Tuesday CoronaBuzz, March 23, 2021: 21 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.


State of Pennsylvania: First Lady Frances Wolf Reveals Full Virtual Exhibition and Shares Reaction in Gallery Opening Event. “First Lady Frances Wolf revealed One Lens: Sharing Our Common Views, a statewide virtual exhibition documenting Pennsylvanians’ experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. One Lens received nearly 1,300 submissions from Pennsylvanians in 58 counties across the state. The full exhibit is available at and will remain accessible throughout the remainder of the Wolf Administration.”


Axios: Axios-Ipsos poll: America reemerges. “Nine in 10 respondents said they know someone who’s already been vaccinated, and 36% said they’ve been vaccinated themselves. Meanwhile, the share who know someone who died from COVID-19 has leveled off at around one in three, after climbing through 2020.”

CNBC: Covid cases rise across more than half of the U.S. as country races to vaccinate. “As of Sunday, the seven-day average of new cases rose by 5% or more in 27 states, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Across the U.S., the nation logged an average of 54,308 new cases per day over the past week — a 1% rise from the prior week after months of rapidly declining case numbers, according to the data.”


University of Texas at Austin: Data Shows How the Pandemic Changed Day-to-Day Life. “For an entire year now, the pandemic has upended life. Using publicly available data, researchers in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin have quantified the many ways day-to-day activity has changed since the pandemic began. The researchers pulled data from 11 sources to create a new online dashboard that documents major changes in Austin. The dataset includes traffic patterns at major intersections throughout the city, COVID-19 case counts by ZIP code, water usage, real estate activity, retail spending, job postings, calls for city services and more.”


STAT: ‘You work your butt off’: Inside the scramble to bring Covid-19 vaccines to homebound Americans. “Karen Meadows’ plans on Wednesday did not involve leaving her house, and they certainly did not involve a Covid-19 vaccination. Wired to an oxygen tank and largely homebound with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, it’s a challenge for Meadows to make it up her driveway. The voyage to her county’s mass vaccination site, at a basketball arena 10 miles to the east, is all but impossible. But then came a stroke of luck. Down the block, a local doctor was administering a vaccine to her mother-in-law, who is homebound herself. She called Meadows, who, clad in a pink bathrobe, welcomed the doctor into her living room. Fifteen minutes later, she was sporting a smile and a Band-Aid.”


AP: US: AstraZeneca may have used outdated info in vaccine trial. “Results from a U.S. trial of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine may have included ‘outdated information’ and that could mean the company provided an incomplete view of efficacy data, American federal health officials said early Tuesday.”

Mint: Pfizer begins human trials of new pill to treat coronavirus. “If it succeeds in trials, the pill could be prescribed early in an infection to block viral replication before patients get very sick. The drug binds to an enzyme called a protease to keep the virus from replicating. Protease-inhibiting medicines have been successful in treating other types of viruses, include HIV and Hepatitis C.”

New York Times: U.S. Health Officials Question AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Results. “Federal health officials and an independent oversight board accused AstraZeneca of presenting the world with potentially misleading information about the effectiveness of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine, an extraordinary blow to the credibility of a company whose product has been seen as critical to the global fight against the pandemic.”


BBC: Covid: £5,000 fine for people going on holiday abroad. “A £5,000 fine for anyone in England trying to travel abroad without good reason is due to come into force next week as part of new coronavirus laws. The penalty is included in legislation that will be voted on by MPs on Thursday.”

Greek Reporter: Greece Opens Acropolis, Other Archaeological Sites. “Greece reopened the Acropolis in Athens and other ancient sites nationwide on Monday as the country begins its preparations for the tourist season. Archaeologists are now also urging the government to reopen all archaeological sites and museums with the necessary health protection measures in place. The public will be able to visit the historical sites with social distancing measures in place and mandatory use of a face mask.”


Texas Tribune: Texas opens COVID-19 vaccine to everyone 16 and older on March 29. “Everyone age 16 and older, regardless of occupation or health status, will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Texas starting March 29, state health officials said Tuesday. The Texas Department of State Health Services is still asking providers to prioritize appointments for people who are 80 and older, and to prioritize walk-ins from anyone in that age group who shows up without an appointment.”


Media-ite: Eric Spinato, Senior Fox News and Fox Business Producer, Dies From Covid. “Eric Spinato, senior head booker and story editor for Fox News and Fox Business, has died from complications related to the coronavirus. Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott, Fox president and executive editor Jay Wallace, and president of Fox Business Lauren Petterson announced Spinato’s passing in an internal memo obtained by Mediaite.”

CBS This Morning: Teens deal with unimaginable loss after both parents die from COVID-19: “We miss them”. “Rita Marquez-Mendoza has always been close to her two teenage grandsons, Nathan and Isaiah, but she never imagined that she’d become the closest thing they’d have to a mom or a dad. Her daughter Noehmi died of COVID-19 in July at just 39 years old. Mendoza said she had to say goodbye to her over the phone…. Carlos was the boys’ father, who Rita said she loved as one of her own. Days after Noehmi died, Carlos became sick with COVID-19 as well. He died 15 days later and the boys were orphaned.”


AP: AP-NORC poll: Learning setbacks a top concern for parents. “Parents across the U.S. are conflicted about reopening schools. Most are at least somewhat worried that a return to the classroom will lead to more coronavirus cases, but there’s an even deeper fear that their children are falling behind in school while at home.”


WBBM: Why rare ‘COVID arm’ reaction to vaccine may actually be a ‘good’ sign. “As millions of Americans continue to receive COVID-19 vaccines, a small number of individuals have reported feeling mild symptoms. One side effect has been labeled ‘COVID arm’ after some recipients of the Moderna vaccine experienced itchy and swollen skin and dull pain near the injection site.”

New York Times: They Had Mild Covid. Then Their Serious Symptoms Kicked In.. “The study of 100 patients from 21 states, published on Tuesday in The Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, found that 85 percent of them experienced four or more neurological issues like brain fog, headaches, tingling, muscle pain and dizziness.”


CNET: Facebook is bringing back F8 as a virtual-only conference in June. “After cancelling last year’s F8 developer conference due to the pandemic, Facebook on Tuesday revealed that its 2021 event will happen in virtual-only format called F8 Refresh.”


BBC: Coronavirus: How the common cold can boot out Covid. “The virus that causes the common cold can effectively boot the Covid virus out of the body’s cells, say researchers. Some viruses are known to compete in order to be the one that causes an infection. And University of Glasgow scientists say it appears cold-causing rhinovirus trumps coronavirus.”

Israel 21c: Researchers develop cheap, rapid test for Covid variants. “Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev recently developed a rapid and cost-effective test to identify Covid-19’s British and South African variants within hours instead of days, enabling effective response and containment measures.”


CNN: Covid-19 vaccines and counterfeit vaccine cards are for sale on the dark web. “Counterfeit vaccine cards and what are being billed as Covid-19 vaccines are now for sale on the dark web, according to a report released Tuesday. Security researchers at cybersecurity firm Check Point Software said they’ve discovered listings for Covid-19 vaccines from various brands, such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, for up to $1,000 a dose, as well as at least 20 vaccine certificates for $200 each.”


CNET: The ‘Chinese virus’ label has led to violence and death. It needs to stop. “It’s a statement backed up by hard science. A study conducted by UC San Francisco found that more than half of the tweets including the hashtag #chinesevirus also used an anti-Asian hashtag. Only a fifth of the tweets that included the #covid19 hashtag showed anti-Asian sentiment. The study had looked at the tweets from a week before to a week after Trump tweeted the words ‘Chinese virus’ on March 16.”

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