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The Spill: Delta Continues to Confuse

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By:  |  August 15, 2021  |    846 Words
Feature GettyImages wearing mask

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Delta Variant Confuses – Again

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is still causing confusion, and new advice is being given to deal with it.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released guidelines saying even vaccinated people should wear masks. CDC also says anyone who hasn’t had the shot should take it. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky claims both vaccinated and unvaccinated people may spread the variant. She states:

“I think people need to understand that we’re not crying wolf here. This is serious … It’s one of the most transmissible viruses we know about. Measles, chickenpox, this – they’re all up there.”

After several staff members tested positive for COVID-19, members of the House of Representatives are forced to wear masks once again. No one is allowed in the buildings without a mask, and those who don’t obey will be fined.

Also, President Joe Biden issued mask and vaccine mandates for all federal employees and on-site contractors. Failing to comply means losing the job – and paperwork must be shown to prove the vaccination happened.

Is the Delta variant this deadly and contagious? The science isn’t settled, and so far there isn’t a lot of credible data available. Most of what one reads about COVID-19 and the vaccinations is contradicted by other sources, even among medical journals.

2020 Games Sizzle and Fizzle

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics (delayed for one year) are underway, and the games have been filled with drama.

American gymnast Simone Biles pulled out of the Olympic competition, claiming she was suffering from stress caused by mental illness. The team went on to perform without her, and for the first time since 2008, Americans didn’t win gold in women’s gymnastics. Biles withdrew from all competitions except for the balance beam. Sunisa Lee, Biles’ teammate, stepped up to take the lead, but she didn’t do well on the uneven bars, which is normally her specialty. Lee said she felt “too much pressure.” Lee’s performance wasn’t a failure, however, as she still took home the bronze medal.

GettyImages-1234246859 Simone Biles

Simone Giles
(Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

It wasn’t all bad news for Team U.S.A. Swimmer Katie Ledecky collected four medals – two golds and two silvers.

Yuto Horigome and Momiji Nishiya both took gold medals for Japan in street skateboarding. At 13, Nishiya is one of the youngest gold medalists in history. With the exception of an unknown competitor assumed to be between seven and ten from the 1900 Olympics, no one under the age of 13 has won gold. Nishiya will be 14 at the end of August.

When it came to track and field, Jamaica’s female team dominated. Elaine Thompson-Herah not only won gold, but broke the world record for 100-meter dash. She made the run in 10.61 seconds, just a hair quicker than Florence Griffith Joyner’s record 10.62 second run in 1988.

Norway’s Karsten Warholm won the 400m hurdles, breaking the world record he had set just a few weeks earlier.

Dead heats are rare in the Olympics, but the men’s high jump resulted in a tie. Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tameri both brought home gold. The good friends and rivals cleared a 2.37-meter jump, but failed to make the tie-breaking height of 2.39 meters. Barshim asked the official, “Can we have two golds?” The rest is history.

The Real GOAT in New York: A Real Goat

GettyImages-1328721481 Running of the Goats

(Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Riverside Park Conservancy)

The running of the goats has come again. In Manhattan’s Upper Westside Park, two dozen goats were cheered on by spectators. Each year, the goats enjoy a free city vacation to help the parks naturally control weeds. Riverside Park Conservancy President and CEO Dan Garodnick praised the little dynamos when they arrived:

“they chowed down on Japanese knotweed, they noshed on porcelain berry, they snacked on multiflora rose, they easily traversed the hard-to-reach terrain behind me and gulped down poison ivy without even giving it a second thought.”

The organic weed eaters can consume up to 25% of their body weight in vegetation per day, and when they leave behind pebbles of goat poo, they nurture the soil. It’s a win-win for the goats, the parks, and for the New Yorkers who get to enjoy the critters and their goofy antics.

The animals compete for the title of GOAT (Greatest of All Time). The five remaining contestants are, according to Reuters:

“Skittles, a seasoned park veteran, a finalist for the G.O.A.T. title in 2019. Buckles, a popular cheerleader for the park, sometimes struggles to distinguish porcelain berry from mugwort. Chalupa keeps his head down, ate through the park in 2019; some say not exciting but works hard to get the job done. Mallenmar, known to be truly idealistic, a booster of all goats, lover of all park visitors. And Ms. Bo Peep, newcomer to the scene, a wildcard.”

The winner will be declared at the end of August.

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