coronabuzz

Sunday CoronaBuzz, April 26, 2020: 21 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.

NEW RESOURCES – EDUCATION/ENTERTAINMENT

EdSource: Searchable database: How much will colleges and universities get in emergency stimulus funds in California and nationally?. “The federal stimulus bill includes $14 billion in aid to higher education including $1.7 billion to California colleges and universities to help the institutions and students cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Schools are required to spend at least half of their total allocation on emergency grants to students. The total amount of money colleges will receive was partially based on the number of low income students eligible for the Pell Grant enrolled on their campuses.”

NEW RESOURCES – OTHER

UK National Archives: Free access to digital records. “We are making digital records available on our website free of charge for as long as our Kew site is closed to visitors. Registered users will be able to order and download up to ten items at a time, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. The limits are there to try and help manage the demand for content and ensure the availability of our digital services for everyone.”

USEFUL STUFF

CNET: 15 educational video games for kids in quarantine (that are actually fun). “It’s almost guaranteed that your child plays some mobile, PC or video games. You’ve probably noticed that today’s games go far beyond the Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunts of years past, and not just in how impressive the graphics are: Developers have gotten super creative at sneaking in educational lessons where kids would least expect them. And one of the best ways to learn is when you’re having fun.”

Westword: Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and More of the Best Online Concerts. “Celebrate the planet at Pathway to Paris Earth Day 50: A Virtual Festival for Our Planet, starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 26. Enjoy performances from Jesse Paris Smith and Rebecca Foon (founders of Pathway to Paris), Michael Stipe, Patti Smith, Flea, Tony Hawk, Ben Harper, Cat Power and more. Below are more offerings; one-off shows are up top and ongoing series are below. We’ll update the list as we hear about additional events.”

CountryLiving: New app tells you if your dog is getting enough exercise during lockdown. “The Work Out Your Walkies calculator enables owners to enter the breed of their dog, their dog’s age, and the dimensions of their garden or outdoor space. Once the information has been filled in, the app calculates the exact number of garden laps their dog needs to do each day based on recommended expert guidelines.”

UPDATES

BetaNews: Facebook launches Messenger Rooms as an alternative to Zoom. “With Facebook Messenger Rooms, the social media giant is giving people the option of conducting video chats with up to 50 people at a time. Unlike the free version of Zoom, there is no time limit on chats in Messenger Rooms, and as an added bonus there is no need to have a Facebook account to use it.” On the down side, it’s Facebook.

WUWM: 40 Coronavirus Cases In Milwaukee County Linked To Wisconsin Election, Health Official Says. “Forty people in Milwaukee County may have become infected with the coronavirus as a result of participating in Wisconsin elections on April 7. Milwaukee Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik says data is still being analyzed to show the connection between more people that may have contracted COVID-19 due to election activities, like being a poll worker or voting in person, earlier this month. Kowalik hopes the data will be finalized by May 1.”

Tom’s Guide: Zoom who? Google Duo just got a huge upgrade with tons of new features. “Now that more and more people are staying home, Google Duo wants to make sure it remains competitive among the best video chat apps to keep people connected. To that end, Google announced that Duo is rolling out four new features, which include an increase in a video call’s maximum group size.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Science Magazine: Health care workers seek to flatten COVID-19’s ‘second curve’—their rising mental anguish. “New surveys of doctors and nurses in China, Italy, and the United States suggest they are experiencing a plethora of mental health problems as COVID-19 continues its spread, including higher rates of stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. As the case count spreads—2,475,723 infected and 169,151 dead by the latest count—Roy Perlis, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, says the burden on health care workers will rise.”

MIT Technology Review: Doctors are now social media influencers. They aren’t all ready for it.. “While doctors made famous by TV have had to apologize for downplaying the virus and suggesting that losing some lives was an acceptable cost for re-opening schools, some of the new doctor-influencers are positioning themselves differently. At their best, this wave of doctor-influencers can combat misinformation by making responsible medicine sound almost as exciting as the scores of medical conspiracy theories, exaggerated claims, and snake oil promises that spread rapidly online.”

NBC News: Detroit health care worker dies after being denied coronavirus test 4 times, daughter says. “Deborah Gatewood had two years to go before she could retire from a Detroit hospital. But Gatewood, a phlebotomist for three decades, will never celebrate that milestone. She died April 17 from symptoms related to the coronavirus. Her daughter said that prior to her mother’s death, she was denied a coronavirus test four times by her employer, Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills.”

INSTITUTION / CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT

Washington Post: VA health chief acknowledges a shortage of protective gear for its hospital workers. “For weeks, nurses and other employees at Veterans Affairs hospitals have said they were working with inadequate protective gear. VA officials denied it. But in an interview, the physician in charge of the country’s largest health-care system acknowledged the shortage — and said masks and other supplies are being diverted for the national stockpile.”

CNN: Coronavirus training by text message: How some companies are keeping workers informed. “For the past three years, Hello Alfred has partnered with residential buildings to provide a concierge-like service for residents. But on Wednesday, the company announced it is allowing people, regardless of what building they live in, to use its service for food and essential goods deliveries in more than 20 US cities. Unlike many other delivery services, its workers, called ‘Alfreds,’ are employees who receive health benefits, sick leave, and more. The company is providing workers with masks, gloves and hand sanitizer, but it wanted to do more. That meant getting relevant information about coronavirus into the hands of its workers in an easy-to-use way to help protect them.”

Washington Post: The pandemic at sea. “A Post review of cruise line statements, government announcements and media reports found that the coronavirus infected passengers and crew on at least 55 ships that sailed in the waters off nearly every continent, about a fifth of the total global fleet. The industry’s decision to keep sailing for weeks after the coronavirus was first detected in early February on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan, despite the efforts by top U.S. health officials to curtail voyages, was among a number of decisions that health experts and passengers say contributed to the mounting toll.”

Reuters: U.S. warship heads to port after coronavirus outbreak. ” At least 18 sailors aboard a U.S. Navy destroyer have tested positive for the new coronavirus, U.S. officials said on Friday, dealing another blow to the military as it faces fallout over its handling of an outbreak on an aircraft carrier last month.”

RESEARCH

World Health Organization: “Immunity passports” in the context of COVID-19. “WHO has published guidance on adjusting public health and social measures for the next phase of the COVID-19 response.1 Some governments have suggested that the detection of antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, could serve as the basis for an ‘immunity passport’ or ‘risk-free certificate’ that would enable individuals to travel or to return to work assuming that they are protected against re-infection. There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection.”

EurekAlert: The most promising strategies for defeating coronavirus: A review study. “In a new study in Frontiers in Microbiology, aimed at the research community but also comprehensible for non-specialists, experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill review possible strategies against dangerous coronaviruses – not only SARS-CoV-2 and its relatives such as SARS-Cov (causing Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS) and MERS-Cov (causing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, MERS), but also as yet unknown strains which will inevitably emerge in the future. They propose that the most promising approaches for fast progress are selected antivirals such as remdesivir, and gene therapy.”

EurekAlert: Conservative and social media usage associated with misinformation about COVID-19. “People who relied on conservative media or social media in the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak were more likely to be misinformed about how to prevent the virus and believe conspiracy theories about it, a study of media use and public knowledge has found.”

Axios: Social media use spikes during pandemic. “Prior to the pandemic, consumers and tech companies were both becoming more aware of the overuse of social media and actively trying to limit it. In a time when people can’t connect with friends and family in person, companies have put these efforts on pause.”

New York Times: Prescriptions Surged as Trump Praised Drugs in Coronavirus Fight. “It was at a midday briefing last month that President Trump first used the White House telecast to promote two antimalarial drugs in the fight against the coronavirus. ‘I think it could be something really incredible,’ Mr. Trump said on March 19, noting that while more study was needed, the two drugs had shown ‘very, very encouraging results’ in treating the virus. By that evening, first-time prescriptions of the drugs — chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine — poured into retail pharmacies at more than 46 times the rate of the average weekday, according to an analysis of prescription data by The New York Times.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Trial of Gilead’s potential coronavirus treatment running ahead of schedule, researcher says. “Remdesivir has drawn tremendous attention as a therapy with the potential to alter the course of the disease, based on anecdotal reports that it may have helped some patients. Those hopes were dampened somewhat on Thursday, when details from a Chinese remdesivir trial in patients with severe COVID-19 inadvertently released by the World Health Organization suggested it provided no benefit. Gilead pushed back on that interpretation saying the study, which was stopped early due to low patient enrollment, cannot provide meaningful conclusions.”

CoronaBuzz is brought to you by ResearchBuzz. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment, send resource suggestions, or tag @buzz_corona on Twitter. Thanks!

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