Cigna will now let you go to the doctor on your phone
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Close-up Of A Man Using Laptop To Communicate With Doctor

Health insurance company Cigna is launching a new video-based primary care service that will reach over 12 million people.

The company is partnering with MDLive, which already provides telehealth services to several hospitals including Humana and some locations of Blue Cross Blue Shield. However, this is the first time it has waded into primary care.

Due to fears that a whole generation of doctors will soon be retiring, reducing the supply of available doctors and therefore appointments, there is an increasing push from the medical community to conduct as many medical visits as possible online or at home. As it is, doctors feel overextended in their day-to-day practice, and burnout is recognized as a pervasive problem in the industry. Unless in-person presence is absolutely necessary, virtual care has the promise of making individual appointments more efficient, freeing up doctors’ time.

It is also a lot more convenient for patients. According to an 2019 Accenture survey, 29% of respondents said they’ve used virtual care, up from 21% two years ago. Cigna has been working with MDLive and its platform of 1,300 physicians for the past five years on 24-7 online urgent care services. The insurer has now added MDLive’s therapy and behavioral services to its client benefits and will roll out primary care in April. The hope is that by putting services online, Cigna will be able to get members who historically have not gone the doctor to finally go.

“There’s a whole portion of our population not seeking any care, and we need to find convenient and affordable ways for those patients to be accessing care,” says Julie McCarter, head of product solutions at Cigna.

The deal between Cigna and MDLive comes at a time when virtual care may finally be hitting the mainstream.

Continue on to Fast Company to read the complete article.

Create a Live Video Community (and Why You Would Want to)
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young black woman filming a video while playing guitar

There is a good chance that most people reading this have tuned into at least one live video over the last week. It’s something that is becoming increasingly popular, and is expected to continue to increase in popularity going forward. There are many good reasons why more influencers and businesses alike are turning to creating a live video community, and harnessing the power that it can offer. Now is the time to learn how to create a live video community and why it’s so important to do so.

“People are showing that they love live video and interacting with it in a big way,” explains Alexander Riesenkampff, the chief executive officer of GetVokl, a livestreaming platform. “We have helped many people build and grow their live video community, and know that as this field continues to grow, we will be helping many more.”

People tend to feel more urgency to watch a live video. Seeing that it’s live gets them interested. The area of live video offers a lot of potential for those who are brand influencers, businesses, or those who want to make a strong connection with their followers. Not only is viewing live video on the rise, but research shows that it tends to outperform recorded video.

Those interested in creating a live video community should spend a little time exploring how others have done it. GetVokl, for example, has many live communities that can be accessed, providing a good place to do a little homework and learn the ins and outs. Once you are ready to get started, GetVokl can help you create a larger community. They also make it easy to directly monetize the audience. The app allows each live video to be shown across multiple platforms at one time. This ensures that your video is live across all platforms, rather than being live on one and then having to post a recorded video to the others.

Here are 5 reasons why it’s a good idea to create a live video community:

  • Live video gives you the ability to increase engagement and interaction with your audience. It allows for immediate feedback and discussion. This helps to build authority, make a connection, and increase loyalty.
  • An effective marketing tool, creating a live video community can lead to an increase in sales and revenue. It gives all types of companies and influencers a way to increase their earnings.
  • Live video communities feel real and authentic. This is one of the reasons why people prefer it to recorded videos. Most recorded videos are heavily edited, yet people prefer the authenticity that comes with it being live.
  • There is a greater ability to make an impact when you engage in live video with your target audience. They can ask questions, provide immediate feedback, and get to know your personality more.
  • Audiences tend to watch for a longer period of time when the information is coming to them live, as opposed to in a recorded video. Keeping your target market watching longer makes for a more effective marketing experience.

“Creating a livestream community is something anyone can do,” added Riesenkampff. “Once you do it, you will see there are benefits. It’s like getting the chance to be with your people in the same room, even if they are thousands of miles away. Whether you hold Q&A sessions, offer how-to talks, host interviews, provide advice, or just offer fun looks into what you are doing, it leaves a powerful mark.”

GetVokl is an app that allows people to livestream across multiple platforms at one time. It’s free to use and ideal for podcasters, coaches, teachers, bloggers, reporters, or others who want their livestream to reach people on multiple platforms. It’s quick to set up and easy to use, requiring only minimal technical knowledge. GetVokl also features VCoin, which helps podcasters earn more money by letting people give tips or donations as the livestreaming takes place. To learn more about GetVokl or to download the app, visit the site: https://getvokl.com/.

 To learn more about how VCoin works, watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qroHqQY0IjY&feature=youtu.be.

About GetVokl:
GetVokl is a free livestreaming community platform built for podcasters, livestreamers, and hosts to unleash the potential of their audiences through interactive live shows that inspire and create vibrant communities. GetVokl allows a livestream to be broadcast over multiple social media platforms at one time. Join or create your live video community. To learn more about GetVokl, please visit https://about.getvokl.com.

The First Pharmacy to Add Drones for Delivery
LinkedIn
A drone holding a small UPS package flies in front of a CVS Pharmacy

CVS, in an effort to ensure proper medication is easily available to those who need it the most, has been utilizing in-store pickup, drive through services, and free delivery to distribute their prescriptions. But for the first time in history, in partnership with UPS, one CVS pharmacy will start delivering medication in a new way—by drone.

The Villages, the largest retirement facility in the United States, located in central Florida, will begin receiving their prescription medications from CVS via drone delivery starting in early May and is expected to continue until the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Drone delivery will enable more social distancing of especially susceptible members of the community and decrease the chances of infection on both sides. The drones will only be flying a half-mile distance to a separate location and transported by truck from there.

Though this technology is rarely used presently, this isn’t the first time that drone delivery has been tested. In fact, drone delivery was first utilized by UPS to make deliveries to WakeMed’s flagship campus in Raleigh, North Carolina, and at UC San Diego in California. These deliveries, as well as the ones that will be made in Florida, adhere to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Part 107 rules and have permission to be utilized during the pandemic.

Deployment of delivery drones during the pandemic could potentially open up to possibilities of drone delivery in the future and among other CVS pharmacies.

To read the full press release, click here

This New COVID-19 Test is Bringing Us Closer to the Cure
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African-american scientist or graduate student in lab coat and protective wear works in modern laboratory

The University of Washington’s Virology Lab has been working tirelessly since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It was one of the first labs to formulate a test for the presence of the virus and has processed thousands of these tests at its facilities. In fact, the university’s virology lab is currently processing its newest success in partnership with Abbott Labs’ antibody test for COVID-19.

The University has been running trials of Abbott Labs’ antibody blood tests, designed to find out who has natural or built-up immunity to COVID-19. The trials have proved to be incredibly successful.

Though showing immunity isn’t a cure, it is a major step to getting to that point. Knowing who is immune and who has had the virus before helps track the origins of the disease, knowing the components that can be used in a vaccine, and helps ensure the safety of bringing people back into the workforce. It is unclear how the antibodies of the novel coronavirus work or if you could get infected with the virus a second time, but Keith Jerome, the leader of the University of Washington’s virology program, assured that people with the antibodies will have more protection than those who do not. Receiving the virus a second time could result in more cold-like symptoms and not require the extreme hospitalization methods in place now.

The work being done in the study of antibodies through the University of Washington would not be possible without Abbott’s partnership. The antibody test produced by Abbott is not the first of its kind to be produced, but it is said to be the most reliable and the most sensitive in analyzation. In fact, Abbott’s test has correctly identified COVID-19 99.6% of the time against other viruses and has a 100% sensitivity to the coronavirus antibodies. Best of all, the test only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to retrieve the results.

“This starts to get us to the point that we can make a difference for the population of our area, get people back to work and give them back the lives that they were hoping for,” Jerome said.

Jim Ryan and the Wheelie 7: A Game Changer for Mobility
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Jim Ryan, male, sitting in his HOOBOX Robotics' Wheelie 7 wheelchair in his living room, smiling for the camera

By Jaeson “Doc” Parsons

The date of March 30th, 2016, will be forever etched into the mind of Jim Ryan. That day, while vacationing in Maui with his wife, Isabelle, a wave struck him in waist deep water, driving him into the sea floor. He surfaced, unconscious and unresponsive. In that split second, Ryan was paralyzed, becoming a quadriplegic from his C4 vertebrae down. In that moment, his life was changed forever.

Ryan is not alone. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, nearly 288,000 people in the United States are living with spinal cord injuries, and there about 17,700 new cases each year.

For those with movement-limiting conditions like Ryan, getting around can exact a terrible toll on quality of life and autonomy. A 2018 study found that physical mobility has the largest impact on quality of life for people with spinal cord injuries. Mobility is often enabled through caregivers or through a motorized wheelchair with complex sensors placed on the body that require special education to operate.

With this in mind, technology company Intel partnered with robotics company Hoobox to create the first-ever artificial intelligence-powered wheelchair that translates facial expressions into freedom of movement.

Using a combination of Intel hardware and software, Hoobox developed ‘The Wheelie’—a wheelchair kit that utilizes facial recognition technology to capture, process, and translate facial expressions into real-time wheelchair commands, finally providing individuals such as Ryan with autonomy, regardless of the physical limitations they’re facing. This system is a kit which can be installed on any motorized wheelchair system and, at under 7 minutes for installation, is relatively easy to implement.

Like many individuals suffering from spinal cord injuries, Ryan was using a conventional motorized system, one that uses a head array to translate gestures into movement.

“Before the Wheelie I drove my wheelchair with the head array. It is like a horseshoe around my head with five buttons that I used to turn left, right, forward, back, and change modes,” Ryan said. “Because of the head array, I am unable to look left and right. Nor can I wear hats of virtually any type. The hats get in the way of my buttons.”

Hoobox saw this limitation and found a way through it. By incorporating AI and a camera, the Wheelie 7 operates without invasive body sensors, providing users with independence and control over their location. It translates 11 different facial expressions into wheelchair commands in real time with 99.9% accuracy. And its performance improves over time as the algorithm learns to recognize the user’s expressions, allowing for increased freedom of movement.

“The Wheelie allows me to turn my head left and right and wear any hat I want,” said Ryan, who was introduced to Hoobox’s Wheelie through a group in Vancouver. He is one of more than 60 individuals who are testing the new technology to help Hoobox developers understand their needs and requirements.

Since being introduced to the Wheelie 7, Ryan has improved not just his mobility, but his lifestyle as well.

“I now can look left and right, up and down. I can wear a sun hat or baseball hat in the summer and nice winter hat or hoodie in the winter,” he said.

As technology continues its march forward with advances in AI systems, the limitations on mobility for those suffering from debilitating injuries like Ryan are beginning to see a transformation.

Wheelie 7 is a game changer in improving access to mobility solutions for those with conditions resulting from nearly 500,000 spinal cord injuries per year. But through continued research and development by companies such as Intel and Hoobox, and with the help of individuals such as Ryan, mobility is becoming a reality.

“For a person like me it gives a tremendous amount of freedom,” he said. “By using facial expressions instead of head movements, the Wheelie allows me more freedom and comfort in my wheelchair. And for anyone else with limited movement like me, it can be at true asset.”

General Atomics and Its Affiliates Unite in Fight Against COVID-19
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face shields in boxes

As the U.S. and the world take on the challenge of combating the novel coronavirus, General Atomics (GA) and its affiliates are leveraging their expertise in manufacturing and innovation to meet the urgent needs of our communities.

At GA facilities in San Diego and across the country, test kit development, 3D printing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and ventilator component manufacturing are underway to assist in the fight against COVID-19 at a local, state and national level.

 

  • GA, Diazyme is offering a COVID-19 Antibody test from blood draws (serum or plasma). Under the FDA’s policy for Public Health Emergency for COVID-19, Diazyme utilized the notification process as outlined in Section IVD of the policy and is now listed on the FDA’s FAQ site dedicated to serological (Antibody) testing. The Diazyme’s sensitive test is run on a fully-automated Diazyme DZ-Lite 3000 chemiluminescence analyzer. Diazyme is already working with multiple clinical laboratories around the country, including the UCSD Medical Center to perform these serological tests. Serological tests are not for sole diagnosis of the COVID-19 disease but are valuable in understanding community spread of the disease.
  • Diazyme has also notified the FDA of a rapid COVID-19 Antibody test. This point-of-care test requires only a single drop of blood and provides results within 10-15 minutes. Rapid tests tend to be less sensitive than the lab run tests but are easy to use and can be performed at the point-of-care (doctor’s office, community clinics) and is useful in identifying people who may have been exposed to COVID-19, as well as those who have already recovered, but were unaware that they had been infected.
  • More information about Diazyme’s tests including regulatory statutory statements can be found at http://www.diazyme.com/dz-lite-sars-cov-2
  • GA, Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) group is pursuing component manufacturing and integration services to help scale up production of ventilators. With extensive manufacturing facilities located across the U.S., GA-EMS provides a convenient, US-sourced option to help companies rapidly increase their production capacity to meet the high demand for critical medical equipment. GA-EMS has also tested their first generation mechanized bag valve mask. The system would fit into a backpack and could replace human interaction with the bag enabling more controlled and repeatable tides for infants, children and adults.
  • GA-EMS, GA-Energy group, and GA-ASI adapted their prototyping and production capacities to produce 3D-printed face shields to meet local demand for PPE. Since late March, the joint team has manufactured and shipped over 5,000 face shields in the greater San Diego area and across the nation.
  • GA-EMS is accelerating the development schedule of its MATCHBOX™ Point-of-Care molecular diagnostic platform responding to the growing need for COVID-19 testing. MATCHBOX is expected to have the capability to test and diagnose for a wide range of known respiratory infections, including COVID-19, within 30-60 minutes using a single patient sample using a portable point-of-care instrument.

“The health, safety and well-being of our employees and our communities at large is a top priority for GA,” said Neal Blue, GA Chairman and CEO. “GA has been delivering solutions in support of public health for decades, and with so many in need during this unprecedented time, we have concentrated our collective efforts to address the current pandemic. I salute colleagues as they continue to innovate and look for creative solutions to the current crisis.”

About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems

General Atomics pioneers in the development of transformational technologies. Since the dawn of the atomic age, GA’s innovations have advanced the state of the art across the full spectrum of science and technology – from nuclear energy and defense to medicine and high-performance computing. Behind a talented global team of scientists, engineers, and professionals, GA delivers safe, sustainable, and economical solutions to meet growing global demands. www.ga.com.

This Town Is Already Getting Deliveries By Drones
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Drone carrying first aid package

In Christiansburg, Virginia, deliveries by drones are not only being studied but also implemented for the town’s citizens amid social distancing due to COVID-19.

The deliveries technically began in October, when a drone nicknamed “Wing” carried a fleece vest for the last two miles of the item’s delivery route. This marked “Wing” as the first drone to ever carry out this kind of delivery in the United States. Ever since this incident, the drone has continued to deliver packages over short distances, especially during this time of social distancing.

Besides Christiansburg, drone deliveries have only been officially tested in areas of Finland and Australia, as researchers are still looking into the mechanics of using drones for everyday deliveries. All of the towns conducting tests, including Christiansburg, have a flat topography and relatively small populations, making them ideal spots to test drone delivery without geographic or social interruption from largely populated cities. Virginia Tech, the home to an unnamed drone research department, also resides in close proximity to Christiansburg, as to closely study the effects of drone delivery.

While drone delivery has so far proved successful, it does have its controversies. For one, the delivery drones would not be able to deliver any item, having a weight limit of about three pounds. Drones must also pass the test of public perception as tests try to seek the normalization of drone delivery by everyone. Regardless, “Wing” and its correspondents have already partnered with  major companies, such as Walgreens and FedEx, to deliver essential items, and the search has already begun for more testing sites across the United States.

Natalie Rodgers
Diversity in STEAM Magazine contributing writer

From A Simple Swab To A Simple Sniff—How dogs are being trained to detect COVID-19
LinkedIn
dogs face close up

Especially for the elderly and to those with compromised immune systems, coronavirus testing kits are critical to treating the virus at an early stage. The current test is excellent at its job but is limited to and inaccessible to many people around the world—not to mention it’s uncomfortable. But what if there were an easier way?

Many scientific journals have proposed each disease has its own distinct scent. Many dogs have been used in the past to detect different types of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and bacterial ailments. That is why the organization Medical Detection Dogs, located in the United Kingdom, have begun trials with medical professionals to see if dogs can sniff out the coronavirus’ scent.

The hope is that dogs will pick up on COVID-19’s scent among large crowds and detect those carrying the virus. This procedure would not only be more comfortable than current testing but could also cover more ground and be less invasive.

Should these dogs be successful, Professor Steve Lindsay of Durham University believes that, “…we could use COVID-19 detection dogs at airports at the end of the epidemic to rapidly identify people carrying the virus. This would help prevent the re-emergence of the disease after we have brought the present epidemic under control.”

Natalie Rodgers
Diversity in STEAM Magazine contributing writer

Breweries and distilleries around the world are producing free sanitizing products to fight the coronavirus
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anheuser-busch diageo sanitizer bottles

The world’s largest beer and spirits companies have both announced they’ll be pivoting some of their production and logistics to produce millions of bottles of hand sanitizer around the world. The moves come as many brands look at ways to mobilize their extensive resources to help battle the global spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Diageo, parent company of spirits brands ranging from Johnnie Walker to Smirnoff, today announced it will provide 2 million liters (about half a million gallons) of 96% alcoholic grain-neutral spirit to sanitizer manufacturers at no cost. That amount is enough to produce 8 million bottles of sanitizer at 250 milliliters each.

Anheuser-Busch—creator of Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and many other beer brands—is retooling its global manufacturing and distribution networks to create more than 1 million bottles of hand sanitizer that will be donated. Although the company doesn’t create distilled spirits, the sanitizer production was accomplished by shifting what it described as “existing technology for our non-alcohol brewing process.”

Both corporations said the sanitizer they’re producing at no charge will go to hospitals and frontline medical personnel, who have struggled worldwide to maintain adequate supplies of protective equipment as consumers stocked up on sanitizer, masks and other products.

“Healthcare workers are at the forefront of fighting this pandemic, and we are determined to do what we can to help protect them,” said Ivan Menezes, CEO of Diageo. “This is the quickest and most effective way for us to meet the surging demand for hand sanitizer around the world.”

Diageo and Anheuser-Busch aren’t the first alcohol companies to begin producing free sanitizer amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but they’re certainly the largest.

Delaware craft brewer Dogfish Head and many local breweries or distillers have been working to produce sanitizer for their communities and medical facilities. Tito’s Vodka says it’s currently testing a production change that will allow it to produce an initial run of 24 tons (about 6,500 gallons) of sanitizer in small bottles.

Here’s a breakdown of how the two massive global companies will be structuring their sanitizer production efforts:
Diageo

• U.K. and Ireland: Providing 500,000 liters of grain-neutral spirits for national healthcare systems and workers.
• Italy: Supplying 100,000 liters of grain-neutral spirits to support the healthcare system and other national needs.
• U.S.: Providing 500,000 liters for local community needs.
• Brazil: Diageo’s Ypioca plant will produce 50,000 liters of grain-neutral spirit for the local healthcare system, in conjunction with the Ceara state government.
• Kenya: Diageo’s East Africa Breweries will enable production of 135,000 liters of sanitizer, prioritizing vulnerable and at-risk groups.
• India: Providing 500,000 liters of alcohol to supply to the sanitizer industry across 25 states, for use in national healthcare systems and for consumers.
• Australia: Diageo’s Bundaberg Distilling will produce 100,000 liters of ethanol for the Queensland government, to be directed to hand sanitizer manufacturers.
• Africa: Producing disinfectant alcohol, then using extensive fleet and route network of breweries to deliver the finished product to the most remote parts of the continent.
• Europe: Producing 50,000 liters of disinfectant alcohol as well as 26,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for donation to pharmacies and frontline workers across the region.
• Central America: Producing more than 400,000 bottles of hand sanitizer gel for donation to hospitals and local governments.
• North America: Producing and distributing bottles of hand sanitizer to accommodate growing needs across the United States and Canada.
• South America: Produced 500,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for hospitals in the most impacted areas, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia in Brazil.

Continue on to ADWEEK to read the complete article.

Cisco commits $225 million to battle coronavirus, leading tech’s fight against the pandemic
LinkedIn
Cisco representative seated announcing pandemic support

Cisco plans to dedicate $225 million in cash and services to support various causes dedicated to combating the spread of the coronavirus and helping those affected.

“Cisco must, and will, do even more to help others respond to this global pandemic,” said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, pictured, in a blog post published Sunday evening.

The investment, which includes $8 million in cash and $210 million in products, will be dispersed to a variety of groups including the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the World Health Organization’s various coronavirus efforts.

“People who were already vulnerable are facing even more risks to their health, stability, housing, and well-being,” Robbins wrote. “Nonprofits are struggling to serve their populations as the number of volunteers declines due to social distancing practices and donations are at-risk due to financial concerns.”

The networking giant will also provide funding for unspecified “heads of state, government agencies, and businesses to rapidly deploy COVID-19-related technology solutions,” Robbins wrote.

According to Robbins, Cisco is helping to secure over 2.2 million people online to date, and Webex, the company’s video conference and online collaboration tool, has facilitated the virtual response meetings for the French, Canadian, German, Colombian, and other governments around the world.

Cisco, along with other unnamed companies, will also announce on Monday a multi-million-dollar financial assistance program for at-risk people, Robbins said.

“With support from Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Destination: Home’s CEO Jen Loving, we will be able to rapidly support low-income individuals during this time,” he wrote.

Cisco’s announcement comes after various tech companies and figures have announced their efforts to combat the spread of the virus and support overwhelmed medical professionals worldwide.

Amazon was among the earliest to respond, announcing on March 10 that it would create a $5 million grant to help small businesses in the Seattle area that were affected by the coronavirus.

A week later, Jack Ma, the CEO of Chinese e-commerce and cloud computing giant Alibaba, pledged to donate emergency supplies to various countries in Asia that have been severely impacted by the coronavirus.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella described in a LinkedIn post on Saturday several ways his company was helping others who are fighting the coronavirus. “In healthcare, our technology is being used for telemedicine, enabling user-intuitive solutions to share data and access critical information,” Nadella wrote. “St. Luke’s University Health Network in Pennsylvania is using Teams to video chat with patients most vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook tweeted on Saturday that his company was “donating millions of masks for health professionals in the U.S. and Europe.”

On Sunday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg followed suit, saying his social media company has “donated our emergency reserve of 720,000 masks that we had bought in case the wildfires continued.”

The move by Cisco could be just the start of the company’s coronavirus pandemic response efforts, noted Robbins. “While our world will be different as we move into the future,” he wrote, “it is important that we stay focused on making a positive impact in every way possible.”

Continue on to Fortune for more Coronavirus coverage.

View Cisco’s Response to Committing $225 million to global COVID-19 On Their Executive Platform

 

Another Roundup of Positive Updates on the COVID Outbreaks From Around the World
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Closeup image woman holding, using and looking at smart phone feeling happy

By McKinley Corbley

Last week, we published a list of ten positive updates on the COVID-19 outbreaks from around the world. Since the article has been viewed millions of times, we thought we would go ahead and publish another round-up of optimistic occurrences to keep your spirits up.

So here is another list of reasons why the global situation is not as bad as the mainstream media might have you think.

 

 

    1. World Health Organization (WHO) Officials Say There Are Now 20 Coronavirus Vaccines in Development
    2. Although there are still a number of logistical and financial hurdles that will need to be overcome in the race to deliver a COVID-19 vaccine to the public, WHO representatives say they are working with scientists around the world to test and develop 20 different vaccines.

      “The acceleration of this process is really truly dramatic in terms of what we’re able to do, building on work that started with SARS, that started with MERS and now is being used for COVID-19 ,” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the technical lead for WHO’s emergencies program, said at a press conference in Geneva last week, according to CNBC.

      The collective body of research is particularly “remarkable” since the vaccines are in development just 60 days after a number of international scientists decoded the virus’s genetic sequence and shared it with the rest of the world.

      One of the vaccines—which is already being tested on a number of American volunteers in Seattle—has already illustrated the “unprecedented speed” with which the medical community is working together to develop a vaccine.

      A #USask research team and collaborating scientists from across the country have been awarded $1 million to develop animal models and test vaccine candidates for effectiveness and safety against the new #coronavirus. @VIDOInterVac t.co/SXanfcxgvs

    3. From Individuals to Countries and World Governments–Everybody is Sharing Face Masks
    4. Not only is this French fashion designer making her own face masks and giving them away for free, she is showing how other people can make their own as well. In North Carolina, a textile mill is gearing up to start making 10 million masks per week. A number of international fashion companies have also redirected their manufacturing teams to produce face masks as well.

      Multiple businesses and schools have donated their recently rediscovered face mask treasure troves to hospitals in need. Other major tech companies such as Facebook and Apple are donating millions of masks and medical supplies to US healthcare facilities. Chinese companies are passing on their own stashes of face masks to European countries newly impacted by the virus. Taiwan is reportedly donating 100,000 masks to the United States.

      Even medical TV shows have donated their medical supply props to North American hospitals in need.

    5. As American Cities Close Up Amidst Outbreaks, Pollution Plummets
    6. The United States is now benefiting from the same environmental silver lining to the pandemics as China and Italy: as cities encourage self-isolation, air pollution is plummeting.

      Over the course of the last few weeks, satellite imaging has revealed significant reductions in air pollution—particularly across California, Seattle, and New York City.

      According to CNN, environmental scientists are estimating that the improvement in air quality could collectively save as many as 75,000 people from dying prematurely.

    7. As Physicians Worry About Potential Ventilator Shortages, Researchers Develop Several Low-Cost Solutions
    8. In a stroke of genius, one scientist from the University of Minnesota says he went “full-on MacGyver” to build a makeshift ventilator in a matter of hours. Although his team has revised his design over the course of several prototypes with the hopes of eventually submitting it for FDA approval, he says that the inexpensive ventilator is one that he “would be comfortable with someone [using to] take care of me in an ICU or in an operating room.”

      The compassionate medical research continues in Italy as a pair of engineers have taken it upon themselves to 3D-print free respirator parts for their local hospitals. As of last week, the Isinnova startup engineers told Forbes that they had successfully printed more than 100 parts.

      Meanwhile, MIT scientists are publishing open-source instructions and research on how to build inexpensive ventilators.

      “We are releasing this material with the intent to provide those with the ability to make or manufacture ventilators, the tools needed to do so in a manner that seeks to ensure patient safety,” they wrote. “Clinicians viewing this site can provide input and expertise and report on their efforts to help their patients.”

    9. Communities and Countries Opening Up New Lanes of Free Entertainment for the Masses
    10. In addition to Italians singing songs and playing music together from their balconies, homeowners have begun projecting classic films onto building fronts for the neighbors to enjoy.

      As a means of keeping self-isolated people amused during global shutdowns, many online services have made their services free to the public as well.

      For starters, Amazon has unlocked more than 40 new children’s shows for all of their customers to watch for free, regardless of Prime membership. Audiobook platform Audible has also released a number of free audiobooks for users to stream from their devices.

      “For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids,” reads the Audible website. “All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. Explore the collection, select a title and start listening. It’s that easy.”

      More than 2,500 art museums and galleries have also partnered with Google to offer free virtual tours and displays of their collections to art lovers around the world.

    11. More Than 100,000 People Have Already Recovered From the Virus Worldwide
    12. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, more than 100,000 COVID-19 patients have already made full recoveries from the infection—and that number may very well climb ever higher as more and more potential treatments are tested around the world.

      If that’s not enough, patients as old as 90 have managed to recover from the virus as well.

      As Chinese cities gradually reopen to the public now that they have gotten the virus under control with less than 10 new infections reported each day, other countries are expected to experience similar recoveries during the coming months.

    13. Nobel Prize Winner Who Correctly Predicted COVID-19 Trends Says ‘We’re Going To Be Fine’
    14. According to a recently-published interview with the Los Angeles Times, Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist Michael Levitt has been “remarkably accurate” in predicting China’s recovery from the virus since he began researching the infection rates back in January.

      Levitt, who won the 2013 prize for developing complex chemical models of calculation, says that as long as countries continue to practice safe self-isolation measures, the numbers show that they are already beginning to experience slow signs of improvement.

      “What we need is to control the panic,” he told the news outlet. “We’re going to be fine.”

    15. Celebrities and Businesses Have Contributed Millions Towards Feeding and Caring for At-Risk People
    16. From Michelin-starred Chef José Andrés to the Bill Gates Foundation—millions of dollars are being donated to novel coronavirus research and charities feeding families amidst the shutdowns.

      It’s hard to quantify just how many resources are being contributed to the cause, but suffice it to say that it’s a lot—in fact, here’s just a quick list of celebrities giving back to their communities that we published last week.

      Oakland is closing schools bc of COVID-19. We support this decision but are concerned a/b the 18,000+ kids that rely on school for 2+ meals daily. @eatlearnplay is donating to @ACCFB to ensure every child has access to the food they need. Join us & donate t.co/nDqF7OoO0Z

    17. No Matter Where You Look, People Are Being Kind to Each Other
    18. People and small businesses are delivering groceries to their elderly neighbors in self-isolation; kids are caring for the homeless; social media users are setting up “caremongering” groups to support each other and share helpful information; people are sharing their toilet paper with community members.

      There are even more stories of kindness and compassion being reported from around the world every day—so remember to keep your chin up during the weeks ahead and remind yourself that this situation might not be as terrible as your social media feed might have you believe.

      Continue on to the Good News Network to read the complete article.

DISM BLM

Thank you essential workers

thank you essential workers
 
*Please be sure to check event websites for latest updates on postponements or cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions.