Thursday CoronaBuzz, April 2, 2020: 34 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Lots of good stuff in the New Resources section today. I’m only doing one of these newsletters a day so they’re going to be enormous. Wash your hands and stay at home as much as you can. I love you.


Analytics India: Google Launches India-Specific Website To Provide Up-to-date Covid-19 Information. “Amid this COVID-19 pandemic, in order to deliver comprehensive and accurate information to people, Google has launched an India-specific website on coronavirus. The site also shares information on how to stay productive during this time. Alongside, the website contains critical information that is required during this crisis, such as crucial helpline numbers, content about symptoms, protective measures, known treatments, and the latest global and Indian statistics.”

Facilities Management Journal: New database launched to keep UK supply chains moving. “The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) has set up a database for organisations in urgent need of supply chain resources, to ensure the UK is able to respond to the coronavirus crisis. The database has been made up from information provided by industry, following CILT’s call to action for cross sector collaboration, to support the profession in making sure supply chains are able to respond quickly and efficiently to the ever changing landscape currently being faced.”

PassBlue: A New Tool Tracks Government Policies Responding to the Pandemic. “As the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, plagues the world, a new tool to track and compare how government policies are contending with the pandemic has been introduced by the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government, in England. Called the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, it is available online at no cost and will be continuously updated ‘throughout the crisis,’ the press release introducing the tracker said. It launched on March 24, and now has data from 93 countries, including Britain, Canada, China, South Korea, Italy and the United States, some of the world’s hardest-hit nations by the pandemic.”

Yale News: New tool helps policymakers address COVID-19. “Led by Yale alumnus Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins ’13, D-Alaska, a team of data scientists and epidemiologists created a new digital tool examining the potential stresses of COVID-19 on state health care systems given different scenarios of intervention.”

KRON: Hasbro launches website to keep families busy during pandemic. “Hasbro wants to bring fun to families sitting out the pandemic together. The toy company is pointing parents and caregivers to its new website… where you will be able to find ideas and activities to keep kiddos occupied and entertained. The website also features resources to help families cope with stress, parenting articles and activity guides for parents and their children.”

JCK: New Website Rates Corporations’ Ethics During Coronavirus Pandemic. “The site has a single purpose—assigning ratings to companies (Target, General Electric, etc.), celebs and influencers (Gal Gadot, Andrew Yang), and corporate titans (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates) during the COVID-19 crisis by taking into account a wide range of do-goodery and bad behaviors.”

KOAM: New website in Kansas aimed to connect residents with jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 jobs site… allows employers from essential industries to post critical positions that need to be filled to support activities related to helping individuals and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. The site, which is available at no cost to employers or job seekers, will be updated continuously as businesses add new jobs to the system.”

Gulf Times: Covid-19: QMC launches new website in English. “Within the framework of Qatar’s efforts to combat the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Qatar Media Corporation (QMC) has launched a new digital platform in English.”

StateScoop: A new website matches cities with pandemic help, but many aren’t ready for partnerships. “Jay Nath, co-CEO of the San Francisco-based civic technology nonprofit CityInnovate, was one of many last week to lend his services to local governments dealing with the spread of the novel coronavirus. But as Nath and his team quickly found out, some cities are spread too thin to even consider third-party solutions to resource shortages or technical assistance during the pandemic, which has so far killed more than 4,600 people in the U.S.”

Stanford News: New website explains how hospitals can decontaminate and reuse scarce N95 masks to fight COVID-19. “Today, a team of 60 scientists and engineers, students and clinicians, drawn from universities and the private sector, are unveiling, a website that synthesizes the scientific literature about mask decontamination to create a set of best practices to decontaminate and reuse this protective face covering during the current emergency.”


Hypable: J.K. Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter at Home’ digital hub offers resources for children and parents. “Harry Potter at Home combines the resources of publishers Bloomsbury and Scholastic, Pottermore Publishing, leading spoken-word producer and provider Audible, library supplier OverDrive, and the content creators at”

Elle: How To Get The Most Out Of Video Call Apps So You Can Have All The Fun With Friends And Family From Zoom backgrounds, through to Houseparty games. “Before we begin, let’s all spare a thought for the new-to-filter-tech boss that got stuck looking like a potato the entire way through a Microsoft Teams call with her colleagues. Thanks mostly to Snapchat, putting filters on our faces before we call, send messages or post online has become totally de rigueur, whether to hide tired eyes behind a face-tuned, wide eyed Manga filter, or to provide the viewer a few laughs by appearing as a puppy, bunny, pumpkin or, now, pickle.”

News@Northeastern: Here’s How To Combat The Fear Caused By A Barrage Of Covid-19 News. “By now, much of the world is under some form of isolation in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19—a worthwhile effort, but one that can create some emotional distress, as well. The constant inundation of emotionally fraught images and information about the disease can drive a dramatic increase in our sense of fear, giving our minds the impression that we’re under constant threat, says David DeSteno, a psychology professor at Northeastern.”

TechRadar: Best virtual pub quiz: a great live online quiz for every day of the week. “We’re not exactly short of things to do at home right now, but one thing that Doom Eternal can’t provide is the human touch of a good old pub quiz. The solution? Our pick of the best virtual quizzes. Whether your preferred digital home is Instagram, Facebook, YouTube or Twitch, we’ve rounded up the best live online quizzes for those who want to show off their obscure knowledge to friends who are either quarantined in the same room, or just a Zoom or Houseparty call away.”

Bloomsburg University: Bloomsburg University to Host a Virtual Self-Care Summit. “Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania will hold a virtual self-care summit from April 5-10. The summit will give individuals the tools to manage stress, anxiety, and overall better self-care during challenging times. The event is free and open to the public and will be live streamed through Zoom and the Access and Success Facebook page .”

SmartBrief: Free resources for educators during the coronavirus pandemic. “As educators in all 50 states shifted, rather abruptly, to virtual instruction amid school closures brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, companies and organizations serving this market stepped up to help. Here is a list of free tools, services and resources — divided by topic or subject area — aimed at helping educators keep their students learning and engaged. And don’t miss the And More section with links to even more curated lists of fabulous freebies and guides. We will update this story as more announcements break.” Nice roundup.


Free Press: £5m coronavirus fund for musicians runs dry after a week. “A £5 million hardship fund set up to tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on UK musicians has run dry after a week. The initiative, launched by the Help Musicians charity on March 25, has so far received 10,000 applications.”


Refinery29: April Fools’ Day Is Cancelled — Which Means No Internet Pranks, Folks. “At a time full of so much uncertainty, fear, isolation, and grief, the last thing we need circulating the internet are coronavirus-related pranks that could cause confusion or further spread the already rampant misinformation floating around about COVID-19. And what with everything else being cancelled due to coronavirus, why should April Fools’ Day be exempt? In some countries, including Thailand and India, making April Fools’ Day jokes about coronavirus or joking about having it can even be punishable by jail time.”

BBC: How to dine ‘out’ during Covid-19 . “All over the world, people affected by the coronavirus pandemic are turning to the internet and finding food-related ways to navigate this new territory together.”

Pace Chronicles: International student struggles with time zone changes amid virtual learning. “Pace’s remote-learning announcement created questions among students as the system has never been tested before. But for some international students, the situation is more complex. They turn on their computers despite their local time being far different than the Pace class times.”

Civil Eats: The Local Food Revolution Goes Online—for Now. “As peak harvest season approaches, growers have been scrambling to move their sales online, where orders can be fulfilled without face-to-face interaction, either for through traditional community supported agriculture (CSA) boxes or other creative models. At the same time, groups that support local food economies have also been working to direct consumers to these new systems so that they can continue to buy local food from home.”

France24: Social dis-dance: clubbing goes online as virus shuts nightspots. “Strobe lights flash across a near-empty dance floor, as a DJ live-streams thumping electronic music from a Singapore nightclub to revellers confined to their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak sweeping the globe has shuttered once lively nightspots from London to New York, but innovative DJs have started putting their performances online so clubbers don’t miss out.”

NPR: No Caps, No Gowns: For Many In The Class Of 2020, Commencement Is Called Off. “Administrators and college presidents are scrambling to figure out what to do about graduation this year. How can they acknowledge students’ hard work and success, while still maintaining social distancing amid the outbreak of coronavirus? Many colleges across the country have outright cancelled graduations, others, such as Harvard and Miami University in Ohio, have scheduled virtual ceremonies. Some students have taken things into their own hands and created their own ceremonies — on a reconstructed campus — through Minecraft.”

Indiana History Blog: Coping with Quarantine in a Pre-Digital Era. Read this and marvel over how much feels familiar. “At the height of World War I, Spanish Influenza ravaged Hoosier servicemen and servicewomen. Fortunately, city and health officials acted quickly in the fall of 1918, resulting in Indianapolis having one of the lowest casualty rates in the country, according to IHB historian Jill Weiss Simins. But how were Hoosiers’ daily lives impacted by the dread malady? As we can now relate, the public was consumed with news reports about the pandemic and resultant quarantine, which we will re-examine here via and the freely-accessible Hoosier State Chronicles.”

AsiaOne: New Instagram pages dedicated to safe distancing markers pasted across Singapore. “Safe-distancing markers have essentially become an art form of its own, really, and now we’re all hardwired to position ourselves away from anything that’s been duct-taped. The surreal decor of our new reality is the focus of a new Instagram page…dedicated entirely to being a visual record of safe-distancing markers found across Singapore.”

London Free Press: No elevators or hugs: Coronavirus survivor now battling stigma. “Park Hyun stops to catch his breath after climbing a few steps to the entrance of the engineering college of the Pusan National University where he teaches. Despite a persistent shortness of breath, he uses the stairs and avoids elevators. Park was Busan’s ‘Patient 47,’ one of more than 5,000 South Koreans who have recovered from a coronavirus infection. But 25 days after testing negative for the second time, he is in a new battle – against the stigma of having had the virus.”

CNBC: How the Burning Man community is helping to get masks and other supplies to hospitals. “It’s still uncertain whether Burning Man, the annual arts festival held in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, will operate this summer. But Burners are still gathering, albeit virtually, to donate supplies like masks for hospitals and others in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Men’s Health: Virtual Orgies Are Now a Thing and They’re as Wild as They Sound. “On a recent Saturday night, while you were hopefully self-isolating and watching Netflix, 60 people hit the internet to join a virtual orgy. The sex party was thrown by Shay and Ross, founders of Playscapes, a NYC-based sex club that describes itself as ‘an elite group of sex positive curated events for your entertainment and pleasure.'”

Pelham Daily Voice: COVID-19: What’s A Covidiot? Why’s It Trending On Social Media?. “The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has led to sweeping changes across the country, and now, even a new term: ‘covidiot.’ According to Urban Dictionary, a covidiot is ‘someone who ignores the warnings regarding public health or safety. A person who hoards goods, denying them from their neighbors.'”


USDA: Rural Development Project Uses 3D Printing in Fight against COVID-19 Spread. “As Kentucky does its best to battle the spread of COVID-19, state officials and medical providers have been looking for ways to answer the increasing need for medical personal protective equipment. One of those responding in a big way here in Kentucky is a somewhat unlikely source: Somerset Community College.”


CNET: Coronavirus stimulus scams are here. How to identify these new online and text attacks. “As with any public crisis, the spread of the coronavirus has created a new crop of hackers — targeting people who are awaiting their stimulus check, who are working from home and who are just trying to stay healthy. Add in April Fools’ Day and you need to be on guard against all kind of scams and misinformation found online, in your email inbox and even in your text messages.”

Reuters: ‘Things under control’: how Europe sleepwalked into the coronavirus crisis. “Barely a month before Europe embarked on a scramble for masks, ventilators and testing kits to fight coronavirus, governments told Brussels their healthcare systems were ready and there was no need to order more stocks, EU documents show. This rosy assessment is in stark contrast to the shortages of masks and medical equipment just a few weeks later, when the European Commission estimated needs across EU states to be 10 times higher than would usually be available.”

The Nation: Exclusive: The Military Knew Years Ago That a Coronavirus Was Coming. “Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions that the Covid-19 epidemic was ‘unforeseen’ and ‘came out of nowhere,’ the Pentagon was well aware of not just the threat of a novel influenza, but even anticipated the consequent scarcity of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation.”

ABC7 News: Beverly Hills Police Department finds 192 rolls of toilet paper in stolen vehicle. “After conducting a traffic stop on a stolen vehicle, the Beverly Hills Police Department found something unexpected… 192 rolls of toilet paper.”

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