coronabuzz

Sunday CoronaBuzz, August 16, 2020: 21 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

“Leftovers” edition with old news. Next ones will be larger. Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.

NEW RESOURCES – MEDICAL/HEALTH

The Tribune: Pair Of Businessmen Launch Website To Track Pandemic. “TWO local businessmen launched a new website this week to allow Bahamians to easily track the COVID-19 pandemic through customisable graphs.Seeing a need for comprehensive and easily-understood data on the virus, Ash Henderson and Ben Jamieson developed the website… to provide an interactive look at the virus throughout the country.”

RTE: IEA launches database of companies producing PPE. “The Irish Exporters Association has launched a database of companies producing personal protective equipment. The initiative is led by the Chair of the IEA’s Western Regional Network Group, Dr John Carr.”

NEW RESOURCES – STATE-SPECIFIC

Times Telegram: Database: NY bars that have cited for COVID-19 violations. “New York has stepped up its enforcement at bars and restaurants that have flouted the state’s executive orders related to COVID-19 safety precautions. The state on [July 28] suspended liquor licenses for 12 New York City bars, and last weekend a multi-agency task force, led by State Police and the Liquor Authority, did 1,300 compliance checks, finding violations at 132 establishments.”

FACT CHECKS / MISINFORMATION

Global Voices: Nigerians counteract COVID-19 denialism with social media campaigns. “Nigerians are reducing the effect of COVID-19 denial narratives with powerful online Twitter campaigns such as #MyCOVID19NaijaStory and #COVIDStopswithMe. These counter-narratives aim to prove that the deadly coronavirus is not a hoax and more importantly, to encourage people to adopt good public health behaviours to mitigate its spread. As of July 29, Nigeria had recorded 41,804 confirmed COVID-19 cases,18,764 recoveries and 868 deaths.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

New York Times: The Strange Lives of Objects in the Coronavirus Era. “A set of new objects has emerged in the last few months to address the new reality of illness, lockdown, social distancing and social protest. Some of these objects are wacky and unrealized — speculative concepts that may never see the light of day. Others, like cocktails-in-a-bag, thermometers and all manner of partitions, are already circulating widely. And some aren’t new at all: familiar household items like bottles of Lysol and rolls of toilet paper, which have taken on new meaning and importance because of scarcity or sudden unusual needs.”

BUSINESS / CORPORATIONS

BBC: Coronavirus: Uber customer activity falls sharply. “The number of customers active on Uber’s apps has dropped nearly in half since last year as the pandemic devastates demand for the company’s taxi services. The ride-hailing giant said it had an average of 55 million customers each month in the April-June period, down from 99 million last year.”

GOVERNMENT

New Zealand Herald: Covid 19 coronavirus: Medics testing returnees struggled with poor information, new database to ‘streamline’ process. “Teams swabbing people in quarantine and managed isolation hotels have at times struggled with incorrect information including names, authorities admit – but a new database is expected to streamline the border defence.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Face covering use expanded in England and Scotland. “Face coverings have become mandatory in more indoor settings in England and Scotland following a recent spike in coronavirus cases. Places where coverings must now be worn in both countries include museums, places of worship and aquariums. Other new settings in England include cinemas and funeral homes, and in Scotland, banks and beauty salons.”

EDUCATION

AZFamily: There is a new way of teaching on the Navajo Nation amid COVID-19. “On the Navajo Nation teachers and students are preparing for an unusual school year, given COVID-19. Educators like sixth-grade teacher, Priscilla Black, are thinking outside-of-the-box when it comes to education this academic year.”

New York Times: A School Reopens, and the Coronavirus Creeps In. “One of the first school districts in the country to reopen its doors during the coronavirus pandemic did not even make it a day before being forced to grapple with the issue facing every system actively trying to get students into classrooms: What happens when someone comes to school infected?”

Chicago Sun-Times: ‘Devastated’ Chicago college students opt to stay home after last-minute shifts to all online classes, strict COVID-19 restrictions. “Eli Stone, of Lake View, was ready for the ‘normal college experience’ and set to start his freshman year this fall at Brandeis University outside Boston. But when Brandeis released its reopening plans, Stone, 18, said he couldn’t imagine finding new friends or developing new relationships when he was living in a single dorm and taking all his classes online. So earlier this summer, he deferred his enrollment for at least a semester.”

Slate: This Year Will Be a Nightmare for Marginalized Students. “The anxiety for teachers right now is palpable. As I trudge through this long Sunday night that is August, and I recall the intense challenges of last spring, I’ve found myself worried. I know that this fall, our educational system needs to do many things differently in order to truly serve our students. If we can’t ‘reimagine’ our system, many of our already marginalized students will only fall farther behind.”

HEALTH

Global News: The faster a country required masks, the fewer coronavirus deaths it had: study. “Some countries have been devastated by the novel coronavirus, and others have escaped lightly. Why the extreme differences? The main one is that countries that quickly resorted to widespread mask-wearing had far lower death rates and shorter outbreaks, a new study argues.”

OUTBREAKS

BBC: Coronavirus Vietnam: The mysterious resurgence of Covid-19. “The communist country acted fast and decisively where other nations faltered, closing its borders to almost all travellers except returning citizens as early as March. It quarantined and tested anyone who entered the country in government facilities, and conducted widespread contact-tracing and testing nationwide. So what went wrong?”

TECHNOLOGY

NBC News: Latinos rely more on social media as a coronavirus lifeline, Nielsen report finds. “Latinos are using social media, mobile apps and other digital platforms at higher rates than the general U.S. population amid social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Thursday by Nielsen.”

NBC Chicago: Chicago Will Check Social Media to Help Enforce Travel Order: CDPH Commissioner. “Chicago health officials could check your social media if they believe you may have violated the city’s travel order. The city’s top public health official said Tuesday that social media could be used as evidence to help enforce a quarantine requirement for anyone visiting or returning to the city from a list of states seeing a rise in coronavirus cases.”

RESEARCH

The Kingston Whig-Standard: Queen’s researcher to build COVID-19 patient tracking database. “To remedy the lapses in COVID-19 clinical data, a researcher at Queen’s University is building a provincial database to track patients in hospital emergency departments. Dr. Steven Brooks, a clinician-scientist at Kingston Health Sciences Centre and emergency physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Queen’s, has received $1.2 million in funding through the Ontario COVID-19 Rapid Research Fund for the project.”

FUNNY

BBC: Fawlty Towers John Cleese backs Torbay social distancing plea. “Fawlty Towers legend John Cleese has joined in a call for social distancing in the seaside town where the comedy series was set. Cleese tweeted: ‘Going forward if I see you too close to one another I shall lay down in-between. Social distance!’ The tweet by Cleese who played hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the TV comedy, added ‘2 metres = 1 Basil Fawlty’.”

CRIME / SECURITY / LEGAL

WPLG: Florida man spit at boy who refused to remove his mask, police say. “A Florida man has been arrested after police say he confronted a child wearing a mask at a restaurant and spit in his face when the boy refused to take it off. Treasure Island police say 47-year-old Jason Copenhaver approached the child’s table Sunday and asked the boy to remove his mask.”

POLITICS

Slate: No Relief in Sight. “It’s been a week since the CARES Act’s enhanced unemployment benefits expired, and two weeks since its eviction moratorium expired. The Paycheck Protection Program, designed to keep small businesses afloat and their employees on board, expires Saturday. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remains in the double-digits. These deadlines did not sneak up on anyone. The House had passed its sequel to the CARES Act, the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act, in May. But Senate Republicans took a wait-and-see approach until the last minute and, when McConnell finally released his counteroffer, half of his own conference instantly rejected it. With McConnell throwing his hands in the air, the business of propping up the American economy for another few months was left to negotiations between Democratic leaders and Trump’s White House envoys. It’s been a train wreck. Meanwhile, the evictions are set to begin.”

Vanity Fair: How Jared Kushner’s Secret Testing Plan “Went Poof Into Thin Air”. “Six months into the pandemic, the United States continues to suffer the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the developed world. Considerable blame belongs to a federal response that offloaded responsibility for the crucial task of testing to the states. The irony is that, after assembling the team that came up with an aggressive and ambitious national testing plan, Kushner then appears to have decided, for reasons that remain murky, to scrap its proposal. Today, as governors and mayors scramble to stamp out epidemics plaguing their populations, philanthropists at the Rockefeller Foundation are working to fill the void and organize enough testing to bring the nationwide epidemic under control.”

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