Wednesday CoronaBuzz, March 18, 2020: 30 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.


KHQ: Washington state has a new website for coronavirus information. “The website provides coronavirus-related information for employees, families, schools, travelers, businesses, childcare and other state resources. This includes resources for dealing with stress, coronavirus basics, financial resources, information for women who are pregnant or nursing and more.”

KDVR: New website tracks coronavirus cases in Colorado; statewide total now at 183. “The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched a new website Tuesday with information about coronavirus cases in the state. The CDPHE also said the current number of confirmed positive cases in Colorado is now 183.”

WREX: Illinois launches new COVID-19 website. “Illinois has launched a new website dedicated to the new coronavirus. Governor JB Pritzker announced the new website on Wednesday.”

KGET: California launches new website to increase COVID-19 awareness. “Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday announced the launch of a new website highlighting steps people can take to stay healthy and the resources available to Californians impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. The website…includes volunteer opportunities, public service announcements, social media messages and other videos.”

Londonist: Support Independent Businesses During The Coronavirus Crisis With The Help Of This Handy New Website. “This new website maps independent shops, restaurants, and cafes that offer gift cards. Buy one, and your favourite florist, taproom, or boutique will get some much-need revenue straight away — and you’ve got a treat to look forward to once everything has calmed down a bit.” Unlike many sites I’ve seen popping up, this site looks like it wants to go worldwide. I checked it out and saw listings in several different countries.

Tandon School of Engineering: Scientists answer coronavirus questions on new website. “Available in English and Spanish, ‘Ask a Scientist,’ allows users to find answers to a wide range of commonly asked questions about the virus, the severity of the outbreak, best methods of prevention, and steps to take in the event you fall ill. All posted content is obtained from the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other rigorously verified sources.”

BusinessWire: Epic Announces Free Support for Educators, Students and Families Impacted by COVID-19 School Closures (PRESS RELEASE). “In an effort to support educators, families and students impacted during COVID-19 school closures around the world, Epic today announced that they are providing all educators and librarians the ability to offer students remote access to the platform for FREE through the end of the school year, June 30, 2020, with no credit card required. Epic—the leading digital playground built for unmatched safety, discoverability and fun, reaching 20 million kids—is committed to empowering teachers across the globe with the opportunity to keep students reading and learning remotely during these uncertain times.”

EdScoop: New website indexes free edtech resources during health crisis. “To support the continuity of education for students who can no longer attend classes due to the spread of COVID-19, technology companies have built a repository of free services available to teachers and students during the heath crisis, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced Wednesday.”


Publishers Weekly: How Kids’ Lit Is Responding to the Coronavirus. “With widespread school and library closures due to the new coronavirus outbreak, children’s authors and publishers are going digital to provide kids with ways to read, draw, engage, and support other children who might need a helping hand. PW is tracking some of the most exciting efforts on social media and across the web, and will be updating our list regularly.”

ColLive: Largest Online Seforim Database Now Free. “Bored at home? Have access to thousands of seforim at your fingertips, for free. Otzar HaHochma, the world’s largest digital library containing more than 100,000 Judaica books, is now available free of charge.”

PBS: 19 immersive museum exhibits you can visit from your couch. “Experts have called for ‘social distancing’ — the broad, conscious effort to avoid close contact with other people or public places — amid the global novel coronavirus pandemic to limit the transmission of the virus. As communities scale back the size of their gatherings, or stop meeting all together, many museums are temporarily shut down as a precautionary measure. But that doesn’t mean their collections and other online art exhibits can’t be viewed from home.”

The News Minute: ACK Comics and Tinkle give free subscription to engage kids in COVID-19 times. “Several children across India are stuck at home, thanks to schools closing early over the coronavirus pandemic. There is an air of uncertainty over when school will start again, and many families have also put their vacation plans on hold. Given the circumstances, ACK Media, which owns Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle comics, has decided to bring some cheer to the children. The entire digital collection of the comics is now available for free for a period of 30 days on the ACK Comics and Tinkle mobile apps, to help children cope with the gloomy situation.”

Everybody’s Libraries: Welcome to everybody’s online libraries. “Many libraries have provided online information for years, through our own websites, electronic resources that we license, create, or link to, and other online services. During this crisis, as our primary forms of interaction move online, many of us will be working hard to meet increased demand for digital materials and services (even as many library workers also have to cope with increased demands and stresses on their personal lives). Services are likely to be in flux for a while. I have a few suggestions for the near term.”

WRAL: Free online COVID-19 classes taught by experts. “The coronavirus pandemic has provided us many quick lessons in biology, epidemiology and most the basic math behind why working from home and moving classes online helps limit the spread. It has also introduced a lot of stress. If you are like me, you address the stress by learning more about the thing that is causing the stress, especially from the experts. Free online courses are available covering COVID-19 and related epidemiology and public health topics, lasting from an hour to several weeks.”

WRAL: Planet Fitness offering FREE online at-home workouts starting March 16. “Planet Fitness is offering FREE online at-home workouts that will be streaming starting March 16. They are open to anyone, including non-members! The workouts will be live-streamed on their Facebook page at 7 pm ET each day. They will also be available to watch later, if you cannot join in the live stream.”


The Verge: Nextdoor adds features to help neighbors during the coronavirus crisis. “Nextdoor, the social networking app designed around local communities, is launching a new interactive map to let neighbors offer help to one another during the novel coronavirus outbreak. Called Help Map, the tool lets you mark yourself as available to help with anything from grocery shopping to child care. It will be available in the US starting today and will come to international markets later this week.”

Good E Reader: Penguin Random House discounting ebooks and audiobooks to libraries. “Penguin Random House knows that many physical library branches are closing and the only way people can access content is digitally. The world’s largest publisher has announced that it is discounting audiobooks and ebooks across to the board through all of their wholesale distributors such as Overdrive.”

CBS News: Thousands flock to Florida beaches, ignoring coronavirus concerns. “Thousands of people in Florida are seemingly ignoring social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus outbreak. Despite warnings from public health experts, photos and videos show beaches across the state packed with spring breakers.”


TheaterMania: Need Your Theater Fix? Check Out This New Instagram. “…how is a theatermaniac to cope with such an indefinite pause in live performances? A trio of artists have offered a creative solution: Lily Houghton, Ali Stoner, and Matthew Minnicino have created the new Instagram account Theatre Without Theater to ensure that the art of stagecraft will go on, even though the physical spaces in which it is typically practiced are now shuttered.”

Epicurious: Okay Google, I Love You. “At the start of my isolation, I began by giving my Google Home the usual pre-apocalyptic demands while I cooked: Hey Google, play NPR. Hey Google, play Kacey Musgraves. Hey Google, play Who? Weekly podcast. Slowly, delicately, I began to ask for more. I asked Google to remind me of the proper internal temperature for a chicken thigh. I asked Google how to tell if your commercial yeast was still active. I needlessly made the robot tell me the differences between the types of cinnamon just to hear her speak.”

Los Angeles Times: Amid coronavirus outbreak, drive-in theaters unexpectedly find their moment. “Drive-in theaters have long been viewed as an anachronistic diversion — perhaps worthy of an occasional visit, if that. Now, though, several among the country’s 305 drive-in theaters are experiencing a surge in interest amid the closure of other entertainment options because of social distancing efforts and governmental advisories during the coronavirus outbreak.”

Marie Claire: ‘Working From Home Fits’ Is The Wholesome New Instagram Account You Need To Follow. “With most of the world in lockdown and self-quarantined to stop the spread of COVID-19, an emerging new fashion trend has come to light. Titled the ‘work from home fit’, social media users globally are sharing what they’re wearing as their daily work uniform – including, but not limited to, dressing up for no reason, mismatched shoes and non-work appropriate tees, luxurious two-piece sets and pyjamas.”

ARTNews: As Art Schools Cancel Student Shows, One Instagram Account Pledges to Give Them Life. “As the novel coronavirus spreads through all 50 states, university life has been disrupted at all levels, with low-income and international students hit hardest. Hundreds of thousands of students have left campuses, classes have moved online, and at some schools, B.F.A. and M.F.A. exhibitions—seen as the culmination of art students’ education—are being canceled. The fast-developing news has left young artists, many of whom will graduate in May (some sans ceremony), feeling frustrated, confused, and helpless in an unprecedented moment. Now, many are finding some solace in a new Instagram account that is soliciting and posting artworks from B.F.A. and M.F.A. thesis shows amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

TVLine: TV’s Coronavirus Crisis: Which Shows Are Facing Shortened Seasons? And Which Series Had Already Wrapped?. “For some programs — quite a few of them, actually — the news is good. Modern Family, for instance, had already wrapped work on its 11th and final season before one production after another began shutting down. And having completed taping on Season 3, The Masked Singer had closed up its bonkers wardrobe closet until next time around.”

DCist: Local News Outlets Face Existential Threat Amid Coronavirus-Related Drop In Revenue. “Even as local news outlets are seeing record traffic on their websites, one of their main revenue sources is drying up. Advertising for area events and establishments is nearly non-existent thanks to the coronavirus-related cancellations and closures. Media outlets are reacting to the sudden change with layoffs, pay cuts, and calls for reader support.”


Yale News: Amid coronavirus crisis, Yale scientists find useful tool in Twitter. “Before COVID-19 became a massive global health threat, Yale epidemiology professor Nathan Grubaugh mainly relied on Twitter as a direct line of communication with fellow scientists, especially if he wanted a fast response to a scientific inquiry…. But as the new respiratory infection spread across the globe from China to South Korea to Italy and then to the United States, media outlets noticed Grubaugh’s comments on the social media platform and turned to him for insights.”

3D Printing Media Network: [Updating] Italian hospital saves Covid-19 patients lives by 3D printing valves for reanimation devices. “Many have been asking what the implications of the current Covid-19 pandemic are going to be on additive manufacturing as an industry. The relationship between coronavirus and 3D printing is not entirely clear, mostly because we are very far from understanding what the long, medium and even short terms implications of the pandemic are going to be on global supply chains.”

Live Science: How one small Italian town cut coronavirus cases to zero in just a few weeks. “A small Italian town appears to have drastically reduced coronavirus infections — reaching zero cases last week — after implementing an aggressive tactic to curb spread, according to news reports. The town, Vo Euganeo, in northern Italy, saw a cluster of cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the third week of February and was home to the country’s first death from COVID-19, on Feb. 21, according to The Straits Times.”

Nursing Clio: Plague in the Age of Twitter. “As someone who works mostly on early modern England, my thoughts these days have been on what life might have been like during plague outbreaks. London did not have an easy go of things in the early seventeenth century. The bubonic plague had returned with a vengeance and the rapidly growing city was hit by outbreak after outbreak. 1592, 1603, 1625, 1630, 1636, 1637 — summer after summer, theaters closed, streets emptied, and those who could fled to the country. And as bad as these years were, they were all prologue to the worst of it. In 1665, the city was rocked by a final major outbreak, known later as simply the Great Plague.”


Bloomberg: The Coronavirus Could Offer Tech Companies’ a Shot at Redemption. “As the coronavirus pandemic tears through the U.S., money is already flowing in from Silicon Valley heavyweights. Bill Gates has pledged more than $100 million from his family foundation to fight the disease. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has put money toward new equipment to try to quadruple Covid-19 testing in the California Bay Area. And Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has teamed up with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and other Silicon Valley notables to donate more than $5 million to feed impacted families.”

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