Saturday CoronaBuzz, October 31, 2020 24 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.


Family Safety & Health: COVID-19 pandemic: Database of EPA-approved disinfectants now exceeds 500 listings. “The Environmental Protection Agency has again updated its list of registered disinfectants that can help prevent and reduce the spread of COVID-19 – extending the total number of disinfectant products on the agency’s sortable, searchable database to more than 500.”

New York Times: Iowa Never Locked Down. Its Economy Is Struggling Anyway.. “A growing body of research has concluded that the steep drop in economic activity last spring was primarily a result of individual decisions by consumers and businesses rather than legal mandates. People stopped going to restaurants even before governors ordered them shut down. Airports emptied out even though there were never significant restrictions on domestic air travel. States like Iowa that reopened quickly did have an initial pop in employment and sales. But more cautious states have at least partly closed that gap, and have seen faster economic rebounds in recent months by many measures.”


Washington Post: The coronavirus pandemic has caused nearly 300,000 more deaths than expected in a typical year. “The CDC said the novel coronavirus, which causes covid-19, has taken a disproportionate toll on Latinos and Blacks, as previous analyses have noted. But the CDC also found, surprisingly, that it has struck 25- to 44-year-olds very hard: Their ‘excess death’ rate is up 26.5 percent over previous years, the largest change for any age group. It is not clear whether that spike is caused by the shift in covid-19 deaths toward younger people between May and August or deaths from other causes, the CDC said.”

BuzzFeed News: People Have Nothing Left — Literally $0 — Because Of The Pandemic. “When 2020 began, C. Adams started a new job at an engineering firm that paid $65,000. He had already downsized to a three-bedroom home in Georgia to help save for his two teenage daughters’ college funds. Expenses were manageable. When the pandemic began, he had $5,000 in savings after taking care of his late father and his debts. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was something his family could fall back on, a sense of security. He never expected it would all be gone so soon.”

Washington Post: Virus shutdowns took a grim toll on amputee veterans who died by suicide, families say. “As coronavirus restrictions unfurled a dangerous mix of depression and anxiety, the scourge of suicide cut through a tiny community of amputee veterans in recent months, claiming at least three in a group where isolation is already a potent risk factor.”


New York Times: Migrant Workers Restricted to Farms Under One Grower’s Virus Lockdown. “In Virginia, gone are the weekly outings to Walmart to stock up on provisions; to El Ranchito, the Mexican convenience store, to buy shell-shaped concha pastries; and to the laundromat to machine wash heavily soiled garments. ‘You put up with a lot already. I never expected to lose my freedom,’ said Martinez, 39, who is in his third year working in the tomato fields along the East Coast. He said workers spent months on end without interacting with anyone at all outside the farms, though Lipman eventually relented and organized a carefully controlled trip for groceries each week.”

Bloomberg via Al Jazeera: US consumers brace for COVID-19 surge by hoarding food – again. “American consumers who’ve worked their way through the trove of shelf-stable meals they frantically bought back in March are at it again. This time, food makers are prepared. General Mills Inc., the maker of Cheerios and Annie’s boxed mac and cheese, added 45 external production lines through contractors since the first round of pantry loading this spring. Campbell Soup Co. spent $40 million to expand production of Goldfish crackers and is building capacity for chip brands like Cape Cod. Conagra Brands Inc. boosted third-party manufacturing and warehousing, while Stonyfield Farm, a producer of organic dairy products, is buying more milk from its direct supply network of farms.”


The Journal (Ireland): Government spends almost €700,000 on social media and digital ads related to Covid-19. That’s a bit over $815,000 USD. “THE GOVERNMENT SPENT almost €700,000 on digital and social media ad campaigns related to Covid-19 during the first nine months of the year, new figures show. Figures provided to reveal that €688,805 was spent across nine campaigns informing the public about various aspects of the pandemic.”


My Journal Courier: N. Carolina artists face fears, change tactics in pandemic. “For many Wilmington-area artists like [Linda] Callison, selling work at markets and festivals is the lifeblood of their business. The Wilmington area has seen the cancelation of major festivals, including the Azalea Festival, Autumn With Topsail and Riverfest, among numerous others. It’s a revenue stream that has been largely eliminated this year due to COVID-19 precautions. Facing upended schedules and COVID-19-wary buyers, Wilmington artists have had to get creative to make ends meet.”

Washington Post: Alabama’s GOP lieutenant governor called mask rules an ‘overstep.’ Now he has tested positive for the coronavirus.. “When Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) ordered a statewide mask mandate in July as coronavirus deaths surged to record levels, her second-in-command blasted the move. ‘Wearing a face mask and maintaining social distancing are among the best ways to slow the spread of COVID-19,’ tweeted Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth (R) at the time. ‘However, it’s an overstep that infringes upon the property rights of business owners and the ability of individuals to make their own health decisions.’ Now, as Alabama once again sees an alarming rise in covid-19, Ainsworth, 39, announced [October 21] that he is among the newly confirmed cases.”


Local 10: Coronavirus cases confirmed at 360+ schools across South Florida. “More than 360 primary and secondary schools in South Florida have had confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff since early September….The latest data includes cases confirmed through Oct. 17. The cumulative totals include cases dating back to Sept. 6, which is earlier than many South Florida students returned to the classroom.”


Boston Herald: Boston University reports ‘worrisome’ rise in coronavirus cases, new rules take effect Thursday. “The rising BU cases have been tied to social gatherings, in addition to personal travel and off-campus visits with family and friends — during which people did not wear masks, and failed to keep their distance. BU officials emphasized that students follow the university’s testing program, avoid gatherings, wear masks, and submit a daily symptom screening report, called an attestation, through Boston University Healthway each day.”


NPR: Do Masks On Plane Flights Really Cut Your Risk Of Catching COVID-19?. “Just on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it now ‘strongly recommends’ all passengers and crew members wear masks. So the big question is this: How well do the masks work? Do they make it safe to fly across the country for a family visit? Scientists are just beginning to answer that question. And their findings offer a glimmer of hope as well as fresh ideas about what’s most important for protecting yourself on a plane.”

Gaston Gazette (North Carolina): COVID-19: ‘The virus is winning’ in Gaston County. “If you’re looking for a sunny vision of where Gaston County stands in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, CaroMont Health Dr. Erik Schuls is not the man you want to speak with. Schuls has been on the front lines of the COVID fight for the past eight months as CaroMont Regional Medical Center’s medical director for hospitalist services and physician administrator of the acute care service line. He is grim in his assessment of where the county stands now and blunt in his prescription for what needs to be done to slow the spread of the virus.”

ProPublica: The EPA Refuses to Reduce Pollutants Linked to Coronavirus Deaths. “Particulate matter kills people. That was true before the pandemic, and new research has tied it to coronavirus deaths. But the EPA is ignoring scientists who say stricter particulate matter limits could prevent tens of thousands of early deaths.”

New York Times: Worried About Covid-19 in the Winter? Alaska Provides a Cautionary Tale. “At a time when cases across the United States are rising and people are growing fatigued by months of restrictions, Alaska’s struggles provide an early warning that winter could bring the most devastating phase of the pandemic. ‘We’ve been markedly concerned about what the fall and winter will look like, and I think it’s playing out that it’s highly concerning,’ said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer.”

CNN: Faulty US Covid-19 response meant 130,000 to 210,000 avoidable deaths, report finds. “The Trump Administration’s faltering response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to anywhere between 130,000 and 210,000 deaths that could have been prevented, according to a report released [October 22] by a team of disaster preparedness experts.”


KMOV: St. Louis hospitals running out of beds as more people test positive for COVID-19. “St. Louis-area hospitals are running out of beds as more COVID-19 patients come through their doors. Dr. Alex Garza with the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force says some hospitals are at 90 percent capacity or completely full.”


The Daily Wildcat: Educating and equipping rural emergency departments with the powerful tool of lung ultrasound. “One of the significant truths the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed is the vulnerability and disparity of resources between rural hospitals and academic centers like the University of Arizona College of Medicine. To address one of these disparities, associate professor and emergency ultrasound faculty Dr. Elaine Situ-LaCasse is leading a study to design an educational program teaching rural healthcare professionals about the use of lung ultrasound technology remotely.”


New York Times: Winter Is Coming for Bars. Here’s How to Save Them. And Us.. “If we really want to stem the spread of the coronavirus as winter looms and we wait for a vaccine, here’s an idea: The government should pay bars, many restaurants and event venues to close for some months. That may sound radical, but it makes scientific sense and even has a political precedent. We pay farmers not to cultivate some fields (in theory, at least, to protect the environment), so why not pay bars that cannot operate safely to shut down (to protect public health)?”

Washington Post: I invented the Rubik’s Cube. It can teach us about facing problems like covid.. “The Cube contains more than 43 quintillion possible combinations, but only one is the starting, or solved, position. The sheer scope can make you feel paralyzed. Anyone who has ever received a new Cube finds it a perfectly ordered object with each side a single color. But it doesn’t take much — one turn, then another — to transform that tranquil landscape into a chaotic, multicolored jumble. Making matters worse, trying to see the puzzle in its entirety is hopeless, and yet you need to know what is going on with all the sides to solve it. Order can’t just be imposed, and the more we try to force it, the less likely we are to succeed. A scrambled Cube can elicit frustration, anger, anxiety and the sinking feeling of being lost. In this way, 2020 makes us all feel a bit like we’re trapped in a diabolical Rubik’s Cube.”

NJ .com: My husband died of COVID-19 and I have just one plea to make of you | Opinion. “Rob’s first COVID-19 test was mislabeled, and the second one took too long to come back. When he collapsed at our home, we still did not know he had it. His coworkers rushed to our house and resuscitated him, risking their own lives to save his. In the hospital, a talented team of doctors and nurses gave him powerful drugs, and he recovered from the virus. However, Rob’s brain never rebounded from the lack of oxygen from when he collapsed. In the hospital, Rob’s mother and I saw him in person only twice because of restrictions during the pandemic — first on Mother’s Day, and then the next morning when he was taken off the ventilator. He was 45 years old.”

Good Morning America: I lost my pregnant wife to COVID-19. This is what I want people to know.. “Juan Duran-Gutierrez is now a single father raising three young children, including a newborn, after his wife, Aurora Chacon-Esparza, died of COVID-19 during the global coronavirus pandemic. Chacon-Esparza was healthy and following safety precautions, according to Duran-Gutierrez, when she contracted COVID-19 in June while seven months pregnant with the couple’s third child together.”


New York Intelligencer: The Mask Backlash That Could Oust a Democratic Congressman. “As California emerged from a statewide lockdown due to the coronavirus earlier this year, the top Republican in Orange County made a novel argument against wearing masks to protect against COVID-19.”

CoronaBuzz is brought to you by ResearchBuzz. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment, send resource suggestions, or tag @buzz_corona on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: coronabuzz

Tagged as: ,

Leave a Reply