Tuesday CoronaBuzz, April 7, 2020: 40 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Starting tomorrow the New Resources section will be divided into MEDICAL/HEALTH, EDUCATION/ENTERTAINMENT, and OTHER as it’s getting too unwieldy. Wash your hands and stay at home as much as you can. Please be careful. I love you.


Georgia Tech: Filtration Engineers Offer Advice on Do-It-Yourself Face Masks. “A new website ( has been created to bring together recommendations and templates for making face masks. The website provides guidance for making unsewn, sewn, glued, or 3D-printed face masks. The recommendations resulted from consulting with a team of experts in materials, chemical and mechanical engineering, filtration processes, and production design.”

Trussville Tribune: New website created to help Alabama small businesses get information on loans, tax relief programs and more. “A new website created by the Alabama Small Business Commission was unveiled on Monday in an effort to provide small business owners with one-stop information throughout the coronavirus pandemic, state Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth announced.”

CNBC: From daily dance parties to rediscovering love letters, a new website is documenting life under lockdown. “People’s experiences of life with their partners, children, parents — and themselves — are being documented online as populations around the world self-isolate or keep their distance from others to reduce the impact of the coronavirus. And it’s proving a big hit as it taps into people’s curiosity about what happens in the lives of others.”

Los Angeles Times: To aid coronavirus fight, The Times releases database of California cases. “In an effort to aid scientists and researchers in the fight against COVID-19, The Times has released its database of California coronavirus cases to the public.To follow the virus’ spread, The Times is conducting an independent survey of dozens of local health agencies across the state. The effort, run continually throughout the day, supplies the underlying data for this site’s coronavirus tracker.”

ABC News: Disney launches new free website for families in quarantine. “Parents, rejoice: A new website to entertain your children is here! The Walt Disney Company is launching, a home for some of the best Disney content, stories and resources – for free – for kids, families and fans to fill their time.”

My Central Oregon: New Website Helps Oregonians Impacted By COVID-19 Navigate State Services. “SEIU 503 launched a new website today to help Oregonians impacted by COVID-19 get the help they need and put food on the table. connects all Oregonians to services like unemployment benefits and the Oregon Health Plan.”

KOB4: UNM launches tool that tracks COVID-19’s economic impact. “The University of New Mexico launched a new tool to track how coronavirus is impacting the state’s economy. The tool is called the economic dashboard and is intended to give critical data on New Mexico’s economic trends during the pandemic. The collected data includes information on statewide infections, oil and gas production and unemployment figures.”

Norwegian SciTech News: Fast-moving information on a fast-moving virus. “Medical researchers worldwide are racing to find treatments and vaccines to combat the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. A new website offers up-to-date summaries on available and emerging options against COVID-19.”

GlobeNewswire: Healthwise Offers Free Shareable Coronavirus Resources (PRESS RELEASE). “There is still much the medical community does not know about COVID-19, and misinformation can create panic and interfere with public health efforts to manage the outbreak. Healthwise has created English and Spanish versions of several free resources on the symptoms, prevention, and treatment of COVID-19. Once downloaded, these resources can be printed out, emailed, texted, embedded on a website, or posted on social media.”

Spotted on Reddit via IFTTT: Reddit Covid-19 AMA Database. From the GitHub page description: “A collection of over 1,000 AMA questions and answers on COVID-19 from various experts, professionals, and journalists. If you find it helpful, star this repo!” The GitHub page itself offers you ways to download the data, but also links to a Web-based database of the questions if you’d rather just browse.

Tech Voice Africa: Hacklab Foundation Launches Open Database to Facilitate COVID-19 Combat Project Collaboration. “The Hacklab Foundation has launched an Open Database to facilitate the collaboration between teams, individuals and organizations working of projects aimed at alleviating COVID-19 in Ghana. This open database will address the challenge of project duplication, access to financing and speed to market. Funding organizations can quickly browse through projects and reach out directly to collaborate. Countries seeking similar innovations to combat COVID-19 can also reference this database for free.”

Northwestern Now: New planning tool to help states estimate ventilator needs. “Northwestern University engineers have developed a new model to help U.S. states allocate and share ventilators and other life-saving resources in the fight against COVID-19. Preliminary results from the computational model are available as an interactive online procurement and distribution planning tool that acts as a central hub for information about each state. Users can visit the site to see which states have or need resources, such as ventilators and hospital beds. They also can explore model recommendations for ventilator allocation and sharing from the national stockpile.”

Northeast Ohio Medical University: Pharmacy Facebook Group Advocates On Covid-19 Prescriptions. “A Facebook group with more than 30,000 members is helping pharmacists, pharmacy techs, managers and students pull together to find solutions to the new challenges of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jaclyn Boyle, Pharm.D. (’12), associate professor of pharmacy practice in the Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Pharmacy, and Carl Palladino, a second-year pharmacy student, manage the group, called ‘Pharmacy Staff for COVID-19 Support.'”


The Verge: Disney is releasing a series of adorable new Frozen shorts, made completely at home. “Just in case Frozen 2 on Disney Plus isn’t enough to keep kids entertained while they’re stuck at home, Disney animator Hyrum Osmond and actor Josh Gad have teamed up to produce a new series of shorts available on YouTube.”

Motley Fool: Nike Offers Free Digital Exercise Service. “Nike has decided to make its online library free for anyone who wants to access it. It’s a move the company says was inspired by the ways ‘people make sport a daily habit, even in the most challenging of times,’ according to a web post…. NTC offers a library of over 185 workouts that range from 15 to 60 minutes.”

ArtsHub Australia: Digital art guide to beat coronavirus closures. “The world may be in lockdown, but self-isolation doesn’t mean we have to stop experiencing art. Despite COVID-19 closures, Australian art is finding new ways to go viral. Artists, museums, galleries, institutions, and more are exploring innovative ways to reach audiences, spreading some timely comfort and unity. Below is our ever-growing list of Australian art ready for you to discover. Some events free, some are ticketed but we encourage you to make a donation to these and other organisations if you enjoyed their performances.”

CNET: K-12 online classes and activities to continue education at home during coronavirus. “Here are several free or discounted online learning resources for pre-K-12 students to complete from home to keep up the learning (and to save you from yet another viewing of Frozen 2 on Disney Plus). If you’re looking for even more, this post also has an extensive list of education companies offering free subscriptions due to school closings.”

TimeOut: You can now learn German online with a world-leading cultural institute. “Guten Tag! If your German knowledge ends there, then you’ll be glad to know that the world famous cultural association, the Goethe-Institut, is moving all of its German language courses online in response to the Covid-19 crisis which has shuttered its in-person tuition.”

TechCrunch: Creative ways to host a virtual birthday party for kids. “Social distancing requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic may have canceled kids’ birthday parties, but parents are finding new ways to take the celebrations online. While video chat apps like Zoom, Google Hangouts or FaceTime are an option for gathering kids together in the virtual space, there’s still the challenge of what to do once there. A few companies are working to solve this challenge for parents who are looking for ideas to make their child’s birthday special in the time of COVID-19.”


FOX Illinois: Illinois State Museum collecting COVID-19 stories. “The Museum wants Illinois residents to share stories that reflect their experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, for the benefit of future generations. The stories will be collected through the Illinois State Museum’s Share your Story: Illinois in the COVID-19 Pandemic collecting initiative.”

City A.M.: Pressure builds on social media firms to stamp out ‘crazed’ 5G conspiracy theories. “Social media firms are under fierce pressure to stamp out misinformation about 5G amid fears the spread of conspiracy theories is putting lives at risk. Phone masts have been set alight in locations across the UK due to posts circulating online falsely claiming that there is a link between mobile phone technology and the coronavirus outbreak.”

Reuters: Pope starts fund to help poorer countries deal with coronavirus. “Pope Francis has started an emergency fund to help areas affected by the coronavirus in developing countries, the Vatican said on Monday. It said in a statement that the pope had designated $750,000 of funds at his disposal as an initial contribution. He has asked Church entities and dioceses to contribute as they can.”

France24: Medicine shortage looms over coronavirus-hit Europe. “While the world waits for a coronavirus vaccine, medicines used to deal with the symptoms of the disease are increasingly in critically short supply in Europe, the worst-hit continent. From sedatives needed to intubate patients struggling to breathe to anti-malarial drugs heavily backed by US President Donald Trump, the COVID-19 pandemic is eating up stocks.”

Lifehacker: Google Maps Now Shows Nearby Takeout and Delivery Options. “Ordering in or picking up dinner? Google Maps has been updated with two search filters that highlight nearby takeout and delivery options. The new search options are officially available on Android and iOS in the US, Canada and France, but users in other countries have also reported seeing the feature, so it might be worth checking regardless of where you live.”


Business Insider: Activists fighting coronavirus-driven hate crimes are rallying on social media to turn masks into a symbol, rather than a target in racist attacks. “Activists against COVID-19-related hate crimes are leading a social media campaign using images of people in masks to fight back against attacks on Asian-Americans, which Congress and the FBI say are increasing.”

New York Post: ‘All Rise’ on CBS plans coronavirus episode filmed using social media. “CBS drama ‘All Rise,’ from Warner Bros. TV and CBS TV Studios, is returning to production for a virtually-produced timely episode influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and its impact on the criminal justice system. There will also be references to the show characters’ personal lives and how they are affected by the health crisis.”

London Free Press: As infections balloon, coronavirus squeezes Europe’s armed forces. “Military forces across Europe have scaled back operations and imposed stricter rules on personnel to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus among staff who often live and work in close quarters, making them more vulnerable to infection.”

Plastics Today: COVID-19: Materialise, ‘Maker Army’ Deploy 3D Printing to Mitigate Device Shortages. “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a once-in-a-lifetime wake-up call for the world, as hospitals wrestle with shortages of critical medical equipment and healthcare professionals potentially face the grim prospect of rationing medical care. It’s a scenario that sadly we have seen played out in emerging economies over the years, but not in the most prosperous, technologically advanced economies the world has ever known. In time, we will draw some hard lessons from this calamity, but, first, we must deal with the crisis at hand. We have reported on various initiatives that companies and organizations large and small have taken to meet immediate needs over the last few weeks; here are two more examples of creators, in this instance in the 3D-printing space, stepping up to help.”

Vulture: How to Produce a Late-Night Show During a Global Pandemic in 6 Steps. “Most of the shows are operating at as close to full-strength as technology and social distancing allows, an impressive feat considering how many moving parts it takes to get them on the air when times are normal. Curious to learn more about the myriad ways show production has adapted during our global catastrophe, Vulture caught up with writers and producers from The Tonight Show, Late Night, Desus & Mero, Full Frontal, and The Daily Show.”


Johns Hopkins University: Johns Hopkins Taps Twitter to Measure Success of Social Distancing. “A team lead by computer scientist Mark Dredze created the Twitter Social Mobility Index by measuring public geotagged data from Twitter, tweets to which users attach their current location, from March 16 to March 29 and compared it to similar data from Jan. 1, 2019 to March 16, 2020. They found that movement of Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak dropped significantly — to just 52% percent of what it had been. In some states, people’s movement did not change as much but in others, particularly those with firm social distancing measures in place, the reductions were much more dramatic.”

Dayton Daily News: UD grad licenses UD tech to quickly spot COVID-19 in X-rays. “It didn’t take long for the University of Dayton to agree to license a new technology to a software company led by a UD grad for the fight against the coronavirus. Software developed by a University of Dayton Research Institute scientist to speedily diagnose COVID-19 has been exclusively licensed by South Carolina software development company Blue Eye Soft, UDRI said Monday.”

New York Daily News: Social media, spreading contagion: Twitter and Facebook are making the coronavirus pandemic worse. “It’s not news that social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be hotbeds of rumor and misinformation. Spend anytime online, and there’s a friend of a friend retweeting some implausible bit of Kardashian news. But the COVID-19 pandemic is showing that information on social media is particularly unreliable, a crapshoot of so-called advice that can have disastrous effects on public health.”

Carnegie Mellon University: Facebook and Carnegie Mellon Team To Gather COVID-19 Symptom Data. “Some Facebook users will now see a link at the top of their news feed that will lead them to an optional survey operated by Carnegie Mellon. Information from the survey will be used by CMU for its pandemic forecasting efforts and also will be shared with other collaborating universities. Aggregate information from the survey will be shared publicly.”


Bustle: How To Play Social-Distancing Bingo On Instagram. “For the people who have been scouring social media looking for things to keep them entertained while practicing social distancing, you can add a cute new trend to your list: Bingo. OK, Bingo might not sound like the most exciting activity in the world, but a new social distancing Bingo has been trending on Instagram and can be pretty fun to try. Not only does it let you show your Insta followers how you’ve been keeping busy while in quarantine, but it also lets you partake in a sort of communal activity. In this version of Bingo, everyone wins!”

Metro: #HomeCouture is the latest DIY fashion trend doing the rounds on Instagram. “The hashtag #HomeCouture is the newest trend sweeping our social media feeds and involves taking high-end catwalk looks and recreating them with bits and bobs around the house.”


NBC News: Texas teen faces terrorism charge for threatening to spread coronavirus, police say. “Police in Texas are searching for an 18-year-old girl who claimed in a series of Snapchat videos to have tested positive for and to be ‘willfully spreading’ the coronavirus.”

FBI: FBI Anticipates Rise in Business Email Compromise Schemes Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic. “Fraudsters will take advantage of any opportunity to steal your money, personal information, or both. Right now, they are using the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to further their efforts. Business email compromise (BEC) is a scam that targets anyone who performs legitimate funds transfers. Recently, there has been an increase in BEC frauds targeting municipalities purchasing personal protective equipment or other supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19.”

CNN: Acting Navy secretary apologizes for calling ousted aircraft carrier captain ‘stupid’ in address to ship’s crew. “Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly apologized Monday night for calling the now-ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt ‘stupid’ in an address to the ship’s crew Monday morning. Modly told the crew that their former commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was either ‘too naive or too stupid’ to be in command or that he intentionally leaked to the media a memo in which he warned about coronavirus spreading aboard the aircraft carrier and urged action to save his sailors, according to remarks obtained by CNN.”

Vox: Elizabeth Warren has a plan for this, too. “In January, Sen. Elizabeth Warren was the first presidential candidate to release a plan for combating coronavirus. In March, she released a second plan. Days later, with the scale of economic damage increasing, she released a third. Warren’s proposals track the spread of the virus: from a problem happening elsewhere and demanding a surge in global health resources and domestic preparation to a pandemic happening here, demanding not just a public health response but an all-out effort to save the US economy.”

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: David Perdue’s stock trading saw an uptick as coronavirus took hold. “U.S. Sen. David Perdue’s financial portfolio saw heavy trading during the month of March, a period during which Congress passed three different spending bills to address the spread of COVID-19 and the markets took a turn for the worse. The report lists 112 transactions, including 76 stock purchases costing as much as $1.8 million and 34 sales worth up to $825,000. Compared with the 26-month period before the coronavirus swept across America, Perdue’s portfolio activity has increased nearly threefold.”

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2 replies »

  1. My nominee for Most Disappointing Capital F in Recent Headlines: “Disney is releasing a series of adorable new Frozen shorts, made completely at home.”

  2. We love you too and appreciate all you are doing to keep us informed. You are the best!

    Stay well, Leigh Gusts

    Sent from my iPhone


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