Links for 2020-03-23

  • Treeware

    ‘a style of software distribution similar to Postcardware, distributed by the author on the condition that users buy the author a tree.’

    (tags: treeware oss open-source software licensing licenses)

  • Jen Heemstra on Remdesivir

    ‘At this point, you’ve probably heard a ton about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and how they may be effective in treating COVID-19. I wanted to tell you about a different molecule that’s getting less attention but may have good potential – Remdesivir.’ How Remdesivir works to inhibit viral replication. Fascinating stuff

    (tags: remdesivir viruses science chemistry medicine drugs covid-19 treatment)

  • Professor Sara Sawyer’s Decon Station Instructions

    If you are sheltering-in-place and feel that you need to take extra precautions for a high-risk member of your household, you can decontaminate things before they come into your house.  Read on if you want to know how. This post addresses common questions that I am getting about mail, fruits, groceries, etc. The following advice is my own, tailored for this specific situation, and is the best advice I can come up with based on the extensive biosafety training that I have received as a research scientist who works with human viruses.
    (via Pam)

    (tags: biosafety viruses covid-19 decontamination sterilising sterilizing health via:pam)

  • We Need A Massive Surveillance Program (Idle Words)

    The most troubling change this project entails is giving access to sensitive location data across the entire population to a government agency. Of course that is scary, especially given the track record of the Trump administration. The data collection would also need to be coercive (that is, no one should be able to opt out of it, short of refusing to carry a cell phone). […] But the public health potential of commandeering surveillance advertising is so great that we can’t dismiss it out of hand. I am a privacy activist, typing this through gritted teeth, but I am also a human being like you, watching a global calamity unfold around us. What is the point of building this surveillance architecture if we can’t use it to save lives in a scary emergency like this one?
    +1000.

    (tags: surveillance advertising contact-tracing contact-tracking tracking location smartphones covid-19 pandemics\)

  • What’s the Evidence on Face Masks? What You Heard Was Probably Wrong

    According to research on the SARS epidemic, face masks were the most consistently effective intervention for reducing the contraction and spread of SARS. In a Cochrane Review on the subject, 6 out of 7 studies showed that face masks (surgical and N95) offered significant protection against SARS. Hand washing was also very effective, supported by 4 out of 7 studies in a multivariate analysis. Although most of the studies in the Cochrane Review were on medical workers in a hospital setting, one study followed community transmission of SARS in Beijing. It found that consistently wearing a mask in public was associated with a 70% reduction in risk of catching SARS. Additionally, the authors of the paper noted that most people in the community wore simple surgical masks, not N95 respirators.

    (tags: cochrane-reviews health medicine face-masks covid-19 germs masks transmission sars)

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