1/3/21 News Roundup: Failing The Vaccine Rollout, UK Variant, Silver Linings, Greenland Flights, COVID At 35K Feet, $16K Apple Bill, Jetpack Flyer, Volcano Eruption, And More!

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Some stories and deals don’t get their own post, but should get some coverage. Here are some quick takes on stories that caught my eye. Let’s hear your thoughts about them in the comments below!

View previous roundups and commentary here.

Featured Trip Reports:

DDF Trip Report:

DDF member Something Fishy went to Kauai and The Big Island in 2013 and shares his always awesome pictures.






DD Trip Report:

In 2016 Something Fishy, several other DDF members, and I went to Svalbard for the trip of a lifetime:




Can We Get Israel To Run The US Vaccine Rollout?

Despite investing billions of dollars in creating COVID-19 vaccines in record time, the US is failing the actual administration of the vaccine.

In 3 weeks, only 1.3% of the US population has been vaccinated with their first dose. Compare that to Israel where nearly 13% of the population is now vaccinated with their first dose!

Sure, Israel is a much smaller country, but those numbers are blowing away every other country on this planet.

If Israel can source additional vaccine supply thanks to its expeditious vaccination progress, it can reach herd immunity in just another month and begin the process of reopening its economy and going back to normal. It’s poised to be the first country to reach that goal.

While Israel is known for bureaucracy, they have cut all of the red tape with the vaccine. Reserve soldiers have been called up to help accelerate vaccinations. While the vaccine is prioritized for the high-risk population, they are distributing it to clinics and defrosting enough supply so that anyone who wants a vaccine can get it. At the end of each day they put out alerts for everyone to come in and get it so that nothing is thrown away.

Meanwhile in the US we’re so worried about the vaccine only going to the high risk population that we’re penalizing offenders with massive fines:



That ought to win Cuomo another Emmy or even a Nobel prize! 🙄

Focusing on prioritization instead of mass vaccination has the perverse effect of depressing the overall vaccination rate.

Plus it may not even be the right way to stop the pandemic. Ideally we should vaccinate super spreaders if we want the spread to slow down.

In New York only 30.8% of shots have been used while California and New Jersey have only used 27.9% of their shots.

Those are embarrassingly low numbers. Given the devastating human and financial toll of this pandemic, it’s high time for a course correction. Let’s copy Israel’s model, start mass vaccination running 24/7, and get this done!

If Jewish Neighborhoods In NYC Were The Hardest Hit, Why Aren’t They Designated That Way For The Vaccine?

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo have singled out Jewish communities in NYC for high COVID rates multiple times over the course of the pandemic.

Tablet Magazine takes the mayor to task for his designations of “hardest hit” neighborhoods for vaccine priority.

Mind you that prioritizations are a fools errand, but why is it that these “hardest hit” neighborhoods were never singled out by the Mayor and Governor before the vaccine became available?

Meanwhile, Tablet Magazine takes another look at the targeted Jewish communities in New York that have gone back to normal and does a good job making the case that nobody has all of the right answers in order to claim moral superiority.

The UK Will Delay The 2nd Dose, The US Will Not

The director of pneumonia at the Gates Foundation wants to see the second vaccine dose delayed, as the benefit of the first dose is much higher than the benefit of the second dose:


Some countries are listening. The UK will delay the 2nd dose by up to 12 weeks in order to get a first dose to more people.

Dr. Fauci says the US will not go down that path. He doesn’t think it’s worth the risk to try something that has not been tested and proven.

Some in Israel would like to see the UK model used.

Do you think other countries will follow the US or UK model? Which will wind up being the most lifesaving model when hindsight is 2020?

Pharmacist Tampers With COVID-19 Vaccine For 2 Nights In A Row

What a strange story this one is.

A pharmacist stands accused of intentionally taking COVID-19 vaccines out of the fridge for them to spoil before they were administered.

The hospital says there is no danger for those that received vaccine injections that had sat out all night, but that they may have been rendered ineffective by the sabotage and will have to be vaccinated again.

But what would cause a pharmacist in his 40s to throw away his career and try to stealthily render hundreds of vaccine doses ineffective?

Are Kids More At Risk With The UK COVID Variant?

Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding has been tracking the UK variant of COVID-19. He makes the case that the virus is mutating to become more of a threat for kids as it looks to continue spreading:



The good news is that so far, all indications are that the existing COVID-19 vaccines will be effective on the UK variant.

Will mRNA Vaccines Be COVID 19’s Ultimate Silver Lining?

COVID-19 has claimed the lives of more than 350,000 Americans to date, but there have been some silver linings that would be nice to see stick around.

But perhaps the biggest of them all is the mRNA vaccine. The technology languished for years without sufficient funding, but thanks to COVID-19 its development was moved forward by many years.

This isn’t your 20th century vaccine. mRNA vaccines open the possibility to prevent everything from heart disease to cancer.

In the short term, most of us will be happy to forget 2020 and the COVID pandemic, but perhaps it will be best remembered for bringing medicine into the 21st century?

United 232 Survivor Yisroel Brownstein Talks About Surviving The Crash

I’ve written about the United flight 232 disaster several times.

The book, “Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival” tells the dramatic story of the flight and how unaccompanied minor Yisroel Brownstein, a 3rd grader, managed to survive.

In July, The Sioux City Journal interviewed Yisroel upon his first return to Sioux City, more than 3 decades after the accident.

And now Lubavitch.com has more details about his harrowing escape and recovery.

My heart goes out to Mr. Brownstein for the pain that he has been through. It would be hard to imagine being in such a situation and I hope that G-d continues to give him the strength to forgive himself for the survivor’s guilt. I sure hope that he also realizes that he has absolutely nothing to feel guilty about.

I’ve corresponded with United 232 lead flight attendant Jan Brown several times about United and the FAA failing to learn the lessons of that flight with regard to having lap children in carseats. Jan Brown is a legend among United flight attendants, and just mentioning her name has worked to get them to turn a blind eye when needed for the sake of child safety.

Crazily enough, the exact plane that crashed as United 232 was featured in a 1978 United documentary after it encountered a birdstrike.

The A380’s Salesman On Why The Plane Failed

John Leahy shares his perspective on why the A380 was a flop. The 2nd part of the interview can be found here.

He points a finger at engine manufacturers, the 2008 great recession, the lack of a stretched A380-900 variant, stubbornly high Airbus pricing demands, geopolitical pressure from Boeing, giving customers too many configuration options, and more.

The only thing he doesn’t acknowledge is that the A380 was simply too much plane for everyone besides Emirates. The 787 and A350 are far more capable and convenient at a fraction of the cost to purchase and operate.

Then again Emirates says it failed because airlines put subpar seats in their A380s and failed to order enough of them.

I for one will miss those A380 first class cabins. I’ve experienced some of my favorite flights of my life in the Singapore, Emirates, and Etihad A380 suites. If only this prototype at Airbus Headquarters in Toulouse saw the light of day:


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Who Wears What In The Gulf?

Normalized relations between the Arab Gulf states and Israel was a highlight of 2020 and I can’t wait to visit some new countries with kosher food options!

Via @UAE_YOT2019, here’s how to identify what men wear by country (click to view the full picture):



Now as @ExGingi asks, who will put together a chart like this for Charedim 😀

Palestinian Airlines Liquidates, Seeks To Sell Fokkers

Palestinian Airlines is closing down their operations. They began service in 1997 with a Boeing 727 from Yasser Arafat International Airport in Gaza, but that airport was destroyed during the second intifada.

They used 2 Fokker 50s donated by the Netherlands to serve El Arish International Airport in Egypt from 2012-2017 before leasing the Fokkers to Niger Airlines. That lease has ended, which forced Palestinian Airlines to officially close down and put their Fokkers up for sale:

Bram Steeman, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Another Day, Another 2 Year Old Kicked Off A Flight

Since nearly all US airlines except Delta started requiring 2 year olds to wear a mask, I’ve said there would be cringe-worthy incidents.

Sure enough, Southwest kicked off a toddler with autism and then JetBlue kicked off a 2 year old and then retroactively changed their policy. American kicked a 2 year old off a plane, and United kicked a 2 year old off a flight.

And now American has kicked yet another 2 year old off a flight:


I’m all for mask requirements on a plane, but anyone that’s a parent knows that toddlers don’t exactly listen to requirements. Requiring a 2 year old to keep a mask on for the duration of a flight might sound good to a policy maker, but that doesn’t mean it’s practical. One of the many reasons we fly with carseats for our toddlers is so they will be secure in their seats for the entire flight. It’s just too easy for a toddler to take off their airplane seatbelt!

Commenter aaron said it best, “I have a hard enough time getting my 2 year old to keep his pants on!”

Once again proving that Delta is winning in being passenger friendly during the COVID-19 era. If you have toddlers, you’ll want to fly Delta unless you want to risk being tossed off your flight.

United Will Fly An Intra-Alaska Flight This Summer

United plans to fly nonstop this summer from Chicago, Denver, Houston, Newark, and San Francisco to Anchorage, but they won’t fly to Fairbanks from the US48 this summer.

However they won’t abandon the city completely.

From 5/6 through 9/29 they plan to fly a daily round-trip flight between Anchorage and Fairbanks on a 737-800. You’ll be able to connect from some of those cities to/from Fairbanks. Will you try to take this flight?

Will There Be Flights Between Canada And Greenland This Summer?

Getting to Greenland from North America is no easy feat. Until now it’s required backtracking via a turboprop from Iceland or a flight from Denmark.

But Canadian North is partnering up with Air Greenland and hopes to operate flights from Toronto and Ottawa to Ilulissat and Nuuk, Greenland, via Iqaluit, Canada this summer.

Greenland has a population of just 56,000, but is the 12th largest country by land mass. I’m always up for flights to far flung places like Svalbard and Ushuaia, bring on Greenland!

People Are Still Flying With COVID, And Now One Died In The Air

It seems like there are countless stories of someone hopping on a flight right after getting a COVID positive test result. I just don’t get it.

But last month a passenger had COVID-like symptoms and still boarded his United flight from Orlando to Los Angeles. He lost his sense of taste and smell, had been short of breath, and planned on taking a COVID-19 test upon returning home in Los Angeles.

Several passengers tried performing CPR and the flight diverted to New Orleans, but he died of respiratory failure due to COVID-19.

A Navy veteran who administered the CPR later fell sick with COVID-like symptoms, though he tested negative for COVID-19.

United continued the flight to Los Angeles without cleaning the plane.

If you don’t feel well, don’t fly!

A Cautionary Tale On Why You Need To Check Your Credit Card Statements Carefully

A 6 year old racked up a whopping $16,293 bill in the Apple app store on his mother’s iPad.

The mom should have checked her credit card bill and contacted Apple as well as disputed the charges as soon as she noticed the fraud, but she waited 3 months to do so.

By then it was too late, Apple said she had to contact them within 60 days to get the charges reversed.

Of course she should have had better security settings on the iPad, but there’s no excuse for not immediately following up on suspected credit card fraud. Make it a habit to do so at least when you get your monthly statement.

Has The LAX Jetpack Flyer Been Caught On Tape?

Several pilots have reported seeing “a guy in a jetpack” flying around LAX airspace:

Could this be him? Or it is just a stray Mandalorian?

Hawaii’s Kilauea Erupts Again

The big island’s Kilauea Volcano had been quiet for a few years, but it came back with a vengeance and the pictures are amazing!


The Kīlauea summit eruption continues from the west vent within Halema‘uma‘u crater

I got to see Kilauea erupting back in 2009 and can’t wait to go back to see it again!

JJ’s brother in law is in Hawaii now and took this beautiful picture of the eruption:

Have Airpods Max? Don’t Forget To Wipe Them Down After Use

I shared my thoughts on the $549 Airpods Max here.

But the woes don’t stop there. Users have noticed condensation buildup that stops the ear detection from working.

So…don’t forget to dry out your headphones?

Dive The Titanic…If You Have Money To Burn

How cool is this?

You can take part of an expedition to dive and explore the Titanic. 

The only problem? You’ll need $125,000 to do so.

Well, it’s a nice dream! Maybe United or Marriott want to offer up a spot with a mileage auction? 😀

Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $4,150,000

Beverlie Seltzer accidentally printed out an extra lottery ticket at an Acme store where she worked.

Normally the store eats the cost of extra tickets, but after the drawing Beverlie realized that the ticket was worth $4.15MM and she purchased it.

The store sued her after watching surveillance video to see what really happened and a judge ruled that Beverlie Seltzer is not entitled to any winnings and the store will get all of it.

Better luck next time!

Gershon Distenfeld Donating 100% World Series Of Poker Winnings To Charity

Gershon Distenfeld pledged to donate all of his winnings in the 2020 World Series of Poker to charity.

Aish writes that the Orthodox Jew won $125,885 by finishing in 8th place in the main event, and that he’ll divide those winnings among 8 charities.

Congrats Gershon!

A Dying Wish To Watch The Browns Clinch The Playoffs

A Browns fan dying of kidney cancer expressed his wish to watch one more Browns game in person.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield saw his videos and flew him to watch today’s game versus the Steelers.

Baker eked out a win for him and the Browns will play their first Playoff game in 18 years!

Share your thoughts on these stories or post a comment about what other stories that I missed!

Previous roundups

Catch up on what you missed!

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30 Comments On "1/3/21 News Roundup: Failing The Vaccine Rollout, UK Variant, Silver Linings, Greenland Flights, COVID At 35K Feet, $16K Apple Bill, Jetpack Flyer, Volcano Eruption, And More!"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


The cleveland browns are a professional team?

I thought they got demoted to the minors years ago

Is it safe?

56-26, say what now?


The Browns have won four NFL championships (1950, 1954–55, 1964) and four All-America Football Conference (AAFC) championships (1946–49).


Many centers wont vax superspreaders for a number of reasons 1. Theres no rvidence that the vaccine decreases spread just severity of illness. 2. Theres never been a test of the mode used in the article to identify superspreader so theres no evidence that this approach will even be accurate even assuming that 1. Is not true


Say what?


I agree. The neighborhood was hardest hit due to lack of adhering to CDC guidelines (mask wearing, small gatherings and social distancing). Why should they get the vaccines first?


Wake up! around 50% of healthcare workers in some places (like Ohio) are refusing the jab. Governor mike Dewine has actually addressed this.


Something seems strange about only four comments in three hours?? Are you the new government censorship arm?

LA Yid

Please continue with the roundups. They are a enjoyable read


I always love and look forward to the roundups always great insight!


Keep the roundups going. I very much enjoyed your stories today.


How is it that cuomo idiot won some leadership awards and thinks he can even run for president ??? Keep them coming dan thanx !


Definitely keep them coming. This week was a little heavy, so less to respond, but enjoyed the read regardless.


Commenter Aaron sure is getting a lot of mileage out of that comment!:)

t g



I guess you got your chizuk to continue the roundups…

But Coumo’s next step is he is threatening finds to facilities that don’t use up the vaccines at the same time that there are strict rules on who can get it….
But nothing has to make sense


A chariedi clip (explaining the different dress codes) was once made by hershlag you might be able to google t and find it.