The Science Museum of Virginia is back with another virtual Science on Tap, this time dubbed Mate Night. Due to its proximity to Valentine’s Day, and just as the name suggests, the event will be full of STEaMy fun tied to attraction, mating, romance and more.
From the comfort of their own home – and while listening to the love songs of their choice – guests will enjoy the following stimulating programming:
- The Museum’s resident lecturer of all things blush-worthy, Jim Blow, will present “This is How We Do It” about mating habits animals and humans have in common.
- Neuroscientist Dr. Catherine Franssen will explore the five sense of attraction in “I Touch Myself.”
- Museum educators will lead a rousing round of “Wicked Games” to test guests’ knowledge of horny animals. (horns, people … animals with horns!)
- Romance is in the air, but what about the vacuum of space? Astronomer Justin Bartel will celebrate cosmic anniversaries with “Feels Like the First Time.”
Just because Science on Tap is on Zoom does not mean the rules change: as with the in-person events, the content is aimed at an adult audience and is not kid friendly.
Wednesday, Feb. 10, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Curious-minded adults are invited to pop some bubbly, grab some oysters, put on heart-covered PJs and plug in a laptop as hosts digitally unzip all the irresistible science fun that will surely include plenty of innuendo.
Science on Tap: Mate Night is presented by WestRock.
Guests should register on the Museum’s website before 7 p.m. on February 10. No matter when they register, guests will not be emailed the link to access the Zoom program until the night of the event. Guests should register per device access, not per person.
Museum staff are working hard to keep people entertained and enriched while socially distant. The Museum is not charging for Science on Tap events, but – as they don’t create themselves – guests are welcome to support the programming efforts by donating to the Science Museum of Virginia Foundation after registering.
The Museum hosted the first virtual Science on Tap in May 2020. Feedback from guests who have joined the digital events said they have enjoyed the show’s humorous and informative content, and want the Museum to continue offering more adults-only digital programs. The Museum is happy to oblige as providing a reminder about the importance of science in people’s lives has never been more vital, and continues to be paramount to the organization’s mission.
Music in the Park Returns
There will be two free concerts held at Forest Hill Park.
CDC says the vaccinated should wear masks indoors in areas with high infection rates
Federal health officials on Tuesday urged Americans in areas of the country with the highest surges in COVID-19 infections to once again wear masks when they are in public, indoor settings — even if they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
By Laura Olson
The updated recommendations marked a sharp shift from the agency’s guidance in May that Americans fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear a mask in most situations, indoors and outdoors.
The updates also included changes for schools, with federal health officials now urging everyone in K-12 schools to wear a mask indoors. That includes teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status and the level of community transmission.
The update in CDC guidance was prompted by new data indicating that although breakthrough infections among the vaccinated are rare, those individuals still may be contagious and able to spread the disease to others, said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Wearing a mask indoors in areas with “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus could help to reduce further outbreaks of the highly contagious delta variant, she said.
Some 39 states have infection rates that have reached “substantial” or “high” levels of transmission, according to a data tracker on the CDC website. The CDC rates Virginia, with 56.4 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days and a 5 to 8 percent positivity rate, as having a “substantial” level of community transmission. However, that varies widely by locality.
“As always, we will thoroughly review these recommendations,” said Alena Yarmosky, a spokeswoman for Gov. Ralph Northam. “The governor has taken a nuanced and data-driven approach throughout this pandemic—which is why Virginia has among the nation’s lowest total COVID-19 cases and death rates.
“As he has said repeatedly, the only way to end this pandemic is for everyone to get vaccinated. The facts show vaccines are highly effective at protecting Virginians from this serious virus — over 98 percent of hospitalizations and over 99 percent of deaths have been among unvaccinated Virginians.”
The agency also tracks infection rates on the county level, and 63 percent of U.S. counties are in those two categories of concern.
“This was not a decision that was taken lightly,” Walensky said. She added that other public health and medical experts agreed with the CDC that the new information on the potential for vaccinated people to have contagious infections required the agency to take action.
President Joe Biden described the agency’s revision on recommended mask use as “another step on our journey to defeating this virus.”
“I hope all Americans who live in the areas covered by the CDC guidance will follow it,” Biden said. “I certainly will when I travel to these areas.”
The mask-use changes may not be the only changes coming as the White House attempts to respond to the spiking infections. Biden also said Tuesday that a vaccination requirement for all federal employees is under consideration.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs already has required its frontline health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
But the new recommendations on masks are expected to be met with resistance.
Areas of the country with the highest spikes in COVID-19 infections tend to be those with the lowest vaccination rates and places that were the fastest to end mask mandates for public settings.
Some have taken legal steps to prevent future mask mandates. At least nine states — Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Vermont — have enacted legislation that prohibits districts from requiring masks in schools, according to a CNN analysis.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican, blasted the updated guidance in a statement Tuesday, describing it as “not grounded in reality or common sense.” Iowa’s level of community transmission is rated as “substantial” in the latest CDC map.
“I’m concerned that this guidance will be used as a vehicle to mandate masks in states and schools across the country, something I do not support,” Reynolds said, adding that the vaccine “remains our strongest tool to combat COVID-19” and that she will continue to urge vaccinations.
Walensky sidestepped a question during Tuesday’s news briefing about the level of compliance that the CDC expects with the new recommendations, saying only that the way to drive down rising community transmission rates is to wear masks and to increase vaccination rates.
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters on Friday at Forest Hill Park
The weather hasn’t been kind to this year’s Movies in the park hopefully we’ll luck out.
This Friday night Richmond VA Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities is showing Ghostbusters (the original Bill Murray classic) at Forest Hill Park. Bring your blanket, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks. The movie starts when it’s dark enough.