Monday, December 21 2020

Dive In

I see it, I see 36, but I don't believe it. It's insane. The last time I saw that would have been under-12s.

That’s former Australia Test bowler Damien Fleming summing up everyone’s weekend—as we watched Virat Kohli & Co score the lowest total ever recorded by an Indian team in a Test match, a mere ten runs higher than the lowest ever recorded in cricket history.

Big Story

An alarming new Covid strain in the UK

The TLDR: A highly infectious mutation of the coronavirus may be rapidly spreading across the UK. Vast parts of the country are in total lockdown just in time for Christmas. And Britain has become a Covid pariah, as European nations moved swiftly to impose travel bans. We explain what this new mutation is—and assess how worried we should be. 


The basic deets

The spike: 

  • The UK government describes the new strain as “out of control”—and says it is responsible for a huge spike in cases. 
  • The average total jumped 40% in just one week. 
  • According to the government’s chief scientific adviser, “It is becoming the dominant variant; it is beating all the others in terms of transmission.” 
  • The mutation first appeared in mid-September when it caused 28% of the cases. It is now responsible for 60% of all new infections. 
  • The UK is reporting roughly 24,061 new cases every day.

In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • Nepal spirals into political crisis
  • Farmers face tax raids
  • Apple cracks the whip over Wistron
  • No vaccine for pregnant mothers?

Smart & Curious

  • Why the pandemic has been a disaster for Indian working women
  • ‘Fume events’ on planes
  • Six ways in which you are breathing wrong, and how to fix it

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