Nursing home design is deadly. Here’s how to change it

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COVID-19 exposed the fatal flaws in eldercare. Nursing homes have long been seen as grim and sterile, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve also been fatal— 1.3 million individuals living in nursing homes around the world have died from the virus. While elderly people and those with preexisting conditions are high-risk populations, the infection’s rapid rate of spread is also due to the way nursing homes are designed. Most rooms have two or four beds that are placed in close proximity; sinks and windows can be hard to access; and dated systems require surfaces to be frequently touched. In the face of coronavirus, it’s time to rethink how nursing homes are designed. Here’s what experts suggest. Read Full Story

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Tracking everyone’s whereabouts won’t stop COVID-19

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Countries such as China, South Korea, and Israel have already turned to invasive surveillance tools to halt the spread of the coronavirus. But their efficacy is unclear. As countries around the world scramble to fight off the public health nightmare of the COVID-19 pandemic, more are looking to a surprising medicine: surveillance. Read Full Story

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What is a mask valve, and why are cities banning them?

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Valves will keep you more comfortable, but endanger those around you. In some states and major cities, it’s now mandatory to wear a mask in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That mask could be anything from a handkerchief to a designer cotton mask to a full-blown N95 respirator , so long as you have something between your mouth and nose and the world around you. Read Full Story

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How scientists are crowdsourcing a coronavirus vaccine

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This online puzzle game illustrates the power of citizen science. Coronavirus, which the World Health Organization has now officially labeled a pandemic, is taking a toll on communities around the world. There’s currently no cure for COVID-19, but scientists are working on drugs that could help slow its spread. Fortunately, citizens can get involved in the process. Read Full Story

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This is the unseen factor pushing the COVID-19 death count even higher

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15% of global COVID-19 deaths could be linked to air pollution exposure. Even before the spread of COVID-19, scientists had declared we were in the midst of an air pollution pandemic , with bad air responsible for 8.8 million premature deaths every year. Now, researchers better understand how these two crises are converging. Across the world, more than 1.1 million people have died of COVID-19, and 15% of those deaths, researchers estimate, could be attributed to long-term air pollution exposure. Read Full Story

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This new monument will be the first to remember the victims of COVID-19

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In Uruguay, the World Memorial to the Pandemic will force people to confront their relationship with the deadly potential of nature. As of early September, more than 900,000 people have died around the world because of COVID-19. Designers are already working on how to remember them: A plan for a massive new monument would honor the victims, along with everyone else who has been affected by other pandemics throughout history. Read Full Story

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UNICEF is stockpiling half a billion syringes to get ready for a COVID-19 vaccine

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Developing the vaccine is just the first part of the mission. Then a vast production and logistical challenge awaits. UNICEF is getting ready. Inside a warehouse in Copenhagen and another in Dubai, UNICEF is racing to stockpile hundreds of millions of syringes. It’s the other half of the long path to an effective COVID-19 vaccine: As some pharmaceutical companies reach the final stages of vaccine trials, the UN agency is working on the logistical challenge of how to quickly deliver those vaccines around the world as soon as they’re approved. Read Full Story

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