Weekly Reader: Vol 2 Issue 52

It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know.

Exclusive: She’s been falsely accused of starting the pandemic. Her life has been turned upside down (from CNN): “The false claims are spreading across YouTube every day, so far racking up hundreds of thousands of apparent views, and have been embraced by Chinese Communist Party media. Despite never having tested positive for the coronavirus or experienced symptoms, Benassi and her husband are now subjects of discussion on Chinese social media about the outbreak, including among accounts that are known drivers of large-scale coordinated activities by their followers.

The claims have turned their lives upside down. The couple say their home address has been posted online and that, before they shut down their accounts, their social media inboxes were overrun with messages from believers of the conspiracy.

“It’s like waking up from a bad dream going into a nightmare day after day,” Maatje Benassi told CNN Business in an exclusive interview, the first time she has spoken publicly since being smeared online.”

Psychologist John Gartner: Trump is a “sexual sadist” who is “actively engaging in sabotage” (from Salon): “In 2016 the Obama administration told then President-elect Trump and his advisers of the high likelihood that a pandemic would strike the nation and advised the incoming administration to take appropriate steps to reduce its impact. Obama officials also left their Trump counterparts a step-by-step guide on how to respond to a pandemic. Trump and his inner circle ignored that guidance.

Last November, the U.S. military warned Donald Trump that the country was likely to be afflicted with a devastating pandemic originating in China.”

Conservativism is, at its root, all about being selfish (from VentrellaQuest): “Programs and policies that benefit them are perfectly acceptable but if it helps anyone else, it’s a waste of government time and money. Oh sure, they code their selfishness with the word “liberty” but when they talk about liberty they mean they want to do whatever they want and screw anyone else who may be hurt in the process. “I should have the liberty to discriminate and take away everyone else’s liberty” is what a lot of their argument boils down to.”

San Francisco had the 1918 flu under control. And then it lifted the restrictions. (from NBC News): “Back during the Spanish flu, San Fransisco’s failure to take swift action and the decision to ease restrictions after only a few weeks had huge ramifications. With 45,000 cases and more than 3,000 deaths, the city was reported to have been one of, if not, the hardest-hit big city.

Roughly a century later, the San Francisco Bay Area imposed the nation’s first stay-at-home order and other restrictions when coronavirus cases were rapidly growing, placing a spotlight on its pandemic response again. Those aggressive actions are credited with saving lives, avoiding the scale of the tragedy found in New York City.”

When Is It Safe To Ease Social Distancing? Here’s What One Model Says For Each State (from NPR): “Unfortunately, there’s widespread concern that most states will not be ready to launch such a system any time soon because of continued problems with testing capacity, as well as limited staffing at state and local health departments.

So one team of disease modelers — from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation or IHME — has come up with a different standard. They are asking the question: What is the maximum number of new infections that states could handle with their current testing and contact tracing capacity?”

Amid The Pandemic, U.S. Militia Groups Plot ‘The Boogaloo,’ AKA Civil War, On Facebook (from the Huffington Post): “Over 60% of the groups were created in just the last three months, according to the report. The 125 groups have nearly 73,000 members, though it’s unclear how many individuals may belong to multiple groups.

About 50% of the groups’ members have joined within the last 30 days. ”

Why Some People Get Sicker Than Others (from The Atlantic): “This degree of uncertainty has less to do with the virus itself than how our bodies respond to it. As Murphy puts it, when doctors see this sort of variation in disease severity, “that’s not the virus; that’s the host.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, people around the world have heard the message that older and chronically ill people are most likely to die from COVID-19. But that is far from a complete picture of who is at risk of life-threatening disease. Understanding exactly how and why some people get so sick while others feel almost nothing will be the key to treatment.”

British 5G towers are being set on fire because of coronavirus conspiracy theories (from The Verge): “One theory claims that the novel coronavirus originated in Wuhan because the Chinese city had recently been rolling out 5G. It’s now supposedly spread to other cities that are also using 5G. These false conspiracy theories neglect to mention that a highly contagious virus would naturally spread more in densely populated cities with access to 5G, and that the coronavirus pandemic has hit counties like Iran and Japan where 5G isn’t in use yet.”

What history can teach us about building a fairer society after coronavirus (from The Guardian): “But the peasants’ movement survived; in fact, it thrived. Some landlords cut their rents by more than half between 1350 and 1400. In the same period, wages for agricultural workers rose by around 50% for men and 100% for women. And by the turn of the century, almost all rents in England were paid in cash, rather than feudal services, reflecting how many former serfs had bought their freedom.”

How Contact Tracing Works And How It Can Help Reopen The Country (from NPR): “If you’re picturing being put under a spotlight and grilled about where you were and who you were with, put that image aside. It’s not usually so dramatic.

A public health worker will typically call the patient who tests positive and have a straightforward — and hopefully empathetic — conversation, says Engel, requesting that they help the health department piece together a list of their recent contacts.”

That’s all for today. Drop by again for more articles you can use to occupy your mind. Until next week, happy reading and stay safe!

About Silverwynde

I'm a Transformers fan, Pokémon player, Brewers fan and all-out general nerd. I rescue abandoned Golett, collect as many Bumblebee decoys and figures as I can find and I've attended every BotCon--official and non--since 1999. I'm also happily married to a fellow Transfan named Prime and we were both owned by a very intelligent half-Siamese cat, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 16, 2018. We still miss him. But we're now the acting staff of a Maine Coon kitty named Lulu, who pretty much rules the house. Not that we're complaining about that.
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