Posts Tagged ‘epidemic’

Motorcycle Rally Drives Up Upper Midwest Coronavirus Cases

October 21, 2020

Motorcycle Rally Drives Up Upper Midwest Coronavirus Cases
Remember South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally back in August, where 400,000 riders gathered without face masks or social distancing? Back then there was little COVID-19 in the Dakotas or surrounding states, but attendees brought the viral souvenir back to their Upper Midwest homes with them.

“Within weeks of the gathering, the Dakotas, along with Wyoming, Minnesota and Montana, were leading the nation in new coronavirus infections per capita. The surge was especially pronounced in North and South Dakota, where cases and hospitalization rates continued their juggernaut rise into October. Experts say they will never be able to determine how many of those cases originated at the 10-day rally, given the failure of state and local health officials to identify and monitor attendees returning home, or to trace chains of transmission after people got sick.”

“More than 330 coronavirus cases and one death were directly linked to the rally as of mid-September, according to a Washington Post survey of health departments in 23 states that provided information. But experts say that tally represents just the tip of the iceberg, since contact tracing often doesn’t capture the source of an infection, and asymptomatic spread goes unnoticed.”

–“How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest,” Brittany Shammas and Lena H. Sun, Washington Post

More:

“Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was ‘superspreading event’ that cost public health $12.2 billion: analysis,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

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Motorcycle Rally Linked to 250,000+ Coronavirus Cases

September 8, 2020

Motorcycle Rally Linked to 250,000+ Coronavirus Cases

“The inevitable fallout from last month’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an annual event that packed nearly 500,000 people into a small town in South Dakota, is becoming clear, and the emerging picture is grim.

According to a new study, which tracked anonymized cellphone data from the rally, over 250,000 coronavirus cases have now been tied to the 10-day event, one of the largest to be held since the start of the pandemic. It drew motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country, many of whom were seen without face coverings inside crowded bars, restaurants, and other indoor establishments.

The explosion in cases, the study from the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics finds, is expected to reach $12 billion in public health costs.”

— “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is Now Linked to More Than 250,000 Coronavirus Cases,” Inae Oh, Mother Jones

More:

“Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was ‘superspreading event’ that cost public health $12.2 billion: analysis,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

“Sturgis Motorcyle Rally linked to more than 265,000 cases of COVID-19 costing $12 billion: report,” Nancy Dillon, NY Daily News

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How Isaac Newton spent his year in quarantine

August 14, 2020

When the plague hit England in 1665, Cambridge University sent students away and didn’t offer Zoom classes. Isaac Newton explains how he spent his time back home.

More:

“During a pandemic, Isaac Newton had to work from home, too. He used the time wisely.” Gillian Brockell, Washington Post

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Social Distance

May 8, 2020

“A Social Distance,” a film by Jacob Jonas and Ivan Cash, with music by Steve Hackman. How ordinary people are experiencing self- quarantine around the world.

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COVID-19: An Important Message

April 22, 2020

COVID-19: An Important Message

Important Public Health Announcement: “Flatten the Curve” does not mean “Wear Spanx.”

More:

“Flattening the Coronavirus Curve,” Siobhan Roberts, New York Times

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COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection

April 20, 2020

COVID-19: President Trump Urges Insurrection
Last week President Trump told governors to “call the shots” on reopening their states’ economies, then called on mobs of his followers to “liberate” states with Democratic governors, specifically the battleground states of Michigan, Minnesota, and Virginia. His rabid supporters turned out at state capitals, and some of them were armed.

A photo of the Ohio protesters banging on the statehouse windows looked familiar:

“One wears a Guy Fawkes mask. Two men wear Trump-branded baseball caps. Two women, the closest to the windows, shape their mouths into the same elongated howl as Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream.’ American flags obscure some of the protesters in the back.”

“It looked awfully familiar to Michael Satrazemis, the director of photography for ‘The Walking Dead’ and director of ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ two shows that seem a little scarier these days, since they’re about a zombie apocalypse that begins with an uncontrollable pathogen.

The visual trope is ‘classic horror,’ says Satrazemis. It plays on the common fear of claustrophobia, making the audience “\’feel the walls are closing in and the world is shrinking around you. And there’s no way out.’”

— “That Ohio protest photo looked like a zombie movie. Zombie movie directors think so, too.”Maura Judkis, Washington Post

Mr. Trump must be nostalgic for his MAGA zombie rallies, and uneasy about the likelihood that he won’t be having any rallies before November’s election.

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Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

“More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body ….

The provision, inserted into the legislation by Senate Republicans, temporarily suspends a limitation on how much owners of businesses formed as ‘pass-through’ entities can deduct against their nonbusiness income, such as capital gains, to reduce their tax liability. The limitation was created as part of the 2017 Republican tax law to offset other tax cuts to firms in that legislation.

Suspending the limitation will cost taxpayers about $90 billion in 2020 alone, part of a set of tax changes that will add close to $170 billion to the national deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the nonpartisan congressional body.”

— “Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds,” Jeff Stein, Washington Post

More:

“Coronavirus stimulus law has a tax loophole just for millionaires, report says,” Charles Duncan, McClatchy

“Millionaires to reap 80% of benefit from tax change in US coronavirus stimulus,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

Related:

“White House, GOP face heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run small business program dry,” Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Florida Spring Breakers May Have Spread COVID-19 Nationwide

April 2, 2020

Despite Coronavirus concerns and social distancing advice, thousands of kids packed Florida beaches during Spring Break in early March. See where they went after that in this video by Tectonix GEO.

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Prevent COVID-19. It’s in your hands.

April 2, 2020

Prevent COVID-19. It's in your hands.
Wash your hands, often. Stay home. When you must go out, maintain social distance.

That’s it. There is no vaccine, no magic cure.

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COVID-19: Trump’s Easter Parade Death March

March 27, 2020

COVID-19: Trump's Easter Parade Death March

While Americans shelter at home to slow the spread of a deadly virus and the number of US infected and dead grows, all President Donald Trump can see is plunging numbers on Wall Street. Public health officials advise months of social distancing and the closure of all non-essential businesses, but Mr. Trump wants the lockdown to end by Easter.

“We’re opening up this incredible country. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter,” Trump told a Fox News virtual town hall. “I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and rarin’ to go by Easter.”

“Easter’s a very special day for me,” he told (you guessed it) Fox News. “Wouldn’t it be great to have all of the churches full?”

Maybe the White House Easter Egg Roll can be replaced by a Toilet Paper Roll Roll.

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