"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 6th May 2020

Isolation Tips
10 positive things that social isolation has taught us
In every grey cloud, there is a silver lining. If by now you’re feeling the effects of dealing with social isolation, you’re not alone. It’s an environment most of us are not used to. Here, Dr Elena Touroni, an experienced consultant psychologist, highlights shares her thoughts on the effects of social isolation, highlighting some of the positives we can learn from it.
Cooking in isolation: This social platform is providing an opportunity for everyone to share their love for food
“The world is trying to come to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic, and for most people, this means sheltering at home, and cooking for themselves. Some of these people have been cooking for ages, while others are just learning the ropes,” says Kavita, one of the co-founders of Isolation Cooks.
Margot Robbie Shares How She’s Staying “Mentally Healthy” During Isolation
No matter who you are – or how robust your mental health – lockdown has been hard. Margot Robbie has shared some tips on how she’s keeping “mentally healthy” while isolation continues. In a short video for the Child Mind Institute’s #WeThriveInside campaign, the Australian actor revealed that there is one thing that is helping to stay focused: making lists.
What we've learned about life in isolation with kids
Women’s Agenda we wanted to try and figure out some general trends on how parents have been coping, and document what we learned. So midway through April, we asked 1257 such parents to share just what the juggle’s been like at home, and any tips and strategies they’ve applied to help get through the days. Our report on the survey is available here.
Margaret Atwood’s Isolation Diary: How to foil squirrels and sew face masks
So, in the spirit of my grandmother’s washcloths – not ultimately useful, perhaps, but let’s hope they focused the mind and gave a sense of accomplishment – I present some of my more bizarre self-isolation activities. You can do some of them at home. Though perhaps you won’t wish to.
French connections - France under lockdown: Staying in shape and Paris sightseeing, with a difference
In this week's French Connections, Florence Villeminot and Genie Godula continue to explore how the French are coping with life in lockdown. How are people staying in shape? Surprising as it may be, according to a study, the French haven't gained as much weight as you would think. Another perhaps surprising fact: the sale of alcohol has actually gone down. Meanwhile, what does Paris look like under lockdown? Join Flo as she takes you sightseeing around the capital like you've never seen it before.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus - Africa/Eastern Mediterranean: World Hand Hygiene Day - Nurses and midwives, clean care is in your hands!
World Hand Hygiene Day will be celebrated on 5 May 2020. This year’s campaign theme, “SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands”, aligns with the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. The campaign aims to recognize nurses and midwives as front-line heroes who deserve acknowledgement, appreciation and protection, and to highlight their critical role in infection prevention and control. Handwashing is one of the most effective actions everyone can take to reduce the spread of pathogens and prevent infections, including infection with the COVID-19 virus. Health workers and community members alike can help to prevent infections by practicing regular and frequent handwashing.
Coronavirus: How refugee camps and slums are dealing with hygiene
Soap and water are a simple way to disinfect – if you've got them. To mark Hand Hygiene Day, DW looks at how the coronavirus pandemic has sent NGOs and countries scrambling to keep refugee camps and slums safe and clean.
Coronavirus blessing in disguise for hygiene, under control: Harsh Vardhan
"Once the havoc caused by the virus subsides and the crisis blows over, people may remember it as a blessing in disguise," Vardhan said. He added that India has so far been able to keep itself from slipping into the stage of community transmission of the novel coronavirus. "By now we know that fighting coronavirus is no rocket science. If the behavioural changes such as hand, environmental and respiratory hygiene, which are being practiced more rigorously during this period, get imbibed in society it will become the new normal," Vardhan said.
Coronavirus tips: 6 ways to shop safer at the supermarket during lockdown
You need to remain in lockdown. But you also need to eat. Here’s our advice on how to do your food shopping safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lockdown skin: 5 nutrition tips to clear up your isolation breakout
We spoke to naturopathic nutrition coach Jessica Shand about how you can support and improve your skin during self-isolation.
Community Activities
Harry Potter Virtual Tour: How to take a tour of Universal Studios' Harry Potter world
Harry Potter may have defeated Voldemort, but he is still available to see up close and personal in some form. Here's how you can take a tour of Universal Studios' Harry Potter world.
From the Farm to the Virtual Classroom
As students around the state continue with E-learning, some teachers have brought ag into their virtual classrooms. Ryan Rippy farms in Tippecanoe, Montgomery, and Fountain counties and his wife teaches elementary school in West Lafayette. He spent some time Monday on a Zoom call with her 3rd graders from the field. “We are a little bit nervous about this rain coming in and cold temperatures. So, trying to find something to do so we’re spraying. I was talking to them a lot about the autosteer and mapping capabilities of the sprayer and using my FieldView to map my sprayer passes.”
HP to help schools and universities in Middle East create ‘virtual classrooms’
US tech company in joint initiative with education specialists to support distance learning in the region amid Covid-19 measures
Aid groups desperately look for other options to combat coronavirus
The old way of having people cue up a truck or depot to receive aid packages is no longer viable. Instead, recipients must schedule appointments to pick up the aid. It’s no longer possible to gather local community leaders in a classroom to brief them on hygiene precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus. One solution is to send out educational videos and media via messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Telegram, using the smartphones and wireless internet many have access to. But, perhaps, the best tool that aid groups can use to deliver aid to the most vulnerable is cold hard cash, either delivered in envelopes or deposited into bank accounts when possible. It not only helps families get the food and hygiene supplies they urgently need, it also keeps local shops up and running.
18 Theatre-Related Online Resources for Kids and Families to Get You Through COVID-19
Navigating the whole parenting through a pandemic situation? We're here to help. From free remote classrooms and live streams, to donation-based early childhood dance classes that turn your living room into a tap studio—check out this list of theatre-related online resources for families and children.
Working Remotely
'There is no one size fits all approach to remote working'
For many organisations, remote and distributed working is a new muscle that they’re just starting to develop. And building a new muscle isn’t easy, especially in times of crisis, according to Julien Codorniou, VP, Workplace from Facebook. “A key part of managing a distributed workforce is understanding there is no one size fits all approach to remote working,” said Codorniou. As individuals, we have different working preferences, habits and personal demands. However, often trying to enforce mandatory ways of working just won’t work in the long-term. One of the best things a manager can do right now is to check in with their direct reports to understand their communication preferences and the support they need as they transition to remote work.
The New Normal: Remote Work Reshapes Technology
The new work-from-home environment sparked by shelter in place requirements to contain COVID-19 is impacting information technology and the related communication services sector in three primary areas: consumer, enterprise etc Consumers are shifting from less data intensive and mobile experiences to more data intensive and residential experiences, which should drive growth in gaming and a push by service providers to better services. Enterprises are seeing a larger move toward public cloud services and embracing software that optimizes productivity in remote work environments.
'We're helping customers with the new reality of remote working'
Jason Ward of Dell Technologies discusses leading a remote team, helping customers adapt to working from home, and underestimating the impact of a pandemic.
Accelerating Remote-Working Adoption - tips
A complete overhaul of your workforce, especially when unplanned, can feel like an overwhelming task. From tech logistics, to morale, to day-to-day activities, there are a myriad of things to navigate that will make or break productivity in these trying times. To help organisations hasten and smoothen their transition to remote-working, the following steps to accelerate their timeline can be considered.
Lessons Managers Can Learn While Teams Are Working Remotely
The COVID-19 outbreak has risen, among others, one very important and interesting question: Can remote work be effective? Thousands, if not millions, of companies had to send all or almost all of their employees home and start adjusting to this new way of working. But for many, the current situation looks like a perfect opportunity to learn. Managers can carry very important lessons out of this unusual experience. What can managers and CEOs learn while the teams are working remotely
Virtual Classrooms
8 Virtual Classroom Platforms to Use during the Pandemic
The novel coronavirus has forced millions of people around the globe to work from home due to serious health concerns. Managers are conducting employee training online. Teachers are setting up virtual classrooms for their students. Everyone is searching for the right tools to continue their operations online and make this challenging time just a little bit easier. With that in mind, here is a list of eight virtual classroom platforms every business or school can utilize:
Virtual classrooms a challenge for some University of Pretoria students
University spokesperson Rikus Delport said it was not such a bleak picture; overall it was going well. He said it was only a fraction of their students who had problems, and the university would sort them out. “Overall, it is going as we expected. There are a few issues that we are dealing with - mostly relating to connectivity, and a few students who have not yet received their laptops. "We are in the process of getting laptops delivered to students, some of whom are in remote areas of the country. Our learning management system held up very well and most of the students were able to connect to the online platform.
Public Policies
This Is The Government’s Draft Plan To Ease Coronavirus Lockdown Measures In The Workplace
BuzzFeed News has obtained all seven of the guidance documents drawn up by ministers that will form the basis for the government’s proposals to get people back to work in the coming weeks.
Italy, France, Spain ease lockdowns after low coronavirus deaths
Italy, France and Spain are all beginning to loosen their stringent, weekslong coronavirus lockdowns. It comes as all three countries on Sunday reported their lowest coronavirus death and new infection rates in weeks. These countries are among the hardest-hit in Europe, with Italy being the world's coronavirus epicenter for much of March. All three countries have imposed strict lockdown measures since mid-March. Now, many aspects of normal life are being eased back in. Restrictions to travel, exercise, shopping, dining, funerals, and working patterns are all being reconsidered or partially lifted.
Italy starts to emerge from world's longest nationwide Covid-19 lockdown
Four million people -- an estimated 72 percent of them men -- will return to their construction sites and factories as the economically and emotionally shattered country tries to get back to work. Restaurants that have managed to survive Italy's most disastrous crisis in generations will reopen for takeaway service. But bars and even ice cream parlours will remain shut. The use of public transport will be discouraged and everyone will have to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
Paris to turn more streets over to bicycles as Covid-19 lockdown lifts
Some of the busiest traffic arteries in Paris will be reserved for cyclists in a bid to limit crowds on public transport when France begins lifting its coronavirus lockdown next week, the city's mayor said. In total, 50 kilometres (30 miles) of lanes normally used by cars will be reserved for bicycles," Anne Hidalgo told the Parisien newspaper in an interview published Tuesday.
Coronavirus France: Cameras to monitor masks and social distancing
Video surveillance cameras in France will monitor how many people are wearing masks and their compliance with social distancing when the coronavirus lockdown is eased next week. The resort city of Cannes on the Côte d'Azur has trialled the monitoring software, installed at outdoor markets and on buses. It is not clear how many other cities will adopt this digital surveillance. French firm Datakalab says its software does not violate EU data privacy law. "No image is stored or transmitted, ensuring that personal information is protected," Datakalab said, announcing its collaboration with Cannes city hall, ahead of the 11 May relaxation of France's tough lockdown.
Coronavirus: Vietnam, Slovenia, and 3 other overlooked success stories
From Slovenia to Jordan to Iceland, governments took early action to impose lockdowns, test and trace thousands of people, isolate the sick, encourage social distancing and preventive measures like mask wearing, and communicate honestly with the public. Those interventions curbed the number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths, allowing leaders to reopen schools and businesses and reintroduce a sense of normalcy into everyday life. Some are now reporting no new confirmed cases or deaths. In effect, they followed the prescribed playbook for such a pandemic, and — surprise, surprise — it worked. “At the end of the day, it’s not magic. It’s shoe-leather public health,” Thomas Bollyky, director of the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, told me. Nothing is a better substitute for speed and aggressive action, he said.
Coronavirus: Reopening Scottish schools too early could 'overwhelm' NHS
The Scottish government has published a new paper of options for starting to lift the virus lockdown. They include some year groups returning ahead of others, pupils attending school part-time, and a combination of in-school and home learning. Ms Sturgeon said the government would not compromise children's safety. And she said any return to school "might not be possible at all ahead of the summer holidays", which begin in June and end in August.
Coronavirus: Bavarian beer gardens to reopen as lockdown measures eased in Germany
Restaurants and hotels are also set to reopen this month in the southeastern state of Bavaria.. In a more immediate lifting of coronavirus lockdown measures, families in Bavaria will be able to visit elderly relatives in care homes again from Wednesday. Mr Soeder is among the first state governors to announce concrete plans to further reopen the economy. Bavaria - which is Germany's second-most populous state and contains the city of Munich - had the highest per capita coronavirus infection rate in the country.
Portugal starts to emerge from coronavirus lockdown
Portugal will begin to ease its coronavirus lockdown on Monday, with small shops, hair salons and car dealers resuming operations as a state of emergency was lifted after more than six weeks. The wearing of face masks or visors in stores and on public transport is compulsory under the government's plan unveiled last week for the gradual reopening of the country.
Government pays nearly quarter of worker wages
The government is now paying the wages for nearly a quarter of UK jobs under a programme aimed at helping people put on leave due to the virus pandemic. About 2.5 million people registered last week for the scheme, bringing the total claims to 6.3 million - 23% of the employed workforce. The job retention scheme funds 80% of workers' wages, up to £2,500 a month.
Maintaining Services
Hotels in Egypt wishing to operate now require 'Hygiene Safety' badge
Hotels wishing to operate in Egypt under the coronavirus pandemic will now require a “Hygiene Safety” badge officially approved by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, circulated through all hotels by the Egyptian Hotel Association (EHA). This badge is represented by the sun disk surrounded by the “Ankh, Wedja, and Seneb” hieroglyphs symbolize life, prosperity and health respectively.
Healthcare Innovations
First US participants get experimental coronavirus vaccine in Pfizer BioNTech study
US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech have begun testing an experimental coronavirus vaccine on humans in the United States, according to an announcement from the companies on Tuesday. The companies’ coronavirus vaccine program is called BNT162. Study participants in the program in Germany were given doses of the vaccine last week and now the US trial — at NYU Grossman School of Medicine in New York and the University of Maryland School of Medicine — is underway, the companies have revealed. The program's Phase 1/2 study is designed to test the safety, effectiveness and best dose level of four mRNA vaccine candidates and is to be evaluated in a single, continuous study, the companies said. The first participants in the first stage of the study will be healthy adults ages 18 to 55, according to the announcement.
Japan sending Fujifilm's flu drug favipiravir to over 40 countries for Covid-19 trials
Chinese researchers said Fujifilm’s flu drug favipiravir (Avigan) was “clearly effective” in treating Covid-19. Now Japan is shipping favipiravir to 43 countries for clinical trials and testing it with mild and moderate patients. Medical centers in Massachusetts are evaluating the drug in a Phase 2 trial. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he wants favipiravir approved for Covid-19 in May, as Japan moves to fast-track approval for remdesivir as well.