Tag Archive | covid-19

Evidence says: double down on mask-wearing, ease up on deep-cleaning (but don’t stop the handwashing)

A month’s worth of links on preventative measures.

June 26, with visual aids: “I sneezed, sang, talked & coughed toward an agar culture plate with or without a mask. Bacteria colonies show where droplets landed. A mask blocks virtually all of them.

June 29: “For the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, health and government officials assured the public that young people were at little or no risk of falling seriously ill from COVID-19. But many young people who have contracted the virus tell a very different story.

July 10, something positive: “We were given a list of the names of residents on each floor and worked our way through every apartment, continuing until they’d all been visited. Testing was completely voluntary, yet not one resident said no. They were incredibly thankful, respectful and grateful for us being there.

July 18: “We had three new positive cases on the same day in this town, but people can’t be bothered to put a piece of cloth over their face. The sheriff’s department is closed to the public because it has a bunch of positive cases, but they still won’t enforce the mask law. One day I said to my co-worker, ‘I need to leave the store right now or I’m going to lose it. I’m going to explode.'”

July 27: “The scientists I spoke with emphasized that people should still wash their hands, avoid touching their face when they’ve recently been in public areas, and even use gloves in certain high-contact jobs. They also said deep cleans were perfectly justified in hospitals. But they pointed out that the excesses of hygiene theater have negative consequences. For one thing, an obsession with contaminated surfaces distracts from more effective ways to combat COVID-19.

July 30: “A local business that operates in a somewhat cramped indoor space sent me an email about how it was “keeping clean and staying healthy,” illustrated by 10 bottles of hand sanitizer without a word on ventilation—whether it was opening windows, employing upgraded filters in its HVAC systems, or using portable HEPA filters. It seems baffling that despite mounting evidence of its importance, we are stuck practicing hygiene theater—constantly deep cleaning everything—while not noticing the air we breathe.

And while you’re protecting each other, take a minute to help protect local museums:

“The institutions surveyed ranged from aquariums to botanical gardens to science centers. […] Their annual budgets ranged from less than $50,000 to more than $10 million, but according to AAM, the vast majority — 87% — said they had only 12 months or less of financial operating reserves, with 56 percent having less than six months left to cover operations.

“There’s still a pandemic on” link roundup (including a set of recovery stories, for a given value of “recovery”)

June 9: “The research, led by scientists at the Britain’s Cambridge and Greenwich Universities, suggests lockdowns alone will not stop the resurgence of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, but that even homemade masks can dramatically reduce transmission rates if enough people wear them in public.” In case you wanted a source for that.

May 23: “Planet Earth is in terrible danger. Trapped inside the TARDIS, the Doctor calls upon some familiar faces to help save the day…#DoctorsAssemble was home-produced remotely during the ‘lockdown’ period of the COVID-19 outbreak in May 2020.”

June roundup of developments in COVID science & research. Notably:

May 29: “…there is now a growing body of evidence to support the theory that the novel coronavirus can infect blood vessels, which could explain not only the high prevalence of blood clots, strokes, and heart attacks, but also provide an answer for the diverse set of head-to-toe symptoms that have emerged.” tackles an answer I’ve been waiting for, on how much is “this virus having a unique effect on human bodies” vs. how much is “we’re just seeing all the weird outlier symptoms because it’s hitting so many people”?

May 21: “An Amazon warehouse worker in North Randall, Ohio, died from COVID-19, bringing the total known deaths at the company to eight employees.” If you need something shipped, get it from anywhere other than Amazon. For example:

Bookshop.org, a website that went live at the end of January and is [as of February] in beta mode, is designed to be an alternative to Amazon, and to generate income for independent bookstores. And, perhaps more importantly, it seeks to give book reviewers, bloggers and publications who rely on affiliate income from “Buy now” links to Amazon a different option.

Recovery stories:

April 9: “I experience breathlessness from even mild exertion. I used to run marathons; now I can’t walk across a room or up a flight of stairs without getting winded. I can’t go around the block for fresh air unless my husband pushes me in a wheelchair. When I shower, I can’t stand the entire time; I take breaks from standing to sit down on a plastic stool I have placed inside my bathtub.” A post-ventilator COVID recovery.

May 17: “After cleaning out his locker at Monsignor McClancy High School on March 18 to continue school online at home, he only left the apartment once, they said, to help his mother wash clothes in their high-rise building’s laundry room. His parents and 22-year-old sister also avoided going out and the tests they have had turned up negative.” A 14-year-old’s inflammation-centric COVID recovery.

May 19: “The 43-year-old nurse from San Francisco had no underlying health conditions. He normally worked out six or seven times a week. He weighed about 190 pounds. When he spoke with BuzzFeed News on Tuesday, weeks after he’d been able to start eating foods again, he weighed just 140 pounds. His lung capacity is only now starting to slowly come back.

May 24: lessons learned from being quarantined with tuberculosis from age 12 to 15. “People saying, ‘well, I want to go outside. I’m tired of being cooped up. And then I want to go to work.’ So then when your child gets sick or your grandmother or your sister or brother, then, what are you going to do?”

Police violence & protest links

This visualization documents cases of police brutality or misconduct during the nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. This is not comprehensive — these are only a few hundred cases Tweeted by individuals and compiled by Greg Doucette.”

Showing Up For Racial Justice, “part of a multi-racial movement is to undermine white support for white supremacy and to help build a racially-just society.”

#8CantWait: “Data proves that together these eight policies can decrease police violence by 72%.” Look up your city, find out which ones it’s missing, call your reps. It’s a project by Campaign Zero, an organization led by black activists that’s been analyzing police departments and pushing for data-driven reform since 2015.

March 2016: “Americans are afraid of many threats to their lives – serial killers, crazed gunmen, gang bangers, and above all terrorists – but these threats are surprisingly unlikely. Approximately three-quarters of all homicide victims in America are killed by someone they know. And the real threat from strangers is quite different from what most fear: one-third of all Americans killed by strangers are killed by police.

And before diving into all the heavier articles from this month, here’s a light one:

June 2: “Eight Viacom networks went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds on Monday night in a tribute to George Floyd […] Nickelodeon took a more kid-friendly approach to the social justice campaign, using an orange background (the network’s signature shade) with the message: “Nickelodeon is going off the air for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in support of justice, equality, and human rights.”” (I keep seeing people summarize this as if Nick aired the horror-movie version. Nope, the kids’ network aired a perfectly-appropriate kid-safe alternative.)

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Adding to the justice blogroll

Since 2013, I’ve been adding to the “Justice for…” list of links in the sidebar of this blog.

A set of names, one article per person — almost entirely black people who were killed by police, some people who were severely injured by police, some who were killed by other incidents of reckless violence. All of which got brushed off by a legal system that didn’t think their lives mattered. (Sometimes it came back later and got around to giving them justice. Usually not.)

It’s not comprehensive, and doesn’t try to be. It’s just the ones that I, personally, have read about, and want to be able to remember.

As of starting this post, it has 75 entries. (The sidebar only shows a random subset at a time — you have to refresh for more.)

Here’s some new additions.

In February 1999, Diallo was returning to his building when four officers, dressed in plain clothes as part of the Street Crime Unit, approached him and fired 41 shots, hitting him 19 times. The officers said they thought he had a gun, which later turned out to be his wallet, and that he fit the “general description” of a serial rapist.” A civil suit was filed, and settled, but it looks like there were no criminal charges, ever. Justice for Amadou Diallo.

2012: “I must call the NYPD to task for the rapid public release of information regarding this victim, which may have taken place before notification of the shooting to her family. They should show greater care in the handling of a sensitive inquiry in its early stages, or at the least provide equity to the balance of facts being released; the record of the shooter, who reportedly has a number of outstanding civil rights complaints himself and carries an unfavorable reputation in the community, should be treated with the same level of consideration as the record of the deceased.” Justice for Shantel Davis.

2016: “Danner discussed the need for more mental health training for police officers and described a deadly scenario with a cop that foreshadowed her final moments alive. ‘We are all aware of the all too frequent news stories about the mentally ill who come up against law enforcement instead of mental health professionals and end up dead,’ she wrote.” Justice for Deborah Danner.

2019 (fallout of a 2016 shooting): “A jury found a gunshot fired by Ofc. Royce Ruby that killed Gaines and injured her then 5-year-old son, Kodi Gaines, was not reasonable. Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Mickey Norman dismissed the family’s claim, writing in an opinion that Ruby was entitled to qualified immunity.” Justice for Korryn Gaines. And for Kodi Gaines.

2019: “‘He absolutely knew that Taser could not be fired again without her changing the cartridge,’ Turner’s family’s attorney, Ben Crump, told Houston Public Media. ‘And he did not have to use deadly force while she was laying on her back.’” Justice for Pamela Turner.

May 21: “The FBI has opened an investigation into the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, an EMT who was killed after officers forced their way inside her home.” Justice for Breonna Taylor.

June 1: “He fed the police and didn’t charge them nothing. My son was a good son. All he did on that barbecue corner is try to make a dollar for himself and his family. And they come along and they killed my son.” Justice for David McAtee.

June 4: “Justin Howell, a 20-year-old political science student at Texas State, was critically injured after being shot with a bean bag round by a police officer during a protest in Austin on May 31. Howell is currently hospitalized and in critical condition after suffering a fractured skull as well as brain damage.” Justice for Justin Howell.

June 5 (update on an April death): “[British Transport Police] said “there was insufficient evidence to support a prosecution based upon the allegation that the man spat deliberately on [railway worker] Mrs Mujinga or said that he had the virus’.” Meanwhile, people who spit on cops get jailed, even when the officers don’t die of COVID-19 a few weeks later. Justice for Belly Mujinga.

This is nothing new

One of my relatives just shared a post that went “Trump had to be elected so we could really understand just how bad things were” and I wish I could throw it against a wall.

Things have been bad forever! All you had to do was pay attention and you would’ve understood that already! The (latest wave of) deaths are of real people with their own stories and identities and full complete lives, they’re not some background plot device that only existed to advance your moral development!

…I’ve also seen people going “why can’t all those rich celebrities and one-percenters who donated millions of dollars to Notre Dame send some of their money to ordinary people working for racial justice,” and I just want you all to know…you’re giving them too much credit. Millions of dollars were not actually donated to Notre Dame. The people who made the headline-grabbing pledges were “all press release and no cheque.”

A further mix of links, some from the past few weeks, others from the past few years:

May 18: “‘Threatening to shoot out the power at the hospital, to open the doors and demanding all the keys to the ambulances,’…Police were able to get control of McFadden, who faces four felonies, including transporting a loaded firearm in a vehicle and three resisting an officer charges….McFadden has been arraigned but was released from with the condition that he check into a hospital for treatment.” This gun-toting, hospital-threatening, cop-fighting guy is white. Obviously.

May 2017: “‘I don’t believe it was a suicide,’ the senior Crawford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which first reported the death on Friday morning. It’s not the first time a notable Ferguson protester has died from gunfire.”

May 22 (NYT): an insider portrait of the crushing headache of trying to get Trump to pay attention at White House intelligence briefings. “…getting Mr. Trump to remember information, even if he seems to be listening, can be all but impossible, especially if it runs counter to his worldview. […] Mr. Trump has also shown interest in foreign leaders, particularly autocrats like President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, and Ms. Sanner mentions them to draw in the president on topics that he might otherwise tune out. While Mr. Trump does not appear to read the intelligence reports he is given, he will examine graphs, charts and tables. Satellite pictures clearly interest him, too: He tweeted one from his intelligence brief, revealing the capabilities of some of the government’s most classified spy assets.”

August 2019: “It is not completely clear where the image Trump shared came from. Security experts told NPR that, given the image’s angle and the time at which it was taken, it could have been taken by the USA-224 American spy satellite. Other experts believe the image actually came from a military drone. Either way, such images are usually kept classified in order to occlude US intelligence gathering methods and capabilities.”

May 28: “Democrats in Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives on Thursday accused Republicans of keeping a lawmaker’s positive coronavirus test a secret to avoid political embarrassment, even at the risk of exposing their Democratic colleagues.” Andrew Lewis has been vocally against shutdowns and health measures, but he did tell his Republican colleagues about his positive test, so they could quarantine and take precautions. He just…conveniently forgot to tell his political rivals.

October 2019: “‘It is noteworthy and of concern that Hernandez was immunocompromised and ill’ when ICE officers took custody of her and transferred her to two detention cites before arriving at Cibola, the report said, ‘and by the time she reached CCCC, was so ill that a physician ordered her immediate transport to the emergency room.’ Still, the detainee death review said there were no deficiencies in ICE Performance-Based National Detention Standards.” And then they conveniently deleted the footage.