“We’re not done yet”
Mar 14, 2022
Episode 619

“We’re not done yet”

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The pandemic isn't over.

Changing policies around things like face masks can make it feel like the pandemic is pretty much over. But for What’d We Miss Monday, our hosts highlight data that suggests new cases of COVID-19 could be on the rise in some parts of the country. We’ll have more on that, plus what kind of an announcement we can expect from the Federal Reserve this week. There are also updates on NASA’s latest mission, how the battle over the 2020 election altered local election offices around the country and what we can learn from key moments throughout the pandemic. Finally, we’ll share a couple of Make Me Smiles from our audience to brighten up the day!

Here’s everything we talked about on the show today:

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Make Me Smart March 14, 2022 transcript

Note: Marketplace podcasts are meant to be heard, with emphasis, tone and audio elements a transcript can’t capture. Transcripts are generated using a combination of automated software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before quoting it.

Kai Ryssdal: Wait eight seconds. Eight seconds there we go. Eight seconds. Everybody, I’m Kai Ryssdal.. Welcome back to Make Me Smart making today make sense, that’s our jam.

Kimberly Adams: It is a jam. I’m Kimberly Adams. Thank you for joining us for What Did We Miss Monday, where we talk about today’s news and get you caught up on some of the big stories that happened over the weekend.

Kai Ryssdal: That is kind of our jam. Right? I mean, come on. It’s me trying to be hip, but it kind of is what we do. Right? Kinda is what we do.

Kimberly Adams: You are totally hip, Kai. Coolest dude ever.

Kai Ryssdal: Yes. Thank you very much for that. Alright. Anyway. So there is still and I think will be for the foreseeable future. But we should probably have a conversation amongst ourselves editorially about about what we don’t talk about because we’re talking about the war. And we’ve alluded to that. But but in my money, I think the war in Ukraine is still the number one story, right?

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, it’s huge. I mean, it’s because it’s bringing in the rest of the world. I mean, getting closer and closer to Poland with those airstrikes. And that just opens up a can of worms. Talking about the risk of chemical weapons.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah, yeah. And some of the pictures that came out this weekend, and then the AP’s story this morning on the on the pregnant woman who had died along with her baby. All this news is just horrible.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah and I guess we’re mentioning a lot of this stuff second reference. So let me back up a little bit. So the pregnant woman who died last week, there was a bombing of a children’s hospital, and that had a maternity ward. And so there were a lot of photos that came out of women being evacuated, including one woman who was being carried out on a stretcher after the after the attack, and she died. And that is one of the pieces of news that came out over the weekend. There have been multiple reports that there is a risk of Russia using chemical weapons in Ukraine. And that is something that has a lot of people concerned and has, especially NATO allies` saying that that could be a red line, the use of chemical weapons, and I’m so that was that part. And then what was the other thing that we mentioned sort of secondhand? I don’t know. Okay, that’s that’s a really good point. I mean, no, I’m just I’m just thinking we’re too far down deep in it. As as, you know, obsessive followers of the news. And it’s, it’s a good lesson for me to just remember that not everybody is and that’s probably the more sane move in these in these not very mentally healthy times. Yeah, I mean, look, I was talking to one of my friends over the weekend, she was like, “Yeah, I just turned it off.” And she she was saying how she, like, doesn’t understand how I can look at this stuff all the time. And just pay attention to the news all the time. And I was like, “That’s why a lot watch a lot of anime in my downtime.”

Kai Ryssdal: That’s right. That’s right. Okay, but let us move into some things that that are tangentially interesting, or will help you fill out your knowledge of the war, or, frankly, have nothing to do with the war. And I’ve got three, one of which is straight up related to the war, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, which is a really good and often cited think tank in Washington and observer of the international economic scene. They have just because I frankly, cover this stuff all the time, and I get lost in it. They’ve got a great timeline, on the sanctions that have been put on Russia. And if you want to know exactly where we stand, I highly recommend this. We’re gonna put it on the show page, but it started coming out today. And they’ve got all kinds of stuff in there. And it’s really, really useful and it’s about the finances, it’s about individuals. It’s about imports and exports, travel, all kinds of stuff. Totally, highly recommend that and, and Peterson and Chad Bown specifically the guy who does a lot of international trade stuff is really, really good. So that’s item one for me. Yes ma’am.

Kimberly Adams: And it’s got really cool filters where you can filter by the type of sanctions you can fill by the government that’s imposing the sanction. That’s a really useful resource.

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah. Okay, item two on my list. Hey, you know how we all think the pandemic’s over? It’s not. It’s not that.

Kimberly Adams: That we is doing a lot again.

Kai Ryssdal: And the sewage stuff that everybody was looking at all the experts were looking at, you know, last time there was a wave. Well, guess what, those indicators are ticking back up for a lot of spots in the northeast, I also saw that numbers in Europe are ticking back up. We are not done. Although interestingly, masks at my kid’s high school today, we’re no longer required. And the early word from the ninth grader and the senior in high school is about 50% of kids had their masks off. 50% kept them on. We ain’t done yet. Just for the bleepin’ record, just for the record. We’re not done yet. And it just it – every time this happens, you feel like the rug getting yanked out from under you, because you’re like, hey, life is normal. And I’m gonna get on a plane and I’m gonna do this and that and you’re not, you know, or you are and it’s just not going to be normal is the deal. So.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. This has been going on and I think everywhere, like noticing which people immediately stopped wearing their masks and who sort of continues. I’m in the continue camp. I’m still wearing my mask everywhere.

Kai Ryssdal: Oh, yeah. So you know, it’s really interesting because you go into the local Piggly Wiggly, and there’s probably, I would say, like, like 10-ish percent of people are maskless and and a good portion of them, 97% are still wearing the masks of which I’m one for sure. I just, you know, I just I don’t need to get this frickin’ disease. That’s all I’m saying. Okay, last one, which is a little bit of tomorrow’s news today. The Federal Reserve, the Federal Open Market Committee meets tomorrow and Wednesday, they will be discussing interest rates unless the sun explodes. Jay Powell is gonna have a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, which he says, hang on a minute, I’ll give you a good in case the sun explodes story in two seconds. But Jay Powell on Wednesday afternoon is going to announce an interest rate increase of 25 basis points, which is to say one quarter percentage point, and it will begin the process of raising rates throughout this year. But there is a story in The New York Times today. I think Jeanna did it, Jeanna Smialek, Jeanna and somebody else too. No, it was all Jeanna, who’s one of our Friday regulars about the jam that Powell finds himself in and how he may depending on how things go, have to emulate one of his economic heroes Paul Volcker. And the problem with emulating that particular hero in a time of inflation is the Paul Volcker cranked interest rates up way high in the early 1980s. To break the back of what was then rampant inflation like double the seven and a half, 8% we have now. And it’s just it’s it’s not going to be great. If if Powell has to do that. And I’m just keep your eyes out. So the sun explodes. So my daughter who’s now 14, when she was like five, we were driving somewhere and she was being really really pokey. She was just like dee dee ddee. I’m like, babe, come on. Get in the car. We gotta go. We gotta go. Come on before the sun explodes _

Kimberly Adams: Pokey as in moving slowly?

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah pokey like moving slow.

Kimberly Adams:  Okay. Okay.

Kai Ryssdal: Is that not a thing you say?

Kimberly Adams: I’ve not heard it. I’ve heard slowpoke. But I’d never heard pokey, like that way. But go ahead.

Kai Ryssdal: And she was being really pokey. She was she’s been really pokey. I’m like, sweetie, come on. We gotta go. Let’s go before the sun explodes. Well, yeah. And she looks at me with this expression of horror on her face. And she said, “Dad the sun’s gonna explode”” And for the next 15 minutes, I had to calm her down and say yes, in 5 billion years, the sun’s going to explode. But every now and then when she wants to jerk my chain. She says Dad, come on before the sun explodes. Anyway, that’s my little story.

Kimberly Adams: Well, since you said, you know, the sun exploding. It reminded me of this story that I saw that this week. There’s supposed to be several geomagnetic storms hitting the Earth from the Sun, like solar flares. And so there’s like solar flares and corona mass ejections, and a lot of them so we’re supposed to get a bunch of geomagnetic storms this week, so the sun is actually exploding. I mean, sun’s technically always exploding. ,

Kai Ryssdal: Yeah that’s true. That’s very good. I’ll have to tell. Tell my daughter that. Alright, anyway, so that’s what I got. All right, over to you.

Kimberly Adams: Alright, well, since I started off with space, let me go ahead and keep going with space because today NASA was doing all sorts of fun things with its Artemis-I. Alright, how do I even explain this? Okay, so Artemis-I is the mission. That is the first stage of the larger series of Artemis missions that are supposed to return humankind to the moon via NASA and private contractors as well. And this is the mission where they said that they’re going to have the first woman to step foot on the moon, the first person of color to set foot on the moon. And so the mission has several stages to it. And this stage is where they’re going to send an uncrewed mission to start, like setting stuff up. And it’s really cool. And there are rockets involved as as per usual, and so there’s videos –

Kai Ryssdal: As there are one goes to the moon.

Kimberly Adams: And so yeah, so today was a big day for that rolling, rolling out some of that stuff that I think was going to be interesting to watch. Because like when they announced it, it was a huge deal. But like now, they’re all the sort of steps leading up to actually getting people back to the moon, but it is it is happening. So that’s one thing. My other thing is also pandemic related similar to yours, which is that it’s not over. But also in the New York Times they have, they’ve been going to a bunch of different people to sort of do retrospectives on, it’s been two years into this pandemic, and what are some of the things that we’ve learned. And there is a piece that came out over the weekend, where it basically talks about all of the different points in the pandemic, where it could have been mitigated, and how many of the lives lost were unnecessary had we done something different? Now, of course, hindsight, is 2020. But you can look at key moments throughout the pandemic, where different choices would have led to many, many fewer deaths. And it’s it’s a bit of grim reading. But as we think about how we respond to future waves, and future pandemics, I think it is important to kind of take a second and or, or even more than a second to look at where we fell down in this response. And we’re going long. So another thing I read over the weekend that was super interesting, in the Washington Post has a long piece about this one particular county board of elections that basically got caught up in the big lie about election fraud, and basically had the entire membership turned over to people who are basically pretty open about open about the fact that they think the election was stolen. And now it’s become this board of elections, it’s become like way more political. And the larger point of the story is that this is happening all over the country, were these offices and these individuals in these positions that people maybe never paid attention to, until Election Day, are being transformed. And that may make you know, we celebrated all these election workers in the 2020 election for sort of sticking to their guns and saying that “no, this election wasn’t stolen. No, we did our jobs right, this is fine.” And that may not happen next time around, because of all these changes happening at the local level.

Kai Ryssdal:  As Joseph Stalin and the former president united states have said, “it’s not so much the voters as it is who counts the votes.” So I actually think you should you should you should do this other one that you’ve got in there. Truly do.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah, yeah, this, this is a really interesting one. So this is about the war. And there’s a piece in The Guardian, it’s been reported a bunch of other places. So state TV in Russia has been in pretty intense propaganda mode throughout all of this. And they’re really strict rules in Russia about what you can and cannot say about. Don’t even call it a war. What do they call it? Like, incident or –

Kai Ryssdal: Special operations.

Kimberly Adams: Special Operations? Yeah. And so on state TV, one of the employees, I think it was an editor basically jumps on set during one of the live broadcasts and holds up a sign saying into the war, and saying that they’re lying to you and shouting, and they cut away from it, but not before a lot of people saw it and to see this level, like somebody at that level speaking out that openly and of course, immediately arrested, and will probably be charged and potentially faces years and years in prison, if not worse. It really is, you know, revealing of some of the pushback that’s happening within Russia to this conflict. Now, granted, it’s hard to see and get a sense of how widespread it is, but it’s certainly happening and it’s a really astonishing story.

Kai Ryssdal:  Totally agree.

Kimberly Adams: That was a lot of stuff to catch up on.

Kai Ryssdal: Well, look, I mean, you know, it’s, there’s a lot of news, busy weekend. All right, Juan Carlos hit it. Alright, real quick. On Mondays we share the make me smiles that all y’all have sent to us last week. We know that we were a little light on submissions you delivered. So thank you very much for that. Jodi from Minneapolis sent us this note. Here’s what she said. “This Instagram family lifts my spirits every time here’s one of the best yet” and she included a link to a video of this family’s four year old wearing a tutu having a great time doing some nighttime snowboarding even under less than optimal snowboarding conditions. We will of course, put a link to that on our show page because who does not need a four year old and a two to snowboard. I’m just saying.

Kimberly Adams: Have you seen that video, the kid’s snowboarding where they miked him up, and he’s just sort of like narrating his snowboarding adventure. Yeah. So cute. Yeah.

Kai Ryssdal: It’s awesome. It’s awesome.

Kimberly Adams: It’s like, at the end he falls over and he’s like, “I’m a stuck-a-saurus.” So cute. Okay. And from San Francisco listener Friday, who also had that question about bonds for Whaddya Want to Know you Wednesday also shared a make me smile. “Someone just told me about this group called S F. in Bloom and I can’t stop smiling. They go around and plant native wildflowers guerilla style using kitchen shakers. I think for my birthday this year. I’ll go with them on a flower planting bike ride.” So awesome.

Kai Ryssdal: That’s a super good idea. Actually. I love that wildflowers cool? I’m just saying yeah, that’s what I got. Alright, and on that with some very serious and somber news and a couple of light things to send you on your way we’re done tomorrow. We’re doing corporate consolidation in this economy what it is meaning now and what it might mean in the future because oh look, corporate consolidation is not slowing down. You’re gonna want to check that.

Kimberly Adams: Yeah. And we do always want to hear from you so if you have an idea for a Make Me Smile or a question you want us to answer please send us a voice memo and an email to makemesmart@marketplace.org. Or you can call and leave a voice message at 508-UB-SMART.

Kai Ryssdal: Good don’t even have to queue Juan Carlos for that when he’s like yeah, no, I’m I’m on it.

Kimberly Adams: He’s got it.

Kai Ryssdal: Make Me Smart is produced by Marissa Cabrera with help from Marque Greene. Today’s program was engineered by Juan Carlos Torrado.

Kimberly Adams: And our senior producer is Bridget Bodnar and the director of On Demand is Donna Tam. That almost rhymes. Director of On Demand Donna Tam.

Kai Ryssdal: On Demand, Donna Tam.

Kimberly Adams: On Demand Donna Tam.

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