Monday CoronaBuzz, September 7, 2020: 38 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Over the weekend I passed 5,000 indexed articles related to Covid-19. (These articles are part of the over 39,000 articles/resources indexed on ResearchBuzz Firehose.) You can access them here: . If you’re interested only in specific news topics or keywords, please read this article to learn how you can narrowly monitor using the ResearchBuzz Firehose: .

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


UNAIDS: New website with COVID-19 related resources for young key populations and young poeple living with HIV in Asia and the Pacific. “The aim of the website is to gather and bring together available information and guidance on COVID-19 focusing on young key populations (YKPs) and young people living with HIV (PLHIV) from Asia and the Pacific. The platform will serve as an online resource to document and communicate on the challenges YKPs face due to COVID-19 as well as their approaches in identifying gaps and solutions in their response to COVID-19.”


Irish News: Santas taught how to make Christmas safe in year of pandemic. “A number of Santas have been taught how to make their yuletide festivities safer after the coronavirus pandemic threatened to cancel Christmas. The Ministry of Fun Santa School claims to be the only professional Santa training school in Britain, and took on the responsibility of equipping its Santas with the skills they require in 2020.”

Washington Post: Debt, eviction and hunger: Millions fall back into crisis as stimulus and safety nets vanish. “Major recessions are especially fraught for low-income earners, whose finances can veer from tenuous to dire with one missed paycheck. But as the economy cratered this spring, economists and poverty experts were mildly surprised to discover that the torrent of government support that followed — particularly the $600 a week in expanded unemployment benefits and one-time $1,200 stimulus checks — likely lowered the overall poverty rate. In fact, 17 million people would have dropped below the poverty line without the $500 billion in direct intervention for American families, said Zach Parolin, a researcher at Columbia University. Now, data show, those gains are eroding as federal inaction deprives Americans on the financial margins of additional support.”

Phys .org: More than half of young Americans live with parents. “Just over half of young adult Americans live with their parents, an unprecedented proportion that is doubtless linked to the coronavirus but also reflects a deeper trend, researchers said Friday. Between February and May, the share of 18-29 year-olds living with at least one parent rose from 47 percent to 52 percent and stayed at that level through July.”

Penn Live: Backyard bird feeding sales booming in pandemic. “Downloads of online bird-identification apps are up by orders of magnitude. Two of the most popular apps, the National Audubon Society’s Mobile Bird Guide and Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Merlin Bird ID, have each been downloaded at more than twice the rate as during the same period last year. Cornell’s bird-logging, citizen-science app, eBird, has seen nearly the same increase in activity this year.”

The Next Web: Here are the 3 biggest trends shaping the future of work. “If companies had faces, the months of lockdown would show a decade’s worth of age. Not only has the pandemic completely upended how we work; it’s forced us to re-examine our roles as employers and employees, our goals, our values, and how we merge work and home life. But as they say, with age (and wrinkles) comes wisdom. We’ve written at length about how businesses have responded to the global crisis. Now the question we’re asking ourselves is: What will this change in the long run? Are we looking at fundamental, system-wide changes in the way we work, or will things creep back to the way they were?”

Vox: Why it’s so hard to find dumbbells in the US. “On lucky days, my friend Andrew drops a dumbbell alert in my Slack group chat. He tells us which sites — Rogue, SPRI, NordicTrack, Bowflex — have them in stock, which are shipping, and what kinds of weights are available. If you get to his messages five minutes late, the weights are almost always sold out.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: A virtual Pennsylvania Farm Show without manure or milkshakes — but maybe a butter sculpture. “Manure won’t pack the same punch when the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show goes online this January. The odor’s one of the first things that visitors, particularly city dwellers and suburbanites, notice when entering the labyrinthine exhibition complex in Harrisburg, along with bleating sheep and squealing pigs, the collective din of thousands of animals from every corner of the state.”

Washington Post: Dogs, too, can find the pandemic disorienting. “Dogs understand a few things very well: walks, how to get treats and belly rubs, what time they get fed, and whether they are a good boy or girl (they are, all of them). They do not understand a global pandemic. Quite frankly, that’s something even their owners have trouble comprehending.”

The Manual: Hot Tub Boats Are the Next Phase in Social-Distance-Friendly Escapes. “Virtual events are helping most of us stay sane amid this pandemic. But, Zoom happy hours, travel videos, and online museum tours will never replace in-person get-togethers. If you’re itching for real-world socializing that feels almost normal, Seattle’s hot tub boats are an intimate, social-distance-friendly escape unlike any other.”


BBC: The nudists spreading coronavirus in a French resort. “For many of Europe’s naturists, and the tens of thousands of swingers among them, Cap d’Agde has become a traditional summer destination, but a coronavirus outbreak here has shone an uncomfortable light on their alternative lifestyle.”


Tuscaloosa News: Mayor orders bars closed after rise in COVID-19 cases. “The executive order is a result of consultations with UA officials who have been using contact tracing for students and have identified hot spots on campus and around the city. The university is also limiting students’ activities on campus to address those hot spots.”

New York Times: Billions in Hospital Virus Aid Rested on Compliance With Private Vendor. “The Trump administration tied billions of dollars in badly needed coronavirus medical funding this spring to hospitals’ cooperation with a private vendor collecting data for a new Covid-19 database that bypassed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The highly unusual demand, aimed at hospitals in coronavirus hot spots using funds passed by Congress with no preconditions, alarmed some hospital administrators and even some federal health officials.”

Pocono Record: Pa. unveils new tool in reaching minority communities impacted by COVID-19. “She is not the average community health educator. She is as wide as the deep end of an in-ground swimming pool, a little taller than a one-story building and she knows everything about COVID-19. Her name is CATE and she may be headed to an underserved Pennsylvania community near you soon. CATE stands for Community-Accessible Testing & Education. It’s the first-in-the-nation COVID-19 Mobile Response Unit, which was unveiled outside PEMA headquarters in Harrisburg on [August 25]”.

Business Insider: Jared Kushner made a deal with Russia for ventilators during the COVID-19 crisis, but every single machine was faulty, report says. “Jared Kushner brokered a deal with Russia for 45 ventilators to be brought to the US to help with the coronavirus crisis, but they all turned out to be faulty, a new report says. Two senior Trump administration officials told The Daily Beast that Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and one of his senior advisers, helped to secure an equipment order that included the ventilators.”

BBC: France in huge coronavirus recovery plan focusing on green energy. “France has unveiled a 100bn-euro (£89bn) economic stimulus package to help repair the economic damage caused by coronavirus. President Emmanuel Macron’s government said the investment would include big spending on green energy and transport. Dubbed ‘France re-launch’, it is aimed at reversing rising unemployment, and includes tax cuts for business.”

Yahoo News: Bali bans foreign tourists for rest of 2020 over virus. “The holiday hotspot re-opened beaches, temples and other tourism spots for domestic visitors at the end of July and had said it would let foreign tourists return on September 11. But the plan has now been cancelled over concerns about Indonesia’s mounting virus cases and with many foreign nationals subject to travel bans in their home countries.”

Politico: FDA authorizes plasma treatment despite scientists’ objections. “The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for blood plasma as a coronavirus treatment, the agency and President Donald Trump announced [August 23] — one day after Trump attacked the drug regulator for moving too slowly to back the treatment.”


Daily Beast: Ron DeSantis’ Worst Nightmare Has a New Target: Schools. “Ever since she got fired from her job with the Florida Department of Health, Rebekah Jones refuses to stop gathering data on coronavirus cases and sharing it with the public. In the past four months, the 31-year-old architect of the state government’s COVID-19 dashboard built her own version of that product as a counterweight for data dissemination, emerging as a consistent and vociferous critic of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the pandemic.”


BBC: Tokyo Olympics: Games will go ahead ‘with or without Covid’, says IOC VP. “The postponed Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead next year ‘with or without Covid’, the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee says. John Coates confirmed to news agency AFP that the Olympics would start on 23 July next year, calling them the ‘Games that conquered Covid’.”


WSVN: Mother captures emotional photo of son crying in virtual class to show difficulties of distance learning. “When her son returned to virtual learning last week, Jana Coombs saw him struggling. Her 5-year-old, a kindergartener at a school in Coweta County, Georgia, was so frustrated with the remote back-to-school experience, that he put his head down and cried.”

Washington Post: Coronavirus update: Northeastern University dismisses 11 students who gathered in hotel room. “Northeastern University says it has dismissed 11 students who gathered in a hotel room in violation of the school’s coronavirus policies and will not refund their tuition, marking one of the most severe punishments college students have faced for breaking pandemic rules.” Tuition at Northeastern is over $36,000 a year.

BBC: Coronavirus: Lockdown pupils are three months behind, say teachers. “Children in England are three months behind in their studies after lockdown, with boys and poor pupils worst hit, suggests a survey of teachers by an educational research organisation. The learning gap between rich and poor pupils grew by almost half between March and July, the National Foundation for Educational Research has found.”

Mississippi Free Press: All Kindergarten Students Quarantined, School Tells Parents in Late-Night Text. “A parent shared the text with the Mississippi Free Press [August 26] on condition of anonymity. That parent was puzzled that the school waited to send the message so late at night. On Facebook, other parents posted on the Alcorn School District’s Facebook page to express their disapproval at the late-night kindergarten quarantine announcement. Several shared concerns that schools had stopped checking students’ temperatures.”

Madison .com: UW launches public COVID test database, hires 35 contact tracers. “The University of Wisconsin-Madison is now publicly tracking COVID-19 test results daily on a new website, as it begins welcoming students back to campus and prepares for in-person instruction. The COVID-19 dashboard, launched Wednesday, includes data on both total and positive tests, as well as percentages of positive tests among both students and employees. It will be updated daily at 2 p.m.”

CNN: Two Florida teachers turned their students’ desks into little Jeeps to make social distancing less scary. “Teachers across the United States are preparing to welcome students back to the classroom. But as coronavirus cases rise, many worry that young children’s excitement will quickly turn into fear. That’s why two first grade teachers in DeLand, Florida, decided to transform their students’ desks into little Jeeps.”


Washington Post: First coronavirus reinfection documented in Hong Kong, researchers say. “A Hong Kong man who was initially infected with the coronavirus in March and made a full recovery was reinfected more than four months later after a trip abroad, researchers reported Monday. The pre-print study, by a team at the University of Hong Kong, purports to be ‘the world’s first documentation’ of a patient who recovered from covid-19 becoming reinfected. Researchers sequenced the genome of his first and second infections to show the virus strains were different, suggesting he had been reinfected,”

Idaho Statesman: Two Boise girls have battled COVID-19 symptoms for 5 months. ‘What’s the next thing?’. “The Richmond sisters were the model of health. Neither Audrey, 12, nor Veronica, 14, had any issues growing up. All the routine tests came back negative. They kept pace and exceeded their growth charts. Aside from Audrey’s allergy to penicillin, doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with them. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit Idaho.”

UT San Antonio Health: Post-COVID syndrome severely damages children’s hearts; ‘immense inflammation’ causing cardiac blood vessel dilation. “Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), believed to be linked to COVID-19, damages the heart to such an extent that some children will need lifelong monitoring and interventions, said the senior author of a medical literature review published Sept. 4 in EClinicalMedicine, a journal of The Lancet.”

National Library of Medicine: Why Testing is the Key to Getting Back to Normal. “One thing we know for sure – every single person can help our country control the COVID-19 pandemic. From wearing a mask to washing your hands to maintaining physical distance and avoiding large indoor gatherings, each of us can follow proven public health practices that not only reduce our own chance of getting infected by SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes coronavirus disease, or COVID-19), but also prevent the spread of COVID-19 to our coworkers, friends and loved ones. Another thing that will help is testing as many people as possible.”

STAT News: Is Covid-19 growing less lethal? The infection fatality rate says ‘no’. “Recent reports have suggested that Covid-19 has become markedly less lethal in the United States. Our analysis of death rates and infection fatality rates from Arizona, the U.S. as a whole, and New York City shows it isn’t, indicating that public health measures to reduce infections should not be relaxed.”


Reuters: Exclusive: 90% of China’s Sinovac employees, families took coronavirus vaccine, says CEO. “About 90% of Sinovac Biotech Ltd employees and their families have taken an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by the Chinese firm under the country’s emergency use program, its chief executive said on Sunday.”


Carolina Public Press: Outbreak rages at NC women’s prison ahead of new court hearing. “The women’s prison in Raleigh has had the most consistent and widespread outbreak of the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, of any prison in the state. Even without a pandemic raging inside its walls, women who have been in the prison describe poor conditions. The N.C. Correctional Institution for Women does not have air conditioning. Fans and coolers with ice are put out, but prison staffers take them away to punish inmates, according to Anna Crim, who was released from NCCIW on July 17 and is now on post-release supervision.”

Gothamist: “They Sent Us To Just Fade Away And Die”: Men Incarcerated at Cuomo’s Prison Nursing Home Say They Can’t Access Medical Care. “An 80-year-old man, suffering from osteoporosis, ordered to do manual labor. A 63-year-old with AIDS deprived of a routine blood test. A 64-year-old with chronic lung disease unable to see a doctor. These are some of the stories from men incarcerated at the Adirondack Correctional Facility, a prison in Ray Brook, New York, just south of the Canadian border. Nearly 100 inmates over the age of 60 were hastily transferred there in June, as COVID-19 was spreading through downstate prisons.”

New York Times: As Evictions Loom, Lawyers Are Gearing Up to Help. “For tenants, especially those with limited means, having a lawyer can be the difference between being evicted or being able to stay on in a rented home. Yet legal representation for tenants is relatively rare in housing courts. Surveys from several big cities over the years have shown that in housing court, landlords are represented by lawyers at least 80 percent time, while tenants tend to have lawyers in fewer than 10 percent of cases.”

BBC: Nigerian men arrested over German PPE ‘scam’. “Two Nigerian men have been arrested for allegedly scamming a German state that tried to buy 2.3m euros (£2m) of personal protective equipment (PPE). Nigerian police say they cloned the website of a Dutch company to obtain an order from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia. When the PPE didn’t show up, a state government representative visited the company’s offices in the Netherlands.”

Human Rights Watch: Covid-19 Spreads in Indonesia’s Overcrowded Prisons. “At least 17 prisons in Indonesia have Covid-19 cases, with 120 inmates and 18 officials infected with the coronavirus, according to a joint report from human rights groups. While testing rates are very low, seven inmates are suspected to have died from Covid-19. The report, by the Jakarta-based Indonesia Judicial Research Society, the Indonesian Institute for Independent Judiciary, and the Institute for Criminal Justice Reform, calls on Indonesian authorities to further reduce prison populations.”


Washington Post: We’re doing our best with Zoom. But we’ll still need offices — and each other.. “It’s been more than five months since any of us who edit, produce or write for this Opinions section worked in the same room together. Hopefully you, dear reader, have noticed no ill effects. And if you have not, then newspapers that have recently announced the permanent closure of their bricks-and-mortar newsrooms must be on to something, right? Wrong. Very wrong.”

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