Saturday CoronaBuzz, April 4, 2020: 30 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Wash your hands and stay at home as much as you can. Please be careful. I love you.


CNBC: New Google site shows where people in a community are taking social distancing seriously — and where they’re not. “The COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports web site will show population data trends of six categories: Retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. The data will track changes over the course of several weeks, and as recent as 48-to-72 hours prior, and will initially cover 131 countries as well as individual counties within certain states.” The reports are in PDF format.

WCCO: Coronavirus In MN: Gov. Tim Walz Unveils New COVID-19 Website. “On the website, the Minnesota COVID-19 Public Dashboard section shows the latest on virus cases in the state and breaks down the data…. There’s also a section on Minnesota’s COVID-19 Response and Preparation Capacity. This section shows the status of critical care supplies, ICU beds and ventilators. There’s also information on the number of tests conducted and how social distancing has decreased freeway traffic.”

ABA Journal: Afternoon Briefs: Find COVID-19 resources on new ABA website; law firms aid coronavirus fight. “The ABA Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic is providing lawyers with resources on a new website. The online clearinghouse includes information on emerging legal issues, court access, public benefits, practice tools and pro bono mobilization.”

USDA: USDA Announces Online Tool to Help Families Find Meals for Kids During COVID-19 Emergency . “The ‘Meals for Kids’ interactive map directs people to local sites where kids can get free meals. The site finder currently lists more than 20,000 meal sites from 23 states, and more sites will be added as states submit data each week. The map is available in both English and Spanish at .”

The Mandarin: Academies join forces to launch COVID-19 expert database. “On Friday, the learned academies of Australia — representing over 3,000 of the nation’s best and most eminent scientists, researchers and other experts — launched a searchable database of experts to help Australia tackle COVID-19. The database is championed by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO.”


Lifehacker: How to Watch Instagram Live Feeds on Your Computer or Television. “Now that we’re all spending a lot more time inside, we’ve got a lot more time to watch live content—and there’s suddenly a lot more live content to watch, especially on Instagram. Watching videos on your phone, however, isn’t always an ideal experience. But you can actually watch those Instagram Live videos from your computer, and even your television as well, provided you have the Instagram Stories Chrome extension.”

New York Times: How to Get Books When Bookstores and Libraries Are Closed. “Readers who are used to spending their weekends in bookstores or libraries may be experiencing literary withdrawal. Many of these spaces have closed to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. But there are still ways to keep a rotation of books on hand from your home. Many bookstores are adapting with pickup and delivery options, and for those trying to cut back on spending during this crisis, there are plenty of ways to access books for free. Here are the best ways to keep reading.”

Crafts Magazine: Free access to Crafts Magazine’s 50 year archive. “At Crafts magazine, their thoughts are with all readers and contributors at this challenging time. To help brighten up isolation, they’re offering you all free access to our digital edition for a month. You can dig into every issue from the magazine’s history – from the shiny latest editions to forgotten hits from the 1970s, 80s and 90s – to while away the hours and be inspired.” This is like museum-level crafts. Sculpture, textiles — I even saw some really impressive umbrellas in one of the 1970s issues.

Expats CZ: Czech culture goes online: 30 tips for concerts, exhibits, films, and more. “Some of the events listed here take place this weekend, others kick off next week, while many are ongoing. Most online events listed here are free for your viewing pleasure, but if you can, read our article to see how to support some of Prague’s struggling independent theater and music venues, many of them accepting donations during the quarantine restrictions.”

Guitar World: Martin launches Jam In Place Facebook series to help artists “spend some quality time with fans from the comfort and safety of their homes”. “Whether it’s watching a Sick Riff or a #HomeMadeMusic episode, guitar fans thankfully have a variety of new music performance shows to help them pass the time while self-quarantining. Now Martin has launched a new Facebook Live series, Jam In Place, where viewers can ‘hang with their favorite artists for an intimate acoustic guitar performance, as these talented musicians perform live from their homes.'”

The Verge: Nikon is offering free online photography classes for all of April. “Each class is taught by a professional photographer and provides in-depth lessons to help you get better at taking photos. Some courses cover Nikon-specific products, but many of them teach you the fundamentals of photography, such as a course that teaches you how to photograph your children or pets or the basics of making a music video. So even if you don’t own a Nikon camera, many of these classes might still be worth a watch.”

Syracuse: Coronavirus: Watch online events, tours, webcams in Upstate NY from your home. “During this difficult time, there are ways to find joy in digital forms. Although in person is usually better, now can be a time to experience virtual history, art, music, and more. Without leaving your doorsteps, check out these online exhibits, educational resources, videos, podcasts, and meditations. While most things on the list below are free and located in Upstate New York, a few are worthwhile from New York City.” (I’m generally not covering anything less than state-level but this list is HUGE.)

America’s Best Racing: The Horse Lover’s Guide to Staying Inside. “Hi friends. I know COVID-19 is a scary time for us all; but, if you’re a horse lover like me who can’t go riding or get to the races anymore, you may be wondering what to do with yourself during this time of social distancing. So, here’s my handy guide for horse lovers who suddenly find ourselves stuck indoors for the foreseeable future.” This is a series that’s up to four parts at this writing.


Neowin: Google will highlight COVID-19-related announcements in Search. “Google has been busy over the last couple of weeks adding various resources to its platform meant to help those impacted due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) fallout. After launching its coronavirus-dedicated website to granting more than $800 million in funding for healthcare organizations and SMBs (small and medium-sized businesses), the internet giant is now adding a new way to let government agencies and health organizations disseminate COVID-19-related announcements more quickly through Google Search.”

The Weekend Leader: Google Fi doubles data limit to 30GB in US. “To help people stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic, Google Fi has announced to temporarily increase its limits for full speed data to 30GB per user, for both Flexible and Unlimited Plans.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Amazon to delay Prime Day event due to coronavirus, outlines cloud risks. “ Inc (AMZN.O) is postponing its major summer shopping event, Prime Day, until at least August and expects a potential $100 million hit from excess devices it might now sell at a discount, according to internal meeting notes seen by Reuters.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Amazon in contact with coronavirus test makers as it plans pandemic response. “ Inc has been in contact with the CEOs of two coronavirus test makers as it considers how to screen its staff and reduce the risk of infection at its warehouses, according to internal meeting notes seen by Reuters.”


OU Daily: Oklahoma City museum security guard gains internet fame with social media takeover. “The head of security at an Oklahoma City museum has taken over its social media duties during its recent closure—and in the process, he’s become a Twitter phenomenon. Tim Tiller, head of security at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, tweeted on March 17 that, in addition to his usual job of protecting the museum, he’d be assuming ‘social media management’ for the museum as well.”

Interaksyon: The rise of Ligo Sardines as a social media voice during COVID-19 crisis. “Ligo Sardines lately became popular online due to its witty social media advertisements which Filipinos perceived to throw a ‘shade’ against the government’s questionable policies during the duration of the enhance community quarantine. The sardines company also earlier gained attention for its graphic advertisement that showed the canned goods’ easy-open feature accompanied by the line: ‘No special powers needed.'”

The New Times: COVID-19: How Rwandans are using social media to raise awareness, enforce lockdown. “In some countries, according to reports, social media posts are being used to track whether people are adhering to strict coronavirus lockdown rules. In Rwanda where the government on Wednesday, April 1, ordered a 15-day extension of its ongoing lockdown, one of the key tools used to enhance the lockdown especially by ‘raising public awareness’ is social media.”

YourTango: 4 Social Media Influencers Disobeying Stay At Home Orders During Coronavirus Pandemic — And Getting Dragged For It. “But even though staying home is obviously the easiest (and most effective) way of slowing the spread of coronavirus, certain influencers are behaving as if the rules don’t apply to them. Here are a fwe social media influencers disobeying stay at home orders so far as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the United States — and what’s most disturbing is that these people influence other people; hence: influencers. Don’t take heed, others!”

India Today: India Inc joins coronavirus war | India Today Insight. “On March 17, a group of start-up founders and entrepreneurs wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office asking him to enforce the lockdown. ‘Founders against COVID-19’, as the 70-member group called itself, has now transitioned into a 600-plus group including healthcare and IT professionals and even people from the government sector. The aim is join the war against the coronavirus and help the government in any which way possible.”

Independent (Ireland): More than 12,000 arts events cancelled due to Covid-19 crisis. “MORE than 12,000 arts events from music and theatre performances to exhibitions have been cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis. This will lead to a lost audience of 2.4m people by the end of May according to research by the Arts Council. It was also revealed that 112,000 tickets have already been sold for events that won’t now take place.”

The Guardian: Masks, meals and Skype: self-isolating in Sicily – a photo essay. “I’ve been living with Covid-19 since mid-March. My mother, my partner, the war reporter Marta Bellingreri, and other people close to me have been infected, but somehow I have been spared. I interpreted this peculiar twist as if Covid-19 had chosen me to photograph it from a different perspective. And I met the challenge, also because the reasons that brought the virus into my apartment are also extraordinarily tied to my career as a photographer.”


Bellingcat: How Coronavirus Disinformation Gets Past Social Media Moderators. “The buzz around chloroquine represents a type of disinformation that is simple — and it is therefore easy for social media companies to have a clear stance on it. Doctors do not advise people to take chloroquine to treat or prevent the novel coronavirus, and so anyone saying otherwise is clearly spreading disinformation. When institutional will exists, businesses can easily build policies around stopping the spread of a potentially dangerous ‘cure.’ Yet the most insidious information being spread about the coronavirus is not so easily stopped. In fact, a loose, headless network of media personalities and news websites has developed a fairly robust strategy for spreading coronavirus lies on social media — while also evading bans.”

Axios: Exclusive: Americans wary of giving up data to fight coronavirus. “Most Americans don’t want app makers or the government to scrape their data to combat the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey finds, in the face of public- and private-sector efforts to do just that. Why it matters: Efforts to fight the pandemic are putting new pressure on privacy protections, particularly around health information, but this study’s results shared with Axios suggest the U.S. public isn’t ready to give them up.”

ProPublica: Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate. “As of Friday morning, African Americans made up almost half of Milwaukee County’s 945 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths in a county whose population is 26% black. Milwaukee is one of the few places in the United States that is tracking the racial breakdown of people who have been infected by the novel coronavirus, offering a glimpse at the disproportionate destruction it is inflicting on black communities nationwide.”

NNSL Media: 3D printed head braces give health care workers some relief. “While anxieties rise over reports of a low supply of ventilators and masks during the Covid-19 pandemic, one Yellowknife man is trying to make things easier for people on the frontlines of the shortages. In his spare time, Eric McNair-Landry manufactures head clips that attach to protective masks worn by health professionals for most of the day.”

University of Pittsburgh: COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise in First Peer-Reviewed Research. “University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists announced a potential vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus causing the COVID-19 pandemic. When tested in mice, the vaccine, delivered through a fingertip-sized patch, produces antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 at quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralizing the virus. The paper appeared April 2 in eBioMedicine, which is published by The Lancet, and is the first study to be published after critique from fellow scientists at outside institutions that describes a candidate vaccine for COVID-19. The researchers were able to act quickly because they had already laid the groundwork during earlier coronavirus epidemics.”


US News & World Report: Exclusive: Jump in Jakarta Funerals Raises Fears of Unreported Coronavirus Deaths. “The number of funerals in Jakarta rose sharply in March, a development the governor of Indonesia’s capital city said suggested that deaths from the new coronavirus may be higher than officially reported.”

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