WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
The U.S. has replaced China as the country with the most coronavirus cases in the world. This morning, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced he tested positive for COVID-19. While President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have pledged to work together to stop the coronavirus outbreak, a law firm in Miami is suing the Chinese government for mishandling the outbreak.
After a three-day run, stock futures fell this morning and GM extended its shutdown past March 30. While brands such as Nike, Vera Bradley, and Nieman Marcus shift their manufacturing to facial masks, face shields and hospital gowns, healthcare experts say cloth masks are helpful, but not as effective at containing airborne particles.
Many disease specialists say the outbreak’s peak is still impossible to predict, but some now have estimates that range from the next 3-6 weeks. In a televised interview last night, philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates said that the U.S. should lock down for the next 6-10 weeks. Others warn that comparing coronavirus rates and subsequent peaks among countries can be misleading due to variances in testing, reporting, and other procedures. The World Economic Forum warns that responsible consumption of the news media means accepting that many numbers and reports will continually change.
A recent genetic analysis shows evidence that SARS-CoV-2 came from nature, dispelling rumors that the virus was man-made. While the pangolin has been cited as a possible link to the origin of the pandemic, scientists say the animal’s role is still unclear and maybe unconnected.
Mental health experts say Americans are grieving for a loss of security and way of life. What would have been baseball’s Opening Day on Thursday was celebrated in a variety of alternative ways, including a simulation from the MLB. In a time of restricted physical contact, college students are getting creative about dating and Tinder has adjusted its geographical limitations. Office formalities have morphed with the casual settings of visual calls. In the long term, business experts say coronavirus will boost demand for touchless technologies and motivate engineers to design buildings without doorknobs. For now, satellite images show empty airport and mall parking lots, highways and tourist attractions.
A 101-year-old Italian man who survived the 1918 flu has also survived the coronavirus. In areas where restaurants have shuttered, patrons are raving about cocktails-to-go, a product they say should remain long after the outbreak has passed.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
What if hydroxychloroquine doesn’t work? What if it does? We don’t know – STAT – 3/27/2020
This week it made headlines, due in part to tweets from President Trump and in part because of a small French study of 42 patients that seemed to show that hydroxychloroquine, particularly when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin, helped decrease patients’ levels of coronavirus. Unfortunately, the rumors about the drug’s efficacy have also encouraged some to buy and even consume a similarly named fish tank cleaner; one person has died.
This social network for churches is thriving in the coronavirus pandemic – Vox – 3/27/2020
Many religious communities are now rushing to the internet, hoping that livestreaming, social media, apps, and platforms like Pray.com will be enough to keep their parishioners connected. But this rapid transition toward recreating religion online comes with incredibly high stakes.
Bill Gates: Entire country needs to shut down for 6-10 weeks to effectively fight coronavirus – GeekWire – 3/26/2020
“We’re entering to a tough period that if we do it right we’ll only have to do it once, for six to 10 weeks. It has to be the whole country,” Gates said. “We have to raise the level of testing and the prioritization of that testing quite dramatically in order to make sure we go through one shutdown so that we take the medical problem and really stop it before there’s a large number of deaths.”
This Is What The Coronavirus Pandemic Looks Like From Space – Forbes – 3/27/2020
The amazing images were taken by California-based company Planet Labs and Colorado-based Maxar Technologies, both of which have fleets of Earth-imaging satellites in orbit. And by comparing the latest views to archival images, stark changes around the world can be seen in impressive detail.
Hand sanitizer has an expiration date. Does it matter amid coronavirus outbreak? – McClatchy DC – 3/27/2020
Good news: Adding some kind of expiration date is a standard on all over-the-counter drug products “unless they have data showing they are stable for more than three years,” the agency said Thursday. Bad news: “FDA does not have information on the stability or effectiveness of drug products past their expiration date.”
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post.
WHO/Europe @WHO_Europe 26 Mar A sudden stream of news reports about #COVID19 can cause anxiety. Remember it’s important to get FACTS – not rumors and misinformation. http://bit.ly/3dcFTJC #coronavirus
U.S. Army @USArmy 26 Mar As the @DeptofDefense assists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also important to help distinguish between rumors and facts. Learn what’s fact and fiction by visiting this site. #KillTheVirus #COVID19
United Nations @UN 26 Mar Misinformation during a crisis like #COVID19 can result in people being left uninformed, unprotected & vulnerable. Take @UNICEF’s #coronavirus quiz to check if you have the facts needed to protect yourself and those around you.
UNESCO @UNESCO 26 Mar “I’m here today to tell you that people must stop sharing falsehoods regarding the new #coronavirus” – @ctardaguilaAlways fact-check before sharing! The fight against #COVID19 is also a fight against disinformation. … @factchecknet
News Media Alliance @newsalliance 26 Mar A North Carolina nonprofit assembled an emergency team to report on the coronavirus across the state
Turbine Labs has tracked 112,903 media articles and blogs over the last 24 hours and 13,173,836 social media posts over the last 24 hours.