WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY
Another 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment in the last week, amounting to a record 10% unemployment rate since the coronavirus outbreak. The Federal Reserve has announced a new set of programs that will provide $2.3 trillion in loans for businesses, states, and cities, moving “well beyond” the aid that was provided in 2008. U.S. stock futures are pointed higher this morning following the news. Demand for oil in the U.S. has reached a 30-year-low, reflecting a plummeting demand worldwide. Today, the world’s largest oil producers will hold an emergency meeting to scale back production and rebalance prices.
Airline unions say hundreds of their employees have been infected with COVID-19, warning the public of the “seriousness of the threat.” Almost half of American teenagers in a survey said they are not participating in online learning, due in part to a lack of resources or internet service. Still, a Maryland education official has said schools may need to prepare for online learning into the fall.
The Jewish holiday Passover was celebrated on Wednesday largely via livestreams, while many Jews said they loosened some dietary rules to account for less food availability during the pandemic. Pope Francis will record Easter ceremonies on Sunday from the Vatican library, although he continues to hold in-person meetings. In Kansas, state lawmakers have rescinded the governor’s restriction of public gatherings to allow for Easter gatherings.
Some doctors are moving away from the use of ventilators as they learn in real time about the virus’s behavior, noting “ unusually high” death rates for patients who are put on a ventilator. In New York, researchers have discovered that travelers who landed in New York City brought the coronavirus largely from Europe instead of China.
Following early and widespread testing of the virus in Germany, scientists say the logging of patients’ minute, mundane movements lead to the successful tracking and isolation of COVID-19 victims. The CDC has demonstrated the value of such tracking with a case study in Chicago, which points to two gatherings – a funeral and a birthday party – that lead to 16 coronavirus infections, three of which ended with complications and death. For that reason, authorities in France are working to develop a contact tracing app that would notify users when they are near another infected person.
In spite of concert cancellations, some say that so-called quarantine concerts are offering a “unique, unfiltered” opportunity for musicians to explore new platforms. From neighbors playing music on their porches to Italian residents singing on their balconies, music has found a way to persevere and inspire during the pandemic.
NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC
Hackathons Target Coronavirus – Wall Street Journal – 4/9/2020
The low-sleep, high-octane sessions have attracted participants world-wide to team up online and suggest solutions to problems such as the equipment shortage for health providers or a better way to track the spread of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus.[…] Among the ideas that emerged were a location-based mobile application to track traffic in grocery stores for effective social-distancing practices, and a tool for messaging platforms to tag misinformation by analyzing keywords and redirecting users to trusted news sources.
Five things to watch as Wuhan emerges from coronavirus lockdown – The Hill – 4/8/2020
The world is watching Wuhan, the Chinese city that was the site of the first COVID-19 outbreak, as it begins to ease restrictions on its residents and seek a return to normalcy. How the city fares will likely offer lessons for the pandemic’s timeline and what economic recoveries will look like elsewhere, including in the United States
How to Think about COVID-19 like an M.D. – Scientific American – 4/9/2020
The curriculum, which was vetted by faculty members, provides a physician’s-eye view into the depths of the pandemic. It begins with first principles: the initial module covers virology and immunology. […] A unit on epidemiology compares COVID-19 with the previous H1N1 flu pandemics of 1918 and 2009. Another module teaches how to don and doff personal protective equipment, and how to adjust the settings on a mechanical ventilator.
There’s no consensus on technology’s role in the COVID-19 response – The Verge – 4/9/2020
But the place you really want to look, if you want to think about how the government and the tech industry could collaborate, is China. Dan Grover, a product designer and entrepreneur who formerly lived in Guangzhou, has an outstanding blog post up that documents how Chinese technology companies responded to the coronavirus crisis and argues that Silicon Valley can do more to help.
The Humble Phone Call Has Made a Comeback – The New York Times – 4/9/2020
Alyssa MacKenzie, 32, rarely used her smartphone to make phone calls, apart from the occasional conversation for her work as a disability rights advocate. But when the lockdown for the coronavirus set in, Ms. MacKenzie could no longer pop by her mother’s house a few minutes away in New Canaan, Conn. So she has called her multiple times a day, including once recently to get a recipe for pasta e fagioli. A couple of hours later, she said, they were still talking.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post.
Chicago Tribune @chicagotribune Apr 9 Before Illinois enacted shelter-in-place orders, a man who later tested positive for the coronavirus shared a dinner with friends. Then he attended a funeral. Then a birthday party. Within days, 16 people had become infected. Three eventually died.
The New Republic @newrepublic Apr 9 The fact that there have already been so many “patient zero” stories indicates that people are looking for someone to blame for the coronavirus crisis. This impulse must be halted, writes @scottwstern.
Ted Cruz @tedcruz Apr 9 Thought provoking and careful article that explains the need to keep asking questions about the origin of the Wuhan coronavirus
omar r quraishi @omar_quraishi Apr 9 A German businessman traveling in Italy who had contracted the virus the previous week in Munich is the latest person believed by public health experts to be Italy’s “patient zero.”
Andreas Ehn @Ehn Apr 9 “This is not a tech problem.” Wrong. All of this is 100% a tech problem. With better technology, none of this would have happened. The virus would have been identified and stopped at patient zero. With better technology, we would already have a vaccine.
Turbine Labs has tracked 115,333 media articles and blogs over the last 24 hours and 8,604,171 social media posts over the last 24 hours.