"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 14th Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
Coronavirus in Minnesota: Social isolation tips from polar explorer Ann Bancroft
Ann Bancroft, the first woman to reach both the North Pole and the South Pole, recommends getting outdoors and exercising every day. The Pioneer Press asked Bancroft for tips on how to handle social isolation. Here they are:
These six tips will help your relationship survive isolation
Being locked down with your family or partner can put a strain on your relationships. Tips on how to survive it during isolation and lockdown
High anxiety calls for innovation in digital mental health
Are you feeling depressed or anxious? There’s an app for that. Globally, there are more than 400 million annual downloads of mobile health apps, which suggests that consumers are eagerly seeking technology to manage their health.
North Wales mum creates hilarious self-isolation diary in pictures
With a hormonal teenager, a child with autism and a toddler who needs potty training, Vickie has turned her self-isolation experience into a hilarious photo diary ... s project - all you need to do is fill in the form below or at this link. For daily tips on how we can survive lockdown with our families sign up to our new Lemon-Aid newsletter ...
College of DuPage psychology professor shares tips on managing stress while working remotely
For many, established daily routines have shifted substantially in the last several weeks due to COVID-19, and by now, the novelty of working remotely may have worn off. In this new normal, overcoming stress can be one of the best ways to work more efficiently from home.
Hygiene Helpers
U of T startup’s "buddy badge" encourages handwashing in hospitals, could help stem COVID-19 spread
A researcher at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (IBBME) is developing a wearable technology that reminds front line health-care workers to wash their hands. It’s believed the technology could significantly reduce the spread of hospital-acquired infections, including COVID-19. Dubbed the “Buddy Badge,” the wearable device acts as a transponder, using a system of sensors connected to hand-washing stations, doorways and critical routes to patient rooms. If the badge wearer has not washed their hands before entering a patient’s room, for example, it will discreetly vibrate to remind them to do so.
Follow proper hand hygiene to wear contact lens
People can keep wearing contact lenses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as long as they observe good hand hygiene and follow appropriate wear-and-care directions, say researchers. The study delves into multiple aspects of eye health amidst the global health crisis, with a specific emphasis on the safe use of contact lenses. "Our findings indicate that contact lenses remain a perfectly acceptable form of vision correction during the coronavirus pandemic, as long as people observe good hand hygiene and follow appropriate wear-and-care directions," said study lead author Lyndon Jones from the University of Waterloo in Canada.
Eight face shields designed to protect coronavirus healthcare workers
With health workers in many parts of the world facing shortages of personal protective equipment as they treat coronavirus patients, architects, designers, institutions and brands around the world are making face shields. Face shields are simple, transparent screens that cover the face and help prevent infectious droplets from entering the eyes, nose and mouth. They are usually worn in conjunction with masks or respirators, blocking splashes and sprays from reaching the face and making it preventing workers from touching their faces.
How to protect your skin while practicing good hand hygiene
One of the best ways to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to wash your hands -- a lot. But all that scrubbing can take make the skin on your hands very dry. “You’re washing your hands to try and keep yourself and your family healthy, but your hands are getting dry and cracked and sore. So, it’s important to pick a good soap,” said Dr. Melissa Piliang, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic.
Community Activities
The coronavirus heroes spreading kindness during the crisis - updates
Amid the coronavirus outbreak CornwallLive launched our Cornwall Together campaign -- urging all of our readers to work together and look after each other as the region battles to get through the current situation #CornwallTogether - Scroll down for the latest updates and stories about the individuals that are shining a ray of sunshine through the pandemic.
San Francisco is turning their empty hotels into shelters for the homeless during the #Coronavirus crisis.
San Francisco is turning their empty hotels into shelters for the homeless during the #Coronavirus crisis.
Coronavirus: 'Without these deliveries my children would starve'
Families in parts of rural England say they have become totally dependent on volunteers delivering food to them during the coronavirus crisis. About 1.5 million households are at least a half-hour round trip from a food store on foot or by public transport, government data suggests. In urban areas the average is less than 15 minutes, excluding time in the shop
NC Zoo unveils Virtual Visit programs
The North Carolina Zoo is closed, but you can still visit it virtually. This week, the Asheboro destination launched the new Virtual Visit program. According to a press release, the program features a wide range of different online education events, art projects, at-home activities, and stories from the zoo and the wild that will allow children, teachers, parents and others to experience the Zoo and its animals in a completely new way.
Help is at hand for unpaid carers during virus crisis
Unpaid carers across the district are being assured that help is at hand during the coronavirus crisis. The Carers’ Resource charity – which covers the whole of the Bradford and Skipton areas, plus Harrogate – is continuing to provide information, advice and a listening ear. Chief executive, Chris Whiley, said: “Our offices are closed to the public but staff are working from home to deal with phone calls and electronic queries – and we are linked-in with the official district coronavirus response led by the council.
Oh help! Oh no! Gruffalo illustrator spreads the coronavirus word for children
The illustrator of the Gruffalo, the story of a mysterious creature with knobbly knees and poisonous wart at the end of his nose who meets a precocious mouse he wants to eat, has teamed up with a top professor to help children understand the outbreak. Illustrator Axel Scheffler worked with Graham Medley of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine to produce a free digital book for 5 to 9-year-olds about how to cope with the outbreak. Titled "Coronavirus A book for children", the book explains the coronavirus beside Scheffler's distinctive pictures and children are given advice on how to handle everything from boredom to stressed adults grappling with home working.
BMW to start producing face masks
German carmaker BMW (BMWG.DE) will start producing face masks to help protect its own staff and the public against the spread of the new coronavirus, Chief Executive Oliver Zipse said on Wednesday. Zipse said BMW would soon be able to produce several hundred thousand masks per day. The company has already delivered 100,000 masks to the government from its own existing stocks, and handed over another 50,000 masks and a million medical gloves on Wednesday, with a further million masks to be handed over in the next two weeks
Working Remotely
Got 'Office'? Working Remotely May Be Your Best Bet -- In Good Times And Bad
It's where we're headed. It could be a permanent solution for some. Are you ready? Some companies are better prepared than others. According to "The future of remote work" by Zara Greenbaum for the American Psychological Association (APA), research suggests that "when it's done right, telework can improve employee productivity, creativity and morale."
Remote working: the need for leadership
At very short notice, recent events have forced businesses across the globe to change how they work. Sure, many organisations have offered some degree of remote working for a number of years now, but to be in a position where the entire workforce has to suddenly work from home is challenging even for the most prepared. Remote working has moved from being a “nice to have” to a “must-have,” and at least for the foreseeable is now the new normal, so business leaders must ask themselves – how can our organization stay productive, connected and happy?
Is Working From Home The Future Of Work?
An early-April 2020 MIT survey of 25,000 American workers found that 34% of those who’d been employed four weeks earlier said they’re currently working from home. Combined with the roughly 15% who said they’d been working from home pre-COVID-19, that means nearly half the U.S. workforce might now be remote workers. And that’s also true, the researchers say, for workers 55 and older.
Virtual Classrooms
How teachers are adapting to working remotely
Being realistic. "Cut your expectations of what you're going to cover in half and then cut it again. The sooner you accept that, the sooner your head won't explode,” recalls Doug Gilbert, a middle school history teacher in upstate New York, who was advised by a teacher in Wuhan, China. "Teachers are recognizing they can’t get to the ‘finish line’ they had in mind for their classes," adds Perkins. "They are learning to forgive themselves and adjust." Mostly, they're doing so in three ways:
Teaching Effectiveness In Virtual Classroom World
It is essential to define the teaching goals of the session and its teaching plan and what one is going to cover in the virtual classroom. Identifying this helps the faculty to decide and define the scope of the session and ensure that one does not make it too ambitious, and becomes difficult to achieve. The faculty needs to focus the Learner all the time, and ensure the Learner can learn what you intend to. The session goal and session plan will also determine the degree to which Lerner will find the session engaging and relevant to the learning goals. It is vital to keep track of the degree to which Learners acquire the intended knowledge and skills and motivate them to use these learnings.
Transitioning to the virtual classroom
Virtual instruction is defined by Purdue University as a “course taught either solely online or when components of face-to-face instruction are taught online”. It is intended to be a digital replica of a traditional classroom. The medium is typically a video conferencing application which allows multiple users to be connected at the same time through the Internet.
Parent and Educators Platforms Resource Guide
We have been hearing from parents and educators about some of the new platforms districts are leveraging to run virtual classrooms. We reached out to some of the platforms you told us your kids and teachers are using. Here are some of the companies best practices advice. Please use this and share it as a handy resource guide.
Deaf and hearing students at McAllen elementary gaining skills in one virtual classroom
Celina Maya and Linda Gomez Ochoa teach second grade at Escandon Elementary School. They teach a class filled with inclusivity, putting deaf and hearing students together. Maya says it’s important to maintain a positive attitude in order for students to stay engaged. She said students have told them they miss being in a normal classroom, but have learned different skills such as American sign language and how to set up and manage video calls.
Governor Northam Announces Expansion of “Virtual Virginia” to Support Distance Learning During School Closures
Governor Ralph Northam today announced a dramatic expansion of Virtual Virginia, the Virginia Department of Education’s existing online learning system, to allow every teacher in the Commonwealth to host virtual classes while schools are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. These resources include a platform that enables all Virginia public school teachers to share lessons and activities with their students through June 30.
This free digital book will help you explain coronavirus to your kids - and features art from the Gruffalo illustrator
Illustrator of the popular children’s book The Gruffalo, Axel Scheffler, has helped to release a free digital picture book to help children understand the coronavirus pandemic. The book, released on 6 April by Nosy Cow Publishing, addresses popular questions about how someone contracts the virus and whether or not there's a cure, along with the pressing, ‘What's going to happen next?’
Public Policies
'Suppress and lift': Hong Kong and Singapore say they have a coronavirus strategy that works
In Hong Kong, the rate of new cases has already slowed. University of Hong Kong public health specialist Gabriel Leung, who advises the city’s government, says if the trend continues, “we might be able to breathe a little bit easier” and relax the new regulations. He thinks what Hong Kong and Singapore are practicing may become the new normal in many countries: a “suppression and lift” strategy in which governments aim to alternately drive down new infections to a low level, then loosen the reins while watching for any resurgence.
As virus deaths rise, Sweden sticks to ‘low-scale’ lockdown
As countries across Europe have restricted the movement of their citizens, Sweden stands out for what Tegnell calls a “low-scale” approach that “is much more sustainable” over a longer period.
Coronavirus: Why Denmark is taking steps to open up again
Denmark is about to make its first move to relax restrictions imposed to fight coronavirus. From Wednesday, children aged 11 and younger return to schools and nurseries, after a month of closures. It's among the first European countries aiming to put the lockdown into gradual reverse, just as it was one of the first to impose restrictions. "It's important we don't keep Denmark closed for longer than we need to," said Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, as she announced the move last week.
Coronavirus: Hong Kong restaurants breaching social-distancing rules could be barred from government aid, official says as 1,700 warnings issued
Restaurants that breach social-distancing measures could be disqualified from receiving government relief, Hong Kong health authorities have warned. Director of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department Vivian Lau Lee-kwan said on Sunday that 1,700 warnings had been issued to restaurants which did not observe coronavirus prevention measures, including keeping tables at least 1.5 metres apart. Eleven operators are facing legal action. Reminding restaurants against asking diners from different groups to share tables, Lau added that authorities had conducted 32,000 inspections on eateries. About 30 fines of HK$2,000 each were dished out.
Spain to hand out free face masks for commuters to help return to work
Millions of face masks are to be given to Spanish commuters to allow some non-essential staff to return to work in the European country with the highest number of coronavirus cases. The Spanish government will distribute the reusable masks at train and metro stations as well as bus terminals over the next few days, as the country begins to lift its strictest lockdown measures. Health officials say that while it will not be compulsory to wear them they are urging people to do so following a change in expert advice.
Maintaining Services
How factories change production to quickly fight coronavirus
How does a gin company start creating sanitiser at short notice? Switching products can be faster and easier than you might imagine – and can help businesses survive, too.
How the coronavirus is spurring the growth of emerging technologies
The outbreak is ramping up demand for delivery drones, hygiene robots, telemedicine, virtual reality, and other aspects of technology, according to eMarketer.
Robots may become heroes in war on coronavirus
Long maligned as job-stealers and aspiring overlords, robots are being increasingly relied on as fast, efficient, contagion-proof champions in the war against the deadly 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.
Amidst Covid-19 lockdown, a Mumbai-based startup is providing emergency rides in the city
Aiming to help those in need such as healthcare professionals and essential service providers, Mumbai-based fleet management firm Everest Fleet is offering rides to essential service providers, frontline helpers, and medical patients, so they can navigate safely through Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane.
West Lafayette schools raising money to help teachers with e-learning supplies
West Lafayette Schools Education Foundation is working to raise money for its teachers. It comes as the coronavirus forces classes to be taught online. The foundation had to postpone its annual fundraiser this year. In the past, the annual Scarlet and Gray Dinner allowed them to raise money for various programs the school offers. However, with it being postponed, the education foundation is working to raise money in a different way. West Lafayette Junior Senior High School sign. Leaders are hoping to raise at least $5,000 to benefit all the teachers in their district. The money will be given as gift cards to the 160 teachers at the elementary, intermediate and junior/senior high school. They can then use that money to buy supplies for their virtual classrooms.
Healthcare Innovations
C-CAMP picks 13 anti-coronavirus innovations to tackle outbreak
A special accelerator focused on Covid-19 has identified 13 innovations, including assisted respiratory devices, air and surface sanitising technologies and a cold-chain viral swab sample transport that could be deployed to tackle the epidemic.
The key to rebounding from coronavirus may lie with antibody tests. But caveats abound.
As leaders strategize about reopening schools and businesses and plan for life on the other side of the so-called coronavirus curve, all eyes are on a type of testing that may help determine who has been infected with COVID-19 and whether they’re immune. The test that may define this new frontier detects specific proteins in a person’s blood, known as antibodies, which develop to fight off infections such as COVID-19. The antibodies could help determine just how pervasive the disease is across the world, but also could potentially pinpoint whether an infected person who recovered has developed an immunity. Though their accuracy remains in question, these antibody tests have become highly sought in the pathway out of the pandemic. Federal regulators have eased standards in an effort to speed production of the tests. Meanwhile, a Framingham company, believed to be the first in Massachusetts, is now distributing the test and says it has a dozen regional hospitals signed on to use it.
India to be involved in coronavirus vaccine trials, manufacturing, says WHO
India will 'definitely' be involved in the trials of coronavirus vaccine and its manufacturing as well as scaling, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday. The global health body was responding to a query from India TV Digital on the progress in the development of a vaccine for coronavirus. "India was involved in the R and I meeting (Research and Innovation) – represented by DBT (Department of Biotechnology) and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research). India has expressed interest in joining Solidarity 1 and will definitely be involved in vaccine trials as well as manufacturing and scaling," WHO's spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic said in an emailed response.
South Dakota, Sanford Health to hold clinical trials for hydroxychloroquine
Sanford Health and Gov. Kristi Noem announced a clinical trial that will look at whether the drug hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19 in South Dakota. The announcement was made Monday, April 13, during a news conference. "We are going to be the first state in the nation to run a statewide clinical trial on hydroxychloroquine," Noem said. The controlled study will include 2,000 outpatient individuals exposed to COVID-19, according to a news release. Noem said that the state has attained 100,000 doses of the drug.
Bill Gates on a coronavirus vaccine: The major issue is time
"People like myself and [Dr. Anthony] Fauci are saying eighteen months,” Gates told BBC Breakfast. “If everything went perfectly, we could do slightly better than that. But there will be a trade-off: We’ll have less safety testing than we typically would have... we just don't have the time to do what we normally do.” The urgency to develop a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary, Gates stressed. “If you want to wait and see if a side effect shows up two years later, that takes two years,” he said. “So when you’re acting quickly... this is a public good, so those trade-offs will be necessary.”
COVID-19 innovation: These gadgets were designed to fight the pandemic
COVID-19 may be having a devastating impact on our industries, social lives and personal grooming standards, but it is also prompting an outpouring of creativity in other arenas. From Spiderman-esque wrist-mounted disinfectant sprays, to a wristband that buzzes whenever you’re about to touch your face, a wealth of new prototypes are demonstrating what human ingenuity is capable of in the face of adversity. Here are just some of the newest coronavirus inventions.