December 4, 2020

Weekend reads: The black market for Covid-19 test results

Daily Briefing

    How Americans could respond to a mask mandate, research on whether green tea and chocolate can fight the novel coronavirus, and more.

    Ben Palmer's reads

    The black market for fake Covid-19 test results. As coronavirus cases rise around the world, a number of countries are requiring travelers to have a negative coronavirus test before they can enter the country. As a result, a black market has emerged for fake test results around the world, with documented cases of falsified results in Brazil, France, and the United Kingdom. Writing for the Washington Post, Shannon McMahon details what authorities have found when they've discovered manipulated test results—and how officials plan to counter falsified tests.

    What the new world of live music is looking like. In some countries, concerts have started happening again, but the new world of live music looks a lot different than it did before Covid-19. Writing for The Guardian, Jonno Seidler spotlights how live music has changed in Australia, including smaller, seated shows; no dancing; and an conspicuous absence of beer lines—and how the changes have been "brutally exhausting" for some performers.

    José Vasquez's reads

    How would Americans react to a mask mandate? Seat belt laws may offer clues. Wearing seat belts may seem commonplace now, but it took "public health advocates, financial incentives, state level mandates, enforcement, solid research, and concerted effective public health messaging" for us to get here, Joanne Silberner writes for STAT News. Convincing people to wear face masks or coverings amid America's coronavirus epidemic may involve a similar uphill battle, but, as Silberner explains, officials may gain the public's buy-in for mask wearing if they apply lessons learned from public health campaigns and other efforts to get people to buckle up.  

    Could chocolate and green tea fight the novel coronavirus? Researchers at North Carolina State University say they've found evidence suggesting dark chocolate, green tea, and other foods may help deactivate the new coronavirus, according to a study published in Frontiers in Plant Science. Writing for the Triangle Business Journal, Seth Thomas Gulledge explains what the researchers found when they analyzed how compounds found in four foods (green tea, two varieties of muscadine grapes, cacao powder, and dark chocolate) could bind and block one of the coronavirus's enzymes—and why they're findings "could be a big deal."

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