coronabuzz

Tuesday CoronaBuzz, May 19, 2020: 24 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 – MEDICAL/HEALTH

ScienceAlert: First ‘Map’ of Vaccine Battlegrounds on Social Media Shows How Dire Things Have Become. “This opinions of nearly 100 million Facebook users across 37 countries has been turned into a colour-coded map of relationships between proponents of vaccines, its opponents, and those whose views lie somewhere in between. Researchers from across the US applied data analysis techniques commonly used in theoretical physics to create the visualisation, intended to give a virtual bird’s eye view of the social media landscape of opinions over vaccinations – and things aren’t looking good.”

NEW RESOURCES – EDUCATION/ENTERTAINMENT

UConn Today: New Online Exhibit Highlights Asian American Student Narratives. “While students have answered the call to stay at home and help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, they are confronted with unprecedented challenges to both them and their friends, families, and neighbors. For Asian American students, the threat of racism, targeted discrimination, and social isolation can take an additional toll. To provide students with a creative outlet, and to bring light to the experiences of Asian American students in isolation, UConn’s Asian and Asian American Studies Institute (AAASI) has launched Illustrated Resilience – an ongoing online exhibit of student narratives and work from professional artists intended to document student experiences and raise awareness about the personal and societal impacts of the lack of medical preparation, access to testing, imbalanced relief, and deepening inequality while providing a creative outlet through the use of visual arts.”

NEW RESOURCES – LEGAL / SECURITY / PRIVACY / FINANCIAL

PR Newswire: Nav Releases Free Tool to Help Self-Employed Business Owners Estimate PPP Loan Forgiveness (PRESS RELEASE). “Today Nav, a free service that provides business owners the fastest, easiest and most trusted path to financing, launched a Self-Employed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Forgiveness Calculator to help the self employed estimate how much PPP loan forgiveness they may qualify for. Nav’s Self-Employed PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator walks self-employed individuals, including most sole proprietors and independent contractors, through the calculations used to apply for PPP loan forgiveness.” The tool is free to use.

Vulture: Patriot Act Returns to Terrify You About an Eviction Crisis . “The show has set up a website… where you can find out whether your building is covered in the federal moratorium and get access to other tenant resources. It’s not exactly a happy ending or solution, but it’s certainly more help and guidance than the housing court will give you.”

NEW RESOURCES – STATE-SPECIFIC

AM NY: New website aims to empower New York City’s food scene amid the COVID-19 pandemic. “A new digital initiative has launched to help empower New York City’s restaurants and bars during the COVID-19 pandemic. #SaveNYCEats is an online platform where participating businesses can feature take-home chef kits, future unique dining experiences, gift cards, merchandise and other special offers. Those who visit the #SaveNYCEats website can view aggregated offers and each of the offers links directly through to the chosen restaurant’s website for fulfillment and payment.”

NEW RESOURCES – OTHER

University of Kentucky: WUKY Partners With StoryCorps to Launch StoryCorps Connect. “WUKY is partnering with StoryCorps, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving and sharing the stories of people of all backgrounds and beliefs, to launch StoryCorps Connect. The platform is free and allows people to conduct and record StoryCorps interviews with loved ones across generations remotely. ”

USEFUL STUFF

CNET: All the best online games to play with your friends during quarantine. “Whether you’re looking for old-school favorites, party games, escape rooms or hard-core board games, there’s likely a virtual option of a multiplayer game for you, as people have turned to tech for creative socializing during social distancing. (Watching movies and shows together through extensions like Netflix Party and Airtime for YouTube have also become popular ways to hang out virtually.) Here are some of the best online games to play with friends that are available, no matter what type of experience you’re seeking.”

UPDATES

CNET: Instagram’s new guide feature will help you find wellness content. “Instagram debuted a new Guides feature on Monday with the goal of making new wellness content a little easier to find. The guide lets Instagram users discover recommendations, tips and other content from creators, public figures, organizations and publishers.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

NBC News: It’s hard to flee from your domestic abuser during a coronavirus lockdown. “Thirty-five local domestic violence organizations in 19 states shared with NBC News how their work has changed since the start of the crisis. Most saw major disruptions in requests for services. Hotline calls became shorter and callers more frantic. In some areas, calls more than doubled, in others, lines went eerily silent as victims trapped at home with abusers had limited privacy to call. Several providers said that while reports of abuse went down under their local stay-at-home orders, those that did come in described more violent incidents.”

SF Gate: Coming to an SF street near you: A photo of what it looked like 100 years ago. “OpenSFHistory, an online archive of over 50,000 historic images of San Francisco and the Bay Area, recently launched a project to integrate modern-day S.F. with its historic past. With walking tours halted and most historic sites closed, the folks behind the site are hoping their ‘guerilla history posters’ will give residents a little entertainment and education.”

Chattanooga Times Free Press: Historically black colleges work to help students amid coronavirus. “It is a perilous time for the nation’s historically black colleges and universities, which have long struggled with less funding and smaller endowments than their predominantly white peers and are now dealing with the financial challenges of the coronavirus. HBCUs have the added challenge of educating a large population of low-income and first-generation students who now need more help than ever.”

The Atlantic: Never Go Back to the Office. “Many people in a variety of industries—manufacturing, retail, transportation, health care, and more—cannot work from home, of course. Yet the pandemic has shown just how many companies can function adequately, even successfully, without placing all their employees in the same office. If you run an organization whose employees are more or less getting their work done at home, listen to that little voice in your head. Return to the office now? That’s crazy talk. I’m only telling you what you already know.”

INSTITUTION / CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT

Florida Today: As Florida re-opens, COVID-19 data chief gets sidelined and researchers cry foul. “Late last Friday, the architect and manager of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard — praised by White House officials for its accessibility — announced that she had been removed from her post, causing outcry from independent researchers now worried about government censorship.”

Newshub New Zealand: Coronavirus: Government releases COVID-19 ‘digital diary’ app early. “The Government has launched its COVID-19 ‘digital diary’ app a day early and it is now available on the Google Play and Apple stores. The app is designed to help Kiwis keep track of where they’ve been and assist with contact tracing if needed.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Call for action over refunds for cancelled flights. “Like many others across the UK, Emily Liddle and George Ridley are struggling to secure a refund for a holiday which was cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic. The couple, who lived in Edinburgh for years, were due to fly to Japan in March and spend three months travelling around Asia. They say they are about £2,000 out of pocket for flights from two airlines who have refused to refund in cash, instead offering vouchers for future flights.”

Politico: ‘Hard stop’: States could lose National Guard virus workers. “More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states test residents for the coronavirus and trace the spread of infections will face a ‘hard stop’ on their deployments on June 24 — just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits, according to a senior FEMA official.”

New York Times: ‘Way Too Late’: Inside Amazon’s Biggest Outbreak. “Local lawmakers believe that more than 100 workers have contracted the disease, but the exact number is unknown. At first, Amazon told workers about each new case. But when the total reached about 60, the announcements stopped giving specific numbers. The disclosures also stopped at other Amazon warehouses. The best estimate is that more than 900 of the company’s 400,000 blue-collar workers have had the disease. But that number, crowdsourced by Jana Jumpp, an Amazon worker, almost certainly understates the spread of the illness among Amazon’s employees.”

RESEARCH

Phys .org: Women are getting less research done than men during this coronavirus pandemic. “Before COVID-19, I used to spend a lot of time feeling like the Cat in The Cat in the Hat. I was holding a cup, the milk, the cake and a little toy ship, while bouncing up and down on a ball. I am a tenured professor and a scientist. I have a lab, grants and grad students. I write academic articles and I teach, and I’m in the midst of writing a book. I am also a mom. So, I cook, clean and nurture.”

Johns Hopkins University: JHU researchers to use machine learning to predict heart damage in COVID-19 victims. “Johns Hopkins researchers recently received a $195,000 Rapid Response Research grant from the National Science Foundation to, using machine learning, identify which COVID-19 patients are at risk of adverse cardiac events such as heart failure, sustained abnormal heartbeats, heart attacks, cardiogenic shock and death. Increasing evidence of COVID-19’s negative impacts on the cardiovascular system highlights a great need for identifying COVID-19 patients at risk for heart problems, the researchers say. However, no such predictive capabilities currently exist.”

SECURITY

BBC: Dark web scammers exploit Covid-19 fear and doubt. “‘They’re exploiting the fear, uncertainty and doubt people are experiencing during the pandemic, and using the anxiety and desperation to get people to buy things or click on things they wouldn’t have otherwise,’ says Morgan Wright, a former senior adviser to the US Department of State anti-terrorism assistance programme. He’s talking about the scammers and criminals that inhabit the “dark web” who have found a new angle – anxiety over Covid-19.”

Click Orlando: COVID-19 data sharing with law enforcement sparks concern. “Public health officials in at least two-thirds of U.S. states are sharing the addresses of people who have the coronavirus with first responders. Supporters say the measure is designed to protect those on the front line, but it’s sparked concerns of profiling in minority communities already mistrustful of law enforcement. An Associated Press review of those states found that at least 10 states also share the names of everyone who tests positive.”

POLITICS

CNET: Trump says he’s taking controversial COVID-19 drug hydroxychloroquine. “US President Donald Trump says he’s been taking hydroxychloroquine, a controversial anti-malarial drug touted as a potential COVID-19 treatment, for “about a week and a half,” despite a lack of evidence it can prevent coronavirus infection.”

ProPublica: Wedding Planner, Caterer, “Brand Builder”: Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed Dealers. “The contractors on Friday began delivering boxes containing fresh produce to food banks and other nonprofits. Forty-nine out of the 159 contractors picked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deliver boxes containing produce don’t have a requisite license from the same agency, according to a search of the USDA’s database using the information released about the contractors. Some of the contractors are established companies, and many food banks told ProPublica they’re successfully and gratefully receiving shipments. But other contractors have eclectic backgrounds with little track record in food distribution, such as a wedding planner, a caterer and a ‘brand builder.’ As a result, some food banks are left scrambling for shipments or even callbacks.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Trump gives WHO ultimatum over Covid-19 handling. “US President Donald Trump has sent a letter to the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) threatening to pull US funding permanently over Covid-19. The letter outlines a 30-day deadline for the body to commit to ‘substantive improvements’ or risk losing millions and US membership altogether.”

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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