A Simple Plan to Deal with COVID-19: Free Flu Shots for All (Mother Jones)

Mother Jones: A Simple Plan to Deal with COVID-19: Free Flu Shots for All . “There is an amazingly simple and clever step that the US federal government could take to counter a possible COVID-19 surge this fall and winter: a national crash program for flu shots. So far, the Trump administration has not embarked on such a program.”

New York Times: The Mask Slackers of 1918

New York Times: The Mask Slackers of 1918. “More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted. In 1918 and 1919, as bars, saloons, restaurants, theaters and schools were closed, masks became a scapegoat, a symbol of government overreach, inspiring protests, petitions and defiant bare-face gatherings. All the while, thousands of Americans were dying in a deadly pandemic.”

MIT Technology Review: Prepare for a winter covid-19 spike now, say medical experts

MIT Technology Review: Prepare for a winter covid-19 spike now, say medical experts. “We should prepare now for a potential new wave of coronavirus cases this winter, according to the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences. Health-care systems tend to struggle in winter anyway because infectious diseases spread faster as we spend more time in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and because conditions like asthma, heart attacks, and stroke tend to be exacerbated in colder temperatures. But if you factor a potential winter rise in covid-19 infections that could be worse than the initial outbreak, a backlog of patients with other conditions, and exhausted frontline workers, health-care systems could be pushed beyond their limit, the academy has warned in a new report.”

Bloomberg: U.S. Preps for ‘Tremendous Burden’ of Flu, Covid Hit at Once

Bloomberg: U.S. Preps for ‘Tremendous Burden’ of Flu, Covid Hit at Once. “Covid activity is expected to ‘continue for some time’ and ‘could place a tremendous burden’ on an already stretched health-care system if coupled with the influenza season that comes each fall, top officials including Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, will tell House lawmakers on Tuesday, according to prepared testimony.”

Washington Post: CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus this winter will likely be worse

Washington Post: CDC director warns second wave of coronavirus this winter will likely be worse. “Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more deadly because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season.”

CNET: Where to get your flu shot for cheap and for free in 2019

CNET: Where to get your flu shot for cheap and for free in 2019
. “You can certainly make other efforts to ward of the virus, such as keeping your hands and home clean, but the fact of the matter is that the flu shot does work. And everyone is susceptible: There are only two groups of people who should not get the flu vaccine. In this article, earn about where you can find flu shots for cheap and for free, plus more on why you really need one.” This article did not mention where I got my flu shot: Costco, for $19.99. Thank goodness for friends with Costco memberships…

‘Up close and personal’: Mütter Museum maps the spread of Philly’s 1918 flu epidemic (WHYY)

WHYY: ‘Up close and personal’: Mütter Museum maps the spread of Philly’s 1918 flu epidemic. “When the Mütter Museum began looking into the historic epidemic five years ago, it discovered a trove of information in archives around the city, including tens of thousands of death certificates. Part of the project was to create a public online database of all those death certificates and place them on an interactive map. Users can search by name or neighborhood to track how the flu swept the city.”

VentureBeat: AI uses Google Trends data to predict how many people will get the flu

VentureBeat: AI uses Google Trends data to predict how many people will get the flu. “In a newly published paper (‘Sequence to Sequence with Attention for Influenza Prevalence Prediction using Google Trends’) on Arxiv.org, scientists hailing from the University of Tokyo describe a system that taps data from Google Trends, a tool that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search, to improve precision. They report that their approach achieves state-of-the-art results in preliminary tests.”

CNET: ‘Turbocharged’ AI flu vaccine to be tested in US soon, report says

CNET: ‘Turbocharged’ AI flu vaccine to be tested in US soon, report says. “The flu vaccine isn’t perfect, but Australian scientists are trying to make it work better. Researchers at Flinders University in South Australia developed a way to use artificial intelligence to create a ‘turbocharged’ flu vaccine. The computer program, called Sam, is set for a trial in the US soon, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.”

CNET: CDC 1918 Pandemic Trail game is Oregon Trail with the flu

CNET: CDC 1918 Pandemic Trail game is Oregon Trail with the flu. “You’re a letter carrier in Philadelphia. The year is 1918. Your mission is to stay alive for one day during the most devastating influenza pandemic in history. Choose wisely. Your life depends on it.”

New Zealand Herald: The killer that claimed more lives than WWI

New Zealand Herald: The killer that claimed more lives than WWI. “For decades, most of the influenza victims’ graves in Wellington’s Karori Cemetery lay neglected and overgrown. Many people lay in unmarked graves, while some had been disinterred and their remains put elsewhere as no one had paid for their grave or marker. Now genealogists have created a new website… which documents the 660 flu victims who are buried there. The genealogists have researched and documented 160 of the victims’ lives in intimate detail.”

Donegal Now: National Museum of Ireland of Country Life explores devastating Spanish Flu outbreak from 100 years ago

Donegal Now: National Museum of Ireland of Country Life explores devastating Spanish Flu outbreak from 100 years ago. “The public participation element of the programme will allow students, communities and individuals across the island of Ireland to share and archive their Spanish Flu stories… Stories submitted by the public will be linked to an online interactive map of Ireland, which will allow a global audience to view Irish experiences of the Spanish Flu.”

State Tech Magazine: Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu

State Tech Magazine: Digital Data Helps Public Health Departments Keep Tabs on, Tackle the Flu. “No one needs a reminder that this flu season was one of the worst in recent years. Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control suggests it may have been worse than the 2009 season, when the swine flu pandemic strain swept the country. The good news, however, is that digital data is helping researchers and public health organizations provide more timely predictions about the spread of the flu and assessments of seasons in progress.”

ThinkProgress: A dangerous piece of fake news is spreading like wildfire on Facebook

ThinkProgress: A dangerous piece of fake news is spreading like wildfire on Facebook. “A study from NewsWhip found earlier this week that one of the top four stories with the most engagement since Facebook’s change belonged to YourNewsWire, a notorious fake news factory. The story, which claimed that an unnamed ‘CDC doctor’ said the flu vaccine was ‘causing [the] deadly flu outbreak,’ had at the time generated more overall engagements than any story from outlets like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, CNN, NPR, or even Fox News. (The YourNewsWire story has since fallen a few slots.) At last check, the YourNewsWire story had nearly a half-million total Facebook engagements. “

WMAR: Sickweather app tracks sickness through social media posts

WMAR: Sickweather app tracks sickness through social media posts. “Sickweather is an app that tracks sicknesses through public social media posts. It originated in Cockeysville and has since gone global. The three co-founders of Sickweather met at Dulaney High School, now their app is helping moms and others attempt to beat any bugs or illness by tracking them on a live map…. ‘Sickweather is like the Doppler radar or Waze if you prefer of illness. We scrape social media data. We also get data intake from a number of our partners,’ said Michael Belt, co-founder and chief technology officer for Sickweather.”