• Missing School Is Bigger Risk for Children than Catching COVID, Warns Government Adviser

    Keeping children out of school poses a far greater risk to them that coronavirus, a U.K. government adviser has said. Camilla Turner writes in The Telegraph that Dr. Gavin Morgan, an expert in education psychology at University College London who sits on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), argues that the impact of Covid-19 on children’s health is “miniscule,” but spending a prolonged period out of school is devastating their development, Dr Gavin Morgan said.

  • I Refuse to Abide by These Bonkers Rules Any Longer

    “Heaven knows [Matthew Hancock, the U.K.] Secretary of State for Health has an unenviable job,” Allison Pearson argues in The Telegraph, “but after ten weeks, his determination to treat the British people like a remedial basket-weaving class does begin to grate.” She adds: “Sorry, I’m not doing it any more. Lockdown is over for me and for millions of others I’m quite sure. Sanity demands it.”

  • The Future Bioweapons Threat: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Experts discussing the lessons of the coronavirus epidemic for preparations for a bioweapon attack, are worried that the failures to detect, mitigate, and respond to COVID-19 may make a future biological weapon attack more likely. These experts agree that the U.S. has a long way to go in addressing biological threats from natural and man-made sources. Further, the U.S. needs to adapt to new realities – a time where citizens’ trust of government is significantly lower, where citizens actively protest experts and their recommendations, and where misinformation is one tap on a smartphone away.

  • During Global Crises, Strategic Redundancy Can Prevent Collapse of Supply Chains

    When the novel coronavirus began spreading during the early months of 2020, it put kinks in multinational production chains — first in China and then around the globe. But it didn’t have to happen that way. Experts suggest companies use redundancy as a way to fortify their operations against unforeseeable events such as pandemics.

  • The Importance of Building Trust in Contact Tracing Apps

    In the very real need for speed around excellent contact tracing in the COVID-19 environment, the voice of the people is getting lost, according to an expert. New researchhighlights the need for digital contact tracing solutions to have exceptional speed, high take-up rates, and demonstrable value. Researchers say that without significant uptake of the technology, digital contact tracing is close to useless.

  • Karl Friston: up to 80% Not Even Susceptible to COVID-19

    Just one month ago, the idea that most people aren’t susceptible to COVID-19 — perhaps the overwhelming majority — was considered dangerous denialism. It was startling when Nobel-prize-winning scientist Michael Levitt argued in UnHerd at the start of May that the growth curves of the disease were never truly exponential, suggesting that some sort of “prior immunity” must be kicking in very early.Freddie Sayers writes in Unherd that today, though, the presence of some level of prior resistance and immunity to COVID-19 is fast becoming accepted scientific fact. Now, from the unlikely source — Professor Karl Friston, who, like Michael Levitt, is a statistician not a virologist, and who is a prominent member of the “Independent SAGE committee,” the group set up by Sir David King to challenge government scientific advice — comes a claim that the true portion of people who are not even susceptible to COVID-19 may be as high as 80%.

  • Scientist Behind Sweden’s COVID-19 Strategy Suggests It Allowed Too Many Deaths

    For months, the world has watched Sweden’s light-touch approach to fighting the coronavirus pandemic, wondering whether it was genius or misguided. Michael Birnbaum writes in the Washington Post that this week, the architect of the strategy acknowledged that too many people have died and said that, in retrospect, he might have pushed something closer to other countries’ restrictions. “Should we encounter the same disease, with exactly what we know about it today, I think we would land midway between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world did,” Swedish state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told Swedish Radio on Wednesday.

  • The Head of the CDC Told Lawmakers that the Country Needs up to 100,000 Contact Tracers

    Dr. Redfield told House lawmakers on Thursday that the federal government and state health departments needed to dramatically increase the number of tracers working to identify who those infected by the coronavirus had come in contact with, saying that up to 100,000 would be needed by September, the New York Times reports.

  • Scientists Tap the World’s Most Powerful Computers in the Race to Understand and Stop the Coronavirus

    In “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams, the haughty supercomputer Deep Thought is asked whether he can find the answer to the ultimate question concerning life, the universe and everything. Deep Thought replies that he would need seven-and-a-half million years. Jeremy Smith writes in The Conversation thatreal-life supercomputers are being asked somewhat less expansive questions but tricky ones nonetheless: how to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. They’re being used in many facets of responding to the disease, including to predict the spread of the virus, to optimize contact tracing, to allocate resources and provide decisions for physicians, to design vaccines and rapid testing tools and to understand sneezes. And the answers are needed in a rather shorter time frame than Deep Thought was proposing.

  • Work and Wellbeing Bounce Back during Coronavirus Crisis

    Government measures to arrest the economic impact of COVID-19 have helped stop further job losses and declines in working hours, new analysis from The Australian National University (ANU) shows.  The steadier jobs outlook has also boosted Australians’ sense of wellbeing. The Australian National University says that the analysis builds on a first-of-its-kind longitudinal ANU survey in April, which showed more than 670,000 Australians had lost their jobs due to the crisis - an unprecedented drop in employment.  The new survey shows since April there have essentially been no net job losses, with employment sitting at around 58 per cent.  Australians who are working have slightly increased their number of hours worked, jumping from 32.3 hours per week in April to 32.8 per week in May.  

  • Pandemic-Fueled Job Losses Exacerbating Preexisting Inequalities among Workers

    The sharp spike in job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic were disproportionately concentrated in lower-paying occupations and industries, with the most acute impact felt among women, minorities, younger workers and less-educated workers, according to new research co-written by a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign labor economist. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign says that while some of the highest-paid occupations saw only negligible declines in employment, nearly all occupations in the bottom quartile of the occupational wage distribution experienced steep employment declines through April, indicating that the pandemic is exacerbating preexisting inequalities among workers.

  • U.S. orders states to report demographic data, after disproportionate effects of the virus

    The Trump administration on Thursday released new requirements for states to report coronavirus data based on race, ethnicity, age and sex of individuals tested for the virus, in an effort to respond to demands from lawmakers for a better picture of the pandemic. The New York Times reports that all laboratories — as well as nonlaboratory facilities offering on-site testing and in-home testing — will be required to send demographic data to state or local public health departments based on the individual’s residence, according to details released by the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • “This Is What Happens to Us”: How U.S. Cities Lost Precious Time to Protect Black Residents from the Coronavirus

    Interviews with nearly 60 public health experts, lawmakers and community leaders show that many of the first coronavirus testing sites went up in areas that happened to be whiter and more affluent, despite the requests of black leaders. Robert Samuels, Aaron Williams, Aaron Williams, and Aaron Williams, Tracy Jan, and Jose A. Del Real write in the Washington Post that local governments — sometimes ignoring the pleas of community activists — targeted few of their education campaigns about prevention and social distancing specifically to African Americans, even as conspiracy theories spread that black people were immune to the disease. Poor reporting of data, which initially masked the fact that the disease was disproportionately affecting black communities, remains a problem even as states move to reopen their economies.

  • Will Movie Theaters Survive COVID-19?

    COVID-19 has exacerbated longstanding issues that have been shaping the economics of movie exhibition for some time. Independent theaters and smaller chains were already struggling after the transition to digital projection a decade ago and increased competition from mobile devices and streaming platforms. We’ve seen the impact of that decline recently with the bankruptcy of Goodrich Quality Theaters, a Midwest-based chain. Even some of the big chains like AMC might not survive if COVID-19 keeps moviegoers out of theaters into the fall and winter,” says Derek Long, aprofessor of media and cinema studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Regardless of what eventually happens with the virus, exhibitors will be forced to find new ways of making the theatrical experience appealing. Theaters and moviegoing won’t disappear. But they could look very different.”

  • More Evidence Remdesivir Helps Some Coronavirus Patients

    A five-day course of the antiviral drug remdesivir sped recovery in moderately ill patients with pneumonia from Covid-19, drugmaker Gilead Sciences announced in a statement Monday. John Bonifield and Jacqueline Howard write for CNN that this is more evidence that the drug can help patients, however outside experts are not calling this a “game changer” quite yet. Coronavirus patients who were hospitalized, but not sick enough to need oxygen from a ventilator, were more likely to recover after a five-day course of remdesivir than those given the current standard of care alone, Gilead said.