"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 10th Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
Sleep expert gives five top tips to help you sleep well during lockdown
Being confined to our homes during the coronavirus lockdown is taking its toll on many of us, both mentally and physically. And one of the most common issues people are facing appears to be getting a good night's sleep. Quality of sleep plays an important role in maintaining our energy, stamina and general mood. So what can you do if self-isolation is disturbing your rest?
Astronauts share isolation workout tips from space (video)
Getting exercise is a great way to stay both physically and mentally healthy, but it can be tough to get a good workout at home, as many of us who are self-isolating amid the coronavirus pandemic are learning. And, while working out outside can be great, options are limited while practicing social distancing. So, who to turn to for advice on working out in a cramped space? Astronauts, of course!
Musical guide launched to beat the COVID-19 isolation blues
Backed by broadcaster and Music for Dementia 2020 ambassador Lauren Laverne (pictured with a resident), the guide offers creative tips and activities to help everyone in isolation, using music as a unifying language. Grace Meadows, Senior Music Therapist and Programme Director at Music for Dementia 2020, said: “We’ve already seen how music has played a vital role in keeping people’s spirits up across the world during isolation. It echoes exactly what the Music for Dementia 2020 campaign has been saying – although the feeling of isolation is an ongoing situation for people with this condition. For people living with dementia, music is a lifeline to connect in a way that nothing else can.”
7 Healthy Ways to Manage Your Coronavirus Anxiety, According to Psychologists
While you shouldn't feel shame or concerned if you feel anxious during this time, Dr. Saltz also clarifies that, often, a person can easily elevate their concerns to a life-consuming level of anxiety that's inhibiting altogether. "Here's when I would be concerned: If your anxiety becomes way out of proportion to what's going on ... and it interrupts your ability to function, then it's time to think about addressing it [with a professional]," she says.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus tips: How to clean your groceries and stay safe when food shopping
Supermarkets are notoriously busy places that are filled with products touched by a number of people and while retailers are doing their best to employ measures to help shoppers keep their distance from one another, customers are left wondering what the risk of exposure to the virus is when doing their shopping. Here is everything you need to know about grocery shopping amid the outbreak.
How Clean is Your House? Protecting your home from coronavirus
The 60-minute lesson is an essential watch to kick the Covid-19 crisis from the comfort of your own home. Javid and Lisa guide viewers through two homes, each with their own unique circumstances, with simple instructions to keep you and your family safe. Fear not, you’re already well equipped: bleach, soap and water is all the armour you need and if you’re washing hands thoroughly, you’re more than halfway there.
With coronavirus a threat, stop wearing contact lenses
'Don't wear contact lenses – switch to glasses. People who wear contact lenses tend to touch their eyes more than the average person.'
Coronavirus and masks: 9 questions, answered
After months of muddled messaging from different factions of the public health world, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released straightforward guidance in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic: Everyone in the US should wear a cloth mask or face covering while in certain public settings. The recommendation marks a shift from the federal government. Less than six weeks ago, Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted that members of the general public should “STOP BUYING MASKS!” He added that masks “are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”
Box clever: Personal protection kits for home and workplace
Just as we have first aid kits in houses and offices, might a handy box of gear to reduce the spread of infection help see us through the current crisis – and beyond?
Box clever: Personal protection kits for home and workplace
Just as we have first aid kits in houses and offices, might a handy box of gear to reduce the spread of infection help see us through the current crisis – and beyond?
Community Activities
Why Wikipedia is immune to coronavirus
As the worldwide pandemic has been accompanied by an 'infodemic' of bad information, Wikipedia has stepped in to provide relief. So much so that it has become the go-to source for COVID-19 information
This Syrian refugee based in Switzerland has set up a community based delivery scheme to help the vulnerable and elderly receive food during the #coronavirus lockdown.
This Syrian refugee based in Switzerland has set up a community based delivery scheme to help the vulnerable and elderly receive food during the #coronavirus lockdown.
Balcony pep rallies bring cheer to California seniors
After weeks of being cooped up at home because of the deadly coronavirus, elderly residents of a retirement community in the Californian beach town of La Jolla have something to look forward to with daily pep rallies on their balconies.
Sign the Petition - Personal protective equipment (PPE) for ALL frontline NHS staff
Sign the Petition - Personal protective equipment (PPE) for ALL frontline NHS staff
Demand for telemedicine has exploded in the UK as doctors adapt to the coronavirus crisis
Family doctors in the U.K. have seen their day-to-day work routines radically altered by the coronavirus pandemic. Many are turning to online consultation services like AccuRx and eConsult to see patients who are stuck at home. AccuRx built a video chat tool in one weekend last month — it’s now being used in 35,000 consultations a day. It’s a radically different primary care model that physicians say won’t go away once the COVID-19 outbreak ends.
Teacher Holds Virtual Disco for Students Staying at Home During Coronavirus Pandemic
A school in Woy Woy, New South Wales, took their disco online on April 6, after it was cancelled in light of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Woy Woy South Public School teacher Mark Young danced to 27 songs in 15 minutes, and incorporated dance moves for children at home to copy. He used a wide variety of songs, old and new, such as Baby Shark, How Far I’ll Go, from Moana, and the Macarena. Though schools in New South Wales remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, parents were encouraged to keep their children at home, according to guidance from state officials. This video shows a teacher dancing in a classroom, in a video uploaded to compensate for a cancelled school disco
The Helpers: Islamic Relief Canada gathers supplies for the most vulnerable in Saskatoon
Bano is the Saskatchewan coordinator for Islamic Relief Canada. The organization has been raising money online and using the funds to purchase hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste and sanitary pads that will be packaged into kits and given to the families that need them most. In Saskatoon, five volunteers donned gloves and gathered at the Islamic Association of Saskatchewan on Wednesday to put the kits together. They expected to make 250 kits for individuals and 200 kits for families that would be distributed to people who had asked Islamic Relief Canada for kits, and through the Lighthouse Supported Living centre and Salvation Army.
What a sight this evening outside the BRI.
What a sight this evening outside the BRI.
A mental health hotline to support NHS staff has been launched - here’s how to access it
A new mental health phone hotline has been launched for health care workers on the NHS frontline during the coronavirus pandemic. The hotline is free for NHS staff to call, with phone lines open between 7am and 11pm daily. The number to call is 0300 131 7000. Healthcare workers can also choose to text FRONTLINE to 85258 to receive the service by SMS, which is available around the clock.
Working Remotely
Top 7 Digital Tools for Working Remotely During COVID-19
Some of the challenges of working remotely at home are a lack of team collaboration, in-office culture, family distractions, and so much. So, how can you work from home effectively and collaborate with others during the coronavirus outbreak? I rounded up some of the best business tools you need to work remotely at home, collaborate with others, and be productive.
The importance of routine when working remotely
One of the most difficult transitions people often mention is not being able to ‘switch off’ after they have finished when working from home due. It’s easier to switch off from work when you leave your office and travel back to your house as this provides a change of scenery and some time to ‘decompress’. However, when you are working and living in your house, the lines can blur. So it’s important you find something to do to signify the end of your working day and the start of your evening. This could be a workout, shutting down your laptop and making dinner, going for a walk or simply picking up a book to read. Keeping to a routine will help you feel more productive and, hopefully, feel more mentally positive in this worrying time.
The best apps to learn a language during the Covid 19 lockdown
Linguist experts and educators say the best way to learn a new language is to converse directly with the instructor or native speaker, ideally in the same physical space. However, with schools and foreign language centers closed, we have to take our lessons indoors, online and in isolation. In response, a few organisations, such as the International Center for Language Studies and the Global Language Network, both in the District, have shifted their in-person classes to virtual "synchronous classrooms." For this arrangement, students and teachers confer via Skype, Zoom or another similar computer interface platform.
Coronavirus: self-employed working from home checklist
What does working remotely mean for the self-employed? Whether you run your business on your own or manage a small team, you might now be working from home and holding more remote meetings during the coronavirus outbreak. With that in mind, we’re sharing some tips our Head of Wellbeing, Kelly O’Neill, put together to help our employees adjust to working from home.
Virtual Classrooms
S. Korea begins online learning, Covid-19 cases lowest in 7 weeks
Teachers at Seoul Girls High School were seen standing in front of empty classrooms from about 8am, taking attendance online before proceeding to conduct lessons. Teething problems at some schools included delays in classes on the state-run Educational Broadcasting System Online due to technical issues and missing sound in pre-recorded video clips. Education Minister Yoo Eun-hae has urged students, parents and educators to work together to make online learning work, stressing the importance of preventing schools from being potential breeding grounds for the virus. "We believe schools should not stop teaching students amid a crisis," she said in a statement.
Gerber Elementary School gears up for distance learning amidst coronavirus shutdown
More than 200 Google Chromebooks were handed out to students at Gerber Elementary School during this week in preparation for online learning opportunities that will start April 20. “We are moving to a blended online learning program April 20,” said Superintendent and Principal Jenny Montoya. “Teachers will use Google Classroom as their platform for online learning. They will upload lessons and links weekly and do virtual meeting with students using Zoom, Google Hangouts and phone conversations.”
Teacher’s Virtual Classroom Gains Worldwide Attention Amid Pandemic
For many parents the stress is mounting as they try to figure out how to navigate life during a pandemic and keep their kids safe and calm. A preschool teacher in Loudon County wanted to do more to help. Jamie White took her classroom home with her and starting teaching school through Facebook Live. She wanted life to feel as normal as possible for her students. "I want them to know that their teachers miss them and love them I want them to feel safe. I want them to know that everything will be OK," White said.
UAE's teachers struggle to juggle virtual classrooms and their own home lives
Mothers who work as teachers said their challenges included finding a quiet corner to conduct classes, engaging pupils in online sessions, planning lessons, and making sure their own children did not fall behind at school. Teachers in the emirates said they were working until midnight to prepare interactive lessons. Eman Halawa, an English teacher at Al Bashair School in Abu Dhabi attends virtual faculty meetings, grades the online work of pupils, holds classes and tries to keep the children fully engaged. She then quickly posts videos and quizzes on genres of novels. As Ms Halawa whizzes through her work schedule, her own three sons aged 10, five, and three wait nearby to get help with their schoolwork.
Coronavirus: Lethbridge College offers students virtual support outside classroom
The growing pains of shifting to social distancing measures have given everyone a chance to reevaluate the way they typically see their day-to-day. “It gives us an opportunity to do things in a much different way, a way that things have never been done before,”
Coronavirus could finally unleash innovative promise of 21st century technology
Yet, to my pleasant surprise, my mother’s school has been online for two weeks now, only days after California’s statewide shelter-in-place order came into effect. Not only that, she tells me that attendance is strong. Students whose families did not have a computer or internet connection were lent one temporarily with a hot spot connection from the school. In normal times, it would be nothing short of a miracle that a bureaucratic public school system could shift its centuries-old model so quickly. But these, of course, are not normal times.
Public Policies
Living apart, 'we must stand together' to battle coronavirus pandemic – UN rights chief
The COVID-19 pandemic is a “colossal test of leadership”, the top UN rights official said on Thursday, underscoring the need for “decisive, coordinated and innovative action from all, and for all”. “We simply cannot return to where we were just a few months ago”, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in an informal briefing to the Human Rights Council, urging instead, a more “cooperative, global and human rights-based approach” to the crisis.
How to get out of the coronavirus lockdown – and save both lives and the economy
There are a number of potential exit strategies, but app-based contact tracing combined with mass-testing is the key
Key EU states agree coronavirus economic rescue - diplomats
Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands reached an agreement on Thursday evening on an economic support package against coronavirus epidemic, paving the way for a deal among all 27 EU finance ministers, diplomatic sources said. The agreement includes minimal conditions for governments to access credit lines from the euro zone bailout fund, focused on financing of health expenses related to the virus.
How Will We Know When It’s Time to Reopen the Nation?
Social distancing bends the curve and relieves some pressure on our heroic medical professionals. But in order to shift off current policies, the key will be a robust system of testing and monitoring – something we have yet to put in place nationwide.
Germany to order all arriving travellers to self-quarantine
Germany will put all arriving travellers in quarantine for 14 days, the interior ministry said Monday, as the government ramps up entry curbs to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The measure, which will come into force on April 10th, is expected to affect mostly German or EU nationals and residents, as the European Union has already banned all arrivals from outside the bloc. It applies for all modes of transport, whether plane, boat, car or train.
Maintaining Services
Bundeswehr delivering 60 respirators to the UK
In the UK, the government is concerned about the health system becoming overwhelmed with COVID19 patients. After a call for help from London, the German army (the Bundeswehr) is now delivering 60 respirators to the NHS for use
Transcript: Bill Gates speaks to the FT about the global fight against coronavirus
Microsoft founder says there is a ‘humanitarian and a self-interested’ case for rich countries to help developing world
Royal Mail begins delivering virus advice to 30 million homes
Royal Mail is doing its bit to spread key coronavirus lockdown messages after not only beginning to deliver a UK-wide letter from the UK government but also introducing a new postmark setting out life-saving social distancing tips. Dropping on the UK’s door mats over the next week, the mailing will be going out to 30 million homes, and includes a letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, alongside a leaflet outlining the UK government’s advice. This includes an explanation of symptoms, hand hygiene guidance, rules on leaving the house, how to self-isolate with symptoms, and shielding for the most vulnerable. The leaflet will also signpost online resources that can provide further guidance.
Doctors and nurses from Romania are treating patients in Italy to help the European family. This is #solidarietàUE in action.
Doctors and nurses from Romania are treating patients in Italy to help the European family. This is #solidarietàUE in action.
Healthcare Innovations
Australian companies to build 2,000 ventilators to boost coronavirus capacity
The federal government’s $31.3m agreement with the Grey Innovation consortium is supported ... to deal with an actual threat to public health caused by an emergency”. The new powers were registered on Wednesday and will cease on 31 January 2021. Ventilators are key in responding to Covid-19. Shortages in places such as Italy and the United ...
Life Sciences Hub Wales calls for industry collaboration to fight coronavirus
Life Sciences Hub Wales is leading industry efforts to combat COVID-19 by launching a nation-wide drive to get companies from a range of sectors working together on solutions. Having already received interest from hundreds of businesses and professionals, its mission is to accelerate the development of urgently needed products and treatments, such as ventilators, hand sanitisers and Personal Protective Equipment to ease the pressures on health care services and help protect frontline staff combatting the outbreak. The organisation, which works to improve Wales’ health and wellbeing by facilitating collaborations and innovations between NHS Wales, industry and academia, has identified four key challenge areas that must be urgently addressed to support healthcare services during the outbreak: medical devices, infection control, digital solutions, and social isolation
UK launches landmark trial of treatments to help coronavirus patients
Quietly and without fanfare, the UK government has just launched the world’s most extensive randomised clinical trial of potential coronavirus treatments as part of the race to find a treatment. Almost 1,000 patients from 132 different hospitals have joined what is being called the Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY) trial, and thousands more are expected to take part in the following weeks. The government claims it is the biggest randomised controlled trial of potential COVID-19 treatments in the world, and the researchers will be looking at more than 30 different treatments.
Coronavirus breakthrough: Lab-free COVID-19 test gives result in barely an hour
Thousands of pioneering, lab-free coronavirus tests capable of offering a result in just over an hour are set to be rolled out to clinical sites, underlining the key role Britain is playing in the war against COVID-19.
Much-maligned robots may become heroes in war on coronavirus
One team of robots temporarily cared for patients in a makeshift hospital in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the COVID-19 outbreak began. Meals were served, temperatures taken and communications handled by machines, one of them named “Cloud Ginger” by its maker CloudMinds, which has operations in Beijing and California. “It provided useful information, conversational engagement, entertainment with dancing, and even led patients through stretching exercises,” CloudMinds president Karl Zhao said of the humanoid robot. “The smart field hospital was completely run by robots.”
Coronavirus: Railways, IIT Bring Innovative Solutions To Protect Healthcare Workers
Even though the country is capable of acquiring medical equipment, there is a lack of equipment available in the market, this is a growing cause for concern. Now Indian Railways and IIT have come to the rescue with homegrown alternatives.
Amid global pandemic, global on-the-fly innovation in some hospitals
With hospitals fighting over limited supplies of equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic, some doctors and nurses working in the most sensitive settings are getting creative to protect themselves and their teams from the deadly disease, and finding help from an idea hatched half a world away.
Coronavirus: UL rapid innovation unit living up to name as they produce PPE for frontline health staff
A Rapid Innovation Unit at the University of Limerick is living up to its name by designing solutions to three critical challenges facing hospital doctors fighting Covid-19 in less than two weeks. The quick thinking, twinned with the speedy manufacturing turn-around, will help to protect the health of front line staff and increase treatment capacities in the hospital system. One result their efforts is the mass production of protective face visors for HSE front-line staff, with the design and capacity created to manufacture 5,000 a day to meet local needs.