Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Tag Archives: Personal Wellness

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COVID-19 risks: Know them, avoid them

Erin S. Bromage, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has published an informative primer on which environments the novel coronavirus is most easily transmitted in, which also discusses how people can minimize getting sick. (Top tip: Don’t go to church!)


Anyone can file a lawsuit, and anyone has.

— Governor Jay Inslee, responding to a reporter’s question about a series of ill-conceived lawsuits filed by radical right wing Republicans Clint Didier, Tim Eyman, and others, all aimed at quashing the governor’s stay home, stay healthy orders.

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Rethinking and reframing: Let’s aim for physical rather than social distancing

“Isolation can be toxic. Let’s increase physical distance, but stay connected,: writes Dr. Kenneth E. Miller.


Even if they lacked any moral compass beyond their own political survival, one might imagine that Republican politicians and conservative media figures would want to tell their voters and audiences the truth just to make sure they survive to vote in November and buy into reverse mortgage scams advertised on Fox News. But the Pavlovian urge to win the short-term news cycle, own the libs and defend the economic interests of corporate America and Trump’s re-election are combining with the predilection for conspiracy-minded thinking on the right.

— David Atkins, writing for The Washington Monthly: Republican America isn’t prepared for the coronavirus crisis

Video Clip

Via the Catholic News Agency:

“I want to acknowledge the best science that is out there, that basically says despite our best efforts, this epidemic is going to continue to spread, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be doing everything we possibly can to restrict the spread of this virus and of this epidemic,” Archbishop Paul Etienne said in a video released Wednesday afternoon.

“So I am going to ask that all of our parishes in western Washington, in the Archdiocese of Seattle, effective today, suspend the celebration publicly of the Eucharist.”

“As we all know, this is out of an extreme measure of caution,” he added. “Out of an extreme caution, we want to do our part to prevent the spread of this virus.”​

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For Trump, coronavirus proves to be an enemy he can’t tweet away

“A president who is at his strongest politically when he has a human target to attack has found it harder to confront a growing outbreak that has rattled the country,” The New York Times assesses.

Chat Transcript

Governor Jay Inslee appears on CBS’ Face the Nation to talk about coronavirus response with Margaret Brennan

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to ask you about–


MARGARET BRENNAN: — the Vice President’s visit because he praised your action. You were very complimentary just now to him. But then the President of the United States had this to say on Friday.


DONALD TRUMP: So I told Mike not to be complimentary of the governor because that governor is a snake. Okay, Inslee. Let me just tell you, we have a lot of problems with the governor.


MARGARET BRENNAN: Are politics complicating any part of this?

GOVERNOR INSLEE: Well, we’re… I really don’t care too much what Donald Trump thinks of me. And we just kind of ignore that. It’s background noise, because we really need to work together, Republicans and Democrats. This is a national crisis. We are doing that effectively, as I’ve indicated. I’ve had good meetings with the agency directors.


GOVERNOR INSLEE: I think that the Vice President has been helpful in this regard. So, look, we’re focusing on people’s health, not on political gamesmanship right now. And that’s what we need to do.


GOVERNOR INSLEE: And I feel good about those efforts.

MARGARET BRENNAN: All right. Governor Inslee, good luck to you.

GOVERNOR INSLEE: You bet. Thank you.

— Excerpt from the full transcript of Jay Inslee on “Face the Nation,” March 8, 2020 (CBS News).

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Looking at how diseases spread, canceling SXSW was the right call

“No doubt canceling SXSW was a tough call for the city,” data scientist Spencer Fox writes. “Austin’s flagship international event has huge name recognition and delivers significant economic impact — more than $355 million last year alone. Hundreds of Austinites work throughout the year to make it successful, and thousands more depend on the influx of money it brings. But public health concerns must take priority.”

Video Clip

As coronavirus spreads to the United States, John Oliver discusses what’s being done to fight the illness, what’s gone wrong, and how to stay safe.

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Early detection of cervical cancer boosted by Patient Protection Act, researchers say

“Cancer researchers say there has been a substantial increase in women under the age of 26 who have received a diagnosis of early-stage cervical cancer, a pattern that they say is most likely an effect of the [Patient Protection] Act,” The New York Times reports.