This is the internet weblog of Bix Frankonis.

Link Log Roundup For April 29, 2020

In this edition: dashed hopes, wolves, mental health, reopening the South, corporate liability, excess deaths, a new blue, power company wifi, pet distancing, autistic voices, a Colorado quarantine, muscular Christians, letting industries fail, canceling the rent, keeping cars out, and bias in testing.

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.

No Testing, No Treatment, No Herd Immunity, No Easy Way Out

There was real reason to indulge in each of these hopes. But in the past several days, a series of developments have undermined the factual basis for all of them. So I am, finally, starting to reconcile myself to a darker reality: The miracle of deliverance is not in sight.

Will Restoring Wolves Restore the Landscape? Maybe Not.

Attributing every change in Yellowstone to the wolf is misleading, these critics argue. Wolves can affect the numbers and behavior of their prey, but just how that plays out can be unpredictable, varying in different habitats. And in a human-dominated world, there are many damaged ecosystems that wolves alone simply cannot heal.

Nearly Half of Americans are Struggling With Loneliness Amid Social Distancing, and Many Don’t Know Where to Find Help

More than half (55%) of individuals said their mental health is suffering because of the coronavirus outbreak. More women than men—56% and 54%, respectively— said the coronavirus has taken a toll on their mental health. Only about a fifth (18%) of respondents said their mental health state has not changed at all.

Black activists and officials see a major threat in South’s plans to reopen

They say the mostly white, male Republicans—who were reluctant to close their states but are now eager to reopen—are effectively issuing a “death sentence” for millions of black Americans who have been disproportionately impacted both economically and medically by the novel coronavirus.

Corporate shield leaves workers exposed

Is the Republican-controlled Senate doing anything to improve conditions for workers as they return to their jobs? No. Instead, the Senate is preparing legislation to shield companies from liability if its workers get sick or die.

Oregon Has Hundreds of Excess Deaths, Suggesting a Hidden COVID-19 Toll

Stokes found the number of reported deaths in Oregon from February through mid-April exceeded the five-year average for that time period by 348—about 5 percent. At the time he did his calculations, Oregon had just 72 officially reported COVID-19 deaths. That means there were 276 “excess” deaths that require further investigation.

A New Kind Of Blue From An Oregon Research Lab

He figured out that YInMn blue’s brilliance comes from the way some of its molecules are arranged. In particular, there’s a trigonal bipyramidal structure – think two four-sided pyramids with their butts stuck together—in the new pigment.

‘Drive-By Wi-Fi’: Hotspots Pop Up To Bridge Digital Divide

Distance learning, ordering groceries online or applying for unemployment, those are all kind of difficult without a good internet connection. So, at least five public utility districts spanning Washington state are setting up drive-up Wi-Fi hotspots amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Pets added to CDC social distancing recommendations

It advises pet owners to avoid letting their pets interact with people or animals outside your household. Cats should be kept indoors if possible. Dogs should be walked on a leash and kept at least 6 feet away from other animals or people. It’s best to avoid dog parks and other public places where lots of people and dogs gather.

‘Autistic voices should be heard.’ Autistic adults join research teams to shift focus of studies

The work, which Raymaker’s team published last month, highlights a new trend in autism research. Raymaker and colleagues are part of a small but growing number of research teams with autistic members. These groups are shifting the focus in autism research from cause and cure to practical steps, including ones that help autistic people in settings such as the workplace. And they’re publishing some of their findings in a new journal, Autism in Adulthood, which is dedicated to including the perspectives of autistic people in what it publishes.

A Colorado County Shut Down the 1918 Flu. It’s Stepping Up Again.

Walking through the streets of Crested Butte and Gunnison, people stand awkwardly far from each other while chatting near the post office. Parents on bikes tow their kids on sleds through slushy snow. In the middle of Elk Avenue, Crested Butte’s main street, which would normally be crowded with cars and people, a woman throws a Frisbee to her dog. A couple of blocks down, two men play hockey from opposite sides of the street. The marquee at the closed movie theater reads “You Are Essential.”

Mike Pence Isn’t a ‘Muscular Christian’

I suspect it’s because the president refuses to wear a mask. If the president does something, the vice president does it too, because this vice president is pretty much the opposite of manly, never mind manly Christian. Deciding on his own how to think, how to talk, or how to even walk is too risky for a man who’s conformist to his core.

Airlines and oil giants are on the brink. No government should offer them a lifeline | George Monbiot

This is our second great chance to do things differently. It could be our last. The first, in 2008, was spectacularly squandered. Vast amounts of public money were spent reassembling the filthy old economy, while ensuring that wealth remained in the hands of the rich. Today, many governments appear determined to repeat that catastrophic mistake.

‘Cancel the Rent’ Could Be Just the Beginning

Unaffordable rents were already the rule for poor families across the country. Even before the pandemic, more than 71% of low-income households were severely cost-burdened, meaning that they paid more than half their income to rent. Now those families are facing homelessness—even if they are not evicted immediately. The steps to protect vulnerable renters only delay mass nationwide evictions.

Paris Has a Plan to Keep Cars Out After Lockdown

Returning to a Paris dominated by cars after lockdown ends is “out of the question,” according to the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo. Speaking Tuesday at a special session of the Paris City Council on transitioning after France’s national lockdown eases on May 11, Hidalgo was emphatic about maintaining the anti-pollution and anti-congestion measures introduced during her tenure, even as cities rethink transportation policies to avoid Covid-19 transmission.

Retail COVID-19 testing is a massive failure for black communities – Type Investigations

However, of the 63 testing sites operating, or announced to open as of April 24, only eight—about 13 percent—are in predominantly black neighborhoods. Black Americans make up 30 percent of Covid-19 patients, according to preliminary nationwide data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This post originally was published 2 years ago by Bix Frankonis on Posts older than a decade might not reflect my current views.