coronabuzz

Sunday CoronaBuzz, June 7, 2020: 36 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

NEW RESOURCES – EDUCATION/ENTERTAINMENT

Archaeology is offering temporary free access to its archive. From the site’s front page: “We are excited to introduce temporary complimentary access to our archive of over 70 years of ARCHAEOLOGY Magazine and to bring a world of discovery to your home. Use the link below to access the archive with an email address or to sign in with your digital subscriber information. Once you have signed up for an account, log in as a digital subscriber.”

ABC News Australia: Australian arts online guide: The best live streams and on-demand comedy, music, theatre, exhibitions and more. “This guide focuses on Australian content, with occasional international gems thrown in too. There will be a genuine world-premiere, live streaming arts, streams from the archive, on-demand dates, bite-sized bits of content from Australian artists, galleries and theatre companies, and recommendations for the best ‘virtual’ exhibitions.”

NEW RESOURCES – OTHER

Seventeen: How to Watch All the Virtual Graduations with Your Favorite Celebs. “Whether you’re the one graduating or someone close to you is, commencement is still a pretty incredible time to get together and celebrate . While the current coronavirus pandemic has caused commencement ceremonies around the country to shut down and move virtually, several of our favorite celebs have come together to make our dreams come true. Virtual commencement ceremonies will be happening all month and you definitely want to tune in to check out all the incredible performances and speeches.”

USEFUL STUFF

Vulture: Where to Stream Great Dance Performances. “You won’t be able to attend a dance performance for a while: For the next few months, it’s video or nothing. And there are certainly things you lose watching dance virtually, like the way a dancer’s gestures communicate directly to the watcher’s muscles (as she leaps, you feel yourself leaping too). But the screen doesn’t cut that link entirely. Watching a TikTok dance, you can choose to stay on the couch, but you are experiencing a little kinesthetic shudder in your lumbar region—it’s deep down, where the dance comes from. And what you can gain from on-camera dance is the screen’s pristine landscape view. Those 19th-century choreographers exploiting the wide architecture of the classical proscenium stage were designing for the wide shot long before there was one.”

UPDATES

Bloomberg: It’s Covid Code Red in Latin America With No Signs of Peaking. “When a top World Health Organization official this week declared Latin America the new epicenter for Covid-19, few experts in the region needed to be persuaded. The data are overwhelming — and overwhelmingly dreadful. The number of regional cases stands at 1.17 million. Demographic giants Brazil and Mexico are posting among the fastest growth rates and logging daily death records. Viral illness is also rising in Peru, Colombia, Chile and Bolivia.”

Kurdistan24: COVID-19: Kurdistan Region records 74 new cases; Iraq reports 1,252, and 33 deaths. “On Saturday, the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Health reported 74 new coronavirus cases as well as one death from the disease over the past 24 hours. Iraqi authorities, meanwhile, said they had recorded 1,252 new cases and 14 deaths.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Washington Post: The pandemic hit and this car became home for a family of four. ” The pandemic had forced them from their home. Then they had run out of money for a motel. That left the car, which is where Sergine Lucien, Dave Marecheau and their two children were one recent night, parked in a lot that was tucked behind a row of empty storefronts.”

Reuters: Wendell and Mariann:  Alone Together. “Meet the masters of social distancing. The Hardys live completely off-grid in the wildest reaches of the American West. As most people struggle with avoiding others, they’re determined to maintain a remote life together to the very end.”

The Scotsman: Nicola Sturgeon ‘hugely anxious’ about Covid-19 impact on poorest young people as attainment gap analysis suspended. “The first minister said she was aware that children and young adults in vulnerable or impoverished settings were being forced to bear a ‘disproportionate impact’ during the pandemic, but stressed to leave “no stone unturned” in ensuring they did not suffer more than those young Scots from more prosperous backgrounds.”

ArtNet News: In a Post-COVID World, What Museums Do Outside Their Walls Will Become as Important as What They Put on Them. “That this sector attracts 2.5 times the population of the US each year is remarkable in itself. But the economic impact of museums extends far beyond what happens inside their buildings. Collectively, according to a 2017 report from the American Alliance of Museums, these organizations contribute more than $50 billion to the GDP, generate $12 billion in tax revenue, and produce over 725,000 jobs—double that of the professional sports industry. In the wake of COVID-19, the size and impact of this economic footprint means that the health and vibrancy of our cities and communities is closely tied to the fate of museums.”

Washington Post: Florida’s largest majority-black city was doing well. Then came the coronavirus.. “Betty Ferguson has spent decades trying to make sure her community doesn’t suffer the same kind of economic and environmental discrimination she’s seen in too many places. Ferguson, 75, has led successful fights against a garbage dump and a detention center. She rallied neighbors to fight for an independent county commission seat and then to vote for incorporation as the city of Miami Gardens, arguing that things would improve if residents had more control over how their tax dollars were spent. Parks were cleaned up, businesses moved in and the city thrived. Now, Miami Gardens — the largest majority-black city in the state — is waging a fight against the novel coronavirus.”

New York Times: How Crowdsourcing Aided a Push to Preserve the Histories of Nazi Victims. “While the coronavirus pandemic has painfully upended lives and businesses around the world, the lockdowns it caused are providing a unique boost for one group’s effort to help heal a generations-old wound: Nazi atrocities. As the virus prompted lockdowns across Europe, the director of the Arolsen Archives — the world’s largest devoted to the victims of Nazi persecution — joined millions of others working remotely from home and spending lots more time in front of her computer.”

New York Times: C.D.C. Recommends Sweeping Changes to American Offices. “Upon arriving at work, employees should get a temperature and symptom check. Inside the office, desks should be six feet apart. If that isn’t possible, employers should consider erecting plastic shields around desks. Seating should be barred in common areas. And face coverings should be worn at all times. These are among sweeping new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the safest way for American employers reopening their offices to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

Publishers Weekly: Changes Loom as Public Libraries Begin to Reopen . “After three months of an unprecedented lockdown to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, public libraries across the U.S. are now in the process of reopening. A recent American Library Association membership survey found 37% of respondents expect a phased reopening to begin in June or July, with 47% still unsure when their buildings will reopen to the public. But whenever that happens, the public libraries that will emerge from this historic pause will be changed from the ones that closed their doors in March, librarians tell PW, both in the short term, and into the future.”

STAT News: Covid-19 is battering independent physician practices. They need help now. “Autumn Road Family Practice is a small, six-doctor primary care practice that’s been caring for people in Little Rock, Ark., for more than half a century. On a Thursday in mid-March, the entire staff met to update the practice’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, since the first case had just been identified in Little Rock. The floor dropped out quickly. ”

INSTITUTION / CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT

Desert Sun: Chuckawalla prison in Blythe has surge of coronavirus infections, most of any state prison with 827. “Of the more than 2,200 inmates at the Chuckawalla Valley State Prison in Blythe, 827 have tested positive for the coronavirus. That’s more than five times the number of inmates who had tested positive at that facility last week, and the most of any facility in California’s prison system.”

ProPublica: Small Businesses Failed by Federal Bailout Program Turn to Cash-Strapped Local Governments for Help. “Thousands of small businesses, especially those owned by people of color, have been left behind by the stipulations of the Paycheck Protection Program. In Texas, local governments are lending millions of dollars and it’s not enough.”

ABC News: Because of COVID-19 pandemic Navy to start ‘safe haven’ ports of call for its ships. “As the USS Theodore Roosevelt left Guam on Thursday to resume a deployment interrupted for more than two months by an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, it headed out to sea enforcing health and safety practices that will now become standard for the foreseeable future on U.S. Navy ships. And in an effort to keep a ‘COVID-free bubble’ for its sailors at sea during the pandemic, the Navy will only allow ports of call at a select number of Navy bases around the world that will serve as ‘safe havens.'”

The New York Times: When Their Mother Died at a Nursing Home, 2 Detectives Wanted Answers. “A little after 1 in the afternoon, Aida Pabey got the call from the nursing home: Her mother was not going to make it. It was April 6, nearly four weeks after the state had barred all visitors to nursing homes, and Aida and her sister, Haydee, had been struggling to get even the most basic information about their mother. Was she eating? Had the coronavirus reached her part of the home? Now this dire call. Just the day before, the sisters had been assured by an aide that their mother was ‘fine.’ They were both detectives in the New York Police Department, 20-year veterans. They were used to getting information, even from people determined to withhold it. But the nursing home had been a black box.”

Washington Post: Pentagon’s coronavirus plan includes millions for missile tubes and body armor . “The Pentagon is moving too slowly to spend money it’s been allocated to battle the coronavirus pandemic and is devoting millions of dollars to expenses that are not virus related, according to critics and a copy of the spending plans obtained by The Washington Post.”

New York Times: The C.D.C. Waited ‘Its Entire Existence for This Moment.’ What Went Wrong?. “The C.D.C., long considered the world’s premier health agency, made early testing mistakes that contributed to a cascade of problems that persist today as the country tries to reopen. It failed to provide timely counts of infections and deaths, hindered by aging technology and a fractured public health reporting system. And it hesitated in absorbing the lessons of other countries, including the perils of silent carriers spreading the infection. The agency struggled to calibrate its own imperative to be cautious and the need to move fast as the coronavirus ravaged the country, according to a review of thousands of emails and interviews with more than 100 state and federal officials, public health experts, C.D.C. employees and medical workers. In communicating to the public, its leadership was barely visible, its stream of guidance was often slow and its messages were sometimes confusing, sowing mistrust.”

BuzzFeed News: “We Could Be Looking Into A Lot Of Trouble”: VA Nurses Fear Hospitals Won’t Be Ready For What Comes Next In The Coronavirus Pandemic. “[Yvonne] Evans, who also serves as a representative with the American Federation of Government Employees, said she believes she contracted the virus at work. But getting the department to take her illness seriously was a challenge, she said. After she started showing symptoms, she said, she was told to keep working for two days, possibly infecting even more people at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center, where she helps run a surgical clinic. Now, as the VA begins to reintroduce some of its healthcare services that were suspended to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Evans and other union officials are worried that the department is destined to face the same problems they’ve seen since the pandemic began.”

CELEBRITIES / BANDS / GROUPS

Orlando Sentinel: Florida prison with biggest COVID-19 outbreak is taking donated supplies. The donors: former prisoners. “The Florida women’s prison that has seen the most positive coronavirus tests among inmates of any state facility is getting donations of much-needed supplies, like toilet paper and face masks, from a group of former prisoners. Last month, nonprofit Change Comes Now donated almost 3,000 rolls of toilet paper, about 1,500 bars of antibacterial soap, more than 2,000 disposable medical masks and 10,000 gloves, as well as cleaning supplies, to Homestead Correctional Institution in hard-hit Miami-Dade County, according to Debra Bennett, the nonprofit’s executive director.”

Richmond Free Press: Oprah donates $12M to combat coronavirus. “Through the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, the OWN Network boss announced she was donating $12 million to organizations dedicated to helping underserved communities in Chicago, Baltimore, Nashville, Milwaukee and Kosciusko, Miss.”

EDUCATION

New York Times: Research Shows Students Falling Months Behind During Virus Disruptions. “While a nation of burned-out, involuntary home schoolers slogs to the finish line of a disrupted academic year, a picture is emerging of the extent of the learning loss among children in America, and the size of the gaps schools will be asked to fill when they reopen. It is not pretty.”

ReliefWeb: COVID-19: A camel library takes remote learning to new levels. “A camel library is giving children out of school in some of Ethiopia’s most remote villages a unique opportunity to continue reading and learning, despite COVID-19 school closures. Save the Children first began the camel library in 2010. The programme includes 21 camels, which are traditionally used by communities in the Somali region of Ethiopia to transport goods across the hot lowland areas. Camels can carry up to 200 storybooks at a time in wooden boxes strapped to their backs. The project currently reaches over 22,000 children in 33 villages.”

HEALTH

Daily Beast: One-Third of Surveyed Americans Used Bleach for COVID-19 Prevention: CDC Report. “A federal survey found that one-third of respondents ‘engaged in non-recommended high-risk practices’ involving bleach and household cleaners “with the intent of preventing” COVID-19 transmission. The new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released on Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the practices included using ‘bleach on food products, applying household cleaning and disinfectant products to skin, and inhaling or ingesting cleaners and disinfectants,’ according to the report.”

Kaiser Health News: Open (Your Wallet) Wide: Dentists Charge Extra For Infection Control. “After nearly two months at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Erica Schoenradt was making plans in May to see her dentist for a checkup. Then she received a notice from Swish Dental that the cost of her next visit would include a new $20 ‘infection control fee’ that would likely not be covered by her insurer.”

New York Times: Corrosive Effects of Tear Gas Could Intensify Coronavirus Pandemic. “The billowing clouds of tear gas that the authorities are sending through protest crowds across the United States may increase the risk that the coronavirus could spread through the gatherings. Along with the immediate pain that can cause watering eyes and burning throats, tear gas may cause damage to people’s lungs and make them more susceptible to getting a respiratory illness, according to studies on the risks of exposure. The gas can also incite coughing, which can further spread the virus from an infected person.”

Insider: Couples who aren’t quarantining together should wear face masks during sex to prevent coronavirus spread, according to a Harvard study. “A new study from researchers at Harvard University in the US has found that having sex could spread coronavirus, and recommends that couples who are not quarantining together should take preventative measures in the bedroom — including wearing face masks. These preventative measures also include showering before and after sex, avoiding kissing, and ‘cleaning of the physical space with soap or alcohol wipes.'”

TECHNOLOGY

VentureBeat: Bluetooth bracelets are an identity-blind option for digital contact tracing. “Bluetooth tags are standalone Bluetooth radios that can be deployed in wearable bracelets. Thanks to recent developments in IoT technology, Bluetooth bracelets can cost just a dollar or two and run for 10 years on a coin cell battery. Therefore, in areas where people don’t own or operate smartphones, governments can affordably deploy Bluetooth bracelets. Ideally, Bluetooth bracelets and smartphones can complement each other in enabling an effective digital tracing solution.”

RESEARCH

University of California: Newly funded COVID-19 research aims to protect the most vulnerable. “This week, UC announced the successful completion of a whirlwind effort to award $2 million in seed funding to research across the state aimed at mitigating the impact of COVID-19, particularly among those at greater risk for infection and adverse outcomes. The funds are being used to support rapid-response, high-impact research in vaccines, therapeutics, clinical management, epidemiology and other COVID-19 related areas to scientists across the state.”

Reuters: Monkeys steal coronavirus blood samples in India. “A troop of monkeys in India attacked a medical official and snatched away blood samples of patients who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus… The attack occurred this week when a laboratory technician was walking in the campus of a state-run medical college in Meerut, 460 km (285 miles) north of Lucknow, capital of Uttar Pradesh state.”

Science: Why do some COVID-19 patients infect many others, whereas most don’t spread the virus at all?. “Other infectious diseases also spread in clusters, and with close to 5 million reported COVID-19 cases worldwide, some big outbreaks were to be expected. But SARS-CoV-2, like two of its cousins, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), seems especially prone to attacking groups of tightly connected people while sparing others. It’s an encouraging finding, scientists say, because it suggests that restricting gatherings where superspreading is likely to occur will have a major impact on transmission, and that other restrictions—on outdoor activity, for example—might be eased.”

POLITICS

Keene Sentinel: Fauci, virus task force sidelined with Trump all-in on reopening. “The task force was once a staple of Trump’s response to the pandemic. From March 4 until late April, the panel held nearly daily, televised briefings at the White House, many headlined by Trump. Its medical experts fanned out across TV networks to share guidance on curbing the spread of the virus. The last briefing was April 27, when Trump predicted the U.S. would suffer between 60,000 and 70,000 deaths from the outbreak. At least 107,000 Americans have died.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Madagascar minister fired over $2m lollipop order. “Madagascar’s education minister has been fired over plans to order more than $2m (£1.6m) worth of sweets for schoolchildren. Rijasoa Andriamanana said pupils would be given three lollipops each to mask the ‘bitter’ aftertaste of an untested herbal remedy for coronavirus. The plan was called off after objections from Madagascar’s president.”

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