Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 6:50:24 PM by Jeff
Amid the tragedy and confusion of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Ashish K. Jha ’92, director of Harvard University’s Global Health Institute, has emerged as a leading voice of reason and expertise, frequently called upon to clarify complicated issues in such forums as CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Although Jha is more optimistic than many experts about the course of the pandemic over the next year, he says the federal government’s response was botched from the start, with deadly consequences. Tens of thousands of American lives were lost, he believes, because of denial, delay, lack of leadership and failure to heed sound scientific guidelines.
Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 3:58:40 PM by Jeff
DIY Cotton Face Mask
When the call to make masks for heroes began, it was time to shift focus and make protective masks for those on the front lines supporting communities and people in a time of incredible need. After researching cotton mask patterns, I found a few favorites and began to make and test each mask. I prototyped over twenty-five designs, making modifications to improve comfort and quality while maintaining Aplat’s zero waste and origami design principles.
Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 3:51:27 PM by Jeff
Alton Brown was nearly three months into quarantine when he decided to get adventurous. The chef and host of Food Network staples like “Good Eats” and “Iron Chef America” was preparing curry with his wife when they realized they didn’t have any rice on hand. Instead, they turned to an unlikely substitute — oatmeal, mixed with heaps of ghee and turmeric — to pull together their savory dish.
“That’s probably not something I would have done pre-quarantine,” admits Brown. “At this point, I’m looking at everything in the kitchen a little differently.”
A license to get creative is emblematic of Brown’s spontaneous nature on “Quarantine Quitchen,” a new YouTube series he created with his wife while sheltering at home. Since ingredients are scarce and people are exercising more caution about going to the grocery store, the coronavirus pandemic has given the general public a renewed appreciation for cooking. And celebrity chefs have been at the forefront of the at-home culinary revolution, guiding America through the global crisis by livestreaming cooking classes, offering tips and tricks on Instagram Live and engaging with fans on Twitter.
Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 3:51:02 PM by Jeff
Hundreds of thousands of seriously ill coronavirus patients who survive and leave the hospital are facing a new and difficult challenge: recovery. Many are struggling to overcome a range of troubling residual symptoms, and some problems may persist for months, years or even the rest of their lives.
Patients who are returning home after being hospitalized for severe respiratory failure from the virus are confronting physical, neurological, cognitive and emotional issues.
And they must navigate their recovery process as the pandemic continues, with all of the stresses and stretched resources that it has brought.
Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 3:50:44 PM by Jeff
But not everyone wants to wear a mask. According to a mid-April Gallup poll, only one-third of Americans said they always wore a mask or face covering when they left home. In some cases, anti-mask sentiments are interspersed with hostility. In Orange County, California, former county health officer Dr. Nichole Quick was threatened with violence and portrayed as Adolf Hitler after she mandated that county residents and visitors wear cloth coverings. In Scottsdale, Arizona, City Councilman Guy Phillips mocked the dying words of George Floyd during an anti-mask protest he organized, declaring, “I can’t breathe.”
“Now that we know that there would be 33,000 fewer Covid-19 deaths if 95 percent of people wear masks, it is hard to understand a choice not to do this,” Carol Taylor, a Kennedy Institute of Ethics senior clinical scholar and a professor of medicine and nursing at Georgetown University, tells me. “I want to live in a world where people do the right things simply because they are the right things to do — not because they fear the penalties of not doing so.”
The question is: How can anti-mask people be convinced that wearing a mask is the right thing to do? And if that’s not possible, how can they be compelled otherwise?
Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 1:07:15 PM by Jeff
Students in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 have been attending parties in the city and surrounding area as part of a disturbing contest to see who can catch the virus first, a city council member told ABC News on Wednesday.
Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry said students have been organizing “COVID parties” as a game to intentionally infect each other with the contagion that has killed more than 127,000 people in the United States. She said she recently learned of the behavior and informed the city council of the parties occurring in the city.
She said the organizers of the parties are purposely inviting guests who have COVID-19.
Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 1:06:22 PM by Jeff
Clusters have been linked to several university bars and other large social gatherings
As worldwide coronavirus cases tops ten million and the death toll in the U.S. surpasses 128,000, health officials in states that have reopened are seeing surges traced to public gatherings in bars, restaurants, strip clubs, churches, and beaches but not from the nation-wide protests occurring calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality.
Coronavirus clusters — defined as multiple people contracting COVID-19 at the same event or location — have been increasing at alarming rates in recent weeks. Many infectious disease experts warned that protests may lead to additional outbreaks, but are now finding that’s not the case.
Posted Thursday 2nd of July, 2020 at 1:05:54 PM by Jeff
In the immediate aftermath of Floyd’s death, health officials expressed great concern that protesters, potentially yelling and shouting in very close proximity, would quickly spread the virus, which might lead to devastating outbreaks.
However, researchers found “no evidence that urban protests reignited Covid-19 case growth during the more than three weeks following protest onset.”
In fact, they determined that, based on cellphone data, “cities which had protests saw an increase in social distancing behavior for the overall population relative to cities that did not,” leading to “modest evidence of a small longer-run case growth decline.”
The study’s lead author, Dhaval Dave of Bentley University, said, “In many cities, the protests actually seemed to lead to a net increase in social distancing, as more people who did not protest decided to stay off the streets.”
Posted Sunday 14th of June, 2020 at 6:43:51 PM by Jeff
In 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center called out Reddit as home to “the most violently racist” content on the internet, citing a constellation of antiblack forums, or subreddits, that had adopted the name “the Chimpire” and racked up tens of thousands of members before they were taken down that year. Reddit’s content policy prohibits inciting violence, as well as bullying and harassment, but it has never been very specific about where the lines are drawn. In 2018, when Reddit CEO Steve Huffman was asked about whether “obvious open racism” was against the company’s rules, he said, “It’s not.”
Huffman backtracked at the time, vaguely saying that racism was allowed but not welcome. Then, last week, he made a company-wide announcement under a headline that included the phrase Black lives matter, and claimed that “our values are clear.” Reddit employees and users, he said, “do not tolerate hate, racism, and violence”—a statement that sparked a major revolt on the site.
Posted Friday 12th of June, 2020 at 6:43:13 PM by Jeff
We conclude that #facemask use by the public, when used in combination with physical distancing or periods of lock-down, may provide an acceptable way of managing the COVID-19 pandemic and re-opening economic activity. These results are relevant to the developed as well as the developing world, where large numbers of people are resource poor, but fabrication of home-made, effective facemasks is possible. A key message from our analyses to aid the widespread adoption of facemasks would be: ‘my mask protects you, your mask protects me’.
Posted Friday 12th of June, 2020 at 6:41:36 PM by Jeff
In recent weeks as antiracism and anti-police violence protests continue around the country, the movement to defund and abolish policing in America has rapidly gained momentum. As Black communities have asserted for decades, people have begun to wonder in earnest what purpose police serve. They’re asking when there’s a problem in our communities, do we really need a person with a gun showing up to solve it? What would a system oriented around public safety look like if it was designed from scratch rather than just piling more responsibility onto and funding into increasingly militarized and unaccountable police departments?
Posted Thursday 11th of June, 2020 at 4:09:34 PM by Jeff
Möller pulled up a series of graphs and charts on her laptop. These showed that, per capita, Iceland had had more COVID-19 cases than any other Scandinavian country, and more than even Italy or Britain. There was an outbreak in a nursing home in the town of Bolungarvík, in northwestern Iceland, and one in the Westman Islands, an archipelago off the southern coast, which seemed to have started at a handball game. (In Europe, handball is a team sport that’s sort of a cross between basketball and soccer.)
“The numbers in the beginning were terrible,” Möller said. She attributed the country’s success in bringing the caseload down in part to having got an early start. The “trio,” along with officials from Iceland’s university hospital, had begun meeting back in January. “We saw what was going on in China,” she recalled. “We saw the pictures of people lying dead in emergency departments, even on the street. So it was obvious that something terrible was happening. And, of course, we didn’t know if it would spread to other countries. But we didn’t dare take the chance. So we started preparing.” For example, it was discovered that the country didn’t have enough protective gear for its health-care workers, so hospital officials immediately set about buying more.
Posted Thursday 11th of June, 2020 at 3:53:28 PM by Jeff
Companies like Salesforce created workplaces with all the comforts of home. But now they may feel more like hospitals.
When employees at Salesforce, the cloud software giant based in San Francisco, eventually return to their office towers, they may find that the fun is gone from their famously fun-loving workplaces.
No more chatting in the elevator. No hugging. No more communal snack jars.
Before employees can even go into the office, they will be required to fill out online health surveys and take their temperature. If they pass the health screening and have a good reason to go in, Salesforce will schedule their shifts — and send them digital entry tickets for the lobby with an arrival time.
In the lobby, employees will be asked to wait for the elevator on social-distancing floor markers and stand on other markers once inside the elevator.
Posted Wednesday 10th of June, 2020 at 6:42:16 PM by Jeff
Sweden has famously followed a different coronavirus strategy than most of the rest of the Developed world: Let the virus run loose, curb it enough to make sure it doesn’t overwhelm the healthcare system like in Hubei, Italy or Spain, but don’t try to eliminate it. They think stopping it completely is impossible. The natural consequence is that most citizens get infected, and that eventually slows down the epidemic. That’s why, in short, people call that strategy “Herd Immunity”.
The other strategy is the Hammer and the Dance: Aggressively attack the coronavirus by locking down the economy. Once curbed, jump into the Dance by replacing the aggressive lockdown with cheap and intelligent measures to control the virus.
Some countries and states, such as the Netherlands and the UK, or US states like Texas and Georgia, have implemented measures in between the two strategies. So which strategy is best?
Posted Wednesday 10th of June, 2020 at 4:15:29 PM by Jeff
Population-wide face mask use could push COVID-19 transmission down to controllable levels for national epidemics, and could prevent further waves of the pandemic disease when combined with lockdowns, according to a British study on Wednesday.
Posted Tuesday 9th of June, 2020 at 6:21:07 PM by Jeff
You can’t exactly force friends, neighbors or strangers to wear a face covering to slow the spread of coronavirus, but experts prescribe a few approaches to help nudge them in the right direction — and keep yourself safe.
COVID-19 primarily spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing and talking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including by asymptomatic and “pre-symptomatic” individuals.
In a reversal from its earlier guidance, the agency recommended in April that Americans wear cloth face coverings while in public places that make physical distance difficult to maintain. A number of states and businesses also now require mask-wearing in some capacity.
Posted Tuesday 9th of June, 2020 at 4:10:08 PM by Jeff
Last week, in the aftermath of an unprecedented number of protests against police brutality, cities around the country started to take steps towards dismantling systemic racism.
Minneapolis committed to “end the current policing system.” In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged to reroute funding away from the NYPD and towards youth programs and social services. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced he would abandon plans to give the LAPD a massive budget increase. And the Democrats just introduced the Justice in Policing Act, a police reform bill that would, among other things, ban chokeholds.
Posted Tuesday 9th of June, 2020 at 4:07:07 PM by Jeff
Do me a favor and take about 7 minutes to watch author Kimberly Jones’ off-the-cuff “rant” (her words) about how rioting and looting fit within the larger narrative of the economic oppression of Black people in America. I’ve never heard the long, shameful, and deadly history of white supremacy in America summed up any better or more succinctly than Jones does here. The Monopoly analogy in particular is fantastic.
Posted Monday 8th of June, 2020 at 4:12:09 PM by Jeff
Adrian Brandon’s Stolen is a series of portraits of Black people who have been killed by police officers. He colors each portrait in for as long as the person was alive: 1 minute of coloring for each year of their life. (From top to bottom: Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown.)
Posted Monday 8th of June, 2020 at 4:06:26 PM by Jeff
Businesses are reopening. Protests are erupting nationwide. But the virus isn’t done with us.
There’s no point in denying the obvious: Standing in a crowd for long periods raises the risk of increased transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This particular form of mass, in-person protest—and the corresponding police response—is a “perfect set-up” for transmission of the virus, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a radio interview on Friday. Some police-brutality activists (such as Black Lives Matter Seattle) have issued statements about the risk involved in the protests. Others have organized less risky forms of protests, such as Oakland’s Anti Police-Terror Project’s massive “caravan for justice.”
Posted Monday 8th of June, 2020 at 4:05:41 PM by Jeff
It may be true that the sofa is more comfortable than the bar stool. But few of us will miss the comfortable seat of confinement once the world allows us freedom. There will be a re-evaluation on the meaningfulness of social interaction. The tactile exchanges and the warmth of an enveloping hug.
Hopefully, we will reprioritise friendships alongside hospitality. Yes, pubs are hugely important, but it goes without saying that people are more important. We need to support one another.
That casual drink with a mate and all of the camaraderie. Those tiny acts of love, humility and friendship – they are sanity for the soul. Don’t let them become historic. Never forget the days of being delighted to see one another. Of picking a pub with a friend near to your destination or even a pub as your destination. Because the days where all we had to think about in advance of greeting one another was to ask: “What are you having?” Those memories are golden.
Posted Sunday 7th of June, 2020 at 4:13:29 PM by Jeff
I was a police officer for nearly ten years and I was a bastard. We all were.
This essay has been kicking around in my head for years now and I’ve never felt confident enough to write it. It’s a time in my life I’m ashamed of. It’s a time that I hurt people and, through inaction, allowed others to be hurt. It’s a time that I acted as a violent agent of capitalism and white supremacy. Under the guise of public safety, I personally ruined people’s lives but in so doing, made the public no safer… so did the family members and close friends of mine who also bore the badge alongside me.
But enough is enough.
Posted Sunday 7th of June, 2020 at 4:07:52 PM by Jeff
While the tests themselves are confusing, partly because they are new and have wildly variable test characteristics, part of the problem is that patients and the media often lack some of the fundamental knowledge required to interpret any diagnostic test. Without this foundation, there is no good way to make sense of Covid-19 tests.
Posted Sunday 7th of June, 2020 at 3:57:39 PM by Jeff
Slogans are always imperfect. I’m not sure “defund the police” quite captures what I would imagine. Maybe it would be more like “disband/rebuild police departments, dramatically shrink policing and build community.” Something like that. Solve problems rather than policing them.
Posted Saturday 6th of June, 2020 at 6:42:37 PM by Jeff
Hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson instated stringent social-distancing measures to halt the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, LeClerc, a Glasgow-based journalist, arrived home feeling shivery and flushed. Over the next few days, she developed a cough, chest pain, aching joints, and a prickling sensation on her skin. After a week of bed rest, she started improving. But on day 12, every old symptom returned, amplified and with reinforcements: She spiked an intermittent fever, lost her sense of taste and smell, and struggled to breathe.
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When I spoke with LeClerc on day 66, she was still experiencing waves of symptoms. “Before this, I was a fit, healthy 32-year-old,” she said. “Now I’ve been reduced to not being able to stand up in the shower without feeling fatigued. I’ve tried going to the supermarket and I’m in bed for days afterwards. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.” Despite her best efforts, LeClerc has not been able to get a test, but “every doctor I’ve spoken to says there’s no shadow of a doubt that this has been COVID,” she said. Today is day 80.