Thursday CoronaBuzz, March 11, 2021: 19 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.


Dazed: Enter the library of isolation curated by Arca, Fran Lebowitz, and more. “Last month, New York-based cultural club WHAAM! launched a physical and virtual library of books, hand-picked by artists, musicians, and public figures in response to the question: In isolation, what parts of yourself have you recovered Titled Reading Room, the exhibition was created by online library New Reader, and features selections by Arca, Elise By Olsen, The White Pube’s Zarina Muhammad, and more.”


CNET: COVID-19 depression and anxiety: How to take care of your mental health. “The coronavirus pandemic, high rates of unemployment, racial inequality and a divisive, at times hostile, political climate have driven stress way up among Americans. More than 40% of people reported having symptoms of depression and anxiety in January of 2021, compared to just 11% between January and June, 2019. It will take months, perhaps even years, to fully heal from the trauma of 2020, but in the meantime, there are things we can all do to cope.” Big roundup with tons of links.


New York Times: How to Reach the Unvaccinated. “My colleague Sheera Frenkel spoke to experts and followed a community group as it went door to door in an ethnically diverse neighborhood in Northern California to understand the reasons behind the low vaccination rates for Black and Hispanic Americans compared with non-Hispanic white people. What Sheera found, as she detailed in an article on Wednesday, was how online vaccine myths reinforce people’s fears and the ways that personal outreach and easier access to doses can make a big difference.”


BBC: Oxford-AstraZeneca: EU regulator says ‘no indication’ vaccine linked to blood clots. “There is no indication that the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is linked to an increased risk of blood clots, the EU’s medicines regulator says. It said the number of cases in vaccinated people was no higher than in the general population. The statement came after a number of countries, including Denmark and Norway, suspended the use of the jab.”


DCist: D.C. Lost At Least 375 Businesses Since Last March. Here’s How Those Closures Have Reshaped The City. “At least 235 brick-and-mortar businesses have closed permanently in D.C. since the first known coronavirus case was reported on March 7, 2020, with 100 more shuttered temporarily, a count by DCist/WAMU found. (The status of another 40 is unknown.) As of December, more than 36,000 residents were unemployed — a 77% increase over the prior year.”


BBC: Covid stimulus: Biden signs $1.9tn relief bill into law. “US President Joe Biden has signed a $1.9tn (£1.4tn) economic relief bill that aims to help Americans impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic into law. The bill includes $1,400 payments, an extension of jobless benefits, and a child tax credit that is expect to lift millions out of poverty.”

CNBC: Biden will direct states to make all adults eligible for vaccine by May 1. “President Joe Biden is set to announce Thursday evening that he will direct states to make all adults eligible for the Covid vaccines by May 1. Biden, in his first primetime address to the nation, is also expected to say that Americans should be able to gather in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July, a senior administration official told reporters Thursday.”


Route Fifty: Alaska Becomes First State to End Restrictions on Vaccine Eligibility. “Alaska is the first state to end restrictions on who can get Covid-19 vaccine shots, offering them to all residents ages 16 or older. Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced the policy change on Tuesday and said it is effective immediately.”

10 Boston: ‘We’re Not Going to Play That Game’: Baker Defends Decision to Wait on Teacher Vaccinations. “Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker defended the state’s vaccination rollout Thursday and said he has no intention of taking doses away from vulnerable populations in order to make them available to teachers.”


Arizona State University: Double-masking the right way. “Double-masking, or wearing one mask over another, has been the subject of much recent media attention. Even as COVID-19 rates decline, state and federal agencies recommend continuing to wear masks. If one mask is good, wouldn’t two be better? Not necessarily, especially if the masks are worn incorrectly.”

CNET: We have COVID-19 vaccines, so how long will they protect you?. “We’re a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and several vaccines are available worldwide. That was supposed to be the beachhead of normalcy, yet a lot of people aren’t sure when they can get a vaccine, what it will mean if they do or if they even want one. Now what?”

Washington Post: Vaccinated lives: 5 health experts revel in simple pleasures. “The Washington Post asked five public health/infectious-diseases experts how they have navigated risk — and how their own lives have changed since getting inoculated. They all said they continue to take precautions, wearing masks and social distancing in public. All drew their lines in different places but exulted at newfound opportunities for human connection — hugging friends, having dinner parties, even getting haircuts.”


TechXplore: Pinpointing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic with AI. “Fraunhofer IAO, the University Hospital Dresden and seracom GmbH joined forces to investigate the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic using AI algorithms in a project called WIBCE. The results of the associated Germany-wide online survey indicate that younger people experience more psychological distress than older people, despite the fact that their objective health risk is relatively low.”

EurekAlert: Pandemic emphasizes need for digital literacy education. “Parents would never give their children the keys to the car without supervised training and driver’s education. An Iowa State University researcher says parents and educators need to take a similar approach before handing children a keyboard to access the digital world.”

Mashable: How a year of living online has changed us. “As work, school, and social interactions migrated online once COVID-19 became a global pandemic last March, the average monthly household data use in 2020 skyrocketed by 40 percent compared to the prior year, according to OpenVault, a global provider of broadband industry analytics. That figure includes tablet, computer, gaming console, and mobile phone data that uses a household’s broadband internet connection, but doesn’t reflect when someone accesses the internet through their cellular data. The average household now uses nearly a half a terabyte of data each month.”


The Grio: Everything they ‘forgot’ to tell Black people about contracting COVID-19. “Our nation is suffering, but only a portion of the population (read: Black and brown people) is simultaneously bearing the weight of this pandemic with a healthcare system that values profit over people and a rightful distrust of government-funded vaccinations. This is a recipe for disaster at the macro-level, but when you zoom in to the very personal view, it is even scarier to experience.”

BetaNews: Half a dozen little 2021 predictions about life after COVID-19. ” While COVID-19 will undoubtedly kill more Americans than did the Spanish flu, the percentage of the population dying will be much lower than the 0.65 percent death rate in 1918. But the numbers are close enough that one might guess the long-term impact of this pandemic could be very similar to that one. I don’t think it will be. I think this pandemic will have greater long-term effects than that of 1918 and the reason comes down mainly to technology.”

Mashable: We dreamed of the Before Times for a year. But how will COVID’s scars haunt the After Times?. “The pandemic hasn’t just changed the world, it has become the world. Its tentacles touch everything. I don’t dream like I used to. Literally. Many nights I have nightmares where I accidentally enter public spaces unmasked, only to realize Oh God, oh no, it’s still a pandemic. I’ll have dreams of sick loved ones and unshakeable danger. My metaphorical dreams have changed, too. In some ways they’re bigger: I want to travel everywhere, do more, work less, visit my friends spread across the country. But my dreams have shrunk as well. Who needs to write a book, or get recognition? I’d love a dinner with family, a fine life with friends who love me, a cool beer at a dank bar.”


NBC News: States with Republican governors had highest Covid incidence and death rates, study finds. “States with Democratic governors had the highest incidence and death rates from Covid-19 in the first months of the coronavirus pandemic, but states with Republican governors surpassed those rates as the crisis dragged on, a study released Tuesday found.”

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