The Wider World

Mask requirements are returning in some areas

MASKS are being asked or required in some settings again (Shutterstock).

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is proving to be a tough bug to squash, as hospitalizations surge in Florida and Louisiana. Over 10,000 patients have been hospitalized in Florida – a new record – and Louisiana is expected to set a new record soon, according to the Reuters news agency.

“These are the darkest days of our pandemic,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “We are no longer giving adequate care to patients.”

Mask mandates, dropped when coronavirus cases fell to low levels, are making comebacks. One is in place in Los Angeles County, and the governor of Louisiana is reportedly about to issue one for his state.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that health officials in the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma announced a return to the indoor masking requirement.

Most of the infections are of people who are not vaccinated, but it’s now believed that even those vaccinated can transit the virus even if they are not infected.

Capitol police officer is third dead by suicide

THE STORMING of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 (Wikipedia).

Gunther Hashida of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia has apparently killed himself, which would make him the third law enforcement officer dead by suicide that had participated in the defense of the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack.

CNN is reporting that Hashida was found dead at his home on Thursday, as confirmed by an MPD spokesperson. The other officers believed to be suicides in the wake of the assault on the seat of Congress by right-wing extremists are Howie Liebengood and Jeffrey Smith.

Canada upset U.S. in women’s soccer

The Canadian national women’s soccer team upset Team USA on Monday in a semifinal game in Tokyo 1-0.

Although the American team is generally considered the best women’s national soccer team, it now has fallen short of the gold medal game for the second time. The U.S. squad will play for a bronze medal.

According to the Associated Press, the Americans had a chance to tie the game in the 86th minute when Carli Lloyd’s shot hit the crossbar. Previous to Monday, Canada had not defeated the Americans since 2001.

Here are the medal standings in the Tokyo Olympic games as of 5 p.m., our time.

Total medals: United States (64), China (62), Russian Olympic Committee (50), Great Britain (35), Japan and Australia (33 each).

Gold medals: China (29), United States (22), Japan (17), Australia (14), ROC (12).

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