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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Top Picks for COVID-19 Pandemic News:
Jim Stergios, Executive Director, shares some hopeful news about COVID-19 treatments:
“The first US clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate, which is Moderna’s mRNA-1273, has started at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle. Funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the trial has dosed its first participant.” Read more.
“Based on results of clinical trials conducted with affected patients in both Wuhan and Shenzhen by Chinese medical authorities, Japanese-made flu drug favipiravir (also known as Avigan) has been shown to be effective in both reducing the duration of the COVID-19 virus in patients and to have improved the lung conditions of those who received treatment with the drug.” Read more.
And some concerns about testing: “Pioneer is a data-driven organization and we have concerns about policy making based on fear. That’s why the increase in COVID-19 testing is so important. As this Stat News article points out, “We don’t know if we are failing to capture infections by a factor of three or 300… The most valuable piece of information for answering questions about how many people are infected and how the epidemic is evolving would be to know the current prevalence of the infection in a random sample of a population and to repeat this exercise at regular time intervals to estimate the incidence of new infections.””
Bill Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences: Regarding the pharmaceutical chain, our dependence upon China is modest but growing. And, there is a good deal we don’t know. Here is some recent testimony from the FDA on the issue. Two more items of interest: “Duke University’s Margolis Center calls for a public-private ‘Manhattan Project’ to find answers to COVID-19” and “The New Yorker recounts the federal government’s missteps on coronavirus testing. It isn’t pretty.”
George Parker, Director of Individual Giving: An educational and emotional article. “Expert Mercy“: a term we should all be using and practicing!
Our Picks for Public & Private Sector Best Practices:
Barbara Anthony, Senior Fellow in Healthcare: Kudos to Best Buy for “best practices” when it comes to social distancing. Best Buy is limiting each store to 10 to 15 customers at a time and customers will be escorted by an employee who is six feet away. Of course, it will be important that Best Buy help to keep those in line waiting outside to enter six feet apart as they wait.
Jamie Gass, Education Director, shares some great resources: Florida Virtual School, winner of Pioneer’s 2008 Better Government Competition, is offering virtual teacher training to Florida school districts. FLVS’ founder Julie Young, a recent guest on Pioneer’s podcast, “The Learning Curve,” is now with Arizona State University (ASU), which is also offering terrific guidance and resources: ASU For You, which includes many learning tools at no cost such as virtual field trips; library access; video lessons, labs and simulations in K-12 subject areas; badge and certificate programs in areas such as health and well-being, smart cities and environmental science; tutoring, online courses and training videos for teachers or parents teaching from home; and courses for college credit.
Jamie also put together his own reading guide for parents seeking excellent materials on classic literature and historical figures to share with their children. And on our latest episode of The Learning Curve, Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson interviewed Former Ambassador to the Vatican and Mayor of Boston Ray Flynn, who shared his thoughts on how the world is reacting to COVID-19, and how it compares to other crises he has witnessed.
Mary Connaughton, Director of Government Transparency, gives a shout out to St. Joseph’s Prep in Brighton, MA for the great lengths they’re going to in order to adapt to remote learning and keep their students engaged. Take a look at their schedule:
She also joined The Boston Globe in reminding the public that, despite COVID-19 overshadowing everything, it’s Sunshine Week, when we promote open and accountable government – more important now than ever.
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