The Download: long covid inequality, and connecting Native communities

The Download: long covid inequality, and connecting Native communities
Liza Fisher is getting ready for a busy day. Her mother will drive her to the clinic where she will receive IV fluids as well as iron treatment for her anemia. It will take her about an hour. After the IV bag is empty she will head to an adaptive gym where she will wear compression pants and take a class designed for people with disabilities. She will also consult with a therapist who is familiar with postural Tachycardia Syndrome, which causes her heart rate to race when she stands.

Fisher is a former flight attendant. Her life is now dominated by daily therapies and exercise, as well as the care provided by her mother, a registered nurse who moved from Ohio to care for her. This is how it’s been for more than a year, after she contracted covid-19 and developed chronic symptoms of long covid.

Fisher is far from the only one. She is one of many people of colour who struggle with long covid. We are only beginning to understand the extent of this problem. Read the complete story .

–Elaine Shelly

Broadband funding for Native communities could finally connect some of America’s most isolated places

Rural and Native communities in the US have long had lower rates of cellular and broadband connectivity than urban areas, where four out of every five Americans live. Reliable internet service can still be difficult to find outside the urban areas and suburbs, which account for only 3% of US land.

For decades, people living in areas like the Blackfeet Indian Reservation had to make do with slow internet speeds delivered by old copper wires or have simply gone without.

The covid-19 pandemic underscored the problem as Native communities locked down and moved school and other essential daily activities online. It also triggered an unprecedented flood of relief funding to address it. Read the complete story .

–Robert Chaney

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 China is resigned to slower growth
The country’s workforce and property market are feeling the effects of its zero-covid regime. (Economist $)
A Taiwanese chip mogul is bringing the fight to China. (FT $)
China is facing a health emergency of preventable diseases. (The Guardian)

2 US State regulators are rising up to rein in crypto
Their pragmatic approach is way ahead of the feds. (WP $)
Twitch is banning crypto gambling livestreams from October. (Bloomberg $)

3 Inside the US-Russia tussle over international internet policy
The fight to lead the International Telecommunication Union echoes the Cold War. (Economist $)

4 Our existing heat index is flawed
Increasingly extreme temperatures are to blame. (Wired $)
The US climate envoy is pushing financial bodies to do more for the climate. (FT $)
How hot is too hot for the human body? (MIT Technology Review)

5 AI researchers are worried it could cause a nuclear-scale disaster
They’re concerned about how potentially lethal technology will be handled in the future. (New Scientist $)
Why business is booming for military AI startups. (MIT Technology Review)

6 Latino voters are wading through misinformation ahead of the midterms
Democrats are hoping to win back support from Spanish-speaking spaces. (Vox)
Donald Trump is wholeheartedly embracing QAnon these days. (New Yorker $)

7 How alleged evidence of the Nanjing Massacre went viral on TikTok
An old photo album sparked intense debate–and raised more questions than it answered. (New Yorker $)

8 Germany is using AI to stop eagles flying into wind turbines
The endangered birds aren’t used to contending with the blades. (The Guardian)

9 Swapping your car for an e-bike is easier said than done
But evangelists can’t get enough of them. (WSJ $)
A lithium mine in Quebec could help to make electric cars more available. (NYT $)

10 How to negotiate with ransomware hijackers
Stalling for time is a useful tactic. (FT $)
Why the ransomware crisis suddenly feels so relentless. (MIT Technology Review)

Quote of the day

“We simply cannot imagine 20 quadrillion ants in one pile, for example. It just doesn’t work.”

–Patrick Schultheiss, a researcher at the University of Wurzburg in Germany who helped to calculate the total number of ants on Earth, explains why the figure is just so astronomical to the Washington Post.

The big story

How the truth was murdered

October 2020

Many Americans, especially white Americans, have experienced the rise of online hate and disinformation as if they’re on a high bridge over that flooding river, staring only at the horizon. As the water rises, it sweeps away everything that was not able to reach such a safe and solid perch. The bridge isn’t high enough and can feel the deadly currents.

Many people believe that the rising tide of hate and disinformation didn’t exist until it was crashing at their ankles. The water didn’t exist before that.

But if you want the full story, you need to understand how many people tried telling us about it. Read the full story.

–Abby Ohlheiser

We can still have nice things

A place for comfort, fun and distraction in these weird times. Have any other ideas? Drop me a line or tweet ’em at me. )

iOS 16’s photo cutout feature is seriously cool.
Spare a thought for the less glamorous side of archaeology–uncovering dinosaur vomit.
Well, this was inevitable: a video game about wild swimming.
I’ve got nothing but respect for this arty-minded lady.
Here’s 50 reasons to love the legendary Liam Gallagher, who turns 50 today.

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