Monday CoronaBuzz, June 8, 2020: 35 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.


UC San Francisco: New online resource: UCSF COVID-19 Related Research. “As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded in the world, UCSF researchers have quickly responded to address the challenges that SARS-CoV-2 has brought. I am happy to announce the launch of a new website – – dedicated to UCSF COVID-19 related research, providing a compendium of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research projects that we hope will foster campus collaboration. It also provides a central location to connect to research resources like datasets, SARS-CoV-2 related publications, and relevant funding opportunities.”

Focus Taiwan: Taiwan launches website to share COVID-19 experience worldwide. “The Ministry of Health and Welfare has launched a website to share with the world the successful policies that Taiwan has implemented in its prevention efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Sunday.”


ProPublica: Tracking Federal Purchases to Fight the Coronavirus. “The federal government is spending billions of dollars to combat the coronavirus, and spending shows no sign of slowing down. Explore who the U.S. is buying from, what it’s buying and how much it’s paying.”


Film Daily: Free online children’s books: Read these with your kids before bed. “Kids can whip through books faster than parents know what to do with themselves, and as kids get older they need books to cater to their reading level. It can be a lot to keep up with. Sometimes there isn’t always time to go to a bookstore or library – and it’s especially difficult these days with the pandemic. There is another option though – free online books. Children’s books have a number of options when it comes to accessibility. Many websites provide books for children for free, because they believe learning and reading are important. We’ve put together a list of some great options when it comes to bedtime stories.”

Slate: How to Get a Job During a Pandemic, According to a LinkedIn Insider. “It’s a crazy time to be looking for a job—but LinkedIn editor Jessi Hempel says she can help. On a recent episode of How To!, Jessi Hempel walked us through how to land a job during a pandemic, drawing from her interviews about the changing nature of work on her LinkedIn podcast Hello Monday.”


Reuters: Feline good: French cat survives coronavirus infection. “Papille purrs contentedly as her owner rubs the back of her head, her coat glossy and her eyes a piercing green – back to her old affection-seeking self after recovering from COVID-19.”

BBC: Coronavirus: India overtakes Italy in cases amid easing of lockdown. “India has recorded close to 10,000 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, taking its total above that of Italy. The country now has the sixth-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, 236,657. There have been 6,649 deaths.”

ProPublica: Capital One and Other Debt Collectors Are Still Coming for Millions of Americans. “As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Americans got protection from evictions, foreclosures and student debt. But debt collectors have continued to siphon off their share of paychecks from those who still have jobs.”

AP: ‘All eyes’ on New York: Reopening tests city torn by crises. “The city that never sleeps had a curfew for much of last week. Famous stores were boarded up after days of unrest. The lights are out on Broadway theaters, and the subway no longer runs overnight. But after three bleak months, New York City will try to turn a page when it begins reopening Monday after getting hit first by the coronavirus, then an outpouring of rage over racism and police brutality.”


New York Times: Coronavirus Depletes the Keepers of Europe’s Memory. “For years, Gildo Negri visited schools to share his stories about blowing up bridges and cutting electrical wires to sabotage Nazis and fascists during World War II. In January, the 89-year-old made another visit, leaving his nursing home outside Milan to help students plant trees in honor of Italians deported to concentration camps. But at the end of February, as Europe’s first outbreak of the coronavirus spread through Mr. Negri’s nursing home, it infected him, too.”

WCAX: How coronavirus is changing online dating. “The coronavirus is changing online dating. In fact, dating apps are working fast to create new features as users look to connect virtually during the pandemic.”

Jerusalem Post: Pride in a Pandemic: The LGBTQ+ community adapts to coronavirus. “As Pride Month begins in the shadow of coronavirus around the world, LGBTQ+ organizations in Israel are preparing to celebrate the month without the traditional pride parades and events and with the newfound challenges and opportunities created by the pandemic.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Swiss Alps yearn for the sound of tourists. “As cases of Covid-19 start to fall across Europe, lockdowns are being relaxed and more travel is being permitted. That’s a relief for alpine tourist resorts, which were forced to close down right in the middle of the ski season.”

CNN: Delivery workers navigate a pandemic, protests and curfews to make ends meet. “For months, gig workers have had to navigate all the complications and fears that can come with making deliveries during a pandemic, trying to stay safe while still doing enough to earn a living. Now many face the added challenge of doing all that amid widespread protests and strictly enforced curfews that vary by city.”

AP: Left out: More workers now losing hope of getting back jobs. “Even as the U.S. economy begins to flicker back to life, even as job cuts slow and some laid-off people are called back to work, the scope of the devastation left by the viral pandemic has grown distressingly clear to millions who’d hoped for a quick return to their jobs: They may not be going back anytime soon.”

ProPublica: She Paid Thousands for a Visa to Work in the U.S. Then She Got Laid Off. Now, She’s Trapped.. “More than 5,000 foreigners with J-1 visas have been stranded in the U.S. since the pandemic struck, according to an estimate from the Alliance for International Exchange, which promotes cultural-exchange programs. ProPublica interviewed 13 of them, from India, Vietnam, China, the Philippines and Peru, and they described the same phenomenon as L.: They’re suddenly jobless as a result of the economy’s collapse, effectively unable to find new jobs. Many can’t afford to stay in the country — or to leave it.”


CNN: Disney CEO explains why it’s safe to go back to Disney World. “The Disney resort located in Orlando, Florida plans to reopen on July 11 for its Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom parks and July 15 for EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, the company said on Wednesday. The resort, which closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will implement several health and safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus during a phased reopening. [Bob] Chapek spoke with CNN Business about reopening the parks and how different they will look under the new health guidelines.”

USA Today: Coronavirus outbreaks climb at U.S. meatpacking plants despite protections, Trump order. “Coronavirus outbreaks at U.S. meatpacking plants continue to soar as the beleaguered industry ramps up production, scales back plant closures and tries to return to normal in the weeks after President Donald Trump declared it an essential operation.”

Slate: Here’s What Happens if Republicans Let Those $600 Unemployment Benefits Expire. “…while one might not have guessed it based on Trump’s surreal Rose Garden touchdown dance Friday, the country’s unemployment problem has not actually disappeared. It’s barely budged. As of May 16, the last date with complete data, more than 29 million Americans were still claiming jobless benefits. It is not at all clear how soon those people will be able to return to work. Allowing their federal aid to outright lapse would be both cruel and a near-term blow to the economy. (Full disclosure: Slate has applied for state shared work programs that would make employees eligible for unemployment insurance benefits as part of a reduced schedule, and so we have some vested interest in the federal program continuing. I wrote a whole article explaining it here).”

CNN: Apple will offer coronavirus tests to employees returning to its headquarters, Bloomberg reports. “Apple employees returning to its Silicon Valley headquarters will reportedly have the option of getting tested for the coronavirus. The company started bringing back some workers to its Apple Park office in Cupertino, California, last month, offering them nasal-swab tests for the virus and requiring temperature checks and masks, according to Bloomberg News. Other precautions include closed kitchens and a two-person limit in elevators that normally accommodate 10.”

ProPublica: The CARES Act Sent You a $1,200 Check but Gave Millionaires and Billionaires Far More. “The stimulus checks were meant to get average Americans through the lockdown, but those $1,200 payouts were small change compared with the billions in tax breaks the CARES Act handed out to the country’s wealthiest.”

The Guardian: Brazil stops releasing Covid-19 death toll and wipes data from official site. “The Brazilian government has been accused of totalitarianism and censorship after it stopped releasing its total numbers of Covid-19 cases and deaths and wiped an official site clean of swaths of data.”

Reuters: Ardern dances for joy after New Zealand eliminates coronavirus. “New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls after declaring on Monday it was free of the coronavirus, one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality.”

ABC News Australia: Free child care to end in July after Minister says it did its job during coronavirus. “The Federal Government will ditch its free childcare scheme next month, moving to reintroduce childcare subsidies for parents while ending the JobKeeper payment for workers in the sector. The scheme was introduced in April with the aim of keeping providers afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Washington Post: Clothes off, masks on: Reopening a nudist resort during a pandemic. “The popular lakeside bar at Florida’s oldest nudist resort is still shuttered, even as the rest of the Lake Como Family Nudist Resort in Lutz slowly reopens. The Bare Buns Café, for instance, now allows limited seating on the screened patio and under the pool deck canopy, albeit with everyone six feet apart — and please bring a towel to sit on. Across the country, state and local governments are easing restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The virus continues to kill and new cases pile up, leaving businesses and communities struggling with when and how to resume operations. Florida’s robust nudist industry is no different.”

New York Times: Hospitals Got Bailouts and Furloughed Thousands While Paying C.E.O.s Millions. “HCA is among a long list of deep-pocketed health care companies that have received billions of dollars in taxpayer funds but are laying off or cutting the pay of tens of thousands of doctors, nurses and lower-paid workers. Many have continued to pay their top executives millions, although some executives have taken modest pay cuts. The New York Times analyzed tax and securities filings by 60 of the country’s largest hospital chains, which have received a total of more than $15 billion in emergency funds through the economic stimulus package in the federal CARES Act.”


Arizona State University: Data-driven disease modeling could improve regional response. “A multidisciplinary team of Arizona State University researchers with expertise in networked systems, time-series modeling, statistical modeling, machine learning and geospatial analysis received Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding from the National Science Foundation to develop a data-driven model for predicting the spread of COVID-19 over time across different locations. The model is intended to help communities proactively design intervention measures to combat diseases.”

ABC News: Satellite data suggests coronavirus may have hit China earlier: Researchers. “Dramatic spikes in auto traffic around major hospitals in Wuhan last fall suggest the novel coronavirus may have been present and spreading through central China long before the outbreak was first reported to the world, according to a new Harvard Medical School study.”

Washington Post: Shutdowns prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the U.S., study finds. “Shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion. A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated that the shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries, including 500,000 in the United Kingdom, and dropped infection rates by an average of 82 percent, sufficient to drive the contagion well below epidemic levels.”


New York Post: Kid throws socially distant prom after babysitter’s was canceled. “A big-hearted kid named Curtis Rogers went the extra mile for his nanny, Rachel Chapman, and not just by being on his best behavior on her watch. Curtis learned that Rachel wouldn’t have a senior prom this season over COVID-19 concerns, so he threw one for her.”


NPR: LA Sues California Company, Alleging ‘Sophisticated’ COVID-19 Fraud. “The city attorney of Los Angeles announced… that his office is suing Wellness Matrix Group for allegedly engaging in a “fraudulent scheme” related to the COVID-19 pandemic that was both ‘sophisticated’ and ‘wide ranging.’ The lawsuit alleges that the California-based company sold purported ‘at-home’ tests for the coronavirus, falsely claiming that the tests were FDA approved.”


National Post: ‘More and more claims : ’ Pandemic lawsuits could tie up courts for years. “Lawsuits involving seniors homes, airlines, universities and ticket providers affected by COVID-19 could tie up Canadian courts for years, says a litigation lawyer. Michael Smith, a partner at the Bennett Jones law firm in Toronto, says it has been tracking all proposed class-action claims related to the pandemic. From the end of March to June 1, the firm recorded 19 such lawsuits across Canada, including eight against long-term care facilities.”


HuffPost: They Were Fervent Trump Supporters. Then Coronavirus Hit.. “In his northern Missouri town of about 6,000, Vincent Harris suspects he was one of the most vocal supporters President Donald Trump had there. The 54-year-old Navy veteran was a self-described ‘deplorable’ (a reference to Hillary Clinton’s notorious dig at Trump supporters in 2016). He fiercely defended the #MAGA mindset on social media, acting as one of the president’s model ‘keyboard warriors.’ But his staunch support for Trump began to slip as the coronavirus began to spread.”

Salon: Hey, media: Trump’s massive pandemic failure is still happening — it’s not in the past. “While we continue to lose people at the rate of about 1,000 every day, much of the Trump coverage has turned to other matters. What reporting there is about Trump and the virus has largely become about his astonishing lack of empathy, his unseemly rush to ‘reopen’ and his sadistic campaign against mask-wearing — all of which are legitimate stories. But it’s almost as if the D.C. media has forgotten what Trump and the federal government urgently need to do — and could be doing — to save people’s lives.”

ProPublica: This Treasury Official Is Running the Bailout. It’s Been Great for His Family.. “Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have become the public faces of the $3 trillion federal coronavirus bailout. Behind the scenes, however, the Treasury’s responsibilities have fallen largely to the 42-year-old deputy secretary, Justin Muzinich. A major beneficiary of that bailout so far: Muzinich & Co., the asset manager founded by his father where Justin served as president before joining the administration. He reported owning a stake worth at least $60 million when he entered government in 2017.”

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