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Is that you, Omicron? If you think youve caught COVID (or are scared of catching it), dont miss our helpful guide!
'Is that you, Omicron?" If you think you've caught COVID (or are scared of catching it), don't miss our helpful guide! martin-dm / Getty Images

Good afternoon, friends, lovers, children, mothers, sinners, saints, etc! It's Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend and if I know anything about work it's that all of you are working your very hardest right now and I'll try to make this post very boring so you can focus on your jobs!! Ha ha.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Today in "COPS: WTF??" The Mercury's Alex Zielinski just reported that in 2018 Portland Police used a slide in their training materials containing a meme of what appeared to be a police officer assaulting an unarmed protester and text that read, in part: "That they may christen your heads with hickory; And anoint your faces with pepper spray." Police Chief Chuck Lovell said the meme was "contrary to their values" which is just an interesting position to take, because like, okay, whose values are they? Did somebody just sneak into the PPB's powerpoint at night to drop in that slide? Just asking!

• Schools across the state have been temporarily closing due to COVID-related staffing shortages as the Omicron variant continues its lung-thirsty voyage around the globe. (My partner teaches at one of those closed schools; he's been vacuuming ALL DAY while I am working at home.) If you know a family impacted by the closures, consider dropping a lasagna and a bottle of gin at their door tonight.

• Would you like to stay ahead of the 'cron? Our own Isabella Garcia just put together this handy-dandy guide to navigating this whole cluster. From finding a mask to finding a test to finding a place to lie down (maybe not that last part), Isabella will get you informed. READ IT, IT WILL MAKE YOU SMARTER AND FEEL BETTER.

• Speaking of public health, did you know that tomorrow is your last day to sign up for a health insurance plan through Oregon's marketplace? It is! Look, private insurance fucking sucks, but if you get COVID and need to go to the hospital (unlikely, but possible), it's expensive, and seems like most of us probably will get COVID if we haven't already, so best to be ready.

• Does anyone else regularly check on the dogs at the Oregon Humane Society? This dog Sheila has been there for MONTHS and I can't adopt her because I have cats, but I just love her and want her to have a home. LOOK AT HER! Adopt her and then tell me about how happy and loved she is!

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• We are just a few days away from having access to some COVID tests finally! Hang on, sorry—we are a few days away from being able to sign up on a federal website to receive up to four COVID tests, then it'll be about seven to ten days after that before they're shipped. I wonder what this cool video will look like by the time we get them?

• In a swift kick in the pants to the Ohio GOP, that state's Supreme Court just rejected their proposed gerrymandered-to-hell congressional map. A (Republican) Justice, who was part of the majority, wrote that “No magician’s trick can hide what the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates: the map statistically presents such a partisan advantage that it unduly favors the Republican Party.” Let this be a lesson to all state Supreme Courts that they should mention "magic" if they would like to be featured in this prestigious blog.

• Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is now detained in Australia and awaiting a hearing on his visa after showing up in the country without being vaccinated for COVID, despite that being a pretty strict rule they have right now! I'm sure things are different for professional athletes, but imagine wanting that badly to exercise? He had a rock-solid reason not to go to that competition! He could be chilling at home and still very rich!

• I know the Britney Spears redemption arc is the talk of the moment, but fellow early-aughts party girl Tara Reid is worth your consideration and compassion as well. Josie and the Pussycats is a perfect piece of art and Tara Reid is a national treasure.

• Remember when we were all new at Zoom and horrified to realize what our faces looked like when other people were talking? This robot nails it:

• Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. day. Enjoy the holiday weekend and think about things.