Weekly Reader: Vol 3 Issue 3

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.

‘The price you pay’: Sweden’s ‘herd immunity’ experiment backfires (from SF Gate): “”If you let this go or don’t try very hard or go about it in somewhat of a more restrained way rather than we have here, this is the price you pay,” Rutherford said. “Maybe it didn’t hurt businesses, but you have twice the mortality rate of the United States. All those people who died were part of families and they were citizens and part of the fabric of Swedish society. And now they’re gone because of a policy that hasn’t worked out quite the way they thought it would.””

Stop Using the ADA and HIPAA to Get Out of Wearing Masks (from The Mighty): “But wait. Does that mean stores are required to allow people with breathing-related disabilities to wander around unmasked and potentially spreading COVID-19? No, it does not, and here’s why. The ADA is centered around the concept of “reasonable accommodation.” Businesses and organizations that are open to the public are required to make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities to access their facilities, programs and services. What constitutes “reasonable” depends upon many things, but the law is clear that accommodations are not reasonable if they would endanger workers or customers/visitors. For example, a person in a wheelchair who wants to sit closer to the stage cannot block the aisle in a theatre, because it would impede emergency evacuations. A hospital may legally prohibit service dogs from entering operating rooms to maintain a sterile environment for the safety of patients.”

Nearly Half Of The Twitter Accounts Discussing ‘Reopening America’ May Be Bots (from Carnegie Mellon University): “To analyze bot activity around the pandemic, CMU researchers since January have collected more than 200 million tweets discussing coronavirus or COVID-19. Of the top 50 influential retweeters, 82% are bots, they found. Of the top 1,000 retweeters, 62% are bots.

The monitoring of tweets is ongoing and collections from Facebook, Reddit and YouTube have been added to the research.”

Safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 vectored COVID-19 vaccine: a dose-escalation, open-label, non-randomised, first-in-human trial (from The Lancet): “A vaccine to protect against COVID-19 is urgently needed. We aimed to assess the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of a recombinant adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored COVID-19 vaccine expressing the spike glycoprotein of a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) strain.”

The Prophecies of Q (from The Atlantic): “If you were an adherent, no one would be able to tell. You would look like any other American. You could be a mother, picking leftovers off your toddler’s plate. You could be the young man in headphones across the street. You could be a bookkeeper, a dentist, a grandmother icing cupcakes in her kitchen. You may well have an affiliation with an evangelical church. But you are hard to identify just from the way you look—which is good, because someday soon dark forces may try to track you down. You understand this sounds crazy, but you don’t care. You know that a small group of manipulators, operating in the shadows, pull the planet’s strings. You know that they are powerful enough to abuse children without fear of retribution. You know that the mainstream media are their handmaidens, in partnership with Hillary Clinton and the secretive denizens of the deep state. You know that only Donald Trump stands between you and a damned and ravaged world. You see plague and pestilence sweeping the planet, and understand that they are part of the plan. You know that a clash between good and evil cannot be avoided, and you yearn for the Great Awakening that is coming. And so you must be on guard at all times. You must shield your ears from the scorn of the ignorant. You must find those who are like you. And you must be prepared to fight.

You know all this because you believe in Q.

The Church of QAnon: Will conspiracy theories form the basis of a new religious movement? (from The Conversation): “Everything is explained though the lens of the Bible and QAnon narratives. Bushey then does 45 minutes of decoding items that have appeared recently on the app called QMap that is used to share conspiracy theories. The last 15 minutes are dedicated to communion and prayer.”

Zuckerberg reportedly brushed aside internal research that showed Facebook exposed users to more and more extreme views, saying he never wanted the topic brought to him again (from Business Insider): “Despite the findings, higher-ups dismissed or watered down proposed changes to make sure it didn’t appear that Facebook was trying to shape users’ opinions or take a moral stance. Facebook executives were even harsher in shutting down efforts that could make it appear as if the platform had a political bias.

Facebook managers told employees in 2018 that the platform was shifting priorities “away from societal good” and to “individual value,” according to The Journal. From then on out, Facebook and Zuckerberg have promoted a more “hands-off” approach on content, taking action only if users “specifically violate the company’s rules.””

Donald Trump, the Most Unmanly President (from The Atlantic): “Not every working-class male voted for Trump, and not all of them have these traits, of course. And I do not present these beliefs and attitudes as uniformly virtuous in themselves. Some of these traditional masculine virtues have a dark side: Toughness and dominance become bullying and abuse; self-reliance becomes isolation; silence becomes internalized rage. Rather, I am noting that courage, honesty, respect, an economy of words, a bit of modesty, and a willingness to take responsibility are all virtues prized by the self-identified class of hard-working men, the stand-up guys, among whom I was raised.”

The Feds Gave a Former White House Official $3 Million to Supply Masks to Navajo Hospitals. Some May Not Work. (from ProPublica): “Zach Fuentes, President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, secured the deal with the Indian Health Service with limited competitive bidding and no prior federal contracting experience.

The IHS told ProPublica it has found that 247,000 of the masks delivered by Fuentes’ company — at a cost of roughly $800,000 — may be unsuitable for medical use. An additional 130,400, worth about $422,000, are not the type specified in the procurement data, the agency said.”

Coronavirus: ‘Baffling’ observations from the front line (from the BBC): “But what arrived in the UK as winter turned into spring took even the most experienced ICU specialists by surprise.

Most people infected with the coronavirus have only mild symptoms, or sometimes none at all. But in many thousands of patients who fall critically ill, Covid-19 is a disease of alarming complexity.

What follows is a summary, often in their own words, of what doctors have learnt about how Covid-19 attacks the human body, and what they still need to know.”

Antibody tests for Covid-19 wrong up to half the time, CDC says (from CNN): “The higher the sensitivity, the fewer false negatives a test will give. The higher the specificity, the fewer false positives. Across populations, tests give more accurate results if the disease being tested for is common in the population. If an infection has only affected a small percentage of people being tested, even a very small margin of error in a test will be magnified.”

That’s all for today. Stop by again for more information that you just might find fascinating. So until next week, stay safe and happy reading!

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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