SWC’s Fast Five

Fire and floods and now one of the country’s most prominent business groups is for climate change, N95 masks continue to be scarce, somehow the USPS still delivers and, for the anxious among us, stay under this blanket.

So, here’s this week’s Fast Five:

1 N95 masks, why can’t we produce them at this late date?

The market is, in fact, glutted with face shields. But the U.S. is still far short of the 3.5 billion masks that public health officials say are needed this year.

2 Now they’re for climate change. The Business Roundtable supports slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We don’t support the Green New Deal, and we don’t support continuing business as usual…  The right policy would both significantly reduce emissions and keep our economy strong and competitive at the same time.” – Joshua Bolten, The Business Roundtable president. The significance of the statement is that it shows how business is shifting from a source of resistance to a force for action on climate.

3 Fast, cheap and less accurate – U.S.  manufacturers aim for 100 million COVID-19 tests per month capacity by year end.

Still, regulators and health experts are concerned about antigen test reliability. They typically detect the virus around 80 percent to 90 percent of the time, below the more than 95 percent rate of lab-based tests. False negative results raise the likelihood that sick people could unwittingly spread COVID-19.

4 A hot mess but still the mail comes.

Struggles detailed in recently obtained documents, which mostly span March and April, depict an agency in distress, as its deteriorating finances collided with a public-health emergency and a looming election that would be heavily reliant on absentee ballots.

5 Let a heavy blanket crush your anxiety.

Weighted blankets are exactly what they sound like – heavy blankets (typically 15 pounds or more) filled with a material such as plastic pellets. The theory is that the deep pressure you feel from being under all of that weight has a calming effect.