"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 15th Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
Best Tips To De-Stress While In Self-Isolation Amid Pandemic
Stress and anxiety can affect us all, but food and drinks are not the only way to raise your spirits higher even when you are holing yourself up at home for weeks to lessen the likelihood of getting infected by the virus. The good news is there are expert-recommended tips that you can apply to de-stress yourself while self-isolating without affecting your overall health in the long run. Here are some, via Healthista:
Hostages held for years in isolation give survival tips
Former hostages John McCarthy and Terry Waite have shared their advice for those struggling to cope with isolation during the lockdown. Journalist Mr McCarthy, 63, was kidnapped in Lebanon by the Islamic Jihad terror group in April 1986. Mr Waite, the Church of England’s special envoy, went to Beirut to negotiate his release in 1987 but was taken hostage. Both men were freed in 1991.
Endurance challenger who has cycled and run around the world alone gives her tips for surviving isolation
If anyone knows how to stay sane without social contact, it's the woman who spent 25 days running across Kyrgyzstan on her own. As coronavirus pushes more of us into self-isolation and social-distancing becomes the norm, Jenny has shared her tips for surviving and thriving in lockdown. Here’s what she says.
6 weeks in isolation on Cork lighthouse... I loved it!
Gerald Butler was a lighthouse keeper in Cork for 21 years and often spent periods of six weeks at a time in complete isolation on Fastnet. He tells CHRIS DUNNE about his life and career — and has advice for those struggling to cope with the Covid-19 virus
I Spent Eight Years in a Myanmar Prison. This Is What I Learned About Surviving Confinement
The anxiety of not knowing how long the situation will last, and the daily dread of wondering whether you will survive the ordeal. When you lose your freedom, you feel fear, hopelessness and an inability to be useful. You feel as if you can’t protect your family, your loved ones or even yourself. After that, you may lose your confidence. Here are some basic tips and advice I can offer based on my experience which will help you get through the ordeal
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus response: Are gloves a necessary precaution against COVID-19?
Many people have turned to wearing disposable gloves for protection against COVID-19 while they’re out grocery shopping and running other errands, but are they necessary? As of right now, health care experts say no, but like all advice during this global pandemic, it could change.
5 tips on how to prepare a quarantine room in home
So what if you or someone you live with ends up in a self-quarantine situation? There are some things you should do to prepare now just in case. “It’s always good to prepare ahead of time in case a loved one has symptoms at home, you can help quarantine them and plan ahead for that,” said Dr. Christopher Stephens, Medical Director Community Fire Department.
Nursing professor on good hygiene when grocery shopping during pandemic
Caldwell University Nursing Professor Kathleen Ann Kelley, DNP, MSN, RN is providing vital information on how to practice good hygiene when going to the grocery store during the coronavirus pandemic.
Can the coronavirus really live for 3 days on plastic? Yes, but it’s complicated.
For more than a week, people have been sharing an eyebrow-raising report that the novel coronavirus can live for 24 hours on cardboard, and up to three days on plastic and stainless steel. It can, but the details are more complicated, according to scientists who published the research behind those figures on Tuesday. The short version: Levels of the virus drop dramatically within a few hours, the authors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine
Community Activities
University engineers make face shields for NHS staff battling coronavirus
Hundreds of face visors have been created for nurses, care homes and other frontline NHS staff thanks to a university to help during the coronavirus outbreak.
Holyoke police collect hygiene, cleaning supplies for seniors
Holyoke Police Officer Melissa Rex helps a resident in need outside the Senior Center ,where the police department was on the last day of a weeklong drive to take donations of personal hygiene products for senior citizens on Friday. The resident didn’t have a donation but was in need of toilet paper, so Rex took her address and then delivered some to her.
Zoom is Booming in the Age of Coronavirus
I never thought I could main­tain per­fect at­ten­dance at school within the walls of my bed­room, but now that is the re­al­ity for me, my class­mates, and mil­lions of stu­dents across the coun­try. From kinder­garten­ers learn­ing how to read, to se­niors in col­lege work­ing on their fi­nal the­ses, all class­rooms are on­line. Sched­ules, home­work, and lec­tures re­main, and they all ex­ist vir­tu­ally. This vir­tual learn­ing re­mains pos­si­ble due to video con­fer­enc­ing com­pa­nies, such as Zoom Video Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Inc, the video­con­fer­enc­ing mogul that re­cently took over the world with its prod­uct. In the midst of COVID-19, Zoom and other video chat ser­vices, like Google Hang­outs, Mi­crosoft Teams, and We­bex, have man­aged to cre­ate a space for com­mu­nity in a time of pro­longed iso­la­tion.
Peterborough’s Walters helps city medics work safely
Much-needed protective clothing has been delivered to healthcare staff at Peterborough City Hospital by a city company.
RAF cadets perform 'Africa' from lockdown
The performance was organised over video calls by the RAF Air Cadets.
Working Remotely
13 tips for working at home from business owners and consultants
Working from home is the new reality for so many right now. We use Zoom, we chat on Slack, and we manage our projects — all from the comfort of a home office. Most of us already know the basics as far as how to stay productivity — keep regular hours, communicate with family members about your projects, and find a distraction for the kids. These tips from consultants and business owners are different. They are a bit more surprising and unique.
Three tips from Asian businesses on making remote working 'work'
Businesses in Asian countries felt the most immediate blow following the COVID-19 pandemic due to their proximity to China. With almost three months’ worth of lessons learned, and ahead of several others in terms of impact experience, Asian businesses are likely better equipped to survive with more resilience and knowledge on what to do.
Working Remotely Is Harder than Expected
Mental health may be suffering for those of us who have recently transitioned from working on-site to working remotely at home, according to a new study from Japan, conducted by Professor Isamu Yamamoto of the department of Business and Commerce at Keio University. In fact, around 35% of respondents felt that telecommuting was taking a toll on their mental health – not enhancing it. For those who cited remote work as a threat to their mental health, there were three leading factors noted by the participants: work life boundaries, physical activity, and communication.
How to keep telecommuting teams effective by overcoming four challenges
The author, a mother of children aged four and two who has to work with colleagues across four time zones, shares some tips on how leaders and employees can keep themselves and their teams healthy and effective while working remotely.
Sorbonne University’s remote work goes on
Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi provided the electronic channels and platforms to ensure efficiency and the work continuity. The Digital Transformation & Innovation Department established many training simulations for the employees and departments’ training sessions. The university also held a test on Thursday 19th of March, to ensure that it is fully prepared to begin the remote work process. Following the test, the employees filled in a survey that aims to collect their feedback and understand the challenges and difficulties they might have faced during the test.
Virtual Classrooms
Hallsville School District adapts to remote learning - ABC17NEWS
Hallsville School District is focusing on flexible learning opportunities, authentic experiences at home and sustaining high-quality teacher-student relationships while schools are closed because of COVID-19. Hallsville teachers said remote learning has been an adjustment and a bit of a struggle at times, but students are adapting to the changes well. Rachel Sides, a Hallsville’s seventh-grade social studies teacher, said she’s proud of her students as the majority of them are still engaged.
Coronavirus impact: This institute has developed new platform to make online classes immersive
S P Jain School of Global Management developed its own technology platform called Engaged Learning Online (ELO). To access ELO, professors have to go to the Studio (that has 18 television screen where students come live) to give lectures
'Virtual Virginia' allowing teachers to host classrooms virtually
“While there is no perfect substitute for in-person classroom instruction, this is an unprecedented public health crisis and we must do everything we can to ensure all children have equitable learning opportunities,” said Governor Northam. “I want to thank our educators, school administrators, and superintendents for their extraordinary efforts to keep students connected and learning. The expansion of Virtual Virginia will help ensure that the closure of schools and interruption of formal instruction this spring does not lead to a widening of achievement gaps.”
Good morning, virtual classroom
"Remote learning can't take the place of in-person instruction at any point," said Angela Dolezal, the director of teaching and learning for Riverside Elementary School District 96. "We can only do our best work and put forth our best effort to ensure our students are having this continuity of learning." District 96 was the best equipped of all area elementary school district to make the switch to online learning. All fifth- through eighth-graders in District 96 have had school provided Chromebooks all year. When school shut down in March, third- and fourth-graders were given Chromebooks.
Is Kurdistan ready to make education work from home?
In these times, the benefits of a remote learning system are obvious. As social distancing and quarantine have become our new way of life, e-learning is an urgent alternative to the traditional classroom methodology. Shifting from a traditional classroom to online learning definitely makes the learning environment very different and students face some problems, but there are solutions to overcome them, says Nivin Burhan, a senior in the English department at the University of Sulaimani. “E-learning is a new experience for universities in Kurdistan because students are used to attending in-person classes to learn,” she says. Transitioning to online learning means embracing change – and will require the collaboration of government officials, telecommunication companies, parents, lecturers, and students. Implementing that change within the Kurdish education landscape today will no doubt face major technological and cultural challenges.
There With You: Children across east London learning maths and English together online in 'virtual classes'
Schoolchildren stuck at home during the pandemic emergency who may be behind in maths and English are being offered online tuition by an east London housing organisation to get them up to speed.
K-12 online classes and activities to continue school at home during coronavirus
Attention, parents: Here's how to keep the remote learning when schools are closed.
Public Policies
What Do Countries With The Best Coronavirus Responses Have In Common? Women Leaders
From Iceland to Taiwan and from Germany to New Zealand, women are stepping up to show the world how to manage a messy patch for our human family. Add in Finland, Iceland and Denmark, and this pandemic is revealing that women have what it takes when the heat rises in our Houses of State. Many will say these are small countries, or islands, or other exceptions. But Germany is large and leading, and the UK is an island with very different outcomes. These leaders are gifting us an attractive alternative way of wielding power. What are they teaching us?
Coronavirus: Japan rushes to house thousands of homeless people
Japanese authorities are rushing to house thousands of homeless people following the closure of internet cafes in several major cities. The cafes have become a common destination for those without secure housing. They're often open around the clock and many feature private booths, showers and entertainment, including games. But the businesses have been ordered to close their doors to help contain the spread of coronavirus. While Japan officially has a low homeless rate compared with many other developed nations, more than 4,000 "internet cafe refugees" reside in the capital, Tokyo.
Get coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person
Register with this service if either: you have a medical condition which means you’re classed as being clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus; you’ve been told by your GP or hospital clinician that you’re clinically extremely vulnerable and need to ‘shield’; ‘Shielding’ means not leaving your home and minimising contact with other members of your household. You’ll be able to ask for help if you need it - for example, with getting essential supplies or your basic care needs.
Maintaining Services
Managing mental health remotely: COVID-19 and beyond
Simon Blake, Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England, highlights how we can adapt to managing mental health remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic
Coronavirus: Amazon ordered to pause all non-essential deliveries in France
Amazon has been ordered to pause all non-essential deliveries in France while a coronavirus risk assessment is carried out across its operations. The online retail giant will only be allowed to deliver food, hygiene and medical products while a health evaluation takes place, a court in Nanterre ruled. A penalty fine of €1 million per day will be served to Amazon for every day that it is in breach of the order, which will be in place from Wednesday.
Coronavirus: Harry Potter buses used as free NHS transport
Harry Potter-branded buses normally used to take fans to film studio tours are being offered as free transport for staff working in the NHS. The buses will take them between three sites in Hertfordshire, and will have on-board social distancing rules. Warner Bros and coach company Golden Tours have had to cancel all trips to the Leavesden studios where much of the Harry Potter filming took place. The NHS said the move was a "wizard idea". "Our workforce has been depleted due to sickness or self-isolation and so it's really important that those staff who are well, but have transport issues, can come back," Paul da Gama, from the West Herts Hospitals NHS Trust, said.
Healthcare Innovations
Sinovac Announces Approval of Human Clinical Trial for a Vaccine Candidate Against COVID-19
The vaccine development commenced at the end of January 2020. Sinovac scientists have raced to complete comprehensive preclinical studies in partnership with leading academic research institutes in China. As part of this work, an animal challenge study has shown that the vaccine candidate protects animals without antibody-dependent enhancement (or ADE). In addition, the vaccine candidate can neutralize virus strains from different countries, which supports the potential of using the vaccine to prevent the spread of the disease globally. Mr. Weidong Yin, Chairman, President, and CEO of Sinovac, commented, “At present, the whole world is facing an unprecedented public health crisis. It is a matter of urgency to develop an effective vaccine to control the spread of COVID-19 globally, as quickly as possible. Sinovac has been working closely with the regulators in China in order to make this happen. Sinovac has always been committed to developing vaccines for global use when facing pandemics.”
GSK and Sanofi join forces to work on coronavirus vaccine
Two of the world’s biggest vaccine companies have joined forces in an “unprecedented” collaboration to develop a Covid-19 vaccine. GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, which combined have the largest vaccine manufacturing capability in the world, are working together on a hi-tech vaccine they say could be in human trials within months. The pairing is significant because, if successful, the two companies have the capacity to manufacture the hundreds of millions of doses that are likely to be required worldwide.
Welsh doctor’s ventilator approved by regulators
A new type of ventilator developed by a senior consultant from Glangwili Hospital, and an engineering company from Ammanford to help coronavirus patients, has been approved by regulators. Designed by Glangwili senior consultant Dr Rhys Thomas, with the help of Maurice Clarke of CR Clarke & Co, an engineering company in Ammanford, it helps patients to breathe more easily. Dr Thomas has previous experience working in anaesthetics and resuscitation in the military and with help of a company in Ammanford and advice from doctors in Italy fighting the virus.
Small Chloroquine Study Halted Over Risk of Fatal Heart Complications
A small study in Brazil was halted early for safety reasons after coronavirus patients taking a higher dose of chloroquine developed irregular heart rates that increased their risk of a potentially fatal heart arrhythmia.
Could old vaccines for other germs protect against COVID-19?
Already nearly 1,500 Dutch health care workers have rolled up their sleeves for one study that Netea’s team is leading. It uses that TB vaccine, named BCG, which is made of a live but weakened bacterial cousin of the TB germ. In Australia, researchers hope to enroll 4,000 hospital workers to test BCG, too, and 700 already have received either the TB vaccine or a dummy shot. Similar research is being planned in other countries, including the U.S. Possibly next in line: Oral polio vaccine, drops made of live but weakened polio viruses. The Baltimore-based Global Virus Network hopes to begin similar studies with that vaccine and is in talks with health authorities, network co-founder Dr. Robert Gallo told The Associated Press.