Friday CoronaBuzz, March 20, 2020: 23 pointers to articles, new resources, useful stuff, and more.

This newsletter now has its own Twitter account at @buzz_corona , but Twitter has so far twice turned it off for “suspicious activity” or some damn thing. Apparently confirming my phone number is meaningless. I’ll keep trying to keep it on. I’m only doing one of these newsletters a day so they’re going to be enormous. Wash your hands. I love you.


CNET: Instagram creates gift card site to help restaurants during lockdown. “Mike Krieger, co-founder of social media platform Instagram, is working to help keep funds flowing to restaurants impacted by the coronavirus. His new site SaveOurFaves sells gift certificates to a directory of Bay Area restaurants and coffee shops. Visitors can search for restaurants by name or neighborhood location.” Do one nationally!

KPIX: Bay Area Website Launched to Document Anti-Asian Hate Crimes in Wake of COVID-19. “In an effort to quantify and combat hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders stemming from people’s reaction to the novel coronavirus pandemic, a coalition of civil rights groups has set up a web page where victims can report such incidents.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Nevada’s total of COVID-19 cases climbs to 95. “New data shows that Nevadans age 30 to 39 have tested positive for the new coronavirus more than any other age group in the state, followed by those age 60 to 69, according to a new website launched by state government.”

Kazakh TV: Kazakhstan Launches New Website with Necessary Information on Coronavirus. “The website provides all the useful information on the prevention of the disease and the recommendations for people, who start noticing the suspicious symptoms. All data is presented as infographics and pictures, which are allowed for downloading and sharing.

KSL TV: Utah Restaurants Launch Web Site During Dining Shutdown. “Restaurants in Utah have banded together to spread the word that they are still offering take-out meals, even while in-person dining in prohibited because of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Cornell Chronicle: Cornell creates detailed COVID-19 website for food industry. “To keep New York’s food processing industry safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cornell’s Institute for Food Safety has created a comprehensive, practical and convenient website for commercial processors: Food Industry Resources for Coronavirus (COVID-19).”

WBIW: Indiana 211 Adding Resources to Assist Hoosiers in Need with COVID-19. “Indiana 211 is adding additional resources for Hoosiers in need of assistance connecting with health and human services agencies in their local communities. Indiana 211 has created a new website to serve as a clearinghouse of information on COVID-19 resources. The organization is also adding 20-30 new navigators to handle the increased call volume.”

BusinessWire: USAFacts Coronavirus Data Hub and Map Tracking the Daily Spread of the Virus in Every U.S. County Is Now Live (PRESS RELEASE). “USAFacts, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan civic initiative providing the most comprehensive and understandable single source of government data, today announced its USAFacts Coronavirus Hub and Map. This frequently updated resource tracks the daily spread of COVID-19 in every county across the United States, with a growing trove of information detailing the local effects of the virus.”


BetaNews: The software that’s being made available free to help with home working during the COVID-19 crisis. “Last week we reported that Zoho was making its Remotely suite free until July to help people and businesses cope with the current COVID-19 unpleasantness. Since then many other companies have announced similar schemes to make their products available free to help businesses and individuals with isolation and home working. This is a round up of the ones we know about, if there are others you’re aware of feel free to add them in the comments.” Big ol’ list.

CNET: Baseball by Ken Burns streaming for free. “Welcome back to your guide to finding out what’s new online. Every week, we put together a podcast that lets you know what’s been added to services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Now. The audio is about a minute or two long.” Unfortunately I could not find a transcript.

SportBusiness: Fifa opens video archive to serve fans in isolation. “Fifa has opened up its match archive across its owned and social media channels and is allowing broadcast partners access to archive rights to fill their schedules during the Covid-19 outbreak. A #WorldCup@Home social media campaign will offer fans the ability to vote to watch more than 30 games from the Fifa World Cup and Fifa Women’s World Cup in full – the first time any of the matches have been available online.”


CNET: Twitter will require users to remove tweets that could increase the spread of coronavirus. “Under the new guidance, which takes effect today, the social network will bar tweets that go against the recommendations of local and global health authorities or encourage the use of ineffective or harmful treatments. Some of the examples Twitter provided included tweets that state, ‘social distancing is not effective’ and ‘if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds, you do not have coronavirus.'”

BetaNews: Donald Trump’s White House launches Coronavirus (COVID-19) Roku channel. “The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is everywhere — both figuratively and literally. The virus is on all of Earth’s continents (with the exception of Antarctica), and it is also dominating the media. Quite frankly, it is hard to turn on the TV, listen to the radio, or surf the web without being bombarded with gloomy virus news. With all of that said, the last thing we need is a TV channel dedicated to Coronavirus, but here we are.”

Wired: WhatsApp Is at the Center of Coronavirus Response. “THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC is impacting communities around the world. For the 2 billion of those people who also use the encrypted communication service WhatsApp, now more than ever is a time for calling, messaging, and seeking trustworthy information. So the World Health Organization is going where the people are, launching a new tool called WHO Health Alert on WhatsApp today.”


CNET: Uber, Lyft drivers demand more protection from coronavirus. “As the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, Uber and Lyft drivers in California are asking both companies to do more to protect them. A coalition of drivers released a list of demands Thursday asking the ride-hailing services to take immediate steps to help ensure their safety.”

Arizona State University: Curating a pandemic. “From ancient cave paintings depicting epic hunts to modern-day Instagram posts boasting avocado toast brunches, it’s a natural human inclination to document our lives — one that becomes even stronger when we are faced with a shared global crisis.” I have mentioned the Omeka site in the article already, but this is some good behind the scenes stuff.

BBC: Coronavirus: Government to pay up to 80% of workers’ wages. “The government will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a radical move aimed at protecting people’s jobs. It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.”


FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Issues Guidance for Conducting Clinical Trials. “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a guidance for industry, investigators and institutional review boards conducting clinical trials during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The FDA recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact the conduct of clinical trials of medical products, including drugs, devices and biological products.”

CNET: Fever-tracking smart thermometers may trace the spread of COVID-19. “COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus responsible for a global pandemic, has some telltale symptoms, including fever. A network of smart thermometers made by health tech company Kinsa has produced an eye-opening view of how fevers are spreading across the US.”

BBC: F1 teams aim for coronavirus ventilator plan ‘in next few days’. “Formula 1 teams are aiming to work out a plan to increase the supply of medical equipment to fight coronavirus within a few days. F1 and the teams are working with the UK government and health authorities to produce more ventilators, which are needed in intensive care units.”

BetaKit: DNAstack Launches New Tool To Help Scientists Share Genomic Data On Covid-19. “DNAstack has launched a new tool for scientific and medical communities to share and discover knowledge about the genetics of COVID-19 (coronavirus). The tool, which is being called the COVID-19 Beacon, is available on DNAstack’s website.”


Geeks Are Sexy: Funny PSA by Weird Al Yankovic: Germs and You. “Here’s some important information about germs and how to avoid them. It may look like a vintage government educational film, but this is a new video by Weird Al Yankovic, who repurposed old clips to construct something truly bizarre.” Dark humor, but if you like MST3K and especially MST3K shorts, do not miss this.


CNET: Craigslist must remove posts that profit off coronavirus fears, NY AG says. “New York Attorney General Letitia James demanded that Craigslist remove posts attempting to illegally profit off of consumers’ coronavirus fears. James said she’s also calling for assurance that the company has policies in place to stop scammers.”

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