4 evolutionary scenarios for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 – STAT:

In the ongoing struggle of SARS-CoV-2’s genes versus our wits, the virus that causes Covid-19 relentlessly probes human defenses with new genetic gambits. New variants of this coronavirus with increasing transmissibility have sprung up every few months, a scenario that is likely to continue.

Some experts believe that the pandemic appears to be on an evolutionary slide toward becoming endemic, a “new normal” in which humans and the virus co-exist, as we currently do with influenza. But coronaviruses are clever. While an endemic resolution may be in sight, SARS-CoV-2 could still shock the human species with a devastating evolutionary leap.

Here are four possible scenarios, each taken directly from the known evolutionary playbook of coronaviruses.

jwz: CDC recolors maps to declare victory:

So if you had been thinking, “I’m going to avoid crowds until my county isn’t SCORCHING RED”, congratulations! CDC has solved that problem for you, without any of the underlying numbers having substantially changed!

And of course CDC is uninterested in talking about Long COVID at all.

As far as I can tell, the motivation here is:

“Federal, State and Local government functionaries, along with people in rural diners and lunatic Qanons, have decided that masking is over, and so we must make our guidance reflect the ‘Personal Freedoms’ that these idiots are going to do anyway.”

jwz: From craft beer to Molotov cocktails:

At his brewery in an old industrial quarter on the outskirts of Lviv, where start-up firms operate from old shipping containers, Pravda’s staff were churning out hundreds of Molotovs on Sunday in the corner of a yard.

(1) DIS on Twitter: “RT @deesnider: People are asking me why I endorsed the use of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for the Ukrainian people and did not for the anti-m…” / Twitter:

People are asking me why I endorsed the use of “We’re Not Gonna Take It” for the Ukrainian people and did not for the anti-maskers. Well, one use is for a righteous battle against oppression; the other is a infantile feet stomping against an inconvenience.

Infinity (noun) – The Oatmeal:

Review: Level Bolt is a stealthy smart lock contending with an imperfect world – Six Colors:

The Bolt is unlike most other smart locks in that it doesn’t replace your existing deadbolt. Instead, it fits inside your door, basically sandwiched in between the exterior keyway and the interior thumb turn. Inside sits a small motor with a Bluetooth chip, which can turn to shoot the bolt itself.

The engineering and design of this device is extremely clever. From the outside, the Bolt is completely invisible. The only place you can even see the device is the bolt itself, where Level’s logo is embossed on the end. (In another particularly ingenious piece of engineering, the bolt also contains a replaceable CR2 battery that powers the whole assembly. Swapping it out just requires unscrewing the end cap.) Another plus: the existing key and thumb turn for the deadbolt work exactly as before, and don’t interfere with the smart lock, or vice versa.

Great review of the one smart-lock I’ve tried myself… The design is fantastic, and if anything simpler than the original hinge mechanism that came with my deadbolt, and fairly reliable for my bluetooth usage.

Mask mandates lifted in Minneapolis, St. Paul | MPR News:

In a statement, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the move comes as COVID rates have been dropping rapidly in the city. He said public health officials will continue to closely monitor the situation and that masks will still be strongly recommended indoors in public.

St. Paul also pointed to a drop in case rates, positivity rates and hospitalizations in Ramsey County for ending the requirement.

It’s raining – you use your umbrella… When you no longer are getting wet, so you put it away… Are you confused when you get drenched? Maybe wait until the storm is over before you put away your protection.

Meet Minnesota gamers and game developers of color working to see themselves on screen | MPR News:

Some scoff at diversity in video games. But for Horn, who identifies as lesbian and Black, seeing herself in characters or stories is powerful — and further inspires others to dream big, which is why representation matters to her.

The only people I’ve actively heard/seen scoff at diversity are white dudes who are so over-represented in games that they don’t ever need to reach to find themselves… but if you take even a single character from them, their ire over “woke gaming” gets awfully loud.

Putin is a killer and that’s okay with Trump, as seen in this roundup video | Boing Boing:

Star of the GOP, Марионетка

All Vladimir Putin has to do is butter Trump up with false praise — like calling him “brilliant” or a “genius” — and Trump is putty in the murderous dictator’s hands.

When reminded by MSNBC hosts that Putin kills journalists and political opponents, Trump says, “At least he’s a leader.”

When told by Bill O’Reilly that “Putin’s a killer,” Trump says, “There’s a lot of killers…”

When asked if he was offended that Putin said nice things about Trump, he said, “No!”

Of course it must be more than just warm fuzzies that keep Trump tucked into Vladimir’s bed, but what that might be is still locked behind closed doors. In the meantime, here is a truncated roundup of the many times Trump has licked Putin’s boot in public. Who knows what goes on in private.

Is omicron leading us closer to herd immunity against COVID? | MPR News:

Experts say it’s not likely that the highly transmissible variant — or any other variant — will lead to herd immunity.

“Herd immunity is an elusive concept and doesn’t apply to coronavirus,” says Dr. Don Milton at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.