Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 2

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.

What is a coronavirus “super-spreading” event? (from CBS News): “The term “super-spreader” refers to a person who spreads a disease to a large number of people.

“It’s kind of different for different diseases whether it’s a person or an event, but for COVID, it would be more like an event,” said Dr. Jaline Gerardin, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

The “world’s most famous super-spreader” was Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary,” Lessler said. She infected many people with typhoid fever over several years in the early 1900s.”

Study shows cats can easily spread coronavirus to each other – here’s what that means for cat owners (from CBS News): “The research team, lead by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, professor of pathobiological sciences at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, inoculated three cats with the virus, and then introduced three other uninfected cats to the group. In five days, the three previously uninfected cats had caught the virus.

They note that none of the cats ever showed any signs of illness.”

An Ex-Google Employee Turned ‘Whistleblower’ and QAnon Fan Made ‘Plandemic’ Go Viral (from Vice): “Vorhies makes it clear that the money raised will go towards paying him personally to promote Mikovits, saying, “So I’m reaching out to you today for your help to help me make America great again with a small contribution. I’m going to use the money to pay for myself. I can do all the media. I know how to run a campaign. No one can do it as good as I can that I know of. So that’s what we’re going to do: we’re going to make her famous.””

Get Ready for a Vaccine Information War (from The New York Times): “I’ve been following the anti-vaccine community on and off for years, watching its members operate in private Facebook groups and Instagram accounts, and have found that they are much more organized and strategic than many of their critics believe. They are savvy media manipulators, effective communicators and experienced at exploiting the weaknesses of social media platforms. (Just one example: Shortly after Facebook and YouTube began taking down copies of “Plandemic” for violating their rules, I saw people in anti-vaccine groups editing it in subtle ways to evade the platforms’ automated enforcement software and reposting it.)”

US lockdown protests may have spread virus widely, cellphone data suggests (from The Guardian): “The anonymized location data was captured from opt-in cellphone apps, and data scientists at the firm VoteMap used it to determine the movements of devices present at protests in late April and early May in five states: Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Colorado and Florida.

They then created visualizations that tracked the movements of those devices up to 48 hours after the conclusion of protests. The visualizations only show movements within states, due to the queries analysts made in creating them. But the data scientist Jeremy Fair, executive-vice president of VoteMap, says that many of the devices that are seen to reach state borders are seen to continue across them in the underlying raw data.”

Stay-at-home orders saved hundreds of thousands, report finds (from The Hill): “In Los Angeles County, where a stay-at-home order took effect March 19, almost 40,000 lives were saved compared to what was likely under worst-case scenarios. More than 8,800 lives have been saved in King County, Wash., the epicenter of one of the first big coronavirus outbreaks. Philadelphia’s stay-at-home order saved 6,202 lives, the analysis found, and Chicago’s order has saved 10,635 lives.

The analysis, conducted in conjunction with the Big Cities Health Coalition, focused on only the nation’s 30 largest cities, meaning the actual number of lives saved across the nation is likely substantially higher. Early models that compared death counts if no preventative action was taken versus those that would occur under strict lockdowns showed a difference of millions of potential lives saved.”

Bill Gates coronavirus conspiracy – the anti-vaccine trope debunked again (from Skeptical Raptor): “These anti-vaccine tropes about Bill Gates and vaccines have been around for nearly 10 years. There are variations on the themes from month to month, but it all comes down to this – Gates supports vaccines, and the anti-vaxxers hate that. For reasons.”

This New York pastor says his parish lost 44 people to coronavirus (from CNN): “The bishop told CNN he’s angered by Americans who argue the pandemic has been overhyped.

“You have to be in a very privileged place to be able to say that,” Egensteiner said. “You either have blinders on, or it’s an acute lack of awareness of how this virus is devastating communities.””

Are Older Voters Turning Away From Trump? (from FiveThirtyEight): “In national head-to-head polls conducted since April 1, Trump is barely breaking even with most older Americans — and in some age groups, he’s even trailing Biden by as much as 1.4 points (see 45- to 64-year-olds). (Pollsters don’t all use the same age brackets, so there is some overlap in the different age categories.)”

The biologist whose advice went viral tells us what to do next (from CNN): “People should also limit how much time they spend in any indoor spaces with poor air exchange and lots of people with no effective ability to social distance. I hope when we reopen, none of these places will exist, and guidelines would have been put in place to stop it from occurring. I believe that almost every business can engineer their space to ensure that they limit numbers of people at one time to a number that is determined by air exchange and size of their facility.”

That’s all for today. Drop by again next week, if you’d like, for more interesting things to read. Until next time, stay safe, and have a great weekend!

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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