13 Mar 2020

Friday the 13th: What we're reading this week

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With COVID-19 causing problems around the world, Friday the 13th has arrived right on cue. The coronavirus has prompted the cancellation of major sporting games, festivals and public gatherings. It has even had an effect on Hollywood.

Take a look at some of the stories that caught our attention this week.


Why is Friday the 13th unlucky? A look back at the history of this ominous date

The Independent / Joe Sommerlad

With the coronavirus outbreak sweeping across the world, the sinister date’s arrival is right on cue.


How coronavirus hijacks your cells

The New York Times / Jonathan Corum and Carl Zimmer

A great visualisation of how the COVID-19 takes hold in our bodies, how it spreads and how to minimise its spread.


COVID-19 a game changer for global ‘people supply chain’ of students, tourists

South China Morning Post / Su-Lin Tan and Sidney Leng

The disruption to global tourism may recover quickly, but the damage to the movement of international students could more problematic.


Tom Hanks in coronavirus isolation a blow to Australia’s film industry as productions cancelled

ABC News / Brittney Kleyn

Actor Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson are in isolation on the Gold Coast after contracting COVID-19. Hanks is in Australia filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic.


Dark Mofo Statement

David Walsh’s statement on the decision to “kill” the popular event was humorous, but also gave an insight into the difficult decisions people have to make about events under the coronavirus cloud.

See also: The NBA has suspended its season, European football matches are postponed, and the Australian F1 Gran Prix is cancelled.


The ‘London patient’, cured of HIV, reveals his identity

The New York Times / Apoorva Mandavilli

Adam Castillejo, the second person to be cured of HIV, revealed his identity this week. Last year, Mr Castillejo was given a bone-marrow transplant to treat lymphoma. This was intended to cure his cancel but had the added effect of curing his HIV.


Responding to ‘wild’ online comments about climate change

News.com.au / Shannon Molloy

News.com.au launched its Time Is Now series this week, in partnership with the Australian Science Media Centre and the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas. The series draws on the insights and research of scientists, including Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, who set out to debunk some of the myths about climate change.


Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison after addressing his accusers in court

CNN / Eric Levenson, Lauren del Valle and Sonia Moghe

The former Hollywood producer, who was sentenced earlier this week, spoke at his hearing. He said of his accusers: "I'm not going to say these aren't great people, I had wonderful time with these people, you know. It is just I'm totally confused and I think men are confused about all these issues."


Conflict journalism needs a code of ethics and needs it now

The National / Janine di Giovanni

“Academics and other professions are bound by codes of ethics, with considerable legal or career consequences for violating them. Journalists should operate similarly. But in an era of budget crunches, where more journalists are sent to dangerous assignments without training, very few of them are taught any rules.”


Main image: This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.

CC-licensed by Unsplash via CDC.