Tuesday CoronaBuzz, November 17, 2020: 42 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.


Cosmopolitan: Doctor’s genius hack to stop your face mask from slipping down. “…if you’re somebody who struggles with them slipping off your face, or having your glasses steam up while wearing one, thankfully a doctor based in Memphis, Tennessee has shared a genius hack to overcome those obstacles. Hurrah!”

The Irish Times: What’s cooking? The best online classes for all ages and experience. ” Covid restrictions have meant in situ teaching for many cookery schools has either been taken away completely or greatly minimised meaning the move to virtual teaching for many is inevitable. But how exactly do you swap a real life kitchen for a keyboard?”


USA Today: The Dakotas are ‘as bad as it gets anywhere in the world’ for COVID-19. “South Dakota welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to a massive motorcycle rally this summer, declined to cancel the state fair and still doesn’t require masks. Now its hospitals are filling up and the state’s COVID-19 death rate is among the worst in the world. The situation is similarly dire in North Dakota: The state’s governor recently even moved to allow health care workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 to continue working if they don’t show symptoms. It’s a controversial policy recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a crisis situation where hospitals are short-staffed.”


Poynter: The CoronaVirusFacts Alliance gets a global showcase at the Paris Peace Forum. “The CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, a collection of 99 fact-checking organizations from over 70 countries that produced over 9,000 COVID-19 fact-checks in 43 different languages, received global recognition from the virtually assembled audience at the third annual Paris Peace Forum on Thursday.”


Cleveland 19 News: Coronavirus crisis: More than $7.2 billion in unemployment compensation paid out to Ohioans in last 34 weeks. “The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported 21,868 people filed for initial unemployment last week (Nov. 1-7) to the U.S. Department of Labor, which brings the total of unemployment claims filed in Ohio over the last 34 weeks to 1,850,676.”

BirminghamLive: Couple whose wedding was cancelled by coronavirus THREE times finally marry. “The coronavirus crisis has left the wedding industry on its knees, with many a couple’s hopes of a dream day hitting the skids. But a Leicestershire couple, who planned their big day in Birmingham, at the city’s gorgeous Botanical Gardens, have now wed, reports LeicestershireLive.”

Getty Blogs: Conservation in the Time of COVID. “As I write, we don’t yet know the full socioeconomic impact of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic on people and places around the world. But we know from conversations we’ve had with colleagues and partners globally that cultural heritage places and the many people who rely on them for their livelihoods have been, and continue to be, severely affected. The work we do at Getty to advance the conservation of the world’s cultural heritage engages partners and colleagues around the globe. The pandemic has made us rethink how we do this work and consider how we can continue to engage and support our partners and consultants during this difficult time and beyond.”

Washington Post: Raging virus triggers new shutdown orders and economy braces for fresh wave of pain. “The uncontrolled coronavirus outbreak is prompting government officials across the nation to impose new restrictions on consumers and businesses, sapping the economy’s momentum and delaying the recovery of millions of jobs lost during the recession. Washington’s failure to provide additional financial support is compounding the economic distress. Though Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell this week repeated his call for a fresh round of pump-priming, the economy for now is left to navigate a winter of disease and loss unaided.”

NiemanLab: Smaller and nonprofit newsrooms are weathering the economic impact of Covid-19 better than most, according to one survey. “The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published a report looking at the financial impact of Covid-19 on 165 independent newsrooms from around the globe. The responses revealed ‘dramatic but unequal’ consequences but — as you might expect from a report entitled ‘few winners, many losers’ — the majority reflected a pretty bleak situation.”


The Intercept: Israelis Take On Netanyahu And Coronavirus Restrictions In Wave Of Civil Disobedience. “Protests that historically bring out large numbers of Jewish Israelis have long been dominated by Israel’s left-leaning peace camp, and a decade ago, others drawing attention to the high cost of living. What is happening now is different: With over a million people unemployed in a country of 9 million, culture and nightlife all but dead amid the pandemic, and people’s ability to travel outside the country severely restricted, a nationwide movement of disgruntled Israelis, spanning ages and to an extent sociocultural backgrounds, is practicing civil disobedience.”


Sky News: COVID-19: 10 patients killed in fire on coronavirus intensive care ward in Romania. “Ten people have died after a fire broke out on an intensive care ward treating coronavirus patients in Romania. Seven others are critically injured following the fire at Piatra Neamt county hospital on Saturday. Apart from one person, all those killed or injured are COVID-19 patients, according to emergency services spokesperson Irina Popa.”


Cruise Industry News: Royal Caribbean Opens Website for Cruise Volunteers. “Trial cruises are expected to be short and sail to the company’s private island at CocoCay, where Royal Caribbean can create a so-called bubble environment, controlling the entire experience. Trial sailings are said to be monitored by company officials, a third-party class society as well as the CDC. The test sailings could happen as soon as December or January.”

Billboard: How Ticketmaster Plans to Check Your Vaccine Status for Concerts: Exclusive. “Many details of the plan, which is still in development phase, will rely on three separate components — the Ticketmaster digital ticket app, third party health information companies like CLEAR Health Pass or IBM’s Digital Health Pass and testing and vaccine distribution providers like Labcorp and the CVS Minute Clinic.”

CNN: Small toy stores are worried they won’t stay in business after this year. “While small toy stores like Pufferbellies are struggling to stay afloat in the pandemic, Amazon and big box chains’ sales have surged as shoppers head online and consolidate their visits to stores. Analysts predict a bumper holiday season for these companies. In contrast, the situation is particularly dire for independent toy retailers. Sales at toy, hobby and game stores dipped 26% between mid-March, when shutdowns first began, and late October compared with the same time last year, according to data from Womply, a company that provides software platforms for small businesses and tracks sales through credit and debit card transactions.”

BBC: EasyJet slumps to first annual loss amid pandemic. “EasyJet has reported its first annual loss in the airline’s 25-year history as the coronavirus crisis continues to affect the travel industry deeply. The airline posted a loss of £1.27bn for the year to 30 September as revenues more than halved. EasyJet added that it expected to fly at just 20% of normal capacity into next year.”


New York Times: Missing From State Plans to Distribute the Coronavirus Vaccine: Money to Do It. “The government has sent billions to drug companies to develop a coronavirus shot but a tiny fraction of that to localities for training, record-keeping and other costs for vaccinating citizens.”


BBC: Coronavirus: Austria locks down as new wave grips Europe. “Austria is moving from a night curfew and partial shutdown to a second national lockdown that will be in place for at least two and a half weeks. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has urged Austrians not to meet anyone from outside their household in an attempt to curb a rapid rise in Covid cases. He said schools would close and students would learn from home when new measures come into force on Tuesday.”

ABC News: Biden COVID-19 team wants targeted ‘dimmer switch’ restrictions instead of lockdowns. “As COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations spike almost everywhere in the country, the doctors and public health experts advising President-elect Joe Biden are proposing a targeted strategy for imposing new restrictions — to avoid another backlash from the widespread lockdowns this spring and the negative impact on the economy. They’re describing it as using a ‘dimmer switch’ — dialing up and dialing down restrictions in hot spots as needed.”

CNN: Christmas celebrations are in jeopardy if Canadians don’t stop gathering with friends and family now. “Canadian Thanksgiving was just last month, and the country has seen consequences as Covid-19 cases reach record highs. Now, Canadian leaders say Christmas celebrations are in jeopardy. Thanksgiving in Canada fell on October 12 this year, and as family and friends gathered, it fueled a widespread surge in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Now, public health officials warned the health care system cannot handle a repeat at Christmas.”

ERR: All European arrivals in Estonia must self-quarantine from November 16. “As of Monday, November 16 the period of mandatory self-quarantine for 10 days is lifted for arrivals from the EU/EEA area if that country has a 14-day reported coronavirus rate lower than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants. However, in practice, as every EU/EEA country has a rate higher than this for the past 14 days – though Finland’s rate is only fractionally above this at 53.8 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people – arrivals from all of those countries must quarantine when arriving in Estonia.”


Florida Politics: Rick Scott quarantines after exposure to COVID-19 Friday night. “Florida Sen. Rick Scott has announced via Twitter that he will quarantine immediately after coming into contact with an individual who later tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday night. The Senator said he was tested Saturday morning, and the result came back negative, but he will still be quarantining ‘out of an abundance of caution.’ Scott said he has no symptoms as of this morning. It is unclear currently if either party was wearing a mask.”

CNN: Soumitra Chatterjee, Indian acting legend, dies from Covid complications. “The legendary Indian actor Soumitra Chatterjee, a famous protégé of Oscar-winning director Satyajit Ray, has died at the age of 85 of health complications related to Covid-19. He died at Belle Vue Clinic in Kolkata on Sunday after being there since October 6, the hospital’s chief, Pradip Tondon, told CNN. He initially tested positive for coronavirus, and complications from the disease contributed to his death.”

Vulture: Dolly Parton, Country Saint, Funded Moderna’s Coronavirus Vaccine. “Per The Guardian and confirmed by The New England Journal of Medicine, the Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund donated a whopping $1 million to the Vanderbilt Institute for Infection, Immunology, and Inflammation in Nashville, Tennessee. Parton befriended one of the institute’s doctors years ago while seeking treatment after a car accident, and initiated her donation earlier this year after being told ‘some exciting advancements’ were being made with vaccines.”

BBC: Entertainers find new ways to pay the bills. “With many of their usual avenues closed, in the UK alone the live music industry is set to see revenues this year fall by 81%, and celebrities are turning to online to make ends meet.”


The Spokesman-Review: In Boise, Idaho’s second-largest school district again goes online-only. “The Boise School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously to move into virtual schooling until Jan. 15. The district is currently using a hybrid teaching model, alternating online and in-person learning days to allow for social distancing within school buildings, and students will continue hybrid learning until Thanksgiving break begins on Nov. 23. When classes resume Nov. 30, they’ll be held entirely online.”

Washington Post: What determined if schools reopened? How many Trump voters were in a district.. “The two main factors that determined whether a school district opened in-person were the level of support in the district for Donald Trump in 2016 and the strength of teachers’ unions. A third factor, with a much smaller impact, was the amount of competition a school district faces from private schools, in particular Catholic schools.”


FDI World Dental Federation: Study shows dramatic rise in antibiotics prescribed to dental patients in England during COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year. “One of the unintended consequences of the COVID-19 lockdowns in England earlier this year has been a 25 per cent increase in the prescription of antibiotics by dentists, according to a new study published today in the British Dental Journal (BDJ). Prescription rates were the highest in London, with an increase of 60 per cent for the same period and the lowest increases, less than 10 per cent, were in the South-West of England.”

New York Times: ‘It’s Traumatizing’: Coronavirus Deaths Are Climbing Once Again. “For weeks, as coronavirus cases spiked across the United States, deaths rose far more slowly, staying significantly lower than in the early, deadliest weeks of the nation’s outbreak in the spring. New treatments, many hoped, might slow a new wave of funerals. But now, signs are shifting: More than 1,000 Americans are dying of the coronavirus every day on average, a 50 percent increase in the last month.”

Bloomberg: Covid’s Rampage Means No Medical Cavalry Coming to the Rescue. “Jeff Jensen, a critical-care doctor in Rochester, Minnesota, volunteered last spring to bolster New York City’s medical workers during its Covid-19 crisis. The 51-year-old spent two weeks in an ad hoc intensive-care unit at a Brooklyn public hospital. Now, the pandemic rages in Jensen’s own back yard, but he expects no reinforcements. A nationwide surge of the virus threatens to overwhelm America’s health-care workforce.”

Portland Press-Herald: COVID-19 deaths may double over the winter, UNC coronavirus expert warns. “You should be nervous about this upcoming winter, with COVID-19 surging across the U.S., says Ralph Baric, a UNC professor who is one of the world’s preeminent researchers of coronaviruses. Things are likely to get much worse before they get better.”


WZTV: Tennessee counties without mask mandates have higher COVID-19 death toll: Vanderbilt. “Areas that adopted early face covering requirements over the summer have a substantially lower death rate compared to those who didn’t implement one, the hospital’s Department of Health Policy says. While deaths were initially higher in these counties who adopted mandates, once the requirement was put in place the death rate began to decline.”

The Register: Bio-boffins devise potentially fast COVID-19 virus test kit out of a silicon wafer and machine-learning code. “Boffins have demonstrated that machine-learning algorithms may be able to help scientists identify viruses, and could even be used to develop more efficient tests for the presence of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the near future.”


FTC: FTC warns companies to stop peddling fake COVID treatments and cures. “Here at the FTC, we’ve seen people pitching COVID treatments like gemstone bead bracelets, water filtration systems, indoor tanning with red light UV therapy, copper water bottles, high dose vitamin C IV drips, juices and supplements, stem cell treatments, ozone therapy, laser light treatments, and more. All of these products and treatments have one thing in common: there is no evidence — as required by law — that they work against the Coronavirus.”


WGAL: Nursing home’s ‘hug tents’ allow residents to get long-awaited embrace with loved ones. “Restaurants aren’t the only places brainstorming new ways to yield to coronavirus-related restrictions and public health measures. A senior living center in Colorado figured out how to safely allow its residents to get something many around the world have been lacking in 2020 — the warmth of a hug.”

SaltWire Network: Sackville N.B.’s Singing Cook brings joy to people feeling down because of COVID-19. “Moyra Boone has combined her love of cooking and singing to bring joy to people feeling down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sackville, N.B. woman was out of work and looking for something to pass the time when she began singing and cooking and sharing the experience on social media. Before she knew it, she had several hundred followers throughout the Maritimes and around the world – as far away as Australia.” Her Facebook group is here.


Law Society Gazette: Justice delayed is justice denied for clients in lockdown limbo. “No matter how long a criminal case goes on for, the mental anguish of being accused is unavoidable. The adversarial process which is already long and tortuous (the investigation stage alone can take years) is exacerbated by the Covid-19 delays and will take its toll on the most hardened of clients. Tragically for some it can be too much and I am not alone in representing clients who have sought to end their lives as a result of the unbearable pressures caused by an on-going criminal investigation.”

Tennessean: Literacy is the great equalizer in the era of COVID-19 and polarization | Opinion. “The events of 2020 have highlighted some of the deep divisions in our society. Election years often have a way of polarizing our community, but the heightened racial tensions and the ever-growing consequences of the digital divide brought to bear in new ways by the COVID-19 pandemic seem to have thrust communities across the globe into new levels of isolation. In times like these, times of great social disturbance, literature can lead us forward, thrusting us into worlds both familiar and strange, forcing us to confront our norms, and providing us with the medium for productive discourse about our collective interests and shared values.”

Washington Post: What’s missing from Joe Biden’s covid-19 advisory board. “As one of his first acts as president-elect, Joe Biden announced a covid-19 advisory board made up of top doctors and scientists. In doing so, Biden made good on his word that he will empower public health experts to lead this public health crisis. This is much welcome news after months of the Trump administration muzzling scientists and flouting their guidance. To achieve maximal impact, Biden should add three groups of people.”

MIT Technology Review: Covid-19 vaccines shouldn’t get emergency-use authorization. “I really want a covid-19 vaccine. Like many Americans, I have family members and neighbors who have been sickened and killed by the new coronavirus. My sister is a nurse on a covid-19 ward, and I want her to be able to do her job safely. As a health-care lawyer, I have the utmost confidence in the career scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration who would ultimately determine whether to issue an emergency-use authorization for a covid-19 vaccine. But I am deeply worried about what could happen if they do.”

The Atlantic: It’s Time to Hunker Down. “Utah, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, and other states are already reporting that hospitals and intensive-care units are at or near capacity. The bottleneck for medical care isn’t just lack of space, or even equipment, which we may be able to increase, but staff—trained nurses and doctors who can attend to patients, and who cannot be manufactured out of thin air. During the spring crisis in the New York tristate area, health-care workers from around the country rushed to the region, buttressing the exhausted medical workforce. With a nationwide surge, doctors and nurses are needed in their hometown hospitals.”


StarTribune: Minnesota GOP sent virus alert only to its side of the aisle. “A day after it was revealed that GOP state Sen. Dave Senjem tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a Nov. 5 party caucus, news broke that Republican senators and staffers were informed in a Tuesday memo that ‘a number of [GOP Senate] members and staff have been diagnosed with COVID-19.’ DFLers were not informed of the rash of cases on the other side of the aisle.”

New York Times: Biden Implores Trump to Confront a Surging Pandemic. “President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. demanded on Friday that President Trump do more to confront the coronavirus infections exploding across the country, calling the federal response ‘woefully lacking’ even as Mr. Trump broke a 10-day silence on the pandemic to threaten to withhold a vaccine from New York.”

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