Saturday CoronaBuzz, July 11, 2020: 35 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Today marks four months since I’ve been in any building but my house and my Granny’s house. I have nightmares pretty much every night and you wouldn’t believe how much I need a haircut. But guess what? If it’s four weeks, four months, or four years more I’m sticking. You might need to start calling me Cousin Itt, but here I’ll be. Wash your hands and stay at home as much as you can. When you go out, please wear a mask. Please be careful. I love you.


Johns Hopkins University: Johns Hopkins Launches Reopening Policy Tracker For K-12 Schools. “A multidisciplinary team of Johns Hopkins University researchers has launched a new website that provides a range of tools dedicated to assessing and guiding K-12 school reopening plans across the United States, including a School Reopening Policy Tracker that provides real-time analysis of the latest guidance documents from every state.”

Seattle Times: Seattle Black Film Festival 2020 celebrates its 17th year and goes online with screenings and events. “Taking place July 10-12… with assistance from the Seattle-based livestream film and music events platform Couch-a-thon, the SBFF will feature more than 30 films from Black filmmakers across the diaspora, including Nigeria, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Five are from local filmmakers: ‘Black Champagne’ by Jeremiah Williams, ‘RESPEK’ by Kamari Bright, ‘Headless Into Night’ by Nifemi Madarikan, ‘Retch’ by Tifa Tomb and Nicole Pouchet, and ‘Our Troll’ by D.J. Walker.”


Summit Daily (Colorado): Polis announces interactive COVID-19 model. “The website… lets people play epidemiologist by changing various scenarios to see how the state would be able to handle the virus. On the website, people can drag sliders with various metrics, including the number of people under 65 social distancing, the proportion of the population that wears a mask and how quickly contacts are successfully traced after a case report. The website then shows the viewer a graph detailing the number of estimated non-ICU hospitalizations, critical care hospitalization and deaths.”


Florida Today: Data breakthrough: nearly 7,000 Floridians hospitalized with COVID-19, 112 in Brevard. “There are 6,991 COVID-19 patients across Florida’s hospitals, 112 of whom are in Brevard County. After weeks of pressure, Florida on Friday began publishing current, rather than cumulative, hospitalization statistics for coronavirus patients.”


Phys .org: Socio-economic, environmental impacts of COVID-19 quantified. “The first comprehensive study of the pandemic shows consumption losses amount to more than US$3.8 trillion, triggering full-time equivalent job losses of 147 million and the biggest-ever drop in greenhouse gas emissions.”

BBC: Coronavirus: How can we make post-pandemic cities smarter?. “Streets have been eerily quiet in recent months as coronavirus lockdowns imposed by governments around the world hit the pause button on normal life. And while many people have missed the shops and cafes, many have also appreciated the temporary respite from noise, pollution and congestion. As cities start to wake up from the so-called anthropause, questions are being being asked about how we can improve them more permanently. And the assumptions we had about making our cities smart may also need a rethink.”

The Next Web: Coronavirus has changed travel in European cities for good — here’s how . “At a recent Cities Today Institute roundtable, cities across Europe told a consistent story – public transport ridership is down between 60 and 90 percent on pre-coronavirus levels and capacity is reduced due to social distancing, while private car usage is beginning to climb once again. With revenues from media, parking and other taxes also slashed, this is adding up to a perfect storm of looming congestion and decimated budgets.”


NBC Washington: Some Child Care Centers Closed Due to COVID-19 May Not Reopen. “More than 5,000 Washington, D.C.-area child care centers remain closed, some of which will never reopen, according to a review of state records by the News4 I-Team. The industry is suffering a growing economic crisis fueled by COVID-19 safety restrictions, capacity reductions, uncertainty over schools reopening and mass layoffs of parents who typically require child care.”


BBC: Coronavirus: Pools, gyms, team sport and outdoor gigs to return. “Pools, gyms and sports facilities will be able to reopen and team sports and outdoor gigs resume in England, the government has announced. Outdoor pools and performances can resume from Saturday with social distancing in place, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said. Beauticians, nail salons and tattooists can also reopen from Monday, he said.” 😬

Daily Beast: Georgia Cities in Open Revolt Against Governor Over Masks. “When Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she would sign a mask-wearing mandate Wednesday, she wasn’t just protecting her citizens—she was adding fire to a growing revolt over Gov. Brian Kemp’s refusal to require face coverings in Georgia.”

ProPublica: You Can Make Millions Selling Masks to the Government in Three Easy Steps. “Jason Cardiff didn’t want his new business to end up like his last one, an alleged pyramid scheme involving robocalling and selling unwitting customers bogus remedies to lose weight or quit smoking. One of his ventures, Prolongz, falsely claimed to offer men ‘increased ejaculation control.’ ‘I am not going to lose another company,’ Cardiff told his lawyer in an April 5 email, just before detailing a fantasy list of people he wanted to place on the board of his new venture, VPL Medical Inc.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Thrifty Germany takes on debt to rescue arts. “Germany’s cultural life is slowly coming back to life. The German government has set aside more than €1bn (£896m; $1.13bn) to protect the arts – in addition to a furlough scheme and grants for freelancers.”

Lex18: Wearing of masks mandated in Kentucky beginning Friday. “Gov. Beshear has signed an executive order stating that the wearing of masks in public will be mandatory in the state of Kentucky beginning Friday at 5 p.m.”

New York Times: In Tackling Coronavirus, Scotland Asserts Its Separateness From England. “There was nothing particularly festive about Nicola Sturgeon’s recent visit to the Cold Town House, a newly reopened Edinburgh pub, but maybe that was the point. Sipping coffee and surveying plexiglass dividers, Ms. Sturgeon, the leader of Scotland’s government, warned customers not to expect the jolly, sweaty intimacy of nightlife before the coronavirus pandemic.”

Politico: How the Smallest State Engineered a Big Covid Comeback. “Life hasn’t yet returned to normal in America’s smallest state, but it’s at least no longer crazy to think about life returning to normal, because coronavirus deaths, hospitalizations and infections have been plummeting since April. Rhode Island is leading the nation in testing, with nearly a quarter of its population tested so far, and its rate of positive tests has dropped from over 18 percent to under 2 percent. While a national debate rages over school schedules, weighing concerns about education and convenience against concerns about safety, Governor Gina Raimondo has already announced that classrooms will reopen this fall—not because parents have no other child care options, or because President Donald Trump is insisting there’s nothing to worry about, but because she’s confident Rhode Island can do it safely.”

WXYZ: Whitmer signs order requiring people to wear masks in all indoor spaces, crowded outdoor spaces. “Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order that requires people to wear face masks whenever in an indoor public space and in crowded outdoor spaces. The order strengthens her previous order on masks.”

Greenville News: Restaurants and bars in SC banned from selling alcohol after 11pm as coronavirus surges. “The ‘last call’ is at 11 p.m. Beginning Saturday, that is when South Carolina’s 8,000 restaurants, bars, breweries and similar establishments will be ordered to stop serving alcohol nightly, Gov. Henry McMaster announced Friday.”


Washington Post: The retired inventor of N95 masks is back at work, mostly for free, to fight covid-19. “Peter Tsai retired two years ago, but the materials scientist says he’s never been busier. When the novel coronavirus began gripping the globe in March, Tsai was summoned from his short-lived retirement. He was in urgent demand because he is the inventor who, in 1995, patented the filtration material used in disposable N95 respirators. The coveted masks are in short supply and are desperately needed by health-care workers and others who require protection from the highly contagious coronavirus.”

CNET: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pledges $3M to guaranteed income programs. “Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Thursday promised to donate $3 million to a collation of mayors advocating for a federal guaranteed income. Dorsey’s donation will help a network of mayors in 15 cities battle the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.”


Washington Post: MLS loses second team from its restart as Nashville SC withdraws because of virus. “Nashville SC withdrew from MLS’s season-reopening tournament Thursday, becoming the second team to exit because of a coronavirus outbreak and raising anew questions about sports resuming competition during a pandemic. The club reported nine players — about a third of the roster — had tested positive for the novel coronavirus since they arrived at a Disney resort, where all 26 teams are staying in a so-called bubble for several weeks.”

CNET: The NBA is coming back: Dates, locations, who’s sitting out and how to watch basketball’s 2020 return. “After the coronavirus shut down the NBA season along with everything else, basketball is finally set to return on July 30 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex, inside Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Negotiations between the league and the NBA Players Association resulted in a new deal that will allow play to resume after a hiatus of nearly five months, but the final pro basketball games of 2020 will be unlike any previous year.”


The Harvard Crimson: Harvard, MIT Sue Immigration Authorities Over Rule Barring International Students from Online-Only Universities. “Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a lawsuit in District Court in Boston Wednesday morning against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to University President Lawrence S. Bacow. The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar DHS and ICE from enforcing federal guidelines barring international students attending colleges and universities offering only online courses from staying in the United States.”

Vox: Reopening schools safely is going to take much more federal leadership. “America’s entire education system is teetering on the brink of catastrophe. Distance learning has proved to be the education disaster experts feared, parents are at the end of their tethers, and the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) is now calling for schools to reopen. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), unlike the AAP, has assessed the school question essentially without reference to the educational impacts.”

LAist: LA Teachers’ Union Pushes Back On Trump Administration’s Push To Reopen Schools. “Amid pressure from the Trump Administration to fully reopen schools this fall, the union representing L.A. Unified School District teachers is calling for campuses to remain closed and for online learning to continue when classes start again in August.”


Bloomberg Businessweek: Stretched and Stressed by Outbreak, African Doctors Push Back. “For as long as she can remember, Bilqis Muhammad wanted to be a doctor. At age 34, she works in the emergency room of a hospital in Zaria, a city of 400,000 in the grasslands of northern Nigeria. Though she frequently has to put in overtime to make up for staff shortages, in seven years on the job she’s always showed up for work, no matter how tired or frustrated she was. The novel coronavirus pandemic has changed that.”

Deseret News: You should avoid these 5 hand sanitizer brands, FDA says. “The Food and Drug Administration added five new brands of hand sanitizer that have tested positive for toxic chemicals. The warning comes as people continue to purchase hand sanitizer to protect themselves from COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Heavy: Richard Rose: Ohio Man Dies of COVID-19 After Saying Masks Were Hype. “Richard Rose passed away on July 4 from complications of COVID-19, just a few days after he tested positive for the coronavirus. Now posts are going viral online that show him saying he didn’t believe in wearing masks back in April. Heavy has confirmed that those posts are indeed authentic.”


Willamette Week: Bracing for Another Spike, Oregon Officials Say They’ve Traced COVID-19 Outbreaks to a Fraternity Bash and a Bachelor Party. “Oregon health officials released another round of bleak projections for the spread of the COVID-19 virus, saying the state could see as many as 7,300 cases a day by the end of July. The dire new modeling works off the hypothesis that Oregon is only diagnosing about a quarter of its new viral infections—and that the state is already experiencing 1,100 new cases per day. (The official cases have yet to top 400 a day.) The Oregon Health Authority now warns if residents don’t stay home and wear masks, that number could increase to anywhere from 3,600 to 7,300 new cases each day.”

NBC News: ‘All the hospitals are full’: In Houston, overwhelmed ICUs leave COVID-19 patients waiting in ER. “Houston hospitals have been forced to treat hundreds of COVID-19 patients in their emergency rooms — sometimes for several hours or multiple days — as they scramble to open additional intensive care beds for the wave of seriously ill people streaming through their doors, according to internal numbers shared with NBC News and ProPublica. At the same time, the region’s 12 busiest hospitals are increasingly telling emergency responders that they cannot safely accept new patients, at a rate nearly three times that of a year ago, according to data reviewed by reporters.”

AJC: Georgia to reactivate makeshift hospital at Atlanta convention center. “Georgia officials are racing to expand hospital capacity to cope with soaring numbers of coronavirus cases, unveiling plans Friday to reopen a makeshift medical facility at the sprawling convention center in Atlanta and other efforts to add more beds.”


WFLA: Hillsborough Co. crossing guards get new electronic whistles amid coronavirus pandemic. “With new school year set to start in some form or fashion, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is preparing for a new normal by introducing technology to help crossing guards. On Thursday, crossing guards in Hillsborough County tested out new electronic whistles. They are able to sound off to alert drivers that kids are crossing without the crossing guards having to actually remove their masks.” Or blow possibly-contaminated spit through the air.


Eater London: New Recipe Collection to Support BAME Covid-19 Victims Raises £10,000 in First Day. BAME stands for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. “The author, activist, and Eater London contributor Riaz Phillips has launched a new digital recipe collection, with entries from over 100 cooks and writers from diasporic communities across the country. Community Comfort, which is available to download now for a minimum donation of £10, will donate all proceeds to the Majonzi COVID-19 Bereavement Fund in collaboration with the Ubele Initiative, which was set up by social commentator, Windrush campaigner, and cultural historian Patrick Vernon to support the communities disproportionately affected by the coronavirus crisis. Since the collection was made available for purchase yesterday, 9 July, it has been downloaded over 600 times, generating nearly £10,000 in under 24 hours.”


Bleeping Computer: Persuasive Office 365 phishing uses fake Zoom suspension alerts. “Microsoft Office 365 users are targeted by a new phishing campaign using fake Zoom notifications to warn those who work in corporate environments that their Zoom accounts have been suspended, with the end goal of stealing Office 365 logins.”


Rand Corporation: Learning to Live in a Riskier World. “On one hand, there are daily headlines expressing alarm about the dangers of reopening, citing rising cases and hospitalizations in early-opening states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona. The implication often seems to be not just that we should carefully consider how and when to reopen, but that returning to normalcy is not worth any increase in COVID-19 risk. On the other hand, some groups—such as the anti-mask activists who succeeded in temporarily getting mask requirements rescinded in Orange County—appear opposed to any restrictions or changes in their pre-COVID-19 lifestyles. But what Americans need right now is not polarization.”


ABC News: Broad disapproval for Trump’s handling of coronavirus, race relations: POLL. “President Donald Trump is facing broad disapproval for his management of the two major crises gripping the nation, with two-thirds of Americans giving him low marks for both his response to the coronavirus pandemic and his handling of race relations, according to a new ABC News/Ipsos poll released Friday.”

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3 replies »

  1. Thank you once again for ResearchBuzz, you are a wonderful human being.

    Unfortunately, at some point down the road, I will have to reduce or eliminate my contribution. I lost my only client in April, and the future looks bleak for the kind of consulting work I had for almost 40 years. I will keep trying, but if I fail, I will have to face the reality of a forced retirement. So far, so good…

    Best wishes, and stay healthy!

    Carl Friedberg
    President, Comet &Company
    165 William St New York NY
    Office (212) 233-5470
    Cell (917) 861-7819

    • Carl, while I’m grateful for your support, I also always want you to do what is best for you and your situation. If you can’t provide financial support, then just keep reading. Then you’re giving me another kind of support: a reason to keep going. That’s precious. Much love.

  2. Tara, really appreciate Research Buzz, and letting us know how you are doing. I’m a fellow Cousin ITT! Take care, Joyce

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