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Does Wearing Glasses Protect You From Coronavirus?

The New York Times – After researchers noticed fewer nearsighted patients in a hospital ward in China, they speculated that wearing glasses might offer some protection against Covid-19. “…It may be that eyeglasses act as a partial barrier, protecting eyes from the splatter of a cough or sneeze. Another explanation for the finding could be that people who wear glasses are less likely to rub their eyes with contaminated hands. A 2015 report on face touching found that over the course of an hour, students watching a lecture touched their eyes, nose or mouth, on average, about 10 times, though the researchers did not look into whether wearing glasses made a difference. The current study, published in JAMA Ophthalmology, was accompanied by a commentary from Dr. Lisa Maragakis, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who urged caution in interpreting the results…But Dr. Steinemann noted that the study shouldn’t cause worry among people who don’t wear glasses. “It probably can’t hurt to wear glasses, but does everybody need to do that? Probably not,” he said. “I think you have to consider the practicality of wearing eye protection or a face shield. People in certain occupations, first responders, caregivers for someone who is ill, those are people who should maybe take special notice.”…

Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues

CRS report via LC – Police Reform and the 116th Congress: Selected Legal Issues, September 16, 2020: “…Congress has extensive power to regulate federal law enforcement. However, federalism principles embodied in the Constitution place limits on Congress’s power to regulate state and local police—an issue that the Constitution generally entrusts to the states. Congress, however,… Continue Reading

COVID-19: Financial Relief and Assistance Resources for Renters

CRS Insight via LC – COVID-19: Financial Relief and Assistance Resources for Renters, September 10, 2020: “This Insight highlights resources from selected federal agencies and other organizations that may aid renters at risk of eviction due to circumstances related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)pandemic. These resourcesprovide information on COVID-19 related renter protections and resources… Continue Reading

Fire and Smoke Map

Collaborative effort between the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Forest Service: “Search for Current Fire and Smoke Conditions in a city, state or area. (e.g. “Seattle, WA”, “Washington”, “Smith River, CA”) Or search for conditions near your current location – “The Fire and Smoke Map displays information on ground level air quality monitors recording fine… Continue Reading

Hubble Captures Crisp New Image of Jupiter and Europa

Hubble Space Telescope: “This latest image of Jupiter, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope on 25 August 2020, was captured when the planet was 653 million kilometres from Earth. Hubble’s sharp view is giving researchers an updated weather report on the monster planet’s turbulent atmosphere, including a remarkable new storm brewing, and a cousin… Continue Reading

DuckDuckGo Is Growing Fast

BleepingComputer: “DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine, announced that August 2020 ended in over 2 billion total searches via its search platform. While Google remains the most popular search engine, DuckDuckGo has gained a great deal of traction in recent months as more and more users have begun to value their privacy on the internet. DuckDuckGo… Continue Reading

Mail-in voting fraud – It’s nearly impossible

CNET – Election officials and the FBI say it’s almost impossible to pull off fraud via mail-in ballots. Spreading disinformation about voting-by-mail is much easier. “Millions of Americans have voted by mail securely for more than 150 years, with fraud historically being so rare that election officials wouldn’t even consider it significant enough to be… Continue Reading

How to think about coronavirus risk in your life

Vox: “…Julia Marcus is an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School and a contributing writer for the Atlantic who has penned a brilliant series of essays about how to think about risk in the midst of this pandemic. Marcus’s starting point, which emerges from her previous work on HIV prevention, is that an all-or-nothing approach is… Continue Reading

Political Divides, Conspiracy Theories and Divergent News Sources Heading Into 2020 Election

“As the nation heads toward Election Day in the midst of a persistent pandemic and simmering social unrest, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that Americans’ deep partisan divide, dueling information ecosystems, and divergent responses to conspiracy theories and misinformation are all fueling uncertainty and conflict surrounding the presidential election. While Americans across the… Continue Reading

U.S. Public Now Divided Over Whether To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

“As efforts to develop and test a COVID-19 vaccine spur debate around the timing and release of a federally approved vaccine, the share of Americans who say they would get vaccinated for the coronavirus has declined sharply since earlier this year. About half of U.S. adults (51%) now say they would definitely or probably get… Continue Reading

What’s at Stake in This Election? The American Democratic Experiment

The New York Times / Opinion – Trump’s former director of national intelligence on how to firmly and unambiguously reassure all Americans that their votes will be counted. By Dan Coats. Mr. Coats served as the director of national intelligence from 2017 to 2019. “…Our democracy’s enemies, foreign and domestic, want us to concede in… Continue Reading

New Survey by Claims Conference Finds Significant Lack of Holocaust Knowledge in the United States

“Julius Berman, President of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany (Claims Conference), announces the release of a comprehensive national survey of Holocaust awareness and knowledge among adults in the United States on the occasion of Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day). The survey found there are critical gaps both in awareness of basic facts as… Continue Reading