A Funeral-Home Director’s Long Commitment to Her Community


When you have been fortunate sufficient to have Alice Theresa Baysmore-Manns bury you, she would have finished so wearing an exceptionally lovely coat. Fawn-gray cashmere, with a voluptuous fur collar, a red-silk lining, and a self-belt, it was the form of elegant, correct coat that signified the decorum you’d need at a funeral. Even Manns’s youngsters, who attended a lot of the funerals she directed, can be turned out for the event. “While you rode within the hearse, you’d have your little bonnet in your head, your little sneakers, your little stockings, your little white gloves,” Renata Manns-Henderson, one in all Manns’s daughters, recalled just lately. “To this present day, my household doesn’t go anyplace with out our hats and gloves.”

Alice Manns (1935-2022) handed away in January. Earlier than her dying, she was named because the oldest residing licensed Black feminine mortician in Baltimore, Maryland, by the Nationwide Funeral Administrators and Morticians Affiliation. She was born into the occupation. In 1902, her ancestor Robert Elliott was one of many early African People in Baltimore to formally obtain an undertaker’s license. His institution, the Robert A. Elliott Funeral House, got here to occupy a stout three-story constructing on the nook of Caroline and Biddle Streets. It flourished. At the moment, Baltimore had one of many largest Black populations within the nation. Funeral houses and cemeteries have been racially separate. Within the time of Jim Crow, Black funeral administrators weren’t allowed to affix skilled associations. (In 1904, they fashioned their very own group, the Coloured Funeral Administrators Affiliation, which might later grow to be the Nationwide Funeral Administrators and Morticians Affiliation.) Funeral houses usually have been household companies. When Elliott died, his widow took over. She had lengthy assisted her husband on the residence, and was ultimately awarded a license of her personal, in 1916.

The Robert A. Elliott Funeral House, later referred to as the Elickson Funeral House, was handed from one feminine member of the household to the following. Manns’s great-grandmother, her grandmother, and her mom all took their turns on the helm. Manns’s father, who served within the Second World Warfare, had lived by way of the assault on Pearl Harbor and returned from the battle shell-shocked, however he assisted his spouse within the operating of the house, principally doing hairdressing on the deceased. Manns grew up enjoying within the parlor of the funeral residence, attending providers, watching her mom greet and console households and put together her remarks. In highschool, she was concerned with an etiquette-and-manners membership often known as the Cotillions. Apparently, she was recruited by an order of nuns after highschool. Though she was tempted, she went on to what was then Morgan State Faculty, and later acquired her funeral director’s license, becoming a member of her mom within the enterprise. When her mom retired, she managed it on her personal. Her husband, Charles Manns, pitched in from time to time—he had performed semi-professional soccer, and Manns-Henderson stated that he was good at selecting up and transferring our bodies—however Manns ran the present.

She was very explicit in regards to the tone she set at her funeral providers, which was formal, possibly even slightly old style. She liked her job. She was obsessed with doing it properly. She was undaunted by the unusualness of her place on the head of a enterprise often run by males. “Again within the day, females who labored at funeral houses have been simply within the workplace, not conducting providers,” Dr. Hari Shut II, the president of the Nationwide Funeral Administrators and Morticians Affiliation, defined. “As a result of Mrs. Manns was from the Elliott household, she might break that barrier. However, when you consider it, the very first funeral administrators have been girls. I gained’t go all Biblical now, however because the starting girls at all times have been those washing and anointing our bodies.”

The Robert A. Elliott Funeral House was a neighborhood hub. All through historical past, Black funeral houses have been central to their communities in additional than the anticipated methods. Through the Civil Rights period, activists have been typically transported hidden in hearses, permitting them to journey undetected. A funeral director resembling Manns had a place nearly as central as a preacher. She knew each household in the neighborhood and had buried generations of them. She performed funerals without spending a dime if a household couldn’t pay, and if somebody was arduous up for money or in want of latest garments she might be turned to for assist.

After Manns retired, the house as she knew it, which had been sustained for 5 generations of her household, got here to an finish. The constructing is now condos. However Manns stored her funeral coat and, in 2020, when she was invited to participate in a Black Lives Matter parade, she pulled it out of her closet. “She might nonetheless put on it!” Shut stated. “I used to be so awed by that form of coat that I took photos of it.” Manns was proud to be within the parade, though she didn’t just like the casual method that among the younger girls dressed, Manns-Henderson stated. “She believed that, for the event, you needed to gown in a sure method.”

A wave of long COVID is bringing attention to other mysterious chronic illnesses : Shots


“Lengthy COVID is characterised by all kinds of signs that persist lengthy after the preliminary an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” says Meghan O’Rourke, writer of The Invisible Kingdom.

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“Lengthy COVID is characterised by all kinds of signs that persist lengthy after the preliminary an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” says Meghan O’Rourke, writer of The Invisible Kingdom.

Fanatic Studio/Getty Photographs/Assortment Combine: Sub

The variety of new COVID circumstances is in steep decline in lots of components of the U.S., but it surely’s nonetheless unknown how lots of the individuals who’ve had the sickness will develop the lingering signs of lengthy COVID.

Journalist Meghan O’Rourke, who’s been writing about lengthy COVID for The Atlantic and Scientific American, says because the pandemic was beginning to unfold within the U.S., she was dreading “the prospect of an incredible wave of continual sickness that might observe.”

That is as a result of O’Rourke has first-hand expertise residing with poorly understood continual circumstances. That is made her delicate to the struggles of sufferers residing with hard-to-diagnose ailments who typically have had their signs dismissed by a medical system that may’t pin them down.

Lengthy COVID could be equally laborious to characterize. The time period encompasses “all kinds of signs that persist lengthy after the preliminary an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” O’Rourke says. “These signs would possibly embody chest ache, however in addition they embody so-called imprecise and subjective signs like mind fog or fatigue and roaming ache within the physique.”

The signs of lengthy COVID could be troublesome to trace on standard lab assessments, partly as a result of they could come and go over time. “And all of this places strain on sufferers who then should testify to the truth of their very own sickness,” O’Rourke says.

O’Rourke writes about her personal expertise struggling to get a prognosis within the new e book, The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Continual Sickness. For O’Rourke, it began within the late Nineteen Nineties, quickly after graduating school. Through the years, her signs have included excessive fatigue, mind fog, joint ache, nerve ache, hives, fevers and extra. She visited quite a few specialists, however most of the time, the docs attributed what she was experiencing to emphasize or anxiousness.

“The toughest a part of being in poor health was that I did not really feel I had any advocate on my facet who even believed absolutely within the actuality of what I used to be describing to them,” she says. “Whenever you’re on the fringe of medical information, the dearth of proof is handled as proof that the issue is you and your thoughts. … I felt, in a way, sort of locked away in a room like a Nineteenth-century hysteric.”

Finally, O’Rourke discovered a group of physician who she likens to “detectives at my facet.” She was identified autoimmune thyroiditis, a illness the physique begins attacking the thyroid, in addition to with Lyme illness and the genetic situation Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

For O’Rourke, simply getting a prognosis felt like a triumph. However she acknowledges that many others that suffer from continual sicknesses haven’t got the identical sources to proceed searching for remedy.

“It is actually clear from analysis that in truth, social buildings are a significant component in all of this,” she says. “I believe we’re witnessing a calamity that’s one not of non-public failure, however of societal failure and one which we actually must reckon with brazenly.”

She spoke with Contemporary Air’s Terry Gross about her new e book, continual sickness and lengthy COVID.

Interview highlights

The Invisible Kingdom, by Meghan O'Rourke
The Invisible Kingdom, by Meghan O'Rourke

On present theories and analysis about the reason for lengthy COVID and its impression on continual ailments

After we get sick, our immune system springs into motion, making an attempt to do away with the pathogens which have entered, and even invaded, our physique and tries to push them out. And so one idea of lengthy COVID has been that in some individuals, that immune response simply would not flip off for all kinds of causes. And they also maintain getting injury to their physique carried out by their very own immune system, both an autoimmune course of or irritation.

There’s additionally some proof suggesting that in some components of the physique, fragments of the virus stay or in different components that the virus itself stays, persisting and triggering ongoing immune motion…

One of many nice mysteries is: Why do some individuals get a light case of acute COVID after which find yourself unable to stroll up and down stairs, nearly bedridden, subsumed in mind fog? A latest research discovered that there are some indicators that may inform us a little bit bit about who is perhaps liable to get lengthy COVID. One such indicator is the extent of coronavirus RNA in your blood early on within the an infection.

That tells us one thing about that time period “viral load.” If in case you have a excessive viral load early in your an infection, even when your signs are gentle, you would possibly find yourself with lengthy COVID. There’s additionally proof that a few of these issues referred to as “autoantibodies,” that are the antibodies in autoimmune illness, … that as a substitute of attacking these pathogens which can be coming into your physique, truly find yourself mistakenly, mysteriously attacking your individual tissue as a substitute. One other issue is individuals who have reactivated Epstein-Barr virus, which many people have had, however a few of us have these episodes of reactivation that may be an indication that you simply would possibly develop lengthy COVID and one other is the presence of Sort 2 diabetes.

On how her experiences with continual sickness made her conscious of lengthy COVID early on within the pandemic

What saved me up at night time because the coronavirus pandemic got here to the USA was not simply the wave of acute infections that had been clearly coming, but additionally the prospect of an incredible wave of continual sickness that might observe them. The analysis I had been doing already for 5 years had taught me that in lots of circumstances, infections can go away ongoing issues in a subset of sufferers in ways in which we’re simply starting in medical science to essentially analysis and perceive.

Many autoimmune ailments are triggered by viruses, in truth. It is the interplay of a virus or an an infection with your individual genetics [that] can, in some circumstances, set off circumstances like lupus or a number of sclerosis, as we simply discovered in a giant research. So I had been speaking to virologists and researchers who work on the ways in which Epstein-Barr creates every kind of lung circumstances. And studying these early reviews of the severity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus simply had me worrying {that a} super variety of individuals had been going to get sick and by no means get higher.

So I used to be sort of lurking on message boards and studying round from just about April of 2020 to see what I used to be seeing, and fairly shortly simply began seeing these terrifying messages that jogged my memory a lot of my very own case the place individuals had been saying, “I simply by no means received higher. I received sick. I’ve mind fog. My power is gone. I am not the individual I as soon as was.” I learn these with a chill of recognition.

On connecting the Nineteenth-century prognosis of “hysteria” to right now’s autoimmune ailments

A variety of ladies who ended up identified with hysteria had belly ache, bouts of fatigue, signs that got here and went. So docs initially had been making an attempt to sort of determine what was mistaken with these ladies, they usually thought that it was a dysfunction of the nervous system, which was newly found and one thing there was lots of pleasure round. And after they could not discover a solution of their assessments, they then ended up abandoning that concept. Medical doctors begin to more and more speak in regards to the ways in which hysteria is attributable to ladies’s brains, that girls are attempting to make use of their brains an excessive amount of and so subsequently they’re sick.

The explanation I [say] autoimmune ailments and continual fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalomyelitis and continual Lyme illness and fibromyalgia … are right now’s “hysteria” is that … within the analysis I did you possibly can see drugs is extremely uncomfortable with areas of uncertainty, ailments it may well’t measure, ailments it would not have a very clear deal with on. And so when … anybody who has one in every of these ailments goes into a health care provider’s workplace and says, “Physician, I am experiencing fatigue, I am experiencing mind fog; it comes and goes,” you in a short time get to the query of whether or not you are anxious. …

There’s this actually fascinating phenomenon in present medical science by which sufferers who stay on the fringe of medical information, sufferers whose ailments we’ve got a troublesome time measuring, or we simply do not perceive but … somewhat than being instructed, “Hey, you are in all probability somebody who has one thing I do not perceive,” such sufferers are sometimes instructed: “I believe it is best to see a psychiatrist. I believe you might be affected by anxiousness. Perhaps you will have despair.”

I wish to be actually clear, advances in how we deal with psychological sickness are one of many nice triumphs of Twentieth-century drugs, and it is actually necessary to speak about psychological well being and continual sickness. However the issue I saved seeing sufferers speak to me about — and what occurred to me — is that docs typically go to the suspicion of tension in a approach that forecloses additional investigation into what is perhaps occurring.

On why she discovered integrative drugs useful

The explanation I discovered it so useful was that they take a whole-body method. They’re medically educated docs, so that they’re your labs they usually’re prescribing treatment when applicable, however they had been additionally speaking to me about issues like my sleeping habits, the extent of stress in my life and meals sensitivities and making an attempt to essentially assist me determine what meals made me really feel higher and what meals made me really feel worse, as a result of lots of the time once I ate, I simply felt actually sick afterwards, I received horrible complications. So that they labored with me very patiently to attempt to handle my sickness. …

Meghan O’Rourke’s earlier books embody The Lengthy Goodbye and A World Out of Attain.

David Surowiecki/Penguin Random Home


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David Surowiecki/Penguin Random Home


Meghan O’Rourke’s earlier books embody The Lengthy Goodbye and A World Out of Attain.

David Surowiecki/Penguin Random Home

I believe working with integrative docs helped me really feel that I did have a accomplice in my well being care. I am a really evidence-based individual, so one at all times has questions on among the points of drugs which can be much less well-studied, like dietary supplements and all of that, however in my case, it simply grew to become actually clear that what these docs had been doing with me, the sorts of life-style modifications they had been advocating, made a giant distinction in my day-to-day functioning.

On why she believes continual sickness is consultant of this time we’re residing in

One of many issues I discovered in my reporting was that many individuals who lived with these sicknesses, who lived with autoimmunity, thought that the issue was one thing in themselves …, that they had been residing an inauthentic life. They hadn’t lived the life they need to lead. And on this approach, they took their sickness they usually turned it right into a metaphor for private inauthenticity that solely they may overcome – which is a big burden for a person to stay with …

These ailments sort of permit each sick individuals and people who find themselves wholesome to see the issue as a person drawback [and that] permits us to look away from the social elements which can be contributing to the rise of those ailments. So every little thing from meals deserts to lack of chemical regulation to in all probability our chronically fast-paced life and lack of social security nets for brand new moms and all types of issues. I actually simply got here to assume that these ailments reveal one thing to us about our tradition in a approach that made them deeply consultant of points of the time that we would have liked to look extra deeply at.

Sam Briger and Joel Wolfram produced and edited this interview for broadcast. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper and Carmel Wroth tailored it for the Internet.

How long must we live under the politburo of our sober overlords?


(Trent Nelson | The Salt Lake Tribune) The DABC liquor retailer in Taylorsville on Tuesday, June 8, 2021.

The Utah Legislature is, as per common, in search of to restrict the gross sales of alcohol by plotting to forbid the gross sales of a number of seltzers in grocery shops. Their reasoning is obscure. One thing to do with the presence of a forbidden ingredient, however we all know higher.

They are going to discover any excuse to ban any beverage related to free thought and a very good time to the room temperature Gulag of the DABC warehouse.

On this state the place they profess that nothing ought to stand in the way in which of the Holy Free Market, residents should buy grownup drinks from the state commissar. On this state of John Wayne-style rugged individualism the place nobody ought to dare inform an individual to topic themselves to tiny needles or to placed on a masks or to take off a gun, individuals who want to get pleasure from a drink are pressured to grovel earlier than Huge Brother.

In a state that thinks nothing of turning Native American sacred lands over to the bulldozers of capitalism for the specific revenue of the company board, heaven forbid somebody market tasty drinks for the pleasure of the widespread people.

We wouldn’t need a youngster gazing at a healthful show of firearms at a Walmart to have his eyes burned by the unholy visage of a Press twelve-pack! Consider the youngsters! How lengthy should we reside below the politburo of our sober overlords? Maybe there could also be some advantage to a lifetime of uninterrupted sobriety however, clearly, the Utah Legislature continues to exhibit how some individuals may actually use a drink.

John Whipple, Salt Lake Metropolis

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A Minor Leaguer’s Long Slog to the Majors, and His Short Trip Back


Jack Kruger was about to start out a season with one more minor league baseball crew, the Salt Lake Bees, a Class AAA crew in Utah, when his cellphone rang.

Get on the primary airplane to Los Angeles, his supervisor stated.

The Angels, Salt Lake’s father or mother membership, had been selling Kruger to the majors to switch a catcher with a concussion. The Angels had been enjoying the Tampa Bay Rays that night, Might 6, 2021, and he was anticipated to be there.

Kruger, a Twentieth-round draft choose in 2016 who had toiled within the minors for 5 seasons, jumped on a airplane and bought to the Angels’ locker room an hour earlier than the primary pitch.

Within the dugout, all the pieces felt surreal. He regarded round and noticed Shohei Ohtani, and beside him Mike Trout. Not too shabby for a brand new pair of teammates.

He watched from the bench as the sport spun by rapidly. Fifth inning. Sixth. Seventh. Lastly, within the ninth inning, Kruger bought the nod. He jogged to the plate, eyes centered, shin guards, chest protector and catcher’s masks on.

There had been no time to heat up correctly. He had taken solely six apply throws as an alternative of his traditional 40. What if he needed to make a fast throw to second base? Would the ball sail into the outfield? Wouldn’t it hit the pitcher?

However all the pieces unfolded completely. The Angels bought three fast outs. Remaining rating: Tampa Bay 8, Los Angeles 3. Kruger’s crew misplaced, and he by no means bought to bat, however a minimum of he tasted the large time.

Right here’s the factor about skilled baseball: It doesn’t take lengthy for harsh actuality to crash down.

The following day, as Kruger readied for his second recreation with the Angels, a crew govt pulled him apart. Kruger thought he was about to get a hearty congratulations. As an alternative, the manager knowledgeable him that he was being designated for project — a sort of baseball purgatory. If no different crew wished him, the Angels might ship him again to the minors or minimize him fully.

Sooner or later after Kruger achieved his baseball dream, he had no concept what would come subsequent. He was 26.

The approaching season could possibly be one more baseball 12 months scarred by a labor struggle between main league gamers and crew homeowners. Spring coaching? Delayed. The common season? Threatened.

However as billionaires argue with millionaires, minor league baseball marches on. Unmoored from the big-league talks, its groups are holding spring coaching. The season is about to start April 5.

Has there been a greater time to have fun the underdogs, overachievers and untested skills that make the minors hum?

I reached out to Kruger after he wrote on social media about his slog by way of the minors. Listening to his story in a collection of conversations, I got here to see that he embodies a sort of gritty perseverance that’s typically neglected, with a lot focus going to the big-league stars.

Uncertainty laced the times after he was minimize. Would the Angels convey him again? Would another crew choose him up? Baseball strikes are sometimes dictated by timing, and if the timing was off, would this be the top of his quest?

Kruger has at all times been an underdog. As a toddler he developed Perthes illness, a hip bone dysfunction that compelled him to make use of crutches for almost two years in grade college.

When he was performed with the crutches and the ache subsided, he homed in on baseball. The sound of a ball hitting his bat, the fun of creating a deadeye throw — each a part of the sport made him really feel it was precisely the place he belonged. As a result of the dysfunction slowed his progress, he was typically the smallest participant on the sector till halfway by way of highschool.

“The one manner I might sustain was by being actually expert,” he advised me. “Additionally, by working more durable than everybody else and by no means listening to individuals who tried to put limits on me.”

He would lean on that resolve after struggling as a participant in his freshman 12 months on the College of Oregon. He transferred faculties and performed for a junior school crew, rounding into type.

Few might think about his upside then. However John Cohen, who was the coach at highly effective Mississippi State, noticed Kruger’s want. His potential to steer. His smarts. Exterior of schoolwork, Kruger tried to learn a guide per week. He taught himself to play the ukulele. He liked to speak about science, historical past, faith — something and all the pieces.

“Jack has what I name a ‘figure-it-out part,’” stated Cohen, now Mississippi State’s athletic director. “He’s the man who can determine methods to get off the island. He could possibly be on Wall Road proper now, he could possibly be in enterprise proper now, he could possibly be a lawyer now. However he loves baseball an excessive amount of.”

Kruger, by then broad shouldered, highly effective and an inch over six ft, performed a single 12 months at Mississippi State, flashing prodigious potential. He earned all-conference honors, ending with a batting common of .345 and eight house runs. However surgical procedure on his throwing shoulder dimmed the curiosity of professional scouts. The Angels, who declined to remark for this column, noticed what he could possibly be. They lured him from his senior 12 months with an unusually giant sum for a Twentieth-round draftee: a signing bonus that neared $400,000.

So started Kruger’s minor league journey.

2016: Rookie ball in Utah with the Orem Owlz.

2017: Class A, break up between Iowa’s Burlington Bees and California’s Inland Empire 66ers.

2018 and 2019: Class AA in Alabama with the Cellular BayBears, who moved and are actually the Rocket Metropolis Trash Pandas.

2020: The truncated early pandemic season, when he bounced between minor league video games in Southern California.

He remembers every cease as if he had been nonetheless dwelling it. The loneliness of being away from house and household for six, seven, eight months a 12 months. The impossibly lengthy seasons of video games that ended close to midnight, the peanut butter and jelly sandwich meals, the 10- and 12-hour bus rides to play video games in small cities he had by no means heard of.

After paying his agent and his taxes, Kruger put his signing bonus in financial savings and used it to spice up a minor league wage that ranged from $1,000 to $2,500 a month. He drove a crushed 2002 Lexus and rented a two-bedroom house in San Bernardino, Calif., which he shared with six teammates. Generally a participant would sleep on an air mattress within the kitchen.

By all of it, maybe the toughest half was the precariousness.

Minor leaguers typically lapse right into a mode of pondering that Kruger calls “enjoying G.M.” It’s the temptation to learn the final supervisor’s thoughts and fixate on what every transfer made by the entrance workplace means for every participant’s future.

You are concerned and you are worried, after which, he stated: “You begin feeling like it’s a must to carry out higher and higher. It’s important to produce. Now there may be a lot stress on you. And you’re away from family and friends, you aren’t making some huge cash, so that could be a fear. You aren’t consuming proper and getting correct vitamin. You’re not getting sufficient sleep. A domino impact begins, and it might probably trigger you to take your eyes off the prize from the final word aim.”

He wanted focus and dedication greater than ever when the Angels designated him for project.

And this time, issues labored out. One afternoon a number of days later, as he walked along with his spouse on a Ventura County seaside in California close to his childhood house, his cellphone rang as soon as once more. This time it was his agent.

“Congratulations,” his agent stated. “You’re a Texas Ranger. Texas simply claimed you.”

Right here we go once more, Kruger thought. One other new journey.

Kruger vows to maintain grinding. It helps that enjoying for half an inning within the majors routinely boosted his farm system wage: He stated he now earned about $60,000 a season.

He’ll most definitely play this 12 months in Texas for the Spherical Rock Specific, the Class AAA crew of the Rangers, the place he completed final season on a tear.

“I see myself on the Rangers, behind the dish, serving to lead the crew to a win within the World Collection,” he stated. “It’s important to be delusional in a manner. Assured the place you 110 p.c consider that you’re the suitable man for the job. And if different individuals don’t see it, then they’re unsuitable, and it’s a must to present them that.”

“I’ve been doing that my complete profession,” he added.

Final week, he drove an hour west from his small house in Mesa, Ariz., to the Rangers’ spring coaching stadium in Shock, Ariz.

On the stadium, he reveled in his vast new locker, affixed along with his title etched on a crimson plaque, subsequent to the “T” image representing the Texas Rangers.

He placed on his uniform and walked on the grassy discipline, all enterprise, centered on the duty.



‘It was hell’: Long lines of Ukrainian refugees at Poland border | Russia-Ukraine crisis News


Medyka, Ukraine-Poland border – Heat rays of the morning solar take away the final indicators of frost from the vehicles parked in countless strains alongside the street.

Medyka – the principle border crossing between Poland and Ukraine – is slowly waking up, and so are dozens of women and men who spent the evening in parking heaps, ready for his or her family members to reach.

Because the starting of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, greater than 115,000 refugees have crossed into Poland, the Polish Ministry of Inside Affairs mentioned on Saturday. Anybody from Ukraine is allowed entry, even those that don’t maintain legitimate passports, Polish officers mentioned.

The United Nations Refugee Company says greater than 120,000 Ukrainian refugees have left the nation since Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday.

Ukraine refugees at Poland borderFor some refugees, it takes greater than 24 hours to cross the border between Ukraine and Poland [Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska/Al Jazeera]

However for many Ukrainian refugees, it took days to flee the battle.

Helena, 49, from Drohobych in western Ukraine, is sipping tea and consuming a sandwich she obtained from volunteers. She has household in Poznan, Poland, and she or he is aware of the arduous journey will quickly be over.

Nevertheless it took her 24 hours to cross the border and arrive to security. “It was hell,” she instructed Al Jazeera earlier than she burst into tears.

For Denis, a 30-year-old from Chernivtsi, Ukraine, who works at development websites in Poland, it was a tough evening as effectively. He arrived at Medyka on Thursday to fulfill his spouse and youngsters coming from Ukraine. However after a complete evening of ready, they had been nowhere in sight.

“They’ve been on the border for over 24 hours. In the beginning, they wished to cross on foot nevertheless it was exhausting, in order that they discovered a bus. At the least it’s not as chilly as exterior,” he mentioned.

“However for the previous 5 hours or so, they aren’t letting anybody by means of. It’s unclear why.”

Whereas Denis’s spouse and youngsters are on their solution to reunite with him, his mom determined to cross again into Ukraine. She didn’t need to be away from her husband and two different sons, who may quickly obtain a name for service.

“My father fought in Afghanistan and he is aware of what a battle is like,” Denis mentioned.

“He was able to sacrifice his life for the Soviet Union. Now he is able to sacrifice his life for Ukraine in opposition to the brand new Russian energy,” he mentioned.

“It’s a paradox. However everybody can see what the Russians are doing. They took Crimea, Donbas, now they need Kharkiv.”

Instead of fleeing war, hundreds of Ukrainians return homeAs a substitute of fleeing battle, lots of of Ukrainians return dwelling [Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska/Al Jazeera]

Denis instructed Al Jazeera he may be a part of the combat too, however first desires to verify his spouse and youngsters are secure. In per week or two, he mentioned, if the enemy is nearer to his hometown of Chernivtsi, he should take up arms.

“If they arrive nearer to our houses, we should return and combat. For thus a few years, now we have labored to construct the nation that even when a few of us depart, others should keep. If everybody leaves, who will defend us?” Denis requested.

For the primary half of the day on Friday, extra folks crossed into Ukraine than had been seen leaving the border – a puzzling paradox in a time of mass exodus.

Ukrainian refugees additionally complained about ready hours to obtain the Polish stamp, lack of meals out there within the passage between Ukraine and Poland, and extreme chilly within the area.

Amid the border chaos, volunteers handed out water, heat garments and blankets to the conscripts crossing into Ukraine to affix the combat.

The gear will enable girls and youngsters – stranded between Poland and Ukraine and nonetheless ready for an opportunity to get to security – to outlive one other freezing day.

Polish and Ukrainian volunteersPolish and Ukrainian volunteers work day and evening in any respect border crossings to offer water, scorching drinks and meals to refugees arriving from Ukraine [Agnieszka Pikulicka-Wilczewska/Al Jazeera]

Yelena, a 43-year-old refugee herself, is without doubt one of the volunteers handing out the objects.

She arrived in Poland nearly a 12 months in the past from Belarus. When she came upon that Russia had launched a full-scale invasion in opposition to Ukraine, she didn’t need to keep idle.

“I wished to affix the battle. The Polish border guard let me by means of, however the Ukrainians didn’t. why? As a result of I’ve a Belarusian passport,” Yelena instructed Al Jazeera.

“All kind of assist is required there: somebody has to prepare dinner, somebody has to care for the wounded. I even tried to cross a second time, however to no avail.”

INTERACTIVE- Where are Ukrainians fleeing to poster

Yelena mentioned she then destroyed her Belarusian passport in protest in opposition to the battle and joined the Ukrainian and Polish volunteers on the border.

“I really feel ashamed for Belarus. Ukraine has to win this battle,” she mentioned. “Slava Ukraini [Glory to Ukraine].”

She then handed a blanket and a number of other bottles of water to a younger man coming into the border crossing in the direction of Ukraine.

Olga is ready in the identical queue. She stands out from the remainder of the gang; her lengthy, trendy coat with quirky patterns and impeccable hair attracts consideration.

INTERACTIVE- Visa requirements for Ukrainians

Olga and her boyfriend Sergey had been ready for a flight again to Ukraine at an airport in Vilnius, Lithuania, after they heard concerning the battle unfolding of their homeland.

“We went to Lithuania for a weekend and we obtained caught in there. Our flight dwelling was cancelled. For the primary few hours, we couldn’t perceive what was happening, we couldn’t consider it,” the 33-year-old everlasting make-up artist instructed Al Jazeera.

She now hopes that after again in Ukraine, she is going to be capable to volunteer in a hospital as a nurse. She mentioned she desires to make herself helpful.

Her boyfriend Sergey is 38, which implies he’s within the conscription age. He works as a sound director and has by no means held a gun.

But when his expertise aren’t sufficient to assist the battle, he can be taught new ones, he says with an air of confidence. “No matter it takes to assist the nation.”

It took the couple two days to get from Vilnius to the border. All buses on the route had been cancelled, and there have been no trains both. Ultimately, “Lithuanian brothers” drove them straight to Medyka.

Whereas Sergey is afraid of battle, he says it by no means crossed his thoughts to remain elsewhere in Europe.

“There’s one Ukraine and we will’t lose it. It’s our homeland and it’ll by no means be Russia.”

Petrol tanker crash causes massive fire in Long Island, New York


A tanker truck crash spilled 9,200 gallons (41,800 litres) of petrol in Lengthy Island, New York, on Wednesday, inflicting a large fireplace. The fireplace division spent over 10 hours placing out the blaze.

Officers had beforehand mentioned they believed some 13,000 gallons of petrol had been spilled.

The automobile’s driver and two firefighters had been taken to hospital.

Largest bacterium ever discovered is 2 cm long


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Illustration of a dinosaur fleeing a huge wave surging downriver, bringing with it fish, dinosaurs and trees as fire rains down.

Proof suggests an asteroid impression that killed off most dinosaurs might need occurred in spring.Credit score: Joschua Knüppe

Palaeontologists have unearthed fossilized fish that counsel the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs struck in spring. The fossils come from Tanis, a outstanding web site in North Dakota, which some scientists assume captured what occurred simply hours after the asteroid crashed. However some are but to be satisfied by this rationalization as a result of detailed descriptions of the location’s geology aren’t obtainable, and comparatively few scientists have visited it.

Briefing readers would possibly bear in mind Tanis from 2019, when its extraordinary geology was controversially first reported in The New Yorker.

Nature | 5 min learn

Reference: Nature paper & Scientific Studies paper

A fourth booster of a COVID-19 vaccine appears to revive antibodies to ranges noticed after the third dose, however offers solely a modest increase in safety. A small trial carried out in Israel, which has not but been peer reviewed, means that present mRNA vaccines hit a ‘ceiling of immunity’ after the third dose. Nonetheless, observational research from Israel have proven increased ranges of safety towards an infection and extreme illness from a fourth shot, which might be essential for folks at excessive threat.

Nature | 4 min learn

Reference: medRxiv preprint 1 & medRxiv preprint 2

A newly found bacterium, Thiomargarita magnifica, challenges the definition of a microbe: its filament-like single cell is as much as 2 centimetres lengthy. T. magnifica achieves its unprecedented measurement by having distinctive mobile options: two membrane sacs. One is crammed with its genetic materials; the opposite, which is far bigger, helps to maintain its mobile contents pressed up towards its outer cell wall in order that the molecules it wants can diffuse out and in. Researchers have dubbed these sacs ‘pepins’ — impressed by the pips in fruit — and word that they blur the road between single-celled prokaryotes and eukaryotes (the group that features people), which pack their DNA right into a nucleus.

Science | 6 min learn

Reference: bioRxiv preprint (not peer reviewed)

Nearly 200 nations will convene subsequent week to attract up a blueprint for the first-ever international settlement on plastic air pollution. Negotiators will attend the United Nations Surroundings Meeting (UNEA), in individual and remotely, in Kenya. They are going to purpose to set the groundwork for a ultimate deal, which can be hammered out intimately over the next years. A draft decision, modelled on the United Nations’s local weather treaty, suggests a legally binding dedication to handle the total lifecycle of plastics.

Science | 5 min learn

Reference: Draft decision

Options & opinion

A sequence of Nature interviews with feminine African scientists and a ballot of 249 African researchers present that many ladies working in analysis in African nations are thriving. However they nonetheless want insurance policies that assist to decrease the limitations to their success. Our sequence additionally illustrates the impacts of continual funding shortages in Africa. Researchers outdoors the continent have an essential half to play by collaborating with those that stay there and sharing data, expertise and funding.

Nature | 5 min learn

Gender fairness in drugs has been elusive, and the challenges of the pandemic have made the state of affairs even worse, argue eight physician-scientists. “Whereas related numbers of males & girls enroll in MD/PhD packages… solely 27% of girls (vs 73% of males) plan to proceed vital analysis,” writes co-author Joy Wu in an accompanying Twitter thread detailing the proof of the limitations to development. They define a framework for retaining feminine physicians in analysis, with a selected give attention to the unequal burden of childcare.

Nature Medication | 8 min learn & accompanying Twitter thread

Paul Bishop, a civil servant from Better Manchester, obtained a package deal in the future with a whole high set of his personal false tooth, which he had final seen on a boozy vacation to Spain, when he vomited them right into a bin. The package deal got here with a letter stating that the tooth had been discovered by waste collectors, who despatched them to one among Spain’s largest public analysis our bodies, the place they had been ultimately swabbed for DNA that was matched to Bishop. The story went viral, however a more in-depth examination reveals the reality may not be what it appears.

Wired | 12 min learn

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Scientific psychologist Steven Taylor explores what the psychological state of a post-COVID-19 world would possibly appear like. (The Guardian | 7 min learn)



Beto O’Rourke’s Journey from Long Shot to Long Shot


Early this February, Beto O’Rourke travelled to the border city of McAllen to marketing campaign for governor of Texas, a place that hasn’t been held by a Democrat in practically three a long time. The occasion was held at Firemen’s Park, the place a spirited crowd sat at metallic picnic tables underneath strips of fluorescent lights. “I’ve been his supporter since he was operating in opposition to Ted Cruz, that fool,” Sara Garcia, a retired occupational-therapy assistant with a regal bearing, informed me. Garcia was sitting with a gaggle of ladies she’d been pals with since all of them attended McAllen Excessive Faculty (“Go, Bulldogs!”) a half century in the past. She scrolled by her telephone to point out me photos from O’Rourke’s earlier appearances in McAllen: crowds of gleeful younger folks; Garcia and her pals in colourful blouses. I requested her whether or not she’d been to marketing campaign occasions for different politicians. She thought of it for a second. “You realize that I haven’t?” she stated. “I’m not a political individual. Simply him.”

In March, 2017, when O’Rourke started his marketing campaign for Cruz’s Senate seat, a yr and a half earlier than the election, he was a protracted shot. “The Senate race was so enjoyable,” Chris Evans, O’Rourke’s twenty-eight-year-old communications director, informed me. “Within the first Texas Tribune opinion ballot concerning the candidates—favorable, unfavorable—seventy per cent of individuals stated they didn’t know. It was a clean slate.” O’Rourke is an El Paso native who served three phrases within the U.S. Home of Representatives; Cruz, an incumbent senator and a former Presidential candidate, was notoriously unpopular even inside his personal get together. O’Rourke was an interesting candidate, considerate and humorous and nonthreateningly good-looking, an earnest, Spanish-speaking white man who largely averted insulting his opponent. After occasions, folks would line as much as shake his hand, take a selfie, inform him their considerations. Because the marketing campaign gained momentum, the strains generally lasted for hours. O’Rourke’s obvious decency and empathy made him a perfect vessel for the anti-Trump backlash, and he grew to become a nationwide phenomenon, elevating eighty million {dollars}, twice as a lot as Cruz. For years, exterior specialists had claimed that the rising proportion of nonwhite residents meant that Texas was on the verge of turning purple. Within the run-up to the election, it appeared as if O’Rourke is perhaps the person to make that occur.

He ended up dropping by round 200 thousand votes—a loss that, in a spot the place no Democrat has received a statewide place since 1994, his marketing campaign employees spun as a victory. It appeared doable that O’Rourke would run in opposition to Texas’s different senator, John Cornyn, in 2020; as a substitute, he launched into a splashy however finally ill-fated marketing campaign for President. By final November, when O’Rourke introduced his gubernatorial marketing campaign, he was not an unknown. “It’s going to be a lot tougher for him to marketing campaign as a brand new voice or a substitute for enterprise as ordinary,” James Henson, the director of the Texas Politics Undertaking on the College of Texas at Austin, stated. O’Rourke is common amongst Democrats and the runaway favourite for the first, on March 1st, however greater than seventy per cent of Republicans now have an unfavorable opinion of him. “For Republicans within the state, he’s turn out to be what Ted Cruz is for Democrats—the determine they actually like to hate,” Henson stated. Amongst independents, O’Rourke is extra disliked than the incumbent governor, Greg Abbott, and head-to-head matchups present Abbott main by ten factors. (Though Abbott faces plenty of main challengers from the appropriate and was booed final month at a Trump rally, he’s overwhelmingly favored to win the Republican main.)

O’Rourke continued a current twelve-day tour of Texas on a Thursday afternoon on the Espee Pavilion, in San Antonio, the place I chatted with Richard Nash, a public-speaking coach, and his pal, a disillusioned Trump voter whom Nash had persuaded to tag alongside. At midday, when O’Rourke was scheduled to begin talking, a staffer urged the sparse crowd to get nearer collectively. “He’s going to need you actually shut,” he stated.

“There’s nobody right here,” Nash stated, scanning the gang. There have been, in truth, a few hundred folks milling across the plaza, however I had simply watched some movies from the late phases of O’Rourke’s Senate race, and I knew what he meant.

O’Rourke emerged, lanky and smiling, and stepped onto the picket field he makes use of in lieu of a stage. He launched right into a speech that invoked broadly common plans: fixing {the electrical} grid, increasing Medicaid, and instituting cost-of-living raises for public-school lecturers. Throughout the road, a protester with a bullhorn intermittently squawked, “Let’s go, Brandon.” Afterward, throughout the selfie-and-handshake portion of the afternoon, Nash informed me that he authorized of the speech, which, he stated, had much less of the “gut-punch, take-it-to-the-streets” taste of the O’Rourke occasions he’d attended in 2018: “It was very pragmatic, very pro-business. Black Lives Matter—he stayed off that.” His Trump-voting pal declined to say whether or not she’d been received over. “I’m listening, I’m listening,” she stated.

Texas Democrats had hoped that their improved displaying in 2018 was an indication that the state’s long-predicted purpling was imminent. “Texas is a swing state in 2020,” CNN had declared. However Trump handily received Texas, albeit by a decrease margin than in 2016. Powered by Folks, a military of door-knocking volunteers, based by O’Rourke, did not flip any of the twenty-two state Home seats that Democrats had focused. When the legislature met in 2021, it additional cemented Republican dominance by passing a restrictive voting invoice and drawing a redistricting map that’s presently being challenged by the Division of Justice for being racially discriminatory. Given Joe Biden’s persistent unpopularity in Texas, and the truth that the Celebration in management in Washington tends to take successful within the midterms, the Democrats face daunting odds within the 2022 election. “It’s going to be a massacre!” a libertarian in South Texas informed me cheerfully.

As O’Rourke travelled farther south, his crowds grew in each dimension and enthusiasm. In Laredo, he spoke at a soccer area, in entrance of a “BETO FOR GOVERNOR” banner stretched throughout the purpose. The occasion had an upbeat, block-party environment, with AC/DC enjoying on the loudspeakers, and a snack bar serving scorching canines and tacos. Cesia Rodriguez, a courtroom administrator, was there along with her husband and two younger kids. She’d been a supporter of O’Rourke’s since seeing him converse within the spring of 2017, to a few dozen folks. “The crowds simply saved getting larger and greater,” she stated. This time, her optimism was tempered. “I’m hopeful, however I additionally know the statistics,” she stated.

Trump made a surprisingly robust displaying in 2020 in Laredo, which borders Mexico. The border area’s inhabitants is overwhelmingly Hispanic, with poverty charges larger than the state common; it votes reliably, albeit removed from uniformly, for Democrats. However, in 2020, the three metropolitan areas in america with the most important swings in favor of Trump had been all South Texas border cities: Laredo, McAllen, and Brownsville.

“We stay in a Democrat-held county, however I wouldn’t take into account it liberal,” Rodriguez stated. “Everybody has a member of the family in regulation enforcement.”

“Or they’ve somebody who works for the oil area,” her husband stated.

“The immigration stuff, too—that touches a nerve right here,” Rodriguez added. She’d seen somebody she is aware of who works for a neighborhood Democratic politician take part in a Trump car parade. “It was loopy,” she stated, shaking her head.

The 2020 outcomes impressed panicked takes that the Democrats had been dropping “the Latino vote,” although losses in border counties had been greater than made up for by positive factors amongst city and suburban Latinos. Cecilia Ballí, a visiting scholar on the College of Houston’s Middle for Mexican American and Latino/a Research, interviewed 100 Latinos in Texas for a 2020 examine. She informed me that financial motivations had been the strongest driver for Latinos in South Texas who voted for Trump. “We don’t know that it’s a development,” she stated. “I do assume that Latinos have gotten extra assertively impartial. However we’re but to see in subsequent elections what number of of those individuals who voted for Trump proceed to vote for Republicans.”

Republican dominance in Texas theoretically presents alternatives for O’Rourke. In catering to the small and passionate cohort of main voters, Republicans have enacted insurance policies which can be unpopular with the broad citizens, most notably a near-total ban on abortion. All through his go to to South Texas, O’Rourke appeared to be courting disaffected Republicans, or a minimum of attempting to override their most rapid considerations about him. He complained about inflation, praised regulation enforcement, and vowed to guard oil-and-gas jobs. In response to a query about whether or not he was a socialist, O’Rourke smiled broadly, then touted his expertise as a small-business proprietor: “This man Abbott—I don’t begrudge his profession selections, however I do know much more about capitalism than he does.”