coronabuzz

Saturday CoronaBuzz, June 13, 2020: 37 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

China .org: Brazil launches new online platform to track COVID-19 cases. “The platform… displays the number of recovered cases as well as those that are being monitored, in addition to charts showing the number of daily deaths from the disease and the number of deaths per 100,000 people — factors that help determine the degree of contagion.”

Census Bureau: Interactive Dashboards, Maps, Indicators Provide Demographic and Economic Data During COVID-19. “The U.S. Census Bureau has launched a new tool — dubbed the Census COVID-19 Hub — designed to help guide the nation as it begins recovery efforts from the sweeping COVID-19 pandemic by providing economic and demographic data.”

NEW RESOURCES – STATE-SPECIFIC

TC Palm: Fired scientist Rebekah Jones builds new coronavirus dashboard to rival Florida’s Dept. of Health. “Florida’s former top coronavirus data scientist has launched a website showing far more COVID-19 information than she said the state allowed her to report as an employee, including statistics contradicting Florida’s official coronavirus numbers and the push to reopen the state.”

Southern Maryland Chronicle: More than 1,600 COVID-19 patients share recovery stories and access resources on CovidCONNECT website. “The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) today announced that more than 1,600 recovered COVID-19 patients have registered with CovidCONNECT, a new statewide online forum that offers resources and support. CovidCONNECT allows participants to share COVID recovery experiences and access mental health resources, information about new clinical trials, plasma donation opportunities and virtual supports specific to those affected by the disease.”

CBS Chicago: City Launching ‘Chicago Remembers’ Website To Share Stories Of Those Who Died From COVID-19. “City officials have unveiled a new website where people can share stories about family, friends, and neighbors who have died of COVID-19. The new ‘Chicago Remembers’ website will feature pictures and stories of coronavirus victims for anyone to see.”

WSLS: Virginia launches new website to help job seekers. “On Friday, Virginia Gov. Northam announced the new Virginia Career Works Referral Portal, which is, ‘designed to streamline intake processes across state agencies and connect individuals with training, certification, education, and employment services to help them find a job or advance a career path.'”

NEW RESOURCES – OTHER

TTG Asia: New website aims to promote Covid-19 efforts in SE Asia. “South-east Asian countries have agreed to publicise Covid-19-related updates, as well as promote the region’s tourism offerings, on a shared platform.”

USEFUL STUFF

CTV: How to know if you’re ‘doomscrolling’ and why you should stop. “It was 1:36 a.m. on a Tuesday, about two weeks after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, when Canadian journalist Karen Ho asked her Twitter followers to try putting down their phones. ‘You can always keep doomscrolling tomorrow,’ wrote Ho, a global finance and economics reporter for Quartz. By doomscrolling, Ho was referring to the act of reading the seemingly endless stream of upsetting news headlines that emerge on social media in times of distress. She’d seen the term used before, but she hadn’t seen it applied to the pandemic.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: How to wear face masks in hot weather. “After all, even as the temperature rises, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommends wearing face masks, and in some cases, it is required. Luckily there are some strategies to help make masking up more bearable in warm weather.”

UPDATES

AL: Alabama sets record highs for coronavirus for second straight day. “For the second consecutive day, Alabama has set a record for new coronavirus cases. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 859 new cases of the virus on Friday afternoon, bringing the state total to 23,333. On Thursday, the state reported 848 new cases, which at that point was by far the highest daily total to date.”

FACT CHECKS

BBC: Coronavirus: Contact-tracing rumours debunked. “There have been false rumours circulating on social media about contact-tracing apps that are being introduced by governments to stop the spread of coronavirus. We’ve been looking into some of them and other dubious coronavirus claims.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

WBUR: With Child Care Restrictions, Many Wonder If Parents Will Return To Group Care. “As child care providers figure out how to reopen under new public health rules, many parents are considering whether to send their kids back to group care. And some providers are wondering if the entire market could shift to home-based care. The biggest challenge may be keeping kids apart.”

Phys .org: University students facing food insecurity due to pandemic. “A collaboration of universities in the U.K. and U.S. surveyed students on their levels of food insecurity during April, after universities in both nations ceased campus-based teaching. The preliminary findings outlined in the report, Food Insecurity and Lived Experiences of Students, reveal students have high levels of food insecurity and low levels of mental wellbeing, alongside a high level of lost jobs and income since the outbreak of COVID-19.”

CALIFORNIA: A (Virtual) Day in the Life of A Berkeley Student. “Under shelter-in-place our lives have gone digital: distance learning, virtual conferences, online cocktail hours, and more. As Internet usage is up, bandwidth has been strained. According to BroadbandNow, which provides comparison data about Internet service providers, average download speeds in Berkeley dropped 15 percent between February and March. At least we have ways of staying connected while remaining physically distant—even if it means some buffering. Here we imagine a day in the life of a Berkeley student.”

LiveMint: Gens Y, Z take on social media challenges to fight covid-19 anxiety. “In lockdown, social media challenges, which were just a way to kill time and gain followers pre-coronavirus, have morphed into a means to showcase talent, set personal goals to be achieved, bond with others and regain a sense of control when everything seems to be spiraling.”

American Independent: LGBTQ businesses struggle as Pride events are canceled. “Some events are continuing as scheduled but are functioning more as solidarity protests against police brutality, in line with the many anti-racism protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis man killed last month by a white police officer. Other Pride organizers have turned their previous plans into virtual events to both celebrate Pride and stand against racism and police violence. But the sudden change in plans has shifted otherwise reliable revenue streams away from LGBTQ-owned businesses across the country, leaving many of them scrambling.”

New York Times: Hair Salons Reopen, and Americans Rush Back. “Few professional encounters require prolonged bouts of close contact like appointments at hair or beauty salons. This makes beauty, nail and barbershops potentially high-risk hubs of infection for the coronavirus, which has killed almost half a million people worldwide since the start of this year. And yet, across the United States, customers are clamoring to fix gray roots, shaggy beards and chipped nails in reopened salons after months in lockdown, despite stark changes to how these services can now be offered. How do you cut hair behind someone’s ears when they’re also wearing a mask? Doesn’t matter, people are doing it.”

INSTITUTION / CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT

ProPublica: A Hospital’s Secret Coronavirus Policy Separated Native American Mothers From Their Newborns. “Pregnant Native American women were singled out for COVID-19 testing based on their race and ZIP code, clinicians say. While awaiting results, some mothers were separated from their newborns, depriving them of the immediate contact doctors recommend.”

Phys .org: Coronavirus recovery: why local markets are key to reviving our locked down town centres. “During the early weeks of coronavirus in the UK, there was an obsessive focus on supermarkets and how they were handling the pandemic. It was as if traditional retail markets and small shops didn’t exist. Many markets and traders, however, continued to provide essential goods and services during the lockdown, sometimes responding quicker and in more creative ways than larger stores. On June 15, indoor as well as outdoor markets can reopen, but it is unclear how the sector will pull through this difficult time. Research by the markets sector has found that during lockdown only around a third of markets remained even partially open and just 50% of traders expected to be able to access any of the government support for businesses.”

ProPublica: Did Your Job Give You Masks or Other Protective Gear? Send Us a Picture.. “We’d like to see pictures of the personal protective equipment that government agencies have issued to their workers. In particular, we’re interested in the types of face masks and respirators that workers have received (respirators are commonly known as N95 masks, or if certified to Chinese standards, KN95 masks).”

EDUCATION

Washington Post: Masks required and fewer parties (allegedly): What college will look like this fall. “As more colleges and universities announce how and when they will resume operations — following the abrupt shutdowns of March — most are making clear that students will share in the duty of protecting classmates, faculty and staff from a contagious disease that has killed more than 100,000 Americans.”

HEALTH

Vice: Police Tactics Are Putting Protesters at Higher COVID Transmission Risk. “If police officers aren’t wearing PPE, they could risk transmitting COVID-19 to members of the general public. There have been dozens of confirmed cases of coronavirus among police precincts in Los Angeles, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., and the NYPD has reportedly lost at least 43 of its members to COVID-19, with thousands of officers infected. Numerous reports indicate law enforcement officials across the country are not wearing masks at protests against police brutality after Floyd, an unarmed Black man, was killed by a Minneapolis patrolman on May 25, and that routine negligence could expose members of the public.”

NBC San Diego: 4 ‘Community Outbreaks’ of COVID-19 in San Diego in 7 Days: Fletcher. “San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said two outbreaks had been identified by public health officials Friday, as well as three on Wednesday. The outbreaks were traced to places where people have ‘congregated’ with others who are not members of their households. Fletcher said these community settings include a local restaurant, an office building, dinner parties, backyard barbecues, and unauthorized weddings.”

Washington Post: CDC urges organizers of large gatherings to “strongly encourage” use of face masks. “The guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention comes after more than a week of national protests against police brutality where many attendees and police did not wear masks. It also coincides with President Trump’s plans to hit the campaign trail next week and to accept his party’s nomination in Jacksonville, Fla. later this summer. The Republican National Committee has indicated it does not want to require participants to wear masks for the speech.”

ABC News: Fauci tells ABC’s ‘Powerhouse Politics’ that attending rallies, protests is ‘risky’. “Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Friday that his advice for people who want to attend President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies is the same for anti-Trump protestors — any large group is ‘a danger’ and ‘risky.’ And if a person insists on going, they should wear a mask, especially when they are yelling or chanting, he said.”

TECHNOLOGY

TNW: How digital projections illuminate messages of hope, protest, and unity during COVID-19. “Over the past few months, artists, activists, and communities have superimposed digital images on building facades and landscapes to create uplifting moments of hope during these surreal times.”

University of Rochester: How Dr. Chatbot evolved into a regionwide COVID-19 tracking tool. “Members of an innovative technology and mobile applications lab at the Medical Center worked overtime to develop a state-of-the-art tool to help monitor the spread of coronavirus at the University and beyond.”

RESEARCH

Newsweek: Coronavirus Can Spread Through a Hospital in 10 Hours, Study Finds. “The study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection last month examined how quickly a virus strain spreads in hospital settings amid precautions taken to regularly sterilize surfaces and use personal protective equipment. In place of using SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, researchers said in a Monday news release they used a plant-based virus to imitate how the new coronavirus would act without posing unnecessary risks to hospital patients.”

EurekAlert: COVID-19: Relationship between social media use and prejudice against Chinese Americans. “The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that originated in China has claimed an estimated 100,000 lives in the United States, while a different sort of pandemic is spreading online against Asian Americans, particularly of Chinese descent. A study published in Frontiers in Communication suggests there is a strong relationship between social media use and prejudice.”

AP: Researchers ask if survivor plasma could prevent coronavirus. “Survivors of COVID-19 are donating their blood plasma in droves in hopes it helps other patients recover from the coronavirus. And while the jury’s still out, now scientists are testing if the donations might also prevent infection in the first place.”

SECURITY / LEGAL

New York Times: Businesses Want Virus Legal Protection. Workers Are Worried.. “Whether companies are liable if their workers and customers catch the coronavirus has become a key question as businesses seek to reopen around the country. Companies and universities — and the groups that represent them — say they are vulnerable to a wave of lawsuits if they reopen while the coronavirus continues to circulate widely, and they are pushing Congress for temporary legal protections they say will help get the economy running again.”

Courthouse News: Government Claims Native American Lawsuit Over Covid-19 Funds Too Late. “The Trump administration blamed a Native American tribe for waiting until the eleventh hour to challenge the distribution metrics for Covid-19 relief funds in federal court on Thursday, as the government gears up to send billions of dollars out the door over the next week.”

EDITORIALS

Washington Post: The Trump administration has all but given up fighting the pandemic. “‘It’s going to disappear,’ President Trump said about the novel coronavirus at the end of February, before the first American was believed to have died from covid-19. ‘One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.’ It never did — to date, more than 2 million Americans have been infected with the virus and more than 112,000 have died — but Trump’s administration is now acting as though the miracle already came. In fact, it’s hardly an exaggeration to say that the president and his administration have all but given up fighting the pandemic.”

The Atlantic: The Virus Will Win. “In absolute terms, the United States has been hit harder than any other country. About a quarter of worldwide deaths have been recorded on these shores. And while the virus is no longer growing at an exponential rate, the threat it poses remains significant: According to a forecasting model by Morgan Stanley, the number of American cases will, if current trends hold, roughly double over the next two months.”

POLITICS

BBC: Coronavirus: How pandemic turned political in Brazil. “The country has swiftly risen up the grim leader board of coronavirus statistics and its death toll – 41,828 – is now the world’s second highest. The Americas account for around half of the number of cases globally. Brazil, Latin America’s biggest country, is now the epicentre of the epicentre. But its leader still seems to care very little – or at least that is the impression he is happy to portray.”

New York Times: Graduating West Point Cadets Isolate for Two Weeks Ahead of Trump Speech. “The graduating cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point have lived in Covid-19 quarantine for the past two weeks, confined to their dorms, wearing masks and watching Zoom conferences on leadership as they wait for President Trump to speak at their commencement on Saturday.”

Washington Post: Pandemic deepens economic pain at Trump’s company, already suffering from a tarnished brand. “Trump’s business struggles present a potential conflict as he tries as president to manage a pandemic that has already claimed more than 110,000 American lives. The outbreak has devastated industries at the core of Trump’s business — travel, luxury tourism and hospitality — and the company’s fortunes largely depend on people’s willingness to travel and ability to gather in large groups.”

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