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Coronavirus

COVID-19 v. TRUMP-20: A Viral Battle For Our Attention

When a virus sucks all the oxygen out of the public space — and then another arrives.

Trump press conference, April 9
Trump press conference, April 9
Andrej Mrevlje

WASHINGTON — Life has become one-dimensional. I don't mean that life before the Coronavirus was much better. Donald Trump was still the President of the United States — and he is not all that different from a virus.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, it was Trump that was everywhere. He contaminated the media. He left us stupefied by his incomprehensible expressions, provoking constant bewilderment at his discombobulated manner of speech. He penetrated the social fabric, obliterating all other relevant news. Many of us were counting down the days until the end of the Trump epidemic, which has finally arrived now.

He could come back stronger than ever.

But while the fight against the Coronavirus has overshadowed Trump's daily performance, he has not left the stage completely. He still is in the White House, waiting for better times. There is a strong possibility that he could come back stronger than ever when this is all over. But he is now competing with the Coronavirus. He cannot tolerate someone or something – in this case, the virus – occupying center stage in his place. This is the only reason why Trump finally decided to fight COVID-19. This is a war between one virus and another.

Read more at Yonder

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Society

How India’s Women Are Fighting Air Pollution — And The Patriarchy

India is one of the world's worst countries for air pollution, with women more likely to be affected by the problem than men. Now, experts and activists are fighting to reframe pollution as a gendered health crisis.

A woman walking through dense fog in New Delhi

*Saumya Kalia

MUMBAI In New Delhi, a city that has topped urban air-pollution charts in recent years, Shakuntala describes a discomfort that has become too familiar. Surrounded by bricks and austere buildings, she tells an interviewer: "The eyes burn and it becomes difficult to breathe". She is referring to the noxious fumes she routinely breathes as a construction worker.

Like Shakuntala, women’s experiences of polluted air fill every corner of their lives – inside homes, in parks and markets, on the way to work. Ambient air in most districts in India has never been worse than it is today. As many as 1.67 million people in the country die prematurely due to polluted air. It is India’s second largest health risk after malnutrition.

This risk of exposure to air pollution is compounded for women. Their experiences of toxic air are more frequent and often more hazardous. Yet “policies around air quality have not yet adequately taken into account gender or other factors that might influence people’s health,” Pallavi Pant, a senior scientist at the Health Effects Institute, a nonprofit in the U.S., told The Wire Science.

“It’s unacceptable that the biggest burden [rests on] those who can least bear it,” Sherebanu Frosh, an activist, added. People like her are building a unique resistance within India.

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