What We’re Reading: 01/08/21

A few highlights from around the web that made it into our feeds this week.

The Number Of COVID-19 Deaths Is Hard To Comprehend. But We Have To Try.

What do we owe to the memories of those we have lost to the pandemic? As hundreds of thousands of names fill the pages of newspapers across the country, the focus has shifted from individuals lost to the trends in data, growing numbers--daily, weekly and monthly counts. An onslaught that illustrates the near incomprehensibility of the magnitude of this crisis. But it’s important we visualize death, that we take in our reality. We need to hold both the individual and the statistics simultaneously, stewing in the intersection of these numbers and the stories they hold. A must read. (From buzzfeednews.org)

How a Zen Buddhist Monk and Hospital Chaplain Spends His Sundays

Self-care often gets co-opted and woven into a ploy for consumables, but the roots hold grave importance for our individual and collective wellbeing. Seigan Ed Glassing is a Zen Buddhist monk and a critical member of our palliative care team. Here he takes time to reflect, discussing loss and how he has dealt with immense personal grief. The ways he manages to cope. All expressed through a series of vignettes from a Sunday, the one day a week reserved for himself.

“There is no other way except to walk into that landscape of sadness, and loss, and grief, and to be an ally to yourself.” (From nytimes.com)

Pfizer vaccine protects against new Covid variants, study suggests

By studying blood samples from individuals vaccinated against Covid-19, researchers determine that the vaccine provides protection against key new virus mutations first found in the U.K., now spreading throughout the United States and other countries. Scientists will continue to expand research to test mutations together to see how these variants may influence the effectiveness of vaccines, but as one researcher put it, “This is good news, mainly because it is not bad news.” Let’s take our wins. (From theguardian.com)

Lastly, an informative short video:

mRNA vaccines face their first test in the fight against Covid-19. How do they work?

Data shows vaccines work with even the newest, more transmissible coronavirus strains, so maybe you’re wondering how exactly an mRNA vaccination protects from Covid-19. Here’s a video that illustrates how the genetic material of mRNA helps us build immunity to certain viruses. (From statnews.com)

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