Thursday CoronaBuzz, April 8, 2021: 24 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.


Lifehacker: How to Become Someone’s ‘Vaccine Angel’. “As medical experts have warned in recent days, the virus will continue to spread (and, potentially, new variants will continue to emerge) until enough people are vaccinated that the U.S. reaches herd immunity, which means time is of the essence. Because of this, you might be considering doing your part to help by volunteering in your state’s vaccination efforts. The good news is, you don’t need medical expertise or formal training to help. If you’d like to aid in this the gargantuan national effort, there are many groups and organizations that can put you to work in various capacities. Here’s more on how you can get involved.”


AP: Discarded masks litter beaches worldwide, threaten sea life. “Discarded masks and gloves started showing up on beaches not long after the virus began circulating widely last year, and continued to appear as quarantine-weary people sought an escape at the beach. In the second half of 2020, more than 107,000 items of PPE were collected by volunteers around the world according to the Ocean Conservancy group — a figure its members believe is a vast undercount of the year’s true totals.”

ABC News: Beyond the Pandemic: London’s financial hub seeks a rebirth. “Plagues, fires, war — London has survived them all. But it has never had a year like this. The coronavirus has killed more than 15,000 Londoners and shaken the foundations of one of the world’s great cities. As a fast-moving mass vaccination campaign holds the promise of reopening, The Associated Press looks at the pandemic’s impact on London’s people and institutions and asks what the future might hold.”


PsyPost: Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories linked to increases in anxiety, according to new research. “A new study published in Personality and Individual Differences provides evidence that conspiracy theories about COVID-19 can have a negative personal impact on individuals who adhere to such beliefs. The research indicates that COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs predict heightened levels of mental distress.”


Miami Herald: Undocumented immigrants in Florida getting shut out of access to COVID-19 vaccine. “In the scorching heat, Doris Mejia slowly makes her way to the front of the vaccine line. For the fifth time in a month, a worker asks if she has a Florida ID. She shakes her head no. Without it, no COVID-19 vaccine site has been willing to inoculate Mejia—an undocumented Salvadoran migrant living in Homestead — against the deadly virus. For the single mother of four who makes ends meet as a farmworker and housekeeper, not being able to get the vaccine comes at a high price.”

AP: Polish hospitals struggle with surge of virus patients. “Polish hospitals struggled over the Easter weekend with a massive number of people infected with COVID-19 following a huge surge in infections across Central and Eastern Europe in recent weeks. Tougher new pandemic restrictions were ordered in Poland for a two-week period surrounding Easter in order to slow down the infection rate. The country hit new records of over 35,000 daily infections on two recent days, and deaths have been in the hundreds each day.”

ProPublica: The Broken Front Line. “As the winter’s surge of coronavirus cases overwhelmed Los Angeles hospitals, EMTs like Michael Diaz were forced to take previously unthinkable measures. What lasting impact will the pandemic have on America’s first responders?”


Talking Points Memo: Vaccine Shipments to Israel Halted Over Government Impasse. “The Pfizer vaccine issue is part of that same Gordian Knot thicket at the center of the destabilizing political crisis. According to The Jerusalem Post (which is thus far the only English language report of this), Israeli Army Radio is reporting that Pfizer has halted the latest shipment of 700,000 doses of the COVID vaccine because Israel still hasn’t paid for the last shipment of 1.5 million doses. Pfizer reportedly said the situation was akin to something from a ‘banana republic’.”

NBC News: Manufacturers embrace robots, the perfect pandemic worker. “The latest jobs report shows the manufacturing sector grew at its fastest level since the pandemic began, jumping by 50,000 positions. However, there are still about half a million fewer employed manufacturing workers than there were a year ago. The question is how many of those jobs will come back — and how many have been permanently disrupted by digital processes.”

New York Times: U.S. Taps Johnson & Johnson to Run Troubled Vaccine Plant. “The Biden administration on Saturday put Johnson & Johnson in charge of a troubled Baltimore manufacturing plant that ruined 15 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine and moved to stop the plant from making another vaccine by AstraZeneca, senior federal health officials said.”


Washington Post: Coronavirus vaccines are finally reaching poor countries, but some can’t cover the cost of administering them. “Coronavirus vaccines have begun to trickle into some of the world’s poorest nations, in large part thanks to Covax, the World Health Organization-backed initiative to distribute vaccine doses equitably. But once doses arrive on airport tarmacs, it is up to each country to finance distribution, including the salaries of health-care workers to administer the shots. In many cases, that funding isn’t readily available.”

STAT News: Biden officials rebuff appeals to surge Covid-19 vaccine to Michigan amid growing crisis. “Amid Michigan’s worst-in-the-nation coronavirus surge, scientists and public health officials are urging the Biden administration to flood the state with additional vaccine doses. So far, though, their plea has fallen on deaf ears. Instead, the federal government is sticking to a vaccine-allocation strategy that largely awards doses to states and territories based on their population.”

CNN: The Biden administration launches a $500,000 contest to improve face mask designs. “If you have a unique idea that follows required safety guidelines, you can submit your idea here by 5 p.m. ET on April 21. You must be a US citizen or legal resident to receive a prize. Up to 10 winners will be chosen in the first phase of the challenge and will split a $100,000 prize, with each person taking home up to $10,000.”


Washington Post: Elizabeth Shedlick, nurse to two presidents, dies of covid-19. “As a child, Sarah Anderson knew that her mother, Elizabeth Shedlick, had worked at the White House, but she didn’t think it was that special. It was only years later when Anderson fully appreciated her mother’s career in the Navy and her role as a trusted caregiver for two presidents. Shedlick was there for Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson when they needed medical care or felt unwell. A 1961 Washington Post article describes her as an efficient nurse for Kennedy when he had a virus. And a Baltimore Sun article from the fall of 1965 says she was among the team caring for Johnson after a surgery.”


The Guardian: Work pressure in Covid lockdown was shattering, say teachers. “One in four teachers who answered questions about their mental wellbeing told the NASUWT union that they had needed to see a doctor or other medical professional because of the pandemic’s impact, with many undergoing counselling or taking antidepressants. A small number of the 4,700 members who replied said they had self-harmed within the last 12 months as a result of their work. Others reported that their relationships had broken down during the pandemic, and nearly one in three said they had increased their alcohol consumption as a means to cope with their job.”


The Ithaca Voice: Cornell will require vaccinations for students returning to campus in fall; expects full in-person learning. “Cornell University announced its fall 2021 return plans Friday, with an ambitious requirement that any students returning to Ithaca, Geneva and Cornell Tech campuses must have received the full doses of one of the various COVID-19 vaccinations.”


New York Times: We Have All Hit a Wall. “Call it a late-pandemic crisis of productivity, of will, of enthusiasm, of purpose. Call it a bout of existential work-related ennui provoked partly by the realization that sitting in the same chair in the same room staring at the same computer for 12 straight months (and counting!) has left many of us feeling like burned-out husks, dimwitted approximations of our once-productive selves.”


LAist: Kids Seek Pandemic Mental Health Support On Social Media Apps. “After a year of lockdown and remote schooling, young people are reporting growing levels of depression, stress, and anxiety. Many teens have been turning to social media apps such as Twitter and TikTok in search of community.”

Boston Herald: Massachusetts testing Bluetooth app that alerts users of possible coronavirus exposure. “Massachusetts public health officials are testing a Bluetooth app that alerts users if they have potentially been exposed to the coronavirus — a “new tool in our toolbox to fight COVID,” Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone tells the Herald.”


Medical XPress: Almost one in seven suffers long COVID, UK study finds. “Nearly one in seven Britons who tested positive for COVID-19 continued to have symptoms for at least 12 weeks, according to a UK study released Thursday. The Office for National Statistics said the study of over 20,000 people who had tested positive from April last year to March this year found 13.7 percent had symptoms that lasted for at least 12 weeks.”

Futurity: Sunlight Inactivates SARS-CoV-2 Way Faster Than Expected. “Many science-backed COVID-19 management concepts remain unchanged to this day: hand washing with soap and warm water disrupts the virus’ lipid membrane. Social distancing can attenuate the virus’s spread, ideally keeping it out of a host until it degrades. Other notions, such as droplet contact being the primary mode of transmission, were modified when emerging evidence showed that under certain conditions, the virus could remain suspended in air for extended periods of time. In a letter in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, researchers conclude that it might take more than UV-B rays to explain sunlight inactivation of SARS-CoV-2.”


Cult MTL: IKEA shared an instruction manual to teach their clients how to stay home. “After footage has been shared on social media of clients lining up outside various IKEA stores across Canada, IKEA has reshared an instruction manual from March 2020 in traditional IKEA format, teaching clients how to stay home.”


Business Insider: Southwest Airlines passengers dance and cheer as couple accused of refusing to wear masks gets thrown off flight. “A TikTok video shows an entire plane clapping and cheering after a couple is escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight, Newsweek reported. In the video shared by user Brendan Edler, a woman is seen arguing with a crew member.”


Korea Times: Envoys connect through social media challenges during pandemic. “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed lifestyle in many ways, and the lives of ambassadors in Korea are no exception. Their calendars used to be jam-packed with events as they communicated with other diplomats as well as public and private figures of the country. But the pandemic and social distancing rules have forced the canceling of events or limiting the number of guests, making networking difficult. Instead of clinking glasses at events, foreign diplomats in Korea are finding new ways to communicate though social media and share a positive influence.”

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