Skimm'd while texting with Olympian Sue Bird

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Skimm'd while texting with Olympian Sue Bird

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Quote of the Day

"I woke up to text messages asking, is this real?" – An Olympian after reports of a black bear sighting at a baseball stadium in Japan. Is someone's mascot on the loose?

Back to Basics

The Story

Americans may be as confused about COVID-19 as last year.

It's the back and forth for me.

We get it. Since the pandemic began, COVID-19 cases have gone up, down, and all around. So have restrictions and guidelines – pushing people to hit 'refresh' on the CDC website about as much as they check their Facebooks. While many got to enjoy the first few months post-vaccine, Dr. Anthony Fauci now says the US is "going in the wrong direction." It comes amid more contagious COVID-19 variants. Especially delta, which is in over 100 countries and the dominant strain in the US. Here's where things stand on three major COVID-19 topics:

Mask up or mask down?...For a while now, we've been told fully vaxxed people can ditch the mask. Many businesses and restaurants updated their signs. So did local govs. And some schools are expected to in the fall. But with delta on the rise, the debate is back on. Health officials are apparently discussing whether to edit mask guidelines for vaxxed people, saying it's "under active consideration." And some places have already brought them back for everyone.

Vax stats...About half of the US population is fully vaxxed but many are still vaccine hesitant. This, despite vaccines showing high effectiveness at preventing hospitalization. (Think: over 99% of those who died of COVID-19 last month were unvaccinated.) But things get tricky when it comes to variants. A recent UK study showed Pfizer's two-dose shot is 88% effective at preventing symptomatic disease from delta. Meanwhile, a small dataset from Israel reportedly found that figure was closer to 40%. While the data is still muddy, Fauci says booster shots "might likely happen" for some people (think: those who are immunocompromised) to give them extra protection.

The breakthrough cases…Aka when a fully vaxxed person tests positive for COVID-19. There were apparently over 10,000 of these cases in the US as of April. But the CDC has since stopped tracking all of them – instead focusing on those that cause hospitalization or death. Still, headlines about vaccinated MLB members, Texas politicians, and White House officials testing positive have people stressing. Here's the bottom line: vaccines aren't foolproof. But they strongly protect against severe disease. And may help limit new variants from forming and new infections from spreading.


We're still in a pandemic and coronavirus cases are rising in every state. And while some are living it up, it may soon be time to go back to basics. That could include masks and social distancing as the US and the world continue to deal with COVID-19 and its variants.

And Also...This

Where there's upheaval…

Tunisia. Yesterday, President Kais Saied fired the PM and froze parliament for 30 days. It comes after thousands of Tunisians turned out Sunday, on the anniversary of the country's independence. Calling for parliament to be dissolved. Protesters expressed anger over Tunisia's economic crisis and gov mishandling of the pandemic. Think: long lines for vaccine access amid a weeks-long COVID-19 spike. Meanwhile, unemployment is surging, with young people especially struggling to find work. The government is trying to negotiate a loan with the International Monetary Fund. But that could involve even more belt-tightening. Now, after clashes between protesters and police, Saied's taking charge with the help of a new PM that's TBD "until social peace returns." His opponents are calling the move a coup. And the young democracy – the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings over 10 years ago – is experiencing some serious pressure testing.

Who's getting welcome packets…

Reps Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL). The lawmakers are the only two Republicans on the new Jan 6 select committee – the House panel looking into what led to the Capitol attack. Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) pulled all five of his Republican nominees for the committee. It came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) rejected two allies of former President Trump. Now, Pelosi's reached across the aisle, convincing Cheney and Kinzinger – both of whom are Trump critics – to join the revised nine-person panel. And said the committee must not have "partisanship." But McCarthy said Pelosi only picked people who would stick to her "preconceived narrative."

  • On the agenda: The committee is expected to hold its first hearing tomorrow. And Capitol and DC police officers are set to testify.

Where people are trying to get some bling...

The Tokyo Olympics. On Friday, the 2020 games kicked off. Day one ended with no medals for Team USA (a first since 1972). The US men's basketball team said 'au revoir' to its years-long winning streak, after losing to (you guessed it) France. Russia flipped its way to the top of the women's gymnastics qualifiers after USA's flips flopped. But swimmer Chase Kalisz came in clutch, giving 'Murica its first gold medal on day two. Five-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky freestyled to a silver medal. And Caeleb Dressel pooled together a victory. 18-year-old Anastasija Zolotic became the first American woman to win gold in women's taekwondo. Now, the U-S-of-A is second (after China) in total medal count. But don't sweat it, there's still about two weeks left in the games.

...Oh and speaking of medals, Steve Kornacki's apparently already taking the gold for his breakdown on how to watch the Olympic events.

Who's getting loud…


Buying Time

Ya know that feeling when your day's so busy you can't seem to finish any single thing? Same. Enter: the ABCDE method. It can help you prioritize your to-do list based on what needs to get done (A), what you should do (B), what would be nice to get done (C), what you can delegate (D), and what you can eliminate (E).

Since things like getting food and medications typically earn A status, we've got another idea: Walmart+. Members get free, same-day fresh grocery delivery.† And special prices on gas. Plus free and discounted prescriptions.†† And more. Seriously. Get all the deets – and start your free 15-day trial – here.

†$35 minimum. Restrictions apply.

††Not available in all states or during Walmart+ free trial. The program is not insurance and cannot be combined with insurance.


Here are today's recs to help you live a smarter life…

1. Plant-based products to help you live your best life. And sleep your best sleep. This brand's got Full Spectrum Hemp Oil and CBD-rich blends extracted from certified organic hemp flowers. Psst...their biggest annual sale ends Wednesday. Here's a Skimm-exclusive code for 20% off.*

2. A tangy snack that'll make your skin glow. This brand just released a new flavor (hiii, miso teriyaki) of their upcycled wild Alaskan salmon skin chips. They've got zero carbs, 10 grams of protein, and are full of omega-3s and marine collagen. Here's 20% off.*

3. An award-winning device that gets under your skin in the best way. This NASA-backed brand infuses ingredients (think: collagen) 20x deeper than traditional skincare products via their micro-mist tech. Oh, and Skimm'rs get 20% off new orders. Talk about a mist-have.*

4. Breathable gear to upgrade your warm-weather workouts. Sweating through your clothes before you even make it to the gym? Check out these summer-friendly options.

5. Up to 40% off crates, toys, and beds at Chewy's Sizzling Summer Savings event. Grab 'em while ya can — this sale ends tomorrow. We're eyeing this protective seat cover for your car and this cactus scratching post for your feline friend.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Curtain call...Becca S (MO). She's the president of the Summit Theatre Group Board. They worked through the pandemic to open STG Studio, which offers weekly classes and camps for kids, karaoke, trivia nights, and more. Backstage pass here.

It takes a village...Tabitha J (WV). She spearheaded "Bringing Back The Village." The initiative brings together local professionals in senior-related industries to provide free workshops and seminars. The goal: to educate communities on how to better support their elderly neighbors. Learn more.

(Some) Birthdays...theSkimm's Jess Nunyala (NY), Ellen Chesner (NY), Nancy Goldberg (FL), Lauren Katz (NJ), Katherine Lane (WA), Kelsey Vanderlip (NY), Taya Simpson (NY), Kailly Fisher (IN), Rebecca Vitkus (NY), Kim Munsell (PA), Lisa Sohn (MN), Crystal Timbeross (TX), Denise Lamy (NH), Summer Kurtz (GA), Felix Lopez (NY)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.

Skimm More

We rounded up some Skimm Faves to help you shop smarter. Like sunscreen that'll protect you from UVA and UVB rays. And a budget planner to help you track your spending.

And if you're looking for other smart ways to spend your time…

  • Listen to our news podcast "Skimm This" for clarity on the biggest stories of the week.

  • Tune in to our podcast "9 to 5ish with theSkimm" for tips to navigate your career.

  • Subscribe to our "Skimm Money" newsletter to keep up to date with your wallet.

  • Sign up for our "Skimm Your Life" newsletter for curated shopping, reads, and entertainment recs.

  • Follow us on the gram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

  • Download our app to get it all in one place.

Skimm’d by Rashaan Ayesh, Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain