Tag Archives: COVID-19

An open fund for projects debunking vaccine misinformation

The uncertainty and developing nature of the coronavirus pandemic continues to generate related misinformation. Fact-checkers have been hard at work debunking falsehoods online, with nearly 10,000 fact checks about the pandemic currently showing up across our products. 


The global rollout of COVID-19 vaccines is exacerbating a perennial problem of misinformation about immunization. To support additional debunking efforts, the Google News Initiative is launching a COVID-19 Vaccine Counter-Misinformation Open Fund worth up to $3 million.


While the COVID-19 infodemic has been global in nature, misinformation has also been used to target specific populations. Some of the available research also suggests that the audiences coming across misinformation and those seeking fact checks don’t necessarily overlap.


For this reason, the Open Fund is accepting applications from projects that aim to broaden the audience of fact checks, particularly with those who may be disproportionately affected by misinformation in mind.


The fund is global and open to news organizations of every size that have a proven track record in fact-checking and debunking activities, or partner with an organization with such recognition. 


We will prioritize collaborative projects with an interdisciplinary team and clear ways to measure success. For example, eligible applications might include a partnership between an established fact-checking project and a media outlet with deep roots in a specific community, or a collaborative technology platform for journalists and doctors to jointly source misinformation and publish fact checks.


A global team of Googlers will review applications. The jury that will choose grantees is composed by the following:

  • Theresa Amobi, Senior Lecturer, University of Lagos

  • Ludovic Blecher, Head of Innovation, Google News Initiative

  • Renee DiResta, Technical Research Manager, Stanford Internet Observer

  • Susannah Eliott, CEO, Australian Science Media Centre

  • Gagandeep Kang, Head of the Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Christian Medical College

  • Alexios Mantzarlis, News and Information Credibility Lead, Google

  • Syed Nazakat, Founder & CEO, Data Leads

  • Ifeoma Ozoma, Founder and Principal, Earthseed

  • Baybars Örsek, Director, International Fact-Checking Network

  • Andy Pattison, manager of digital solutions, World Health Organization

  • Angela Pimenta, Director of Operations, Projor

  • Amy Pisani, Executive Director, Vaccinate Your Family

  • Yamil Velez, Associate Professor of Political Science, Columbia University

  • Brian Yau, Promotion & Engagement Lead, Vaccine Safety Net at WHO

The Open Fund builds on support the GNI has provided to news efforts fighting pandemic misinformation in April and December of last year. We expect that selected projects will benefit from research the GNI is supporting into the formats, headlines and sources that are most effective in correcting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. 


Finally, we continue to make high quality, authoritative information about vaccines available in our products. We are continuing to expand the number of countries with information panels on authorized vaccines in Google Search, and we continue to surface fact checks across Google by using ClaimReview. We expanded the features in which users come across fact checks in 2020—in the COVID-19 Google News topic in the U.S., on Google News on mobile in Brazil and in Google Images globally.


Please visit the Open Fund’s website to read more about eligibility criteria and find out how to apply.

Here’s how Google Assistant lent a helping hand in 2020

As we look at how people used Google Assistant this year,
We hope these reflections may bring you some cheer.
From staying in touch to cooking a meal, 
It’s clear we find many of the same things ideal.

In 2020, it felt like many of us needed a little more assistance than usual. With more time spent at home, the ways people used Google Assistant evolved to accommodate new habits and routines—and to help with this, we focused on launching new features, adding new services like Disney+, Netflix, Duo, Meet and Zoom, and creating new tools for developers. As we close out the year, we’re taking a look at the most popular ways that people used Assistant, as well as some more recent trends. 


Lending a hand to families

This year, we launched Family Notes to keep the whole house up to date and running smoothly. We also introduced Family Bell, which launched just in time for the (mostly virtual) school year and was quickly adopted to help families stay on track throughout the day. Here are the top five bells set this school year:

  1. Time for bed

  2. Time for breakfast

  3. Lunch time

  4. Dinner time

  5. Class is starting

If you're enjoying time off from work or school, today we launched the ability to pause your bells until you resume your normal routine. Simply tap the “Pause bells” banner on the Family Bell settings page. Your bells will automatically resume once the pause period is over.

And the amount of requests made to Assistant for help with spelling, using the dictionary and translations more than doubled this year. The top translation request this year was for "I love you”—and the top word that people needed help spelling? “Quarantine.” 

(As a reminder, with their parent's permission, children under 13—or the applicable age in their country—can have a personalized Google Assistant experience when they log in with their own account, powered by Family Link.)


Finding ways to keep in touch

The number of text messages sent with Assistant more than doubled in 2020; currently, “Mom” is the most-called person with Assistant. Many of us also turned to group video calls through Zoom, Google Meet and Duo to host virtual celebrations, attend workout classes and to simply catch up with loved ones.


Spending more time in the kitchen 

Recipes searched with Assistant grew over eight times this past year, and thanks to quarantine’s baking trends, banana bread is still the most requested recipe on Assistant. And because baking calls for perfect timing, more timers were set in 2020 than ever before.


Staying informed and entertained 

Streaming entertainment helped us enjoy newfound time at home, and Assistant brought us even more movies and TV shows from Disney+ andNetflix on Nest Hub devices. We told stories, too: This year, the number of stories told by Assistant increased over three times. Try it out yourself by saying, “Hey Google, tell me a story.” 

In recent trends, the top music genre is currently holiday music, followed by country, relaxing music, rock and pop. And while many of us commuted more frequently between the couch and kitchen than to and from an office, we still turned to podcasts to stay entertained and up-to-date. The most-listened to podcasts on Assistant currently are: 

  • The Daily

  • NPR

  • Savage Love

  • Joe Rogan

  • Ben Shapiro

  • Two Princes

  • This American Life


Controlling homes and devices

Assistant was even busier controlling smart home devices this year. The most popular ask was to turn the lights on or off, and many of us also asked Assistant to adjust the fan, change the temperature on the thermostat, control the TV or launch a game on Xbox.

Today, we rolled out Scheduled Actions so people can “set it and forget it.” Try asking Google to turn off the lights in 10 minutes, or at 11:25 pm on the dot; or say “Hey Google, run the fan for 20 minutes” eliminating the need to remember to turn it off later. 

We also made it easier to quickly set up many smart devices, including lights and plugs—from Philips Hue, C by GE, Yeelight, Nanoleaf, Ledvance, ABL Lighting and Energetic by Yankon—right out of the box. Supported by Seamless Setup, you can now connect your new devices to Google Assistant right from the Google Home app in just a few steps. There’s no need to download another app or install anything else. 

2020’s been a busy year for Assistant, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Here’s how Google Assistant lent a helping hand in 2020

As we look at how people used Google Assistant this year,
We hope these reflections may bring you some cheer.
From staying in touch to cooking a meal, 
It’s clear we find many of the same things ideal.

In 2020, it felt like many of us needed a little more assistance than usual. With more time spent at home, the ways people used Google Assistant evolved to accommodate new habits and routines—and to help with this, we focused on launching new features, adding new services like Disney+, Netflix, Duo, Meet and Zoom, and creating new tools for developers. As we close out the year, we’re taking a look at the most popular ways that people used Assistant, as well as some more recent trends. 


Lending a hand to families

This year, we launched Family Notes to keep the whole house up to date and running smoothly. We also introduced Family Bell, which launched just in time for the (mostly virtual) school year and was quickly adopted to help families stay on track throughout the day. Here are the top five bells set this school year:

  1. Time for bed

  2. Time for breakfast

  3. Lunch time

  4. Dinner time

  5. Class is starting

If you're enjoying time off from work or school, today we launched the ability to pause your bells until you resume your normal routine. Simply tap the “Pause bells” banner on the Family Bell settings page. Your bells will automatically resume once the pause period is over.

And the amount of requests made to Assistant for help with spelling, using the dictionary and translations more than doubled this year. The top translation request this year was for "I love you”—and the top word that people needed help spelling? “Quarantine.” 

(As a reminder, with their parent's permission, children under 13—or the applicable age in their country—can have a personalized Google Assistant experience when they log in with their own account, powered by Family Link.)


Finding ways to keep in touch

The number of text messages sent with Assistant more than doubled in 2020; currently, “Mom” is the most-called person with Assistant. Many of us also turned to group video calls through Zoom, Google Meet and Duo to host virtual celebrations, attend workout classes and to simply catch up with loved ones.


Spending more time in the kitchen 

Recipes searched with Assistant grew over eight times this past year, and thanks to quarantine’s baking trends, banana bread is still the most requested recipe on Assistant. And because baking calls for perfect timing, more timers were set in 2020 than ever before.


Staying informed and entertained 

Streaming entertainment helped us enjoy newfound time at home, and Assistant brought us even more movies and TV shows from Disney+ andNetflix on Nest Hub devices. We told stories, too: This year, the number of stories told by Assistant increased over three times. Try it out yourself by saying, “Hey Google, tell me a story.” 

In recent trends, the top music genre is currently holiday music, followed by country, relaxing music, rock and pop. And while many of us commuted more frequently between the couch and kitchen than to and from an office, we still turned to podcasts to stay entertained and up-to-date. The most-listened to podcasts on Assistant currently are: 

  • The Daily

  • NPR

  • Savage Love

  • Joe Rogan

  • Ben Shapiro

  • Two Princes

  • This American Life


Controlling homes and devices

Assistant was even busier controlling smart home devices this year. The most popular ask was to turn the lights on or off, and many of us also asked Assistant to adjust the fan, change the temperature on the thermostat, control the TV or launch a game on Xbox.

Today, we rolled out Scheduled Actions so people can “set it and forget it.” Try asking Google to turn off the lights in 10 minutes, or at 11:25 pm on the dot; or say “Hey Google, run the fan for 20 minutes” eliminating the need to remember to turn it off later. 

We also made it easier to quickly set up many smart devices, including lights and plugs—from Philips Hue, C by GE, Yeelight, Nanoleaf, Ledvance, ABL Lighting and Energetic by Yankon—right out of the box. Supported by Seamless Setup, you can now connect your new devices to Google Assistant right from the Google Home app in just a few steps. There’s no need to download another app or install anything else. 

2020’s been a busy year for Assistant, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Exposure Notifications: end of year update

For the last eight months we’ve been working with Apple on the Exposure Notifications System (ENS) to help public health authorities in their efforts to contain COVID-19. We wanted to provide an update on this work.

Saving lives at all levels of adoption

Since May, when this technology became available, public health authorities have launched Exposure Notifications in more than 50 countries, states and regions—an average of two apps each week. This week, California became the latest U.S. state to launch an app using ENS, joining the list of regions who have already made apps available.

By simply downloading your regional app, you can help public health authorities in their efforts to control COVID-19. There’s plenty of evidence that people are doing this: 40 percent of the population in the UK and 17 percent of the population in Uruguay have downloaded the app. In the United States, 20 percent of Colorado and 53 percent of Washington D.C. have enabled EN. There are other anecdotal signs that the system is helping: In September, the Prime Minister of Finland, Sanna Marin, received an exposure notification, and in November, the governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, had been infected and used Exposure Notifications to alert staff members who may have been exposed.

Research has revealed that exposure notifications can “save lives at all levels of uptake” and showed that a staff dedicated to working on contact tracing combined with 15 percent of the population using exposure notifications could reduce infections by 15 percent and deaths by 11 percent. In Ireland, early reports from their app indicated there were hundreds of EN notifications from people who had uploaded positive test results. A recent pilot in Spain showed that it could detect almost twice as many potential infections than manual contact tracing. 

Apple and Google’s framework offers a backbone for building privacy-centered apps for rapid exchange of data that can help protect and save lives. Judy Monroe
MD, President and CEO, CDC Foundation

Evolving based on feedback  

Exposure Notifications became available to public health agencies in May to build apps on both Android phones and iPhones. It was built on feedback resulting from more than one hundred technical briefings with state public health officers, state epidemiologists, and where appropriate, their commissioned app developers. Major public health organizations that have been consulted include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Foundation, the Association of Public Health Laboratories, the American Public Health Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, the National Association of County and City Health Officials, and the Task Force for Global Health.


In July, based on feedback, we published some updates to ENS including the reference verification server, implementation code, and telemetry design. Since then, U.S. public health authorities that have not yet designed their own apps and want more support in launching an app can use Exposure Notifications Express. This reduces the time it takes public health authorities to develop an app by simply providing Google and Apple with a configuration file, which is then used to provide exposure notifications. Many of these apps in the United States work together so that if you travel across state lines you can still get exposure notifications. The Association of Public Health Laboratories made this possible by hosting a national key server and they offer a list of interoperable U.S. apps. We want to be flexible and support whatever approach works best on a country by country level.

The goal of this project is to assist public health authorities in their efforts by enabling exposure notification in a privacy-preserving manner. We will continue to work with them to help you protect yourself and your community during this pandemic and we plan to keep you updated here with new information again next year. 

How you’ll find accurate and timely information on COVID-19 vaccines

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, teams across Google have worked to provide quality information and resources to help keep people safe, and to provide public health, scientists and medical professionals with tools to combat the pandemic. We’ve launched more than 200 new products, features and initiatives—including the Exposure Notification API to assist contact tracing—and have pledged over $1 billion to assist our users, customers and partners around the world. 

As the world turns its focus to the deployment of vaccines, the type of information people need will evolve. Communities will be vaccinated at an unprecedented pace and scale. This will require sharing information to educate the public, including addressing vaccine misperceptions and hesitance, and helping to surface official guidance to people on when, where and how to get vaccinated. 

Today, we’re sharing about how we’re working to meet these needs—through our products and partnering with health authorities—while keeping harmful misinformation off our platforms. 

Raising authoritative information

Beginning in the United Kingdom, we’re launching a new feature on Search so when people look up information for COVID-19 vaccines, we will surface a list of authorized vaccines in their location, as well as information panels on each individual vaccine. As other health authorities begin authorizing vaccines, we’ll introduce this new feature in more countries.

Vaccine information on Google Search

Launched in March, our COVID-19 information panels on YouTube have been viewed 400 billion times, making them an important source of authoritative information. These panels are featured on the YouTube homepage, and on videos and in search results about the pandemic. Updates to the panels will connect people directly to vaccine information from global and local health authorities. Because YouTube creators are a trusted voice within their communities, we’re also supporting creators by connecting them with leading health experts to make helpful and engaging content for their audiences about COVID-19 and vaccines. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve given $250 million in Ad Grants to help more than 100 government agencies around the world run critical public service announcements about COVID-19. Grantees can use these funds throughout 2021, including for vaccine education and outreach campaigns, and we’re announcing today an additional $15 million in Ad Grants to the World Health Organization (WHO) to assist their global campaign.

Supporting quality reporting and information on vaccines

Journalism continues to play a crucial role in informing people about the pandemic, sharing expert knowledge about vaccines, and proactively debunking misinformation about the immunization process. In April, we gave $6.5 million to support COVID-19 related fact-checking initiatives, which have provided training or resources to nearly 10,000 reporters around the world.

Now, the Google News Initiative is providing an additional $1.5 million to fund the creation of a COVID-19 Vaccine Media Hub and support new fact-checking research. Led by the Australian Science Media Centre, and with support from technology non-profit Meedan, the hub will be a resource for journalists, providing around-the-clock access to scientific expertise and research updates. The initiative includes science media centers and public health experts from Latin America, Africa, Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region, with content being made available in seven languages. 

To better understand what type of fact-checking can effectively counteract misinformation about vaccines, we’re funding research by academics at Columbia, George Washington and Ohio State universities. This research project will survey citizens in ten countries to find out what kinds of formats, headlines and sources are most effective in correcting COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and whether fact checks that follow these best practices impact willingness to get vaccinated.

Protecting our platforms against misinformation 

Across our products, we’ve had long-standing policies prohibiting harmful and misleading medical or health-related content. When COVID-19 hit, our global Trust and Safety team worked to stop a variety of abuses stemming from the pandemic: phishing attempts, malware, dangerous conspiracy theories, and fraud schemes. Our teams have also been planning for new threats and abuse patterns related specifically to COVID-19 vaccines. For example, in October, we expanded our COVID-19 medical misinformation policy on YouTube to remove content about vaccines that contradicts consensus from health authorities, such as the Centers for Disease Control or the WHO. Our teams have removed more than 700,000 videos related to dangerous or misleading COVID-19 medical information. We also continue to remove harmful COVID-19 misinformation across other products like Ads, Google Maps, and the Play store.

The fight against the pandemic and the development of new vaccines has required global collaboration between the public health sector, and the scientific and medical communities. As work begins to vaccinate billions of people, we’ll support these efforts with additional products and features to ensure people have the right information at the right time. 

Tools to help the travel industry’s recovery

Down the road from our Asia Pacific headquarters, one of the world’s most connected travel hubs—Singapore Changi Airport—is unusually quiet. It’s been this way for months, with global air passenger numbers falling by almost 90 per cent in 2020. 


This has been a devastating year for the tourism industry and the $9 trillion global travel economy—but there are signs of promise, with domestic flights increasing in some countries in Asia Pacific, encouraging news on vaccines, and governments exploring ways of opening up safe international travel. We also know there’s pent-up demand in the region, with one in two people eager or very eager to travel now, and search interest in travel back up to about 50 percent of its pre-COVID level.  


While Asia Pacific is still in the early stages of a potential re-opening, and governments are being as careful as possible, we want to do everything we can to help the travel and tourism industry get ready for what’s next. Today, we’re launching Travel Insights with Google: a website the industry in our region — and ultimately, the rest of the world — can use to understand travel demand and make better-informed decisions. It’s built around three new tools.


Destination Insights 


One of the key things travel businesses, governments and tourism boards are looking for is information about the destinations travellers are searching for in different places around the world—and domestically.


The Destination Insights tool will give them a clear picture of the top sources of demand for a destination, and the destinations within their countries that travellers are most interested in visiting—helping them map out a possible resumption of travel on specific routes and make choices about where to communicate with potential future travelers. 

Singapore destination insights

Hotel Insights 


There are still millions of Google searches for hotels every day, which allows us to generate extensive insights about demand for hotel bookings. We're now making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to understand where demand for their property may be coming from by providing them with these insights directly. Hotel Insights is designed to help hotels of all sizes—but especially small and independent hotels—understand how to target their marketing as they plan their recovery.

Indonesia hotel insights

Travel Analytics Center


The Travel Analytics Center—available to Google’s commercial partners in the travel sector—will enable organizations to combine their own Google account data with broader Google demand data and insights, giving them a clearer picture of how to manage their operations and find opportunities to reach potential visitors. 


The message from tourism organizations is that they want as much information as possible to move quickly when restrictions ease and people begin booking travel. His Excellency Wishnutama Kusubandio, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, says that “when it comes to tourism recovery, I believe that digital technologies can be part of the solution,” while Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Desmond Lee, says he hopes the Google tools will provide valuable insights into people’s travel aspirations... as we work together to welcome the world to our shores again.”

We’re encouraged by the positive initial response to Travel Insights with Google, and we’re looking forward to helping meet the growing need for data and insights across the region. 

UNWTO quote

In addition to the three new tools, the site will be a one-stop location for other industry resources, including skills training through Grow with Google, Digital Garage and Google for Small Business, and resources from the UNWTO. And we’ll keep expanding the site with new resources in months ahead. 


Since the pandemic first hit, we’ve been focused on helping businesses and sharing information so people feel safe when they travel. Now, as we head into 2021, we hope to work even more closely with the industry as borders begin to open up, domestic travel increases, and international travel becomes possible again. No matter how quickly or slowly that recovery takes place, we’re committed to supporting global travel and tourism and the many people and businesses that depend on it.

Tools to help the travel industry’s recovery

Down the road from our Asia Pacific headquarters, one of the world’s most connected travel hubs—Singapore Changi Airport—is unusually quiet. It’s been this way for months, with global air passenger numbers falling by almost 90 per cent in 2020. 


This has been a devastating year for the tourism industry and the $9 trillion global travel economy—but there are signs of promise, with domestic flights increasing in some countries in Asia Pacific, encouraging news on vaccines, and governments exploring ways of opening up safe international travel. We also know there’s pent-up demand in the region, with one in two people eager or very eager to travel now, and search interest in travel back up to about 50 percent of its pre-COVID level.  


While Asia Pacific is still in the early stages of a potential re-opening, and governments are being as careful as possible, we want to do everything we can to help the travel and tourism industry get ready for what’s next. Today, we’re launching Travel Insights with Google: a website the industry in our region — and ultimately, the rest of the world — can use to understand travel demand and make better-informed decisions. It’s built around three new tools.


Destination Insights 


One of the key things travel businesses, governments and tourism boards are looking for is information about the destinations travellers are searching for in different places around the world—and domestically.


The Destination Insights tool will give them a clear picture of the top sources of demand for a destination, and the destinations within their countries that travellers are most interested in visiting—helping them map out a possible resumption of travel on specific routes and make choices about where to communicate with potential future travelers. 

Singapore destination insights

Hotel Insights 


There are still millions of Google searches for hotels every day, which allows us to generate extensive insights about demand for hotel bookings. We're now making it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to understand where demand for their property may be coming from by providing them with these insights directly. Hotel Insights is designed to help hotels of all sizes—but especially small and independent hotels—understand how to target their marketing as they plan their recovery.

Indonesia hotel insights

Travel Analytics Center


The Travel Analytics Center—available to Google’s commercial partners in the travel sector—will enable organizations to combine their own Google account data with broader Google demand data and insights, giving them a clearer picture of how to manage their operations and find opportunities to reach potential visitors. 


The message from tourism organizations is that they want as much information as possible to move quickly when restrictions ease and people begin booking travel. His Excellency Wishnutama Kusubandio, Indonesia’s Tourism Minister, says that “when it comes to tourism recovery, I believe that digital technologies can be part of the solution,” while Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Desmond Lee, says he hopes the Google tools will provide valuable insights into people’s travel aspirations... as we work together to welcome the world to our shores again.”

We’re encouraged by the positive initial response to Travel Insights with Google, and we’re looking forward to helping meet the growing need for data and insights across the region. 

UNWTO quote

In addition to the three new tools, the site will be a one-stop location for other industry resources, including skills training through Grow with Google, Digital Garage and Google for Small Business, and resources from the UNWTO. And we’ll keep expanding the site with new resources in months ahead. 


Since the pandemic first hit, we’ve been focused on helping businesses and sharing information so people feel safe when they travel. Now, as we head into 2021, we hope to work even more closely with the industry as borders begin to open up, domestic travel increases, and international travel becomes possible again. No matter how quickly or slowly that recovery takes place, we’re committed to supporting global travel and tourism and the many people and businesses that depend on it.

Cómo estoy dando gracias (y manteniéndome a salvo) este Día de Acción de Gracias

Read this post in English // Blog en inglés aquí.

Amo el Día de Acción de Gracias. Es un momento para estar con tus seres queridos, comer comida fabulosa y compartir recuerdos. En mi familia, mi madre siempre hizo del día festivo un momento en el que recibíamos en nuestra casa a personas que no tenían ningún otro lugar adónde ir ese día. Y luego dábamos largas caminatas por la tarde después de nuestra gran cena.  

Con las infecciones por COVID-19 aumentando a niveles récord en los Estados Unidos, las familias están cambiando la forma en que celebran el Día de Acción de Gracias este año. Como muchas otras cosas en 2020, tendremos que desarrollar tradiciones nuevas y creativas para reemplazar las que ponen a quienes amamos en riesgo de COVID. 

Este año, sigue los consejos de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades y evita las grandes reuniones familiares.

Esta enfermedad es muy contagiosa y reunirse físicamente con la familia extendida es un riesgo real. Cada evento que reúne a personas crea una nueva oportunidad de transmisión. A menudo me preguntan: "¿No puedo hacerme una prueba de COVID y luego ver a mi familia?" Desafortunadamente, la respuesta que le doy a mis amigos y familiares es un "No" inequívoco. Las pruebas suelen ser negativas en las primeras etapas del curso de la enfermedad, lo que significa que puede dar negativo hoy pero ser muy infeccioso mañana. Entonces, incluso si tienes una prueba negativa, practica aún estas medidas. La mejor manera de demostrar tu amor es no tener una gran reunión familiar.

Hay muchas formas de celebrar a distancia. Puedes realizar videollamadas con amigos y familiares desde la mesa de Acción de Gracias. Podrías pasar tiempo en persona al aire libre a distancia, usando máscaras y evitando compartir platillos. Incluso he oído hablar de algunas familias que se han vuelto creativas al ofrecer "recoger en la acera" su emblemático pastel de calabaza, cazuela de ejotes o aderezo de ostras para que los seres queridos lo recojan y disfruten en la seguridad de sus propios hogares.


Consejos para celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracias de forma segura

Los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades han compartido algunos consejos sobre cómo celebrar el Día de Acción de Gracias este año y limitar la propagación del COVID-19.


  • Usa mascarilla

  • Reconsidera viajes

  • Mantén las reuniones pequeñas

  • Celebra virtualmente si puedes


Este año, mi familia inmediata está planeando una pequeña comida en nuestro hogar seguida de una breve visita al aire libre a nuestra abuela. También tendremos un Friendsgiving virtual con amigos de todo el país, que en realidad nos permite compartir recuerdos con más personas de las que solemos compartir. Extrañaré las comidas, los abrazos y las risas en persona, pero estoy dispuesta a sacrificar eso por este año para que podamos tener muchos más recuerdos juntos en los próximos años.   

Aunque este ha sido un año difícil para muchos en todo el mundo, se que tengo mucho que agradecer por estos días festivos. Estoy agradecida por mis colegas médicos: los médicos, enfermeras, técnicos en terapia pulmonar y otros socorristas que trabajarán en el Día de Acción de Gracias para atender a los pacientes con COVID-19. Estoy agradecida por mis colegas de salud pública que han trabajado incansablemente durante casi un año para mantenernos a salvo, como lo hacen incluso cuando las pandemias no están en auge. 

Estoy agradecida por los muchos socorristas no reconocidos que trabajan para asegurarse de que tengamos agua potable para beber, alimentos y electricidad para iluminar y calentar nuestros hogares. Estoy particularmente agradecido por los científicos comprometidos que han avanzado en investigaciones sólidas para que tengamos tratamientos eficaces y seguros, y sí, vacunas contra COVID a la vista. Nos están dando tanto optimismo sobre el potencial de contramedidas sólidas para poner fin a esta pandemia.

Y estoy agradecida por todos los que ponen la salud pública como una prioridad y hacen todo lo posible para NO ser un eslabón en la cadena de transmisión del COVID. Sé que todos están cansados ​​y quieren volver a la normalidad, o al menos a una nueva normalidad. Pero animo a todos a que sean pacientes y busquen dentro de sí la resistencia que nos ayude a superar estos próximos meses. Ahora no es el momento de ceder, es el momento de redoblar. Si el progreso científico continúa, entonces para esta temporada el próximo año podríamos tener reuniones familiares con aquellos a quienes amamos.

Este Día de Acción de Gracias, veo que quedarse en casa es la mejor forma de agradecer y mostrar amor a tu familia.
Este Día de Acción de Gracias, veo que quedarse en casa es la mejor forma de agradecer y mostrar amor a tu familia. Así que espero que te unas a mí para seguir los consejos de los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades. Son lo que recomiendo a familiares y amigos, lo que recomendaría a mis pacientes y lo que le estoy pidiendo a nuestra comunidad. Este año, demos gracias. No COVID.

How I’m giving thanks (and staying safe) this Thanksgiving

Read this post in Spanish.

I love Thanksgiving. It’s a time to be with those you love, eating fabulous food and sharing memories. In my family, my mother always made the holiday a time when we welcomed people into our home who had nowhere else to go that day. And then we’d take long afternoon walks after our big meal.  

With COVID-19 infections rising to record levels across the U.S, families are changing how they celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Like much else in 2020, we’ll need to develop new and creative traditions to replace the ones that put those we love at risk for COVID. 

This year, please follow the tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and avoid large family gatherings.

This disease is highly contagious and getting together physically with extended family is a real risk. Every event that brings people together creates yet another chance for transmission. I’m often asked, “Can’t I just get a COVID test and then see my family?” Unfortunately, the answer I give my friends and family is an unequivocal “No.” Tests are often negative early in the course of disease, which means you can test negative today but be highly infectious tomorrow. So even if you have a negative test, still practice these measures. The best way to show your love is to not have a big family gathering.

There are many ways to celebrate from a distance. You can video call friends and family from the Thanksgiving table. You could spend in-person time outdoors at a distance, wearing masks and avoiding shared dishes. I have even heard of some families even getting creative offering “curbside pickup” of their signature pumpkin pie, green bean casserole or oyster dressing for loved ones to pick up and enjoy in the safety of their own homes.


Tips for celebrating Thanksgiving safely

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shared some tips on how you could celebrate Thanksgiving this year and limit the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask

  • Rethink traveling

  • Keep gatherings small

  • Celebrate virtually if you can


This year, my immediate family is planning a small meal with just our household followed by a brief, outdoor visit with our grandmother. We will also have a virtual Friendsgiving with friends across the country, which is actually allowing us to share memories with more people than we usually do. I will miss the meals, hugs and in-person laughter, but am willing to sacrifice that for this one year so we can have many more memories together in years to come.   

Though this has been a difficult year for so many around the world, I find I have much to be grateful for this holiday. I am thankful for my medical colleagues—the doctors, nurses, respiratory techs and other responders who are going to work on Thanksgiving to care for COVID-19 patients. I am thankful for my public health colleagues who have worked tirelessly for nearly a year to keep us safe, as they do even when pandemics aren’t raging.

I am thankful for the many unsung first responders working to see that we have safe water to drink, food to eat and electricity to light and heat our homes. I am particularly thankful for the committed scientists who have advanced sound research so we have efficacious and safe treatments, and yes, COVID vaccines in sight. They are giving us so much optimism about the potential for robust countermeasures to bring this pandemic to an end.

And I am thankful for everyone who is putting the public’s health as a priority, and doing all they can to not be a link in the chain of COVID transmission. I know everyone is weary and wants to go back to normal, or at least a new normal. But I encourage everyone to be patient and dig deep inside for the stamina to carry us through these next few months. Now is not the time to let up—it is a time to double down. If scientific progress continues, then by this time next year we might be able to have family gatherings with those we love.

This Thanksgiving, I see staying home as the ultimate form of giving thanks and showing love to your family.
This Thanksgiving, I see staying home as the ultimate form of giving thanks and showing love to your family. So I hope you will join me in following the tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They are what I am recommending to family and friends, what I would recommend to my patients and what I am asking of our community. This year, let’s give thanks. Not COVID.

Expanded funding for Indigenous businesses in the U.S.

Danielle Greendeer is the owner of Wampanoag Trading Post and Gallery in Massachusetts, which sells handmade Eastern Woodland art made by Indigenous artists. She is also a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation. The Wampanoag are associated with what became known as the “first Thanksgiving.” 

Danielle Greendeer

“The year 2020 marks the 400th year since the arrival of the Mayflower and the introduction of the Pilgrims to the Wampanoag Nation,” she told our team at Google.org earlier this month. “For the Mashpee Wampanoag people, it is important to tell the history from our perspective and educate the public on the challenges that our Tribe is still trying to overcome. The survival and evolution of our art is an example of how resilient our culture is.”

November is also Native American Heritage Month. As an Indigenous person, I see this moment as a reminder for society to reflect on, honor and celebrate the resilience of the people who are the first inhabitants of the United States. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit these communities especially hard, both in terms of health and economic stability. Earlier this year, we awarded $1 million in loans to Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Center through Grow with Google, and $250,000 in Google.org grants to the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), to provide immediate relief to small businesses owned by Native Americans/American Indians. We’re also working with NCAI to offer Grow with Google training for small businesses and job seekers in Native American communities. This embedded digital training program will train more than 5,000 Native businesses owners to better leverage their online presence by April 2021.  

Danielle’s business received financial support from Google.org and NCAI, which helped her hire temporary part-time workers, support six more Indigenous artisans and schedule workshops and screenings of Native films. For Native American Heritage Month, they have opened an extension space and are screening a documentary film called Mashpee Nine. “Offering this film to the public at no charge is part of our commitment to educate our community about the history of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe,” she says.

We know there are many more amazing businesses like Danielle’s, which is why we’re announcing an additional $1 million in funding through Google.org to NCAI which will directly support hundreds of businesses. The fund is open to Native American/American Indian business owners for applications today. Head to the NCAI fund website for more information or to apply.