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Monday CoronaBuzz, April 6, 2020: 43 pointers to new resources, useful stuff, research news, and more.

Wash your hands and stay at home as much as you can. Please be careful. I love you.

NEW RESOURCES

Indulge (Indian Express): Isolation Cooks is a social media project chronicling our collective food journey in times of global isolation. “Cooking = coping. And that’s what inspired ‘Isolation Cooks’ – a social media initiative documenting what’s going on in kitchens around the world – as a window to how people are dealing with fears and anxieties in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Started four days ago, by a group of friends in India, working from home under the 21-day nation-wide lockdown, the idea we are told was birthed from a conversation in the kitchen.”

WACH: Clemson students launch website to help SC restaurants during coronavirus crisis. “‘Save Maps means, “Save Mom and Pop Shops,”‘ explained [Sudarshan] Sridharan, who is also the founder of Second Reality Interactive, INC. – a Virtual Reality start-up creating digital watch parties for eSports tournaments and live stream. ‘We’re an online directory that enables people to buy digital gift cards from their favorite restaurants in their community. The restaurants that don’t have the ability to sell gift cards online, we provide the infrastructure to do so.’”

PopSugar: Mattel’s Online “Playroom” Offers Free Activities, Games, and Parent Resources. “Although there are plenty of educational resources and movement and exercise videos available online for kids, toy brand Mattel wants everyone to remember that ‘Play is never canceled.’ Through its new website, Mattel Playroom, the brand is delivering free games, activities, coloring sheets, DIY projects, and more featuring favorite characters like Barbie, Thomas the Tank Engine, and American Girls (plus, there are a bunch of resources for parents and caregivers).”

Found in my RSS feeds: Covid19Conversations. From the front page: “Brought to you by the American Public Health Association and the National Academy of Medicine, this webinar series will explore the state of the science surrounding the current outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States and globally, with a focus on the emerging evidence on how to best mitigate its impact. Hear from trusted experts in such fields as public health, infectious disease, risk communication, and crisis standards of care.”

Imbibe: New website to help people find local food and drinks deliveries. (This is for the UK.) “Social media strategist Charlotte Spencer is the mind behind Your Local Delivered, a free online platform that allows people to search local food and drinks businesses that are delivering during the lockdown The website went live last week and was developed in less than a week following the government’s lockdown announcement on 23 March. It lists on-trade venues such as pubs and restaurants, as well as bakeries and butchers.”

USEFUL STUFF

TimeOut: Hong Kong art galleries offering virtual tours and online viewing rooms. “Like many establishments in our city, Hong Kong’s art galleries have been hit hard due to the ongoing pandemic. Many shows have cancelled, postponed, and galleries have temporarily closed or have limited their on-ground visits to private viewing only. Some local galleries have turned online to deliver the viewing experience straight to your home.”

Casper Star-Tribune: Wyoming ramps up online educational lessons and activities for kids. “With schools closed across Wyoming, educators, museums, libraries and more are offering online educational lessons and activities for kids to do at home.” Lots of resources here.

New York Times: Film Treasures, Streaming Courtesy of the Library of Congress. “‘Sneeze’ is just one of many films that you can watch for free online courtesy of the Library of Congress, which partly acquires deposits through the United States Copyright Office. The biggest library in the world, it has an extraordinary trove of online offerings — more than 7,000 videos — that includes hundreds of old (and really old) movies.”

Mashable: How to live with anxiety disorders — and not develop one — during coronavirus lockdown. “As an agoraphobe (which for me manifests as a fear of crowds and public spaces) with social anxiety and panic disorder, ‘safer-at-home’ is what I was built for. What I wasn’t prepared for though was just how debilitating it would feel to watch my internal, irrational fears of imagined threats become everyone’s external reality in facing a very real threat. While the rest of the world is struggling to believe in this terrifying post-pandemic world, those of us with anxiety disorders are struggling to maintain our disbelief in the apocalyptic scenarios we’ve always been waiting for.”

QNS: Free and discounted online language-learning resources for kids amid coronavirus crisis. “With schools closed and students learning from home, a wide range of online language-learning resources are offering free or discounted courses to children of all ages. Resources like these, ranging from online tutors to video lessons to interactive games, can start your child on the path to advancing their skills in a foreign language or learning a new one from scratch!”

CNET: How to help restaurants, hospitals, people during the coronavirus outbreak. “You’re quarantined at home, but your community still needs help. An urgent shortage of N95 face masks in hospitals, stock in blood banks and volunteers for food banks is creating real road blocks for the first responders who are providing care and food to people in need during the coronavirus outbreak. Since many states are ordering or urging residents to stay home, knowing how to volunteer and donate is key.”

Quartz: How to read coronavirus news like a science writer. “If you’re being bombarded with facts about Covid-19 and aren’t sure whether to trust them, think like we do here at Quartz. Questioning new information with a measured sense of skepticism and a little digging can help you avoid taking in sensationalized information. The following is good advice not just during this pandemic, but any time you pick up the health and science section of a given publication.”

The Globe and Mail: A gym rat’s guide for staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. “When it comes to finding fitness information – or any information at all – the internet has always been a double-edged sword. Yes, there are all sorts of excellent pages curated by experts who know what they’re talking about. The opposite is also very much true. With no gyms to train at and no trainers to set us straight, what’s a poor ol’ quarantined soul to do? Rather than have you roll the dice and hope for the best, I’m going to share some of the best online fitness and health resources that I’ve come across, resources I direct all of my clients to whenever our sessions are on hold.”

CNET: The best kids TV shows to watch during quarantine. “Anyone who has looked after their own children for a long period of time understands this one simple fact: At some point you’re gonna have to plonk them in front of the TV for a while. So you might as well make sure they’re watching something good.”

MakeUseOf: Be Positive! 5 Good News Websites for Uplifting & Inspirational Stories. “These days, it seems like every news media outlet only reports on death, disease, and distress. While you shouldn’t shy away from harsh realities, the incessant bad news can affect your mental health. That’s when you should turn to these people who highlight the good. There are news websites, apps, podcasters, and YouTubers who focus on the steps taken for betterment. This includes small acts of goodness and kindness to large leaps that inspire you to fight the good fight.”

NiemanLab: Are you a local reporter doing data-heavy coronavirus reporting? This service will check your stats for free. “Coronavirus reporting is profoundly driven by numbers. Tests administered, cases diagnosed, deaths attributed; doubling speed, growth curves, R0; county data, state data, national data. It’s a lot. And as efforts to collect and organize this data — released under different standards and methods from jurisdiction to jurisdiction — have shown, the numbers don’t always say what you think they say.”

IanVisits: Help the National Archives uncover WW1 ships crew logs. “If you’re stuck at home and want to do something good, then the National Archives is seeking volunteers to help transcribe First World War Royal Navy service records for a free online database it is building. Service records for the First World War can provide information about individuals and their lives. However, as crew lists for ships and submarines during this period rarely survive, it is difficult for researchers to determine who was on a ship or in a certain battle together.”

New York Times: How to Thrive in Online Life. “I called — on Zoom, of course — Thomas Biery, a 24-year-old who works in marketing and has a second life streaming video games to his followers. While this extremely online life is new to me, Thomas has been living it for years. He assured me that we can sustain meaningful connections over broadband — and, forced into the virtual world, we might even become a more honest version of ourselves.”

TechHive: The best online film festivals and virtual art house movie screenings. “Luckily, SXSW isn’t the only cancelled film festival that’s going virtual. A variety of the biggest national and regional film fests are taking their programs online, while some of the best art-house theaters are offering virtual screenings of new releases and repertory classics.”

UPDATES

Variety: Craig Melvin to Anchor Special MSNBC Daytime Coronavirus Series (EXCLUSIVE). “Craig Melvin will take MSNBC viewers to live, on-location looks at various pandemic ‘hot spots’ as part of a new special series at the NBCUniversal-owned cable-news network that will air over the next two weeks.”

Mashable: Queen Elizabeth II delivers very British social distancing solidarity speech. “Queen Elizabeth II took decidedly rare action Sunday, delivering a televised speech to the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth. The 93-year-old monarch spoke about the need for solidarity and strength as the world battles coronavirus and feels the economic impact of social distancing. It was only the fourth such appearance during a time of national trouble she has made.”

New York Times: Facebook Hampers Do-It-Yourself Mask Efforts. “As health workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic plead for personal protective equipment, volunteer efforts to create hand-sewn masks and deliver them to medical professionals have quickly sprung up across the internet. But those efforts were hampered by Facebook’s automated content moderation systems over the past week, according to sewing organizers who have used the social network to coordinate donation campaigns.”

Chalkbeat: NYC forbids schools from using Zoom for remote learning due to privacy and security concerns. “New York City has banned the video conferencing platform Zoom in city schools weeks after thousands of teachers and students began using it for remote learning. The education department received reports of issues that impact the security and privacy of the platform during the credentialing process, according to a document shared with principals that was obtained by Chalkbeat on Friday night.”

Neowin: SoundCloud will let musicians add a direct donation button to their profiles. “Musicians whose livelihood depends on live concerts and festivals are hurting as public gatherings have been indefinitely postponed due to the coronavirus crisis. In an effort to make up for the shortfall, SoundCloud is allowing artists to add a button to their profiles so that listeners can directly support their favorite musicians, according to Engadget. Once the button is clicked, users will be redirected to payment services like PayPal, Patreon, and Bandcamp.”

Neowin: YouTube will remove videos that claim 5G and COVID-19 are related. “YouTube has announced that it will delete videos from its platform if they promote the idea that there is a correlation between the spread of the COVID-19 disease and 5G networks, according to Business Insider.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

New York Times: They Were the Last Couple in Paradise. Now Their Resort Life Continues.. “They were surrounded by a fleet of staff, who were stranded themselves, trapped in an eternal honeymoon in the Maldives. Their adventure continues.”

US News & World Report: US Allowing Longer Shifts at Nuclear Plants in Pandemic. “U.S. nuclear plants will be allowed to keep workers on longer shifts to deal with staffing problems in the coronavirus pandemic, raising worries among watchdogs and some families living near reactors that employee exhaustion will increase the risks of accidents.”

InDaily: Fighting COVID-19 isolation and frustration with craftivism. “An open-access Stitch & Resist project by Adelaide’s Centre of Democracy encourages people to pick up a needle and thread and cross-stitch messages about social and political issues – including the COVID-19 crisis.”

Sacramento Bee: Religious worship in the age of coronavirus: How centuries-old traditions are being upended. “As one of the holiest times of the year approaches for the world’s major religions and faithful believers like [Matthew] Yamzon, the coronavirus pandemic has upended traditions that houses of worship have relied upon for centuries. Some have scrapped all services in favor of online models using technologies like Zoom computer conferencing. Some are offering limited hours of prayer inside, while eliminating live celebrations of Easter.”

BBC: Coronavirus: Domestic abuse calls up 25% since lockdown, charity says. “The National Domestic Abuse helpline has seen a 25% increase in calls and online requests for help since the lockdown, the charity Refuge says. It received hundreds more calls last week compared to two weeks earlier, the charity which runs the helpline said.”

CNET: Robots replace university students in Zoom graduation ceremony. “Can’t be at a big life event because of the coronavirus? Send in the robots. These Japanese university students refused to let the coronavirus lockdowns get in the way of celebrating their graduation ceremony.”

Nieman Lab: No paywall in the chicken coop: A fast-food chain is paying to take down 16 Canadian newspapers’ paywalls this month. “Canadians will be able to keep abreast of the latest news for the next month, thanks to a sponsorship from Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters, home of the Tater Poutine. This thing could have legs.”

BBC: Coronavirus: South African bride and groom arrested over ‘lockdown wedding’. “Married life got off to an unexpected start for a pair of newlyweds in South Africa when police showed up to the party. They had received a tip-off that the wedding in KwaZulu-Natal was happening on Sunday despite a nationwide ban on all public gatherings because of coronavirus. All 40 wedding guests, the pastor who conducted ceremony, and the newlyweds themselves were promptly arrested and taken to a police station outside Richards Bay.”

Poynter: As the U.S. prepares for its ‘hardest moment’ yet, a look at how we got here and the media’s role in the coronavirus pandemic. “There appears to be a struggle now because of mistakes made in the past. Which means any mistakes made right now could hurt the future. And that makes the media’s role all the more critical right now: to hold the powerful to account, while being sure to produce the most reliable information based on facts and science. So that’s where I’ll start with today’s newsletter — looking at how we got here and the media’s role in this crisis.”

RESEARCH

Stanford University: What Twitter Reveals About COVID-19’s Impact on Our Mental Health. “Stanford HAI junior fellow Johannes Eichstaedt is a psychologist who uses social media to understand the psychological states of large populations. He examined Twitter posts to learn how the virus and social distancing are affecting our anxiety and life satisfaction and how factors such our age, education, and hometown size can impact our emotions. The picture, he says, is grim. ‘We need to think about scalable mental health care,” he adds. “Now is the time to mobilize resources to make that happen.’”

News10: News10 Exclusive: Emerson College poll reveals the reality of coronavirus in New York. “News10 partnered with Emerson College to take your pulse with an exclusive poll about health, finances, and how our leaders are handling the outbreak. When asked, ‘When this is finally over, will your life return to the way it was before or not?’ More than half of you who responded, 54%, say life will never be the same.”

The Thaiger: Japan offers anti-flu drug Avigan for free to fight coronavirus. “Japan’s PM Shinzo Abe says Japan is offering the anti-flu drug Avigan free of charge to countries battling the Covid-19 coronavirus. The drug, developed by a group firm of Fujifilm Holdings, has shown early signs of being effective in helping to treat the virus.”

BusinessWire: Free Accelerated Data Transfer Software for COVID-19 Researchers (PRESS RELEASE). “High-performance data transfer software that can move files ranging from megabytes to terabytes among research institutions, cloud providers, and personal computers at speeds many times faster than traditional software…. Available immediately for an initial 90-day license; requests to extend licenses will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to facilitate continued research.”

NoCamels: Israeli Hack Could Help Teams On COVID-19 Frontlines Produce Quick, Affordable Ventilators. “Amid a global shortage of ventilators – a potentially life-saving device for coronavirus patients in severe or critical conditions – an Israeli group made up of Air Force electronics experts, robotics specialists, and medical professionals has come up with an innovative hack that could help hospitals around the world produce them quickly and at low cost.”

NoCamels: Israel Adapts Military Radar Systems For Remote COVID-19 Patient Monitoring. “The Defense Ministry’s National Emergency Team at the Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) said this week that the two systems, developed by Israeli defense company Elbit Systems and Elta (a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries), were tested successfully under the medical supervision of doctors from the Beilinson – Rabin Medical Center. The systems use an array of radar and electro-optical sensors with which vital signs were measured and displayed on monitors for doctors in a sterile environment, allowing medical staff to avoid direct contact for risk of infection.”

POLITICS AND SECURITY

Make Tech Easier: Security Researchers Develop Tool that Harvests Zoom Meeting Info. “In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, many people have been forced to work at home. When it comes to interpersonal meetings, companies had to find a solution that would allow them to teleconference for cheap. Zoom was one solution that was adopted and recommended the world over, to the point where Zoom is being used for both business and education. Unfortunately, Zoom isn’t very secure. Security researchers proved this by developing a tool that can harvest information from Zoom meetings.”

Associated Press: U.S. ‘wasted’ months before preparing for virus pandemic. “After the first alarms sounded in early January that an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China might ignite a global pandemic, the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.”

New York Times: Official Counts Understate the U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll. “Across the United States, even as coronavirus deaths are being recorded in terrifying numbers — many hundreds each day — the true death toll is likely much higher. More than 9,400 people with the coronavirus have been reported to have died in this country as of this weekend, but hospital officials, doctors, public health experts and medical examiners say that official counts have failed to capture the true number of Americans dying in this pandemic.”

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!

Thursday CoronaBuzz, March 19, 2020: 35 pointers to articles, new resources, useful stuff, and more.

TONS of free/useful resource pointers today. This newsletter now has its own Twitter account at @buzz_corona , if you want to see individual items as they’re added. I’m only doing one of these newsletters a day so they’re going to be enormous. Wash your hands. I love you.

NEW RESOURCES

Big Island Now: State Unveils New COVID-19 Website. “The Hawai‘i Department of Health said it provides timely information and resources on the coronavirus, including guidance on how to prevent and mitigate community spread, common symptoms of COVID-19 and frequently asked questions.”

WXYZ: Website aims to help bartenders and servers affected by COVID-19 shutdowns. “The website, GoTipem.com, allows bartenders and servers to enter their own digital money transaction names and people can send them a “tip” of $1, $2 or $5, as you would if you were in a restaurant.”

Milwaukee: UWM Archive is Chronicling Milwaukee’s Coronavirus Experience for History. “The site’s goal is to memorialize how Milwaukee experienced this global pandemic. Cantwell and one of his classes have taken on the task of curating submissions and material for the collection. They are enlisting the help of every Milwaukeean who wants to contribute something to the archive, be it photographs of shuttered businesses, notifications from employers, personal stories, examples of social distancing in the community, and anything else that records the strange times around us.”

WMTV: New website initiative connects Wisconsin volunteers and organizations amid COVID-19. “A new website in the state is helping to connect volunteers and organizations in Wisconsin to address pressing needs during the coronavirus outbreak. The United Way of Wisconsin, Serve Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Volunteer Coordinators Association created the COVID-19 Response initiative on the Volunteer Wisconsin website.”

USEFUL STUFF

IGN India: Netflix Party Launches As A Google Chrome Extension. “You can still have a party despite social distancing, and Netflix has the perfect way for you to jam. The streaming giant launched a chrome extension that allows you and your compadres to watch Netflix shows and movies together right from the comfort of your own homes.”

Variety: Grammy Museum to Bring Artist Programs Online, Starting With Billie Eilish, Brandi Carlile, Yola. “Included in the initial rollout from the archives: nine programs featuring Eilish with her brother Finneas, Carlile, Yola, Bob Newhart, Greta Van Fleet, Kool and the Gang, X Ambassadors, Larkin Poe and Scarypoolparty, many of them recorded in the last few months. All were filmed at the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater inside the museum, located in the LA Live complex.”

Slate: Am I Expected to Home-School My Kid Right Now?. “As COVID-19 continues to spread, schools nationwide are shutting their doors for extended periods in an attempt to limit virus transmission. I’ve spent the last week or so fielding questions from parents about what this means for their children’s education, what parents should be doing to help their kids, and how best to handle all of this uncertainty. Here’s a list of some of parents’ most pressing questions, along with my answers, which I hope may help you navigate this difficult time.”

Vogue: 8 Soothing Social Media Accounts to Help Keep You Sane. “Staying informed about the latest developments of the global coronavirus pandemic, or the impending presidential election is undoubtedly important right now. But so are moments of self-care, even when ‘unplugging’ isn’t exactly feasible. Below, Vogue staffers weigh in on the social media accounts that offer welcome moments of respite on their Instagram feeds and a much-needed Twitter timeline cleanse.”

6SqFt: All of the performances, exhibits, and events from NYC cultural institutions you can stream online. “Although the coronavirus has shuttered most of the city, many museums, performance centers, libraries, and other organizations are offering free (or nearly free) online resources to entertain New Yorkers throughout this difficult period. From virtual storytime with Brooklyn Public Library librarians to live-streamed performances by the Metropolitan Opera, support local organizations safely from your home.” A bunch of listings here.

Hypebae: ‘Vogue Italia’ Grants 3 Months Of Free Access To Its Online Archives. “Through June 13, Vogue Italia has opened its digital archive of every issue from 1964 to the present. Every page is scanned in high-resolution color, and the archive’s advanced indexing system allows users to search images by designer, photographer, brand and more.”

Expats CZ: The Czech National Library has made its 206,000-title archive available online for free. “Temporary online access to the collections of the National Library and public higher-education institutions has been granted to the public on Tuesday, March 17. General Director of the National Library, Martin Kocanda and Jiří Srstka, the Director of the Collective Copyright Association (DILIA), reached the decision on Monday morning. More than 206,000 titles of monographs and periodicals will be made available online, representing over 59 million pages.”

RadioTimes: BBC to bring classic TV and radio back to iPlayer “in unprecedented times”. “The BBC has announced it will make classic TV box-sets and radio programmes available on iPlayer as part of a wide-ranging set of measures to help the nation through “challenging times” as the coronavirus pandemic continues.”

NBC Sports: How you can watch every Eagles game of last decade for free. “Through May 31, NFL Game Pass will be free for all fans. If you’re not familiar with NFL Game Pass, it’s basically the NFL’s online library of every NFL game. It includes all games from 2009-19 and multiple versions. Those versions include the full broadcast, condensed games and even All-22 access if you want to break down some film.”

Digiday: Publishers are unlocking fitness classes for people stuck at home. “Unlocking paid online fitness classes may seem like a strange move when the only option for most people is to work out at home. But some fitness and wellness publishers have done exactly that.”

The National: The show goes online: where to stream live concerts and operas. “A growing number of artists, ensembles and orchestras are migrating online for free performances – ranging from intimate bedroom jams to full orchestral concerts in empty theatres – to provide healing through music during challenging times. Leading the charge in the region is The Fridge. Known for its concert season, held in Al Quoz, the events company is taking their shows on the virtual road and have announced that its 22nd season will all be streamed online.” A lot of Middle Eastern and European artists I had not seen elsewhere.

Attitude: Cancelled BFI Flare Goes Online With 230 Films, And We Are Pumped. “Some cinema lovers are already stuck at home over the coming weeks due to the Corona Virus pandemic, which forced the BFI Flare London LGBTIQ+ Film Festival due to start yesterday [18 March] to cancel. But in great news for queer film fans everywhere, the festival will now become BFI Flare at Home.”

Lowyat: Scribd Makes Entire Digital Library Of eBooks And AudioBooks Free For A Month. “Scribd, the US-based ebook and audiobook subscription service, announced that it is making its entire digital library free for everyone to access for the next 30 days. As you can guess, one of the main reasons the company is making its content accessible is to provide individuals who are self-quarantining or working from due to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) health issue.”

UPDATES

Vice: Google Is Putting Amazon Prime Ads on Russia-Backed Sites Spreading Coronavirus Conspiracies. “New research by the Global Disinformation Network has revealed that 1,400 fake news websites spreading coronavirus conspiracy theories across Europe have been funded to the tune of $76 million by ad tech companies — with more than 60% of the revenue coming from Google alone. Many of those websites are linked to the Kremlin or directly funded by the Russian government.”

Neowin: Google pauses Chrome releases to keep it stable. “Typically, a new update for Chrome and Chrome OS arrives every six weeks, but Google is temporarily halting new releases. The reason is to keep things ‘stable, secure, and reliable’ for all of the folks that are working from home due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.”

Techdirt: Social Media Promised To Block Covid-19 Misinformation; But They’re Also Blocking Legit Info Too. “Sing it with me, folks: content moderation is impossible to do well at scale. Over the last few weeks, all of the big social media platforms have talked about their intense efforts to block misinformation about Covid-19. It appeared to be something of an all hands on deck situation for employees (mostly working from home) at these companies. Indeed, earlier this week, Facebook, Google, Linkedin, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube all released a joint statement about how they’re working together to fight Covid-19 misinformation, and hoping other platforms would join in. However, battling misinformation is not always so easy — as Facebook discovered yesterday.”

Bing Blogs: Stay informed on the coronavirus pandemic with Bing and Microsoft News. “Simply search for ‘covid19’, ‘coronavirus information’, or a related term, and you’ll find a tally of the cases in your geographic region as well as an up-to-date summary of global cases. This information is aggregated across multiple sources such as the Center for Disease Control, the World Health Organization, and other authoritative sources. As the situation is changing rapidly, we’re refreshing the data multiple times per day, and show a timestamp for when we published the latest available data.”

SOCIETAL IMPACT

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Las Vegas strip club to offer drive-thru peep shows. “Little Darlings strip club will begin offering drive-through strip shows for those who want to indulge in some adult entertainment, but do not want to enter the building, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending people keep 6 feet in distance between themselves and others.”

Digital Trends: Spanish police are using drones to scold citizens who go outside. “While the majority of people are taking social distancing and shelter-in-place orders seriously, some aren’t, and police in Spain have adopted a new tool to help convince those people to stay indoors: Drones.”

KMIZ: With Cincinnati Zoo closed, Fiona the hippo goes online. “Fiona, the three-year-old hippo who became a worldwide celebrity when she was born at a record-breaking low weight of 29 pounds and managed to survive against the odds, will kick off a series of “Home Safari” livestreams from the Ohio zoo.”

The New York Times: Without Places to Gather, Debut Novelists Reimagine Book Promotion. “For many first-time novelists, years of hard work (and often solitary time) culminate in seeing their book come into the world: going to festivals and bookstores to read sections aloud and connecting with readers face to face, inhabiting with others the worlds they built. But with social distancing guidelines discouraging gatherings of more than 10 people, publishing a debut has changed in ways that authors couldn’t have foreseen just a few weeks ago. We spoke to several debut novelists about their books, their plans to promote their work and their days during this unusual time.”

LADBible: Musicians Are Playing Mini Concerts On Social Media For People. “The coronavirus has caused some of the biggest music festivals around the world to cancel or postpone. Artists have suspended their world or national tours, leaving many fans reeling that they won’t be able to see their favourite act up close and personal. But some of these mega celebrities have decided to give people a show on social media instead.”

Vogue: “Stay Safe and Strong, Love You”: How 15 Designers Are Spreading Digital Messages of Hope During the Coronavirus Crisis. “In the fashion community, many designers and founders of independent labels are feeling the angst of social distancing too. Like all of us, they feel sad, frightened, and stuck, but still motivated to make change. Many have taken to Instagram to speak out about the effects of the virus and the uphill battle that we all still have in the fight against it. Their storefronts are closing and their businesses are more than likely declining, but many, including Cate Holstein, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Simon Porte Jacquemus, and Brandon Maxwell are staying positive via social media.”

BBC: US jails begin releasing prisoners to stem Covid-19 infections. “US jails are to let out inmates as cases of coronavirus infections are being reported in prisons. New York City is releasing ‘vulnerable’ prisoners, the mayor said on Wednesday, days after Los Angeles and Cleveland freed hundreds of inmates.”

BBC: Coronavirus protest in Brazil sees millions bang pots from balconies. “People in Brazil have expressed anger at President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic by banging pots and pans together on balconies. Millions of protesters in the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro appeared at windows on Wednesday evening calling for the president to step down.”

RESEARCH

Slate: Coronavirus Diaries: I’m a Biologist in Milan Working Nonstop to Understand COVID-19. “On Feb. 21, COVID-19 broke into our laboratory and turned everything upside down. It was supposed to be a day like any other, but nothing goes as planned anymore. That afternoon, we should have gone to the graduation of a student who did his thesis with us, but in the end only one colleague of mine went. The rest of us immediately put our heads down and started working on the virus.”

FUNNY

Geeks are Sexy: Thank God For the Motherf*cking Nerds Right Now – A Rap Homage to Coronavirus Fighters. “In these surreal, frightening times, I’ve been realizing more than ever how helplessly reliant and dependent I am, as a non-smart person, on all the incredibly intelligent, hard-working professionals who’ve dedicated their lives to becoming experts in their respective fields. To the doctors, healthcare workers, epidemiologists, immunologists, microbiologists, and all the other ‘ists,’ we would be F&#ked without you.” As you might imagine, lots of swearing.

Insider: This online calculator tells you exactly how much toilet roll you actually need to buy. “London web developer Dave Stewart created online and mobile app Got Paper? in 24 hours over the past weekend in an attempt to solve a human problem while adding a bit of British humor into the mix.”

POLITICS AND SECURITY

ZDNet: Thousands of COVID-19 scam and malware sites are being created on a daily basis. “In the midst of a global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, hackers are not letting a disaster go to waste and have now automated their coronavirus-related scams to industrial levels. According to multiple reports, cybercriminals are now creating and putting out thousands of coronavirus-related websites on a daily basis.”

The Siasat Daily: 2 US Senators slam Google for face mask ads. “Two Democratic senators have slammed Google for allowing face mask-selling ads on its platform, asking the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to pursue enforcement action against the tech giant.”

BetaNews: Hackers using COVID-19 specials to drum up business on the dark web. “We all know that hackers and cybercriminals are keen to cash in on any opportunity to spread their wares. Researchers at Check Point have uncovered that hackers are using COVID-19 to offer specials and discounts on the dark net.”

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!

Monday Genea-Pourri – Week Ending 5 January 2020

Here are the highlights of my family history and genealogy related activities over the past week:

1)  Watched one VGA Webinar video – Using the Cloud to Organize, Preserve, and Share Photos & Documents, by Lianne Kruger.
2)  Participated in Mondays With Myrt today.  We discussed RootsTech SLC 2020, the Ancestry.com 50% off subscription, getting around Salt Lake City, backup sites, society newsletters, and speaker contracts.

3)  Wrote and posted a biographical sketch of 7th great-grandfather #522 Joseph Peirce (1647-1722)  (1651-1722) for my 52 Ancestors biographical sketch on Friday.  

4)  Transcribed a 1779 deed of  5th great-grandfather Simon Gates buying land in Gardner, Massachusetts from Samuel Conant Jr. for Amanuensis Monday.

5)  We had a quiet Christmas resting, watching TV, and working on genealogy at home for the second year in a row.  I still haven’t taken down the tree – the 12 days of Christmas, you know.

6)  Added Notes to about 15 more AncestryDNA matches with cM values, relationships and known common ancestors, and added two ThruLines to the RootsMagic family tree database.

7) There were several sessions working in the RootsMagic software program to match with and update FamilySearch Family Tree profiles for Seaver families and my ancestral families, with occasional additions to the RootsMagic profiles. I have matched 33,993 of my RootsMagic persons with FSFT.

8)  Used Web Hints and Record Matches from Ancestry, MyHeritage, Findmypast and FamilySearch to add content and sources to my RootsMagic profiles.  I now have 55,765 persons in my RootsMagic file, and 114,168 source citations.   I TreeShared twice this week updating 211 profiles, and I resolved 1039 Ancestry Hints.  I’ve fallen behind on the Ancestry Record Hints with 122,059 to be resolved, but I work on them weekly.    


10)  Decided to go to RootsTech SLC 2020 because daughter Lori gifted me four days off from caretaking from 26 to 29 February.  Made hotel (Little America) and flight (Southwest) reservations and I’m looking forward to seeing my genea-mates again in person.

11)  Decided on two major “goals” for 2020 – to pursue the Mayflower Society application as a descendant of William White, and to work on adding DNA segments from known common ancestors to DNA Painter.

12) Wrote 23 Genea-Musings blog posts last week, of which four were press releases.  The most popular post last week was Tuesday’s Tip: Use the California Birth Index, 1905-1995 with over  1097 views.  


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