coronabuzz

Sunday CoronaBuzz, June 14, 2020: 56 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

I think this is the largest issue I’ve done so far. Just because you’re seeing less about coronavirus on the news doesn’t mean it’s gone away — it has not. And I’ll be here rounding it up as long as I need to be. Wash your hands and stay at home as much as you can. Please be careful. I love you.

NEW RESOURCES – MEDICAL/HEALTH

Goethe University: Comparing covid-19 data worldwide with a click of the mouse. “The new web service ‘Goethe Interactive Covid-19 Analyzer’ which Fabian Schubert in the working group for the theory of complex systems at the Institute for Theoretical Physics developed alongside his dissertation is simple to use: go to the ‘Goethe Interactive Covid-19 Analyzer’ website, click on the countries and number of cases in questions, and drag the curves over each other. Congruent? The answer is immediately visible. In the same way – depending on the individual question – the daily number of cases or deaths, or the total number of infected or deceased individuals can be compared.”

NEW RESOURCES – EDUCATION/ENTERTAINMENT

Loyola Marymount University: LMU’s Shakespeare on the Bluff Summer Festival Goes Virtual on YouTube Live. “This summer, Shakespeare on the Bluff festival-goers will trade lawn chairs and picnic blankets for a comfortable spot at home in front of their computer screens. They’ll watch via YouTube Live as a company of 27 actors and actresses and seven technicians – LMU students and alumni from the Class of 2004 to the Class of 2023 – give live, online performances from across the country.”

SF Bay Times: FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL of Transgender & Queer Performance Goes Online!. “June 18–27, the 19th annual festival of transgender and queer performance comes into your home—offering five programs of dance, theater, and live music. All programs will be viewable on Vimeo, and all programs will be Closed Captioned for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing audiences…. What can audiences expect? Jaw-dropping vogue, gender-bending boy bands, transgender opera, sizzling hip-hop, gay ballroom stars, queer bomba dance & music, wordsmith poets, disabled dance pioneers, gravity-defying trapeze and more will take center stage at the 2020 FRESH MEAT FESTIVAL.” The festival is free.

Forbes: The American Black Film Festival Goes Online This Year. “The American Black Film Festival will be taking place online only this year. The festival, overseen by ABFF Ventures LLC, has been running in person for the last 24 years. The annual fest usually draws 7,000 to 10,000 people to Miami Beach, but this year due to social distancing concerns and the coronavirus, the festival will take place on August 21-30, 2020… While it will be online only, the schedule will still boast studio premieres, conversation, panels, business of entertainment seminars and virtual networking events. ”

NEW RESOURCES – LEGAL / SECURITY / PRIVACY / FINANCIAL

RD News Now: COVID pandemic prompts initiative to offer free legal aid to anyone in Canada. “The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a group of young lawyers to launch a project to offer free legal advice remotely to anyone in the country. Dubbed the National Canadian Lawyers Initiative, the aim is to connect people in need with professionals who can offer help and direction.”

NEW RESOURCES – STATE-SPECIFIC

Journal & Courier: Ivy Tech offering free classes and training for 10,000 Hoosiers affected by coronavirus. “Anyone living in Indiana is now eligible to take specific classes and training for free, part of a program offered through Ivy Tech Community College. The free classes are available for 10,000 participants and are part of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s ‘Rapid Recovery for a Better Future’ program, a $50 million initiative under the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, with funding applied toward education, workforce and individual needs.”

North Jersey: ‘Everybody is feeling a loss of structure’: New Jersey offers text help for depression. “More people are seeking help from mental health experts as they deal with anxiety due to health concerns, feelings of isolation and the sweeping changes to society due to the coronavirus pandemic, experts said. In response, the Mental Health Association in New Jersey has launched a free texting service to address the issue.”

UPDATES

Miami Herald: With 2,581 new coronavirus cases, Florida hits a record high for the third day in a row. “Florida’s Department of Health on Saturday morning reported a new daily record high of 2,581 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 — surpassing the previous high by 679. The previous high was hit on Friday. And the high before that was hit on Thursday. That puts the state’s total number of confirmed cases at 73,552 since the pandemic began in March.”

WFAA: North Texas continues to set record highs for new coronavirus hospitalizations, cases. “Texas again reported a record number of coronavirus hospitalizations Friday. The Dallas-Fort Worth region has also seen a record high number of hospitalizations for COVID-19. There were 2,166 people statewide reported hospitalized with the virus Friday. Of those, 712 are in the North Texas region.”

ABC News: South Carolina was among the 1st states to reopen. Now new coronavirus cases are rapidly rising.. “South Carolina was among the last states to issue a stay-at-home order. Then, on May 4, it was among the first to reopen. Six weeks after that reopening, it has the dubious distinction of being among the 22 states where new coronavirus cases are on the rise, an ABC News analysis of New York Times’ data found.”

Barron’s: Russia More Than Doubles April Virus Death Toll. “Russia on Saturday more than doubled its official coronavirus death toll for April to 2,712 after changing how it classifies fatalities. Officials warned that May’s death toll was likely to be even worse in Russia, which has the world’s third largest number of cases with 520,129.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Island isolation over as Greece lets tourists back. “Every morning Michael Ermogenis leaves his house in Oia, Santorini, to walk his dog. The picturesque island’s famous domed churches and sunset views helped draw more than two million overnight visitors last year. For months he has been able to wander the marble paths all day and barely see another person, as the coronavirus pandemic has stopped tourism. But on Monday that is all set to change, as Greece reopens its borders with the aim of kick-starting its tourist season.”

Washington Post: Beijing goes into ‘wartime mode’ as virus emerges at market. “A district in central Beijing has gone into ‘wartime mode’ after discovering a cluster of coronavirus cases around the biggest meat and vegetable market in the city, raising the prospect of a second wave of infections in the sensitive capital, the seat of the Chinese Communist Party. The discovery of dozens of infections, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, underscores the perniciousness of the virus and its propensity to spread despite tight social controls.”

Tampa Bay Times: St. Pete bars the Galley, Park & Rec and the Avenue Eat + Drink close after employees test positive for COVID-19. “Three downtown bars within a couple of blocks of one another announced Friday night that they’re temporarily closing after staffers tested positive for COVID-19. The Galley at 27 Fourth St. N, Park & Rec DTSP at 100 Fourth St. S and the Avenue Eat + Drink at 330 First Ave. S posted Facebook messages alerting patrons that some employees were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.”

Columbus Dispatch: Dr. Amy Acton resigns as state health director; Democrats cite criticism from GOP lawmakers. “Lance Himes, chief lawyer for the Ohio Department of Health, will become interim health director, Gov. Mike DeWine said. Turning down pleas from Gov. Mike DeWine to stay on the job, Dr. Amy Acton surprisingly resigned Thursday as director of the Ohio Department of Health amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

FACT CHECKS

NBC: Fact check: Trump blames testing for spike in COVID-19 cases. Experts fault reopening of states.. “President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed testing as the reason for documented spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. — but data and public health experts attribute the surge to the easing of lockdown restrictions just weeks ago.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Insurance Journal: Safety Agency Warns of Tail Strikes, Off-Course Flying by Near-Empty Airplanes. “While the plunge in travel has in many ways eased pressure on roads and the aviation system, it has at times had the opposite effect on safety. The rate of highway deaths has actually risen as motorists speed on empty roads. And the drop in airline passengers has triggered an unusual spate of incidents that are challenging flight safety, according to publicly available reports as well as government, industry and union officials. Moreover, the slow rise in air traffic is creating its own demands as parked aircraft are restored to service and pilots who may have missed training sessions are recalled.”

AP: Hands Off! Halls of fame adapt to coronavirus concerns. “As part of a $22 million, court-to-dome renovation, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame replaced the static plaques honoring inductees with touch screens that display videos and career highlights. Another exhibit allows visitors to put their hands inside an impression of Kevin Durant’s, to compare sizes. That was before a pandemic turned hands-on into ‘Hands Off!'”

New York Times: One Bar. Twelve Weeks. Seventeen Lives in Lockdown.. “Shelter-in-place orders in the United States and beyond have forced millions of businesses to close, some for good. Amid that loss, there are countless stories of the places that people loved and that made their communities special — like my local watering hole, the Hatch. It’s a laid-back melting pot of a bar, where the art is abundant and the cans of Tecate are $3. The night before the lockdown, I persuaded the staff to share their finances and lives over the next three months.”

ABC News: Hawaii grapples with Great Depression-level unemployment as tourism plummets. “Peter Yee has been furloughed from his job at a rental car company since late March, and now says he spends up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week answering questions and sharing advice in the Facebook group, ‘Hawaii Unemployment Updates and Support Group.’ In just a matter of weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the economy of the picturesque town of Kahului on the island of Maui where Yee lives.”

BuzzFeed News: The Coronavirus Is Shattering A Generation Of Kids. “Interviews with more than 40 children across the country reveal American childhood in the midst of COVID-19 — and how race and class help define which children will emerge unscathed.”

Bloomberg Quint: Virus to Cut American Meat Consumption For First Time in 6 Years. “Americans are kicking their meat-eating habit, and it’s all thanks to the novel coronavirus. That’s according to researchers at the University of Missouri’s Food & Agricultural Policy Research Institute, who predict this year’s per-capita meat consumption will fall for the first time since 2014.”

INSTITUTION / CORPORATE / GOVERNMENT

Politico: Florida ordered 1M doses of a Trump-touted drug. Hospitals didn’t want it. “Florida is sitting on more than 980,000 unused doses of hydroxychloroquine, a drug President Donald Trump touted as a ‘game changer’ in the fight against the coronavirus, after only a handful of hospitals in the state asked for access to the medicine.”

The Hill: DeVos issues rule barring colleges from granting coronavirus relief funds to DACA recipients. “Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a rule Thursday that would ban colleges from granting coronavirus relief funds to noncitizens, including those protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Boris Johnson launches review into 2m social distancing rule. “Boris Johnson has commissioned a review into the 2m (6ft) social distancing rule, following calls to scrap it. Businesses and some of Mr Johnson’s own MPs have warned that large parts of the hospitality industry will not be viable with the 2m coronavirus rule in place.”

CBC: Toronto to make face coverings mandatory on public transit, will hand out 1M masks to riders. “Toronto plans to make face coverings mandatory on its public transit system, a rule that could go into effect starting July 2. Mayor John Tory announced the updated regulations for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) on Thursday.”

New York Times: Inside the Newly Spotless Subway: ‘I’ve Never Seen It Like This’. “The static-filled sound of a conductor’s voice announcing a delay (‘Ladies and gentlemen, we have train traffic ahead of us. We should be moving shortly.’) earned a collective — if quieter than usual — sigh. But inside the subway cars, the system’s new, daily disinfectant regimen combined with the dearth of riders has made the cars almost unrecognizable to New Yorkers all too familiar with trains that once felt like petri dishes for the city’s grime.”

NBC News: Detained migrants say they were forced to clean COVID-infected ICE facility. “Asylum-seeking migrants locked up inside an Arizona Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center with one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases say they were forced to clean the facility and are ‘begging’ for protection from the virus, according to a letter obtained exclusively by NBC News.”

Washington Post: States are wrestling on their own with how to expand testing, with little guidance from the Trump administration. “The wide range of approaches across the country comes as the federal government has offered little guidance on the best way to test a broad swath of the population, leaving state public health officials to wrestle on their own with difficult questions about how to measure the spread of the virus and make decisions about reopening their economies. Faced with conflicting advice from experts in the field, states are using different tests that vary in reliability and have adopted a variety of policies about who else should get tested and when — particularly when it comes to asymptomatic people who are considered low-risk for the illness.”

CELEBRITIES / BANDS / GROUPS

Mashable: Your favorite band knows how long the pandemic will last. “For a potent dose of coronavirus reality, follow the music. Many of the biggest music festivals in the nation — Coachella, Lollapalooza, Stagecoach, and JazzFest — won’t happen until (at the earliest) the spring or summer of 2021. Meanwhile, massive, medium-sized, and smaller tours have been rescheduled, many for a year from now. This includes the likes of Mötley Crüe, Lucinda Williams, Taylor Swift, and Weezer.”

EDUCATION

India Education Diary: Royal Holloway University adapts all postgraduate courses to combine face to face and online teaching. “Royal Holloway, University of London, has adapted all postgraduate courses this year to ensure that students in India can confidently begin their studies with the university this September. The courses will combine face to face and online teaching and learning support.”

HEALTH

National Geographic: Disaster looms for indigenous Amazon tribes as COVID-19 cases multiply. “According to figures compiled by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), the country’s principal indigenous federation, deaths from COVID-19 in indigenous communities have risen from 46 on May 1 to 262 on June 9. Together with numbers tallied by state health departments around the country, APIB’s statistics show that 9.1 percent of indigenous people who contract the disease are dying, nearly double the 5.2 percent rate among the general Brazilian population.”

Kaiser Health News: Health Workers Resort To Etsy, Learning Chinese, Shady Deals To Find Safety Gear. “A nursing home worker in New Jersey rendezvoused with ‘the parking lot guy’ to cut a deal for gowns. A director of safety-net clinics in Florida learned basic Chinese and waited outside past midnight for a truck to arrive with tens of thousands of masks. A cardiologist in South Carolina tried his luck with ‘shady characters’ to buy ingredients to blend his own hand sanitizer. The global pandemic has ordinary health care workers going to extremes in a desperate hunt for medical supplies.”

Ledger-Inquirer: No new COVID-19 cases after infected Missouri hairstylists worked with over 140. How?. “A hairstylist at the Great Clips at 1864 S. Glenstone Ave. served 84 clients while symptomatic. The hairstylist infected a coworker, who worked with 56 clients. Health officials said the hairstylists and all clients wore face masks during appointments, likely preventing spread of the disease. They credited Great Clips’ policies, including distancing salon chairs and staggering appointments.”

WLNY: Crowds Pack Streets Outside Manhattan Bars, Restaurants Over Weekend; Gov. Cuomo Threatens, ‘Don’t Make Me Come Down There’. “Social distancing guidelines appeared to have gone out the window in various popular areas of Manhattan over the weekend. Video and photos posted on social media show crowds of people gathered outside bars and restaurants on the Upper East Side and in the East Village on Friday night.”

Asian Age: US man receives $1.1 million hospital bill after surviving COVID-19. “Michael Flor was admitted to a hospital in the northwestern city on March 4, and stayed for 62 days — at one point coming so close to death that nurses held up the phone so his wife and children could say goodbye. But he recovered and was discharged on May 5 to the cheers of nursing staff — only to receive a 181-page bill totalling $1,122,501.04.”

Washington Post: Governments urge singles to find a ‘cuddle buddy’ or ‘support bubble’ during pandemic. “Dating before the coronavirus pandemic, two people on a first encounter might discuss where they see their future going or whether they are seeing other people. Dating during the outbreak has demanded a different dealbreaker: What are their social distancing practices? Governments, which often already champion monogamy through tax structures and other policies, are similarly concerned about promoting the integrity of couples because of a shared interest: containing the spread of the virus.”

Vox: 5 reasons the pandemic is so very far from over. “It’s much too soon to give up. The dangerousness of this virus, of this pandemic, hasn’t changed. No matter what happens in the news over the next weeks and months, this will still be true.”

CityLab: In Japan and France, Riding Transit Looks Surprisingly Safe. “Between May 9 and June 3, 150 clusters of new coronavirus cases emerged in France, according to the country’s national public health body. Defined as three cases or more of Covid-19 linked by contact, these clusters occurred largely in the sort of places you might predict they would: healthcare facilities, workplaces and homeless shelters — all sites where people mix in enclosed spaces for long periods of time and, in the case of hospitals, where people who are already infected are likely to congregate. What was striking however, was the number of clusters associated with public transit: There weren’t any. For almost a month, not a single Covid-19 cluster had emerged on France’s six metro systems, 26 tram and light rail networks or numerous urban bus routes.”

NBC News: Analysis: Data from 15 million phones shows some Americans are gathering at pre-pandemic levels. “According to an NBC News analysis of cellphone location data provided by the analytics and marketing company Cuebiq, people in more than 450 counties across the country have started to come near one another more frequently. And as people begin to gather in greater numbers, health officials are watching for a new round of coronavirus spikes.”

RESEARCH

ABC 4: Utah sewage study helps track spread of COVID-19. “Coronavirus has been found in sewage, allowing the state to find it in a community before individuals are actually tested. These findings come after a pilot program the Department of Environmental Quality conducted to respond to the pandemic and protect public health. The Logan Sewage Lagoon is just one of 10 waste water treatment plants and three universities in Utah working with the DEQ for a pilot study to find coronavirus within communities.”

MIT Technology Review: Social bubbles may be the best way for societies to emerge from lockdown. “Holing up with groups of friends or neighbors or other families during lockdown has given many people, especially those stuck home alone, a way to relieve isolation without spreading covid-19. These groups are known as bubbles, and new computer simulations described in Nature today show they may really work.”

New York Times: Covid-19 Patient Gets Double Lung Transplant, Offering Hope for Others. “A young woman whose lungs were destroyed by the coronavirus received a double lung transplant last week at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the hospital reported on Thursday, the first known lung transplant in the United States for Covid-19.”

San Francisco Chronicle: Coronavirus: Navy, CDC study on infected aircraft carrier provides glimmer of hope for immunity. “A study of sailors aboard an aircraft carrier stricken by a COVID-19 outbreak offers new insights into what could make people immune to the coronavirus and the effectiveness of social distancing measures, U.S. Navy and federal health officials said Tuesday.”

NIH: NIH-funded study to evaluate drugs prescribed to children with COVID-19. “Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have launched an effort to evaluate drugs prescribed to treat COVID-19 in infants, children and adolescents across the country. The study leverages an existing clinical trial that examines drugs that are prescribed off-label to children for a variety of medical conditions. Because many drugs have not been tested specifically for use in children, physicians will often prescribe drugs off-label to children because they lack an alternative, approved treatment.”

SECURITY / LEGAL

Newsweek: Judge Threatens to Hold Tennessee in Contempt Over Not Allowing Coronavirus Fears as Valid Excuse for Mail-In Voting. “A judge in Tennessee has admonished the state for failing to follow her order allowing mail-in voting for those concerned about in-person voting due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Gothamist: Caught In De Blasio’s Curfew, Essential Worker Spends Week In Jail After NYPD Mass Arrests Bronx Protesters. “It wasn’t yet curfew when the cops trapped Devaughnta Williams. After clocking out at his job as a janitor at a city social services building on Thursday evening, the 27-year-old Bronx native planned to take the subway to his grandmother’s to get a few hours of sleep, before starting the graveyard shift at Family Dollar. The exact time shouldn’t have mattered — as an essential worker, he was permitted to be out past 8 p.m. — but he was still hyper-aware of the hour.”

BuzzFeed News: Immigrants Delayed By The Coronavirus Are Suing To Be Naturalized In Time To Vote In The Presidential Election. “A pair of would-be US citizens have filed a lawsuit to force immigration officials to schedule the oath ceremony they need to become Americans in time to register to vote in the presidential election this fall.”

EDITORIALS

Mother Jones: Donald Trump’s Corruption Is Killing Americans. “The fundamental purpose of government is rather simple: protect the citizenry. Any deliberate perversion of this priority is an exercise of corruption—especially when that basic aim is supplanted by the goal of personal gain. That’s why Donald Trump’s slow, ineffectual, self-serving, and deadly response to the coronavirus has been the most consequential act of corruption in the history of American governance. It eclipses Watergate, Teapot Dome, Iran-Contra, you name it. It also happens to be the continuation—perhaps the culmination—of the corruption that Trump started spreading like a virus the moment he tramped into the White House.”

POLITICS

Las Vegas Sun: White House eyes travel from Mexico as source of virus spike. “The White House is floating a theory that travel from Mexico may be contributing to a new wave of coronavirus infections, rather than states’ efforts to reopen their economies. The notion was discussed at some length during a meeting of the administration’s coronavirus task force in the White House Situation Room Thursday that focused, in part, on identifying commonalities between new outbreaks, according to two administration officials familiar with the discussions.”

AP: Treasury chief refusing to disclose recipients of virus aid. “Building ramparts of secrecy around a $600 billion-plus coronavirus aid program for small businesses, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has moved from delay to denial in refusing outright to disclose the recipients of taxpayer-funded loans.”

The National: Covid-19: Boris Johnson binned pandemic team months before crisis. “THE UK Government scrapped its ‘anti-pandemic’ committee when Boris Johnson became Prime Minister, it has emerged. The team, which included Michael Gove, Matt Hancock and Gavin Williamson, was disbanded six months before the current Covid-19 crisis hit the UK, an investigation by the Daily Mail found.”

Reuters: Biden blasts Trump as U.S. coronavirus cases top 2 million. “With the number of U.S. coronavirus cases now topping 2 million, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday blasted anew President Donald Trump’s handling of the pandemic, saying Trump ‘still refuses to take the virus seriously.'”

AP: Trump rally called ‘dangerous move’ in age of coronavirus. “After months away from the campaign trail, President Donald Trump plans to rally his supporters this coming Saturday for the first time since most of the country was shuttered by the coronavirus. Trump will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma — a state that has seen relatively few COVID-19 cases. But health experts question the decision, citing the danger of infection spreading among the crowd and sparking outbreaks when people return to their homes.”

Roll Call: Busy summer ahead for appropriators after pandemic delays. “Lawmakers in the coming weeks will begin deciding how to spend another $1.4 trillion in annual appropriations, diving into debates over funding President Donald Trump’s border wall, public health programs and more after coronavirus-related delays sidelined the process earlier this spring. Dividing that pie is already shaping up to be a partisan battle, and that’s before any new election-year fights — such as funding for law enforcement in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer — enter the picture.”

NBC News: Rally at your own risk: Trump campaign’s coronavirus disclaimer to supporters. “President Donald Trump is set to resume his campaign rallies next week — but attendees have to agree not to hold his campaign liable if they get the coronavirus in the 19,000-seat arena. An invitation for the June 19 event in Tulsa, Oklahoma asks people to register online for the event —and waive their rights to sue if they get sick.”

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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