Daily Bread for 7.11.20

Good morning.

Saturday in Whitewater will see late afternoon thundershowers with a high of eighty-four. Sunrise is 5:27 AM and sunset 8:33 PM, for 15h 05m 17s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 63.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand three hundred forty-first day. 

 On this day in 1839, Ebenezar G. Whiting of Racine becomes the first Wisconsin resident issued a patent (for an improved plow).

Recommended for reading in full —

 Alex Samuels reports [Texas] Gov. Greg Abbott warns if spread of COVID-19 doesn’t slow, “the next step would have to be a lockdown”:

With Texas continuing to break records for new coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations this week, Gov. Greg Abbott reiterated Friday afternoon that things will continue to get worse. And if people keep flouting his new statewide mask mandate, he said, the next step could be another economic lockdown.

“Things will get worse, and let me explain why,” he told KLBK TV in Lubbock. “The deaths that we’re seeing announced today and yesterday — which are now over 100 — those are people who likely contracted COVID-19 in late May.

“The worst is yet to come as we work our way through that massive increase in people testing positive.”


As of Thursday afternoon, 2,918 Texas had died of COVID-19. The state also reported nearly another 10,000 new cases of the disease.

Nearly 9,700 people were in Texas hospitals on Thursday, too, the highest number since the pandemic began.

With cases of the virus and related hospitalizations rising at alarming rates, Abbott expanded his ban on elective medical procedures Thursday to cover more than 100 counties across much of the state. On Friday afternoon, he also extended his disaster declaration for all Texas counties in response to COVID-19.

Laura Hazard Owen reports One group that’s really benefitted from Covid-19: Anti-vaxxers:

“How Big Tech powers and profits from vaccine misinformation.” That’s the title of a report released this week by the U.K.-based nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate. Among the findings:

Covid-19 has been a growth opportunity for anti-vaccination sites. “Our investigation of 409 English language anti-vaxx social media accounts shows that they now have 58 million followers. For 147 of the largest accounts, with 49 million followers, we have calculated that they have gained at least 7.8 million followers since 2019, an increase of 19%.”

The movement is strongest on Facebook… “In our sample, anti-vaxx Facebook groups and pages command over 31 million followers, well over half of the combined following of all the accounts we studied. Anti-vaxx accounts have nearly 17 million subscribers on YouTube and 7 million on Instagram, but appear to be weakest on Twitter where they have 2 million followers.” The authors theorize that this could be because people are reluctant to publicly admit anti-vaccination views: “89 percent of the Facebook pages in our sample have more followers than likes, with the key difference that likes are visible to other users. In contrast, just 44 percent of the top 50 Facebook pages have more followers than likes.”

Opossums Enjoying Their Banana:

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