In this edition: getting outside, race and climate, herpes, lines and strains, conflicts of interest, autistic social distancing, screen time, coronavirus parties, universal basic income, tracking infection, reopening Oregon, worker petitions, public space, language, paying for transit, and Pedalpalooza.
Your daily look at links I’ve saved to my Link Log (RSS) over the course of each day but didn’t necessarily address or highlight here on the blog. These are the links I logged yesterday, and not necessarily links to things published yesterday.
“The official guidelines don’t account for the fact that not everybody has a yard or a cul-de-sac,” Andersen says. “I cannot imagine what it must be like for a single parent trying to maintain any semblance of distancing. I just think our public plans need to acknowledge that. Staying at home is just not an option for hundreds of thousands of us, and we shouldn’t be talking like it is.”
Recently, researchers from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications investigated how communities of color feel about climate change. Their analysis, which the university released in April, showed that Latino, Hispanic, and Black people in the United States are more concerned about climate change than White people.
The new research, published in Science Advances, is the first to directly show in a lab model (rather than through circumstantial evidence from human studies) that the herpes simplex virus HSV-1 might cause Alzheimer’s: Human brain-like tissue infected with the virus became riddled with amyloid plaque-like formations — the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. It also developed neuroinflammation and became less effective at conducting electrical signals, all of which happen in Alzheimer’s disease.
But this pattern is hard to interpret. The D614G mutation might make the coronavirus more transmissible, and G-viruses might have become more common because they outcompeted the D-viruses. But it’s also possible that the mutation might do nothing, and G-viruses have become more common because of dumb luck.
Conflicts of interest are prevalent but under‐reported in autism early intervention research. Improved reporting practices are necessary for researcher transparency and would enable more robust examination of the effects of COIs on research outcomes.
Autistic people have diverse experiences that resist easy generalization. But in recent interviews, a number of autistic adults say that although the pandemic can be especially stressful for people on the spectrum, many are practiced in dealing with the challenges — social isolation, disrupted routines, economic strain — that are now affecting the general population. And they hope that those experiences might help people who aren’t autistic to better understand them.
“Even though I’m an introvert and a home-body, the isolation was starting to get to me,” Allard told the Daily Dot. “I deal with depression and anxiety, and I noticed my symptoms were starting to get worse, exacerbated by not only the quarantine itself, but by the stress of what the future will hold for both myself and others affected by the virus.”
Walla Walla County health officials are now walking back claims that the recent COVID-19 infections in Southeast Washington can be traced to “coronavirus parties”: “After receiving further information, we have discovered that there were not intentional COVID parties. Just innocent endeavors,” a spokesperson for the Walla Walla County Health Department said in a statement. A full statement will be issued tomorrow.
When surveyed, people who received universal basic income instead of regular unemployment benefits reported better financial well-being, mental health and cognitive functioning, as well as higher levels of confidence in the future.
Dr. David Bangsberg, dean of the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, is hoping to recruit 100,000 participants to use a smart thermometer and answer a short health survey each day. Anyone with likely COVID-19 symptoms will be tested for the virus — and if they test positive they’ll be connected to treatment.
Indeed, despite some easing of earlier stay-home orders, Brown said large gatherings will remain off limits, and gathering sizes will be limited to 25 in counties with approved reopening plans. Live sports events, concerts, theater, festivals and conventions won’t be permitted until there is effective prevention and treatment available. That means they’ll be restricted through September at least, putting a damper on Oregonians’ summer bliss and a question mark over fall football, soccer and other cultural touchstones. Even that may be optimistic based on the current state of vaccines and immunity levels in the population.
Groups of Amazon warehouse workers delivered petitions to Jeff Bezos and Jay Carney on Thursday demanding that the retail giant reinstate a policy allowing for unlimited unpaid leave during the coronavirus emergency.
Late last week, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, teased out impending initiatives to prepare the British capital for “phase two” of the Covid-19 pandemic. City Hall and Transport for London (TfL), he said, expect a ten-fold increase in cycling and a five-fold increase in walking over the next few months, as travel patterns remain resolutely local. That means the shape of the city will need to change.
“We are still in the phase of naming the new things we’re encountering, but eventually we’ll get to the stage where we need names for what things were like before the virus hit,” she said. We’re still assimilating to “the new normal” and its accompanying word bank, while longing for “the before times.”
It isn’t clear how many of these trips were made by essential workers, but analyses based on census data show that more than 30% of normal transit riders have jobs that have been deemed pandemic-critical. Individuals riding to work right now are also less likely to have the option to drive, and they are more likely to be people of color, as evidenced in photos of crowded subways and buses that have sparked online outrage in recent weeks. Transit, an urban mobility navigation app, has found that 68% of the people using it to plan bus and metro trips right now are women, most of them black and Latinx.
As of now, the calendar includes an “Under the Sea” day, when bicyclists are encouraged to “Make that helmet into a jellyfish or a pufferfish. Make your bike look like a fish. Dress up like a shark.” There’s a superhero day calling for capes and masks, a rainbow day (dress like your favorite color), and a history day with a scavenger hunt.