Updated: 03.20.2020: 12.40 PM.
03.20.2020: 12.40 PM: Here’s how long the coronavirus will last on surfaces, and how to disinfect those surfaces. A practical guide.
03.20.2020: 11.40 AM: My friend Steve Jang has a lot of friends in South Korea, and he has assembled an analysis of the spread of Coronavirus in South Korea, and how they tackled it. This is not an expert analysis, but a good summary.
03.20.2020: 11.15 AM: Such poignant words from Robin Sloan. He talks about the city, life in pandemic and what’s happening around us with a poetic flair. Short, but heart-wrenching.
03.20.2020: 8.30 PM: Love in the time of COVID-19. The virus has not only attacked our bodies, but it has also attacked our humanness. So much of what we do is because we touch. Touch is how we express love. Here is a simple story with simple illustrations to bring home the point of what it means to love and be human.
03.20.2020: 8.30 PM: Gasping for Air. Katherine Moss spent time in China and points out that air pollution and censored information probably will lead to higher fatalities in China.
03.20.2020: 8.30 PM: How the food industry is dealing with the pandemic. It is eye-opening to read about the havoc caused by the current pandemic on folks in the food business.
03.19.2020: 7.15 PM: A view from the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus. How doctors and hospitals are dealing with the worst pandemic of our times.
03.19.2020: 3.15 PM: A conversation with Larry Brilliant, a doctor who helped eradicate smallpox and has been warning about the pandemic we find ourselves for quite a while. This is a very sobering conversation. “If you’re not worried, you’re not paying attention,” Dr. Brilliant says, “But I’m not scared.”
03.19.2020: 7.00 AM: Even if we magically got a vaccine for the coronavirus, getting it out there will be a monumental effort. “Ensuring optimal access and uptake also requires strong partnerships between private manufacturers, regulatory authorities and national and international public health services,” as this paper explains. The paper is focused on influenza virus vaccines, so this is a relevant piece of academic work.
03.19.2020: 6.30 AM: David Epstein, the author of Range and the writer who first reported that baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez was on steroids, does his take on the whole Coronavirus situation. In his wonderfully written overview, he points out that research shows that humans overestimate the power of medicine, and discount other factors such as public health and better social conditions. We are starting to see that in real-time. Read his essay. (h/t Steve.)
03.19.2020: 6.15 AM: The stress of a pandemic when added to the panic of the falling stock (and other financial) markets is putting our brains through a wringer. It is important to stay calm, and be rational, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Any type of stress—mild, severe, chronic, acute—will impair your ability to think flexibly,” Elizabeth Phelps, a neuroscientist at Harvard University tells the Journal. While the article is written from the standpoint of an investor — individual investor to be precise — but it is still a good lesson for us to remain calm and think before acting, and keeping panic out of the equation.
03.18.2020: 12.40 PM: Can blood serum from infected patients help others? Johns Hopkins immunologist Arturo Casadevall (Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of molecular microbiology and immunology and infectious diseases at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine —) in a paper argues for the human convalescent serum approach and why history should give us some hope. Doctors in China and Japan are experimenting with plasma therapy as well
03.18.2020: 12.00 PM: Stopping and shutting down all travel — international, domestic, and cross-city with the exception of essential services and transportation of goods are the only reasonable way to bring down the pandemic, a paper argues. What they are proposing is not easily done in a free society with competing for political interests. That said, the paper has a lot of similarities to the Chinese response. Let me know what you think about this paper?
03.18.2020: 11.00 AM: The stock markets (and other financial markets seem to be on a gravity less roller coaster. I found this paper – Coronavirus’s impact on stock prices and expectations by Niels Joachim Gormsen and Ralph S.J. Koijen, both from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business – helpful. “The events on March 16 reflect a deterioration of fundamentals in the US and predict a deepening of the economic downturn.”
03.18.2020: 10.00 AM: How to avoid fake news in the time of a pandemic? Stanford University professor of Communication Jeff Hancock has some good tips. Pay attention, because as he says, “having access to all this information can raise our anxiety since we tend to pay attention to bad news, and somewhat increased anxiety is a reasonable response.”
03.18.2020: 09.00 AM: In his column, Barry Ritholtz points out that Fox News’ approach to news has put its audience at risk that comes from misinformation and lies. The New York Times has a list of people who have played a role in spreading misinformation around the Coronavirus pandemic. It is sad that we have so many people in positions of power being so callous and impervious to the fact — lies cost lives.
03.17.2020: 8.00 PM: How media can help beat the virus: Jodie Jackson, author of You are what your read says media professionals should learn from the ebola outbreak and how media shaped the narrative. “News does not simply reflect reality as it unfolds; it plays an active role in shaping it,” she writes. Also, How math can help stop spread the rumors around Covid-19.
03.17.2020: 00.01 AM: Archived Thread: Week 1: Notable and Smart Reads on Corona Virus Pandemic from March 9 through March 17.
It has been a hellish few days, to say the least. Over the past seven days, I blogged some of the important articles and linked to relevant data and research, so we could all become smarter about the current pandemic. With this Week 2 thread, I am starting afresh and linking articles and research that are worth reading, and thereby better informing ourselves. I am not an expert on anything — just someone who uses caution before sharing anything.