We bring you content all about becoming vaccine volunteers, how travel blogs rode credit card wave, visit Patagonia schoolhouses, fashion industry collapse, the best Covid-19 coverage, a new 60k United Explorer card offer, talk about airline pricing in the Covid era, a deadly Pepsi contest you probably never heard of, we have some fun naming cc combos and lots more! Thanks for reading and supporting my blog! Comments are always open!
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Ed Yong, who writes about science at The Atlantic, is becoming one of those writers who has become a must read in this pandemic world. This is a must read: How the Pandemic Defeated America. If you are going to read one thing today in this post, make it this one, he puts it all together so comprehensively it is simply brilliant. It starts out like this and…keeps going!
Despite ample warning, the U.S. squandered every possible opportunity to control the coronavirus. And despite its considerable advantages—immense resources, biomedical might, scientific expertise—it floundered. While countries as different as South Korea, Thailand, Iceland, Slovakia, and Australia acted decisively to bend the curve of infections downward, the U.S. achieved merely a plateau in the spring, which changed to an appalling upward slope in the summer. “The U.S. fundamentally failed in ways that were worse than I ever could have imagined,” Julia Marcus, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, told me.
Wait, we are not done with Ed Yong’s work yet. Immunology Is Where Intuition Goes to Die. Amazingly educational read. And fits perfectly in the “Educate” part of my blog’s mission, which has not changed since day one by the way. Our body is weird…you add a brand new and different virus and it gets even more weird:
The thing is, the immune system is very complicated. Arguably the most complex part of the human body outside the brain, it’s an absurdly intricate network of cells and molecules that protect us from dangerous viruses and other microbes. These components summon, amplify, rile, calm, and transform one another: Picture a thousand Rube Goldberg machines, some of which are aggressively smashing things to pieces. Now imagine that their components are labeled with what looks like a string of highly secure passwords: CD8+, IL-1β, IFN-γ. Immunology confuses even biology professors who aren’t immunologists.
Another interview with noted epidemiologist Larry Brilliant: Coronavirus future in America will be whack-a-mole. Read every answer he provides! Here is one:
Q: What’s to stop it?
A. We need synchronized swimming. We need all 50 states swimming toward the same goal at the same time, for the same period of time. That’s what will stop it. And if we don’t do it before the election, the (fatality) numbers at the time of the election will be horrific. [Good luck to us all!]
I am on a roll today with amazing reads, here is another one: Two decades of pandemic war games failed to account for Donald Trump. In case you do not get it yet…the script how to respond to this was played out in a simulation game in the past. And then, you know…
The scenarios foresaw leaky travel bans, a scramble for vaccines and disputes between state and federal leaders, but none could anticipate the current levels of dysfunction in the United States.
I hope this does not turn out to be true and the virus just magically disappears, just like a miracle. The Winter Will Be Worse. I am seriously thinking of moving somewhere warm in the winter now that my wife can work from home the rest of the year and son does not have to go back to the office until June 2021. Because I just don’t see us doing things outside much when the cold hits us. Thought about Florida but…
When the US and South Korea get the first Covid-19 case on the same day back in January 21, 2020 and then US gets over 5 million cases and over 165,000 of our fellow citizens in body bags while South Korea gets 14,600 cases and only 305 dead (as of August 8)…you know something YUGE went wrong here. And to come out and state that we are doing a great job is simply phucking nuts! The Unique U.S. Failure to Control the Virus. If you are not angry what can I say? Go comment at The Points Guy blog! 🙂
If there is one thing that makes this virus so different than all the others is this! Why are some people with coronavirus asymptomatic — and what makes them so contagious? If our scientists could ever figure this one out…
Asymptomatic transmission “is the Achilles’ heel of COVID-19 pandemic control through the public-health strategies,” according to a May 28 editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Hopefully this ongoing tragedy will humble us all. Screaming “We Are #1” was never a good idea and now… The US Is Disastrously Behind in Covid-19 Testing. Again. It is maddening to me that we are not making controlling of the virus the number one goal…still, months later and after so many body bags and so much money thrown at it already.
Testing is one part of the equation. Contact tracing is another, and so are masks and physical distancing and improved ventilation. But curbing the spread really all comes down to limiting the number of susceptible people an infectious person can come into contact with, she says. “If we want to do that, we’ve got to be serious about throwing everything at it,” she says. “And I don’t think we’re serious about throwing everything at it in most parts of the country.”
In case you were thinking about it: Do You Want to Be a Vaccine Volunteer? How do you sign up for a trial? Who is eligible? Will you be paid? Could an experimental shot protect you? Could you get sick? Who covers the costs if you do? Here’s what you need to know. Make sure you get full answers on who pays if something goes wrong ok?
I am afraid sooner or later we will all wonder the same thing…How Did I Catch the Coronavirus?
For the majority of the nearly five million COVID-19 cases across the United States, the point of infection is unknown.
MILES & POINTS
HOT CREDIT CARD OFFERS: There is now a 60k Chase United Explorer card offer. For a standard workhorse card I recommend the 60k Chase Sapphire Preferred card. For a standard premium card I recommend the 50k Chase Sapphire Reserve card. For a standard 2% cash back card I recommend the Citi Double Cash card. Available with my links.
As expected, the banks are starting to come out with better travel rewards credit card offers. The personal United Explorer card is out with a 60k United miles offer after the typical $3k spend in the first three months which makes it very attractive and I think my household will go for two 🙂 Chase also came out with a United Club Infinite card for 100k United miles but at a $525 annual fee I definitely would not recommend it right now in these no business travel pandemic days. Both available with my links, thanks for your support!
The must read post in this section is this: Travel Blogs Rode Credit Card Referrals Wave: What Comes Next? The commercialization of this hobby led it to its demise…maybe we can get some of these entrepreneur fake experts move on to make another dollar somewhere else. It was never about you, it was “all about conversions”. I may have a few more things to say at the BLOG BUZZ section below…
In the past decade, some travel bloggers became millionaires — sometimes several times over — by publishing breezy posts about world travels, complete with detailed reviews of business class seats and hotel rooms suites. Now that business is in peril, and it’s not clear when, or if, it will return.
It appears that The Odds of Catching Covid on a Flight Are Slim. I still feel a lot more comfortable driving, thanks.
Via The Middle Seat Column of the Wall Street Journal: Coronavirus Has Upended Everything Airlines Know About Pricing.
Airlines have lost the ability to extract as much money as possible from travelers. And their pricing computers may stay confused for some time to come.
“The good news is that if you banked up a lot of frequent-traveler miles, redemption is not going to be an issue,” he says. “Even business travel is going to be cheaper. I don’t think it’s going to be fire-sale type stuff. It’s just that inventory is going to be much more available.”
Rick Steves: I’m Traveling, Even Though I’m Stuck at Home. Same dude.
Travel teaches us that there’s more to life than increasing its speed. This quarantine has been therapy for a workaholic like me. Perhaps the pandemic is the universe’s way of telling us all to slow down. And, like travel, this crisis is reminding us of how we need one another, and we need one another to be safe and cared for. Hard times highlight the importance of public services and good governance, as well as the value of neighbors.
Fascinating details about Chuuk or Truk Island.
I really enjoyed A Visit to 5 of Patagonia’s Most Remote Schoolhouses.
I loved our trip to the Michigan Upper Peninsula. I have no idea when, if ever, a trip report appears here. Doing trip reports is incredibly time consuming and this blog revenue/time ratio has been so out of whack it should have not been alive for almost 8 years now! If my site gets ten credit card conversions in August maybe? 🙂 Come on, my familia will be good for a good chunk of them now that daughter turned 18! If you have any burning questions about my UP trip, please ask in the comments. I could devote more time on marketing my blog and less whining if I also killed the comments like that multimillionaire tall guy 😉 Just here is one pic for now:
The latest from Howard Marks: Time For Thinking. Oh boy, we are doing so much of it right now with bonds so shut and…everything just being so crazy in the investing world.
Great infographic: The 20 Most and Least Profitable Companies, Per Employee. Fannie Mae is tops, seriously?
Fantastic read about the fashion industry: sweatpants forever:How the Fashion Industry Collapsed. Wow…I had no idea. I guess I am never going into fashion lol.
Seriously Pepsi? Amazing promo that went all bad many years ago, I had never heard about it. Number Fever: The Pepsi Contest That Became a Deadly Fiasco. When you see this in blogs taking a break from pumping credit cards…you know where they saw it first. Brings some miles/points promos to mind but definitely no deaths, wtf!
Decades ago, a marketing stunt promised Philippine soda drinkers a chance at a million pesos. But an error at a bottling plant led to 600,000 winners—and to lawsuits, rioting, and even deaths.
If you have not seen this: Watch the full “Axios on HBO” interview with President Trump. What have we done?
Oh dear God! The Beirut explosion was by far the biggest! The Biggest Ammonium Nitrate Explosions Since 2000. Here are some videos of it as captured by people across the city.
ODDZ & ENDZ
Never understood why the Dallas Cowboys rate so high when, well, I don’t remember the last time they
won the Superbowl wen to the playoffs! The World’s Most Valuable Teams.
Well, just in case you did not know: How much musicians make from streams.
Very interesting! Parents now spend twice as much time with their children as 50 years ago.
Only in Germany! You swine! German nudist chases wild boar that stole laptop. That picture is epic!
We are now entering BLOG BUZZ, a section for advanced hobbyists and veterans of this fast imploding hobby and also a section where I go on and on about some stuff that happens in my life because it helps me feel better about myself.
And now for something inspiring! ‘I’ve realized my dream’: Italy’s oldest graduate top of the class at 96. What are you doing to realize your dreams?
I need to make a few comments on the Skift article about travel blogs selling credit cards. You can rest assured my site will never become one of them, not sad!
Bloggers don’t like to speak publicly about their relationships with card companies, because terms are confidential. But speaking anonymously, they said some card companies, including American Express and Capital One, almost entirely have pulled referral fees. Others, including Chase, still have paid them, but only for personal cards, not business ones, a source said.
With business so slow, The Points Guy has transferred employees to other websites owned by its parent company, Red Ventures. [Amazingly, no mass layoffs…yet]
Despite the close relationship among blogs, card companies and travel brands, consumers generally have trusted the most-read bloggers, who could make or break airline loyalty programs. Some received criticism for cozying up too much to card companies or airlines, but others remain fiercely independent. A few write harshly critical stories when they believe an airline takes an anti-consumer position. [Bold font added for emphasis by me: LOL]
…they expect the travel credit card ecosystem will return with vigor when air travel begins to recover. And both said they expect bloggers, provided they can still in business, will play a part in that recovery. [Yep, the question is…who will stay in business]
“There is a place for people who act as an advisor to consumers,” Davis said. [Advisor you said? That’s NOT providing advice by any of these blogs, they are tailoring the content to sell more credit cards! When you see “XXX credit card review” posts that ALWAYS end in urging you to get the card…you know this whole industry is phucked up for THE CONSUMER! But hey, millions have been made on marketing to people who don’t know any better, I mean, look at casinos and drugs etc. I do not do this here so I can tell you a credit card sucks because I think it is the right advice for you! And this is why my site will not make me a millionaire LOL].
After the excitement of 2010-15 turned some bloggers into millionaires, larger brands started getting into the game, hoping to siphon some revenue. CNBC and and Business Insider started hawking credit cards, while Wirecutter, a website owned by the New York Times, occasionally published links. [Yep, I have been writing about this turn in my blog recently…]
“It will come back, but I would flag that it was different before the pandemic,” the prominent blogger said. “Credit card affiliate revenue has not seen the peaks of where it was a couple of years ago. That is because there are more people in this game, and more sites, even CNBC. There are all kinds of major brands doing credit cards now. It is very saturated.” [Yep…if only all the readers were properly educated which sites have the consumer’s well being ahead of their own pockets…]
The reddit/churning board had some fun naming Credit Card Combos, here are my favorite, check THIS link for more and have some laughs!
I Just Blue Myself: American Express Blue Business Plus, American Express Blue Cash Preferred, Delta Skymiles Blue, JetBlue Card
Risky Business: Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Ink Preferred, Chase Ink Preferred
Karen’s Quarantine Quadfecta: Costco Visa, Kohl’s Cash, Target Red, Walmart Cap1
Bait ‘n Switch
Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Bold
The End of the Line
Random CU debit card
And I leave you with this…
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Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.