Monday CoronaBuzz, May 18, 2020: 26 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.


UNC School of Medicine: Wood helps create, lead international COVID-19 database of people who have blood cancer. “A University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researcher has helped establish an international database to collect and share information that could help improve care for patients with blood cancer who are positive for COVID-19. The ASH Research Collaborative’s Data Hub launched the COVID-19 Registry for Hematologic Malignancy to capture data on people who test positive for COVID-19 and have been or are being treated for blood cancer.”

The Atlantic: State and Federal Data on COVID-19 Testing Don’t Match Up. “With the new CDC site, the federal government is providing regular testing data again, and for the first time ever, it is doing so on a state-by-state level. But an initial analysis of the CDC’s state-level data finds major discrepancies between what many states are reporting and what the federal government is reporting about them. In Florida, for example, the disparity is enormous. The state government reported on Friday that about 700,000 coronavirus tests have been conducted statewide since the beginning of the outbreak. This count should be authoritative: Governor Ron DeSantis has ordered hospitals and doctors to report their test results to the Florida Department of Health. Yet the CDC reported more than 919,000 tests in the state in that same period. That’s 31 percent more tests than Florida itself seems to think it has conducted.”

PopSugar Fitness: Sweat It Out With Our Intense New Instagram Live Workouts, Premiering All Week Long!. “No space, no equipment, no time? Honestly, no problem. A step-by-step solution: First, to stay on track, add our Instagram Live workout schedule to your Google Calendar. Second, throw on some comfy clothes — that’s the only gear you’ll need. Third, show up in whatever area of your bedroom, living room, garage, or basement you have available. And fourth, head over to @popsugarfitness to join us for a fun, intense, and effective live sweat session!”


House Beautiful: Stonehenge’s Summer Solstice Event May Be Cancelled, But You Can Watch the Whole Thing on Facebook. “Every year, thousands of visitors flock to Wiltshire, England, and camp out overnight for Stonehenge’s annual summer solstice event — which celebrates the official start of summer. However, this year’s summer solstice, slated to begin at sunset on June 20, 2020 and conclude a little bit after sunrise on June 21, 2020 has been canceled due to COVID-19. While this news might come as a disappointment to many, Stonehenge isn’t letting the longest day of the year go unnoticed. For the first time ever, Stonehenge will be live streaming its entire event.”

Catalyst: For Year 31, Tampa Bay gay film festival goes online. “Stymied like the rest of the performance world by the interminable Covid crisis, the Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival has begun a virtual screening series. Curated by the festival’s new programming chief Derek Horne, TIGLFF Online began Thursday with Laughter in Lockdown, a series of short films – all comedies – from the festival’s last 10 years.” The free short films go away May 20, so check ’em out now.

American Theatre: 3Views Debuts Digital Archive. “3Views was initially intended as a mission-driven journal, to not only broaden the scope of theatre-related writing, but to provide three diverse perspectives on one piece of theatre at a time. With a slew of significant names on deck⁠—Alison Bechdel, Cassie da Costa, Alexander Chee, Eve Ensler, Roxane Gay, John Guare, Jessica Hagedorn, John Lahr, Paul Muldoon, Cynthia Nixon, Mary Louise Parker, Claudia Rankine, James Shapiro, Kathryn Schulz, Zadie Smith, Wally Shawn, Alisa Solomon, Gloria Steinem and Monique Truong⁠—the publication was prepared to launch this spring. However, with theatres now closed and no productions to review, 3Views has shifted its purpose to that of a virtual space where theatre can re-emerge online. Each week, the site will feature three canceled productions; viewers will be able to read script excerpts and production history, watch videos, browse photos, explore designs, and more.”


NOLA: Released for 1st time: See full list of nursing homes in Louisiana with coronavirus. “The release is the first time in more than six weeks that the state has confirmed which facilities have cases. Since April 1, the state has released only aggregate numbers of infections and deaths in senior complexes, and the total number of facilities with known cases.”

Honolulu Civil Beat: New Website Matches People In Need With People Who Can Help. “There’s an unprecedented urgent need among people who’ve lost their jobs or can’t pay the rent. It’s matched by a swell in the number of people who want to help. But matching charitable organizations with donors who want to fund their initiatives normally doesn’t happen fast. And the whirlpool of needs and resources can be difficult to navigate.”

I am normally only covering state-level resources or greater, but Los Angeles County has almost as many people as my entire state (just over 10 million) so I’m making an exception. ANYWAY. Los Angeles County: Los Angeles County Launches New WiFi Locator Tool to Help Residents Get Online During COVID-19 Pandemic. “Any member of the public can dial 2-1-1 to ask for assistance to get information from this website, or can visit the site directly. The website features a search tool, based on the user’s physical address, to connect them to various Internet related services, such as Internet access services for students, the location of free WiFi spots throughout the County (including free hotspots located in or nearby County libraries and County parks) and contact information for both residential and commercial broadband Internet providers and mobile (cellular) Internet providers serving the address.”


Mashable: How to use Nextdoor, Facebook, Slack to help neighbors amid coronavirus. “Like so much of the world right now, helping neighbors at this moment is likely going to require moving some activities online. Mashable spoke with Prakash Janakiraman, co-founder and chief architect at Nextdoor, and Naomi Gleit, vice president of product at Facebook, about how to best support neighbors using each platform. They’re not the only digital tools you can use to help neighbors right now — there are likely creative ways to use almost any platform to help others — but some of Janakiraman and Gleit’s updated tools can fulfill specific neighborly tasks.”


Omaha World-Herald: Smashing eggs, dumping milk: Farmers waste more food than ever. “Dumped milk in Wisconsin. Smashed eggs in Nigeria. Rotting grapes in India. Buried hogs in Minnesota. These disturbing images have stirred outrage around the world. But here’s the surprising part: the world may not actually be wasting more than normal, when a third of global food production ends up in landfills. What’s changing now is that rather than being thrown out by consumers as kitchen waste, an unprecedented amount of food is getting dumped even before making it into grocery stores.”

NBC News: He thought the coronavirus was ‘a fake crisis.’ Then he contracted it and changed his mind.. “A Florida man who thought the coronavirus was ‘a fake crisis’ has changed his mind after he and his wife contracted COVID-19. Brian Hitchens, a rideshare driver who lives in Jupiter, downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus in Facebook posts in March and April.”

The Atlantic: My Brother’s Death Didn’t Have to Happen. “Senator Elizabeth Warren’s oldest brother, Donald Reed Herring, died of COVID-19 in late April, and I heard that she sometimes mentioned this in conversations about policy, though she was reluctant to talk about it publicly. So when I interviewed her for a story about her pandemic-response work (and her prospects of getting picked to be Joe Biden’s running mate), it was only natural to ask how the pandemic had affected her personally.”

Hindustan Times: Onoterusaki Shrine in Japan offers solace to those at home amid coronavirus pandemic lockdown. “Shinto shrines, a go-to place for many Japanese to pray for good health and safety, have largely shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic. But one Tokyo shrine went online for those seeking solace. Onoterusaki Shrine in downtown Tokyo was live-streaming prayers on Twitter during a May 1-10 holiday, allowing those stuck at home to join rituals.”

The 74: WATCH: In This Age of Social Distancing, Class of 2020 Graduations Go Virtual, Mobile and Robotic. “For the roughly 3.7 million seniors in the Class of 2020 spread across more than 24,000 high schools in the United States, graduation ceremonies this spring won’t resemble anything near traditional. What they will look like, though, will run the gamut from drive-in movie-style celebrations to livestreamed commencement exercises to pre-recorded snippets pieced together and viewed online. And they will all come with the same goal: honoring students and creating memories.”

Christie’s: What are museums — and their directors — doing now?. “As the world celebrates International Museums Day, we talk to four directors across the globe about loans and exhibitions, the future of blockbusters, donations, digital innovations, inclusivity, connectivity and ‘the duty to safeguard great art’”


The Guardian: Dutch official advice to single people: find a sex buddy for lockdown. “Single men and women in the Netherlands are being advised to organise a seksbuddy (sex buddy) after criticism of rules dictating that home visitors maintain a 1.5-metre distance from their hosts during the coronavirus lockdown. In a typically open-minded intervention, official guidance from the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has been amended to suggest those without a permanent sexual partner come to mutually satisfactory agreements with like-minded individuals.”

The Moscow Times: Russia Pushes Google to Block Report on Low Virus Deaths, Probes NYT and FT. “Russia’s state communications watchdog has demanded that Google block a Russian news website’s article on a Financial Times report about Russia’s possibly undercounted coronavirus deaths. Roskomnadzor, the watchdog, said Thursday it was probing reports by FT and The New York Times, which analyzed official mortality data to investigate whether Russia is undercounting its coronavirus deaths, to establish whether they violated the country’s law against disinformation. It did not say whether it planned to punish the media outlets, as demanded by some Russian officials.”

ProPublica: The Trump Administration Is Rushing Deportations of Migrant Children During Coronavirus. “Their father was missing. Their mother was miles away. Two sisters, ages 8 and 11, were survivors of sexual assault and at risk of deportation. With the nation focused on COVID-19, the U.S. government is rushing the deportations of migrant children.”

The Conservation: International film archives are streaming up a storm during lockdown. Australia’s movie trove isn’t even online. “Film archives began to be established in 1933 as archivists realised films needed to be safeguarded for their own sake, rather than for military or religious purposes. Nitrate film used from the early 1890s through the mid-1950s, and magnetic tape used from the mid-1940s to the early 2000s, cannot survive the test of time. So, in addition to managing storage environments, archives preserve films digitally. Commercial streaming services offer access to films, but they do not ensure this content is stored, saved and contextualised. They are not custodians of history or culture. Archives ensure recordings of the past remain meaningfully embedded in our contemporary life. In a time when the audiovisual is our primary mode of communication, the archive as an institution protecting and championing our shared history is more important than ever.”

ProPublica: Two Coasts. One Virus. How New York Suffered Nearly 10 Times the Number of Deaths as California.. “As of May 15, there were nearly 350,000 COVID-19 cases in New York and more than 27,500 deaths, nearly a third of the nation’s total. The corresponding numbers in California: just under 75,000 cases and slightly more than 3,000 deaths. In New York City, the country’s most populous and densest, there had been just under 20,000 deaths; in San Francisco, the country’s second densest and 13th most populous, there had been 35.”


60 Minutes: The government whistleblower who says the Trump administration’s coronavirus response has cost lives. “Dr. Rick Bright is the highest-ranking government scientist to charge the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been slow and chaotic. He says it has prioritized politics over science, and has cost people their lives. It has cost Dr. Bright his job. In April, he was removed from a top position in the Department of Health and Human Services, and transferred to what he considers a position of less stature and responsibility. Dr. Bright has filed a whistleblower complaint running over 300 pages.”

Washington Post: ‘No offense, but is this a joke?’ Inside the underground market for face masks.. “The international market for desperately needed medical masks is riddled with fraud. Up and down the supply chain, from factories to hospitals, opportunists are benefiting from the chaotic market as prices have quintupled. Rampant price gouging and fraud has provoked dozens of lawsuits and hundreds of cease-and-desist orders, from major mask manufacturers as well as state attorneys general. While profiteers and crooks make their fortunes, medical workers across the United States are rationing masks, recycling them and treating infected patients without them. The federal government has taken steps to address the shortages, but emergency management experts say the efforts were distressingly inadequate. The Trump administration ignored early warnings that it needed to shore up its stockpile of masks and other personal protective equipment and has fallen behind several other Western nations in the race to secure them, documents and interviews show.”

University of Kentucky: Don’t Let COVID-19 Fear Keep You From Seeking Medical Care. “The fear of contracting COVID-19 is keeping many people at home who should be coming to the Emergency Department for life-threatening conditions. Emergency departments, however, have been reorganized to isolate patients with suspected or known COVID-19 to protect those who are not infected. Yet, in the face of the pandemic, hospitalizations for stroke have decreased dramatically all over the world, including in Kentucky. Avoiding or delaying seeking emergent help can have drastic consequences because effective stroke treatments are available, but need to be started soon after the symptoms begin. It is important not to dismiss even transient symptoms because they are a warning that a major stroke may occur over the next hours or days.”


CNN: Obama criticizes leadership on coronavirus response, gives three pieces of advice in virtual commencement addresses. “Former President Barack Obama told college graduates that the ‘folks in charge’ don’t always know what they’re doing in rare public criticism of the Trump administration on Saturday. Obama criticized the handling of the coronavirus pandemic without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, just a week after privately critiquing the administration’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.”

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