A roundup of articles on the status of the Coronavirus and ways we can help….
Online Conference April 14-16 Using Covid-19 Crisis to Fix the World
Good News Network, Apr 3, 2020
“I cannot think of another time in the last million years when our species has been united against a common enemy,” said David Sinclair, Harvard Medical School genetics professor, in an interview with Peter Diamandis.
We are all stuck at home. We can either stay huddled in fear or use this as an activation moment.
Instead of watching an endless stream of great TV, a team from the OpenExO ecosystem is spending their time engaging with thought leaders from around the world to problem-solve for a better future.
“If we don’t transform now, our leaders will take us back to where we were and unprepared for the next global pandemic—not to mention climate change” and other pressing problems, says Kent Langley, Co-founder of the ExO Foundation, which is launching the ExO World Summit, April 14-16.
Guided by Paul Romer’s reminder that “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste”, 147 partners who are committed to the greater good with the aim of harnessing emerging technologies will converge online to develop ideas for transforming our global institutions.
Silicon Valley strategist and entrepreneur, Salim Ismail, author of the bestselling book Exponential Organizations, came up with the idea for the ExO World Summit. “Let’s convene our global leadership and reinvent it,” he asserted. “I don’t think of this as an opportunity—I think it’s an obligation.”
And, true to the group’s altruistic goals, all the proceeds from the event will go towards funding the programs that are developed.
ExO World will feature speakers like Peter Diamandis, Jason Silva, United Nations President Maria Fernanda, Former Mexico President Vicente Fox, Dr. Daniel Kraft, Andres Roemer, X-Prize CEO Anousheh Ansari, Steven Kotler, Salim Ismail, and more.
With a capacity of 100,000 attendees, the digital conference will feature an entirely virtual main stage, expo booths, networking zone, individual session/panel rooms, digital entertainment, and contributions from celebrities and heads of state. After each main session, breakout sessions will host dynamic conversations in many languages and topics, and a digital goodie bag will be presented to each attendee.
Instead of halting progress, let’s harness our #technology and have the conversations that launch our #future. Be a part of the global community and join us at #ExOWorld April 14-16th. Get tickets at: https://t.co/tj3kdewuju pic.twitter.com/OVwFgMBlhA
— Singularity University (@singularityu) March 30, 2020
Teaming up with Singularity University and the 4000 members of OpenExO, are partners like the X Prize Foundation, Abundance360, Vortex, HighVibe, Rokk3r, Fastrack Institute and others.
Before Covid-19, events like this would usually cost thousands of dollars per person. The price for ExO World Transformation Summit has been set at below $200 to allow many more voices to the conversation. (And, all proceeds from the event will go towards initiatives that arise within it.)
GNN co-owner Anthony Samadani has secured a special rate for a limited number of tickets just for our viewers who want access to the entire three days of keynotes, sessions, and networking—and the opportunity to generate your own good news.
Heartwarming Photo Captures Man’s Gesture of Gratitude Towards the Nurses Who Saved His Wife’s Life
McKinley Corbley, Good News Network, Mar 31, 2020<
A New Jersey man is winning hearts across social media after he was photographed using a cardboard sign to express his gratitude to local hospital workers last week.
The man, who was not identified, was pictured holding up a handwritten sign to the glass windows of the emergency department at Morristown Medical Center as he held his other hand to his heart. The sign read: “Thank you all in emergency for saving my wife’s life; I love you all.”
Karen Zatorski, Senior Public Relations Manager at Morristown Medical Center, later told The Daily Record: “We don’t know who the man is, we don’t know who his wife is. The nurses happened to be there and took his picture. What’s beautiful is that’s all we know.”
A woman named Shay Vander Vliet shared the photo on Facebook after her sister-in-law Paige, who works as a nurse at the hospital, caught sight of the man at work.
“She sent me this picture the other day and I feel like it needs to be seen as much as possible!” wrote Shay. “I don’t know how to make a photo go viral but I think this one is worth sharing—so please, share away!
“And thank you, Paige, and ALL of the nurses and doctors, for your hard work and dedication, especially during this scary time.”
Just as Shay hoped for, social media users have since shared the photo more than 61,000 times. Not only that, the photo raised awareness for a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for New Jersey hospitals in need of protective medical gear. Within a matter of days, the campaign managed to raise more than $12,000.
This is just one of many positive stories and updates that are coming out of the COVID-19 news coverage this week. For more uplifting coverage on the outbreaks, click here.
The Curve Is Already Flat
Evidence suggests that COVID-19 was here in November
A.J. Kay, Archive Today, April 3, 2020
More than half of U.S. states have instituted lockdown measures in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These policies are justified as an effort to “flatten the curve,” a phrase coined by Dr. Howard Markel, a pediatrician, and professor of medical history at the University of Michigan.
The hypothetical COVID curve we are trying to flatten — the time rate at which the number of people needing intensive medical treatment will grow to exceed our capacity to care for them — is based on assumptions about when COVID was brought to the US, the speed of its transmission, and the ability of our healthcare system to accommodate the most severely affected patients. By isolating citizens in their homes, lockdown policies intend to slow the rate of infection, thereby “flattening” the curve, which will allow us to ration healthcare resources over time.
“Flatten the curve!” has become the rallying cry of politicians, public health officials, celebrities, and social media users who believe that, without extreme social distancing measures, the American healthcare system will invariably be overwhelmed resulting in several million unnecessary deaths. The theory goes that if we succeed in flattening the curve, millions of lives will be saved.
It’s important to remember that a flat curve is not one in which no one gets infected. A flat curve is one which, at its peak, does not create enough critically ill patients to overwhelm the health care system.
The model with the most profound impact on public health policy was produced at Imperial College on 16 March 2020. It compared the health outcomes of suppression (i.e., lockdown) with less restrictive policies and predicted that millions in the United States and United Kingdom (2.2 million and 500K respectively) would die from COVID-19 unless aggressive containment measures were instituted immediately.
Since publication, new data has challenged the Imperial College model. Points of contention have centered around hospitalization, fatality, and transmission rates. The lead author of the study has since revised the fatality expectations substantially downward. So there are some adjustments being made to the initial assumptions.
But there’s one data point being used in all of the prevailing models, including Imperial, that no one is talking about.
When did the COVID curve begin?
And it’s an important point. How can we interpret the data we currently have if we don’t know where on the time axis we actually are?
Starting the Curve
“Seed date” is a term used in pandemic epidemiology to identify when a disease was first established in a specific location. Knowing that date, or at least an approximate range, allows scientists and data modelers to calculate how far the disease has spread, how fast it’s spreading, and use that information to design effective responses.
Determining when a disease originated and implementing effective test-track-isolate protocols is critical to the effective management of infectious diseases. Suppression is a far easier process when you have the cooperation of governments and health authorities who value transparency and knowledge-sharing. Management becomes much tougher when you are confronted with a virus, especially one that spreads as silently as COVID, whose country of origin attempted to hide its existence.
When the Imperial College model relied on Chinese data about the origins of COVID-19 and presumed that COVID was seeded in the United States in early January, they were likely predicating their output on flawed input.
Because the first confirmed case of COVID in the United States was identified 20 January in Washington State, setting the seed date a week or two earlier must have seemed reasonable.
It is not.
How to Bring Caring for Kids and Elders (and Other Acts of Love) Into the Economy
It’s one of the most concrete representations of love that we have, yet it’s extremely undervalued.
& , Yes Magazine! Jan. 22, 2018
Ask anyone about caregiving, and you’ll likely hear a story about personal sacrifice. Heather Boldon, a single mother from Minnesota, gave up her full-time job to care for her mother. She took a more than 50 percent pay cut, spent down her 401k, and lost her health insurance. When she was injured, she couldn’t visit a doctor to see whether she needed surgery. In New York, Delores McCrae, a home care worker, was evicted from her home and lived in a women’s homeless shelter where she was separated from her 11-year-old son. She made just $10 an hour.
Many say that our care system—the paid and unpaid labor of caring for our families and communities—is broken: Our economy doesn’t take care of caregivers. But care comes from love, community, and mutual respect; while we may be far from holistic, sustainable infrastructure that meets our families’ needs, some innovations hint at a better way.
On the whole, U.S. policies have little regard for what caregiving takes. In a country where almost everything can be bought and sold, care work, one of the most concrete representations of love that we have, is extremely undervalued and comes at an economic and emotional cost. A 2017 Brookings Institution study revealed that more than one-third of unemployed women in the United States left the workforce because of caregiving responsibilities. These women lose an estimated $324,044 in wages and benefits over their lifetimes, weakening their ability to support their families and themselves in the future and into retirement. Meanwhile, with a median hourly wage of about $10, often without benefits, many professional caregivers in the United States don’t make enough money for their own families.
This system isn’t working for any of us. Thankfully, other models are out there.
Japan’s Fureai Kippu welfare system allows people to earn credits caring for the elderly, which they can save for themselves as they age, transfer to family members, or exchange for services. In the Netherlands, students are able to live in nursing homes, volunteering 30 hours a month in exchange for rent.
In the United States, people are stepping up, creating community-centered care economies and breakthroughs in policy.
Hawai’i was ripe for a policy change. East Asian and Native Hawaiian cultural influences have meant that, in general, Hawaiian families prioritize care for elders. As in many communities of color, the work of caregiving here is seen as a collective, intergenerational effort. But because family-centered caregiving has not been supported by public policy until recently, people experienced widespread burnout. Led by local leaders, community organizations, and our organization, Caring Across Generations, caregivers began telling their representatives that the system was not working for them and they needed support.
In July, the state adopted the Kupuna Caregiver Assistance Act, the first legislation of its kind in the nation. It provides a voucher for up to $70 a day to eligible working family members to care for their aging loved ones at home. The program is intended to allow more caregivers—often wives and daughters—to stay in the workforce and receive some relief while they manage family responsibilities. When we use our creativity to pass policies like these, we invest in people on the front lines showing up for those who need it most.
Maria is an undocumented single mother of five and caregiver for her late husband’s friend Jose, who is in a wheelchair. In Texas, after Hurricane Harvey hit, she fled her flooded trailer but was unsure of where to go. She feared going to a shelter could lead to deportation, so she waited with Jose and her younger children in an inflatable pool for more than an hour until three men picked them up and took them to a local furniture store that had been turned into a shelter. Instead of meeting agents asking for papers, Maria was greeted with hot dogs, coffee, a place to sleep, and a wheelchair for Jose.
Disasters like these can bring out the worst in our systems, but also the best in our ability to show up for one another. Every day, people in our communities are figuring out how to care for one another against the odds—and to value that vital work. That is what should inspire and inform the larger changes we need. Creating an economy that allows our families to live, care, and age with dignity is the challenge of a generation