Thursday CoronaBuzz, October 22, 2020 32 pointers to updates, 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.


Tennessee Department of Health: New COVID-19 Website Launched by Tennessee Department of Health. “The new website is designed to streamline and simplify some of the most frequently requested COVID-19 data for both desktop and mobile users. The site offers dashboards and daily reports with state and county-level information including case counts, hospitalizations and tests conducted.”


Bismark Tribune: Active COVID-19 cases in North Dakota continue to set records; 2 more Burleigh deaths reported. “Active cases of COVID-19 have climbed to a new high in North Dakota for a 12th straight day. More than one-third of the 5,837 active cases are in Burleigh and Cass counties, both of which saw significant numbers of new cases reported Monday — 115 in Burleigh and 218 in Cass, home to Fargo.” 5837 active cases doesn’t seem like much until you reflect that the population of North Dakota is 762,062. If I’m doing my math right I think that means that 0.76% of the population of North Dakota is dealing with an active coronavirus case. Compare that to North Carolina, with a population of 10.5 million and 36,762 active cases. That’s 0.34% of the population dealing with an active case.

New York Times: ‘It Has Hit Us With a Vengeance’: Virus Surges Again Across the United States. “After weeks of warnings that cases were again on the rise, a third surge of coronavirus infection has firmly taken hold in the United States. The nation is averaging 59,000 new cases a day, the most since the beginning of August, and the country is on pace to record the most new daily cases of the entire pandemic in the coming days.”

Bloomberg: Hospitals Across the U.S. Are Crammed With Covid-19 Patients. “U.S. hospitalizations for Covid-19 hit the highest point since Aug. 22, with New York doubling its count from early September and at least 10 other states reporting records. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meanwhile, cited four national studies that predicted a probable in-patient increase of as much as 6,200 daily over the next four weeks.”


AFP Fact Check: This satirical video was made in 2020 using old black and white movie clips. “A video supposedly made in 1956 that warns of a deadly virus that will spread from ‘somewhere in Asia to the rest of the world’ by ‘the year 2020’ has been shared on Facebook thousands of times alongside a claim it accurately predicted the Covid-19 pandemic. The claim is false; the video creator told AFP it was made in 2020 for satire, in response to Covid-19 misinformation. ”


BBC: Coronavirus: Italians find new ways to eat out. “The ebb of the first wave and summer al fresco dining saw an encouraging return to business for many Italian eateries and bars; but as the cold sets in, this second wave in is forcing restaurateurs to find new ways to stay afloat.”

CBS News: “Staggering” need: COVID-19 has led to rising levels in food insecurity across the U.S.. “A June report by the Institute for Policy Research (IPR) at Northwestern University found that food insecurity had doubled overall and tripled among families with children due to the pandemic, relying on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.”


BBC: Covid: How to protest during a global pandemic. “In many places, large gatherings, including protests, have been banned and people have been arrested, accused of breaking lockdown rules at demonstrations. Meanwhile, others have opted not to take part in protests because of fears they could catch or spread coronavirus. We spoke to activists about the ways they have tried to protest responsibly and the difficulties they have faced.”


AL .com: Alabama’s libraries want to return post-pandemic world. “Most Alabama librarians interviewed in the last few weeks believe they’ve made a way through the pandemic, but there’s a big exception. Birmingham’s library system, the state’s largest, furloughed 158 employees in September due to city budget cuts resulting from pandemic, but it did reopen the downtown Central Library Oct. 1.”


6SqFt: NYC’s landmarked Roosevelt Hotel will close after 96 years due to pandemic. “When the Roosevelt Hotel opened on East 45th Street in 1924, it was connected to Grand Central via an underground tunnel, signaling its prominence among New York’s Jazz Age society. But nearly 100 years later, the Midtown hotel will shut it doors for good on October 31.”

VT Digger: Pandemic, new consumer outlook create new markets for Vermont produce. “Community-supported agriculture operations reported a huge surge in memberships this spring; grocery stores, unable to get shipments from some of their traditional suppliers far away, started buying more local produce. Sales of canning supplies and freezers soared; even home gardeners stepped up their game, buying out the inventory of seed suppliers.”

CNET: Inside the illegal underground gyms of the COVID-19 pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic forced hundreds of thousands of businesses to close abruptly, including gyms and fitness studios. When that happened in early 2020, gym owners reluctantly closed their doors, hoping to reopen in two weeks when things went back to ‘normal.’ But, things have yet to return to normal, and many fitness professionals, who either didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to stay closed, secretly reopened their gyms against public health orders.”

ProPublica: The Trump Administration Allowed Aviation Companies to Take Bailout Funds and Lay Off Workers, Says House Report. ” The federal government gave grants and some loans to airlines and their contractors, who were then meant to keep workers on their payrolls. The amount each company received would be based on six months worth of payroll from last year. In exchange, the companies had to agree not to conduct any layoffs until October, about six months after the CARES Act was passed. But ProPublica found that the companies laid off workers throughout the spring and then took the money intended to preserve the jobs they had already cut.”


CNN: Michigan Republican congressman tests positive for Covid-19. “Rep. Bill Huizenga, a Michigan Republican, announced Wednesday that he has tested positive for coronavirus. Huizenga said he took a rapid test before an event he had planned to attend alongside Vice President Mike Pence.”

StarTribune: Salvation Army COVID-19 outbreak in Minnesota sickens one-third of conference attendees. “Twenty Salvation Army staff from Minnesota and North Dakota tested positive for COVID-19 after 62 people attended a recent conference in northern Minnesota, underscoring how easily the virus can spread.”

BBC: Martin Bashir: BBC journalist ‘seriously unwell’ from Covid. “BBC journalist Martin Bashir is ‘seriously unwell’ with complications from coronavirus, the corporation has said. The 57-year-old, who made headlines across the world with his 1995 interview with Princess Diana, is currently BBC News religion editor.”


The Advocate: LSU-Florida has been postponed after Gators’ coronavirus outbreak; tentative date: Dec. 12. “The rivalry week began with a plea, a brash call for a packed crowd amid a global pandemic, and it ended, days later, when a coronavirus outbreak forced LSU and Florida to postpone their high-profile football game for a date two months down the line.”


Slate: When Learning Pods Came to Greenbrier Elementary. “The playground at Greenbrier Elementary School in Charlottesville, Virginia, probably looks a lot like the playground at your child’s elementary school, the one she hasn’t been back to since March. There are pale beige slides and walkways and bridges and four swings. It’s here that this story begins and it’s here that this story will—hopefully, someday—end.”


CNN: University of Michigan students given immediate stay-at-home order amid a spike in Covid-19 cases. “All University of Michigan undergraduate students are now under an emergency stay-in-place order, after data shows that Covid-19 cases among Michigan students represents more than 60% of all local cases. The order came from the Washtenaw County Health Department on Tuesday, and is set to continue until November 3.”


NPR: Americans Are Dying In The Pandemic At Rates Far Higher Than In Other Countries. “During this pandemic, people in the United States are dying at rates unparalleled elsewhere in the world. A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that in the past five months, per capita deaths in the U.S., both from COVID-19 and other causes, have been far greater than in 18 other high-income countries.”

BBC: Long Covid: Who is more likely to get it?. “Old age and having a wide range of initial symptoms increase the risk of ‘long Covid’, say scientists. The study, seen by the BBC, estimates one in 20 people are sick for least eight weeks.”

CNET: UVC wands kill viruses. Experts warn they’re also a ‘major safety issue’. “Devices like those are nothing new, but the pandemic-borne surge of interest in them is raising alarms, because UVC light is a known carcinogen, and even a few moments of direct exposure can be hazardous to the eyes and skin. Now, as research into UVC and the coronavirus continues, regulators, industry leaders and safety science professionals are urging caution.”

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: Covid Plus Decades of Pollution Are a Nasty Combo for Detroit. “For decades, Black Americans like [Theresa] Landrum, who’s in her 60s and describes herself as a 48217 environmental-justice activist, have fought to limit industrial emissions in their neighborhoods. More than two dozen industrial sites surround hers. People in 48217 live on average seven fewer years than in the country as a whole, and asthma hospitalization rates in the area are more than twice as high as those of Michigan and about five times higher than those of the U.S.”


Associated Press: 10 residents dead amid virus outbreak at Kansas nursing home. “The health department in Norton County reported Monday night that all 62 residents and an unspecified number of employees at the Andbe Home in Norton had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The agency also said one Andbe Home resident was hospitalized, while the remaining 51 were being treated at the home.”

StarTribune: National Guard called in to help contain COVID outbreaks at two Minnesota nursing homes. “In a troubling sign of COVID-19’s resurgence, the Minnesota National Guard has been called in to provide emergency staffing support at two nursing homes struggling to contain large and deadly outbreaks of the respiratory disease.”

Washington Post: After a college town’s coronavirus outbreak, deaths at nursing homes mount. “Mayor Tim Kabat was already on edge as thousands of students returned to La Crosse, Wis., to resume classes this fall at the city’s three colleges. When he saw young people packing downtown bars and restaurants in September, crowded closely and often unmasked, the longtime mayor’s worry turned to dread. Now, more than a month later, La Crosse has endured a devastating spike in coronavirus cases — a wildfire of infection that first appeared predominantly in the student-age population, spread throughout the community and ultimately ravaged elderly residents who had previously managed to avoid the worst of the pandemic.”


AFP:New tool predicts risk of Covid hospitalisation, death. “The five percent of people in Britain predicted by a new tool to be at highest risk from Covid-19 accounted for three-quarters of deaths during the first wave of the pandemic, researchers reported Wednesday. As countries worldwide grapple with a second wave of disease, the risk-assessment method — which also predicts the chances of hospitalisation — could help identify the small percentage of the population most in need of being shielded from the virus, they reported in BMJ, a medical journal.”

Ohio State University: Study reveals why some blame Asian Americans for COVID-19. “A blend of racial prejudice, poor coping and partisan media viewing were found in Americans who stigmatized people of Asian descent during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study. But it was prejudice against Asian Americans that was most strongly linked to beliefs that Asians were responsible for the pandemic and most at risk for spreading it, results showed.”

Science Daily: Mouthwashes, oral rinses may inactivate human coronaviruses, study finds. “Certain oral antiseptics and mouthwashes may have the ability to inactivate human coronaviruses, according to a new study. The results indicate that some of these products might be useful for reducing the viral load, or amount of virus, in the mouth after infection and may help to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.”


Dame: What Are We To Do With All This Grief?. “I do not know how to talk about this grief. This American grief that I now carry in my heart, in my bones, in every cell and sinew of my being. This grief with which I wake up and go to sleep, this grief that has caught me, some nights, on the way back from the bathroom. It’s too big for me to frame, too vast for me to organize. It’s been overflowing the banks of each and every day since March 13, when the nation began to shut down and then looked up to see that we were dying.”

Green Bay Press Gazette: Green Bay hospitalist: For first time ever, most of my patients have same illness. It’s COVID-19, and you may be spreading it. “Thankfully, we have improved our therapies and we are seeing fewer deaths from COVID-19. But deaths are occurring, and the death toll doesn’t capture the full extent of the devastation. There may be permanent damage to organs, such as the heart and lungs. Some who survive may face a lifetime of difficulty breathing. The virus can cause serious damage to the lungs and it is still too soon to know how much damage may be irreversible.”


CNBC: Voters want Senate to prioritize coronavirus relief over Supreme Court, new poll finds. “About two-thirds of voters nationally and in six electoral swing states believe the Senate should focus on passing more coronavirus aid rather than confirming Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, according to new CNBC/Change Research polls.”

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