Monday CoronaBuzz, October 12, 2020 35 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

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October 17, 2020
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October 17, 2020

Monday CoronaBuzz, October 12, 2020 35 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

To everybody out there hanging on by their fingernails: I see you and I’m right there beside you. Please wear a mask. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you can. Please be careful. I love you.

NEW RESOURCES – LEGAL / SECURITY / PRIVACY / FINANCIAL

Travel Pulse Canada: redtag. ca Launches New Tool to Make Finding COVID Requirements Easy . “Canadian travel company redtag.ca has launched a tool allowing consumers to easily see travel requirements for any destination they want to visit. Travellers can simply enter their trip details and learn about each country’s restrictions, entry requirements, mask protocols and quarantine information.”

UPDATES

Politico: Covid-19 cases rising in New Jersey as officials prepare for second wave. “New Jersey officials say they are bracing for a second wave of the coronavirus, with the state recording 1,301 new Covid-19 cases, the highest amount in a single day since May. In a briefing on Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy described the number as ‘sobering’ and pleaded with residents to practice social distancing and wear masks.”

WRAL: New coronavirus cases spike in NC. “The 2,428 new cases trail only the totals reported on two days in mid-July, when viral spread in the state was at its peak. The rolling average of new cases has risen to 1,784 a day over the last week, the highest average since Aug. 3.”

New York Times: At Disney World, ‘Worst Fears’ About Virus Have Not Come True. “As tumultuous as the three months since the reopening have been, … public health officials and Disney World’s unions say there have been no coronavirus outbreaks among workers or guests. So far, Disney’s wide-ranging safety measures appear to be working.”

FACT CHECKS / MISINFORMATION

Phys .org: Game ‘pre-bunks’ COVID-19 conspiracies as part of UK’s fight against fake news. “A new online game that puts players in the shoes of a purveyor of fake pandemic news is the latest tactic in efforts to tackle the deluge of coronavirus misinformation costing lives across the world. The Go Viral! game has been developed by the University of Cambridge’s Social Decision-Making Lab in collaboration with the UK Cabinet Office and media collective DROG.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Science: When COVID-19 silenced cities, birdsong recaptured its former glory. “White-crowned sparrows are tough birds, able to survive the hustle and bustle of many North American cities. But growing noise pollution has forced males to sing louder, less effective songs in order to be heard by rivals and mates. During the pandemic lockdown this spring, the background din quieted. A new study shows that, in just a matter of weeks, the sparrows’ songs recovered the acoustic quality of songs sung decades ago, when city life was less noisy.”

WABC: Yom Kippur: Minor League ballpark transformed into open-air synagogue. “The COVID pandemic didn’t stop a Jewish congregation from hitting a home run on their holiest day. It wasn’t a catcher, but rather a cantor standing behind home plate at TD Bank Ballpark in New Jersey. On this Yom Kippur, the home of the Somerset Patriots Minor League baseball team was transformed into an open-air synagogue.”

Slate: The Lost Dead of Milan. “As the coronavirus overtook Northern Italy, some bodies seemingly vanished. Now an infectious disease law could keep them from their families for years.”

Washington Post: In Japan, a revolutionary response to the pandemic: Better work-life balance. “Picture the traditional grind of the Japanese salaryman: the corporate warrior in suit and tie, commuting to the office in a packed subway train, working long hours, then drinking with his boss and coming home to a cramped Tokyo apartment. Then imagine another type of worker — perhaps a woman — cycling to her office on a picturesque island, with an equally challenging career but spending her weekends by the sea, immersed in nature or relaxing in a hot spring.”

BUSINESS / CORPORATIONS

CNN: Prime Day, peak season and the pandemic: Amazon warehouse workers brace for the months ahead. “Amazon is gearing up for one of its largest shopping events of the year, which is set to begin Tuesday. When layered on top of the ongoing pandemic and followed closely by the start of the holiday shopping season, some workers are worried about risks to their health and their jobs.”

Washington Post: A dozen crew members test positive for covid-19 on first post-lockdown Greek cruise. “Twelve staff members of a Maltese-flagged cruise ship carrying more than 1,500 people around the Greek islands have tested positive for the coronavirus, Greek authorities said, according to the Associated Press.”

MoneyWise: The Stores and Restaurants Closing the Most Locations Across Canada in 2020. “Facing a drastic reduction in income, retailers and chain restaurants nationwide have been forced to file for bankruptcy or shut down many of their locations. Yet COVID-19 has only accelerated what some call the ‘retail apocalypse,’ as brick-and-mortar shops give way to e-retailers like Amazon. Here are the stores and restaurants permanently closing locations in 2020.”

BNN Bloomberg: Google Asks Workers Who Went Abroad for Covid to Return. “Alphabet Inc.’s Google advised workers to return to the country where they’re employed by the end of the year, according to a person familiar with the matter. During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Mountain View, California-based company allowed some of its staff to move abroad for personal reasons, such as returning to their home country, and continue working remotely.”

NBC: Regeneron board member and executive sell $1 million in stock after Trump touts treatment. “A Regeneron executive and one of its directors sold $1 million worth of stocks two days after President Donald Trump announced he was taking their therapeutic, recent filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal.”

CNN: Disney is laying off 28,000 employees as pandemic hammers its theme parks. “Disney is laying off 28,000 people in the United States as the coronavirus pandemic hammers its parks and resorts business. The cuts will affect the Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products unit. The company said 67% of the employees laid off will be part-time workers. Disney’s parks and resorts division has more than 100,000 US employees.”

COUNTRY / FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

BBC: Covid-19: China’s Qingdao to test nine million in five days. “The Chinese city of Qingdao is testing its entire population of nine million people for Covid-19 over a period of five days. The mass testing comes after the discovery of a dozen cases linked to a hospital treating coronavirus patients arriving from abroad.”

New York Times: Pandemic Highlights Deep-Rooted Problems in Indian Health Service. “Few hospital beds, lack of equipment, a shipment of body bags in response to a request for coronavirus tests: The agency providing health care to tribal communities struggled to meet the challenge.”

INDIVIDUALS / BANDS / GROUPS

CNBC: Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s ‘not comfortable’ with level of U.S. coronavirus cases. “The U.S. is reporting roughly 40,000 new coronavirus cases a day, which may get even worse as temperatures get cooler and people head indoors, Fauci said during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. ‘I’m not comfortable with that. I would like to see that level, way, way down, well below 10,000.'”

Slate: Fauci Blasts New Trump Ad, Says It Takes His Comments “Out of Context”. “The nation’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has taken a rare foray into commenting about a political campaign by criticizing an advertisement for President Donald Trump that he says takes his words ‘out of context.’ Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has long made a point of staying out of partisan politics and he is evidently none too happy that he made an appearance in an ad for the president’s reelection.”

SPORTS

CNN: Tennessee Titans players under investigation following Covid-19 cases. “The NFL and the players union are investigating members of the Tennessee Titans for possibly violating health protocols, an NFL spokesman confirmed Thursday. Following an unsanctioned, off-site practice during a Covid-19 outbreak among the team last week, the league and the NFL Players’ Association sent investigators to Nashville. On Friday, the league banned gatherings outside of team facilities.”

K-12 EDUCATION

Los Angeles Times: California parents mostly disapprove of distance learning, poll finds. “As most public and private school students in California continue to study from home, a majority of voters say the state’s schools are not prepared to offer high-quality distance learning, although they are more positive about their own local schools, according to a poll released Thursday.”

HIGHER EDUCATION

CNN: Notre Dame president faces university backlash following Covid-19 diagnosis. “University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins is facing a student petition pushing for him to resign and a possible ‘no confidence’ by the faculty following his Covid-19 diagnosis.”

HEALTH

WRAL: Three flu vaccines are available. Get one now, doctors say. “Medical experts say now more than ever is the best time to get vaccinated to prevent the flu. This year, there are new flu vaccine options for all ages and for those at highest risk of the infection.”

OUTBREAKS

Washington Post: Coronavirus outbreak sickens more than a dozen at Fairfax juvenile detention center. “Officials said a coronavirus outbreak has sickened more than a dozen workers and residents at Fairfax County’s Juvenile Detention Center, prompting questions from staff about the precautions taken against the virus and how its spread was handled. Eight workers and six juveniles have tested positive for the coronavirus at the Fairfax City facility since Sept. 29, officials said, making it one of the worst known outbreaks at a local youth center since March.”

Politico: Nine coronavirus cases tied to Trump Minnesota rally. “Nine people who have contracted the coronavirus reported attending a Donald Trump rally in Bemidji, Minn., last month, state health officials said Friday, including two who were hospitalized. One of them remains in an intensive care unit.”

TECHNOLOGY

Arizona State University: Breakdown on the information highway. “Since March, millions of people have worked from home. Now that it’s fall, millions of children are learning from home. Many of them are learning that their internet service is not what’s depicted in the ads, where smiling people stream, use Zoom, shop, and surf. Instead, their lot has been to gaze, at first in fury and now with resignation, at the spinning wheel of death. Constant internet outages have obviously been exacerbated by a situation no one saw coming, namely millions migrating to working at home due to the pandemic.”

CNET: Twitter obscures Trump tweet claiming he’s immune to coronavirus. “A tweet sent by President Donald Trump claiming he’s immune to the novel coronavirus was obscured by Twitter on Sunday. Twitter hid the post behind a warning message that says it violated the site’s rules ‘about spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.’ ”

RESEARCH

BBC: Covid virus ‘survives for 28 days’ in lab conditions. “The virus responsible for Covid-19 can remain infectious on surfaces such as banknotes, phone screens and stainless steel for 28 days, researchers say. The findings from Australia’s national science agency suggest SARS-Cov-2 can survive for far longer than thought. However, the experiment was conducted in the dark. UV light has already been shown to kill the virus.”

Phys .org: Stay-at-home orders cut noise exposure nearly in half. “People’s exposure to environmental noise dropped nearly in half during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, according to University of Michigan researchers who analyzed data from the Apple Hearing Study.”

CRIME / SECURITY / LEGAL

Yahoo News: Exclusive: FBI warned over summer that pandemic was reenergizing militia movement. “Almost four months before the FBI arrested six men for plotting to kidnap Michigan’s governor, the bureau warned local and state law enforcement about a surge in militia extremists seeking to target government officials, particularly those they blamed for pandemic restrictions, according to an intelligence bulletin obtained by Yahoo News.”

WRAL: Feds: Garner man used fake businesses to get $1.7M in PPP loans. “A Garner man has been charged with fraudulently seeking more than $6 million in federal coronavirus relief money, authorities said Tuesday. An indictment unsealed Tuesday charges Tristan Bishop Pan, 38, with wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.”

OPINION

The Next Web: Agility of small businesses during COVID-19 puts big pressure on corporates. “Amid a pandemic that has wreaked havoc on almost every industry and dealt heart-rending damage to Main Street America, businesses in our communities have shown an incredible ability to adapt and innovate.”

POLITICS

Politico: Pelosi signals no relief for airlines without bigger Covid deal. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is refusing to move a standalone coronavirus bailout for airlines unless the administration also agrees to a broader stimulus package, sowing further confusion in the already tangled talks that have dragged on since early summer.”

CNN: Most Americans say Trump acted irresponsibly and distrust White House on his health. “Two-thirds of Americans say President Donald Trump handled the risk of coronavirus infection to others around him irresponsibly, according to a new CNN Poll conducted by SSRS in the days following the announcement that the President had contracted the virus that has disrupted everyday life for millions of people for more than half a year.”

Washington Post: Trump politicizes promising coronavirus antibody treatments, erroneously calling them a ‘cure’. “Trump claimed on videos posted on Twitter Wednesday and Thursday that the drug he received, a cocktail of laboratory-made antibodies from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is a “cure” that would soon be broadly available — even as the company disclosed that in the next few months, it would have enough supply to treat only the number of Americans sickened in the last week, or about 300,000 doses. A similar antibody drug, made by Eli Lilly & Co., shows similar promise but will also be in short supply, with about 1 million doses by year’s end.”

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