Sunday CoronaBuzz, March 7, 2021: 25 pointers to updates, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Please wear a mask (or even two). Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.


12News: Teenage COVID-19 ‘long-hauler’ creates resources to help others with long-term symptoms. “Lydia Pastor, 16, was diagnosed with long-hauler syndrome after seeing nearly a dozen specialists for her symptoms…. Pastor is working to connect other teenage long-haulers who are battling long-term COVID-19 through her new website: Chronic Connections.”


Make Tech Easier: Five Websites for Keeping Tabs on the COVID-19 Pandemic. “COVID-19 has now dragged into its second year. It’s more important now than ever to take in accurate information that is verified and without bias. The current information environment has now transitioned from discovering resources about testing to information about vaccinations and variants. We have found five of the best websites for consuming the latest in pandemic news, testing information, tracking the spread of the virus, and more. As information updates at a rapid rate, it is more important now than ever to ensure that you are up to date on the latest.”


Axios: Vaccine hesitancy drops, but with partisan divide. “69% of the public intends to get a COVID vaccine or already has, up significantly from 60% in November, according to a report out Friday from the Pew Research Center. Yes, but: The issue has become even more partisan, with 56% of Republicans who say they want or have already received a coronavirus vaccine compared to 83% of Democrats.”


CBS News: The COVID baby boom is looking more like a baby bust. “Provisional birth rate data provided to CBS News by 29 state health departments shows a roughly 7.3% decline in births in December 2020, nine months after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. California, the most populous state, reported a 10.2% decline, falling to 32,910 births in December from 36,651 the year prior. In the same time frame, births declined by 30.4% in Hawaii.”

Poynter: After a devastating and deadly pandemic, how do we recover the news?. “Our work this year is making sense of what’s happened and tracking what must still happen for local news. We’re calling this work “Recovering The News,” and we plan to tell what recovery means in several ways beginning today with an oral history project featuring nearly 30 local newsrooms and press associations in mid-America. That project, The Essential Workers, comes from Teri Finneman and William Mari, two journalism professors who spent last year capturing history as it happened.”

Route Fifty: The States Where Driving Was Up and Down the Most After Covid Hit. “, a company that provides vehicle history reports, examined 2020 Apple Maps data to learn which states and cities saw the greatest increases and decreases in driving, public transportation use and walking. To assess the pandemic’s effect on drivers in the U.S., Bumper looked at average weekly levels of driving in states for most of last year and compared those metrics to the first three months of 2020, before the virus upended daily life.”


The Verge: Russian intelligence reportedly used fake news sites to spread misinformation about coronavirus vaccines. “Four online publications linked to Russian intelligence agencies have been spreading false or misleading information about coronavirus vaccines, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing an official at the US Department of State’s Global Engagement Center.”

Poynter: Vaccine gaslighting, mask falsehoods and fake cures dominate recent claims added to the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance Database. “As world leaders and everyday citizens roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated against COVID-19, purveyors of falsehoods have turned to a new tactic — claiming those vaccinations were a hoax. Vice President Kamala Harris, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa have all been the subject of false claims that their televised vaccinations were ‘staged.'”


Raw Story: Anti-maskers are making life hell for Disney World workers: ‘It’s not a good time at all’. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t issued a mask order to protect against the deadly coronavirus, but the Orlando resort and theme park does — and many guests become angry when employees tell them they can’t wear a gaiter or go without a mask, reported the Orlando Sentinel.”


BBC: Coronavirus: US Senate passes major $1.9tn relief plan. “The US Senate has voted to approve America’s third major spending package to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The $1.9tn (£1.4tn) plan passed by 50 votes to 49. It will head to the House of Representatives next Tuesday where it is expected to be endorsed.”

MIT Technology Review: Israel’s “green pass” is an early vision of how we leave lockdown. “The commercial opens with a tempting vision and soaring instrumentals. A door swings wide to reveal a sunlit patio and a relaxed, smiling couple awaiting a meal. ‘How much have we missed going out with friends?’ a voiceover asks. ‘With the green pass, doors simply open in front of you … We’re returning to life.’ It’s an ad to promote Israel’s version of a vaccine passport, but it’s also catnip for anyone who’s been through a year in varying degrees of lockdown. Can we go back to normal life once we’ve been vaccinated? And if we can, what kind of proof should we need?”

Tampa Bay Times: Florida City COVID vaccine site does about-face after giving shots to all. “A Florida City COVID vaccination site that responded to low demand Saturday by vaccinating everybody found high demand Sunday morning as it reverted back to state limitations. The predictable disorganization ensued at the Florida City Youth Center, 650 NW Fifth Ave.”


New York Times: How Rhode Island Fell to the Coronavirus. “The numbers began ticking up in September. After a quiet summer, doctors at Rhode Island Hospital began seeing one or two patients with Covid-19 on each shift — and soon three. Then four. Cases climbed steadily until early December, when Rhode Island earned the dubious distinction of having more cases and deaths per 100,000 people than any other state in the country. The case rate still puts it among the top five states. Where did this tightly knit state go wrong?”


BBC: Covid: Hairdresser styles deceased clients during lockdown. “A hairdresser has started styling the hair of people who have passed away while his salon has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. James Riley, from Buxton, Derbyshire, said it was not something he had considered before, but it had helped bring in some income in the last year. ‘I never thought I would, but I quite enjoy it,’ he said. He said the unconventional work had been “rewarding” and become one of the ‘biggest honours of [his] life’.”

Queens Chronicle: Embroidering the texture of life mid-pandemic. “Faced with the opportunity to put together an in-person art show during the pandemic, multimedia artist Azikiwe Mohammed bridged the gap between moments of levity and inequity. Mohammed’s work as a photographer and visual artist has largely focused on documenting the stories of black, brown and marginalized communities across the country. He’s taken that ethos focused on celebrating people of color and applied it to a new medium and a grim moment in history.”


The Guardian: Fears that 25% of grassroots sports clubs may not return after lockdown. “Grassroots sports will struggle to return once lockdown measures are eased, MPs have been warned, with one organisation estimating 25% of their clubs will not come back from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

WTOP: Baseball to return to Nationals Park — but without fans, for now. “Baseball fans that have eagerly waited to catch a Washington Nationals home game will likely have to wait a little longer. The D.C. government has approved the Nationals to play home games in their park this season, but there will be no fans in the stands because of the on going pandemic.”


Washington University in St. Louis: School closures ‘sideline’ working mothers. “Decades of feminist gains in the workforce have been undermined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has upended public education across the United States, a critical infrastructure of care that parents — especially mothers — depend on to work, according to new research from Washington University in St. Louis.”


New York Times: Colleges That Require Virus-Screening Tech Struggle to Say Whether It Works. “The University of Idaho is one of hundreds of colleges and universities that adopted fever scanners, symptom checkers, wearable heart-rate monitors and other new Covid-screening technologies this school year. Such tools often cost less than a more validated health intervention: frequent virus testing of all students. They also help colleges showcase their pandemic safety efforts. But the struggle at many colleges to keep the virus at bay has raised questions about the usefulness of the technologies.”


Route Fifty: Travel Bans do Little to Stem Covid-19 Spread. “New research finds that limiting personal mobility through travel restrictions and similar tactics is effective only in the first phases of the epidemic, and reduces in proportion to the spread of infection across a population.”

The Verge: Long Covid Patients Say They Feel Better After Getting Vaccinated. “Daniel Griffin wasn’t sure what to expect when his patients with chronic COVID-19 symptoms started getting vaccinated. There was some concern that the shots might make things worse by triggering the immune system. Luckily, the opposite seemed to be true.”

Medical XPress: COVID-19 affects men and women differently—it’s important to track the data. “The African Population Health Research Centre, based in Kenya, has been mining data across 47 countries in Africa, tracking differences in COVID-19 infection, illness and deaths among men and women. Sylvia Muyingo lays-out their key findings and explains why tracking these data is important.”

Mashable: Why all 3 U.S. vaccines are excellent options. “All the FDA-authorized vaccines (there are currently three) are outstanding options, according to infectious disease experts. Why? ‘All of them look great at preventing disease that results in hospitalization and death,’ emphasized Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious disease at the University of Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Here’s what to know.”


PsyPost: Psychological entitlement linked to defiance of COVID-19 rules via perceptions of unfairness, study finds. “People with a heightened sense of entitlement are more likely to believe that measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are unfair, which in turn is associated with reduced compliance with such measures, according to new research from China. The findings are set to appear in the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences.”


Vogue: My Kingdom for a Hot Girl Summer. “I have been in my apartment for an entire year from cold weather to warm and back again. I’ve watched the entire nine seasons of The Office three times. I’ve watched cooking shows and fashion shows, and The Sopranos from start to finish. I’ve read numerous books about Trump. And I am among the very fortunate: I haven’t had to risk my life to work in a hospital, or a restaurant, or a grocery store. I’ve been afforded the enormous privilege of staying home.”

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