3 More Coronavirus News Stories to Help You Stay Informed and 3 More Comforting Things to Watch Right After

Hello! Well, the world has certainly gotten worse since my last round-up article. Racism continues to amplify the virus's effects on communities of color, especially black communities, and the administration in power neglects those most vulnerable. I don't know how else to put it except that the world is awful right now, murder hornets are on their way, and it can feel impossible to keep up with all the no good, very bad news. To help you sift through it though, here just three pressing news stories on the virus (its effects, efforts to combat it, and more) then three light-hearted things to watch afterwards because that's what we all need right now.

1. Systemic Oppression Continues to Amplify COVID-19's Effect on Black Communities

Racism seeps into everything - how people receive healthcare, financial means, all kinds of agency (or lack thereof - and is only made worse in a pandemic. Right now black communities are not only getting sick and dying at alarming rates, police brutality has made it's way into how cities are enforcing policies on wearing masks. This is, obviously, a gigantic systematic issue. But to help break it down and help raise voices of black communities, TIME magazine surveyed 30,000 black Americans on "what they need to survive." While the government continues to fail the most vulnerable black communities, it's becoming harder to find ways and gathering the resources to survive, let alone cope. As writer Alicia Garza writes, "Black people have always been resilient in the face of unprecedented adversity and a government that does not care."

2. What is Contact Tracing, Exactly?

Life probably won't ever go exactly "back to normal" (whatever that means anymore), but to get things stable enough for us to go outside again, there needs to be investment in contact tracing. Put simply (and in a fun way), contact tracing has public health workers doing disease detective work, tracking spread of dangerous disease before the outbreak becomes overwhelming. Disease detectives are at work now trying to trace and stop further spread of COVID-19; they're interviewing COVID-19 patients, tracking those they've been in contact with, and evaluating risk. Tech giants like Apple and Google have been floating the idea for a while now of developing tech to help ease/automate this often "tedious," intricate work. However, the introduction of tech into this process that involves monitoring people also brings up privacy concerns.

3. A New Symptom to Watch Out For: 'Covid Toe'

Not to add to anyone's paranoia, but here's just one more possibly helpful symptom to watch out for in yourself and loved ones: toe lesions. Dermatologists around the world have seen a rise in this issue and have started to possibly link it to mild cases of COVID-19. The New York Times reports that medical papers (coming out of Italy, Berlin, and Spain) have seen rises in general complaints of foot pain and lesions. Now, before you start examining your toes up close all day with your phone-flashlight, don't worry - most people who present with 'Covid toe' are just fine. Director of Global Health Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Esther Freeman, says, "The most important message to the public is not to panic — most of the patients we are seeing with these lesions are doing extremely well." This symptom is still developing and newly studied, so no need to panic. The important takeaway is that this is just another thing to watch out for (in measured ways, again, please don't stare at your toes all day) and as the doctors in the article suggest, 'Covid toe' should be grounds for testing.

Okay, well now that we got through the no good, very bad news - here's just three things to watch to give yourself a break.

  1. 1. What We Do in the Shadows

    This is a two-for-one deal! What We Do in the Shadows was originally a 2014 comedy. It was directed, written, and starred Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement as old-school vampires trying to make it in a modern world. It's essentially a story of funny roommates trying to make it in a big city, except they're vampires! And once you finish watching that, you can watch the FX series it's been adapted into that stars new, but just as lovable and hilarious, vampires.

  2. 2. Game Changer

    Collegehumor may be sort of, kind of, in big financial trouble - but they're still putting out quality content! One gem they've started uploading for free on YouTube: Game Changer! It's a game show where each episode is a new game with new rules and the contestants have no idea what they're playing - they just have to figure it out and, of course, hilarity ensues. So, in just one game show you can watch impression battles, murder mysteries, and more!

  3. 3. Tuca and Bertie

    This might just be me trying to get this show somehow back again - but please watch Tuca and Bertie! It comes from (but is not exactly connected to) some of the creative team behind Bojack Horseman, and centers around bestfriends Tuca and Bertie as they go through a time of change. It's colorful, it's funny, but also gives it's leading bird friends so much depth. Please watch!