Law and Legal
“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
Library of Congress Announces Limited Access to Facilities until April 1, 2020 – “Out of an abundance of caution, all Library of Congress buildings and facilities will be closed to the public starting at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 12, until Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8 a.m. to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus. Library employees, contractors, authorized visitors and other credentialed Capitol Hill staff will continue to have access to the buildings. During the closure, all Library-sponsored public programs are postponed or cancelled through the end of March. Whenever possible, the Library will reschedule the public programs originally scheduled during the closure period. We will also provide regular public updates on the operating status of Library facilities…”
COVID 19 and Business Research – Resources & Strategies for Researching – COVID 19’s Impact on Businesses & the Economy – Note: This is a work in progress and actively evolving. “About – Business librarians provide access to resources and support for researchers investigating a variety of business topics. This guide is an attempt to crowdsource resources and strategies that can be used to study how COVID 19 is affecting business and the economy, both in the US and around the world. Most library’s provide in-house developed research guides and resources using unique links that directly connect that library’s users to online resources provided by the library. Due to the way these links work, it is not currently possible to make links work for users at multiple institutions. This document will serve as a “master guide” to COVID-19 related business research resources that can be used by anyone to help create local guides or conduct research. If you’re a librarian, researcher, or other information professional and want to add content, you can request permission to edit! A special thanks to the dozens of folks on the BUSLIB-L listserv who provided many of the resources at the start of this project. Note: In lieu of a table of contents, use the built-in outline. To display the outline, go to View > Show Document Outline. If you have questions, contact Alice Kalinowski.”
WSJ.com [I think this is available outside paywall – it is a video] It’s one of the best ways to avoid infection from the new coronavirus, but most people aren’t very good at it. Here’s expert guidance on how to do it right. “Public-health officials across the globe are urging people to wash their hands, calling it one of the best methods to prevent further spread of the new coronavirus. But decades of research tell a sobering truth: People need to learn a thing or two about personal hygiene. Many don’t know proper handwashing technique. They do it for too little time, or they don’t do it at all. Proper handwashing means scrubbing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet just 5% of people spent more than 15 seconds washing their hands after using the restroom, and 10% didn’t wash their hands at all, in a study of 3,749 college students published in the Journal of Environmental Health in 2013… [Use a good natural soap – not hand sanitizers – and spend time on this task – it can save lives]
“Beginning on March 12, 2020, you’ll be invited to respond to the 2020 Census. You can return to this website (my2020census.gov) to complete your questionnaire. For more information, please visit 2020census.gov.”
Archivists Made Directory of 5,000 Coronavirus Studies to Bypass Paywalls – newspapers lift paywalls
Vice: “A group of online archivists have created an open-access directory of over 5,000 scientific studies about coronaviruses that anyone can browse and download without encountering a paywall. The directory is hosted on The-Eye, a massive online archiving project run by a Reddit user named “-Archivist.” Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency amid the spread of the novel coronavirus beyond China, where it originated, into roughly two dozen countries so far. The organizers of the archive see their project as a resource for scientists and non-scientists alike to study the virus. “These articles were always written to be shared with as many people as possible,” Reddit user “shrine,” an organizer of the archive, said in a call. “From every angle that you look at it, [paywalled research] is an immoral situation, and it’s an ongoing tragedy.”
- Via Kottke.org – sites that have dropped paywall to permit access to coronavirus reporting and updates: “The Atlantic, WSJ, Talking Points Memo, Globe and Mail, Seattle Times, Miami Herald (and other McClatchy-owned properties), Toronto Star, Stat, Dallas Morning News, Medium, NY Times, and several medical/science journals. Notably, The Guardian relies on online subscription revenue but doesn’t put anything behind a paywall, including their coronavirus coverage.”
- See also The Globe and Mail is dropping the paywall on coronavirus news stories
The New York Times: “The use of virtual visits climbs as a way of safely treating patients and containing spread of the infection at hospitals, clinics and medical offices. While the notion of seeing a doctor via your computer or cellphone is hardly new, telemedicine has yet to take off widely in the United States. Health insurance plans do typically offer people the option of talking to a nurse or doctor online as an alternative to heading to an emergency room or urgent care center, but most people don’t make use of it. Now doctors, hospital networks and clinics are rethinking how the technology can be used, to keep the worried well calm and away from clinical care while steering the most at risk to the proper treatment.
“The use of telemedicine is going to be critical for management of this pandemic,” said Dr. Stephen Parodi, an infectious disease specialist and executive with The Permanente Medical Group, the doctors’ group associated with Kaiser Permanente, one of the leaders in the use of virtual visits for its patients…”
“Today marks the launch of the official report of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. It is available here, and we urge you to read it in full. Meanwhile, here at Lawfare we will be posting a series of commentaries on various highlights from the report, starting today after the report is released and continuing into next week.
The New York Times visual explainer – “The virus that causes Covid-19 is currently spreading around the world. At least six other types of coronavirus are known to infect humans, with some causing the common cold and two causing outbreaks: SARS and MERS. The coronavirus is named after the crownlike spikes that protrude from its surface. The virus is enveloped in a bubble of oily lipid molecules, which falls apart on contact with soap…[Note – this article clearly explains what the virus is, how it spreads, and how best to protect yourself – “wash your hands with soap, avoid touching your face, keep your distance from sick people and regularly clean frequently used surfaces.”]
Via Kathryn Bayer, Outreach Librarian, Library Services and Content Management, GPO [GovDocs Librarians Rock!!] “Patrons across the country are in search of information on the Coronavirus. Here are some U.S. Government resources that can help.
- FDLP LibGuides: Coronavirus – Hot Topics: https://libguides.fdlp.gov/c.php?g=1005541
- CDC Protects and Prepares Communities: https://catalog.gpo.gov/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001115600&local_base=GPO01PUB
- What to Do If You Are Sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://catalog.gpo.gov/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001115509&local_base=GPO01PUB
- What to Do If You Are Sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Spanish.: https://catalog.gpo.gov/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001115527&local_base=GPO01PUB
- What to Do If You Are Sick with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Chinese.: https://catalog.gpo.gov/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001115523&local_base=GPO01PUB
- What You Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://catalog.gpo.gov/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001115507&local_base=GPO01PUB
- What You Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Spanish.: https://catalog.gpo.gov/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001115520&local_base=GPO01PUB
- What You Need to Know about Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Chinese.: https://catalog.gpo.gov/F/?func=direct&doc_number=001115514&local_base=GPO01PUB
- H.R. 6074, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-116hr6074enr/pdf/BILLS-116hr6074enr.pdf
Trump team weighs teleworking, federal agencies reviewing options, while experts predict huge impact of virus
Politico – The White House is unlike any other office — a decision to have staff telework could ripple across governments and the nation…setting the tone for other officials, state governments and corporations to make their own telework determinations. A less-populated White House complex also risks sending a startling signal to the nation about the severity of the coronavirus. And it presents a logistical nightmare — classified meetings are not easily held via videoconference..Across the government, federal agencies like NASA have taken some initial telework steps, conducting trial runs for employees. OPM has also sent out guidelines asking agencies across the country to review their telework policies…Other federal agencies, including NASA, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, have asked employees to telework for a day to test it out, according to internal memos and emails obtained by POLITICO. NASA ran its telework experiment on Friday, while the OCC, which regulates national banks, will require half of its workforce to telework on Thursday as a dry-run of the agency’s virtual capabilities. The OCC is also suspending all non-essential domestic travel for events like trainings, conferences and speaking engagements…”
- See also The Hill – Top Trump officials adopt more urgent tone as coronavirus spreads“…Testifying before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, [the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases] made clear the virus would continue to spread across the country…The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday declared the virus a pandemic and local governments are increasingly banning large gatherings…”
- See also – “Another forecast, developed by former CDC director Tom Frieden at the nonprofit organization Resolve to Save Lives, found that deaths in the United States could range widely, depending on what percentage of the population becomes infected and how lethal the disease proves to be. Frieden, who oversaw the U.S. response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, the 2014 Ebola epidemic and the 2016 Zika epidemic, says that in a worst-case scenario, but one that is not implausible, half the U.S. population would become infected and more than 1 million people would die…”
- See also FT.com via Twitter – The spread of COVD-19 among Western countries seems to follow the same trajectory as Italy.
- See also Washington Post – Washington, DC declares state of emergency over coronavirus and Italy announces it will stop almost all commercial activity, Merkel warns virus could infect two-thirds of Germany [Note – the Washington Post is publishing continuous updates from around the world – check in regularly – the information is startling and unlike any wake up call that many Americans have ever heard – echoing across all sectors, states and localities – every aspect of life is impacted – stay informed – be safe – help others – share resources – thank you.]