"We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here's What We Learned" NPR, April 28, 2020
“We Asked All 50 States About Their Contact Tracing Capacity. Here’s What We Learned” NPR, April 28, 2020


With reported U.S. coronavirus cases surpassing 1 million, the death toll from the pandemic is now greater than U.S. troop fatalities in the Vietnam War. Since the first known U.S. death on February 6, at least 58,356 people have died of coronavirus as of Tuesday evening. Some researchers are saying deaths could rise significantly in the coming weeks. 

A pug in North Carolina is believed to be the first dog to test positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. The dog was sick for a few days but appears to have recovered. 

The U.S. gross domestic product declined 4.8% in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department. This marks the worst quarterly decline in a decade, likely due to measures taken to slow the spread of coronavirus. The GDP is thought to be the broadest gauge of the economy. 

Plane manufacturers Airbus and Boeing are suffering as both companies report losses . Boeing saw a first quarter loss of $641 million, facing coronavirus-related impacts and a yearlong grounding of the 737 Max. The company plans to cut 16,000 jobs following the loss. Boeing also recently canceled a $4.2 billion deal with Brazil’s Embraer SA after years in the making. 

The public’s confidence in the ability to fly will likely remain absent unless a vaccine is developed– which could result in more expensive flights on airlines that have laid off thousands. Despite this, China’s domestic aviation recovery points toward good news. Domestic air travel in China has doubled as the country faces the early stages of reopening, allowing global airlines to hold out hope for a V-shaped recovery. 

A return to normal life largely hinges on a vaccine, as a poll indicates most Americans will not attend concerts or sporting events before one is widely available. 

Following a pause on the regular season, the MLB is now considering using three 10-team divisions for the 2020 season. The PGA tour is expected to resume on June 8 in Texas and the NFL is still planning to begin on September 10 with no delays. 

A consumer watchdog group has launched a website to track all public companies that got loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, a facet of the CARES Act meant to benefit small businesses. This nonprofit’s tracker follows an investigation that revealed some large companies received generous cuts from the first round of PPP. Potbelly Corp, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, and Shake Shack are a few companies returning their original PPP loans. 

When the emergency loan program reopened for its second round of funding, technical issues plagued the system as double the amount of users attempted to access it. For small businesses that were successful, some say the loans come with too many strings attached in order to be forgiven.

A cyclist, in an attempt to bike for 24 hours to raise money for COVID-19 relief, ended up breaking a Guinness World Record after pedaling 626 miles on his stationary bike. The previous record sat at 614 miles. 

Want to use Google Meet instead of Zoom? Now you can—for free – Fast Company – 4/29/2020
Now Google is removing that barrier with a new tier of Meet that’s available to anyone who has a Google account. As with Zoom’s free version, meetings are limited to 100 participants. But Meet’s maximum meeting length for freeloaders will be an hour, vs. 40 minutes for Zoom. And Google won’t begin enforcing that limit until Oct. 1, so people stuck at home during the pandemic don’t have to keep an eye on the clock. (This free version will be rolling out over the coming weeks, the company says.)

After a delay due to coronavirus, China’s biggest political shindig has a new date – Quartz – 4/29/2020
China said today that it would begin its annual Two Sessions meeting on May 21, when thousands of delegates to the National People’s Congress (NPC), the legislature, as well as to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the top political consultative body, gather in the capital for 10 days. The event was originally scheduled for early March.

COVID Tests Are Free, Except When They’re Not – Kaiser Health News – 4/29/2020
Given the spread of the coronavirus and a chronic condition that left her vulnerable to a more serious case of COVID-19, she was concerned she’d been infected. To find out, her doctor first ordered tests to evaluate whether Davis Abel’s symptoms were caused by some other respiratory disease. According to the doctor’s notes in her medical record, “we needed to rule out all other viral possibilities before being eligible for the COVID-19 test.” “Unfortunately at this time, COVID-19 testing is very limited and is not widely available to most patients,” the record noted.

Coronavirus is revitalising the concept of community for the 21st century – The Conversation – 4/29/2020
With more than a third of the world’s population in lockdown, there are widespread fears of social breakdown. As a historian of loneliness, I have recently been interviewed by journalists in Brazil, France, Chile and Australia, all pondering the same problems: what will the long-term effects of social isolation be? What techniques or habits might help us learn how to be alone?

Can’t Get Seeds? There’s a Garden Already Waiting in Your Pantry – Bloomberg – 4/29/2020
I got an early clue that these are indeed Uncertain Times when I started planning my backyard vegetable bed and found that seeds had become maddeningly tricky to source. My go-to garden center now has an arduous ordering system for tomato starts, and most of my favorite sites are completely sold out. With a little creative problem-solving, though, a lush vegetable garden is still obtainable, and you probably don’t even have to leave your kitchen.


To view each social media post, click on the date link within the post. 

Teaching Tolerance @Teaching Tolerance 28 Apr The National Education Association, among others, is pushing for the next economic stimulus package to include measures that would increase translation services and online access for families who speak languages other than English.

Joy Pullmann @Joy Pullmann 28 Apr Students “don’t like the kind of online higher education that they’re getting or the remote or distance higher education that they’re getting. They were at a brick and mortar campus for a reason.”

The Wall Street Journal @The Wall Street Journal 28 Apr Cancellations of SATs, summer programs and campus visits have caused shock and anxiety among college-bound juniors. But it also has given them time to breathe.

Chicago Tribune @Chicago Tribune 29 Apr “For special education students, school closures are not just a disruption but a regression, and we’re going to see kids who actually go backward.”

Glen Gilmore @Glen Gilmore 28 Apr 🇯🇵Japanese university  held a graduation ceremony for students – using robots    …to prevent #coronavirus.@gigadgets #TechForGood #COVID19 #robotics #tech #DigitalTransformation #IoT #SocialDistancing #Japan #remotelearning #edutech


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