and Asia.
Hang in there (imagine the cat poster): Coming out of an episode of much gloom apologia, The Seattle Weather Blog delivered good news for the girlies who reach unabomber levels of hermit in the winter. Highs could bring bare-legs weather next week! Whoop, whoop.
Cool, damp weather will set in for the next few days—but then along comes Tuesday!
Highs could top 60 degrees for the first time this year then, under partly sunny skies. 🌤
— Seattle Weather Blog (@KSeattleWeather) March 18, 2022
Okay, okay, a little less reform please: Yesterday, Gov. Jay Inslee officially signed House Bill 2037, which rolls back some of the police reform lawmakers passed last year after many Democrats decided they took it a step too far. The bill basically allows a little more use of force to stop people from fleeing temporary investigative detentions.
In other cop news: UW’s student government passed a proposal to implement a pilot program for alternative emergency response services in the U-District. The program is in the early design stages, and the students are still looking for funding, but the goal is to get people services without the potential harm of calling the cops. The supporters of the program say it is not anti-cop but rather pro-community.
Sweep in Chinatown International District: Yesterday the city swept a large encampment in the CID. According to the mutual aid group that serves this area, the city did not provide language access.
We helped residents get relocated, packed up&provided interpreter services during a raid in the CID, a raid that had over 40 paid city employees present, not ONE provided language access. Do you know who was there in abundance today, violent and hostile, SPD!What housing?
— CID Mutual Aid (@CIDMutualAid) March 17, 2022
Additionally, if you don’t read English or Spanish, the city’s sweep notices will do little for you. Based on data of the most commonly spoken languages in Seattle, the City of Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs entities communicate city-wide services and programs in Traditional Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Somali, Amharic, Korean, Tagalog; if feasible Tigrinya, Oromo, Japanese, Russian, and consider including Arabic, Khmer, Thai, Laotian.
Here we go again: After Pfizer asked for approval on a booster shot for seniors, drugmaker Moderna asked the FDA yesterday to authorize a fourth shot of its COVID-19 vaccine for all adults. Many health officials saw this pattern coming; similar to the flu shot, we would need to keep boosting in order to keep the virus manageable.
ICYMI: Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley will not return to Olympia for a second term. State Democrats are dropping like flies: Sens. Frockt, Carlyle, Sheldon, and Reps. Sullivan, Dolan, Johnson, Cody, Sells, and others.
Hearing that Rep. Kirsten Harris-Talley (D-South Seattle) will not run for a second term. That will leave a spot open in the 37th Legislative District. #waleg
— Rich Smith (@richsssmith) March 18, 2022
The “Nazification” of Ukraine: President Vladimir Putin invoked Nazis to justify his invasion of Ukraine. Nazi scholars published open letter calling Putin’s rhetoric “factually wrong, morally repugnant and deeply offensive.” The scholars acknowledged far-right groups in Ukraine, but said that did not justify Russia’s invasion or the “gross mischaracterization of Ukraine.” The New York Times discusses.
If anyone could do it, it would be him: Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a video on social media to tell Putin to stop killing Ukrainians and sacrificing Russian soldiers. Schwarzenegger’s words are not like the other “stop the war #peace” posts. The actor is super popular with Russia and its president. Putin’s twitter only follows 22 accounts, one being Schwarzenegger.
More protections for abortion: Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill that prohibits legal action against people seeking an abortion and those who aid them. Washington state has very strong pro-choice legislation in comparison to other states across the country, and this bill is a direct response to other states, including Idaho, that want you to tattle in order to enforce cruel abortion restrictions.
Speaking of Idaho: Girl, what?
Idaho Lieutenant governor Janice McGeachin is building a coalition that includes white nationalists and members of far-right militias, in what she tells supporters is ‘the fight of our lives’ to take over the GOP https://t.co/0QWHCvmTXr
— Sergio Olmos (@MrOlmos) March 18, 2022
Biden, help the Progressives help you. With what is certain to be a bloodbath midterm election looming, the Congressional Progressive Caucus gave President Joe Biden a list of 55 executive actions he could take that would make Democrats look like they did something with their control of the legislative and executive branches. These actions include addressing the “family glitch” in the Affordable Care Act, declaring a National Climate Emergency, and canceling student loan debt.
CPC Chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who represents Seattle, said in a statement, "We know working people can't wait for relief from rising costs—and that Democrats must use all the tools available to provide it, quickly."
My notes app apology: Yesterday, I live-tweeted my notes during one of my scariest endeavors yet: the Downtown Seattle Association State of Downtown event. I thank God for the complimentary cider that got me through it. I’m kidding. It was fine.
the absolute STATE of downtown. Downtown Seattle Association will discuss homelessness, crime, the whole shebang, couched between 2.5 hours of networking, fancy snacks, and an open bar pic.twitter.com/sEPopSlfCA
— hannah krieg (@hannahkrieg) March 17, 2022
But anyway, in one of my tweets, I paid KCRHA CEO Marc Dones a well-deserved compliment when they said homeless people are more often the victims of crime than the perpetrators. I added that I was the only snaps at that particular moment (the crowd loved Dones, so there were plenty of snaps/claps/giggles throughout the interview). I have since been informed that others snapped along at that comment as well. I believe all snappers, so I would like to formally apologize for my error, and once again reiterate the more important component of that tweet: Homeless people are more often the victims of crime than the perpetrators. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. With love, Hannah.