"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 1st Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
PM Jacinda Ardern answers Kiwis' self-isolation questions
Jacinda Ardern has answered Kiwis' self-isolation questions as the country enters week two of the COVID-19 lockdown. The Prime Minister hosted a Facebook livestream on Tuesday where she gave an update on the Government's coronavirus response, as well as taking the time to answer questions.
Top tips for self-isolation from Dr Helen Sharman
Dr Helen Sharman, CMG OBE CChem HonFRSC, the first British astronaut, is no stranger to isolation, uncertainty, and confined spaces. As many of us around the globe prepare for several weeks of lockdown, Helen shares with us her top tips for keeping spirits up, staying connected, and making the most of a difficult situation.
Coronavirus: Geoff Thomas gives isolation tips after cancer recovery
A former England footballer has been giving tips on how to self-isolate, after having to do that himself when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. Midfielder Geoff Thomas, who played for clubs including Wolves, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, was given three months to live. But after being diagnosed in 2003, he overcame the disease two years later. Thomas set himself "little goals" and advised "doing little jobs you've been putting off for probably years". A strong tip would be exercise, he said.I've been getting on my static bike. It gives you the virtual sort of experience of getting out on the road.
In isolation, Brits find unity
One of the epidemiologists advising the government, Neil Ferguson, warned that the isolation measures aimed at reducing the spread of novel coronavirus could continue until early June. Then, England’s deputy chief medical officer said it may be six months before life returns to normal. Both estimates extend well beyond April 14, the date when the British government is expected to reassess the restrictions.
Coronavirus: social distancing could save millions of lives, study says
Researchers from Imperial College in London say that without steps such as social distancing Covid-19 could have killed 40 million people this year. Study warns governments will have to make ‘challenging decisions’ but limiting social contacts could halve the death toll
Hygiene Helpers
COVID-19 Hygiene Tips: deliveries and post
Government guidance on staying at home, social distancing and shielding very vulnerable people is being updated daily, so even if you have read it once, check again to stay safe. Furthermore, there are now more requirements for us all to simply stay at home. These blogs are written to help you follow the advice by giving some simple and practical tips about commonly asked questions on how to bust the journey of the germ. Some people may think some of my suggestions may be excessive, but we are in a critical situation, and over the top hygiene is becoming the new normal, because that and social distancing is what we need to do.
Coronavirus hygiene advice: don't use cash, do wash veg
Don’t deep clean your home - While you need to keep frequently used areas clean, you do not need a thorough deep clean of all parts of the house. You can’t get infected by touching a contaminated surface, only if you touch your mouth, eyes and nose. “Be sensible about where you are going to come into contact with infection,” says Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and chairwoman of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH).
Community Activities
The beautiful story of the New Yorker who tries to seduce his neighbor despite the confinement
Jeremy Cohen, New York photographer, redoubles his inventiveness to seduce his neighbor Tori Cignarella, despite the period of extended confinement.
The cleaning staff at our hospitals are hardly ever mentioned and they also deserve a tribute!
The cleaning staff at our hospitals are hardly ever mentioned and they also deserve a tribute!
The Montreux Jazz festival unveils 50 free streaming concerts
With the postponement of the next edition of the festival the organizers have decided to invite themselves into your own homes and offer you the chance to see up to 50 free streamed concerts for free
Polish society rallies to help medical staff and the vulnerable during coronavirus shutdown
Several groups offer help with pet care, childcare and homeschooling assistance or running errands. One such community, Widzialna Ręka (Visible Hand), was founded on 11 March when schools and universities were closed and has now reached over 80,000 members. Group founder Filip Żulewski estimates that there are now over 150 spin-offs, with thousands more members grouped by specific towns and cities across the country. There is also one for Poland’s large Ukrainian community. Some are also using the I Help You app to offer voluntary support to the needy.
Two Indian chefs are cooking meals for doctors and nurses in Poland
An Indian restaurant in Warsaw has been providing up to 90 free meals a day for staff at local hospitals. Its owner, Suresh Goyal, has lived in Poland 15 years and says he "feels a responsibility to help. It doesn't matter where you're from". We interviewed Goyal - who for years has been providing free food for Warsaw's homeless - in our article on how Polish society has been rallying to help those affected by coronavirus and medics on the front line. You can read it here:
Polish police dancing in the street to YMCA to entertain kids in lockdown
Polish police dancing in the street to YMCA to entertain kids in lockdown
Community rallies together to help those in need as coronavirus outbreak continues
The group, called Coronavirus Helpers Bicester and Surrounding Areas, is creating a huge list of all the people who need help such as the elderly, who have specifically been told to stay home. The support is not just for practical help including shopping but to make sure that people have someone to talk to in times of isolation and heightened anxiety.
Coronavirus - More than 4000 children of caregivers welcomed in facilities across the Ile-de-France
"We are civil servants above all else, we must embrace the public service ethic. "We welcome a dozen students. A rotation is organized between the teachers, they each come in for half a day per week. " We help the children with their homework and we organize games," the rector explains. In Paris, more than 400 teachers have volunteered, according to the school
Sewing scrubs for NHS staff
A new voluntary group has been set up to make and deliver much-needed scrubs to NHS staff in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare. ScrubHub Bristol is helping to tackle the national shortage of scrubs in the NHS. Set up by Amanda George at We Make Bristol, a gift shop in Westbury-on-Trym, ScrubHub Bristol is a voluntary group of sewers making new sanitary uniforms for staff working in the city, now everyone is stuck indoors.
Land needed as Bristol’s grassroots growers seek to increase production
Market gardener Humphrey Lloyd currently grows on a one-acre patch, Edible Futures, in Stapleton and is one of many that has had to change his business model in response to the outbreak. He is now urgently seeking more land to increase production and keep communities stocked up.
Courtyard by Marriott Warsaw Airport helps doctors. The hotel provides its rooms
The coronavirus outbreak is a very difficult time for healthcare workers. Lots of patients, and so a lot of work and hours of on-call time. The Warsaw Hotel has decided to help the doctors and is sharing its rooms so that they can relax and protect their families from possible infection
Photos of our Community Policing Unit from Donnybrook & Irishtown assisting our elderly & vulnerable residents.
Photos of our Community Policing Unit from Donnybrook & Irishtown assisting our elderly & vulnerable residents. We are here to help in any situation please don’t hesitate to contact us donnybrook.community@garda.ie. #StayAtHomeAndStaySafe #HereToHelp
The Liverpool coronavirus heroes that are a beacon of light in hard times
This is a good time to follow the famous phrase 'look for the helpers' - those people who are doing their best to make a difference in challenging times. The NHS workers, the social carers, the children sticking hand-drawn rainbows in their bedroom windows, the neighbour who always takes the time to wave from a socially-separated safe distance, the teachers sending messages to their pupils from afar. Whenever there are hard times you will find them - and never more than in Merseyside, where people have a reputation for looking out for each other.
Polish couple use 3D printers to produce protective masks for medical personnel
A Polish couple have been praised for using their 3D printers to produce hundreds of protective visors for medical personnel during the current coronavirus pandemic. Łukasz and Justyna Więcek from Zielona Góra in western Poland came up with the initiative to 3D-print masks in response to a government appeal for help from private entrepreneurs to manufacture medical supplies, reports Gazeta Wyborcza.
Working Remotely
The Coronavirus Is Creating a Huge, Stressful Experiment in Working From Home
Even before the pandemic struck, remote work was accelerating in the U.S. But the next few months will be a very strange test of our white-collar future.
What if we just carried on teleworking?
In this article we discuss a possible knock on effect from the coronavirus pandemic and compulsory containment, with millions of employees working from home. Could we see a future working from home revolution just around the corner?
Vague remote work policies won’t cut it during the coronavirus pandemic
As a result of the coronavirus, organizations should and likely will move away from arbitrary discretion and toward companywide, objective policies on which jobs can be done remotely and under what circumstances.
Coronavirus: five tips on running a remote working drill
Firms have been running work from home tests in preparation for enforcing such arrangements as the crisis worsens. Here’s how to get this right
How to set up remote teams during coronavirus
The CEO of HackerOne, which features a community of over 600,000 people working remotely, offers tips for the best ways to set up remote workers to succeed.
Virtual Classrooms
Line Numa-Bocage: Confinement can it become an educational opportunity?
"The situation of confinement forces us all to introduce and perfect new forms of teaching practice," explains Line Numa Bocage, professor at the University of Cergy. "It updates the creativity and inventiveness of teachers." Would confinement have a positive effect on teaching practices to the point of changing the way the schools operate in practice? We discuss
Coronavirus: toddlers are taking online preschool classes
-Schools across the country have closed to slow the spread of coronavirus, but teachers are still working and trying to connect with students, even toddlers as young as two years old. It's hard to imagine a dozen or more toddlers on a Zoom video call, so parents and teachers told Business Insider what the transition to digital learning has been like.
Under Coronavirus, Not All Virtual Learning Is the Same
The so-called Homework Gap has taken on crippling dimensions now that closed school districts have been trying to maintain a semblance of instruction by putting teachers or course materials online. Internet-savvy school systems that serve connected populations appear to be moving ahead relatively smoothly with the new order of business. At the same time, some districts that lack infrastructure and serve heavily poor populations have given up altogether on remote learning. Still others are hesitant to pursue online instruction out of fear they might be hauled into court for offering course materials to which broadband-deprived families cannot gain access.
Coronavirus: 11 tips for using Google Classroom
Many of the international schools that have closed already due to Coronavirus have opted to use Google Classroom to teach remotely. Here they give their top tips.
Public Policies
Coronavirus: How London's NHS Nightingale Hospital was built in a fortnight
A 21st century global pandemic requires an unprecedented response and the NHS Nightingale is just that.
Coronavirus: Australia unveils $114b scheme to guarantee wages for six million workers
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday (March 30) announced a A$130 billion (S$114 billion) scheme to provide replacement wages to up to six million people who may lose their jobs otherwise due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Describing the package as an "economic lifeline," Mr Morrison said the aim was to ensure that struggling businesses retained staff while the economy went into hibernation. The six-month scheme will be offered to almost half the workforce and will provide people with A$1,500 per fortnight, or about 70 per cent of the average wage
Social distancing appears to be slowing the spread of coronavirus in some areas but crisis won't end soon, officials say
The two top infectious disease experts on the White House coronavirus task force think social distancing measures appear to be helping but reminded Americans they are going to have a significant effect on how many people in the Unites States die. "It's communities that will do this. There's no magic bullet (for Covid-19), there's no magic vaccine or therapy, it's just behaviors," said Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the task force. "Each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days."
Portugal coronavirus: Migrants and asylum-seekers given full citizenship rights during outbreak
Portugal has temporarily given all migrants and asylum seekers full citizenship rights, granting them full access to the country's healthcare as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus escalates in the country. The move will "unequivocally guarantee the rights of all the foreign citizens" with applications pending with Portuguese immigration, meaning they are "in a situation of regular permanence in National Territory," until June 30, the Portuguese Council of Ministers said on Friday.
Coronavirus: UK labs 'can process tens of thousands more tests'
The UK has the capacity to process tens of thousands more tests for coronavirus but has failed to organise itself properly, a former director at the World Health Organization has said. Anthony Costello, a global health professor at University College London, called for the UK to make use of testing machines in every university and big hospital around the country, setting up mobile testing units like Ireland, which is testing far more people per head of population.
South Korea keeps covid-19 at bay without a total lockdown
That life in South Korea has not ground to a complete halt is mostly owing to an early and aggressive response to the covid-19 pandemic. The country’s disease-control authority approved the first test kit for the virus in early February, less than a week after the application was filed. By the time the number of cases began to rise a couple of weeks later, it had the capacity to test thousands of people a day and get results within a few hours from a network of labs across the country.
Maintaining Services
France24 on video reports on the arrival of millions of medical supplies from China - including 10m facemasks for healthworkers flown in by the Chinese
France24 on video reports on the arrival of millions of medical supplies from China to help the French battle the Covid-19 virus. This included 10m facemasks for healthworkers flown in by the Chinese
Exclusive: Retail logistics firm put in charge of crisis-hit PPE deliveries
- Clipper Logistics chosen to manage PPE-only supply channel - Trust deliveries due to begin daily from Tuesday - Community deliveries anticipated to begin next week
Fall in Covid-19 tests putting lives at risk, critics claim
UK fails to reach goal of 10,000 daily tests, prompting accusations ministers are misleading public
Coronavirus: Supermarket vouchers to go out to children entitled to free school meals
The move comes as schools have been closed as part of measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the UK.
Healthcare Innovations
Spanish researchers have managed to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 virus genome in two patients in Barcelona
Researchers from the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona have successfully sequenced the complete genome of two strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from two patients, which will allow the tracking of disease sequencing between different populations and countries to see how the virus changes as it progresses and spreads through a population. What should have been a year-long project has turned into a race against time to stop the pandemic and in just 15 days the research group in Liver Diseases of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Respiratory Virus Unit of the hospital's Microbiology Service have sequenced the complete genome of two strains of SARS-CoV-2 from two patients.
Four treatments being tested against the coronavirus: which labs will be able to produce them?
The four treatments tested on a large scale are the following molecules: remdesivir (antiviral initially designed for Ebola), lopinavir in combination with ritonavir (drug used against HIV), the same combination but associated with interferon beta to try to lower the inflammatory process and hydroxychloroquine (cousin of chloroquine , but with less risk of toxicity and adverse effects). The first patient assessments will begin after a fortnight of treatment, in about a week. In particular, we will be able to measure the improvement in their state of health, the evolution of the presence of the virus in their organism, and the possible adverse effects of treatment by comparing these results with those observed with patients who have taken a placebo, a drug. not containing any active substance. Pending these results, pharmaceutical companies able to produce these various drugs, in case their effectiveness on Covid-19 patients is proven, are on the warpath.
“10,000 liters of hydroalcoholic solution per day”: in Paris, a pharmacy sets up a laboratory in the street to help stock pharmacies running low
A pharmacy in the 6th arrondissement has installed an open-air laboratory to manufacture hydroalcoholic products. An initiative authorized by the authorities, which allows many professionals to restock their pharmacies and avoid shortages in the face of the coronavirus epidemic
Covid-19 patients treated with the blood of recovered patients
In the United States, doctors have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, in certain cases, to use blood infusions of antibody-laden blood from patients who can be shown to have recovered from the COVID-19 infection to promote healing in the most serious cases. Researchers believe that this method could even be used to create an immunity in people at risk, even if its effectiveness is less reliable than a peventative drug or vaccine in itself.
Century-Old Vaccine Investigated as a Weapon Against Coronavirus
A vaccine that’s been used to prevent tuberculosis is being given to health-care workers in Melbourne to see if it will protect them against the coronavirus. With an immunization specifically targeted against the pandemic-causing Covid-19 disease at least a year away, the World Health Organization says it’s important to know whether the BCG vaccine can reduce disease in those infected with the coronavirus, and is encouraging international groups to collaborate with a study led by Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases research, at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne.