News Above the Noise—Week of September 10, 2023
Editor's Note: Every week, The Sunday Paper's team of journalists sifts through the news to make sense of what's happening in the world and provide hope for your week to come. We find what Rises Above the Noise and do our best to highlight what we think matters. If you’d like to read more in-depth, please note that while we do our best to feature articles that are not behind a paywall, some of the news pieces we recommend require their own subscriptions beyond our control.
1. Covid Is Surging—How Bad Is It?
Covid cases are on the rise as a new variant, BA.2.86, spreads. However, while this new variant has captured the world’s attention because it looks radically different from any other variants of the coronavirus, a new study found it may be less contagious and our immune systems can better recognize and fight off this variant than previous ones. Click here to learn more about what scientists have learned about this new variant.
2. You Shouldn’t Have to Take Care of Aging Parents on Your Own
In a recent Opinion piece for The New York Times, Michelle Cottle shined a spotlight on the growing number of people providing caregiving support to someone 50 or older, and the serious financial and psychological toll it often takes. “For most older Americans, care will come from unpaid family members or friends, who contributed around $600 billion worth of free labor to the economy in 2021, according to AARP,” writes Cottle. “That care is not, of course, free for those providing it…and while the details of each caregiver’s story are unique, the stressors they face are painfully common.” To read more, click here.
3. What You Need to Know About “The Climate Breakdown”
“Climate breakdown” has begun, according to a statement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who issued the following statement last week: “The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting…Surging temperatures demand a surge in action. Leaders must turn up the heat now for climate solutions. We can still avoid the worst of climate chaos—and we don’t have a moment to lose.” For more on this call to action, click here.
4. Meet the Women Making History in Mexican Politics
In 2019, Mexico passed a constitutional amendment guaranteeing parity in every aspect of government and today, there’s an impressive representation of women in the country’s politics. Half of Mexico’s Congress is female. The president’s cabinet is balanced. The Supreme Court president is a woman. And Mexico is set to make history by electing its first female president. How did a country where women couldn’t even vote until 1953 make this kind of progress? For a thoughtful analysis, click here.
5. Calling Everything “Toxic” Is Bad for Your Brain
There’s a growing trend to use the label “toxic” to describe a wide range of things: toxic people, toxic positivity, toxic relationships, toxic work. And while some of these things may indeed be problematic in your life, calling them toxic could actually be doing more harm than good. In this excellent article, a psychiatrist explains why applying the concept of toxicity too readily can be detrimental—and what to do instead.