Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Still Unclear About Covid-19? MiT has Links

MiT's tech review, The Download, is often a font of great information you won't find in the funny papers.

Today's edition opens with the editor-in-chief explaining that the life you knew last week is over and it's not coming back. (sorry the formatting is so screwed up)

How so?: To stop coronavirus we will need to radically change almost everything we do: how we work, exercise, socialize, shop, manage our health, educate our kids, take care of family members. But what most of us have probably not yet realized—yet will soon—is that things won’t go back to normal after a few weeks, or even a few months. Some things never will.

Why?: It’s widely agreed (even by Britain, finally) that every country needs to “flatten the curve”: impose social distancing to slow the spread of the virus so that the number of people sick at once doesn’t cause the health-care system to collapse, as it is threatening to do in Italy right now. That means the pandemic needs to last, at a low level, until either enough people have had Covid-19 to leave most immune (assuming immunity lasts for years, which we don’t know) or there’s a vaccine. This isn’t a temporary disruption. It’s the start of a completely different way of life. Read the full story.

Then there's a discussion of "herd immunity" and what needs to happen before we get it.


Once enough people get Covid-19, it will stop spreading on its own. But the costs will be devastating, reports Antonio Regalado.

The options: One involves extraordinary restrictions on free movement and assembly, as well as aggressive testing, to interrupt its transmission entirely. The second is a vaccine that could protect everyone, but it still needs to be developed. A third is potentially effective but horrible to consider: just wait until enough people get it.

Herd immunity: If the virus keeps spreading, eventually so many people will have been infected and (if they survive) become immune that the outbreak will fizzle out on its own as the germ finds it harder and harder to find a susceptible host. This phenomenon is known as herd immunity, and experts say it would kick in after about 60% of the world population has been infected.

However: About 80,000 people have recovered from the coronavirus already, and it’s likely they are now resistant, although the degree of immunity remains unknown. Some viruses, like the flu, do find ways to keep changing, which is why immunity against such seasonal germs isn’t complete. Read the full story.
And now, those promised links. 
1 All 50 US states now have coronavirus cases
 The virus has killed over 100 and infected nearly 6,000, though the true figure is likely far higher. (CNBC)
  + This map shows the hotspots. (NBC)
  + The White House wants to spend more than $1 trillion to blunt the impact. (NYT $)

2 A new app would say if you’ve crossed paths with someone who’s infected
Even better, it preserves your privacy. (TR)
  + Maybe tech companies could use all that location data they collect to good use. (WP $)
  + What to do if you think you have coronavirus. (Vox)
  + Build up your mental resilience. (Bloomberg)

3 Why Italy has been so severely affected by the outbreak
The country has lots of elderly people, and its young people mingle more with them. (Wired $)

4 Please post about your mundane life on Instagram
We’re suddenly seeing people’s more intimate, homely side. (The Atlantic)
  + Parents with young kids are pulling a triple shift during the coronavirus outbreak. (NPR)
  + Pity the people planning their weddings. (Wired UK)
  + This is our chance to live online. (NYT)

5 Misinformation is baked into Facebook’s business model
Its current approach to moderation just won’t cut it, says a new report. (The Verge)
+ Facebook says a glitch meant it marked reputable coronavirus posts as spam. (Buzzfeed)

6 Birds are incredible engineers 🐦🔧
Their nests are resilient in ways we’re just beginning to understand. (NYT $)

7 Quarantini time! Virtual happy hours are on the rise 🍸
You can’t go to the pub, so make the pub come to you. (WP $)
  + We’re all Zoomers now. (NYT $)

8 Airlines are carrying freight instead of passengers
Coronavirus is playing havoc with supply chains. (Wired $)
  + Coronavirus created the world’s longest passenger flight. (CNN)

9 A day in the life of a delivery driver right now 🛵
"I thought I'd be getting fat-ass tips. I'm not getting fat-ass tips." (Vice)

10 Jared Leto was blissfully ignorant about coronavirus until yesterday
Imagine. (The Guardian)

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