coronabuzz

Monday CoronaBuzz, July 13, 2020: 34 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

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.

NEW RESOURCES – EDUCATION/ENTERTAINMENT

The Chattanoogan: NFHS Offers Free Online COVID-19 Informational Courses For Coaches And Administrators. “The COVID 19 pandemic presents a myriad of challenges to high school athletic and activity programs. To help address some of those challenges, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has developed a new free online course ‘COVID-19 for Coaches and Administrators.’ The course includes information from the ‘Guidance for Opening Up High School Athletics and Activities’ document that was released by the NFHS in May for its 51 member state high school associations to consider in restarting high school athletics and other activity programs across the nation.”

USEFUL STUFF

Lifehacker: How to Quit Your Doomscrolling Habit. “If you’re someone who reaches for your phone as soon as you wake up (other than to turn off the alarm), you may find yourself scrolling through your newsfeed or social media channels out of habit. It can start out innocently enough: quizzes to find out which Golden Girl you are, pictures of your friends’ kids drawing on the walls, and recipes for a one-pot meal you’ll think about making for dinner but never will. But in this year of never-ending doom, it’s hard to avoid all the bad news—primarily because it just keeps coming.”

UPDATES

BBC: New Zealand lifts all Covid restrictions, declaring the nation virus-free. “At midnight local time (12:00 GMT), all of New Zealand moved to level one, the lowest of a four-tier alert system. Under new rules, social distancing is not required and there are no limits on public gatherings, but borders remain closed to foreigners.”

Politico: Will Italy’s summer hiatus last?. “As Italy seeks a return to as-normal-as-possible after months of coronavirus lockdowns, a debate has broken out among the scientists studying the epidemic. The question: whether the virus that has killed more 35,000 people in Italy, and more than half a million people around the world, has changed in a way that makes it less dangerous — and what that would mean for countries like Italy as they try to find a way to open up safely.”

FACT CHECKS

WMAZ: VERIFY: No, face masks don’t contain metal ‘5G antennas’. “Viewer Doreen C. sent the VERIFY team a viral video of a woman cutting open a face mask and pulling out the metal strip that fits around the nose. She says that the strip is actually a 5G antenna and is ‘made to kill everybody’ as part of a government plot. But is that true?”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Washington Post: A closed border, pandemic-weary tourists and a big bottleneck at Glacier National Park. “As Montana warily reopened last month to pandemic-weary tourists, an isolated community held firm with closures and stay-at-home orders. Few outsiders would have paid much attention but for one detail: The Blackfeet Nation borders Glacier National Park, and its decision blocked access to much of the vast wilderness there. The result this month has meant throngs of visitors crowding into a tiny corner of Glacier — a crown jewel of the park system — with long lines of cars at what is now the only entry point.”

CNN: Utility shutoffs threaten a fresh crisis for low-income and Black families as Covid surges again. “As coronavirus cases surge across the US and states throttle back on economic reopenings, experts and advocacy groups are warning that low-income families could face utility shutoffs as moratoriums on disconnections lift — with Black families especially at risk.”

New York Times: Cairo Badly Needed a Detox. Lockdown Supplied One, at a Steep Price.. “Three months of lockdown slowed its pulse, stripped its grit and exposed a new side to a weary city. But without the noise, bustle and grind, was it really Cairo?”

GOVERNMENT

Axios: Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots “should be on the table”. “The Trump administration’s coronavirus testing coordinator Adm. Brett Giroir said on ABC’s ‘This Week’ that ‘everything’ — including the ‘stringent lockdowns’ that many governors implemented in March and April — should be ‘on the table’ in states where new infections are skyrocketing.”

AP: South Africa considers return to restrictions amid coronavirus surge. “Confronted by surging patient numbers due to coronavirus, South Africa is considering a return to tighter restrictions to combat the disease, which officials say may soon overwhelm the country’s health system. President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced he will speak to the nation about the crisis on Sunday evening after health officials issued warnings about shortages of hospital beds and medical oxygen.”

Bloomberg: Lacking Legal Means, Japan Is Paying Night Clubs to Shut. “Nighttime businesses such as host clubs that close for at least 10 days will receive 500,000 yen ($4,664) per outlet from the Tokyo government, Asahi newspaper reported Thursday, citing an unidentified official. The city’s Toshima Ward had earlier asked the capital for such financial assistance. In southern Japan, Kagoshima prefecture, where more than 80 infections have been traced to one cabaret club, will pay up to 300,000 yen for night time entertainment establishments to close for two weeks starting Wednesday.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Thousands protest in Israel over handling of economy. “Thousands of Israelis have staged a demonstration in Tel Aviv to protest against what they say is economic hardship caused by the government’s mishandling of the coronavirus crisis.”

Washington Post: More than 1,000 TSA employees have tested positive for coronavirus. “More than 1,000 employees at the Transportation Security Administration have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to figures the agency released Thursday. Nearly all of them are security officers who have continued to work screening passengers at airports throughout the pandemic.”

INDIVIDUALS / BANDS / GROUPS

Washington Post: Fauci is sidelined by the White House as he steps up blunt talk on pandemic. “For months, Anthony S. Fauci has played a lead role in America’s coronavirus pandemic, as a diminutive, Brooklyn-accented narrator who has assessed the risk and issued increasingly blunt warnings as the nation’s response has gone badly awry. But as the Trump administration has strayed from the advice of many of its scientists and public health experts, the White House has moved to sideline Fauci, scuttled some of his planned TV appearances and largely kept him out of the Oval Office for more than a month even as coronavirus infections surge in large swaths of the country.”

New York Times: ‘I Couldn’t Do Anything’: The Virus and an E.R. Doctor’s Suicide. “On an afternoon in early April, while New York City was in the throes of what would be the deadliest days of the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Lorna M. Breen found herself alone in the still of her apartment in Manhattan. She picked up her phone and dialed her younger sister, Jennifer Feist.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Three generations of Bollywood Bachchan family infected. “Three generations of a high-profile Bollywood family have tested positive for Covid-19, officials in the Indian state of Maharashtra say. Results on Sunday showed the actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, a former Miss World, and her daughter Aaradhya, eight, were infected with coronavirus. Her husband Abhishek and father-in-law Amitabh, both also actors, were taken to hospital on Saturday with the virus.”

SPORTS

Sports Illustrated: MLS Postpones Toronto FC vs. DC United Match Minutes Before Kickoff. “News of MLS’s decision came just minutes before the previously scheduled 9 a.m. ET start time. The league said in a statement that the results of Saturday’s COVID-19 testing revealed a positive test for one player and an inconclusive test for another player.”

EDUCATION

NPR: How Hong Kong Reopened Schools — And Why It Closed Them Again. “When Hong Kong appeared to be winning its war against COVID-19, schools started to reopen. That was the end of May. Things looked promising: From June 13 to July 5 there were no locally transmitted cases in Hong Kong. But the city is now fighting a third wave of infections, and the education bureau announced that the school year would end on Friday — about a week before the scheduled last day in mid-July.”

MarketWatch: ‘If I tell people about what happened, I honor my ancestors.’ How the pandemic is helping a slavery historian develop a K-12 lesson plan on African-American history. “When COVID-19 stormed America in March, Christine King Mitchell took a break from her job as a docent at the Old Slave Mart Museum in Charleston, S.C. Mitchell, 64, is an historian who has made education and research on the enslavement of African-Americans from 1619 to 1865 her life’s work. But how to keep going during a global pandemic, in a moment when the May 25 police killing of George Floyd and subsequent anti-racism protests have triggered a broad cultural push to acknowledge the longstanding oppression of Black Americans more fully?”

Washington Post: Reopened schools in Europe and Asia have largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks. They have lessons for the U.S.. “Many countries around the world are pushing ahead with plans for full-time, full-capacity, in-person classes, after having largely avoided coronavirus outbreaks linked to schools during more tentative reopenings in the spring. From Belgium to Japan, schools are abandoning certain social distancing measures, such as alternate-day schedules or extra space between desks. They have decided that part-time or voluntary school attendance, supplemented by distance learning, is not enough — that full classrooms are preferable to leaving kids at home.”

HEALTH

ABC13: 6-week-old baby boy dies from COVID-19 in Corpus Christi. “An infant has died due to coronavirus in Corpus Christi, the Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District reports. The baby boy was six weeks old.”

Vox: My patient caught Covid-19 twice. So long to herd immunity hopes.. “‘Wait. I can catch Covid twice?’ my 50-year-old patient asked in disbelief. It was the beginning of July, and he had just tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, for a second time — three months after a previous infection. While there’s still much we don’t understand about immunity to this new illness, a small but growing number of cases like his suggest the answer is ‘yes.'”

Salon: How 68,000 COVID-19 survivors created a world-class patient resource group in just four months. “Diana Berrent was one of the first people in her hometown of Port Washington, New York, to get COVID-19. Back then, in early March 2020, only immunocompromised and seniors were believed to be high-risk; hence, as a 46-year-old yoga practitioner and runner, Berrent was ‘shocked’ when she woke up with a 103-degree fever and respiratory infection — symptoms that strongly suggested she had coronavirus, which was later confirmed by a test.”

BBC: The women who can’t get an abortion in lockdown. “India’s grinding national coronavirus lockdown complicated life for women trying to access safe abortions, and now cities are bringing back restrictions, reports Menaka Rao.”

New York Times: Trump’s Health Officials Warn More Will Die as Covid Cases Rise. “Two of the Trump administration’s top health officials acknowledged Sunday that the country is facing a very serious situation with the onslaught of rising coronavirus cases in several states, striking a far more sober tone than President Trump at this stage of the pandemic in the United States.”

OUTBREAKS

Macon Telegraph: 85 kids, counselors infected with coronavirus in YMCA camp outbreak, GA officials say. “YMCA called the summer season off early for High Harbour Camp locations at Lake Burton and Lake Allatoona, but at least 30 or more camp attendees have, or have had, the virus, outlets have reported. But as of Friday, officials said the true number is much higher — at least 85 kids and counselors have tested positive — all stemming from their time at Lake Burton, Georgia Department of Public Health officials told McClatchy News.”

BuzzFeed News: Texas, California, And Florida Are Now Seeing A Sharp Rise In COVID-19 Deaths. “As experts feared would happen, COVID-19 deaths in the US have started to rise, following a surge in newly diagnosed cases beginning in the middle of June. The new spikes in deaths are largest in the two most populous states, California and Texas. And while infectious disease specialists are hopeful that the number of deaths won’t grow to match the carnage seen in New York State back in April, where the death toll peaked at around 1,000 per day, it’s unclear how quickly deaths may rise in the worst affected states in the coming weeks.”

New York Times: Pittsburgh Seemed Like a Virus Success Story. Now Cases Are Surging.. “A little more than three weeks ago, officials in Pittsburgh announced a milestone enviable for almost any major city in America: A day had gone by without a single new confirmed case of the coronavirus. It was good news for a city that had seen only a modest outbreak all along, even as the virus raged through places like Philadelphia and New York. That was then.”

AP: Florida reports largest, single-day increase in COVID cases. “Florida shattered the national record Sunday for the largest single-day increase in positive coronavirus cases in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, adding more than 15,000 cases as its daily average death toll continued to also rise.”

Reuters: Coronavirus stalks cells of Cameroon’s crowded prisons. “On the morning of April 24, Fritz Takang became so breathless he could barely walk across the cramped cell he shared with 60 inmates at the main prison in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde. That night, he said, he was evacuated with five others to an apartment complex that was being used to quarantine suspected COVID-19 cases. Near dawn the following morning, Takang, 48, heard a fellow inmate in distress in a neighbouring room. With no doctors present, he said, he went to the man’s bedside and laid a hand on his feverish forehead. Moments later, the man died.”

CRIME / SECURITY / LEGAL

CNN: Florida man and his sons charged with selling toxic chemical as a coronavirus cure to thousands. “Three months after President Donald Trump suggested ingesting disinfectants as a treatment for coronavirus, a Florida man and his three sons are facing criminal charges for allegedly selling a toxic solution to tens of thousands of people as a cure for Covid-19.”

NBC News: Gun violence is surging in cities, and hitting communities of color hardest. “Over 1,500 people have been shot in Chicago, almost 900 in Philadelphia, and more than 500 in New York City so far in 2020 — all up significantly from the same time last year (1,018 in Chicago, 701 in Philadelphia and 355 in New York). The surge in shootings has been particularly painful for communities of color, which have disproportionately endured the weight of the COVID-19 crisis, the economic recession and social unrest following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May.”

OPINION

Washington Post: Your mask feels uncomfortable? Get over it. As a surgeon, I know how vital they are.. “Today, my wife returned from a visit with a friend. ‘She won’t wear a mask. She said it’s too uncomfortable.’ Had I been there, I would have said, as I now do when I hear people complaining about the discomforts of a mask, ‘Sorry, you’ll get no sympathy from me.’ As a surgeon, I spent much of my life behind a mask. Yes, it could be uncomfortable, especially during hay fever season, when I would excuse myself at the end of a three-hour operation to discreetly remove my snot-filled mask and wipe my face clean.”

POLITICS

CBS News: Virus outbreak reshapes presidential race in Sun Belt — CBS News Battleground Tracker poll. “The coronavirus outbreak is reshaping the presidential race in three key Sun Belt states. Joe Biden is now leading President Trump by six points in Florida, and the two are tied in Arizona and competitive in Texas, where Biden is down by just a point to Mr. Trump. Biden has made gains in part because most say their state’s efforts to contain the virus are going badly — and the more concerned voters are about risks from the outbreak, the more likely they are to support Biden.”

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