Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Podcasts about COVID-19

Image by Menage a Moi.
We are still learning about the coronavirus (aka COVID-19 or SARS-COV-2).

I usually read as a way to digest information. 

However, I have been exploring podcasts as a way to learn about the current pandemic. 

By using various search terms on Spotify, I found more than 50 podcasts on COVID-19.

There are many more episodes about the virus / the pandemic within existing podcasts.

To date, I have listened to at least one episode of 50 podcasts dedicated to COVID-19.

Now I'm narrowing the field by selecting those that

* Have good sound quality
* Maintain a good focus, relatively free of banter
* Provide current data and results from current research
* Hosted by experts and/or interviews experts
* Might refer to technical language about virology / biochemistry, but aimed at the lay reader/listener rather than at fellow scientific and/or medical experts.

My Favorites COVID-19 (aka C19) Podcasts

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Virtual MAIA Every Thur in August 2020

Every Thursday in August 2020 at 12 noon Central
For a dozen years, the Mid-American Institute on Aging & Wellness has hosted keynote and concurrent sessions on an array of topics to promote health and wellness across the lifespan.

MAIA secured a fantastic line up of speakers this year who agreed to present online due to the constraints presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a great introduction to MAIA
because registration is FREE
for many attendees this year. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Settings that Heighten Risk for COVID-19 Transmission

Photo by diofw
Because I want to better understand the risk factors for coronavirus (aka COVID-19, SARS-COV-2), I wrote a post in April about biological risk factors such as obesity and diabetes. I'm adding to that post as new risk factors are announced (such as blood type).

Basically, these elements increase risk of COVID-19 transmission:
  • Being INDOORS (less ventilation of fresh air, more risk)
  • Being in a CROWDED space (closer to people, more risk)
  • LINGERING in that space over times (more time, more risk)
  • Being in a county with a HIGH INFECTION RATE (more community infection, more risk)
  • Being in a crowd WITH TRAVELERS from many other locations (more counties, more risk)
  • Being in a crowd where people PROJECT THEIR VOICE OR BREATH by talking, cheering, yelling, crying, booing, singing, panting, coughing, sneezing (more people exhaling forcefully with high frequency, more risk)
The date of this post is June 12th, but as I read news stories and scholarly studies, I will be adding information about settings that are high risk factors for transmission.

Graphic artists are doing a MUCH BETTER JOB than I in representing risks (but they don't have nursing homes, prisons, jails or meat packing plants listed on them).

July 3, 2020 The Texas Medical Association released this graphic.

The HIGH RISK activities are listed as

* Going to a bar
* Attending a religious service with 500+ people
* Going to a sports stadium
* Attending a large music concert
* Going to a movie theater
* Going to an amusement park
* Working out at a gym
* Eating at a buffet

Click on this link to read the full chart for other risky activities.

Information Is Beautiful @InfoBeautiful combined information from a variety of sources to make this graphic.

The highest risk activities on this data viz are as follows:

* nightclub
* indoor bars
* churches (particularly because of the singing)
* concert
* play
* indoor party
* sports arenas
* buffet
* amusement park
* wedding / funeral
* hug / shake hands
* socialize with strangers

On June 30, 2020, Doctors Emanual, Popscue & Phillips developed this guideline that assigns various activities a level of risk for contracting COVID-19.

The activities with the highest level of risk on this index are as follows:

* Indoor parties
* Playing contact sports
* Bars and nightclubs
* Public transportation
* Air travel
* Concerts
* Theaters (live or movie)
* Watching sports
* Religious Services

This 6/18/20 Science  News article has a very good data viz for depicting risk of spread. The bubbles in the graphic are hyperlinked.
Click the image to visit the Science News interactive graphic
Physical Settings that Heighten Risks

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Books about Epidemics and Pandemics

I've decided to channel some of my nervous energy about COVID-19 into reading books about pandemic directed at the lay reader. I do read news stories and scientific updates, but it's hard to see the forest from the trees right now. 

By looking at the work of epidemiologists narrating how they have addressed various outbreaks over the last 100 years, I can learn something about how people respond to contagions that cause epidemics and pandemics. 

Here's my list in reverse chronology.