J. D. Vance, the author of Hillbilly Elegy, writes,
I’ve long worried whether I’ve become a part of this problem. For two years, I’d lived in Silicon Valley, surrounded by other highly educated transplants with seemingly perfect lives. It’s jarring to live in a world where every person feels his life will only get better when you came from a world where many rightfully believe that things have become worse. And I’ve suspected that this optimism blinds many in Silicon Valley to the real struggles in other parts of the country. So I decided to move home, to Ohio.
Ah, the affordable housing stock in Columbus. But, oh, the opioid epidemic. In fact, Vance is moving back to start an organization aimed at combatting the epidemic.
Andrew Sullivan says that the opioid epidemic is the new AIDS.
It occurred to me reading this reported essay by Christopher Caldwell that the opioid epidemic is the new AIDS in this respect. Its toll in one demographic — mostly white, working-class, and rural — vastly outweighs its impact among urbanites. For many of us in the elite, it’s quite possible to live our daily lives and have no connection to this devastation. And yet its ever-increasing scope, as you travel a few hours into rural America, is jaw-dropping: 52,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2015. That’s more deaths than the peak year for AIDS, which was 51,000 in 1995, before it fell in the next two years. The bulk of today’s human toll is related to opioid, heroin, and fentanyl abuse. And unlike AIDS in 1995, there’s no reason to think the worst is now over.
Dan Willingham, a UVA pyschology prof who specializes in education, has a daughter with a chromosomal disorder. He has some advice for parents whose kids gawk at his daugther.
Fun fact of the day, from the Atlantic:
According to a recent analysis of federal Department of Education data by Bloomberg, schools that beat performance expectations during March Madness receive a bump not only in public awareness, but also in the number of applications they receive.