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India

Grave Risks To The Singular Himalayan Ecosystem

The Uttarakhand floods reflected the damage we had dealt to the fragile Himalayan ecosystem. Five years later, we may are even closer to an irreversible catastrophe.

The Yamuna river in New Delhi, India, June 20, 2013
The Yamuna river in New Delhi, India, June 20, 2013
C.P. Rajendran

UTTARAKHAND The Himalayas represent a dynamic, changing landscape. The roles played by tectonic and climate forces in making it what it is are evident. A product of millions of years of crustal shortening, the Himalayas sustain the brunt of geological stresses leading to great earthquakes on occasion and more frequent moderate earthquakes. A dynamic balance, however, exists between the forces that help raise the mountain and the opposing erosive forces like glaciers and rivers that wear it down.

One can also glimpse the contrasting external extremes of glory and squalor in the mountains – the wretched human existence in those villages amidst the uplifting beauty of the distant snow clad peaks. The writer Bill Aitken, who traveled extensively in the Himalayas, has remarked that "the art of beholding the Himalaya lies in accepting the paradox of aesthetic wealth alongside economic poverty, of reconciling the glory of aliveness with the evenly poised mischance of death."

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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