April 16, 2020

Weekend reads: Meet the man who's lived through two US pandemics

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Do you need to disinfect your groceries? With much of the country under stay-at-home orders, many can't leave their houses except for a few specific reasons, one of them being grocery shopping. But how can you shop for groceries safely? And do you need to disinfect your groceries? Writing for NPR's "Shots," Maria Godoy outlines some strategies for safely shopping for your groceries—and explains why experts say disinfecting your groceries isn't necessary.

    Meet Joe Newman—the man who's lived through two pandemics in the US. Joe Newman knows what it's like to live through a pandemic in the United States, because when he was five-years-old, he lived through the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The 107-year-old, who lives in Florida with his 100-year-old fiancée, said the pandemic is just another "event" in his lifetime, adding, "Living is a problem. You do what you need to do to handle the problem that's in front of you at this moment … And this moment it's a virus that unfortunately we don't understand too much about."

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Covid-19 hits indigenous populations in the Amazon. Officials and human rights activists in Brazil are growing increasingly concerned that the new coronavirus could devastate the indigenous populations of the Amazon following reports that an 87-year-old indigenous woman and one adolescent died from the virus. Officials who are working to trace the patients' contacts have found that one of the patients interacted with friends and neighbors after developing symptoms of Covid-19, the disease cause by the virus.

    Did people in California have Covid-19 last fall? A news story published last week by KSBW reports that new data from Stanford Medicine could show "Covid-19 arrived undetected in California much earlier than previously thought," in fall 2019, when many people in the state experienced a nondescript respiratory illness. But Slate's Jane Hu notes that, although the KSBW report "has spread widely … that theory has no scientific basis." Lisa Kim from Stanford's media relations team told Hu, "Our research does not suggest that the virus was here that early."

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