Friday Links

COVID-19 vaccines may have saved 235,000 lives

A modeling study led by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers estimates that COVID-19 vaccination averted 27 million infections, 1.6 million hospitalizations, and 235,000 deaths among US adults from December 2020 to September 2021.

What the BA.5 subvariant could mean for the United States

Before BA.4 and BA.5 became dominant in South Africa in April, research suggested that 98% of the population had some antibodies from vaccination or previous infection or both.

Even with those protective antibodies, many people in the country still became infected with BA.4 and BA.5, and the subvariants caused a small increase in cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

‘It’s really a mess’: The growing split between workers and bosses on returning to the office

Nationwide, two-thirds of senior managers want their teams on site every work day, according to a Robert Half survey, while half of employees say they would look for a new job if forced to return full time.

Handing down mandates, instead of being open to experimentation, will only increase people’s natural impulse to resist change, he said. And forget about using new perks. “For people who value autonomy, giving them soft-serve in the break room is not going to help,” Schonthal said.

Are we entering the age of pay transparency?

Around half of those surveyed by Lattice, a people management platform, say they wish that everybody’s wages would be made public, at least within the organization.

“The mystery behind pay isn’t just about cold, hard numbers — the backroom calculus behind raises and promotions is just as elusive,” said Lattice.

America Is Growing Apart, Possibly for Good

When we think about the United States, we make the essential error of imagining it as a single nation, a marbled mix of Red and Blue people … But in truth, we have never been one nation. We are more like a federated republic of two nations: Blue Nation and Red Nation. This is not a metaphor; it is a geographic and historical reality.

This doesn’t mean we will have another civil war, exactly but it does mean that the pressure on national cohesion will continue to increase.

People who regularly talk to AI chatbots often start to believe they're sentient, says CEO

“We're not talking about crazy people or people who are hallucinating or having delusions,” the company's founder and CEO, Eugenia Kuyda, told Reuters. “They talk to AI and that's the experience they have.”