Law and Legal
The New York Times: “Sweeping new federal recommendations announced on Monday for Americans to sharply limit their activities appeared to draw on a dire scientific report warning that, without action by the government and individuals to slow the spread of coronavirus and suppress new cases, 2.2 million people in the United States could die. To curb the epidemic, there would need to be dramatic restrictions on work, school and social gatherings for periods of time until a vaccine was available, which could take 18 months, according to the report, compiled by British researchers. They cautioned that such steps carried enormous costs that could also affect people’s health, but concluded they were “the only viable strategy at the current time.” The White House guidelines urged Americans to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people. That is a more restrictive stance than recommendations released on Sunday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which said that gatherings should be limited to 50…”
“LexisNexis® Legal & Professional, a leading global provider of information and analytics, today announced two free resources from Law360® and Lexis Practice Advisor® to help legal professionals, lawmakers and business leaders become better informed and successfully navigate the legal issues and intricacies surrounding the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Law360 has launched a dedicated COVID-19 page containing breaking news, in-depth features and expert analysis and commentary on all things relating to COVID-19 and the law. Its comprehensive coverage and content illuminates how the global pandemic has impacted the legal industry and the practice of law, as well as the U.S. court system, federal agencies, industries, businesses and more. The free content is available at https://www.law360.com/coronavirus or delivered via an electronic newsletter…”
EveryCRSReport – Global Economic Effects of Covid-19: In Brief March 13, 2020 – March 16, 2020 – Since the Covid-19 outbreak was first diagnosed, it has spread to over 100 countries and almost all U.S. states. The virus is having a noticeable impact on global economic growth. Estimates so far indicate the virus could trim global economic growth by 0.5%, but the full impact will not be known until the effects peak. This report provides an overview of the global economic costs to date and the response by governments and international institutions to address these effects.”
Outside – It’s never a bad time to re-evaluate your digital addiction: “…Jim Davies, a professor of Cognitive Science at Carleton University, says that everything about the news—from the dramatic headlines to the riveting background music to the colors on the screen (lots of red, which experts agree is one of, if not the most, emotionally charged color)—is engineered to prey on our hardwired impulses to pay attention to what seems exciting and important. The manner in which the news is presented—be it on television or the social feeds on our phone—often triggers the release of dopamine, a powerful neurochemical that tags experiences as meaningful and makes us want to seek them over and over again, Davies explains in his book, Riveted. “High dopamine makes everything look significant,” he writes. “The news needs a fear to monger, regardless of how important it is. It deemphasizes the routine and constant, and brings irregularities to our attention.” The more compelling the drama, he writes, the more we’ll be sucked in…”
CAPA – Center for Aviation – “By the end of May-2020, most airlines in the world will be bankrupt. Coordinated government and industry action is needed – now – if catastrophe is to be avoided. As the impact of the coronavirus and multiple government travel reactions sweep through our world, many airlines have probably already been driven into technical bankruptcy, or are at least substantially in breach of debt covenants. Cash reserves are running down quickly as fleets are grounded and what flights there are operate much less than half full. Forward bookings are far outweighed by cancellations and each time there is a new government recommendation it is to discourage flying. Demand is drying up in ways that are completely unprecedented. Normality is not yet on the horizon…”
“Here at Ars Technica, our staffers have seen their phones and messaging apps blow up with countless versions of the following: “How the heck do you pull off this whole work-from-home thing?” We’re in a position to know. Ars Technica has operated as a remote workforce since it was founded in 1998, decentralized and connected entirely by Internet-fueled collaboration. If this is news to you, fear not: Senior Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson wrote a massive February explainer about how our site functions this way. That feature is one part of a recent remote-work series, and its other entries have focused largely on the business feasibility of the practice. But that conversation’s tenor is shifting rapidly in the face of coronavirus, and you might be more interested in a broader set of impressions and tips. Thus, we’re here to offer ways big and small to improve your remote workplace experience, based on our staff’s years of doing it successfully. These range from brief to lengthy, and they include suggestions that may seem obvious or silly to some, but sometimes in the course of working from home, the little stuff adds up in a big way…” [h/t Pete Weiss]
If you are at home, take some time each day to enjoy, learn, and travel safely! Via Lifehacker: “Google Arts & Culture has a collection of more the 500 different museums and galleries up on its site that you can visit virtually. Clicking through to each one will bring up images of some of the museum or gallery’s collection, and in some cases full virtual tours of the museum you can take to pretend like, in a way, you’re actually there. You can check out the full (massive) list of included galleries and museums here. The list defaults to listing some of the most popular options first, but you can also sort them in alphabetic order or look at where they all are on a map…”
The New York Times – “With Louisiana and Georgia delaying their primary votes, we answer six key questions about holding elections in a crisis. And no, a president cannot cancel an election with executive authority…”
The coronavirus outbreak is inflicting new disruptions on the 2020 presidential campaign by the day, but few compare to the decisions by Louisiana and Georgia over the past 48 hours to reschedule their upcoming primary elections. The postponements were a highly unusual development in an American political campaign, though not an entirely unprecedented one. So how much disruption can voters expect in the coming months? And how freely can local, state and federal authorities switch up the timing and other details of elections? We took a crack at answering some of the questions that may be on your mind…”
4 Ways to Clean Germs off Your Dirty Smartphone – iFixit Video via YouTube: “All this corona virus talk, got us thinking, what are the most common ways people clean their smartphones and just how effective are they? To figure it out, we recruited a few iFixit employees to see how dirty their phones were and put some common cleaning methods including a microfiber cloth, LCD/Screen Cleaner, Disinfectant Wipes, and a UV phone sanitizer to the test using SCIENCE!”
Washington Post “In his prime-time speech, President Trump announced Wednesday night [March 11, 2020] that health insurers had pledged to eliminate “all co-payments for coronavirus treatments” and “extend insurance coverage to those treatments. That is not exactly correct. A broad swath of the nation’s private health insurers has agreed to waive the charges for a coronavirus test for their members. But they have not committed to cover the cost of care for those sickened by the virus. And while there is no specific treatment for the rapidly spreading infections, insurers have not expanded coverage for anyone, including the more seriously ill who need hospitalization. Almost all private health plans include hospital coverage, with patients in different plans left to pay different amounts of the bill, and that arrangement is intact in the era of covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. “We haven’t agreed to waive out-of-pocket costs for treatment,” said Kristine Grow, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main trade group. The president’s misstatements reflect confusion about the patchwork response to efforts to ensure that Americans’ inability to afford testing is not a hurdle — a critical matter when knowing who has the virus is crucial to slowing its spread. Those misstatements were repeated Thursday [March 12, 2020] morning by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testifying on Capitol Hill. Until very recently, when only the CDC and then public health labs could perform the test, the government paid for the test itself, but not for the expense, say, of going to an emergency room to get tested…”
- See also Jared Kushner’s brother Joshua has several companies – this one offers services that include capturing your personal health data via a requisite survey as well as pre-authorization by a medical professional – Oscar Launches First Testing Center Locator for COVID-19
- See also The Guardian – “Why has coronavirus testing in the US been such a disaster? The Trump administration is scrambling to provide more testing, leaving many to wonder how it got its Covid-19 response so wrong.”
“Emergency preparedness and prepping checklists for everyone – The Prepared is a collection of free, obsessively-researched reviews of the best prepper gear and skills so you can protect your life, family, and home in an emergency. Our experts do the work so you don’t have to. No BS. No propaganda. All are welcome. “The Prepared is more like a curated wiki than a blog. And you may have noticed the lack of ads and other junk. The Prepared is supported by readers, and when you buy something we recommend, we may get an affiliate commission — but it never affects your price or what we pick.”
Google Blog: “…We’re partnering with the U.S. government in developing a website dedicated to COVID-19 education, prevention, and local resources nationwide. This includes best practices on prevention, links to authoritative information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and helpful tips and tools from Google for individuals, teachers and businesses. We’ll be rolling out an initial version of the website late Monday, March 16, and we’ll continue to enhance and update it with more resources on an ongoing basis. We also continue to help people find timely and useful information through our products, including Search, Maps and YouTube. Right now on the Google homepage we’re promoting the “Do the Five” campaign to raise awareness of simple measures people can take to slow the spread of the disease, according to the WHO. In the first 24 hours, these tips have already been seen by millions in the U.S. We’ve added more useful information to our COVID-19 SOS Alerts, including links to national health authority sites and a map of affected areas from the WHO…”
The New York Times – Five takeaways from an examination by The New York Times reveal how President Trump has reshaped the federal judiciary. “President Trump made overhauling the federal judiciary one of his top priorities, moving with particular speed to infuse the highly influential appeals courts with reliably conservative judges. Working with his Republican allies in the Senate, he installed 51 judges in just three years — appointing more than a quarter of the appellate bench at a record pace. The New York Times conducted a deep examination of the new judges to obtain a collective portrait of the group. It included interviews with people close to the nomination process, a review of biographical information submitted to the Senate by Mr. Trump’s appointees and those of his last two predecessors, former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and an analysis of published decisions and dissents by the judges. The article on the findings can be found here. These are some of the takeaways about the new judges…”
The New York Times – At the molecular level, soap breaks things apart. At the level of society, it helps hold everything together. It is advisable to maintain all the activities added to our routine during the pandemic, indefinitely. Washing hands throughout the day has always been advisable. If everyone thinks about the implications to others and takes only one action throughout the day – please consider this one. Print this and other graphics and share in your workplace and home – many humans have a higher response rate to pictorial messages and icons – they assist us in visualizing the steps of each action and the outcome. Thank you.
“…People typically think of soap as gentle and soothing, but from the perspective of microorganisms, it is often extremely destructive. A drop of ordinary soap diluted in water is sufficient to rupture and kill many types of bacteria and viruses, including the new coronavirus that is currently circling the globe. The secret to soap’s impressive might is its hybrid structure. Soap is made of pin-shaped molecules, each of which has a hydrophilic head — it readily bonds with water — and a hydrophobic tail, which shuns water and prefers to link up with oils and fats. These molecules, when suspended in water, alternately float about as solitary units, interact with other molecules in the solution and assemble themselves into little bubbles called micelles, with heads pointing outward and tails tucked inside…”
Pleated Jeans: “These helpful and useful websites will help you pass the time indoors with ease. I killed a few hours just putting together this post. The Coronavirus (or COVID-19 is you want to be a nerd about it) has made going out in public a pretty questionable decision. Do what I did. Stock up on a ton of groceries, then stay home and play around on the internet. Useful websites await…”
Preparing for Emergency Online Teaching By Beth McMurtrie March 12, 2020 – Chronicle of Higher Education: This week:
- I tell you about how Clemson University is preparing its instructors to teach online.
- I share how other colleges are talking about transitioning to remote teaching.
- I provide some links to online teaching resources.
**We know things are in flux on many campuses. It’s a stressful time, and we will be following the coronavirus story closely. Please let us know what you think we should be covering along the way. And if you’d like to join our Facebook group for further conversation with people at other colleges, and with the Chronicle staff, you can find it at Higher ed and the coronavirus.**
“In response to the worsening global health emergency, Atypon has created a website with a free, real-time feed that delivers the latest peer-reviewed research, preprints, and news on the novel coronavirus outbreak as soon as it is published. The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Special Edition feed aggregates content from over 30,000 authoritative sources across the web to make the discovery of related, trusted information faster and more comprehensive for researchers, medical practitioners, and the general public. It includes research that the Wellcome Trust and publishers worldwide are making freely available in the wake of the outbreak. The social media-like feed of research papers, preprints, news, and tweets related to the virus is driven by Scitrus, Atypon’s AI-based discovery technology. “Events like this remind us that the industry we serve publishes some of the world’s most important content—and of our responsibility to get that content into the hands of the researchers and practitioners who need it most,” said Marty Picco, Atypon’s General Manager. “We hope that our technology helps professionals combating this outbreak to get the latest facts and discoveries sooner, and put them into practice faster.” The Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Special Edition feed is publicly available at https://www.scitrus.com/special/novel%20coronavirus%20outbreak.”
“The World Justice Project Rule of Law Index® is the world’s leading source for original, independent data on the rule of law. Covering 128 countries and jurisdictions, the Index relies on national surveys of more than 130,000 households and 4,000 legal practitioners and experts to measure how the rule of law is experienced and perceived worldwide. Global Trends – More countries declined than improved in overall rule of law performance for a third year in a row, continuing a negative slide toward weakening and stagnating rule of law around the world. The majority of countries showing deteriorating rule of law in the 2020 Index also declined in the previous year, demonstrating a persistent downward trend. This was particularly pronounced in the Index factor measuring Constraints on Government Powers. The declines were widespread and seen in all corners of the world. In every region, a majority of countries slipped backward or remained unchanged in their overall rule of law performance since the 2019 WJP Rule of Law Index.” [h/t Mary Whisner]
EPA.gov – The EPA-registered surface disinfectant products on our Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 list have qualified under EPA’s emerging viral pathogen program for use against SARS-CoV-2, a coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product. EPA strongly recommends following the product label use directions for enveloped viruses, as indicated by the approved emerging viral pathogen claim on the master label…” [h/t Pete Weiss]
“…That’s what Stanford Health Policy researcher Jason Wang explores in a new article in the Journal of the American Medical Association with coauthors Chun Y. Ng in Taipei and Robert H. Brook of UCLA. He argues that Taiwan’s plan — which included 124 discrete action items and impressive coordination in implementation at the first signs of trouble — saved the island from a serious coronavirus outbreak. The 124 action items include travel bans, quarantines, surveillance steps, social distancing, and more. It’s too late for the US to put all of their lessons to use, but it’s not too late to benefit from a few…”
- See also Courthouse News Service – Virus Hits Nearly Every State as Officials Scramble to Respond