coronabuzz

Saturday CoronaBuzz, May 9, 2020: 31 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

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

NEW RESOURCES – EDUCATION/ENTERTAINMENT

Association of Children’s Museums: Announcing Children’s Museums at Home. “The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) has launched Children’s Museums at Home. This new searchable online database shares the virtual activities and resources that more than 240 ACM members are creating for families at home.”

San Francisco Examiner: Jam-packed Asian Pacific American Heritage Month goes online. “May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and this year’s cultural and arts programming — presented by the APA Heritage Foundation, the Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Public Library and Center for Asian American Media — is online.”

WVXU: Missing Your Reds? See New Digitized Photos And Instructional Videos. “The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is making the most of its time during the COVID-19 closure, putting its collection online and uploading instructional videos from current and former players.”

Elite Daily: Spotify’s New “Listening Together” Website Connects You With Users Around The World. “When you visit Spotify’s new Listening Together website, which you can only access through the website link, you’ll see a 3-D globe with location markers. The markers represent users who are hitting play on the same song in different locations. Spotify bases the data that you see on what’s happening on the Spotify platform in the app and on the desktop version. Click on one of the markers and you’ll hear the song that both of these users, connected by music, are playing in real-time. So when you listen to it on the site, you’ll also be listening to the same song at the same time other users are.”

WyoFile: As COVID-19 closed Wyo venues, artists migrated online. “Arts — be it live performances, museum exhibits or theater shows — were among the first casualties of the COVID-19 outbreak as venues across Wyoming and the world abruptly shuttered. As the pandemic shut down bars and galleries, however, artists moved online. Wyoming artists and venues are no different, and have been offering a wide range of opportunities for viewers to enjoy music, painting and more via their devices. Here is a rundown of some of the online ways to see — or support — what Equality State artists are up to.”

Billboard: How to Watch All the Dance Music Livestreams This Weekend (May 8-10). “Another weekend, another lineup of big deal dance events to launch a browser for this weekend. Whether you want bass, techno, IDM, EDM or house, it’s all there for you via the world wide web.”

NEW RESOURCES – LEGAL / SECURITY / PRIVACY

MIT Technology Review: A flood of coronavirus apps are tracking us. Now it’s time to keep track of them.. “When we began comparing apps around the world, we realized there was no central repository of information; just incomplete, constantly changing data spread across a wide range of sources. Nor was there a single, standard approach being taken by developers and policymakers: citizens of different countries were seeing radically different levels of surveillance and transparency. So to help monitor this fast-evolving situation, we’re gathering the information into a single place for the first time with our Covid Tracing Tracker—a database to capture details of every significant automated contact tracing effort around the world.”

NEW RESOURCES – OTHER

IRI: IRI Launches IRI CPG Inflation Tracker to Track Price Changes Amid COVID-19 and Beyond. “IRI®, a global leader in innovative solutions and services for consumer, retail and media companies, today announced the launch of the IRI CPG Inflation Tracker™ on its free, online COVID-19 Data Dashboard. The new tool provides a standard metric for tracking weekly price-per-unit changes for consumer packaged goods compared to the year-ago period across departments, including fixed and random weight products, grocery aisles and retail formats. This resource allows CPG manufacturers and retailers to assess in real time the way pricing is evolving due to the supply chain and economic impacts of the pandemic and quickly adapt their strategies.”

FoodDive: Tracking coronavirus closures at food and beverage factories. “While food and beverage manufacturers scramble to keep up with demand as consumers stock their pantries, many now must also contend with coronavirus outbreaks in their factories. The reactions are varied. Some are shutting down plants indefinitely until all workers can be tested. Others have reduced production capacity. Several have temporarily closed to deep clean their facilities and configure their spaces for greater social distancing. Food Dive is tracking the status of operations of major manufacturers’ plants as they navigate the pandemic.”

Washingtonian: These Excellent Covid-19 Posters Are Both Beautiful and Beneficial. “The Viral Art Project is a virtual art gallery that invites graphic designers and artists to submit original poster designs that respond visually to the Covid-19 pandemic. The idea is to raise awareness of the challenges facing the world while also promoting messages of hope and security. The results so far have been striking—an ever-growing collection of posters that demonstrate how powerful typography and graphic design can be.”

USEFUL STUFF

ProPublica: I’m an Investigative Journalist. These Are the Questions I Asked About the Viral “Plandemic” Video.. “My brother is a pastor in Colorado and had someone he respects urge him to watch ‘Plandemic,’ a 26-minute video that promises to reveal the “hidden agenda” behind the COVID-19 pandemic. I called him and he shared his concern: People seem to be taking the conspiracy theories presented in ‘Plandemic’ seriously. He wondered if I could write something up that he could pass along to them, to help people distinguish between sound reporting and conspiracy thinking or propaganda So I watched ‘Plandemic.’ I did not find it credible, as I will explain below.”

UPDATES

Newsweek: South Korea, Hailed For Pandemic Response, Backtracks On Reopening After Covid-19 Cases Jump. “Despite recently reopening businesses amid an impressive decline in new coronavirus case, the South Korean government has issued a nationwide health advisory for bars and nightclubs to close down for 30 more days after health officials tracked 13 new cases to a single person who attended five nightclubs and bars in the country’s capital city of Seoul.”

HSJ: Frustration over new PPE tracking tool. “Trust procurement leads have expressed frustration over a new stock reporting tool introduced by NHS England/Improvement on Monday. The ‘NHS Foundry’ data collection system, created by Silicon Valley tech firm Palantir, is designed to track levels of PPE and other covid-19 related products at trusts. But procurement leads have told HSJ the system so far offers limited functionality and produces relatively little information for users.”

NBC News: 5-year-old is first child death from COVID-19-related inflammatory syndrome reported in U.S. “A 5-year-old boy in New York has become the first child in the United States to die from a condition called pediatric multisymptom inflammatory syndrome that is believed to be linked to COVID-19. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said during a briefing Friday that the state department of health is investigating several related cases in children.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

New York Times: ‘Found Unresponsive at Home’: Grim Records Recount Lonely Deaths. “The agony of how the coronavirus has killed at least 1,669 Floridians, many of them older, is brief and matter-of-fact in the unadorned language of medical examiners, who summarize death in sometimes less than 200 words. But a trove of short narratives from nearly all of the state’s deaths so far show that a substantial number of people have died suddenly after returning home from the hospital or visiting a doctor or a clinic. Many worsened, returned to the hospital and died there.”

Arizona Public Media: For students without internet access, the pandemic hits harder. “In Arizona, as many as 350,000 households — 13% of all households in the state — don’t have an internet subscription, according to the most recent estimates from the American Community Survey. Though Gov. Doug Ducey is beginning to lift restrictions on businesses, schools will remain closed at least through the summer. Leaders in education say the pandemic has revealed a stark digital divide among Arizona students, putting the promise of a public education out of reach for some.”

Philadelphia Tribune: AP Exclusive: 70% of U.S. Olympic sports applied for PPP funds. “The Associated Press surveyed 44 of the country’s national governing bodies (NGBs) — the organizations charged with operating programs from the grassroots through the Olympic levels in sports that run the gamut from badminton to basketball. All but four of the 36 NGBs that responded said they had applied for assistance from the Paycheck Protection Program. Not all the organizations revealed how much they received, but those who did have been approved for a cumulative total of about $12 million.”

ProPublica: The First 100: Covid-19 Took Black Lives First. It Didn’t Have To.. “In Chicago, 70 of the city’s 100 first recorded victims of COVID-19 were black. Their lives were rich, and their deaths cannot be dismissed as inevitable. Immediate factors could — and should — have been addressed.”

INSTITUTION / CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT

Reuters: Google announces company holiday on May 22 to stem virus burnout. “Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it has asked employees to take a day off on May 22, to address work-from-home-related burnout during the coronavirus pandemic. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai announced the move in a memo to employees on late Thursday, which was first reported by CNBC.”

Slate: Vietnam’s Government Is Using COVID-19 to Crack Down on Freedom of Expression. “Though many Asian nations are dealing with very serious outbreaks, Vietnam appears to be one of the most successful in halting the spread of the infection. As of May 8, it has reported just 288 cases, 241 recoveries, and a remarkable zero deaths. While there have been suspicions that China may be underreporting its infected and death rates, there have not been any major accusations of Vietnam doing the same. In fact, many media outlets have praised the Vietnamese government’s aggressive measures, which have included early restrictions on travel, quarantining affected villages, providing free masks, and even writing viral songs. However, the efforts to fight COVID-19 misinformation and fake news online, including with a law enacted in April, reveal the darker side to public awareness efforts in Vietnam—one that stems from a long history of censorship and authoritarianism.”

New York Times: Hidden Toll: Mexico Ignores Wave of Coronavirus Deaths in Capital. “The Mexican government is not reporting hundreds, possibly thousands, of deaths from the coronavirus in Mexico City, dismissing anxious officials who have tallied more than three times as many fatalities in the capital than the government publicly acknowledges, according to officials and confidential data.”

CNN: South Dakota governor tells Sioux tribes they have 48 hours to remove Covid-19 checkpoints. “The governor of South Dakota has given an ultimatum to two Sioux tribes: Remove checkpoints on state and US highways within 48 hours or risk legal action. Gov. Kristi Noem sent letters Friday to the leaders of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe demanding that checkpoints designed to prevent the spread of coronavirus on tribal land be removed, the governor’s office said in a statement.”

HEALTH

Philadelphia Inquirer: Coronavirus antibody testing is now easy to get. But it’s hard to be sure what you’re getting.. “Suddenly, getting a test to see if you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus and have antibodies to it is almost as easy as getting a flu test. Vybe urgent care centers are the latest to jump on the immune-response testing bandwagon. All you need is a telemedicine consultation, a blood draw at one of the nine centers in Philadelphia or Delaware County, and several days of patience for results to come back. But there are lots of caveats.”

The Atlantic: ‘COVID-19 Is a Delirium Factory’. “The respiratory failure that afflicts the most critically ill COVID-19 patients—acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)—requires mechanical ventilation. Eighty percent of patients on a ventilator suffer from a hallucinogenic state known as ICU delirium, during which they form false, and often frightening, memories. Because these delusional memories are based on real-life stimuli, they’re more vivid than a nightmare—according to Jesse Vanderhoof, they feel ‘as real as real can get.'”

Bloomberg: Virus Pushes America’s Hospitals to the Brink of Financial Ruin. “It’s one of the cruelest realities of the coronavirus pandemic. America’s already-ailing hospitals are being pushed even further into financial ruin, threatening to force a growing number of them to file for bankruptcy or even close. The onslaught could result in some $202.6 billion in losses for hospitals across the country by the end of June, according to the American Hospital Association. While even stronger facilities see revenue evaporate, the demands of the illness may hasten the demise of weak systems, and federal aid likely won’t be enough as millions lose the private insurance critical for hospitals to pay their bills.”

RESEARCH

Financial Times: Twitter failing to curb misinformation ‘superspreaders’, report warns. “Twitter is failing to rein in ‘superspreaders’ of coronavirus misinformation on its platform, according to research detailing dozens of posts shared by high-profile accounts apparently flouting the social media group’s rules.”

POLITICS AND SECURITY

Vice: Google’s Coronavirus Test Sites May Be Scooping Up People’s Sensitive Information. “Users can sign up by creating a Google account or using an existing account, then submit information on Verily’s website and be sent to an in-person testing site if they qualify for the test. But in the two months since Verily rolled out the testing sites in California, advocates and lawmakers have been warning the Alphabet subsidiary may not be in compliance with California’s strict new privacy law that requires companies to give detailed, clear information to consumers on what kind of information it’s collecting.”

Washington Post: White House’s pandemic relief effort Project Airbridge is swathed in secrecy and exaggerations. “Since the debut of Project Airbridge in March, the Trump administration has promoted the initiative as part of a historic mobilization ‘moving heaven and earth’ to source and deliver vast amounts of medical supplies from overseas to pandemic hot spots in the United States…. Almost six weeks after its launch, Project Airbridge has completed its 122nd flight, having cost taxpayers at least $91 million. But its impact on the pandemic is unclear and shrouded in secrecy: The White House, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the companies involved have declined to disclose where supplies have been delivered.”

Reuters: Exclusive: Iran-linked hackers recently targeted coronavirus drugmaker Gilead – sources. “Hackers linked to Iran have targeted staff at U.S. drugmaker Gilead Sciences Inc in recent weeks, according to publicly-available web archives reviewed by Reuters and three cybersecurity researchers, as the company races to deploy a treatment for the COVID-19 virus.”

New York Times: Fight Over Virus’s Death Toll Opens Grim New Front in Election Battle. “The claim was tailor-made for President Trump’s most steadfast backers: Federal guidelines are coaching doctors to mark Covid-19 as the cause of death even when it is not, inflating the pandemic’s death toll. That the claim came from a doctor, Scott Jensen, who also happens to be a Republican state senator in Minnesota, made it all the more alluring to the president’s allies. Never mind the experts who said that, if anything, the death toll was being vastly undercounted.”

CNN: How does the government decide who gets remdesivir? Doctors have no idea. “It’s the first and only drug shown to be effective against the novel coronavirus in a rigorous trial. Its effects are modest but significant — shortening a patient’s hospital stay by about four days. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, has called it the new ‘standard of care’ for Covid-19. But as it stands now, there’s only enough remdesivir in the world for about 200,000 patients, according to the drug’s maker, Gilead Sciences. Who will those patients be? The US government, which is deciding where remdesivir goes, has offered few answers and little guidance since the drug was authorized for use on hospitalized patients a week ago.”

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