Saturday CoronaBuzz, August 22, 2020: 27 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.


Texas Tribune: In shift, Texas begins publishing some data on coronavirus cases at child care centers. “The Texas Health and Human Services Commission published a spreadsheet on its website Thursday showing COVID-19 cases in 1,867 child care facilities, summer camps, and before- and after-school programs in 127 counties. It excludes the names and addresses of child care centers run out of homes, but the agency included total cases from home-based centers in a separate spreadsheet.”


CNET: US COVID-19 database reportedly returning to CDC control. “The US Department of Health and Human Services will instruct hospitals to report key coronavirus statistics to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, reversing a Trump administration move from July that ordered hospitals to report data to a central database in Washington.”

KUAR: States Adds Over 500 New COVID-19 Cases, New Data On Coronavirus Cases And School Districts Released. “Arkansas added over 500 new coronavirus cases Thursday as the start date for schools is set for Monday, fewer than five days away. The state saw 549 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 54,765. Of those total cases, 5,666 are considered active according to the state Department of Health.”


Doctors Without Borders: Let’s Talk COVID-19: Fighting Misinformation. “As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) teams are also confronting an ‘infodemic’ of rumors, misinformation, and disinformation that adds to the dangers. In many of the places where we work around the world, we see false or misleading information deliberately circulated to cause harm and fuel confusion. Health workers have been stigmatized and attacked, and there is growing distrust of medical experts and scientific evidence. Amid the cacophony of news and social media, it can be difficult to discern the facts about the coronavirus.” Both a video and a transcript are available.

Phys .org: The partisan pandemic: Do we now live in alternative realities?. “It’s possible to disagree—but still engage—with friends or fellow citizens who evaluate the benefits of test and tracing policies for COVID-19 differently, but how do we communicate with someone who—armed with the same public information—concludes that there is no pandemic?”


Slate: All the Ways the Pandemic Makes the Wildfire Crisis Worse. “We are living through multiple crises at once. Remember way back in May, when we all realized the coronavirus was not going to be under control any time soon, and we wondered how an uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic might hamper the emergency response to any other natural disasters we might experience? It’s happening now, in California. Here are all the ways COVID is making this particular climate disaster harder to face.”

Jerusalem Post: Psychotherapy goes online in the age of coronavirus. “One hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud’s patients would lie down on the couch and were encouraged to free-associate, to say whatever was on their mind. Eventually, people began to recognize the psychoanalytic couch as the symbol of psychoanalysis. If Freud were alive today, he would probably find himself sitting in front of a computer, like so many other therapists in all corners of the world.”

New York Times: We’ve Hit a Pandemic Wall. “I am trying to think of when I first realized we’d all run smack into a wall. Was it two weeks ago, when a friend, ordinarily a paragon of wifely discretion, started a phone conversation with a boffo rant about her husband? Was it when I looked at my own spouse — one week later, this probably was — and calmly told him that each and every one of my problems was his fault? (They were not.)”


VTDigger: How libraries across Vermont are continuing to serve people despite a pandemic. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, Vermont’s public libraries have figured out how to serve their communities despite mandatory closings and limitations. Initially, like every institution in Vermont, libraries across the state shut down in early March to help combat Covid-19. But in mid-April, libraries found ways to reach people — through curbside services and expanded digital resources. In the months since, the individuality of each of Vermont’s libraries has shone through.”

NPR: Religious Groups Received $6-10 Billion In COVID-19 Relief Funds, Hope For More. “Religious organizations, having received as much as $10 billion in the first round of COVID-19 aid, hope to receive more funding under any new relief package. Churches of all denominations and other religious nonprofits were quick to take advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided forgivable loans under the CARES Act in March. The U.S. Catholic Church alone received at least $1.4 billion in funding and possibly as much as $3.5 billion under the program, according to an analysis by the Associated Press, using data provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA).”

NY1: Inspecting Treasures in the Dark: What the Met Museum Looks Like with the Lights Off. “With museums closed around the city because of the coronavirus pandemic, some simply shut their doors, but bigger museums have to keep up with security and other safety measures. For the biggest museum in country, the lights may be out, but eyes are still monitoring every single object in the museum. With flashlight in hand, Carolyn Riccardelli inspects the many treasures inside The Metropolitan Museum of Art, making sure the vast collection is safe during the museum’s months-long pandemic-induced shutdown.”


Washington Post: Nursing home companies accused of misusing federal money received hundreds of millions of dollars in pandemic relief. “For-profit nursing home providers that have faced accusations of Medicare fraud and kickbacks, labor violations or widespread failures in patient care received hundreds of millions of dollars in ‘no strings attached’ coronavirus relief aid meant to cover shortfalls and expenses during the pandemic, a Washington Post analysis of federal spending found. More than a dozen companies that received federal funding have settled civil lawsuits in recent years with the Justice Department, which alleged improper Medicare billing, forged documents, substandard care and other abuses.”

New York Times: Major U.S. Health Insurers Report Big Profits, Benefiting From the Pandemic. “The nation’s leading health insurers are experiencing an embarrassment of profits. Some of the largest companies, including Anthem, Humana and UnitedHealth Group, are reporting second-quarter earnings that are double what they were a year ago. And while insurance profits are capped under the Affordable Care Act, with the requirement that consumers should benefit from such excesses in the form of rebates, no one should expect an immediate windfall.”


Los Angeles Times: Serious breakdown in California systems cause inaccurate coronavirus numbers. “A breakdown in the electronic collection of coronavirus test data is hampering California’s pandemic response, with some public health officials resorting to counting results by hand and a growing number of counties warning the public that statistics provided by the state on infection rates are unreliable.”


Huffington Post: Anthony Fauci Says He’s Hired Security To Protect Daughters From Death Threats. “During a livestreamed talk with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosted by Harvard’s School of Public Health, the infectious disease expert said he was taken aback by the harassment he and his family have received in the last few months. Noting that crisis ‘brings out the best of people and the worst of people,’ Fauci said, ‘getting death threats for me and my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security, it’s amazing.'”

BBC: Coronavirus pandemic could be over within two years – WHO head. “The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) says he hopes the coronavirus pandemic will be over in under two years. Speaking in Geneva, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the Spanish flu of 1918 had taken two years to overcome. But he added that current advances in technology could enable the world to halt the virus ‘in a shorter time’.”


New York Times: Cancellations, Opt-Outs and Virus Cases Put Heat on College Football. “Then the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Divisions II and III canceled championships in fall sports. Louisville, which plays in Division I, said it had suspended athletic activities in field hockey, volleyball and men’s and women’s soccer after 29 players tested positive for the virus. And the College Football Playoff said it would delay the release of its all-important final rankings until close to Christmas.”


KNOX: UND Unveils Real-time Covid-19 Dashboard. “[University of North Dakota] has converted the coronavirus update blog into a new website that offers more information and features than were possible in the blog. This includes a new dashboard that reports UND COVID-19 cases in a real-time dashboard. ”


NBC News: 15 adults have been hospitalized after drinking methanol-contaminated hand sanitizer. Four died.. “The CDC report included 15 cases of methanol poisoning in New Mexico and Arizona that occurred in May and June. The average age was 43, and 13 of the cases were in men. Several of the cases were among American Indians/Alaska Natives, though the report does not detail the exact number. All 15 individuals were hospitalized, and four people died. Another three developed vision problems, a known side effect of methanol poisoning.”

The Star: ‘I was worried I’d end up bald.’ Survivors alarmed by latest fallout of COVID-19 — their hair. “It was about three months after she first got sick with COVID-19 that Heather Colton’s fiancé started noticing strands of her thick dark hair all around the house. There would be clumps in the drain at the end of every shower…. The Belleville fast-food worker is not the only one experiencing this strange lingering impact of COVID-19. Called telogen effluvium, it often happens after a major illness or trauma. And it’s just one more sign, doctors say, that the strange new virus can impact the body beyond just the lungs, and, even in young people, trigger devastating impacts that last long beyond just 14 days.”


Boston Globe: Person dies from COVID-19 in outbreak linked to Maine wedding on Aug. 7. “One person has died as a result of a COVID-19 outbreak that began at a wedding in Maine on Aug. 7, authorities said. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said 32 positive cases of coronavirus have been linked to the wedding ceremony that was held at a church in East Millinocket and the reception that followed at the Big Moose Inn in Millinocket. One of those who tested positive, an adult female patient at Millinocket Regional Hospital, died on Friday.”


CNN: Scared of going back to the office? Companies hope these apps will help. “Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Siemens (SIEGY) has raced to give its workplace app Comfy a makeover for the coronavirus era. Want to reserve an open desk as offices are rearranged for social distancing? Check. Need to locate your coworkers? Check. Looking to book a conference room that’s big enough for two people to stay six feet apart? That’s taken care of, too.”

Slate: When COVID-19 Came to the Kuikuro. “When news broke of a ‘foreign’ virus in early March, Indigenous leaders in the 6.5 million–acre territory that is home to more than 7,000 people from 16 different groups promptly mobilized to try to keep the disease at bay. They adopted a voluntary quarantine and produced videos and other educational materials with prevention tips in Karib languages. Still, despite their best efforts, the coronavirus arrived in Xingu. Since the first death from COVID-19, a 45-day-old Kalapalo baby in early June, at least 10 other deaths and more than 210 confirmed cases have been registered….But the Kuikuro, who make up about 10 percent of the overall population of the territory, have managed to mitigate the spread—in part, thanks to innovative use of technology.”


Phys .org: Examining the potential of home food growing during lockdown. “A new study, involving researchers from the University of Liverpool, Lancaster University, and Cranfield University, has been launched to examine the potential of home food growing to confer health, wellbeing and sustainability benefits in the light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This is part of the two-year Rurban Revolution project, which is funded by the UKRI program Global Food Security.”

HuffPost: The First Data On Kids, COVID-19 And Race Is Here — And It’s Not Good. “The coronavirus pandemic in the United States has been marked by stark racial and socioeconomic disparities. Black and Latinx adults in this country are more likely to get the disease. They’re more likely to die from it. The same holds true for lower-income earners. There has, however, been relatively little scientific evidence on how this all breaks down in children — until now. Arguably the largest study on kids, COVID-19 and racial and socioeconomic disparities in the U.S., the research published in the journal Pediatrics on Wednesday revealed striking differences between children of color and white children.”

Phys .org: Researchers launch video game exploring the effects of confinement. “An interactive video game created by researchers and students in the EPFL College of Humanities (CDH) and UNIL Gamelab, in collaboration with the Initiative for Media Innovation (IMI) and Le Temps, allows users to explore a series of digital narratives that bear witness to the period of pandemic-induced isolation. Would you let your children play in the park? How can you stay focused during your distance-learning course? Who are you going to call to pass the time while semi-confined? People across the world are dealing with these questions, and many more, as social distancing and confinement have become key strategies for fighting the coronavirus pandemic.”


AZ Central: 517 inmates test positive for COVID-19 in Tucson, nearly half of prison population there. “The tests came after inmates at the Whetstone Unit staged a peaceful walkout on Thursday,July 23, due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 inside the facility, according to a report by KOLD News 13 in Tucson. Inmates told staff they wanted to remain on lockdown and have their lunches delivered to them, according to KOLD. The 517 new cases is a 72% jump in the department’s identified COVID-19 cases.”

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