COVID-19 Roundup from Pioneer: Antibodies & serology tests to the rescue; Why such wide-ranging forecasts?; the Droplets v. Aerosol debate; Crowdsourcing symptoms & more!

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Pioneer staff share their top picks for COVID-19 stories highlighting useful resources, best practices, and questions we should be asking our public and private sector leaders. We hope you are staying safe, and we welcome your thoughts; you can always reach out to us via email:  pioneer@pioneerinstitute.org.

Our Top Picks for COVID-19 Pandemic News:

Jim Stergios, Executive Director: It is amazing to see the kinds of solutions our universities are developing in real time. This out of the University of Pittsburgh. Delivered via a patch, easy to distribute across the world because it can be sent at ambient temperatures.

William Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences: While treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 are months away, serology tests may be here sooner and may be essential to getting people back to work. The New York Times is reporting that the FDA has approved the first serology test.

Also from Bill: A good summary of industry efforts to develop a COVID-19 vaccine and the inherent challenges in that process. And, these tests could determine who has antibodies against the disease and, theoretically, who may be immune to further exposure to the virus. People with these antibodies may be able to return to work without fear.

Mary Z. Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency: We all know that respiratory droplets propelled after someone with COVID-19 coughs or sneezes can infect us. But what about bioaerosols, even from normal conversation or breathing? This NPR piece sorts through the debate.

Michael Walker, Senior Fellow in Government Database Transparency: Jay Boice, on the website fivethirtyeight, looks at the top expert forecasts for deaths and discusses why the range is so wide—somewhere between 71,000 and 1.7 million. From those individual responses, the survey organizers — Thomas McAndrew and Nicholas Reich of the University of Massachusetts Amherst — build a probabilistic consensus forecast, which is a tool that combines all of the responses to project the most likely future scenario as well as the range of possible outcomes.

Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:

Jamie Gass, Education Policy Director: Did you ever think history could prepare you for the COVID-19 pandemic? Find out how The Concord Review, Will Fitzhugh’s long-running journal of high school students’ history essays, is doing just that. And in case you missed it, Pulitzer-winning historian David Kennedy joined “The Learning Curve” podcast on Friday to share his thoughts on COVID-19 vs. the Great Flu Epidemic of 1918.

Michael Walker: A data analytics company, Chrysalis Partners, created an online symptom collector for COVID-19. This is a prototype tool that cities or businesses could use to quickly gather data on symptoms experienced by their public. Great example of the thousands of companies independently mobilizing their resources to help deal with the pandemic. And here’s an excellent video from Khan Academy showing how to estimate the actual number of cases in your area based on reported deaths. This method is based work by Thomas Pueyo, by looking, in retrospect, at data from China.

Questions for Our Public & Private Sector Leaders:

Poll results: We asked readers, “Should Massachusetts reveal know how many COVID-19 cases there are in each city or town?”
Here are the results:
Yes: 94%; No: 2%; Not sure: 4%
Read Senior Fellow in Healthcare Barbara Anthony’s take on this.Do YOU have interesting questions and/or articles to share with us? Please email us, or message us through our social media channels below!

Get Our COVID-19 News, Tips & Resources!

Recent Posts:

NCTQ’s Kate Walsh on the Crisis in K-12 Teacher Prep, Quality, & Evaluation

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality. They discuss the qualifications of those who enter the teaching profession, explore teacher preparation, and key differences between teacher preparation, accreditation, and job prospects in the U.S. and other countries. They also speculate about what a Biden presidency might mean for K-12 education policymaking, and discuss how to diversify the teaching pipeline.

The Republic of Gadgets - America’s Great Inventors - 25 Resources for K-12 Education

Understanding the enduring public and private benefit that great inventors and their contraptions have made to our civilization is to better appreciate the connections between human necessity, creativity, and ingenuity. Yet, in American K-12 education very little focus is placed on studying who America’s great inventors were and the central role they’ve played in shaping our republic of gadgets. We’re offering a variety of links on the topic for parents, teachers, and schoolchildren to enjoy and better realize authentic innovators.

Cheryl Brown Henderson, Daughter of Lead Plaintiff in Brown v. Board of Ed., on Race & Schooling

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Cheryl Brown Henderson, president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research. She shares her experience as the daughter of the lead plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and thoughts on how the historic decision contributed to advancing civil rights in our country.

The Houses of Great American Writers - 25 Resources for K-12 Education

According to the Brookings Institution research, teaching great fiction is declining across America’s K-12 education system, so we’re offering resources to help parents, teachers, and schoolchildren to better appreciate great American writers and the places where they wrote.

Getting Nursing Home Care Right

Pioneer Institute has long recognized that seniors deserve the best of care and that innovative policy solutions are necessary to ensure that this population enjoys a high quality of life in their later years. In the 1990s, early 2000s and most recently in 2017, the Institute dedicated Better Government Competition topics to policy issues related to aging in America. Our goal each time was to find solutions and to take advantage of new innovations that would improve the quality of life and care for the elderly.

Harvard PEPG’s Prof. Paul Peterson on Charter Schools, Digital Learning, & Ed Next Polling

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Paul Peterson, the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University.

Small Business Life Support: Policy Relief for Firms Sickened by COVID?

/
Host Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute’s Andrew Mikula and Retailers Association of Massachusetts' Jon Hurst about the state of small business in Massachusetts six months into the pandemic.

A Commonwealth of Art - 20 Resources for K-12 Art Education

In Pioneer’s ongoing series of blogs here, here, here, and here on curricular resources for parents, families, and teachers during COVID-19, this one focuses on: Introducing K-12 schoolchildren to great works of art about, from, or in Massachusetts. Great Massachusetts paintings, folk, and fine arts are often not fully explored in the Bay State’s K-12 education system, so we’re offering a variety of resources to help parents, teachers, and schoolchildren.

Award-Winning Writer Brenda Wineapple on the 170th Anniv. of The Scarlet Letter & Pres. Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Brenda Wineapple, author of the award-winning Hawthorne: A Life and The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation. They discuss her definitive biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the 170th anniversary of the publication of his classic novel, The Scarlet Letter.

Study: Economic Recovery from COVID Will Require Short-Term Relief, Long-Term Reforms

As the initial economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed, a new study from Pioneer Institute finds that governments must continue to provide short-term relief to stabilize small businesses as they simultaneously consider longer-term reforms to hasten and bolster recovery – all while facing a need to shore up public sector revenues.

International Best-Seller Dr. Jung Chang On Wild Swans, Mao’s Tyranny, & Modern China

/
This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Dr. Jung Chang, author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China; Mao: The Unknown Story; and Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China.

“Architecture is Frozen Music” Great Massachusetts Buildings – 25 Resources for K-12 Education

Understanding enduring public and private architecture is a key way to learn about art, ideas, and how they harmonize with our democracy. Yet, Massachusetts buildings are often never discussed in K-12 education. We’re offering a variety of links about outstanding houses and architecture across the Bay State for parents, teachers, and schoolchildren to enjoy, visit, and better appreciate, including: