Tuesday CoronaBuzz, March 17, 2020: 27 pointers to articles, new resources, useful stuff, and more.

This newsletter now has its own Twitter account at @buzz_corona , if you want to see individual items as they’re added. I’m only doing one of these newsletters a day so they’re going to be enormous. Wash your hands. I love you.


WAFF: Scholastic creates free, digital hub for students disrupted by coronavirus . “As school closures increase nationwide due to the spread of coronavirus, there is an unprecedented need for supporting our teachers, children, and families in learning. Scholastic has curated a free digital learning hub designed to support virtual learning plans: Scholastic Learn At Home allows open access to daily learning journeys divided into four grade spans—Pre-K–K, Grades 1–2, Grades 3–5, and Grades 6–9+, covering ELA, STEM, Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning.”

MIT Technology Review: Over 24,000 coronavirus research papers are now available in one place.”The news: Today researchers collaborating across several organizations released the Covid-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19), which includes over 24,000 research papers from peer-reviewed journals as well as sources like bioRxiv and medRxiv (websites where scientists can post non-peer-reviewed preprint papers). The research covers SARS-CoV-2 (the scientific name for the coronavirus), Covid-19 (the scientific name for the disease), and the coronavirus group.”

WBIR: ‘Stay vigilant’ | Better Business Bureau announces new website for COVID-19 scams. “The Better Business Bureau started a new website to tackle COVID-19 scams. As the virus spreads, scams related to the virus are becoming more common: price-gouging, travel scams and more.”

KPEL: LA Dept Of Health ‘Heat Map’ Shows Latest COVID-19 Numbers. “A new tool aims to inform the public of the spread of COVID-19 as state health officials work to contain it. The interactive map from the Louisiana Department of Health shows where cases have been confirmed and how many active cases there are.”

Religion News Service: New website shares lists of multi-faith online worship services during pandemic. “The Online Faith Collective was announced Friday and launched Saturday, with dozens of faith communities sharing their worship services – and more are flooding in. ‘With the new reality of closings, faith leaders are finding ways to reach out safely to support and grow their communities through online worship,’ said Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, creator of the project.”


Chambanamoms: 300+ Resources to Keep Kids Entertained and Learning – Online and Off. “Some of them are explicitly learning tools or curricula; others are more along the lines of educational entertainment. (Since we have not personally vetted each resource, the boundary separating learning from entertainment can be pretty difficult to pin down.) We’ve included separate categories for toddler specific activities, for middle/high school audiences, for non-screen indoor activities, for therapy resources, and even a whole category just for online tours. And our final category will help kids get moving while they are stuck indoors (or even outdoors).” Extensive, growing list with tons of stuff I haven’t seen anywhere else. Good.

Cambridge University Press: Cambridge University Press increases coronavirus support for academic customers. “Cambridge University Press is offering free, online access to higher education textbooks and coronavirus research during the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, existing customers are being offered free access to key reference works on request to help them overcome the disruption caused by the global response to the pandemic. All 700 textbooks published and currently available in HTML format on Cambridge Core – the online home of academic books and journals – are available regardless of whether textbooks were previously purchased.”

Cyberbulling Research Center: Coronavirus, Online Learning, Social Isolation, and Cyberbullying: How To Support Our Students. “My university was quick to mandate that professors move all instruction and interaction online, and we know by now that most universities across America have done the same. School districts as well have followed en masse. This is absolutely the right thing to do. But I was just talking with my colleague Randy Ross over at the National School Climate Center about how there will likely be some unintended consequences here which merit our attention and response.”

CNET: Coronavirus alerts: How to get news updates on your phone right now. “You can use sources such as Twitter, Google Alerts and your favorite news sites to receive updates and notifications about where the coronavirus is and what you can do to help keep yourself and your community safe. You can also sign up for text alerts to receive information about how many cases are in your area and what’s closing down, like schools and churches. Read on to learn how to set up for alerts about coronavirus developments.” Basics for most of y’all but might be useful for less tech-savvy people.

News-Press: Florida small businesses impacted by coronavirus can now apply for interest-free loans. “Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday announced the activation of the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program. Florida small businesses with two to 100 employees that suffered an economic loss can apply for up to a $50,000, interest-free loan with a one-year term. The application period runs through May 8.”

Popular Photography: Adobe offering free Creative Cloud tools for students impacted by Coronavirus through May 31. “Through May 31, higher-education and K-12 customers who currently use the Creative Cloud apps through computers in on-campus labs will be able to request temporary at-home access for no additional fee. The request will need to be made by an IT admin though. Details to make the changes can be found here. As educators and students transition to a long-distance learning experience Adobe is also offering a number of curated resources to help educators tailor their curriculum to an out-of-classroom experience.”

Inoreader Blog: Get Free Local COVID-19 Alerts with Inoreader. “We have combined 3 of our best Pro features together for a custom solution that will keep you updated about new cases in your region, new measures from local government bodies, and other critical updates. To begin just click the new orange notification in the sidebar.” Great resource if you’re looking for news in a country you’re unfamiliar with.

PopSugar: 36 Free Educational Websites Parents Can Access While Schools Are Closed. “With a lot of schools shut down for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus outbreak, many parents are finding themselves at home trying to juggle their jobs with raising their kids, which for now includes providing education as well. Although many teachers have sent home work so kids don’t fall behind and some schools are conducting classes online, there’s also a slew of free educational websites and apps at parents’ disposal.”


Reuters: Social media giants warn of AI moderation errors as coronavirus empties offices. “Alphabet Inc’s YouTube, Facebook Inc (FB.O) and Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) warned on Monday that more videos and other content could be erroneously removed for policy violations, as the companies empty offices and rely on automated takedown software during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Times of Oman: New Twitter account for unified updates of COVID-19 in Oman. “The Government Communication Center (GCC) has launched a new Twitter account to update the latest developments in Oman’s fight against COVID-19.”


Which-50: How Hyper-Local Social Media Platforms And AI Are Assisting COVID-19 Prevention Efforts. “As concerns over the coronavirus pandemic grow, Australians are banding together on social platforms to share resources and mitigate the challenges of self-isolation. Medical authorities are also leveraging the platforms to disseminate information more quickly and credibly than in the past.”

The Conversation AU: Why haven’t the Olympics been cancelled from coronavirus? That’s the A$20bn question. “The IOC has also remained resolute the games will go ahead on the scheduled start date of July 24. However, it has scheduled emergency talks with international sporting bodies this week to discuss the actions being taken to respond to the crisis. This is not a decision to take lightly. Cancelling the Tokyo Games would, by some estimates, reduce Japan’s annual GDP growth by 1.4%.”

BBC: L Devine: ‘Coronavirus delayed my tour so I’m touring on social media instead’. “L Devine isn’t the only artist to offer fans an alternative to cancelled or postponed shows. YungBlud streamed a gig on YouTube followed by a live chat, featuring Machine Gun Kelly and Bella Thorne. He encouraged over 200,000 viewers to send pictures of themselves during the set.”

Good Morning America: #Quarantinelife trending across social media. “Welcome to #QuarantineLife. As millions of Americans begin adjusting to staying at home for at least the next several weeks, the hashtag “QuarantineLife” was the top trending topic on Twitter Monday morning.”

New York Times: The Coronavirus Crisis Is Showing Us How to Live Online. “I expected my first week of social distancing to feel, well, distant. But I’ve been more connected than ever. My inboxes are full of invitations to digital events — Zoom art classes, Skype book clubs, Periscope jam sessions. Strangers and subject-matter experts are sharing relevant and timely information about the virus on social media, and organizing ways to help struggling people and small businesses. On my feeds, trolls are few and far between, and misinformation is quickly being fact-checked.”

CNN: Luxury perfume makers Dior and Givenchy will produce free hand sanitizer for French health authorities. “Luxury goods conglomerate LVMH, the parent company of Christian Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy, wants to help French health authorities by manufacturing hand sanitizer and providing it to them for free. LVMH said it will use all the production facilities of its perfumes and cosmetics brands to produce large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel, or hand sanitizer, starting Monday.”

Chemist+Druggist: Simon Dukes: Coronavirus may lead to permanent pharmacy closures. “Financial pressures caused by COVID-19 may cause pharmacies to close permanently unless the government provides a funding boost, PSNC chief executive Simon Dukes has said. The coronavirus outbreak could mean that pharmacies closing due to staff sickness “may not open again”, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) chief executive said on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning (March 16).”

MyLondon: Iceland in Crawley dedicates exclusive shopping slot for elderly amid coronavirus outbreak. “Some Iceland stores across the UK will have dedicated opening hours for the elderly and more vulnerable shoppers to buy their products following the coronavirus outbreak. Iceland said it was not a company-wide policy, but it was allowing individual stores to decide how best to meet the needs of shoppers in their local areas.”


South China Morning Post: Chinese government launches new tech database to help communities fight the coronavirus.”The Chinese government is compiling a database of technologies that can be used to combat the novel coronavirus after its top leadership highlighted the increasing importance of tech in bringing the disease under control at home. Officials have compiled a list of more than 2,000 ‘new technologies’ and their providers, ranging from automatic temperature detection to diagnosis and hospital information systems, according to a post by the Ministry of Science and Technology on Monday.”

AP: AP Exclusive: Coronavirus Vaccine Test Opens With 1st Doses. “With careful jabs in the arms of four healthy volunteers, scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle began an anxiously awaited first-stage study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in record time after the new virus exploded out of China and fanned out across the globe.”

Stanford News: People’s uncertainty about the novel coronavirus can lead them to believe misinformation, says Stanford scholar. “As people increasingly social distance themselves to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, social media is an appealing way to stay in contact with friends, family and colleagues. But it can also be a source of misinformation and bad advice – some of it even dangerously wrong.”


CNN: A coronavirus patient refused to quarantine, so deputies are surrounding his house to force him to. “A Kentucky novel coronavirus patient checked himself out of the hospital against medical advice. So to prevent him from spreading the virus, officials are surrounding his house to keep him there. The 53-year-old man in Nelson County refused to quarantine himself after testing positive for Covid-19, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said.”

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