This week, we’ve finally gotten a reprieve of winter storms. There’s still plenty of whit and sludgy snow on the ground, though.
We plan to get comfy on the couch and watch some of the world’s best athletes compete. We know the 2022 Winter Olympics are not without controversy (see: these ESPN and The New York Times stories, among countless others), but we’re still proud of Team USA athletes. We enjoyed seeing Nathan Chen’s record-breaking performance—and how he dons his N95.
And, amid all the world chaos and fragility, we appreciate seeing athletes cheer on and console their fellow competitors, reminding us of our humanity.
We’re keeping an eye on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s review of data from Pfizer-BioNTech on their vaccine for children between 6 months and 5 years old, which some parents of young children have been desperately hoping for. There are mixed results that complicate the decision process, both for experts and parents, as this article from The Wall Street Journal explains. Still, even getting to this review is progress.
We’re cautiously optimistic about the decline in COVID-19 cases, but we’re still holding our breath because it feels like déjà vu all over again.
Until next week, stay safe and warm everybody!
Landmark Sexual Harassment Legislation
It’s a sad reality that bipartisanship in politics is rare these days, so when legislation is co-sponsored and passes with support from both parties, it’s notable.
Such is the case this week. A majority in both chambers of Congress passed the Ending Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Act. It now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), ends mandatory arbitration in workplace sexual assault and harassment cases, meaning survivors have regained their rights to file lawsuits against their employers in court.
The bill was first introduced it in 2017 as the #MeToo movement gained widespread attention after a number of prominent women, including well-known actresses, came forward with allegations of sexual harassment.
Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson became a vocal proponent of the bill after learning that her employment contract included a forced arbitration clause, which prevented her from suing then-Fox News CEO Roger Alies. She accused him of sexual harassment.
Read the full story here.
Given the emotional toll the pandemic continues to take, we were surprised and delighted to stumble upon this roundup of COVID-19-inspired buzzwords.
There are plenty of jokes and drinking bingo games about business jargon, but it serves a purpose for communicating ideas, culture and value. During the pandemic, that jargon became even more important as we have unable to interact the way we used to pre-COVID. Meanwhile, the need for open and honest communication has never been greater as conditions, guidance and situations continue to evolve.
“In the past you could communicate culture through physical stuff,” said André Spicer, a professor at Bayes Business School, City, University of London, to The New York Times. “When you go virtual you don’t have artifacts around, whether it’s a foosball table or office canteen, so you’re left with people on screens and words.”
The change in language also represents a change in the times and the environments. For example, doomscrolling was the American Dialect Society’s digital word of the year for 2020. The word evokes specific memories of when many of us were stuck at home due to stay at home orders and trying to learn as much as we could about this new virus that seemingly overnight upended the world.
This lingo list made us laugh, sigh and cringe because these past two years have been exhausting, fraught and draining. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Read the full list here.
A Potential Breakthrough
Last month, we saw news that we didn’t quite understand. So, we bookmarked it until we could give the news the time and attention it deserves, because the implication is huge.
A study in the journal Science suggests that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the main cause of multiple sclerosis (MS). EBV is one of the most common human viruses. It can cause mono, also known as the kissing disease, among other illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Once someone gets an EBV infection, the virus becomes latent or inactive in the body. In some cases, the virus may reactivate. That’s what researchers theorized. Now, a study of 10 million U.S. military personnel has found that nearly every case of MS is preceded by infection of EBV.
Those findings offer hope for new treatments for a debilitating chronic disease that affects the brain and spinal cord, as described by the Mayo Clinic. Nearly 1 million people are living with MS in the United States, according to a study funded by the National MS Society.
There are treatments to help with symptoms, but at present, there is no cure for MS. Further research is needed, but in a time when so many of us are despairing or discouraged, potential breakthroughs and scientific developments help to renew our hopes of better days ahead for all.