Phys .org: COVID-19 has crippled the winter sports industry—but a digital revolution will help it recover

Phys .org: COVID-19 has crippled the winter sports industry—but a digital revolution will help it recover. “It was all going so well. When China sparked the greatest winter sports boom in history by trying to inspire 300m people ahead of the Olympics in Beijing in 2022, the forecast for the industry was great. The 2018/2019 season was the most successful for 20 years, as the American and European markets were thriving too. Then the pandemic hit, and winter sports, like many other industries, were severely affected. But our recent research suggests the technological developments the pandemic has also ushered in could help secure its future by changing the way elite sportspeople and amateurs approach the sports they love.”

ScienceBlog: Adherence To Health Precautions, Not Climate, The Biggest Factor Driving Wintertime COVID-19 Outbreaks

ScienceBlog: Adherence To Health Precautions, Not Climate, The Biggest Factor Driving Wintertime COVID-19 Outbreaks. “Wintertime outbreaks of COVID-19 have been largely driven by whether people adhere to control measures such as mask wearing and social distancing, according to a study published Feb. 8 in Nature Communications by Princeton University researchers. Climate and population immunity are playing smaller roles during the current pandemic phase of the virus, the researchers found.”

New York Times: The Long Darkness Before Dawn

New York Times: The Long Darkness Before Dawn. “Our failure to protect ourselves has caught up to us. The nation now must endure a critical period of transition, one that threatens to last far too long, as we set aside justifiable optimism about next spring and confront the dark winter ahead.”

New Yorker: Our Brains Explain the Season’s Sadness

New Yorker: Our Brains Explain the Season’s Sadness. “I’ve been consumed this fall with a melancholy sadness. It’s different from the loneliness that I felt in the early stage of the pandemic, during the lockdown, when I took a picture of my shadow after a neighborhood walk failed to jumpstart exercise endorphins. Eleven months after COVID-19 spread globally, and during what would otherwise be a joyous Thanksgiving, my sorrow, and surely the emotion of many others, is more complicated.”

The Atlantic: It’s Time to Hunker Down

The Atlantic: It’s Time to Hunker Down. “Utah, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, and other states are already reporting that hospitals and intensive-care units are at or near capacity. The bottleneck for medical care isn’t just lack of space, or even equipment, which we may be able to increase, but staff—trained nurses and doctors who can attend to patients, and who cannot be manufactured out of thin air. During the spring crisis in the New York tristate area, health-care workers from around the country rushed to the region, buttressing the exhausted medical workforce. With a nationwide surge, doctors and nurses are needed in their hometown hospitals.”

New York Times: Worried About Covid-19 in the Winter? Alaska Provides a Cautionary Tale

New York Times: Worried About Covid-19 in the Winter? Alaska Provides a Cautionary Tale. “At a time when cases across the United States are rising and people are growing fatigued by months of restrictions, Alaska’s struggles provide an early warning that winter could bring the most devastating phase of the pandemic. ‘We’ve been markedly concerned about what the fall and winter will look like, and I think it’s playing out that it’s highly concerning,’ said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer.”

New York Times: Winter Is Coming for Bars. Here’s How to Save Them. And Us.

New York Times: Winter Is Coming for Bars. Here’s How to Save Them. And Us.. “If we really want to stem the spread of the coronavirus as winter looms and we wait for a vaccine, here’s an idea: The government should pay bars, many restaurants and event venues to close for some months. That may sound radical, but it makes scientific sense and even has a political precedent. We pay farmers not to cultivate some fields (in theory, at least, to protect the environment), so why not pay bars that cannot operate safely to shut down (to protect public health)?”

Time Out New York: This Google doc shows all NYC restaurants and bars with heaters

Time Out New York: This Google doc shows all NYC restaurants and bars with heaters. “For you dear reader, we’ve started a Google doc with more than 100 restaurants and bars with outdoor dining setups that will keep you warm. Click here to find the running list, which we’ll be updating regularly. It’s like the chain letter we all need this year (email us at food.ny@timeout.com for all the spots we’ve still yet to add because we know Staten Island has more than one spot).”

NPR: What’s Coming This Winter? Here’s How Many More Could Die In The Pandemic

NPR: What’s Coming This Winter? Here’s How Many More Could Die In The Pandemic. “Dr. Michael Mina, a professor at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, compares the situation to a growing forest fire with small sparks all over the U.S. that will gain strength as the weather turns colder. ‘We are likely to see massive explosions of cases and outbreaks that could potentially make what we’ve seen so far look like it hasn’t been that much,’ says Mina.”

Washington Post: How to safely — and graciously — host friends and family as the weather gets colder

Washington Post: How to safely — and graciously — host friends and family as the weather gets colder. “Many of us were just getting the hang of pandemic-era socializing. In backyards and patios, stoops and parks, people have gathered at a distance with small numbers of friends and family for the human connections we so badly need. There was always a risk. But just when standing six feet apart and forgoing hugs (and cheese boards!) had started to feel almost normal, things shifted again. This time, that darn change of seasons threatens to upend our pandemic routines.”

Route Fifty: How We Survive the Winter

Route Fifty: How We Survive the Winter. “It is now widely accepted among experts that the United States is primed for a surge in cases at a uniquely perilous moment in our national history. ‘As we approach the fall and winter months, it is important that we get the baseline level of daily infections much lower than they are right now,’ Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told me by email. For the past few weeks, the country has been averaging about 40,000 new infections a day. Fauci said that ‘we must, over the next few weeks, get that baseline of infections down to 10,000 per day, or even much less if we want to maintain control of this outbreak.’”

ThePrint: Virus surge as summer wanes in Australia indicates what US, Europe can expect this winter

ThePrint: Virus surge as summer wanes in Australia indicates what US, Europe can expect this winter. “Deep into the Southern Hemisphere winter, Australia’s second-most populous city Melbourne is experiencing a virus resurgence that dwarfs its first outbreak back in March. The state of Victoria on Thursday reported a high of 723 new infections — nearly 200 more than its previous record set a few days earlier. The surge epitomizes a disturbing pattern: that subsequent Covid-19 waves can be worse than the first, particularly when the conditions — like people sheltering from colder weather in enclosed spaces — are ripe for transmission.”

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.”

MakeUseOf: How You Can Prepare for Winter Storms With These Apps and Websites

MakeUseOf: How You Can Prepare for Winter Storms With These Apps and Websites. “What if you still want to go out and enjoy the season in this bad weather? Is there any way to avoid those bad roads without becoming a hermit during the colder winter months? Here’s how to use technology to avoid winter storms, ranging from apps to websites.” Advanced users won’t find anything new here, but good basics to share.