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Links for 2020-07-13

  • Thread on how US universities are planning to tackle COVID-19 in the fall

    Michael Otsuka on Twitter: “Notre Dame is the latest example of a US university that is devoting serious planning and resources to making their campus safe for in person instruction.” This thread is full of good points on how educational institutions — not just third-level! — need to think about how to handle COVID-19 when they reopen. Key points: comprehensive testing of staff and students; contact tracing, isolation and quarantine protocols; physical distancing and mask requirements; and facilities to isolate positive staff and students and their contacts. Also, some facilities are planning to PROVIDE face coverings if students don’t have, or forget, their own. Brown University are planning to conduct “rapid testing for covid-19 for all students at regular intervals. Testing only those with symptoms will not be sufficient.” — this is a point that Columbia U. Prof Vincent Racaniello, of TWIV fame (@profvrr), has been making repeatedly — pervasive mass testing is needed.

    (tags: testing covid-19 reopening education universities health schools)

  • Wearing masks may reduce severity of COVID-19, if it is caught

    Bob Wachter on Twitter: “I heard [an] interesting new theory by ID expert Monica Gandhi @UCSF: wearing masks may not only prevent disease, but – if wearer does get infected – it may be with a lower viral dose and thus cause milder disease. Some support for this from studies in mice and hamsters (below)…” / Twitter

    (tags: covid-19 bob-wachter virology masks facemasks theories viruses infection)

  • Fixers Know What ‘Repairable’ Means—Now There’s a Standard for It

    European standard EN45554 ‘details ”general methods for the assessment of the ability to repair, reuse and upgrade energy-related products.” In plain English, it’s a standard for measuring how easy it is to repair stuff. It’s also a huge milestone for the fight for fair repair.’

    (tags: repair ifixit eu en45554 standards europe)

  • The EU General Data Protection Regulation explained by Americans

    Bashing the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) seems to have become one of American activists’ favourite hobbies in the tech field. Some criticism is entirely justified. But many claims that the GDPR is “counterproductive” or “misses the point” are based on misconceptions, rather than an accurate understanding of European data protection laws. As a result, several US privacy advocates have therefore suggested alternative principles or rules… many of which, actually, have been part of EU data protection law since 1995.

    (tags: gdpr privacy data-protection eu data-privacy us-politics)