Saturday CoronaBuzz, March 21, 2020: 30 pointers to articles, new resources, useful stuff, and more.

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


Google Doc: Publisher Access COVID-19. “More than 30 leading publishers have committed to making all of their COVID-19 and coronavirus-related publications, and the available data supporting them, immediately accessible in PubMed Central (PMC) and other public repositories. This will help to support the ongoing public health emergency response efforts. ”

Reuters: Google launches coronavirus website in the United States. “Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Saturday it launched a United States-focused website with information about coronavirus guidance and testing, as the country works on slowing the spread of the highly contagious virus.”

UMaine News: New online Maine farm products and pick-up directory available. “A new online Maine farm product and pick-up directory is now available. The directory provides information on available local farm products and alternative pick-up options developed by farmers statewide to accommodate the recommended social distancing in light of COVID-19.”

Pacific Business News: Chamber of Commerce Hawaii launches COVID-19 resource website for businesses. “The new microsite will be a hub for Island businesses to exchange information about COVID-19 including impacts, solutions and collaborative efforts. The microsite includes a Frequently Asked Questions page for businesses, a forum for companies to share stories and solutions, and a Q&A feature that will connects business owners with an expert analyst.”

CGTN: Art Basel Hong Kong launches ‘Online Viewing Rooms,’ presenting over 2,000 artworks for free. “Art Basel Hong Kong goes online, for the first time, with its ‘Online Viewing Rooms’ launched on Friday, though this year’s on-site event was called off due to the ‘the severe outbreak and spread of the new coronavirus.’ This year’s edition features 235 premier galleries from 31 countries and territories, showcasing more than 2,000 high-caliber artworks for sale in a wide array of curated online rooms.”


LibraryThing Blog: LibraryThing Is Now Free to All. “Our plan was to go free when we rolled out ‘LT2,’ our upcoming redesign. But the coronavirus has changed our plans, along with everyone else’s. A lot of people are now stranded at home, with nothing to do but read and catalog their books, movies, and music. A lot of kids are at home too—free cataloging help. And with the economy in freefall, many are worried about money. We want everyone to be able to use LibraryThing. This is the right time to go free. So, starting today,, both on the web and using our cataloging app, are free to all, to add as many books as you want. And, no, we’re not going to add ads. (We will keep showing a few Google ads to visitors, but they vanish as soon as you become a member.)”

Robb Report: Michelin-Starred Chef Massimo Bottura Launches Free ‘Kitchen Quarantine’ Cooking Classes on Instagram . “If you ever wanted to sharpen your culinary skills, there may be no better time than now. Not only is preparing a home-cooked meal a happy distraction from a certain world crisis, it’s also nourishing for your body, mind and soul. Lucky for you, one of the world’s best chefs is now serving up free cooking classes directly to your smartphone.”

CNET: 7 free video chat apps to use if you’re social distancing. “Stuck at home due to the coronavirus pandemic? Use these videoconferencing options to keep in touch with family, friends and your workplace.”

Travel+Leisure: Celebrities, Orchestras, and More Are Streaming Live Music to Your Living Room — Here’s How to Listen (Video). ” As a response to the closure of various venues around the world, many museums, national parks, and even zoos are going virtual, giving those at home a chance to enjoy their services from the comfort of their pajamas. But if you’re looking for another, more musical way to tune out the wall-to-wall coronavirus coverage, we come bearing good news.”

Harvard Business Review: Anxiety Is Contagious. Here’s How to Contain It.. “Perhaps the most difficult part of this pandemic is the uncertainty we are all facing. Uncertainty about how contagious and deadly Coronavirus is. Uncertainty about the travel that we have planned. Uncertainty about the economy. Uncertainty about our jobs. Yet, uncertainty can be compared to a virus itself, one that is only adding fuel to the anxious fires burning in many of us. This is because uncertainty triggers the fear centers in our brains. Knowing how this process works, however, can help us take proper countermeasures and develop better mental hygiene.” Thoughtful, gentle, hopeful.


Gizmodo: Google Assistant Now Sings You Through The Proper Way To Wash Your Hands. “As part of a collab with the World Health Organisation, Google announced a new Assistant command Friday to walk (or, rather, sing) users through one of the most basic yet crucial defences against spreading potentially fatal contagions: washing your hands.”


Wicked Local Sharon: Citing COVID-19, some college students are demanding money back. “Framingham State University, like many institutions of higher learning, switched to online courses due to the new coronavirus. That has led to some students demanding a refund, saying they’re not getting what they paid for.”

Hartford Courant: Life in Connecticut goes online with everything from virtual worship services to online fitness and tele-health. “Life in Connecticut has retreated online, as parents, yogis, music lovers and congregants look for community in an increasingly chaotic, isolating world. In the space of a few days, the spread of COVID-19 shut down schools, gyms, movie theaters, churches, temples, mosques, concert venues, AA meetings, cultural centers and nearly everything else.”

Penn Live: Worship goes online – and to the drive-thru – as churches adjust to coronavirus shutdowns. “Like many places across the nation and the world, Pennsylvania has enacted strict restrictions to public gatherings and access to non-vital businesses in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Many of the state’s churches have followed suit. And as those shutdowns continue to affect the various aspects of our lives, many places of worship are doing what most of us have done – looked to the Internet to stay in touch with one another.”

Digital Trends: As coronavirus pushes millions inside, everyone is streaming on Instagram Live. “On Friday morning at around 11 a.m., former Scrubs co-stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison talked about how they each were staying sane during the quarantine mandate in Los Angeles. At the same time, pop star Miley Cyrus chatted with her childhood friend, model Hailey Bieber, about their makeup routines. This was all happening on Instagram Live — where thousands of viewers tuned in to watch rather mundane conversations about rituals and routines play out in real time.”

BBC: Coronavirus: ‘My virtual date sent me £15 for wine’. “Your first date went well, you have a second lined up and suddenly you’re told to stay at home and practice social distancing, what do you do? Well, Cilla Hope’s date sent her £15 on Monzo for a bottle of wine and they spent three hours on video chat getting to know each other and playing drinking games like Never Have I Ever.”

CNN: GameStop says it’s an essential business. Employees are outraged. “Hundreds of GameStop stores around the United States remain open, despite the intensifying coronavirus outbreak and demands from irate employees to close the stores. GameStop locations are still open in several states that have ordered non-essential retail to close, including New York and New Jersey. Starting Friday, the video game retailer began to close stores in California and Pennsylvania. California has been under a statewide shelter-in-place order since Thursday evening.”

News & Observer: ‘Socially distanced’ car bingo provides coronavirus reprieve for one NC community. “Schools and unessential businesses are closed, restaurants and bars are not allowed to serve dine-in customers, many are telecommuting and fewer people are on the road. But 24 cars packed the parking lot of Tavern on the Green Thursday for bingo night.”

Global Government Forum: COVID-19: how European governments are trying to make life easier under lockdown. “In these countries, governments and civil servants are now facing the huge tasks of supporting healthcare systems, maintaining essential services and propping up free-falling economies. But meanwhile, they must work to make it economically and socially sustainable for people to stay in their homes for long periods – providing the income, activities, public information, and access to supplies that will be essential to widespread compliance, public order and morale. Here we take a look at the measures taken by Italy, Spain and France – three of the world’s five worst affected countries, by number of deaths – to ensure that people can feed themselves, work from home, and continue occupying themselves and educating their children.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Rainbow pictures springing up across the country. “Pictures of rainbows have started springing up in windows after schools closed in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Hundreds of schools are encouraging pupils to put up paintings to ‘spread hope’ after a trend started online.”

AP: Confined by virus, Frenchman runs marathon on his balcony. “In the age of confinement, Elisha Nochomovitz figured out a way to run a marathon anyway – back and forth on his balcony. That’s right. He ran 42.2 kilometers (26.2 miles) straight, never leaving his 7-meter-long (23-foot) balcony.”

The Citizen: The Citizen: A Facebook group that started in Harrisonburg connects people across the globe through dance. “With countries banning mass gatherings and governments and health organizations are urging people to practice social distance to stop the spread of COVID-19, people are having to get creative to make contact with each other and unite amid being quarantined. After Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency, one Harrisonburg resident started Dancing Resilience as a virtual dancing community to do just that. The aim of building this online community is to make people feel connected, but in another form, said Katie Mansfield, Dancing Resilience’s founder.”

Pink News: Coronavirus has now cancelled at least 75 major Pride celebrations across the globe. “Pride season in June may be months away, but it has already been massively disrupted by the outbreak of coronavirus. As of today, more than 75 events around the world have been forced to cancel or delay plans, with many more still to be announced. As many as 1,000 Prides were expected to take place in Europe alone.”

The Guardian: ‘Over one hour everything was cancelled’ – how coronavirus devastated the film industry. “This time last week, it still seemed feasible the film industry might weather coronavirus. Only a handful of big-name blockbusters had been postponed in the UK and US, Cannes remained bullish and box office numbers weren’t wobbling too much. By Monday, the picture was radically cracked.”

ArmyTimes: Flooded hotlines, cancelled leave and isolation hits soldiers amid coronavirus pandemic. “Leave is cancelled, soldiers are quarantined, training is nixed and families are left in limbo as the Pentagon braces for the novel coronavirus. Though the measures are understandable — and even advisable — soldiers’ lives have been upended.”


IFL Science: World’s Fastest Supercomputer Joins The Battle Against COVID-19. “Biophysicists at the University of Tennessee have used the IBM-built supercomputer SUMMIT to sift through thousands of molecules and find potential compounds that could be used as a new drug against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the current COVID-19 pandemic. After a couple of days of calculations, the supercomputer managed to find at least 77 compounds that indicate they could potentially help to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from invading human cells.”

The Next Web: This AI system listens to coughs to learn where the coronavirus is spreading. “A new AI-powered system monitors coughing sounds to understand where the coronavirus is spreading. The FluSense device first detects coughing and crowd sizes in real-time. It then analyzes the data to predict the progress of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.”


House Beautiful: There’s a new Instagram account dedicated to dogs working from home during the coronavirus crisis. “Created during the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, the new account features pups from all around the world and shows how they have been adjusting to having their owners at home with them. From wearing office attire (tie and glasses), to navigating a laptop, it proves this one thing: it’s not only us adults who have been adjusting to a temporary new workspace.”

Daily Hive: Calgary mom creates Instagram account to feature homemade forts. “Michelle Alexander was home with her two-year-old for the first time in a while, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was hunting for activities to keep her baby busy. “I felt like we were blowing through activities one after the other,’ Alexander explained in a phone interview with Daily Hive. ‘So we built a fort and it ended up entertaining our two-year-old for more than three minutes.'”


CNET: Coronavirus pandemic changes how your privacy is protected. “As the coronavirus pandemic gets worse, privacy commissioners are lifting data restrictions for health officials to keep track of the outbreak. A review of policy changes around the world shows that data protection agencies are prioritizing lives over privacy, and it could be a sign of what’s to come for the US.”

CoronaBuzz is brought to you by ResearchBuzz. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment, send resource suggestions, or tag @buzz_corona on Twitter. Thanks!

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1 reply »

  1. Tara, thank you, thank you for allt he extra effort your are putting into your two blogs. I’ve got that John’s Hopins world-wide virus stat page, and it is anxiety provoking. I am a scientist, so I can look at this as fact; but here in the New York City area we need a lot.

    Keep up your good health and all of your great work; you do not need to respond to this, just keep on truckin!


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