The Week Links: in which our blogger is WELL!

I am well! This is news, because for most of the week, I have not been very well at all. And it occurs to me, on the rare occasion that I’m so unwell that I have to take naps during the day, how much the running of our household depends on my being well! Also, how wonderful it is to be healthy, and how easy it is to take that for granted.

Today, I resolve to not take my good health for granted (I’m sure I’ll be back to ignoring it tomorrow) and celebrate the sunshine. Enjoy the links!

Vaccines can be an area of contention in some communities, but given that around half a million people die from malaria each year, I can only imagine that those in regions where it is a real threat are celebrating the potential for a new malaria vaccine. The problem with this one appears to be that it only reduces the chance of infection between 30-50%. Is it worth rolling out something like this, given the cost and the fact that people will need to bring their children for multiple boosters, or should we wait? It’s very easy to run off statistics, especially when the majority of those living with the threat of malaria are in developing nations, and so I don’t know if this is an issue which many in Western countries believe is that important. However, with global warming, many more of us will have a vested interest in ensuring that malaria is something we can control, if not eradicate. Sad, that it should take a threat to more wealthy nations, for it to be taken more seriously.

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Having lived in very wealthy suburbs–where our rental units were in stark contrast to the very well-maintained and expensive mansions–and in suburbs where the majority of dwellings were state government housing, I know a thing or two about this subject. I know, in the wealthier suburbs, just how much the poorer residents are looked down upon, but I also know that suburbs with a very high percentage of households live in state housing end up having higher rates of social issues, such as poverty and drug and alcohol abuse. It’s clear that it’s necessary for everyone to be able to have at least similar opportunities, and segregation of public housing is unlikely to achieve this.

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‘Living below the poverty line’ has always been a term which I find problematic, because it relies on a very specific idea of what is enough to be able to live well, and for most of us in developed nations, our standard of living is quite high. But it does seem sad and almost unbelievable (and this relates to my last post, as well, I suppose) that in 2013, one quarter of Florida’s children were living in poverty. It’s not just about employment, because underemployment is as much an issue as not having any job, but trying to support your family while not knowing how you are going to feed them at the end of the day, or having to juggle bills, when you’re always falling behind, is not only stressful, it doesn’t allow any capacity to improve your situation. I’d be interested to know whether this issue is something which will be raised in the presidential campaign, although given the fact that Donald Trump hasn’t mentioned it yet, I’m guessing it’s not really important enough. Pity.

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I’ll leave my sarcasm at the door for this last link, because I should at least end on a good note sometimes! Here’s more evidence that there are other creatures on earth who might play, just because, and that some of them are different species. I always think it’s sad that we’re so focussed on humans as the pinnacle of what is intelligent or advanced, that we’ve so often missed seeing the same aspects in other animals. I was wondering, before I looked at the pictures, whether it was legit, but it seems that way, and they’re very sweet. Playing is so great.

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