Sunday CoronaBuzz, September 6, 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.


Route Fifty: One State Offers Training To Help Teachers Combat Pandemic-Related Stress and Anxiety. “Teachers, counselors and staff members at K-12 schools in Connecticut will be offered free training from Yale University to address the stress, isolation and anxiety that they—and their students—have been experiencing since the Covid-19 pandemic closed schools in March.”

11 Alive: Georgia begins publishing COVID data on new website. “Georgia began publishing COVID-19 data on a new website run by the state Geospatial Information Office (GIO) on Saturday, replacing the long-running daily situation report that has been published by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency.”


BBC: Coronavirus: Melbourne lockdown extended by two weeks. “A strict lockdown in the Australian city of Melbourne has been extended by two weeks, with officials saying new Covid-19 cases had not dropped enough. Victoria State Premier Daniel Andrews said the restrictions would be in place until 28 September, with a slight relaxation. A gradual easing of the measures will be implemented from October.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Further 2,988 cases confirmed in UK. “A further 2,988 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the UK in the past 24 hours, government data showed. It is the highest number reported on a single day since 22 May and a rise of 1,175 on Saturday, according to the UK government’s coronavirus dashboard.”


AP: Child care crisis pushes US mothers out of the labor force. “Research is increasingly pointing to a retreat of working mothers from the U.S. labor force as the pandemic leaves parents with few child care options and the added burden of navigating distance learning. The trend threatens the financial stability of families in the near-term. In the long-term, the crisis could stall — if not reverse — decades of hard-fought gains by working women who are still far from achieving labor force parity with men.”

New York Times: Parents Got More Time Off. Then the Backlash Started.. “When the coronavirus closed schools and child care centers and turned American parenthood into a multitasking nightmare, many tech companies rushed to help their employees. They used their comfortable profit margins to extend workers new benefits, including extra time off for parents to help them care for their children. It wasn’t long before employees without children started to ask: What about us?”

BBC: Man who believed virus was hoax loses wife to Covid-19. “A Florida taxi driver, who believed false claims that coronavirus was a hoax, has lost his wife to Covid-19. Brian Lee Hitchens and his wife, Erin, had read claims online that the virus was fabricated, linked to 5G or similar to the flu. The couple didn’t follow health guidance or seek help when they fell ill in early May. Brian recovered but his 46-year-old wife became critically ill and died [in August] from heart problems linked to the virus.”

ProPublica: Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic. “At least 68,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic outbreak began, some 41% of all coronavirus deaths in the U.S., according to a New York Times analysis. This ongoing crisis at care facilities across the country has had a troubling hidden effect: the looming mass disenfranchisement of America’s elderly and disabled.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: COVID creates a new job: temperature taker. “Among the byproducts of the COVID economy is a brand new job: temperature taker. While some organizations are able to use security guards or receptionists to take care of the task, others are hiring specifically for dedicated temperature takers or health screeners. By mid-May, the employment website Glassdoor reported 600 listings nationwide for temperature checkers.”


CBC: 3M to make critical N95 masks at Brockville, Ont., plant. “The federal and Ontario governments have convinced manufacturing giant 3M to start making N95 respirator masks at its plant in Brockville, Ont., a move that will give Canada a domestic supply of critical personal protective equipment, CBC News has learned.”

Washington Post: Cruise lines are already canceling sailings into 2021. “Princess Cruises announced Tuesday that it’s canceling sailings in early 2021 ‘due to limitations with border and port access.’ The company also cited the “uncertainty of airline travel” as a reason for the cancellations, which will impact 29 sailings on two ships.”

Politico: Trump’s rebound story meets mounting bankruptcies. “While President Donald Trump prepares to promote an economic rebound, a wave of business failures is set to tell another story. Economic-relief money drying up in August and September will mark a final blow for some firms that had managed to hang on so far with government aid — which now appears unlikely to be renewed for weeks, if ever. Cold weather and flu season could end outdoor dining, halt other indoor activities and contribute to Covid-19 outbreaks at workplaces. And economists expect weak demand and tight credit — especially for smaller businesses — to add to the tens of thousands of firms that have already collapsed amid the Covid-19 pandemic, while restraining entrepreneurs hoping to replace them.”

CNN: KFC suspends its ‘finger lickin’ good’ slogan because of coronavirus. “Kentucky Fried Chicken has decided to pause using its ‘finger lickin’ good’ slogan because … well, that’s probably not the best idea right now.”


CNN: CDC was pressured ‘from the top down’ to change coronavirus testing guidance, official says. “A sudden change in federal guidelines on coronavirus testing came this week as a result of pressure from the upper ranks of the Trump administration, a federal health official close to the process tells CNN, and a key White House coronavirus task force member was not part of the meeting when the new guidelines were discussed.”

Asia Times: Press clampdown points to Covid cover-up in Iran. “Iran’s official coronavirus death toll, which topped 20,000 on [August 24], is under domestic scrutiny after a reformist newspaper was shuttered for suggesting the real toll was 20 times higher. On August 10, Iran’s Press Supervisory Board issued an order temporarily revoking the publishing license of the Jahan-e Sanat newspaper, which has been in print since 2004.”

USA Today: Senegal’s quiet COVID success: Test results in 24 hours, temperature checks at every store, no fights over masks. “COVID-19 test results come back within 24 hours – or even faster. Hotels have been transformed into quarantine units. Scientists are racing to develop a cutting-edge, low-cost ventilator. This isn’t the pandemic response in South Korea, New Zealand or another country held up as a model of coronavirus containment success. It’s Senegal, a west African country with a fragile health care system, a scarcity of hospital beds and about seven doctors for every 100,000 people.”


CNN: Fauci says he was in surgery when task force discussed CDC testing guidelines. “White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was undergoing surgery and not in the August 20 task force meeting for the discussion on updated US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that suggest asymptomatic people may not need to be tested for Covid-19, even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person.”


Duke Chronicle: As COVID-19 rages, Duke housing hits home in gentrifying Durham. “At the end of March, a year after Erin O’Brien Regan first signed her lease at an apartment complex off West Campus, she said her landlords threatened to raise rent $80 a month. Duke gives Regan, a 40-year-old in the Class of 2021, $900 a month for housing while she finishes her bachelor’s degree. But she had just lost her bartending job. In the midst of a pandemic, she saw the rental inflation as a money grab.”


CNN: FDA rejects oleandrin, an unproven coronavirus therapeutic pushed by MyPillow CEO, as a dietary supplement ingredient. “The US Food and Drug Administration has rejected a submission from Phoenix Biotechnology Inc. to market oleandrin as a dietary supplement ingredient, citing ‘significant concerns’ about the safety evidence the company presented. Last month, MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who recently joined the board of Phoenix Biotechnology and has a financial stake in the company, said he had participated in a July meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump regarding the use of oleandrin as a potential therapeutic for the coronavirus.”

Washingtonian: A 29-Year-Old’s Strange, Unforgettable Trip Into a Covid Coma and Back. “Law-school student Francis Wilson went right up to the brink of death and survived. Now if only he could forget what happened while his body went to war with the virus.”


BBC: Coronavirus: India sees nearly two million cases in August. “India has reported nearly two million Covid-19 cases in August, the highest monthly tally in the world since the pandemic began. August was also the worst month for fatalities with 28,000 virus deaths. With 3.6 million confirmed cases, India has the third-highest caseload in the world, after the US and Brazil.”


EurekAlert: New peer reviews of COVID-19 preprints from the MIT Press journal RAPID REVIEWS COVID-19. “For the month of August, the preprints selected for review covered a wide range of subjects with peer reviewers finding recommendations for new prognostic scores to guide clinical decision making and hospital admissions and a study of estrogen levels and COVID-19 symptoms in women particularly noteworthy and useful. Peer reviewers also flag as potentially misleading new research on whether beta-coronavirus MHV, a pathogen of mice, uses deacidification of lysosomes to exit cells while avoiding degradation. They caution decision-makers to not act on this research.”


Reuters: Philippine police draw flak for plan to monitor social media on quarantine. “Philippine police drew criticism from netizens and activists on Sunday for a plan to monitor social media to enforce quarantine rules, with critics accusing the authorities of authoritarianism and double standards.”


The Guardian: I work as a medic in Syria, where an unreported Covid-19 crisis is unfolding. “I am a frontline healthcare professional working in a large public hospital in Syria. The country is facing an overwhelming but under-reported Covid-19 crisis among a population already beaten down by almost a decade of conflict and economic turmoil. I and my colleagues feel helpless and expect the worst.”


Cleveland .com: Articles of impeachment drawn up against Gov. Mike DeWine over coronavirus orders. “Three Ohio House Republicans have drafted articles of impeachment against Gov. Mike DeWine, claiming many of his administration’s coronavirus orders are unconstitutional and violate Ohioans’ civil liberties.”

CNN: Trump’s aggressive stance on virus treatments raises concerns about putting politics ahead of safety. “As President Donald Trump races to reassure Americans that good news is on the way before the November election, there are concerns that efforts to fast-track coronavirus therapeutics and a vaccine are putting politics before health and safety.”

E&E News: Pandemic politics undercut CDC advice on hurricane shelters. “With hurricane season in full swing, the Trump administration’s public sidelining of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the coronavirus pandemic could stoke fears about the safety of hurricane shelters, experts worry.”

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