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‘Brood X’ Pizza? One Ohio Restaurant Gave it a Shot

I’ll just have some water, thanks.

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The 2021 is a unique one for many reasons, not the least of which being that it represents a return to normalcy from the absolutely maddening year that preceded it.

The coronavirus pandemic is effectively over, even if the mainstream media is showing major deference to the White House by allowing them to play out this silly little “July 4” storyline they’re trying to pitch.  The racial reckoning of last summer has subsided a bit, (even though the Ocean City, Maryland police department looks poised to fan the flames).  And, thank the good Lord, the Murder Hornets appear to be under control in the Pacific Northwest.

But there will be some quirks in ’21, including the return of “Brood X”:  The largest colony of cyclical cicadas known to man, who’ll return by the trillions in the coming weeks.  Their mission?  To emerge from hibernation, molt, make an awful racket of a mating call, reproduce, and then die off again.

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This strange, natural cycle had one Ohio pizza shop wondering exactly what we hoped that they wouldn’t be wondering:  How are these things going to taste with a little mozzarella and red sauce?

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A pizzeria in Dayton, Ohio, is causing a lot of buzz with a cicada pizza after cooking up the unusual pie and hosting a Facebook live tasting panel on Saturday afternoon.

The Pizza Bandit-which bills itself as selling authentic New York-style pies and slices-went for something a bit more obscure over the weekend, whipping up an experimental Spicy Thai Cicada Pie. On their Facebook page, the pizza shop described the final product as “18-inch handtossed dough with miso hoisin sriracha sauce, mozzarella and provolone, blanched and sautéed locally foraged cicadas, mushroom, cabbage, green onion, mango, cilantro, with a spicy Thai sauce after the bake and a Cicada wing adorned crust!”

And yes, there are pictures.

But what about the taste?

Was it all worth the effort? The very first bite inspired one taster to proclaim, “Absolutely delicious, just the cicada by itself.” The chef’s first thought was more middle of the road, however: “It’s quite crunchy.” And the food scientist wasn’t totally on board, concluding, “It’s not bad; the visual is just a problem.”

But in one of the final opinions before signing off, another taster who said he had a lot of experience with bizarre food like bugs explained, “This is completely not what I was expecting. This is extremely good. They don’t take away any flavor; they don’t add any bad flavor…. If you can get around the goo and the crunch, it’s really good.”

Unfortunately for the brave foodies out there, Pizza Bandit is unable to put this pie into their regular production cycle on account of the legal issues of foraging insects for food.

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CDC Set to Make Major Change to Mask Policy as Delta Variant Spreads

One step forward, two steps back…

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We were so close, weren’t we?  It has very much felt like the American people were on the precipice of pandemic peace in recent weeks, as restaurants and movie theaters and concert venues all began to open back up in earnest. But then the “delta” variant began to spread, having mutated out of the unvaccinated populations of the world, spreading faster and more vociferously than the strain we’d been battling for well over a year.  Now, thanks to a major uptick in transmission rates, the CDC is about to take a large step backward. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to recommend Tuesday that fully vaccinated people begin wearing masks indoors again in places with high Covid-19 transmission rates, according to people familiar with the matter. Federal health officials still believe fully vaccinated individuals represent a very small amount of transmission, according to the sources. Still, some vaccinated people could be carrying higher levels of the virus than previously understood and potentially transmit it to others, they said. The CDC is slated to hold a briefing at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The weather had something to do with it, as well. The updated guidance comes ahead of the fall season, when the highly contagious delta variant is expected to cause another surge in new coronavirus cases and many large employers plan to bring workers back to the office. In mid-May, the CDC said fully vaccinated people didn’t need to wear masks in most settings, whether indoors or outdoors. The move is certainly not going to be a popular one in the United States, where the vaccination rate has essentially peaked, with nearly half the country having opted to forego the inoculation.

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DeSantis Under Fire as Jacksonville Doc Pleads for COVID Help

But will the Sunshine State Governor be inclined to budge?

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Florida has long been a bastion of freedom during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Governor Ron DeSantis has been a large part of the reason why. DeSantis has repeatedly shunned the possibility of trouncing freedom for security in the Sunshine State, exuding a sort of libertarian ethos on the subject of the coronavirus crisis.  Not only has he refused to enact any harsh COVID-related restrictions, but DeSantis has even gone so far as to pardon any Floridians who faced charges on account of such guidelines. But now, as cases rise all across the state of Florida, one doctor in Jacksonville has a wild request for his governor. The Duval County Medical Society Foundation president urged Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a State of Emergency in regards to the spike in coronavirus cases in the state. “Is it time for Governor to declare a state of emergency/public health emergency in Florida regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations with what we are seeing here? Yes,” Dr. Sunil Joshi tweeted Monday afternoon. Joshi continued by saying hospitals need federal money and extra staff to deal with growing numbers of patients with COVID-19. “Our hospitals, our hospital staff, the administration and every ancillary service is being overwhelmed with COVID patients,” Joshi told First Coast News. “That peak is happening at a much, much more steeper rate than it did at any time last year, and that is overwhelming our system.” DeSantis is unlikely to act in such a way, however, having already staked his reputation on the idea that Florida will not succumb to fear in the face of the virus.

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