Newley's Notes

NN217: How Long will the Pandemic Last? Also: Vibin’ Shibas

mountains and nighttime sky
Photo by brandon siu on Unsplash

Sent as an email newsletter Sunday, May 3, 2020.

πŸ‘‹ Hi, friends. Welcome to the latest edition of Newley’s Notes, a weekly newsletter containing my recent Wall Street Journal stories, must-read links on tech and life, and funny dog videos.

πŸ“¬ Not a subscriber yet? Get it here.

New podcast interview

🐯 I was on Princeton University’s Policy Punchline podcast to talk all things tech in India with Tiger Gao, a Princeton junior.

The podcast series, if you’ve never heard it, features hour-long discussions with journalists, scholars, entrepreneurs and more on a variety of policy related issues. We recorded this episode before Facebook’s big $5.7 billion investment in Jio, which I mentioned in last week’s NN, but we touched on many related topics in this wide-ranging discussion. Thanks, Tiger and team, for having me on!

🎧 You can listen on Soundcloud here, or look up Policy Punchline in your podcast app of choice.

Pandemic reading and listening resources: a follow up to a follow up

πŸ“– In NN 213 I mentioned some good books about pandemics, and reader James B. wrote in to share one I’d missed: “The Great Influenza,” about the illness that swept the world in 1918.

Thanks to another reader, Chris E., who tells me that the author of that book, John Barry, was recently on Peter Attia’s podcast. It’s a fascinating episode. (I like Attia’s podcast a lot, but hadn’t heard this episode. He’s a doctor who specializes in longevity, and often has very smart people on to talk about their fields of expertise.) Thanks, Chris. E.!

On to this week’s NN.

Here are ten items worth your time this week:

βŒ› 1) How long will coronavirus pandemic last? Perhaps as long as two years, according to a new report from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. And the pandemic won’t be stopped until 60–70% of the world’s population is immune.

“The virus caught the global community off guard, and its future course is still highly unpredictable,” the authors write. (You can read the report here.)

😷 2) Now that some lockdowns around the world are lifting, here’s a good question: should you wear a face mask when exercising outside? The answer: If you can bear it, it’s probably a good idea.

πŸ”» 3) Even as U.S. gross domestic product falls – with more contraction likely to come – tech giants’ stocks are climbing. “Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook now make up more than 20 percent of the value of the entire S&P 500 – a level that’s higher than it was even during the dot-com boom,” the New York Times reports. Why? They have a ton of cash on hand, and are more reliant on digital operations than physical ones.

🦠 4) Here’s a graphical guide to the more than 90 vaccines being developed to fight SARS-CoV–2.

πŸ˜• 5) Here’s a good overview of why the pandemic can feel so confusing, ranging from factors like the virus and the disease to research and messaging.

πŸ–ΌοΈ 6) The British Museum has put more than 1.9 million photos from its collection online. View the images here.

πŸ’¬ 7) On his 68th birthday, tech author and all-around big picture thinker Kevin Kelly provides “68 Bits of Unsolicited Advice.”

πŸ’„ 8) Who needs makeup when you’ve got Snapchat and Instagram filters?

πŸ• 9) Indian street dogs seem to be becoming popular pets in India’s tech hub of Bangalore. Many of the dogs shown in that piece look just like Ginger.

🎡 10) Dog-related video of the week: “straight vibin’ #shiba.” [TikTok/@paula_the_koala]

πŸ’‘ Quote of the week:

β€œTime misspent in youth is sometimes all the freedom one ever has.” – Anita Brookner

πŸ‘Š Fist bump from Hong Kong,


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