Russia coronavirus vaccine 'Sputnik V' safe despite no clinical trials, says Putin

Putin said on Tuesday Russia is the first nation to approve a COVID-19 vaccine after only two months of human testing, a move Moscow compared to its success in the Cold War-era space race.

They claim to have tested it on Putin's daughter. The vaccine is called 'Sputnik V'. Read the rest

'Most Americans now know someone who has been infected with COVID-19'

“The U.S. has reached a landmark of sorts in its so far not very successful battle with the virus that causes Covid-19 — most Americans now know someone who has been infected,” writes Justin Fox at Bloomberg, about coronavirus social data from Navigator Research, shown above. Read the rest

Trump says '1917 pandemic' ended Second World War (nope, Spanish Flu was in 1918, before WWII)

On Monday, August 10, U.S. President Donald Trump rewrite history -- he says in this video clip that the “1917 pandemic” ended the Second World War. Read the rest

U.S. has most coronavirus cases in the world, 5 million and counting

Five million.

That's how many coronavirus cases the U.S. has reported since the outbreak began this year. Read the rest

US issues New Zealand travel warning due to its 23 active cases

On August 6th, the US State Department issued a warning for US citizens considering traveling to New Zealand, because the country has 23 active cases of COVID-19. Currently, the United States has over 2 million active cases, and in any case, New Zealand isn't eager to allow rat-licking Americans to invade their pristine island nation (unless you have a couple of million dollars to buy citizenship, that is).

[via New Zealand Herald] Read the rest

A great interactive visualization of the weird ways that we perceive time

Reuters published this interactive article Why time feels so weird in 2020 in early July. That was about a month ago, as of this writing; it was also about halfway through the bizarro time vortex hell year known as 2020. Between social media and quarantine, our shared temporal existence has become increasingly warped and disproportionate, but I'm pretty sure that's how the timeline works, anyway. Or at least, for now.

And that confusion is precisely the focus of the article:

The global coronavirus pandemic has heightened our awareness that time is subjective. For some people who enjoy working from home, the days have whizzed by. For others desperate to travel or visit a loved one, time has slowed to a crawl.

Clocks were invented to help us track the passage of time - and yet in some moments when staring at a clock, we’re made aware of just how long a second can feel.

Click through for some cool visualizations that explore the gaps between our personal relativity and the actual demonstrable passage of time. It might not change the strangeness of our world, but it's kind of comforting to know that you're not crazy, that our human brains just don't know how to function in a linear temporal existence.

Why time feels so weird in 2020 [Feilding Cage / Reuters]

Image: Public Domain via NeedPix Read the rest

Georgia school principal suspended the student who posted video of crowded hallway of maskless students

A whistleblowing student at a Georgia high school was suspended after he posted a video of fellow students crammed into a hallway between classes, many of them without masks. After he was suspended, North Paulding County high school principal Gabe Carmona made an announcement over the school intercom, warning that "Anything that is going on on social media that is negative on our light... there will be consequences for both students or anyone who sends out those pictures, so please be careful."

Read the rest

A gentle reminder from the CDC and FDA: drinking hand sanitizer can blind or kill you

After four people died and three lost some or all of their vision from drinking hand sanitizer containing methanol, the CDC issued a warning. Despite the ruminations of the President of the United States of America, disinfectants are not for internal use: "While hand sanitizers with possible methanol contamination are more life-threatening than those that are not contaminated, FDA urges consumers not to drink any of these products." Read the rest

State Department says Russia is pushing coronavirus disinformation

The U.S. State Department says Russia is exploiting a well-established online operation that includes proxy websites to amplify coronavirus disinformation and conspiracy theories. Read the rest

Twitter makes 'Team Trump' remove false coronavirus post, banned from tweeting until post was removed

Facebook also took down a Trump post for the first time, citing COVID-19 misinformation ban

Clorox won't have enough disinfecting wipes on shelves until 2021, says CEO

COVID-19 sure has created some weird shortages. Clorox disinfectant wipes are one such product. Read the rest

Alabama principal does a great parody of Can't Touch This to promote Covid safety

"Hammer Time" becomes "Sanitize"  when Dr. Quentin J. Lee an Alabama principal, "sings a rap song about Covid to MC Hammer's classic hit of 'Can't Touch This.'" Read the rest

Troubling explainer on how the US economy lost 33% of its value

Behind the sensationalist headlines about the largest pullback in US history, there's a lot of nuance and complexity, but the overall message is clear: the US economy is in big big trouble, especially the services sector. Economics Explained takes a deep dive and asks the question: is this the end of an empire?. Read the rest

NYTimes shows video of Trump's Covid lies to people around the world

What do people around the world think of Trump's response to the coronavirus in the United States? The New York Times showed a video of the things Trump has said about how the United States is handling the pandemic to people in other countries and asked them for their opinion. Most of the viewers were aghast, bemused, sad, or angry at Trump's boastful lies about how well he was dealing with the disease. Read the rest

Batman nemesis Bane urges mask use in newly-released outtakes

The always delightful Auralnauts have redubbed The Dark Knight Rises for 2020, with Bane urging all those he encounters to join him in wearing a mask. Read the rest

The most comprehensive and accessible explanation of how COVID-19 works (so far)

One of the greatest struggles of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the fact that the entire world has to watch the normal scientific process happen in realtime. Scientists don't have the space to hypothesize, experiment, and discover new things before it all goes public. Everyone wants certainty; they want immediate answers. But that's not how science works.

This new feature from the UCSF Magazine offers the most comprehensive, detailed, and surprisingly accessible breakdown of the virus so far, including that whole process of discovery — what we knew when, why that led to certain conclusions that were correct, and so on.

In late January, when hospitals in the United States confirmed the presence of the novel coronavirus, health workers knew to watch for precisely three symptoms: fever, cough, and shortness of breath. But as the number of infections climbed, the symptom list began to grow. Some patients lost their sense of smell and taste. Some had nausea or diarrhea. Some had arrhythmias or even heart attacks. Some had damaged kidneys or livers. Some had headaches, blood clots, rashes, swelling, or strokes. Many had no symptoms at all.

By June, clinicians were swapping journal papers, news stories, and tweets describing more than three dozen ways that COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes, appears to manifest itself.

This includes a succinct explanation of how it works as a vascular (as opposed to respiratory) virus, and why that was such a jarring realization:

The novel coronavirus, an RNA virus named SARS-CoV-2, has become notorious for its skill at breaking and entering human cells.

Read the rest

Here are the places you can travel with a US passport

America's colossal mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic means US Passport holders have limited options when it comes to international travel. According to this CNN infographic, countries that remain open without restrictions include:

Albania Dominican Republic Kosovo Maldives Mexico North Macedonia Serbia Tunisia Turkey

Twenty-three other countries are open with restrictions, such as having a negative COVID-19 test result, going into quarantine once you arrive, or paying a cash deposit.

Image: CNN Read the rest

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