August 7, 2020

Weekend reads: 'I'm going to Disney World' during a pandemic?

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Why are people going to Disney World during a pandemic? The novel coronavirus continues to rapidly spread throughout the United States, and Florida in recent weeks has been a significant hot spot for coronavirus transmission. Yet, many people are visiting Florida's Disney World, which reopened on July 9 after being closed since March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Writing for The Atlantic, Shirley Li dives into why people are still going to Disney World amid the pandemic based on conversations she had with some Disney superfans.

    Why these teachers are writing their own obituaries. A group of teachers in Iowa have written their own obituaries and sent them to Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) to portray their disapproval with the state's plans to reopen schools this fall, which they say could put them at risk of contracting the novel coronavirus. Kerry Finley, a seventh-grade teacher who sent a mock obituary to Reynolds, said the point is to "humanize us in [Reynolds'] mind, make her see us as people."

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    How to sanitize your spacecraft. Last month, NASA kicked off its new Mars rover mission, Mars 2020, by sending the new Perseverance rover to search for signs of life on the so-called "Red Planet." But scientists had to be very careful to minimize the possibility that Perseverance could contaminate Mars with matter and microorganisms from our own planet. Here's how scientists go about sanitizing their spacecrafts to protect the galaxy from Earthly contamination.

    Can you build your own coronavirus vaccine? A group of citizen scientists associated with Harvard University say they've developed a do-it-yourself coronavirus vaccine, Kevin Truong writes in Vice. According to Truong, the group has self-administered and self-tested their potential vaccine, which they concocted as an intranasal spray without using specialized laboratory equipment or ingredients. However, the DIY vaccine hasn't been studied in robust clinical trials, and therefore hasn't been proven safe or effective or submitted for FDA's approval.

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