Tuesday CoronaBuzz, March 24, 2020: 30 pointers to articles, new resources, useful stuff, and more.

Just a reminder that this newsletter is not focused on statistics. I’m trying to aggregate new resources, useful things, and some news that you can share or which might be of some use to you. The political/security stuff is alllll the way at the bottom so you can skip it if you like. 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.


MeriTalk: New CDC Bot Helps Self-Assess COVID-19 Symptoms. “A new website bot from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can help members of the public decide what type of medical care to seek if they are exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus.”

Concrete Playground: Sofa King Fest Is the New Website Curating the Best Music Live-Streams from Across the World. “To help raise money for some of those musicians out of work, a group of global volunteers has created Sofa King Fest. Dubbed an ’emergency response online music and arts benefit festival’, the website is a curation of all the best music live-streams happening around the world — all in one spot, all available to watch from the comfort of your sofa.”

The 74: New Database: Dozens of School Districts Share Their Early Plans for Teaching, Learning and Supports During the Pandemic. Here’s What the Top 12 Systems Are Doing. “…the logistics of getting millions of kids — and also their parents — comfortable with online tools and curricula will be a considerable challenge. So what are districts doing in the face of this unprecedented challenge? A new and evolving public database compiled by the Center on Reinventing Public Education, a research center based at the University of Washington Bothell, is capturing specific district-by-district efforts in transitioning to distance efforts.”

Southern New Hampshire University: Top Education Leaders Release Free Online Resources for Educators, Frontline Workers, and the Public in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic. “SNHU, a national, nonprofit leader in online education, compiled and released a full set of free resources for educators to use as they transition to online instruction. From building an online course, to feedback types and delivery, and how to accommodate for diversity, equity and inclusion in the online classroom, these resources that helped SNHU grow its robust online learning platforms are now available for free to those new to online education. SNHU will be building upon these resources in the coming weeks. SNHU and its partner, K12 Inc. are also releasing a set of online modules for k-12 educators moving to online instruction. The four modules include Basics of Teaching Online, Supporting Students and Their Families, Tools and Technology, and Advanced Topics in Online Instruction.”

CSRWire: COVID-19 Social Media Data Shared in Talkwalker Report (PRESS RELEASE). “Talkwalker, the social listening and analytics company, announces a COVID-19 resource that shares global social media data and insights around the pandemic. The freely available report can be found on the Talkwalker website and will be updated daily to include the most recent information.”

BetaKit: Grassroots Database Launched To Help Unemployed Canadian Startup Workers Amid Covid-19. “Started as a public Google spreadsheet, the ‘Talent Help List,’ as it is being called, allows workers to add themselves and list their skills and the work they are looking for.”


Thrive Global: The Best Online Workouts You Can Stream During Quarantine. “I also want to note that many trainers and studios are individually putting out their own content on Instagram (IGTV and Live) and Facebook Live, so if you usually go to a local studio or have a trainer you love, I highly recommend supporting them too! (A few I’ve noticed in NYC: THE WELL, Yoga Vida, Rumble Boxing, and Swerve.) If you’ve stumbled across this list, I hope it helps you find a new workout you love — and most of all, I hope it brings some semblance of normalcy to you during these crazy times.”

StyleBlueprint: The Mask Movement: How to Help Out From Home. “So with the task of mask-making at hand — and many Americans confined to their homes — now seems like the perfect time to dust off the sewing machine and put those home ec skills to good use. Whether you join a formal group that is uniting in the cause or you simply want to make your own and deliver them to your local healthcare facility, here’s how you can get started.”

WWE Network News: WWE Network Now Offering Free Access To Much Of The Archives For A Limited Time – Includes Wrestlemania, Originals, + More. “The world is chaotic right now, with tough times effecting virtually everyone. With life shut down for so many, some turn to entertainment to help themselves cope. WWE has continued to pump out programs week in and week out, but they are also now offering a large bulk of the WWE Network for free.”

NaNoWriMo: #StayHomeWriMo. “#StayHomeWriMo is an initiative to help your physical, mental, social, and creative well-being. We’ll have seven weekdays of support for you leading up to Camp NaNoWriMo in April, and you can join us regardless of whether you’re planning to write for Camp. Let’s do this (6 feet apart but) together.”

Mashable: Coronavirus is making it even harder for people to access food in America. Here’s how to help.. “…while you’re social distancing, here are six organizations you can support that are working to ensure people can eat while the coronavirus rages on. Each nonprofit has a three or four star rating on Charity Navigator, which evaluates charitable organizations in the U.S.”

News@Northeastern: Unsure What To Do About COVID-19? Take This 60-Minute Course.. “A new online class provides practical, up-to-date, and scientifically proven answers during this threatening time of severe disruption. COVID-19: How to be Safe and Resilient, an hour-long course that is free and accessible to anyone, was launched Friday morning by Northeastern’s Global Resilience Institute. Its purpose is to provide, in one place, a credible, digestible collection of skills to help manage and survive the pandemic.”

MCN: The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Museum Resources, E-Learning, and Online Collections. “If you’re a museum tech enthusiast looking to be part of the conversation, join one of MCN’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs). They are currently free for non-members so more can share resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. This list will be continually updated with examples of museum and museum-adjacent virtual awesomeness. It is by no means exhaustive.” It sure isn’t. Also there isn’t any annotation. But it’s a big ol’ list if you want to go exploring.


USA Today: IOC member says 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed because of coronavirus pandemic. “Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA TODAY Sports on Monday afternoon that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

NextPaw: Google Business Pages for Pet Stores are Temporarily Removing Some Features Due to COVID-19. All retail, really, just the source focuses on pet stores. “Google is temporarily removing some features from Google My Business as a result of limitations caused by the COVID-19 situation.”

WRVO: Syracuse offering interest-free loans to small businesses affected by coronavirus. “As the number of cases of the coronavirus continues to grow across the state and region, businesses in central New York that are suffering because of the outbreak will be able to get some help. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said Thursday the Syracuse Economic Development Corporation will begin offering loans that are interest free for six months, to businesses with less than 50 employees.”


Slashgear: Public warned against DIY COVID-19 treatments after man dies. “Days after news of a potential COVID-19 treatment involving an anti-malarial drug called chloroquine began circulating, Banner Health, a healthcare company that operates hospitals and clinics around the US, has warned the public against DIY health treatments. According to the organization, one person has died and another is in critical condition after consuming the substance.”

Gulf Today: Argentina couple hold a virtual wedding service on social media, amidst coronavirus. “When Argentine couple Diego Aspitia and Sofia Cuggino got engaged to be married a year ago, they set a date in March, but like countless others across the globe, their wedding fell victim to the coronavirus lockdown. Argentina went into a nationwide lockdown last week and faced with a choice of whether or not to go through with their wedding plans, the couple decided to hold a virtual service, with minister, friends and family all looking on via Instagram and Facebook.”

Pitchfork: The Never-Ending Couch Tour: How Livestreams and Social Media Have Already Transformed Live Music. “With much of the concert industry grinding to a halt due to coronavirus concerns, a Twitter search for the phrase ‘Couch Tour’ offers reassurance that live music has already found one comfortable way to exist outside physical venues.”

Washington Post: The arts will recover from the coronavirus, as they did after 9/11. But they might look a lot different.. “As the extent and impact of the coronavirus situation have become ever more clear this week, arts and cultural leaders are dealing with myriad unknowns particular to their fields and specialties. Zoos and natural history museums have living collections that require constant care, no matter what is happening in the outside world. Art museums borrow and loan art. Should they find staff to return borrowed works that are now shuttered inside mostly empty buildings?”

Fortune: Self-quarantined over coronavirus, digital parties are filling the socially distant void. “For the past two Saturday nights, DJ Dayna Solomon spun a mix of family-friendly jams from her home studio in Columbus and streamed it live on Facebook. Anyone could log on to the 30-minute set for a digital dance party, meaning you could groove in your pajamas, wherever you were at the moment. Solomon is one of many people who has been taking the party online, literally.”


Reuters: Google asks users about symptoms for Carnegie Mellon coronavirus forecasting effort. “Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Monday that over the last three days it had surveyed some users about their health at the request of Carnegie Mellon University researchers aiming to forecast the spread of coronavirus infections.”

GitHub: covid-chestxray-dataset. “We are building an open database of COVID-19 cases with chest X-ray or CT images.”

Radio Prague International: Czech Researchers Develop Top-Grade Respirator For 3D Printing. “The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a global scramble for face masks and respirators. Most of the world’s face masks are made in China and Taiwan, which currently find it hard to satisfy demand, and scientists are racing to find alternative sources. A team of researchers at the Czech Institute of Computer Science, Robotics and Cybernetics (CIIRC) has developed a high-grade respirator that can be printed on industrial 3D printers or produced by injection molding technology.”

ZDNet: Tracking the real US coronavirus testing numbers with open source. “Want to know something scary? We really don’t even know how many people have been tested for the coronavirus, never mind how many have it. Despite the Trump administration’s promise of millions of tests and President Donald Trump’s claims that anyone can get tested for COVID-19, it’s clear there’s still not enough tests available. Fortunately, researchers and Atlantic writers are pulling together data from numerous sources and using open-source software to give us the most accurate possible numbers on those tested, those found to be ill, and those who haven’t gotten it.”

WTVD: Coronavirus News: Warmer weather, humidity and COVID-19. “While COVID-19 has been spreading like wildfire in locations like Italy and New York, other areas have seen a much more gradual uptick in cases. Public health policy may very well be stemming the tide of the virus in those places, but the weather could also be playing a role. An early analysis by scientists at MIT has found that the novel coronavirus is spreading more slowly in warmer and more humid climates. At least two other studies have drawn a similar conclusion, including one conducted in China before the aggressive lockdown began.” This is a note of hope, not a license to go outside and be stupid.


Washington Post: U.S. combats martial law conspiracy theories as the National Guard assists in coronavirus response. “The Defense Department’s response to the coronavirus outbreak has expanded to include not only the expected deployment of tens of thousands of National Guardsmen, but also a growing effort to stamp out conspiracy theories that the United States will adopt martial law.”

FBI: School Closings Due to COVID-19 Present Potential for Increased Risk of Child Exploitation. “Due to school closings as a result of COVID-19, children will potentially have an increased online presence and/or be in a position that puts them at an inadvertent risk. Due to this newly developing environment, the FBI is seeking to warn parents, educators, caregivers, and children about the dangers of online sexual exploitation and signs of child abuse.”

Washington Post: U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic. “U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.”

Al Jazeera: Illegal wildlife trade goes online as China shuts down markets. “China’s top e-commerce and express delivery operators are under pressure from the government and wildlife activists to become de facto enforcers of the country’s temporary ban on the trade in wildlife.”

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