Coronavirus in Context is a weekly newsletter where we bring you facts that matter about the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology trying to stop its spread. You can subscribe here.
Hola totally-not-having-a-pandemic pals,
I woke up early on Saturday and went outside. Dogs were barking, children were playing. People were gathered in groups. It was as if the pandemic had never happened in my cozy little beach barrio.
Nobody was wearing a mask. Social distancing? People were hugging and leaning on each other.
Days later and everywhere I go people are suddenly eager to shake hands, high-five, and fist-bump.
I hear it’s the same all over. In the States, my friends tell me that most people are only wearing masks in places where it’s required.
I guess the majority has decided we’re not playing COVID-19 anymore?
CNN: 120,000 people in the United States have died from coronavirus.
— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) June 22, 2020
That’s a bit scary. The country with the largest concentration of cases, the US, is currently experiencing record numbers of new cases on a daily basis in at least 12 states. And the national numbers are just as bad. Brazil and Germany are also seeing huge spikes in case numbers.
It’s become impossible to objectively discern what’s actually going on with the pandemic. For all the good our technology seems to be doing for the general population, we may as well be in the pre-internet era.
In one news cycle we’ll see reports that a specialist in Italy claims COVID-19 is weakening and may die out without a vaccine. This is juxtaposed against coverage in that same cycle claiming those who developed antibodies after contracting and recovering from the disease are only seeing short-term immunity before those antibodies fade.
It’s getting harder to figure out whether we should be scared to death, nonplussed, or just careful. I believe we should all err on the latter: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of regret.
The outlook remains bleak. Some experts are predicting that it’ll be another week before we see the ramifications of the protests and other gatherings show up in the death toll — a grim specter, but nonetheless a reality most of us need to face.
If you’re among those who are still concerned, still protecting yourself and others by self-isolating, social distancing, wearing a mask, and limiting contact: you are not alone.
It’s hard right now. I’m already getting dirty looks and sneers when I have to walk two meters into traffic to avoid a group of sidewalk pedestrians not wearing masks. And I live in a fairly liberal area. I can’t imagine how tough it must be to maintain what should be the status quo until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found in conservative areas of the world.
All we can do is stay the course. That, and install politicians in our respective nations who care more about human lives than “winning” a pandemic.
By the numbers
Last week we looked at the three tech moguls who’ve profited the most during the pandemic.
The highest single-day increase in cases since the pandemic began was on Sunday 21 June. This week we’ll look at data from the three nations with the largest increase on that day. (Source: Time)
Tweet of the week
1) cases to deaths was 8 days in March, and is 27 days now. 2) uptick in deaths will begin after 6/28 3) confirmed cases is nonlinearly related to actual infections by a power law with positivity. Deaths linearly relates to actual infections. https://t.co/IzBUh32ps8
— Dave Blake, PhD (@_stah) June 23, 2020
What to read
|Apple doesn’t know what Boris Johnson is talking about, nobody knows what Trump is talking about, and here’s what we’re talking about…|
|In this section, one of our writers will share one weird internet thing they’ve been obsessing over while in lockdown. This week’s comes to us from TNW’s own Georgina Ustik:
The other week, one of our colleagues shared Radio.Garden over Slack. It’s a website that lets you “Explore live radio by rotating the globe.”
The interface is really nice — it’s basically a geographical map of the world that you can scroll around on. You can select a city, and then choose the radio program you want to listen to.
I love radio — I’ve been a devoted listener of NPR since I was a kid, and I’ve even written about my favorite online radio stations for TNW before. Websites like this are an amazing music discovery tool — I’m jamming to Radio Somada streaming out from Cape Verde as we speak. Whoop, now I’m grooving to Dr_Dick’s Dub Shack from Bermuda. Now I’ve hopped over to Classic Radio in Sri Lanka! My head is spinning!!!
My only complaint is that there’s no randomization, but I enjoy the search. It’s also a great way to listen to local talk radio in places you know nothing about.
Tweet me with any good stations you find!
Don’t believe everything you read on social media. Stay healthy and take care of each other,
Celebrate Pride 2020 with us this month!
Why is queer representation so important? What’s it like being trans in tech? How do I participate virtually? You can find all our Pride 2020 coverage here.