China’s Births Hit Historic Low, a Political Problem for Beijing – The New York Times:
China’s ruling Communist Party has taken steps to address the birthrate decline, by relaxing its notorious “one child” policy, first allowing two children in 2016 and as many as three since last year. It is also offering incentives to young families and promising improvement in workplace rules and early education.
None have been able to reverse a stark fact: An increasing number of Chinese women don’t want children.
How The mRNA Vaccines Were Made: Halting Progress and Happy Accidents – The New York Times:
The vaccines were possible only because of efforts in three areas. The first began more than 60 years ago with the discovery of mRNA, the genetic molecule that helps cells make proteins. A few decades later, two scientists in Pennsylvania decided to pursue what seemed like a pipe dream: using the molecule to command cells to make tiny pieces of viruses that would strengthen the immune system.
The second effort took place in the private sector, as biotechnology companies in Canada in the budding field of gene therapy — the modification or repair of genes to treat diseases — searched for a way to protect fragile genetic molecules so they could be safely delivered to human cells.
The third crucial line of inquiry began in the 1990s, when the U.S. government embarked on a multibillion-dollar quest to find a vaccine to prevent AIDS.
They Remodeled Before Covid. Here’s What They Regret Now. – The New York Times:
(Year-over-year spending on home remodeling grew by more than 9 percent from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2021, to $357 billion a year, according to the Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.)
Opinion | I Just Turned 60, but I Still Feel 22 – The New York Times:
Friendship is forged across time, through good fortune and tragedy alike, and true friends are those who keep on loving one another even when it isn’t convenient and even when they don’t always agree.
Maybe wisdom is just too much to ask of a culture in the grip of collective trauma. Maybe wisdom can be acquired only with time, even if time by itself is no guarantee.