Thursday CoronaBuzz, November 26, 2020: 30 pointers to updates, useful stuff, research news, and more.

To all of you out there who curtailed your Thanksgiving plans, who are feeling a little lonely and adrift because today is for family of all sorts – I’m sorry. I see you. And I thank you. Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.


Northumbria University: Online tool keeps families connected during lockdown. “The ‘Togather’ website supports groups of family or friends to transform their WhatsApp conversations into a story booklet for a loved one who may be isolated. They are provided with topics and prompts to keep them busy and message about, allowing them to share their thoughts, photos, memories and experiences. Using the Togather online tool they can then transform their WhatsApp group chat into a booklet– which they can either print off and share with their loved one or download and email to them.”

Univadis: Medical Royal College launches healthcare worker COVID-19 archive. “The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (RCPE) has launched a COVID-19 digital archive, which documents the experiences of healthcare workers living and working through the pandemic. This ongoing archiving project includes a range of materials such as diaries, photographs, and interviews – providing an important record of the professional and personal impact of the pandemic on healthcare workers, according to the College.”


New York Public Library: The New York Public Library Offering “We’re Readin’ Here,” A Month of NYC-Inspired Virtual Storytimes For Kids. “This special collection of videos—launching on Tuesday, December 1 and featuring the City’s reading experts, librarians—recreates the joys of in-person storytimes, which are currently suspended because of the pandemic and are the NYPL’s most popular in-person program under typical circumstances. Each video includes at least one story, as well as literacy tips for families, songs, rhymes, crafts, and activities, all as a love letter to New York City and its resilient residents. ” This kind of makes it sound like it’s geo-restricted content, but I don’t think that’s the case.


San Francisco Chronicle: How to handle holiday stress during the pandemic. Bay Area experts have the answers. “The holidays can be a perilous time for our mental health even without a deadly pandemic. The weeks ahead are fraught with stress, including managing difficult family conversations, dealing with finances, and contemplating travel plans. But as coronavirus cases continue to spike at alarming rates around many parts of the country, and people are forced to reconsider long-standing traditions, depression and anxiety are also on the rise.”


AJC: Georgia surpasses 400,000 coronavirus cases. “Georgia has surpassed 400,000 coronavirus cases, according to the latest numbers from the Georgia Department of Health. The numbers come just a little more than two months since Georgia passed 300,000 cases on Sept. 17. There are more than 402,435 confirmed cases in the state. As of Saturday, 8,624 people have died from the virus in Georgia.”

New York Times: Now the U.S. Has Lots of Ventilators, but Too Few Specialists to Operate Them. “Since the spring, American medical device makers have radically ramped up the country’s ventilator capacity by producing more than 200,000 critical care ventilators, with 155,000 of them going to the Strategic National Stockpile…. But with new cases approaching 200,000 per day and a flood of patients straining hospitals across the country, public health experts warn that the ample supply of available ventilators may not be enough to save many critically ill patients.”


BBC: Is the era of the Hollywood blockbuster over?. “In 2020, the billion-dollar blockbuster has been defeated by Covid-19 more convincingly than by any on-screen villain. Most of the year’s proposed blockbusters – films with a budget of more than £100 million – are on hold.”

CNN: You need to calm down. News publishers are here to help. “Service journalism — from self-help guides to product reviews — is not a new trend among media companies, and it has long provided reliable readership for them. But during a pandemic that has created restlessness, anxiety and insecurity, news outlets like the Post and Bloomberg have seized on this particular source of reader engagement and advertiser interest.”

New York Times: Coronavirus Upends Thanksgiving for Many, While Others Ignore Warnings. “Ginger Floerchinger-Franks typically invites 10 people to her home in Boise, Idaho, for Thanksgiving dinner and cooks the entire meal herself, including her specialty, pumpkin soup. But the pandemic has forced her to devise a new plan: a socially distant potluck. Three households will each prepare a dish, and Ms. Floerchinger-Franks will shuttle the platters between their homes. Then they will gather on Zoom to savor each other’s food.”


NPR: Two Rural States With GOP Governors And Very Different COVID-19 Results. “One of the things happening in South Dakota is an infection rate that’s among the worst in the nation, at about 8,000 cases per 100,000 people. In Vermont, another small, rural state with a Republican governor, Gov. Phil Scott has embraced safety measures, and the differences are pretty stark. Like South Dakota, Vermont has fewer than 1 million residents, most of whom don’t live in cities. It has about 500 cases per 100,000 people. That’s the lowest rate in the nation.”

Washington Post: Hogan’s first batch of coronavirus tests from South Korea were flawed, never used. “Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) spent $9.46 million in state funding to import 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea that turned out to be flawed and weren’t used, emails, documents and interviews show. As it became clear that the much-touted tests could not help detect which Maryland residents had contracted the novel coronavirus, the Hogan administration quietly paid the same South Korean company $2.5 million for 500,000 replacement tests.”

WRAL: Some governors ignore CDC advice on Thanksgiving gatherings. “Coronavirus infections are ravaging South Dakota, where more than half of tests have come back positive for weeks. Yet Gov. Kristi Noem won’t require masks or take other measures to curb the spread, including urging families to limit Thanksgiving gatherings. Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt said he’ll attend a college football game over the weekend and spend the holiday with his parents, noting that, ‘Oklahomans should be with their loved ones over Thanksgiving.'”


CNN: Ben Carson says he was ‘desperately ill’ from Covid but is now ‘out of the woods’. “Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said Friday he became ‘desperately ill’ from Covid-19, but now believes he is ‘out of the woods’ after receiving an antibody treatment. Carson, 69, was among the latest Trump administration officials or campaign advisers who have tested positive for Covid-19. Carson tested positive last Monday at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.”

Politico: Rudy Giuliani’s son tests positive for coronavirus. “Andrew Giuliani, a special assistant to President Donald Trump and the son of Rudy Giuliani, announced Friday that he had tested positive for coronavirus.”

Today Show: Rachel Maddow says her partner has COVID-19, at one point thought it ‘might kill her’. “MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow made an impassioned plea on [November 19] live from her home after announcing her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula, had fallen ill with the coronavirus. Calling Mikula the ‘center’ of her life, the TV personality said her partner had been sick for the past few weeks, ‘and at one point, we really thought there was a possibility that it might kill her.'”

CNN: Surgeon General Adams: All Americans, even at the White House, should avoid large holiday gatherings. “US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned Monday that all Americans — even at the White House — should follow US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and avoid large gatherings during what he called a ‘dire point’ in the pandemic.”


BBC: Covid: Pakistan cricket squad quarantined after positive tests in New Zealand. “Six members of Pakistan’s cricket team have tested positive for Covid-19 while on tour in New Zealand. All six have been moved from managed isolation into quarantine and the team’s exemption from social-distancing rules for training has been suspended.”


NPR: Mask Mandates Work To Slow Spread Of Coronavirus, Kansas Study Finds. “It has become the battle cry of public health officials around the world: ‘Wear a mask to slow the spread.’ Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new evidence supporting this advice. Researchers analyzed coronavirus infection rates in Kansas following a statewide mask mandate. They found that counties that chose to enforce the mandate saw their cases decrease. Counties that chose to opt out saw their cases continue to rise.”

Yahoo: Family members film PSA urging people to stay home after 15 of them get COVID-19 following birthday party: ‘We feel guilty for gathering’. “A family in Arlington, Texas has filmed a PSA pleading with others to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously after 15 of their family members tested positive for COVID-19 following a small birthday party held indoors.”

Jerusalem Post: 20% of returning Israeli travelers from Turkey test positive for COVID-19. “Turkey has been for years a primary travel destination for Israelis. But in these times of coronavirus pandemic, it can be dangerous. Indeed, out of 988 Israelis returning from Turkey between October 1 and October 28, some 197 of them tested positive for coronavirus, according to data from the Health Ministry, the website Intellinews reported. This ranks Turkey first place regarding the coronavirus infection rate among Israeli travelers.”


CNET: Amid COVID, Zoom is helping build communities for those displaced from shelters. “Coronavirus concerns put 14,000 homeless Californians in hotel rooms. To stave off loneliness, some are using Zoom AA meetings, a phone buddy program and online tai chi.”


BBC: Coronavirus and gender: More chores for women set back gains in equality. “The coronavirus pandemic could wipe out 25 years of increasing gender equality, new global data from UN Women suggests. Women are doing significantly more domestic chores and family care, because of the impact of the pandemic.”

News-Medical: Study sheds new light on genetic risk factors that make individuals susceptible to severe COVID-19. “Even as tens of thousands of Americans test positive for COVID-19 each day, physicians still aren’t sure why some people experience mild to no symptoms while others become critically ill. New research led by Robert E. Gerszten, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) sheds new light on the genetic risk factors that make individuals more or less susceptible to severe COVID-19. The findings, published in a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, illuminate the mechanisms underlying COVID-19, and potentially open the door to novel treatments for the disease.”

PR Newswire: New tool helps predict outcomes for COVID-19 (PRESS RELEASE). “A study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine this month reports on an assessment tool developed by Kaiser Permanente researchers and physicians that helps ensure patients get the right care, when they need it, by accurately predicting the probability that patients with COVID-19 symptoms will experience severe disease or even death.”


BuzzFeed News: This 5-Year-Old Girl Put On A Mask Before Going Shopping, But It Wasn’t Exactly The Mask Her Mom Was Expecting. “With everything going on this year, Raena Granberry wanted to get the Christmas cheer going early. Granberry, 38, was getting ready to go to Michaels to buy some decorations on Saturday and told her 5-year-old daughter, Justice, to go get her mask. Justice did, but it wasn’t exactly the mask that Granberry was expecting.”


BBC: Covid-19: US Supreme Court backs religious groups over New York caps. “The US Supreme Court has temporarily blocked New York from enforcing attendance limits at places of worship in areas hit hard by coronavirus. In a 5-4 vote, the court ruled that the state’s congregational cap violated rights to religious freedom.”

NBC Washington: Trump Supporter Accused of Breathing on Protesters Charged With Assault. “The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said it charged 61-year-old Raymond Deskins with simple assault on Sunday after a citizen obtained a warrant through the Loudoun County Magistrate, the sheriff’s office said. Deskins was released on a summons.”


Washington Post: Senate holds hearing on hydroxychloroquine, despite no evidence it works against covid-19. “On the day that new coronavirus cases across the United States hit their highest total since the pandemic began, the Senate Homeland Security Committee held a hearing on an antimalarial drug that has repeatedly been shown to be ineffective at treating covid-19. As the country logged 185,424 daily infections Thursday, the committee spent more than two hours revisiting discussion about hydroxychloroquine as a potential covid-19 treatment — a debate that leading health experts say was settled months ago.”

NBC News: Biden urged to pick person of color for top health job amid pandemic’s toll on minority groups. “President-elect Joe Biden is being pushed to name a person of color as his health and human services secretary, a move supporters say is designed to acknowledge the need to address the disproportionate burden the pandemic has put on communities of color.”

Washington Post: Shutdown deadline nears as White House, Congress tangle over VA funding. “The Trump administration is injecting new demands into congressional negotiations over a government spending bill that threaten to sink the must-pass package, people familiar with the discussions said. The disagreement concerns how to classify $12.5 billion in cost increases in veterans’ health care, expenses that are part of veterans’ care changes signed into law by President Trump in 2018 with much fanfare.”

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