Thursday CoronaBuzz, June 11, 2020: 29 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.


ABC News Australia: Australian arts online guide: The best live streams and on-demand comedy, music, theatre, exhibitions and more. “Galleries started reopening last week (albeit with reduced numbers and scheduled attendance) with others to follow this month — but it’s going to be a while until we get back into theatres, and even longer until we can contemplate sweaty, shouty live music gigs. In the meantime, there is plenty of theatre, comedy, dance, writer’s talks and all that jazz to be found online.”


WVIR: New hotline supports those struggling with the impacts of COVID-19. “Mental Health America of Virginia is introducing a new tool to help people struggling with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s called the Virginia Disaster Response Warm Line.”

Penn State Daily Collegian: Penn State researchers map how vulnerable PA populations are impacted by coronavirus . “The coronavirus has impacted certain communities, like lower income households and people of color, more than others — something acknowledged as a vital aspect of understanding the virus’s impact. But up until recently, it hadn’t been explored at the state level. That’s why researchers from Penn State’s Center for Economic and Community Development in the College of Agricultural Sciences have developed a new online interactive tool to help facilitate discussion on how to address Pennsylvania’s more vulnerable populations amid the coronavirus pandemic.”


The Hill: Texas reports record number of coronavirus hospitalizations weeks after reopening. “The Texas Department of State Health Services reported 1,935 COVID-19 patients currently admitted to state hospitals. That figure tops the previous record for coronavirus hospitalizations that had peaked at 1,888 patients on May 5, according to CNBC.”

Washington Post: Coronavirus hospitalizations rise sharply in several states following Memorial Day. “As the number of new coronavirus cases continues to increase worldwide, and more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico are recording their highest averages of new cases since the pandemic began, hospitalizations in at least nine states have been on the rise since Memorial Day. In Texas, North and South Carolina, California, Oregon, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah and Arizona, there are an increasing number of patients under supervised care since the holiday weekend because of coronavirus infections. The spikes generally began in the past couple weeks and in most states are trending higher.”

BBC: Coronavirus in Africa: Outbreak ‘accelerating’ across continent. “The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating in Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. The WHO’s Africa regional director Matshidiso Moeti said it was spreading beyond capital cities and that a lack of tests and other supplies was hampering responses. But she said that it did not seem as if severe cases and deaths were being missed by authorities.”

Khaleej Times: Coronavirus: UAE reports 603 new Covid-19 cases, 1,277 recoveries. “The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 603 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,277 new recoveries. The total number of cases in the country has now reached 40,507 and the total recoveries has reached 24,017.”


Poynter: Fact-checkers fighting the COVID-19 infodemic drew a surge in readers. “Fact-checkers across the globe responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with dramatic increases in their fact-checks, which drew unprecedented audiences to their sites, an International Fact-Checking Network survey shows. Sixteen fact-checking organizations from 15 countries responded to a survey about their performances designed to measure the impact of COVID-19 on the work of the fact-checking community from March 2019 to March 2020.”


Men’s Health: How OnlyFans Became the Porn Capital of the Pandemic. “Kate Kennedy is a working performer in the adult entertainment industry, but she hasn’t had sex in months. ‘This is the longest I’ve gone without having sex in probably my adult life,’ she says. That’s because Kennedy is a new kind of porn star. Or maybe she’s a porn star in a new kind of porn: one led by a social media website called OnlyFans. The site is the latest shift in the adult industry, and Kennedy is among the legions of porn stars and social media influencers who are using it to sell sexy homemade content during the pandemic.”

BBC: Coronavirus: How Covid-19 has changed the ‘big fat Indian wedding’. “Marriage ceremonies across India have been put on hold due to the coronavirus lockdown. But some couples chose to swap their big fat weddings for small intimate affairs. So, could that be the new normal? The BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi reports.”

The Guardian: Your wedding’s been cancelled by the coronavirus lockdown? Good. “The disappointments of missed weddings are no doubt painful. But the truth is that a re-evaluation of the contemporary wedding was already well overdue. In 2019, the wedding industry is, or rather was, worth $70bn, and that’s in the United States alone, and that doesn’t include honeymoons. It was pure madness. Many industries are going to have be be reconsidered in the wake of the economic shutdown, and weddings should be at the top of the list. Like the cruise industry, we should just let it die.”

Apollo Magazine: The virtues – and vices – of virtual museum tours . “The recent fetishisation of ‘experiences’, the consumption of places rather than of things, has led to some museums privileging their buildings over their collections, and this tendency is borne out in the priorities of many virtual museums. It is nearly 50 years since John Berger popularised Walter Benjamin’s description of the aura of artworks in his television series Ways of Seeing, positing that the loss of a sense of place and time was the greatest failure of photographic reproductions. Though virtual tours offer a unique experience – an encounter with an object in the place it happens to be – their efforts to share a sense of place and time with visitors sometimes risk eclipsing the object entirely.”

The City: As City Reopens, Playgrounds Within Parks Keep Green Space on Lockdown. “In Midwood, Brooklyn, local kids have taken to playing on a strip of grass between Kolbert Playground’s locked gates and the sidewalk, while empty benches and open space adjacent to the play equipment remain behind lock and key. In the East Village, the sliver of green space just north of Houston Street is locked around First Park Playground. In the South Bronx, the whole block around Mullaly Park’s skate park, playground and basketball courts is locked, along with two large lawns and seating areas. As summer approaches, it’s unclear exactly when they’ll all re-open.”

BBC: Coronavirus pandemic set to cost Premier League clubs £1bn in 2019-20 – Deloitte. “Premier League clubs face a £1bn reduction in their revenues in 2019-20 because of the coronavirus pandemic, says financial services firm Deloitte. The 20 English top-flight clubs had a combined revenue of more than £5bn for the first time in 2018-19. But this season has been on hold since March, and the 92 remaining matches will be held behind closed doors.”


Reuters: Exclusive: ECB prepares ‘bad bank’ plan for wave of coronavirus toxic debt. “European Central Bank officials are drawing up a scheme to cope with potentially hundreds of billions of euros of unpaid loans in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Zoos and safari parks set to reopen from 15 June – PM. “Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas are set to reopen in England from Monday, the PM is due to announce. Boris Johnson is expected to outline the latest step in the easing of the coronavirus lockdown at Wednesday’s daily briefing. He will say the outdoor attractions can reopen as long as they follow social distancing rules.”

CNET: As coronavirus lockdowns lift, what’s reopening and restarting: Vegas resorts, Disney World, NBA, more. “The COVID-19 pandemic has altered almost every aspect of our lives, from how we work to how we buy groceries. It’s also lead to the delay or cancellation of several big events, including the Democratic National Convention and college basketball’s March Madness tournament. But as lockdown orders slowly start to lift around the world, businesses and institutions are beginning to reopen. Here are some of the events and businesses that are once again welcoming members of the public, albeit with restrictions in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19. ”

New York Times: Why Are So Many N.Y.P.D. Officers Refusing to Wear Masks at Protests?. “Riot helmets, ballistic vests, shields, batons — fully decked-out police officers have become staples in New York City as the protests against racism and police brutality approach their third week. But increasingly, one piece of equipment has attracted attention with its absence: the face mask.”

Inside NoVA: Thousands of backlogged COVID-19 test results not in state’s database. “A backlog of test results at the Virginia Department of Health has likely led to underreported numbers of negative COVID-19 tests in the state. State health officials announced Monday that 13,000 test results backlogged at the health department will be added to data tables that are updated daily to reflect the number of COVID-19 tests and cases in the state. Staff had prioritized positive test results, according to the statement, so the backlog largely includes negative test results.”


Pitchfork: Lollapalooza 2020 Canceled Due to COVID-19. “The city of Chicago is canceling Lollapalooza 2020 due to COVID-19 concerns. The decision was announced today by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). The lineup for Lollapalooza 2020 was never announced. According to the mayor and DCASE’s announcement, Lolla will host ‘a weekend-long livestream event’ from July 30–August 2.”


Daily Beast: Trump’s Task Force Warns Governors of COVID Spike Tied to Protests. “Speaking via conference call, a recording of which The Daily Beast obtained, Dr. Deborah Birx, Trump’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, relayed fears that the yelling by protesters could potentially negate the health benefits of wearing a mask, and that the destruction of testing sites at those protests would set back efforts to contain the virus’ spread. Birx said that 70 such sites had been destroyed, which had already resulted in an appreciable dip in testing rates there. She advised governors to ‘scramble now to make sure there is testing available in urban areas.'”

EurekAlert: Study finds another reason to wash hands: Flame retardants. “Harmful flame retardants may be lurking on your hands and cell phone, according to a peer-reviewed study published today in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The researchers found that halogenated flame retardants added to plastic TV cases can move from the TV to indoor air and dust, to hands, and then to cell phones and other hand-held electronic devices. Once on your cell phone, that surface provides an ongoing source of exposure to these chemicals each time you touch your cell phone.”

ProPublica: Federal Agencies Have Spent Millions on KN95 Masks, Often Without Knowing Who Made Them. “Government employees at several agencies are relying on KN95 masks that the agencies cannot guarantee offer the most protection. Some agencies have paid little attention to important manufacturing details and been tripped up by shifting regulations.”


CNN: EU wants monthly audits from Facebook, Google and Twitter on coronavirus misinformation. “The European Union wants social media platforms to submit monthly reports on how they’re handling misinformation around the coronavirus pandemic. The new guidelines were unveiled by the European Commission on Wednesday and apply to companies including Facebook (FB), Google (GOOGL) and Twitter (TWTR) that have signed up to an existing EU code of conduct on disinformation.”


GAO WatchBlog: Disease modeling: How Math Can Help In A Pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new attention to models of infectious disease. These models are critical tools that scientists—including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—use to anticipate health care needs and explore options for responding to an outbreak. Today’s WatchBlog looks at the basics of infectious disease modeling, which we reviewed in a recent 2-page Spotlight. It also looks at our recent report on how federal agencies like the CDC use modeling, and how they might improve their use.”

Reuters: South Korean doctors find risk factors for severe COVID-19 cases. “South Korean doctors have found certain underlying conditions that may make some COVID-19 patients more severely affected by the disease, a professor at Yeungnam University Medical Center said on Wednesday.”


BBC: Coronavirus: Brazil resumes publishing Covid-19 data after court ruling. “Brazil has restored a website that lists the full data on Covid-19 in the country, just hours after it was ordered to do so by the Supreme Court. The health ministry stopped releasing cumulative totals for deaths and cases on Saturday, provoking uproar. On Tuesday a Supreme Court judge ordered the government to release the figures amid accusations of censorship.”


Washington Post: We are living in a bipartisan state of denial about the coronavirus. “I have some good news and bad news. The good news: At last, there is some bipartisan agreement in America. The bad news: It’s a tacit agreement to pretend that the threat from the novel coronavirus has somehow gone away. Covid-19 has become the forgotten plague — and it’s nowhere near ending.”


CNN: Nursing homes receive defective equipment as part of Trump administration supply initiative. “Nursing homes with urgent needs for personal protective equipment say they’re getting gowns that look more like large tarps — with no holes for hands — and surgical masks that are paper-thin as part of the administration’s initiative to bolster supplies for vulnerable populations amid the pandemic.”

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