"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 30th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Five Tips To Decrease Social Isolation For Older People During COVID-19
It turns out that approximately one-third of those 65 and older may have never used the internet and may not have internet access at home; among those who do use the internet, almost half need someone's help when it comes to setting up or using a new device. And substantial differences in the adoption of technology adoption exist based on factors such as income and educational level.
Managing your mental health during the coronavirus pandemic
With many people staying at home and many self-isolating Bay Health and Care Partners want to share a few tips on how to look after your mental health through these trying times.
How to help people who are isolated during the coronavirus outbreak
Some simple but effective things we can all do to help include: - Collect and deliver shopping or medicines - leaving deliveries on the doorstep or safe place to avoid close physical contact. - Putting out bins or taking in parcels. - Help others to use Skype or FaceTime so they can see a friendly face, helping to reduce their isolation.
Clitheroe barber shares his tips on how men can maintain their hair during isolation
Life in self-isolation, which could go on for months, is almost certainly going to take a toll on men's hair ...especially for some who tend to visit the barbers every fortnight!
My tip for self-isolation? It’s best not to stockpile books
From apocalyptic themes to audiobooks – pointers from a specialist in staying at home
Joe Wick's Fitness Tips For Self-Isolation
NPR's Michel Martin speaks with fitness coach Joe Wicks about his new at-home, online workout for kids, "P.E. with Joe."
Jodie Whittaker: thanks, Doctor Who, for top tips from self-isolation
From home, the actor has produced her own mini DIY episode of the BBC series, in which she reminds fans that darkness never prevails
Hygiene Helpers
Don’t panic about shopping, getting delivery or accepting packages
A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine is making people think twice about how they might be exposed to covid-19 if they open a box delivered by UPS, touch packages at the grocery store or accept food delivery. The risk is low. Let me explain.
Coronavirus: The latest NHS advice on COVID-19 symptoms
The NHS updates its advice on dealing with COVID-19 as the outbreak continues to grow and the government escalates its response.
How long can the coronavirus persist on surfaces?
How long can coronavirus persist on surfaces such as door handles or hospital nightstands? How can the virus be destroyed effectively? A research team from Greifswald and Bochum, Germany, collected the answers scientists can currently offer to these and other pertinent questions and published them in the Journal of Hospital Infection.
Community Activities
750,000 people sign up to join NHS volunteer army in less than a week
Three quarters of a million people have signed up as volunteers to help the vulnerable get through the coronavirus crisis, in less than a week. The Royal Voluntary Service will now pause applications to allow processing with NHS England so the “volunteer army” can get up and running. The body said it was “absolutely overwhelmed” by the response to the biggest plea for volunteers in England since the Second World War.
Find a group to help the elderly and those in most need - website resource to locate groups near you
Find a group to help the elderly and those in most need - website resource to locate groups near you
Chester Zoo streams live virtual tour in ‘best lockdown pick-me-up’
The facility - of the UK’s largest zoo - is sharing a sneak peak of its sprawling grounds and range of animals to entertain the public during the coronavirus lockdown. The walkabout, livestreamed on Facebook, kicked off at 10am with a close-up look at its red pandas. Twitter users shared their joy at the fluffy critters, with one tweeting that watching them was “the best lockdown pick-me-up.”
Clap for carers: applauding the NHS – in pictures
People across the UK have taken part in a mass round of applause in support of the NHS workers battling the coronavirus pandemic. In the Clap For Carers initiative people took to their doorsteps and balconies applauding, banging pans and letting off fireworks. Notable buildings around the country were also lit up in blue
Kylie Jenner Donates $1 Million to Buy Masks and Face Shields for Coronavirus First Responders
Kylie Jenner has donated $1 million to help medical professionals purchase face masks and other necessary protective gear amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a heartfelt Instagram post on Wednesday, Dr. Thaïs Aliabadi — a physician and OB-GYN at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles — thanked the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star for the sizable donation, which she said will help with the purchase of “hundreds of thousands of masks, face shields, and other protective gear” used by first responders who are working to fight against the global outbreak.
This will move you to tears..and afterwards you will feel extraordinarily uplifted. Together we win!
This will move you to tears..and afterwards you will feel extraordinarily uplifted. Together we win!
Working Remotely
How to set yourself up for remote working
Bigger businesses with lots of employees are seeing that sending everyone home to work remotely can, and does work effectively. While you might expect it to be counterproductive, many businesses that have adopted this way of working have claimed to see productivity go up, rather than down.
What are the real challenges tech workers face with working remotely?
Fear of the coronavirus is prompting more companies to have their employees work remotely. But what are the real challenges workers face when working from home and trying to communicate with colleagues?
A guide to working remotely by locals who do it daily
After 11 years of living locally while operating remotely in a virtual world, the 83 Degrees team and many of our friends, especially those working in tech and online media, are experienced at making it successful. Here are our top tips for first-time remote workers to consider while we all keep our distance and await the outcome of #COVID19.
Coronavirus: Remote working software crashes on first day of mass working from home
Users of the popular Microsoft Teams remote-working software struggled to access the program on Monday as thousands switched to working from home in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Microsoft admitted that it was investigating “messaging-related functionality problems” with the software. A spokesman said: “We’ve taken steps to address an issue that a subset of our customers may have experienced. Our engineering teams continue to actively monitor performance and usage trends.”
First Time Working Remotely? Here’s How To Ease Into It
The good news is that most workplaces are establishing guidelines and plans for how employees may adjust to working remotely. Ready to ease into working from home, whether it’s on a temporary or slightly more long-term basis? Here’s what you need to do to transition into becoming a telecommuter:
How coronavirus COVID-19 is accelerating the future of work
The coronavirus is forcing enterprises to rethink the way they do business and dust off policies for security, business continuity, and remote workers. Chances are that some of these efforts will stick
Italy Working Remotely During Lockdown Get A Preview Of The Future Of Energy
“Saying that working from home is not sustainable because houses will have to be heated during the day is a bit unwise, as offices would have been heated instead. For sure, smart working has a positive energy impact, mainly driven by a drop in transports.” Indeed, the climate think tank Ember reported a dramatic fall in electricity demand everywhere in Europe - with Italy on top. They saw Italy's electricity demand drop by 25% in three weeks, followed by Spain 10-15% and Germany, UK and Poland 8% so far.
Finding Your Motivation When Working Remotely For the First Time
Both new and veteran remote workers are finding it challenging to work from home these days. So we’ve gathered a few tips to help you find and sustain your motivation to keep you going. You can read about what tools to use elsewhere; here, we’re going to talk about some different things you can do to get your mojo back.
'Is the dog about to bark?' The perils of home broadcasting in the Covid-19 crisis
Although news media is considered an “essential service” – meaning reporters can still go to the office to do their jobs if necessary – many are opting to work from home. Ferguson – who had a rarely used direct line to Radio New Zealand’s studios installed in her office years ago, when she became co-host of the Morning Report programme – is among them.
Virtual Classrooms
RTÉ launches daily virtual classroom for primary school children during Covid-19
RTÉ has announced a new Home School Hub across its television and online platforms, which will provide primary school children with fun daily lessons from the comfort of their homes. RTÉ and Macalla Teo, with support from Mary Immaculate College, have collaborated to introduce a cross-platform teaching initiative for primary school kids across the country. This is available on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player, and rte.ie/learn. Children will be able to watch, download and engage with curriculum-based content, project work, and fun activities that will keep them entertained and learning.
1.37 billion students now home as COVID-19 school closures expand, ministers scale up multimedia approaches to ensure learning continuity
Meanwhile, several ministers highlighted that the current crisis is also ushering in new thinking around the practice of education. “We have made more progress with digital and distance learning in the past 10 days than in the past ten years. Without a doubt this crisis will change the way we think about the provision of education in the future,” said Egypt’s Minister Tarek Shawki, while France’s Minister underlined the impact of new approaches and mindsets. “Education is a key answer to the crisis and to the rebuilding of our societies after.”
Updated: Free Resources for Schools During COVID-19 Outbreak
The Academy of Active Learning Arts and Sciences and the Flipped Learning Global Initiative have published the "Rapid Transition to Online Learning," a roadmap for making the rapid shift to online learning during school closures. The resources include a checklist for administrators, another for IT managers, a transition plan and video tutorial for teachers and access to an international team of volunteers who have stepped forward to answer questions.
Universities are closing worldwide, forcing instructors to turn to remote teaching. Here’s some expert advice on how to embrace the digital classroom.
With technological help from colleagues at NYU Shanghai, he developed a strategy for teaching remotely from the other side of the world. Each day, using a program called Voice-Thread, he records several short videos of himself explaining maths concepts, adding up to 15–30 minutes collectively. During their day, the students watch the videos on a website and, in turn, insert videos they make of their assigned theorem proofs, for example, or a question, a comment or a critique of a classmate’s proof. Together, Rolla and his students produce an interactive, if asynchronous, class recording.
The COVID-19 online pivot: Adapting university teaching to social distancing
As universities respond to the COVID-19 outbreak by closing campuses and shifting to online forms of distance learning, many institutions and educators are scrambling to develop online engagement plans. In this repost, Martin Weller (Professor of Education Technology at the Open University) brings together a number of useful for resources for anyone looking to develop online learning courses and questions why it has taken the current crisis for distance learning to be taken seriously.
3 ways the coronavirus pandemic could reshape education
These changes have certainly caused a degree of inconvenience, but they have also prompted new examples of educational innovation. Although it is too early to judge how reactions to COVID-19 will affect education systems around the world, there are signs suggesting that it could have a lasting impact on the trajectory of learning innovation and digitization. Below, we follow three trends that could hint at future transformations:
How universities and schools are going online amid the COVID-19 outbreak — and the hurdles they face
“These are trends that have been in place for a long time,” said Eric Burns, CEO of Seattle-based Panopto, a company supporting digital lectures and meetings. “We’ve been in this space for over 13 years. It’s been a long slow build up. This is a trigger that causes organizations to hit the gas.” The UW, which serves 46,000 students across three Puget Sound-area campuses, provides instructors with three main tools for online instruction:
Online tools for teachers and students to hold virtual classes during the COVID-19 pandemic
Classdojo is a free educational app that enables teachers, students and parents to interact online. It allows teachers to create a virtual classroom in which they can share videos and pictures. An account on the app can be created only by the teacher. The student can access the virtual classroom with an access code sent by the teacher. EkStep is an on-demand platform that allows educators to create, share and distribute free community-sourced educational content for K-12 class students. The app is loaded with several educational videos that students can access any time and learn in a self-paced way. Khan Academy provides complete course material from K-12 that can be accessed by students at their own pace. The app also tracks student’s progress in each lesson.
Public Policies
China’s Factories Work 24/7 to Build Ventilators for Milan, New York
After meeting the country’s needs two weeks ago, its factory lines have been working flat out on orders from overseas for its life-saving ventilators. With three shifts and even research and development staff working the production line, the company’s machines have been going non-stop. “There’s literally no country in the world that doesn’t want to buy a ventilator from China right now.” said Li Kai, director of Beijing Aeonmed, “We have tens of thousands of orders waiting. The issue is how fast we can make them.”
A green dividend? Emissions after covid-19
The dip could offer an opportunity to speed up a shift towards a greener economy, but only if governments seeking to stimulate growth decide to spend their cash on boosting climate-friendly sectors such as renewable power, green transport and technologies that suck CO2 out of the atmosphere. They failed to do this after the financial crash of 2007-09, which only extended the climate crisis. One can only hope for more foresight this time around.
The Times view on the use of technology in the coronavirus crisis: Data Response
The Times view on the use of technology in the coronavirus crisis: Data Response
Economic patriotism is back amid the coronavirus crisis
This week, France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stoked further suspicions that charity really begins at home in the EU by calling on retailers to be "economically patriotic" and favor products from French farmers. "I call on major distributors to make a new effort: Stock up on French products," he said on France Info radio.
I'm pleased to announce, with @USAmbUN Kelly Craft, the donation to the USA of 250,000 protective face masks, just located in storage at the @UN.
I'm pleased to announce, with @USAmbUN Kelly Craft, the donation to the USA of 250,000 protective face masks, just located in storage at the @UN. These masks will be given to medical professionals in NYC working courageously & tirelessly in response to #COVID19.
Coronavirus outliers: four nations with very different approaches to the crisis
Not every nation has suffered to the same grim extent. Some have avoided lockdowns but have still not suffered huge leaps in case numbers. Others have introduced strict monitoring and contact tracing of infected individuals and have managed to contain the disease so far. Here we look at the ways four very different nations have reacted.
Coronavirus: Government to set up new supply line to deliver protective equipment to frontline NHS staff
‘We should not ask people to be on the frontline without the right protective equipment,’ admits communities secretary Robert Jenrick
New York orders thousands of manually operated pump ventilators as coronavirus cases surge: 'This is the alternative'
The Empire State anticipates requiring 140,000 hospital beds and 30,000 ventilators when the outbreak reaches its peak in 14 to 21 days, Cuomo said in a Saturday press conference. If the state is short on ventilators, COVID-19 patients will need to use bag valve masks, which must be manually operated by health-care professionals.
'We have the red carpet rolled out': First shipment of PPE supplies from China arrives in Dublin
An Aer Lingus plane carrying €28 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Irish healthcare workers from China has landed at Dublin Airport. The Airbus A330-302 plane was loaded with PPE including masks, gowns and goggles in Beijing before making the over 8,000 km flight back to Ireland. The shipment, worth an estimated €28 million, is made up of 11 million masks, 2.3 million eye protections, 2.4 million gowns, and nine million gloves. This is the first delivery flight of the HSE’s €208 million order of PPE from China.
Offline: COVID-19 and the NHS—“a national scandal”
The UK Government's Contain–Delay–Mitigate–Research strategy failed. It failed, in part, because ministers didn't follow WHO's advice to “test, test, test” every suspected case. They didn't isolate and quarantine. They didn't contact trace. These basic principles of public health and infectious disease control were ignored, for reasons that remain opaque.
Ministers were warned NHS would be stretched to 'breaking point' by pandemic in 2016 practice run
The NHS failed a test of its ability to withstand a major pandemic three years ago but the results were not made public, it has emerged The Sunday Telegraph reports that a three-day cross-government practice run found Britain would be quickly overwhelmed by an outbreak and flagged a shortage of personal protective equipment, morgue capacity and critical care beds. The test - codenamed Exercise Sygnus - was carried out in October 2016 - but the paper reports that its findings were deemed too sensitive to be made public
U.S. group bombards doctors with coronavirus petition to cut 'red tape'
Thomas McGarity, a professor of administrative law at the University of Texas, said the text message campaign was part of a longstanding effort by some on the political right to neuter the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and put more decision-making power into the hands of patients and doctors that drug companies could pitch to directly.
Why is Germany's #coronavirus death rate so low compared to other countries? As @c_drosten — one of the country's leading virologists — explains, it mainly comes down to one basic thing. Testing
Why is Germany's #coronavirus death rate so low compared to other countries? As @c_drosten — one of the country's leading virologists — explains, it mainly comes down to one basic thing. Testing
Maintaining Services
Coronavirus news: 20,000 retired NHS staff to return to fight outbreak as government warns partial lockdown could last six months
The UK could remain on partial lockdown for six months, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries has said, warning of a second peak if such measures are ended too quickly. Boris Johnson has written a letter to every household in the UK to urge the public to stay at home during the coronavirus “national emergency”, raising the possibility of even stricter lockdown measures being introduced.
LA received 170 broken ventilators from the national stockpile. Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them.
LA received 170 broken ventilators from the national stockpile. Rather than complaining, we put them on a truck, drove them up overnight, and had @Bloom_Energy get to work fixing them. Monday they‘ll back in LA--fixed. That’s the spirit of CA.
Coronavirus: Is the NHS ready for its toughest seven days ever?
One chief nurse at a hospital in the midlands told The Independent what was now being considered for intensive care “would have been unthinkable in normal times. This is going to push staff who aren’t used to this sort of acute care of patients to the limits.” Nicki Credland, chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses (BACCN), added: “We are doing everything we possibly can, but we simply do not have enough intensive care nurses. We are going to have to accept we can’t save everyone.”
Healthcare Innovations
Ventilator Challenge UK to start production in Covid-19 fight
Ventilator Challenge UK, a consortium of 14 firms including Airbus and Rolls-Royce, is expected to say that it has secured a formal order for two types of machine. The government has 8,175 ventilators but has turned to British industry to help produce 30,000 in a matter of weeks, to combat an expected surge in new cases.
Royal Mint to make 4000 visors a day for NHS staff battling Covid-19
The Royal Mint has started mass manufacturing medical visors to protect frontline NHS staff battling the coronavirus pandemic. Engineers at the organisation created a successful prototype within just 48 hours, with moves now underway to produce 4,000 units a day. Since news of the visor production emerged, the Royal Mint has received requests to supply hospitals across the UK.
MIT Will Post Free Plans Online for an Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100
The team, called MIT E-Vent (for emergency ventilator), was formed on March 12, 2020, in response to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Its members were brought together by the exhortations of doctors, friends, and a sudden flood of mail referencing a project done a decade ago in the MIT class 2.75 (Medical Device Design). Students working in consultation with local physicians designed a simple ventilator device that could be built with about $100 worth of parts. They published a paper detailing their design and testing, but the work ended at that point. Now, with a significant global need looming, a new team, linked to that course, has resumed the project at a highly accelerated pace.
Italian medics convert snorkelling masks into 'homemade' ventilators during coronavirus crisis
Italian medics are converting snorkelling masks into makeshift ventilator masks in order to plug the shortage of medical equipment during the coronavirus outbreak. As hospitals face an overload of COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe, innovative medical staff have used 3D printed valves to adapt ordinary full face snorkelling masks from sports stores such as Decathlon into live saving equipment.
How the COVID-19 pandemic is 'driving innovation' in Canada and around the world
"Without innovation, we'd still be living in the dark ages." Jason Kindrachuk, an associate professor at the University of Manitoba and Canada research chair in emerging viruses, says the pandemic is bringing people from different fields together — and that's a good thing. "What we have is a crisis that's driving the merger of different disciplines to come up with really quick solutions to very complex problems," he said.
ICU Eyewear and Contour Optik Heed the Call and Expand Production Capacity to Hundreds of Millions of PPE and COVID-19 Test Kits
"We are working with our partner companies in China to assist them in going through the FDA regulatory process. This ensures that our products meet U.S standards so they can be imported and placed into the hands of the providers who need them," says ICU CEO Kirk Hobbs. ICU is able to produce and ship the following in mass quantities: - N95 face masks - KN95 (Emergency Use authorization from the FDA for the KN95 is underway) - ASTM Levels 1, 2, and 3 face masks - Goggles, face shields, gloves and other protective equipment
3D Printing Firms Join Fight Against Coronavirus-Led Disaster
The rising demand for 3D-printed materials to combat the global pandemic is also setting the stage for wider use of additive manufacturing in the medical field in the post-coronavirus era. The medical emergency is giving rise to more research and experimental productions with 3D printers. The importance of 3D-printed materials in the medical field is being realized on a larger scale. Rapid production of materials is making 3D-printed protection gears a necessity in these difficult times.
Carmakers churn out machines, masks to help fight coronavirus
Auto companies and suppliers around the world are ramping up production of critical healthcare products and machines - everything from cloth face masks to sophisticated ventilator systems - to meet a critical shortage of those items at hospitals and care facilities in North America, Europe and Asia. Here is a look at what some companies have announced.
Abbott Launches 5-Minute Virus Test for Use Almost Anywhere
Abbott Laboratories is unveiling a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes, and is so small and portable it can be used in almost any health-care setting.
Hockey equipment company Bauer begins making face shields for medical workers
With a factory that was already equipped to manufacture plastic visors at their disposal, Bauer simply had to run some trial-and-error tests to produce a working prototype for the masks. "Our specialists designed molds to create the prototypes, which we presented to a doctor who is the father of one of our employees," Bourgeois said. "We wanted to test the safety and comfort levels of our visor, which resembles a mask normally used to perform welding work. We have refined our visor and arrived with the model that we are ready to produce."
"I don't think I've ever seen anything like this": what it's like to be working on a Covid-19 vaccine
At the family dinner table, viruses were "shop talk." Now my dad is working on a coronavirus vaccine—and talks social distancing, what keeps him going, and unprecedented global collaboration
Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 test
French in vitro diagnostics company bioMérieux announced that its subsidiary, BioFire Defense, has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration of its BioFire COVID-19 test for use in CLIA moderate and high complexity clinical laboratories to detect the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
An open-source respirator for 40 Euros - from a 3D printer
Ventilaid is an unusual project straight out of Poland and just in time for the COVID crisis19: a team of engineers has developed and made available free of charge on the Internet a breathing apparatus that can be printed with a 3D printer for the modest sum of 40 euros. The project uses inexpensive and widely available components – it could save the lives of thousands of people in places where access to such devices is difficult. The beta version of the device is ready to be deployed, while work on a second prototype is almost complete. At this stage, the support of specialists like doctors and engineers is necessary. Those who want to help can apply directly via the project’s website.