July 17, 2020

Weekend reads: Americans rejected face masks amid the Spanish flu, too

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    What if zombies needed an alternative food source? Zombies love to eat human brains (according to pretty much every science fiction writer ever), but what if a zombie decided it wanted a substitute? What could it eat, instead? Writing for Gizmodo, Daniel Kolitz asked a series of brain experts what kinds of food might have a similar nutritional value and texture to that of a human brain. One potential substitute?: Eggs.

    Plastic use is spiking. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, our use of plastic is positioned for a large spike as more businesses and people rely on single-use materials to curb the risk of transmitting the virus—though that spike is likely temporary, Caitlin Owens reports for Axios' "Vitals." Owns notes that forecasts suggest the use of flexible packaging will increase by 8% in the United States this year, a major jump from the pre-pandemic prediction of 3.2%. However, forecasts predict flexible packaging usage will then drop in 2021.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    People who don't support coronavirus mandates are coming together online. A Facebook group called "Reopen NC" boasts 81,000 members and asserts that North Carolina's recent stay-at-home order, which was intended to curb the novel coronavirus' spread, infringed on people's constitutional rights. The group also has initiated face mask burning challenges and other activities, such as an ax-throwing for freedom even, to protest the state's stay-at-home order, and has shown that a loud minority can sometimes leave a big impression online, The Atlantic reports.

    Did people wear masks during the 1918 flu epidemic? The Spanish Flu took the lives of about 675,000 Americans in 1918. But even though laws required people at that time to wear face masks or go to jail, Americans often rejected the mask orders, calling them "autocratic and unconstitutional."

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