Summary of “The U.S. Still Has No Plan to Ramp Up COVID-19 Testing”

“We went up to about 150,000 tests a day, and then we plateaued there for a few weeks,” Jha, the Harvard professor, said.
“Some places had reagents, but not enough swabs. Some places had swabs but not the medium you transport them in. And some places had enough capacity, but they hadn’t changed their policies from when only the sickest people could get tested,” Jha said.
In the District of Columbia, where the number of new cases is increasing, Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a press conference today that the city only had enough reagents to test about 1,500 people per day.
How many tests might eventually be enough isn’t clear, in part because the number depends on the size of the underlying outbreak.
Rivers told Congress this week that scaling up to 3 to 4 million tests a week-equal to about 500,000 a day-would allow more serious contact tracing to begin.
It’s unlikely the U.S. can test that many people every day if it continues to use only the polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, nasal-swab tests currently in use, Jha said.
Antigen tests, which are similar to the rapid flu tests used in doctors’ offices, might be some of the first to become available.
This lack of any plan does not only seem to mar the federal testing effort.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My priceless, worthless baseball cards”

I’d spent roughly $50,000 on those cards in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but I knew they weren’t worth that much now.
The mass overproduction and fraud that plagued the boom period for baseball cards of the late 1980s and early 1990s had doomed that sector of the industry.
I reached out to 10 dealers who advertised that they aggressively bought cards, and their responses were 10 different variations of “We buy cards but not those cards.” I called an auction house that required payment up front, then a cut of whatever sold, and even with virtually no risk, the company said it didn’t bother with any cards from that era.
Then we’d make trades, and we chuckle now because we’d trade so much that we’d end up with the same cards we started with.
We’d sprawl out on the floor of both houses, say a cordial hello to our stepmom or stepdad and then retreat into the cards.
Some 30 years later, staring at the remains of that collection, I was paralyzed by indecision: Drive the surviving cards to the nearest dumpster or cling to the remnants of my childhood?
The cards were so valuable to me that it didn’t matter that they were worthless.
I’d love to tell you that what she sent me was a heartwarming note about how moved she was, but what she actually wrote was: “It’s a really good story. I’m sure TikTok isn’t giving us what the cards gave you. Especially because we aren’t allowed to have it.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Seven Deadly Sins of AI Predictions”

We are surrounded by hysteria about the future of artificial intelligence and robotics-hysteria about how powerful they will become, how quickly, and what they will do to jobs.
Personally, I should probably be wary of the second sentence in his first law, as I am much more conservative than some others about how quickly AI will be ascendant.
Suppose we further show Newton how the device can illuminate the dark, how it can take photos and movies and record sound, how it can be used as a magnifying glass and as a mirror.
Performance Versus CompetenceWe all use cues about how people perform some particular task to estimate how well they might perform some different task.
We naturally assume that this person can answer questions like What is the shape of a Frisbee? Roughly how far can a person throw a Frisbee? Can a person eat a Frisbee? Roughly how many people play Frisbee at once? Can a three-month-old person play Frisbee? Is today’s weather suitable for playing Frisbee?
Besides the fact that they can only label more images and cannot answer questions at all, they have no idea what a person is, that parks are usually outside, that people have ages, that weather is anything more than how it makes a photo look, etc.
Not so for AlphaGo or Deep Blue.Suitcase words mislead people about how well machines are doing at tasks that people can do.
It turns out that many AI researchers and AI pundits, especially those pessimists who indulge in predictions about AI getting out of control and killing people, are similarly imagination-challenged.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Antibody Studies Can Tell You”

These studies all were based on antibody tests, which are diagnostics that can look in a person’s blood and see if there is evidence of prior infection.
We’re all going to be hearing far more about antibody tests and surveys – and maybe even participating in them – in the coming months.
“The problem is there are people who will think, ‘Oh, yeah, I had this nasty flu, or cough, or whatever, and I think I had it.’ And if you said to them, ‘Would you like to get tested?’ They would say, ‘Abso-frickin-lutely!'” said Marm Kilpatrick, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz who studies infectious diseases.
Tons of antibody tests have hit the market over the past few weeks, and their accuracy is still being scrutinized.
A columnist wrote that antibody testing “Proves we’ve been had!” adding: “We’ve been told that the true death rate is 7.4% in New York. We were told that this was worse than the flu. But none of these ‘truths’ turns out to be so. The death rate in New York State isn’t 7.4%, it is actually 0.75%.”.
Antibody tests aren’t ready to be used to issue “Immunity passports.”
As antibody tests become more widely available, there’ll naturally be a temptation to start using the tests for ourselves on an individual basis, to determine if we’re immune and can go about our lives, free of the paranoia and fear that have been plaguing us for the past two months.
The antibody tests are best used in these population-wide surveys, to better understand the spread of the disease, how it’s being transmitted and regional infection fatality rates.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Parents On Childcare And Challenges In Coronavirus Isolation”

Over the last week, I’ve talked to hundreds of parents about the specific challenges they’re facing now – some are unique, others feel near-universal.
“It’s not physically possible for two working parents to both work from home full time during regular workday working hours and care for a baby,” one mom named Melanie told me.
That’s essentially asking parents to do two full-time jobs at the same time – when, as she pointed out, childcare alone is more than enough to keep full-time caregivers and stay-at-home moms working hard all day.
One of the key things for parents and nonparents to realize is that most of the parents in your life are probably only able to get a fraction of their work done, and many are cramming it in during their kids’ naps and after they’ve gone to bed.
Some parents told me they’re most anxious about their child’s development and how they might be impacted in the long run by isolation and stress.
4) Not every parent has the option of working from home or full isolation – and childcare plans will have to change in the future.
Parents can decrease their overall anxiety by making plans for care now – and those without children can help lessen parents’ burden by offering themselves as potential caregivers when the time arrives.
Some parents whose childcare has fallen through will place their children with unvetted or unsafe caregivers because there have no better options.

The orginal article.

Summary of “I’ve Spent My Whole Life Convinced I’d Never Fall Asleep”

While my sleep anxiety has affected me deeply, I’m not convinced I would have been more productive without it.
It is imperative that I close my eyes by 11 p.m. My unrelenting sleep anxiety is the fear that I might not be able to fall asleep.
My worries intensified: what would it be like moving from an all-girls school to a mixed-gender one? I could be socially awkward, would it be hard for me to fit in? After struggling to fall asleep the night before my first day at this new school, the seed for my sleep anxiety was planted in the form of a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy: that I would struggle to sleep every single night.
As with many worries, the fear of not falling asleep was present but the object of the fear never materialized: I would be able to eventually fall asleep every night.
Years before my sleep anxiety manifested, I’d already started being conscious of certain things that my childlike mind noted as societal norms that I didn’t adhere to.
The fear of not falling asleep was present but the object of the fear never materialized: I would be able to eventually fall asleep every night.
Currently, my sleep anxiety is a throb that never leaves me; I’ve accepted that it may remain with me always.
Mental health expert Ayomide Adebayo explained to me how my generalized anxiety disorder has perpetuated my sleeping anxiety.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Deep Metaphorical Power of a Good Cup of Coffee”

It turns out that one of the joys of an excellent cup of coffee is to savor the taste as it cools.
It turns out if you’re patient, if you cultivate those taste buds-a cup of coffee will get better and better, different-er and different-er; the upshot being that the very best coffee really is “Good to the last drop”-good! delicious!-but not the same.
It already tastes of some combination of berries, or flowers, or spices, or citrus, or nuts, or tea, or tobacco, or varieties of chocolate; just taste it, they’re dying to say, coffee tastes of so many things, depending on where it’s from-the terroir-and how it was processed, and then roasted-and if they catch us making a pot without weighing the beans, without exactly gauging the temperature of the water; and, just speaking for myself, my pour-over skills are not perfect-my gosh, there are so many ways to get coffee wrong.
Yet-it’s pretty hard to get it wrong, am I right? So-so: whatever else you shouldn’t do to your coffee, didn’t do to your coffee, the point is, if you want that leftover cup-if I do, anyway-well then, rules shmules! Coffee is personal, what did I say? Knock yourself out.
Sidebar: Some people do drink coffee all day long-it’s the river running through it.
To the point, though: however much I’ve recently learned about coffee, including how exquisitely nuanced a flavor it is, how astounding to think of all those decades of drinking not-so-great brands, two, three cups a day, which is proof, I’d say, wouldn’t you?-my emerging palate aside, coffee is about so much more than coffee.
If ever there were a symbol of here and now, it’s coffee; standing in for every coffee that came before, preparing a person to get on with whatever comes next; holding her in between, suspending the present, whenever it is.
Coffee lets us start, and start again, and start over-however old a person feels, however stunned to have gotten so old, fortified with coffee, she can carry on.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Real estate for the apocalypse: my journey into a survival bunker”

The end of the world was trending, and it seemed as good a time as any to visit a place for sitting out the last days.
This had opened out on to a broader vista of apocalyptic preparedness, and to a lucrative niche of the real estate sector catering to individuals of means who wanted a place to retreat to when things truly went sideways.
The plan came to him instantly, he said, the whole idea for xPoint: he was going to pay the rancher the sum of one dollar for the property, offering him a 50% cut of all future profits from the vaults, which he was going to sell at a reasonable price to people willing to fit them out to their own specs, and it was going to be the largest survival community on Earth.
What if Vicino was a homicidal lunatic who had decided to immure me in here, like a poorly characterised antagonist in one of Edgar Allan Poe’s tales of terror? What if he’d decided I was going to sell him out, that I was likely to damage his business prospects by making him out in my writings to look like a fool, or a charlatan, or the kind of Poe-esque madman who might murder an adversary by entombing him in a decommissioned weapons silo.
The void then filled with sunlight, and as my eyes adjusted to the brightness I was able to make out Vicino’s prodigious silhouette in the doorframe.
Later, Vicino told me of how he’d made his money in advertising back in the 80s. He’d basically pioneered what was known as “Large inflatables”.
Vicino had at his disposal a lavish prospectus of end-time scenarios, an apocalypse to suit every aesthetic taste and ideological preference.
“Burying your head in the sand,” Vicino told me, “Isn’t gonna save your ass that’s hanging out.” He was, he said, paraphrasing Ayn Rand – his point being, I supposed, that not purchasing a place in one of his facilities amounted to an unwillingness to face down the reality of the world.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Stop a Worry Becoming Catastrophic: How to Talk to Your Kids About the Coronavirus”

‘There will soon be no avoiding having to talk to your kids about the novel coronavirus, with the Covid-19 outbreak now spreading to every continent of the globe.
“Do you know how many people have died? Like, 50!”.
How did a group of Australian schoolchildren living in a country town half a world away know anything about an outbreak of disease that was, at that time, largely confined to China? And why did they care?
There will soon be no avoiding having to talk to your kids about the novel coronavirus, with the Covid-19 outbreak now spreading to every continent of the globe.
I asked a child psychiatrist, Dr Karen Gaunson, and a children’s media literacy expert, Saffron Howden, for their thoughts on how to talk to kids about the coronavirus outbreak.
Explain all the hard work that is happening here to protect them, all the doctors and nurses who are here to help us, that we have good hospitals and medicines, highlight how everyone across the world is working together to look after each other, to find vaccines and treatments.
Use the discussion as an opportunity to explore and learn about new things together – for example, how our bodies fight off viruses and that different symptoms of sickness are a sign we are working to get well; or how viruses make us sick and the things we can do to reduce our risk.
Give them a frame of reference that they can understand drawing on their past experience, for what the sickness might be like, or quarantine and how long it will go for.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Coronavirus Disproportionately Affects Boomers. Here’s How Millennials Can Help Them.”

There are the people who are taking the threat of the spread of COVID-19 seriously, and are doing their best to prepare and socially distance themselves from others, regardless of their current health or vulnerability.
Add in inconsistent messaging from the government and differing “Recommendations” from state to state, and it’s easy to understand why people have developed such disparate attitudes about how to proceed in their daily lives.
Here’s what is clear: Even though many people who contract the coronavirus will only experience flulike symptoms, 15% to 20% will develop serious, life-threatening symptoms that demand hospitalization.
Too, has the number of people living over the age of 85, which has grown from 2.2 million to 6.3 million.
Many boomers, even retired ones, think of those people as old and at risk – not themselves.
Another option is appealing to their sense of care and compassion for those people they consider “Old” – especially if they’re related to them.
Another woman named Jaime told me she’d had little trouble convincing her parents to take preventative measures, but her 88-year old grandparents were incredibly resistant: They’re volunteering, hugging people at church, and keeping themselves as busy as possible.
“I’ve found the best strategy is telling my grandparents they would be protecting people like me – which has at least convinced them to stop hugging literally everyone during the passing of the peace at church. They are more worried about others than their own health.”

The orginal article.