Volcanoes are erupting in The Philippines, but on-fire Australia received some welcome rain. The Iran war cries have been called off and The Donald’s military powers are about to be hamstrung by the Senate. Meanwhile, his impeachment trial is starting, and we’re all on Twitter for a front-row seat.
What Could Go Right? The latest on long Covid
Plus, Black Americans can now more easily trace their lineage, a win for equal rights in Malaysia, and more
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Knowing where you come from is a powerful thing. Unless you don’t know, you may not realize how deeply the emotions around historical identity cut, especially in the United States, where many Black Americans are unable to trace their family history through the murky, dehumanizing history of slavery. Now, the genealogy website Ancestry.com has published what NBC News called a “Black family lineage game-changer—3.5 million records of previously enslaved Black people, available for free.”
The digitized, searchable records come from the Freedmen’s Bureau, an American federal agency created in the late 1860s to “assist the newly freed in their transition out of slavery.” That assistance included everything from marriage paperwork to housing access to finding lost family members. The collection is a great step for historians and researchers and, hopefully, everyday Black Americans, who may be able to find records of their personal family histories.
“I found out that after slavery, my ancestor saved up money with other slaves to seek medical care,” said 26-year-old New Yorker Dennis Richmond Jr., who found information about the mother’s side of his family using the Freedmen’s Bureau. “That almost made my cry. I would never learn that at public school.”
The discussion continues. Kids and long Covid: how worried should we be? The United Kingdom’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data last week that UK doctor Alasdair Munro, whose research specializes in pediatric infectious diseases, said should put parents’ minds at rest. “Despite a huge amount of concern, these statistics back up what we are seeing in practice with kids,” he explained in a Twitter thread on the new statistics. “Long Covid is not a huge problem for the overwhelming majority of children who are infected.”
ONS tracked 12 common symptoms of Covid, including fever, headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, and loss of smell, and their prevalence 4 to 8 weeks and 12 to 16 weeks after infection for children ages 2 to 16. The rates of symptoms at both time frames are low, 0% to 1.7%, compared to rates of symptoms in the control group. You can see the data for yourself here:
There are 24 countries around the world where mothers and fathers do not have equal rights to pass their nationality on to their children. Until last week, Malaysia was one of them. In a landmark ruling, children born overseas to Malaysian mothers will now be considered Malaysian citizens. It’s an obvious win for gender equality, but the decision will also have important on-the-ground effects. Imagine, for instance, a woman trapped in an abusive relationship abroad who wishes to return home. How can she, if her child has no rights as a citizen, meaning that she may struggle to register them for school, take them to the doctor, or even keep them in the country? Advocates are hoping that the Malaysian ruling will spark change in the remaining nations on the list. Barbados, Nepal, Madagascar, Kuwait, et cetera, we’re looking at you.
Before we go, longtime climate activist Bill McKibbin says we are finally catching a break in the climate fight. “The price of renewable energy is now falling nearly as fast as heat and rainfall records, and in the process offering us one possible way out,” he wrote in his newsletter this week. The public debate, he says, hasn’t yet caught up to this new reality. If renewable energy is much cheaper than fossil fuels, that’s an argument for a swift green transition that will have real legs for governments and policymakers. The short article is an especially nice read if you’re searching for some inspiration to get back on those streets.
And, did you know that most of the CO2 from Australia’s megafires has been offset by algal blooms?
Below in the links section, how about a little lab-grown coffee in the mornings?
From us: When you hear the word “economics,” do you hit the snooze button? Yet how we structure our economies, whom they serve, and even what we decide to measure has an enormous impact. In the latest episode of What Could Go Right?, we talk through the unknown outcomes of a post-COVID economy and why we need to move beyond GDP with Diane Coyle, co-director of the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. Listen to the conversation here.
(Found good news? Tweet at us @progressntwrk or email.)
Other good stuff in the news
- Goats: the unconventional weapon against future wildfires | The New York Times
- America fought the pandemic economy—and won | Axios
- Some states are making companies pay recycling costs | Grist
- The NIH is launching a study of long Covid in tens of thousands of patients | CNN
- Scientists have created a paint so white it could eliminate the need for air conditioning | USA Today
- Guinea’s Marburg virus outbreak is officially over | Reuters
- Cambodian students built a manned drone to aid the community | Reuters
- 85,000 adults with disabilities will be able to vote for the first time in Germany’s upcoming election | DW
- How Rotterdam’s innovative flood defenses could help save us all | Bloomberg
- Lab-grown coffee is coming, cutting out the need for beans and deforestation | New Atlas
- A new way to freeze foods could cut carbon emissions equal to one million cars | Anthropocene
- A draft of Cuba’s new family code opens the door for gay marriage | AP
- Eating more aquatic food could help reduce global malnutrition | Axios
- How sea otters can fight climate change | BBC
- The liberation of Paris from cars is working | Slate
- The campaign to change the language of maternity care | Positive News
- China has fully vaccinated 1 billion people | The New York Times
TPN Member Originals
- How are things going for the “Covid pioneer families” who moved from big cities to small towns during the pandemic? | Deborah Fallows
- Why Americans fight over history with Matthew Karp, Jacobin contributing editor | Yascha Mounk
- Healthy liberalism and a compelling vision of a multiethnic America | Thomas Chatterton Williams
- Why the US should wait on booster shots: The case against vaccine hoarding | Ian Bremmer
- Diversity in Office, Equity in Campaigns | Anne-Marie Slaughter | September 23
- What the Internet Can Learn from Trees | Eli Pariser | September 23
- The Raging 2020s with Hillary Rodham Clinton | Alec Ross | September 28
- Seeing Around Corners: Five Tips to Navigate Inflection Points and Build Resistance | Rita Gunther McGrath | September 28
- Great Conversations: What’s the Role of a Citizen in 2021? | Theodore R. Johnson | September 28
- The AI Awakening: What It Means for Productivity and Business Performance | Erik Brynjolfsson | October 7
- Labor Organizing Today, Promises and Pitfalls | Roy Bahat | October 8
- Freer Future Fest | Faisal Saeed Al Mutar | October 9
- Why Mobility Is Destiny | Parag Khanna | October 13
- FountainHead RI: Fireside Chat | Hubert Joly | December 8
Until Next Time
For the moments when our mature selves win out at work: