Hey, it’s Jer.

Triage tents are going up at local Detroit area hospitals. Beaumont reports that their facilities across the region are 90 to 95% occupied, and rising. The volume of patients is higher than last fall.

McLaren Macomb in Mt. Clemens and Ascension Macomb-Oakland in Warren are full. 100 percent.

See, if it were just cases, it’d be one thing. But as you can tell, it’s hospitalizations that are up, and it’s of younger adults. It’s not seniors. And it’s not people who are vaccinated.

As Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said in a press briefing Wednesday, not a single person on a ventilator for COVID-19 in Detroit was vaccinated. The virus is ravaging Detroit, too, with a 20.7% test positivity rate.

That’s up from 3.5% just a few weeks ago.

Here’s a graph of the hospitalization situation in Metro Detroit via COVIDACTNOW, and we’re worse off than in the fall.

Some are hoping for a lockdown like what’s happened in the Canadian province of Ontario across the river, but it’s not coming.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is clear about that. And some debate if it would even work. After all, the spread isn’t — at least if you listen to some local leaders — coming from restaurants and bars, but from gatherings at houses and parties.

In short, lots of people are done with the virus. Here’s some video outside a school board meeting in western Michigan where people were protesting to make masks optional.

With just about 28 percent of Michiganders fully vaccinated, it’s not done with us. Stopping the spread for us and our loved ones is about our choices.

So today’s episode is a conversation with Dr. Paul Thomas. He outlines the latest in the Johnson and Johnson vaccine pause and helps sort all of this out for us.

Remembering the Potato Chip Prince of Detroit, Salvatore “Sam” Cipriano

Friend of the pod, potato chip expert and journalist Karen Dybis (left) stopped by this week to remember the CEO of Better Made, Sam Cipriano (right). He was 80.

Better Made has been a family business, and always focused on quality over being the largest or biggest. Karen shares the story and some of her memories. Also, Karen’s written a book about our local potato chip industry and the history, “Better Made in Michigan: The Salty Story of Detroit’s Best Chip.”

Learning about the Lake Guardian working to protect our Great Lakes

I know with the pandemic, fewer people are out and about downtown. But this week, the Lake Guardian was docked right here in Detroit.

The 180-foot long EPA research vessel is on a mission to study our Great Lakes, keep an eye on the lower food web that underpins our ecosystem, and discover new species. Now, if that doesn’t sound like the USS Enterprise, I don’t know what does.

There are 26 crew members on board and resupplying. To talk about it. One of them. Joining me was Dr. Annie Scoffield, and she is lead for the Great Lakes biology monitoring program out of the Great Lakes National Program Office.

What we’re reading and where we’re going:

A man who was falsely accused of shoplifting has sued the Detroit Police Department for arresting him based on an incorrect facial recognition match. The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit on behalf of Robert Williams. They say he’s the first person in America wrongfully arrested based on facial recognition.

The big deal? If the suit is successful, not only is it about monetary damages but it calls for Detroit Police to end the practice of using facial recognition software. More: https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/13/22382398/robert-williams-detroit-police-department-aclu-lawsuit-facial-recognition-wrongful-arrest

Meet the “Motor City Car Crawl,” which will be held August 5 through August 8. It’ll be put on by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association and the Downtown Detroit Partnership. Devon will discuss this on tomorrow’s podcast. But there’s more here.

Try Ube flavored custard this Friday, Saturday or Sunday at Huddle Soft Serve. Ube is a purple yam, and pairs well with vanilla. A portion of the sales from this special weekend will be donated to the Asian Center of Southeast Michigan. More: https://www.facebook.com/peregrinojd/posts/10158800751981335

HOUR Detroit is holding an LGBTQ+ virtual summit on Monday evening at 7 p.m. Notable leaders from around the community will be in attendance, and it’ll be moderated by news and features editor Steve Friess. A few of the attendees will be Council member Luke Londo, Hazel Park; State Senator Jeremy Moss; Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter; and State Representative Laurie Pohutsky. Sign up here, it’s free.

Three quick housekeeping things:

One, don’t forget we have a daily podcast where we cover a lot every single weekday. We’re on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you download your favorite shows.

Two, we’re funded in large part by our members on Patreon. You can get neat swag and support the project. Check that out here.

And three, thanks for reading! We’ll talk soon.


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