coronabuzz

Sunday CoronaBuzz, May 24, 2020: 36 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 – STATE-SPECIFIC

University of Mississippi News: Mississippi Teacher Corps Offers Free Summer School Across State. “The Mississippi Teacher Corps, an alternate-route teacher preparation program housed at the University of Mississippi, has taken its annual summer school program online and will offer free summer classes to instate students in grades 7-12 and more. Designed for students in need of credit recovery or enrichment, the program will last from June 15 to July 17 and will meet online 9-11 a.m. weekdays. Registration for the virtual summer program opens at 5 p.m. June 9.”

Narragansett Times: Ocean State launches new app to help ‘CRUSH COVID’. ” Gov. Gina Raimondo announced the launch of a new app on Tuesday that will help the state combat the pandemic. The app, ‘CRUSH COVID RI,’ can help connect Rhode Islanders with resources, provide information on how and where to get tested, and keep track of symptoms through quick, daily surveys. Most importantly, the app can also keep track of user locations.”

Rhino Times: State Offers One-Stop Shop For COVID-19 Info. “When it comes to deadly global pandemics – and many other things as well – knowledge is power, and the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) announced on Wednesday, May 20 a new tool available to anyone who wants to better track the spread and effects of COVID-19 in North Carolina. The department unveiled its new ‘COVID-19 Dashboard’ information tracker.”

USEFUL STUFF

New York Times: How to Share Food Safely During the Pandemic. “The risk of transmitting or catching coronavirus from the act of sharing food or from the food packaging itself is very low, but you should still take precautions. And the virus shouldn’t be your only concern.”

New York Magazine: The Best Online Workout Classes, According to Strategist Writers and Editors. “Over the last six weeks (and even before), our writers and editors have been testing all sorts of online workouts, from yoga to boxing, even dance cardio. We chose our favorites based on how the classes compare to being there in person (if we’ve tried it), the likability of instructors, accessibility for exercisers of all skill levels, price, and effectiveness of the workout. Below, 16 workouts we sweat through (and loved) for Pilates, barre, strength training, and more, without leaving the house, organized in alphabetical order.”

UPDATES

Columbus Dispatch: Coronavirus deaths and cases in Ohio reported Saturday were both above the daily average. “Ohio logged another 84 coronavirus-related deaths on Saturday, a figure more than double the number of deaths recorded in the previous 24-hour period. Ohio on Saturday reported another 84 deaths from COVID-19, a figure more than double the 36 deaths that the state Department of Health reported the day before.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

New York Times: An Incalculable Loss. “America is fast approaching a grim milestone in the coronavirus outbreak — each figure here represents one of the nearly 100,000 lives lost so far. But a count reveals only so much. Memories, gathered from obituaries across the country, help us to reckon with what was lost.”

Washington Post: Amid the pandemic, people are paying more attention to tweets. And not the Twitter kind.. “In a strange new world where the volume was suddenly turned down — empty sidewalks, less traffic and fewer early-morning leaf blowers — people stuck in their homes are tuning their ears to a sweet natural sound they’ve long taken for granted: bird songs. Across the country, scientists who study birds say they’re besieged by family members and friends asking the same question: Is the bird population exploding?” On the days I spend with my Granny we spend at least a couple of hours sitting on the porch, weather permitting. There are birds, lizards, and we even saw a rabbit the other day. That’s a secondary activity, though: Granny is the world expert at determining what clouds look like.

Arirang: Entire job hunting process in S. Korea goes online due to COVID-19 concerns. “From uploading job applications to getting that acceptance letter, the entire job hunting process in South Korea has gone virtual for the first time. Instead of jobseekers going to booths at a convention center, they’re going to an online platform set up by around 30 local SMEs.”

The Hindu: Unboxing dancers on Instagram. “With venues closed for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing pandemic, dancers are looking for alternate stages. In Boxed, an online series curated by Chennai-based veteran dancer Anita Ratnam, they find the freedom to choose where they would like to dance. Even if it is a bathtub, a kitchen or a flight of stairs.”

Washington Post: Rats are getting aggressive hunting for food amid restaurant closures, CDC warns. “Amid stay-home restrictions set across the country to battle the spread of the novel coronavirus, many restaurants and cafes are closed or limited to takeout and delivery, and with the reduced sales, the restaurants’ trash bins are no longer overflowing with scrumptious leftovers hordes of rodents subsisted on. Finding slimmer pickings, critters have become more aggressive, prompting the CDC to issue guidance on how to deter them.”

INSTITUTION / CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT

New York Times: 10 Years Old, Tearful and Confused After a Sudden Deportation. “Hundreds of migrant children and teenagers have been swiftly deported by American authorities amid the coronavirus pandemic without the opportunity to speak to a social worker or plea for asylum from the violence in their home countries — a reversal of years of established practice for dealing with young foreigners who arrive in the United States. The deportations represent an extraordinary shift in policy that has been unfolding in recent weeks on the southwestern border, under which safeguards that have for decades been granted to migrant children by both Democratic and Republican administrations appear to have been abandoned.”

Rappler: While on lockdown, Ayala Museum goes online – and on Animal Crossing. “It was a strange thing to do in the middle of a pandemic – fix one’s things, put on a Filipiniana outfit, and wait anxiously at the airport a full 30 minutes before a scheduled flight. It either makes sense or becomes stranger, perhaps, after I tell you that I’m doing this with a Nintendo Switch as ‘Bea,’ my Animal Crossing New Horizon character (who, unlike this author, sports a cool shade of pink on her tresses). Inside my island’s airport, I was waiting for my Dodo Code, a 5-character code that’d bring me to Flotus, an island that was playing host to the Ayala Museum’s days-long ‘Island Exhibition,’ part of several events to celebrate International Museum Day.”

CNBC: Hertz files for U.S. bankruptcy protection as car rentals evaporate in pandemic. “The more than a century old car rental firm Hertz Global Holdings filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday after its business all but vanished during the coronavirus pandemic and talks with creditors failed to result in needed relief.”

New York Times: Jacinda Ardern Sold a Drastic Lockdown With Straight Talk and Mom Jokes. “Halfway into a Facebook Live video last week, updating the world on New Zealand’s plan to reopen restaurants, schools and even movie theaters, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern noticed a concern cropping up among the commenters: They thought she looked tired. She had plenty of reason to be exhausted, managing a pandemic as well as a daughter in diapers. But instead, she blamed the unflattering beige curtains behind her, then spun her phone around to show off the vintage cane furniture with green frond upholstery in her favorite room at the prime minister’s residence.”

Washington Post: One final viral infusion: Trump’s move to block travel from Europe triggered chaos and a surge of passengers from the outbreak’s center. “‘To keep new cases from entering our shores,’ Trump said in an Oval Office address on March 11, ‘we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.’ Across the Atlantic, Jack Siebert, an American college student spending a semester in Spain, was battling raging headaches, shortness of breath and fevers that touched 104 degrees. Concerned about his condition for travel but alarmed by the president’s announcement, his parents scrambled to book a flight home for their son — an impulse shared by thousands of Americans who rushed to get flights out of Europe.”

EDUCATION

Washington State Attorney General: AG Ferguson Challenges Department Of Education Decision Blocking Coronavirus Aid For Thousands Of Washington Students. “Attorney General Bob Ferguson today challenged a U.S. Department of Education decision that deprives thousands of Washington college students from receiving critical aid included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act. Under its Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, the CARES Act appropriated more than $12 billion to higher education institutions across the nation to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act required that at least 50 percent of the funds be disbursed to students as emergency grants for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations.”

HEALTH

CNN: Doctor in small Georgia city says coronavirus spread through community before hospital staff found out what it was. “Coronavirus spread through a southwest Georgia city for 10 days in March before hospital staff were told what was filling their wards with desperately sick people, a doctor told Congress on Thursday. ‘We were shocked by its abrupt entrance into our lives, and the virus had been spreading quietly for 10 days, and very quickly,’ Dr. Shanti Akers, a pulmonary critical care physician at Phoebe Putney Health System in Albany, testified.”

ProPublica Illinois: More Than 1 in 5 Illinoisans Living in State Homes for Adults With Disabilities Have Tested Positive for the Coronavirus. “While much of the attention related to COVID-19’s impact on vulnerable populations has focused on deaths at nursing homes, infection rates are remarkably high in another kind of residential setting: state-operated centers for adults with cognitive or behavioral disabilities. As of Thursday, more than 1 in 5 people living in these developmental centers had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, state data shows. That’s more than double the infection rate seen in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, where confirmed cases account for about 7% of residents, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.”

AP: Virus spread feared where water is scarce around the world. “Violet Manuel hastily abandoned her uncle’s funeral and grabbed two empty containers when she heard a boy running down the dirt road shouting, ‘Water, water, water!’ The 72-year-old joined dozens of people seeking their daily ration in Zimbabwe’s densely populated town of Chitungwiza. ‘Social distancing here?’ Manuel asked tartly. She sighed with relief after getting her allotment of 40 liters (10.5 gallons) but worried about the coronavirus.”

WHTC: Dutch farm worker contracted coronavirus from mink: agriculture minister. “A person who worked on a farm where mink are bred to export their fur contracted the coronavirus from the animals, the Dutch Agriculture Minister said in a letter to parliament on Wednesday. Outbreaks on mink farms in the Netherlands were first reported in April, when keepers noticed some animals having difficulty breathing, prompting a wider investigation.”

CDC: CDC: Arkansas coronavirus outbreak linked to church services. “35 of the 92 people (38%) who attended services at a rural Arkansas church March 6–11 tested positive for the coronavirus, ultimately killing three, according to a case study released Tuesday by the CDC.”

CNN: Report: Brazil’s indigenous people are dying at an alarming rate from Covid-19. “Far from hospitals and often lacking basic infrastructure, Brazil’s indigenous people are dying at an alarming rate from Covid-19 with little help in sight. The mortality rate is double that of the rest of Brazil’s population, according to advocacy group Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) which tracks the number of cases and deaths among the country’s 900,000 indigenous people.”

TECHNOLOGY

Daily Dot: YouTube ads are rife with coronavirus conspiracies—from the same right-wing site. “Others have complained about Epoch Times’ coronavirus ads in the past. An April 25 complaint on the company’s support page asked, ‘Why are you allowing “Epoch Times” to spread Alex Jones level conspiracy theories about COVID-19??!?’ But it’s not just YouTube; Epoch Times is all over the web. It presents itself as a new conservative publication, little different than the Breitbarts and Daily Wires of the world. But the more you look, the less that image holds up.”

RESEARCH

Washington Post: More evidence emerges on why covid-19 is so much worse than the flu. “Researchers who examined the lungs of patients killed by covid-19 found evidence that it attacks the lining of blood vessels there, a critical difference from the lungs of people who died of the flu, according to a report published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Critical parts of the lungs of patients infected with the novel coronavirus also suffered many microscopic blood clots and appeared to respond to the attack by growing tiny new blood vessels, the researchers reported.”

Reuters: Human trials of British coronavirus vaccine to reach 10,000. “Oxford University and AstraZeneca (AZN.L) are recruiting around 10,000 adults and children in Britain for trials of an experimental coronavirus vaccine, a day after receiving U.S. backing worth up to $1.2 billion.”

Harvard School of Public Health: COVID-19 transmission among workers considerable during early outbreaks. “Workplace transmission of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 likely played a substantial role in the local spread of the disease during the early stages of the outbreak in six Asian countries, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The majority of the possible work-related cases occurred in occupations outside of health care, according to the study.”

WSBTV: 35% of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic, CDC says. “A new study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention finds about 35% of COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t show any signs or symptoms. Dr. Steve Threlkeld is an infectious disease specialist at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. He said unlike the flu, it’s hard to tell how the coronavirus infection spreads if someone is asymptomatic.”

CRIME

NBC News: Singapore court sentences drug suspect to death on Zoom videoconferencing app. “Singapore has sentenced a drug suspect to death on the popular videoconferencing app Zoom because of the city-state’s coronavirus lockdown, in a move slammed by a human rights group as callous and inhumane. Defense lawyer Peter Fernando said the Supreme Court announced the penalty to his client, Punithan Genasan from Malaysia, in a virtual hearing Friday. Genasan was in jail, while Fernando and prosecutors participated in the hearing from different locations.”

FBI: FBI Warns of Child Sexual Abuse Material Being Displayed During Zoom Meetings. “The COVID-19 crisis has caused many organizations and schools to conduct virtual meetings/events, some of which are open to the public. Additionally, links to many virtual events are being shared online, resulting in a lack of vetting of approved participants. During the last few months, the FBI has received more than 195 reports of incidents throughout the United States and in other countries in which a Zoom participant was able to broadcast a video depicting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The FBI considers this activity to be a violent crime, as every time child sexual abuse material is viewed, the depicted child is re-victimized. Furthermore, anyone who inadvertently sees child sexual abuse material depicted during a virtual event is potentially a victim as well.”

POLITICS

Business Insider: Angry truck drivers are slamming Trump for saying their protest on devastatingly low rates was a ‘sign of love’ for him. “A group of protesting truck drivers, blaring their horns, interrupted a White House press conference on May 15. President Donald Trump was forced to stop talking about potential vaccines for the coronavirus to recognize the group. But Trump said the truck drivers weren’t protesting — they were parked outside the White House as a ‘sign of love’ for him. In fact, it’s a protest on what truck drivers say is a lack of transparency in how their rates are calculated. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, their pay has sank to unusually low rates.”

Politico: Justice Department centralizes control of sensitive insider-trading probes. “Multiple U.S. Attorney’s offices — including the Southern District of New York — wanted to handle insider trading investigations of lawmakers, one of the sources said, but all the probes have been centralized in D.C. It would have been logical for SDNY to have jurisdiction: Wall Street is located there, and the district has extensive experience investigating and prosecuting complex financial cases. Other offices that telegraphed interest were the residences of potential targets. Spokespersons for the Justice Department and SDNY declined to comment.”

CNN: Why GOP can’t reopen the economy without Democratic buy-in. “From President Donald Trump through Republican governors and state legislatures, the GOP is coalescing around a position of reopening the economy as quickly as possible despite concerns about seeding a wider spread of the coronavirus. But the party’s efforts face a paradoxical hurdle: The economy can’t regain much momentum without the participation of big Democratic-leaning metropolitan areas, where both local officials and average residents remain more skeptical about quickly unwinding social distancing measures.”

AP: GOP fronts ‘pro-Trump’ doctors to prescribe rapid reopening. “Republican political operatives are recruiting ‘extremely pro-Trump’ doctors to go on television to prescribe reviving the U.S. economy as quickly as possible, without waiting to meet safety benchmarks proposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.”

Politico: Trump administration might consolidate pandemic response at State Department. “Aides to President Donald Trump are considering a plan to shift the government’s global response to future infectious disease outbreaks to a new unit inside the State Department, according to documents obtained by POLITICO. The proposal, discussed during a National Security Council deputies committee meeting on Thursday, already has set off a turf battle between the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID officials were surprised and perplexed by the idea, which could lead them to lose control of significant funds and authorities.”

Washington Post: GOP governor offers emotional plea to the anti-mask crowd: Stop this senseless culture war. “As states across the country have gradually pushed forward with reopening in recent weeks, protesters representing a small but apparently growing movement — especially within the Republican Party — have continued to push for it to go faster. And one very visible thing has somehow turned into a perceived political statement: wearing a mask. A reporter at a Minnesota news station — one who happens to be an old college friend of mine — was even harassed this week for wearing a mask while covering these protests. Across the border in North Dakota, though, GOP Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday offered a plea to stop the madness.”

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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