Sunday CoronaBuzz, April 5, 2020: 44 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.


Found in my Google Alerts: Designers Against Coronavirus. From the front page: “Designers Against Coronavirus is a digital archive created and curated by CaroselloLab that shows the emergency we are facing through the eyes of designers, illustrators and creative studios from all over the world.”

GameSpace: Family Video Game Database Launches – Get The Kids Back On The Computer!. “This new database might still be in its early stages but features a whole host of games that present more than just a faceless zombie or a trash-talking 13 year old from another time zone. Instead, you will find information on how to tame gaming. There are several subcategories of suggestions including a range of fitness games, some of which you’ll find on our fitness game guide, as well as educational games and ideas for titles that are likely to calm the noise levels in the room.”

EurekAlert: Rice University emergency ventilator plans now online. “The plans for Rice University’s ApolloBVM, an open-source emergency ventilator design that could help patients in treatment for COVID-19, are now online and freely available to everyone in the world. The project first developed by students as a senior design project in 2019 has been brought up to medical grade by Rice engineers and one student, with the help of Texas Medical Center doctors. The device costs less than $300 in parts and can squeeze a common bag valve mask for hours on end.”

Archinect: AIA publishes COVID-19 database to share best practices in hospital conversion design. “The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is currently assembling a database containing information on the health care facilities, both traditional and temporary, and the design professionals around the world mobilizing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, AIA announced the creation of an internal COVID-19 task force that seeks to provide expert advice on how existing buildings can be rapidly converted for temporary hospital use.”

EurekAlert: BU creates database to track states’ coronavirus policies. “Researchers and students at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) have created a COVID-19 US state policy database, tracking steps that each U.S. state has taken to curb the spread of the new coronavirus and when those steps were implemented.”

Your Central Valley: Gov. Gavin Newsom announces new website accepting medical donations. “On Saturday, during a daily briefing on the response of COVID-19 Governor Gavin Newsom, announced a new website that is accepting medical donations.”

Minnesota: Governor Tim Walz Unveils Data Dashboard, Outlines State’s Priorities in Responding to COVID-19. “Governor Tim Walz today unveiled a new State of Minnesota COVID-19 dashboard that tracks the virus in Minnesota and provides the latest available data on available ventilators, ICU beds, personal protective equipment (PPE), and testing. The dashboard will be updated daily and is available at .”

Tricycle: Buddha Buzz Weekly: Dharma Relief Raises Money for US Hospitals. “Karunavirus—as in karuna, the Sanskrit word for compassion—is a new website that hopes to highlight stories of compassion in the news. Launched in mid-March by volunteer charity organization Service Space, the website hopes to shine a spotlight on uplifting stories in the coronavirus era, without ignoring the widespread reality of the mass suffering caused by the pandemic.”

The National: ‘People want a cultural outlet’: Lebanon’s Dalloul Art Foundation launches digital archive amid coronavirus outbreak. “As more countries go into lockdown and governments implore their citizens to remain at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, arts organisations around the world have leapt into action, offering a different kind of outlet to millions. In Lebanon, the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation is one of them. Its website went live two weeks ago, several months earlier than originally planned, granting free access to thousands of artworks and extensive information about hundreds of artists from the Arab world.”

University of Washington: New online course explores COVID-19 pandemic. “A new course from the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine will explore the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Course topics range from coronavirus testing and COVID-19 vaccine development to the pandemic’s social and economic implications. The seminar series will run from April 13 through May 18, and include lectures from the UW’s top experts on infectious diseases and pandemic preparedness. The course is open to UW graduate and professional students for one credit and seminars will be available for the public via a video recording.”

Wyoming Tribune Eagle: New website lets untested residents report experiences with COVID-19. “With the launch of a new website earlier this week, any Wyoming residents who experiences COVID-19-like symptoms and are unable to get testing will be able to be heard. The site…, a volunteer open-source project, allows individuals to report their symptoms, experience and, optionally, contact information, which will be sent to the Wyoming COVID-19 Task Force and Gov. Mark Gordon.”

Broadway World: Metropolitan Opera Launches Weekly Free Student Streams. “On April 6, the Metropolitan Opera will launch Free Student Streams, a new program of free opera streams for students and teachers worldwide during the health crisis. Drawing from the Met’s extensive online library of operas and curricular materials designed to align with the Common Core Standards, and incorporating new live virtual conversations with Met artists and educators from the company’s national education program, the initiative has been designed as an ongoing cross-curricular offering at a time when schools are closed and online classwork has increased dramatically.”


BBC: Coronavirus: Fake and misleading stories that went viral this week. “We’ve all been there. A coronavirus post that could be true and sounds about right, but how do we know it’s accurate? To help, the BBC’s disinformation-monitoring team is fact-checking and verifying some of the most widely shared fake and misleading stories of the week.”

Slate: A Comprehensive Guide to Masks. “We’re going to be seeing a lot more face masks soon. After a week of rumors that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would advise regular folks to wear masks, President Donald Trump said in a press briefing Friday that ‘the CDC is advising the use of nonmedical cloth face covering as a voluntary health measure.’ This is awfully confusing. Back when this all started, we were told that we didn’t have to wear masks. You probably have some questions—about whether you should take the CDC up on the suggestion and about what changed. Here is our best shot at explaining what happened here!”

BetaNews: How to lock down Zoom to improve your privacy and security. “Zoom has received a lot of attention because of the increased number of people working from home, some good, some bad. There have been various security and privacy issues with the video conferencing app, but there are steps you can take to lock things down a little. Following numerous controversies, Zoom has not only issued an apology but also put a stop on the development of new features while it gets itself in order. In the meantime, there are a various things you can do to increase your privacy and security when you’re using Zoom.”

CNET: 5 ways to save money during a coronavirus lockdown. “People across the US are spending a lot more time at home amid lockdowns and stay-at-home orders to help slow the spread of the coronavirus outbreak. While some have turned to online shopping for necessities and stress relief, this time could also be a potential period to save money. Saving a few bucks now can be helpful as everyone is waiting for the $1,200 stimulus checks that will start being deposited within two weeks according to US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. Here are five ways to save money as you work from home during the coronavirus lockdown.”

Attractions Magazine: Legoland California invites kids to join in the ‘Legoland Building Challenge’. “As families look for fun and educational activities to do during their time stuck at home, Legoland California Resort has launched a new website filled with instructional videos and activities called ‘Legoland Building Challenge.’ Every Wednesday, the resort will announce a new theme and release a new instructional ‘how to build’ video hosted by a Master Model Builder. On Fridays, Legoland California will highlight builds posted by followers on the resort’s social media pages and ask families for ideas on what to construct next.”

Getty Iris: How to Use Getty Open Content for Your Custom Zoom Background. “Many of us are working from home, and keeping our distance from others. Perhaps there’s a pet or a child keeping us company or getting in the way as we try to focus (insert #coworker joke here). At Getty, our in-person meetings are now virtual, and some of us have turned to the custom Zoom background to help set the mood. Getty’s Open Content program includes over 100,000 images that are free and downloadable. This means they’re also fair game to use as your own custom background.”

CBS Sports: NBA 2K Players Tournament bracket: How to watch online, live stream, TV channel, start times, dates, results. “The tournament will be played on the Xbox One console and the winner will be crowned the ultimate NBA 2K20 champion and receive a $100,000 charity donation in their name to support coronavirus relief efforts. The seeding is determined by the player’s 2K rating and tenure. The first slate of games tipped off Friday night with No. 1 overall seed Kevin Durant losing to 16-seeded Derrick Jones Jr., while third-seed Hassan Whiteside lost to No. 14 Patrick Beverley.”

The Bold Italic: From Drag to Wine Tastings, How to Virtually Soak Up SF Culture in April. “In light of our current isolation plights, we’ve decided to cherry-pick some of the best digital happenings — most locally — that we’re putting on our calendars this month. From drag shows on Twitch to wine tastings via Instagram Live, here’s the best of the bunch to enjoy while wearing your sweatpants.”

Middle East Eye: Art and coronavirus: Middle Eastern galleries to view on lockdown. “Museums seeking to expand their online presence could take a leaf from Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands, with its high-quality downloadable digital images, or the fun of creating your own ‘studio’ collection. Meanwhile, on his upbeat Facebook feed, Lebanese art collector Basel Dalloul has been posting lists of other virtual galleries, from the Guggenheim in New York to the Sursock Museum in Beirut. The latter boasts a VR tour of its recent exhibition, Baalbek, Archives of an Eternity. Dalloul himself has just launched a website showcasing the ‘largest archive and collection of Arab art’. With the art world moving online, MEE highlights some of the best collections from the region you can view without having to leave home.”

CNBC: Why you’re having such vivid dreams and nightmares during the pandemic, and how to sleep better. “The COVID-19 pandemic has made even sleep feel stressful. From vivid dreams and nightmares to increased levels of insomnia, many people are struggling with sleep right now. This makes sense, because ‘we are wired to stay awake in the face of danger,’ Jennifer Martin, clinical psychologist and member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and professor of medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, tells CNBC Make It. ‘In that way, it’s normal to have struggles with sleep throughout all kinds of difficult situations.'”

ComicBook: Every Tabletop Deal and Freebie to Help Get You Through Coronavirus Quarantine. “The coronavirus pandemic has caused many game publishers to adapt on the fly to ever-changing circumstances, as they try and still help the local game stores that are so important to the market as well as get games to players stuck in their homes. They are fulfilling those tasks in a number of ways, from offering sales on products for players or helping out local game stores by cutting some of the profits with them. Others are offering lots of free content for their games to download, while others are offering completely free games and experiences for fans to check out for the first time.”

Marvel: Marvel Unlimited Now Offering Free Access to Iconic Comic Book Stories. “Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s digital comics subscription service, is now offering all fans FREE access to some of Marvel’s most iconic stories from recent years, including now-classic Marvel Comics events and critically acclaimed runs featuring the Avengers, Spider-Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Captain Marvel, and more. Fans who are social distancing will be able to escape into the Marvel Universe and revisit their favorite stories from a curated selection of complete story arcs – completely free – on Marvel Unlimited, starting Thursday, April 2 until Monday, May 4.”

How-To Geek: How to Stream U.S. Sports for Free Online. “The wide world of sports has been mostly postponed for 2020 thanks to the coronavirus. As we all try to flatten the curve with social distancing, some of the most popular U.S. sports leagues are streaming both new and old games for free.” Very extensive, handy for those of you who are missing your sports.


Bloomberg Quint: Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx Are Diving Into Social Media to Reach Young Adults. “President Donald Trump’s evening virus briefings have been a big TV ratings hit, but missing from that audience is a critical demographic: the younger generation of people who tuned out of broadcast and cable television a long time ago. So Trump’s top public health officials, Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, are going where young people go — to social media, podcasts, online video and TV talk shows that draw diverse viewers, such as those of Trevor Noah and Showtime personalities Desus and Mero.”

Slate: The Unsettled Mood on Liberty University’s Campus as COVID-19 Advances. “Last week, Jerry Falwell Jr. made several TV appearances intended to reassure viewers that Liberty University was taking the coronavirus seriously. The school had received widespread criticism for Falwell Jr.’s decision to keep campus open for any students who wanted to be there, although classes had moved online. Now, his message was that the campus was effectively empty after all, and that its leadership was taking every safety precaution possible. ‘Only essential staff are on campus: cleaning staff, food preparers, security,’ he said. The next day on CNN, he described campus as a ‘ghost town.’ For many people who were on Liberty’s campus over the last week, the feeling has been very different.”

Hindustan Times: Google donates 4,000 Chromebooks, free Wi-Fi to California students. “Google has announced to provide 4,000 Chromebooks and 1,00,000 Wi-Fi hotspots for rural students in California, who are studying from home due to coronavirus pandemic. The initiative was announced by California Governor Gavin Newsom and Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Thursday.”

Getty Iris: Getty Creates $10 Million LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund for Museums and Visual Arts Organizations. “The fund, to be administered by the California Community Foundation, will provide emergency operating support and recovery grants to small and mid-size organizations located in Los Angeles County. The efforts will focus on museums and arts non-profits that contribute significantly to the region’s artistic diversity and are facing great difficulty during the coronavirus crisis. Getty invites other organizations and individuals to contribute to the LA Arts COVID-19 Relief Fund.”


BBC: Birmingham and Merseyside masts torched over 5G coronavirus claims. “Mobile phone masts have been torched amid theories linking coronavirus to 5G, despite ministers saying there is no credible evidence to back them. Masts were set alight in Sparkhill, Birmingham, on Thursday and Melling, Merseyside, on Friday.”

CNET: Don’t defy coronavirus lockdown rules, or this robot will call you on it. “The PGuard robots from Tunisia-based Enova Robotics come equipped with infrared and thermal-imaging cameras and a sound and light alarm system for making public announcements. If the bots spot potential violators, they roll up and ask to see IDs to be examined remotely by police officers, who can communicate with citizens in real time via microphones and speakers.”

Sarajevo Times: Migrants in Reception Centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina are learning to cope with Disruption caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. “Migrants and refugees hosted at UN-run reception centres in Bosnia-Herzegovina, are learning to cope with the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘We fled from home to save our lives, to escape war, and now we are faced with this new coronavirus’, says Rozhan, Along with her husband, Ibrahim, and her three children, she made a long and arduous journey from Iraq, her home country, to Bosnia-Herzegovina in Europe, Relief Web reports.”

New York Times: This Brooklyn Landlord Just Canceled Rent for Hundreds of Tenants. “A few days after losing his job in March, Paul Gentile was throwing away trash outside his Brooklyn apartment building when he noticed a new sign hanging near the front door. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought life to a near standstill in New York City and caused an untold number of people to lose their jobs, tenants in the building did not need to pay April rent, it read.”

Houston Chronicle: ‘We could get wiped out’: American Indians have the highest rates of diseases that make covid-19 more lethal. “They hastily piled all the dumbbells and treadmills in the back of a gym to make room for 23 extra hospital beds. The beds aren’t needed yet, but on a reservation where residents suffer high rates of disease that exist throughout Indian Country, the Lummi Tribal Health Clinic in Washington is bracing for the deadly coronavirus.”


ScienceBlog: Researchers Design Low-Cost PPE Disinfectant System Using Parts Found At Hardware Stores. “A team of USC researchers has devised a simple but effective way to sterilize medical equipment in response to the urgent need for more safety gear for doctors and nurses treating COVID-19 patients. The method worked so well in lab tests at the Keck School of Medicine of USC that it’s already been deployed at 45 hospitals and clinics, including the Keck Hospital of USC, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center.”

CNN: How the cell phones of spring breakers who flouted coronavirus warnings were tracked. “The Trump administration wants to use Americans’ smartphone location data to help track and combat the spread of coronavirus. Now, a pair of US data companies are making a public pitch to show just how that kind of technology might work. X-Mode and Tectonix focused on a high-profile case: tracking location data from the phones of people who visited the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in March — among them spring breakers who made national news two weeks ago when they ignored warnings to practice social distancing despite the worsening coronavirus pandemic.”

EurekAlert: Researchers develop a computer simulator that recreates the spread of COVID-19 in Europe. “A team of Spanish researchers have designed and validated a simulator to enable study of the evolution of the COVID-19 illness in Spain and in all Europe, based on parameters such as climate, social distancing policies and transportation. This research work has been carried out by scientists and technologists from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), the Centro Nacional de Epidemiología (CNE) and the Consorcio Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red (CIBER) from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), in conjunction with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS).”

Radio Prague International: Coronavirus: Czech Hospitals Soon To Get Free Ventilators Thanks To Crowdsourced It Project ‘Covid19cz’. “The Czech civic initiative Covid19CZ was formed just a few weeks ago to try to harness technological, medical and engineering know-how to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and treat patients in critical condition. The volunteer project now looks set to deliver open-sourced ventilators to Prague hospitals in a matter of days.”

Psychology Today: New Research on Stress of Quarantine and 5 Ways to Feel Better . “New research published in the Lancet reveals the negative psychological impact of quarantine. The review examines the psychological impact from quarantines involving SARS (11 studies), Ebola (5), the 2009 and 2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic (3), Middle East respiratory syndrome (2), and equine influenza (1). ”


New York Times: The 1,000-Bed Comfort Was Supposed to Aid New York. It Has 20 Patients.. “Such were the expectations for the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort that when it chugged into New York Harbor this week, throngs of people, momentarily forgetting the strictures of social distancing, crammed together along Manhattan’s west side to catch a glimpse. On Thursday, though, the huge white vessel, which officials had promised would bring succor to a city on the brink, sat mostly empty, infuriating executives at local hospitals. The ship’s 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle.”

New York Times: A Ventilator Stockpile, With One Hitch: Thousands Do Not Work. “President Trump has repeatedly assured Americans that the federal government is holding 10,000 ventilators in reserve to ship to the hardest-hit hospitals around the nation as they struggle to keep the most critically ill patients alive. But what federal officials have neglected to mention is that an additional 2,109 lifesaving devices are unavailable after the contract to maintain the government’s stockpile lapsed late last summer, and a contracting dispute meant that a new firm did not begin its work until late January.”

Washington Post: The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged. “By the time Donald Trump proclaimed himself a wartime president — and the coronavirus the enemy — the United States was already on course to see more of its people die than in the wars of Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq combined.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Pressed by Trump, U.S. pushed unproven coronavirus treatment guidance. “In mid-March, President Donald Trump personally pressed federal health officials to make malaria drugs available to treat the novel coronavirus, though they had been untested for COVID-19, two sources told Reuters. Shortly afterward, the federal government published highly unusual guidance informing doctors they had the option to prescribe the drugs, with key dosing information based on unattributed anecdotes rather than peer-reviewed science.”

Chicago Sun-Times: Illinois adjusts on the fly to meet medical supply needs in a coronavirus ‘Wild West’. “About two weeks ago, Illinois officials tracked down a supply of 1.5 million potentially life-saving N95 respirator masks in China through a middleman in the Chicago area and negotiated a deal to buy them. One day before they were expecting to complete the purchase, they got a call in the morning from the supplier informing them he had to get a check to the bank by 2 p.m. that day, or the deal was off. Other bidders had surfaced.”

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