In the news : data and privacy
In the United States, the White House recently spoke with Google, Facebook and other tech companies about potentially using aggregated location data captured from Americans’ mobile phones for public health surveillance of the virus.
Several members of Congress subsequently wrote a letter urging President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to protect any virus-related data that companies collected from Americans. – New York Times
In the news : messages from politicians
Angela Merkel :
“Our own behavior is currently the most effective antidote we have: to reduce public life as much as is possible, to reduce contact with people through whom the virus could be transmitted. In short, that’s how we save lives.”
In a direct appeal to those who have taken a casual approach to social distancing, the chancellor said: “Please all join in. Do what is right for out country. Show reason and heart […] I am convinced this collective spirit, this ‘we stand for each other,’ will carry us through this difficult time.” – New York Times
In the news : about schools
“Closing all schools may not make sense unless there is documented widespread community transmission, which we’re not seeing in most of the country,” said Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, a former C.D.C. director under President Barack Obama.
In China, Dr. Aylward said, he asked all of the doctors he spoke to whether they had seen any family clusters in which a child was the first to be infected. No one had, he said, which astonished him.
But closing whole school districts can seriously disrupt a city’s ability to fight an outbreak. With their children stuck at home, nurses, doctors, police officers and other emergency medical workers cannot come to work.
Also, many children in low-income families depend on the meals they eat at schools.
Mr. de Blasio said that playgrounds will remain open for now, but warned that they aren’t regularly disinfected. Parents must take “full responsibility” for keeping their child healthy and away from other children, the mayor said. – New York Times
In the news : about masks
The Asian approach is less about data than it is about crowd psychology, experts explained.
All experts agree that the sick must wear masks to keep in their coughs. But if a mask indicates that the wearer is sick, many people will be reluctant to wear one. If everyone is required to wear masks, the sick automatically have one on and there is no stigma attached.
“In Asia, where they went through SARS, people understand the danger,” Dr. Heymann said. “It’s instilled in the population that you’ve got to do the right thing.” – New York Times