"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 4th Jun 2020

Isolation Tips
Dr Michael Mosley reveals how to minimise the risk of infection if a loved one gets coronavirus
The person with symptoms should stay at home for seven days from the day their symptoms started. Everyone else in the household should isolate, together, for 14 days (from the first day any symptoms were spotted among members), even if none of you show symptoms. If anyone else there develops symptoms within that time, they need to stay at home for seven days from the day those symptoms started, even if this takes them over the 14-day period. This is proper isolation, which means you should not leave the property even for exercise or shopping.
7 Mental Health Coping Tips in Wake of Coronavirus
Half of Canadians reported a worsening of their mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an April poll. In Alberta, a similar government poll found 74 per cent of Albertans felt the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health. These stats are not surprising, because a pandemic is a perfect “anxiety stew.” It has all the ingredients that go into causing worry even in people who are not typically anxiety-prone. These include: uncontrollability, uncertainty and high consequence.
Losing sleep over the coronavirus pandemic, here are the tips to Sleep Better
The novel coronavirus has brought the world to a halt and people are stressed out and there is a sense of uneasiness.Keeping up with work-from-home obligations to managing a house full of children who are accustomed to being at school can pose real problems leading to stress and discord. As economic activity stalls and job losses mount, it's normal to worry about income, savings, and making ends meet. People have been managing reductions in income and facing other stresses related to isolation, anxiety about illness, and disruptions to their routines.
Stress-coping strategies amid protests, COVID-19, financial hardships and more
Between the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing protests and unrest in the wake of the death of George Floyd, many people are experiencing higher levels of stress and anxiety. Dr. Jeffrey Gardere shared some important tips and strategies with PIX11's Marysol Castro for coping with the side effects of issues like racial tensions and racism, financial hardships and loneliness amid isolation.
Coronavirus: How the UK is sleeping under lockdown
A survey suggests more than half the UK population has struggled with sleep during the lockdown. Sleep problems were more common in people facing financial hardship, while two in five reported having more vivid dreams than usual. And some people, particularly the young, slept for longer than usual, but without feeling rested. The study was carried out by market research company Ipsos MORI, and King's College London. The findings are based on online interviews in late May with 2,254 UK residents in the 16-75 age bracket.
7 mental health coping tips for life in the time of COVID-19
Half of Canadians reported a worsening of their mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an April poll. In Alberta, a similar government poll found 74 percent of Albertans felt the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health.
I've been 'sheltering in place' long before COVID-19 — here are some tips on how to make it easier
Sean Towgood is used to long periods of isolation. The combination of Canadian winters and electric wheelchairs have forced him to frequently “shelter-in-place” over his lifetime. Along the way he has developed some helpful tips while waiting out any storm.
Hygiene Helpers
CDC issues guidelines for the workplace amid coronavirus outbreak
Daily health checks, staggered shifts and more time outdoors could become part of the routine.
Why Wearing a Mask Is Important When Going to Protest
“People should wear a proper-fitting mask that’s snug and secure and keep it on at all times. Some other cloth face mask tips include multiple layers of fabric, no restricted breathing, wash hands after use, and machine wash routinely,” Dr. Nikhil Bhayani, an infectious disease physician with DFW Infectious Diseases PLLC and Texas Health Alliance, told Healthline.
Many Black men fear wearing a mask more than the coronavirus
Despite their fears of infection, and statistics showing Black communities are among the hardest hit, many Black men feel wearing a mask is a bigger threat than the coronavirus. Just as they are more likely than white people to be stopped and frisked, to be pulled over for traffic violations, and to be charged with drug crimes, Black individuals also appear more likely to be targeted by police for simply wearing masks. In a heartbreaking calculus, many are choosing not to wear them at all.
Universities UK publishes principles for 'emerging from lockdown'
Universities UK has confirmed that the sector is planning a blended learning approach for the coming academic year, while student “bubbles” and an optional January start date for overseas students are being considered by some institutions. The organisation published a set of principles on 3 June outlining how universities should prepare for the next academic year, stating that institutions will provide “as much in-person learning, teaching, support services and extra-curricular activities as public health advice and government guidance will support”. This will include “new ways of providing practical sessions in socially distanced forms” and “innovative approaches to extra-curricular activities such as welcome week programmes”, it said.
Eight tips for pregnant women to protect themselves from COVID-19
Though there is not enough research to confirm if COVID-19 poses more risk to pregnant women, but due to several changes in their bodies and immune system, pregnant women could be vulnerable to respiratory infections. Thus, it is necessary to exercise great caution. The WHO has laid down important guidelines that need to be followed in order to protect themselves from COVID-19.
Community Activities
Coronavirus: Volunteers recognised for helping communities
Volunteers across Ryedale are being recognised for making a difference in their community. More than 1,500 volunteers are supporting thousands of people every week with shopping, collecting prescriptions or having a conversation to prevent loneliness. Joanna Chambers, of Marton, is currently shielding during the coronavirus lockdown to protect her nine-year-old son, William. William has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and severe global development delay in addition to other complex medical issues.
Amid coronavirus pandemic ‘Mompreneur’ gives back to her NYC community
Sondra Mansfield, a native New Yorker and small business owner, saw people losing their jobs around her and understood the impact of the growing food insecurity in New York, so she partnered with City Harvest to help give back to her community.
COVID-19 fattens wallets as Australians embark on saving spree in lockdown
Australians ramped up their saving efforts during the coronavirus pandemic and saw their bank accounts swell, according to national data released by Bankwest on Wednesday. Analysis of savings account data from the end of March to mid-May found median balances were up 45 per cent from the pre-COVID period and up 56 per cent year-on-year.
Leader's column: Amazing community spirit is the silver lining to coronavirus
THE silver lining in this crisis has to be the amazing community support we’ve seen, there would be too many heart-warming stories for me to list here, but I just wanted to give a shout out to Rednock School in my own ward of Dursley who made it into the national press this week for how they’ve been supporting vulnerable children. I’m really proud of how my town has come together to get through this, and as this Thursday was the official last day of our ‘clap for carers’ I’ll be thinking of all those people in my own community who have kept on working and caring for others all through these last few months. I know it’s been the same all across our district. Thank you so much.
Working Remotely
3 Ways Covid-19 Will Permanently Change The Future Of Work
Covid-19 has changed the future of work—permanently. In early May, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reflected, “We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” Without a doubt, the post-Covid-19 workplace will operate differently than the pre-pandemic workplace. Here are three aspects of the “workplace” that are slated to change.
Even After COVID-19, Execs Expect Remote Work Trend To Continue
A new survey from The Conference Board reveals that 77% of human resources executives expect the trend toward remote work to continue, even one year after COVID-19 substantially subsides. The survey assessed more than 150 executives primarily at large U.S. companies who weighed in on the various actions they are taking and plan on taking in light of the current pandemic.
Most Educators Want Schools to Stay Closed to Slow Spread of COVID-19
As school district leaders struggle to solve the complex equation of reopening buildings in the fall or maintaining virtual learning, several factors are weighing heavily on their minds. How do you make educators feel comfortable in their work environments when more than half of them prefer school buildings stay shut to slow the spread of COVID-19? What about educators and students with underlying health conditions? And what if remote learning must continue in the fall even though the approach led to declining student engagement this spring?
Coronavirus: Is working from home working?
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly one-third of the U.S. workforce, and half of all “information workers”, are able to work from home. Though the number of people working partially or fully remote has been on the rise for years now, the COVID-19 pandemic may have pressed the fast-forward button on this trend. With millions of people taking part in this work-from-home experiment, it’s worth asking the question – how do people and companies actually feel about working from home?
Virtual Classrooms
UT reveals fall plans for some online learning, limited classroom capacity
Interim UT-Austin president Jay Hartzell shared an update on planning for the Fall 2020 semester. In a letter to Longhorns he said about 20 percent of classes would be designed for online learning and classrooms would only be filled to 40 percent capacity. He also explained plans to ramp-up COVID-19 testing. UT Senior Ryan Chandler is gearing up for his last semester on campus. He'll graduate in December and is encouraged by plans to welcome Longhorns back to the 40 Acres this fall. "I really hope that we can have as much of the Longhorn experience as possible given the circumstances," he said.
It is planned to create a common "virtual classroom" platform
The Ministry of Education and Science, together with the State Education Content Center (VISC), plans to create a single "virtual classroom" platform, which would prevent the learning process from taking place on many different platforms, Minister of Education and Science Ilga Suplinska (New Conservative Party) said during a press conference today. Guntars Catlaks, the head of the VISC, informed about the data of a survey conducted by ministry and Edurio, in which the students admitted that during the distance learning process they did not like that communication with their school takes place on different platforms. Pupils also lacked a single platform on which to work. The minister explained that the creation of a single platform would eliminate one of the most significant shortcomings, and that the teaching process and communication between students and teachers should take place on one platform. Tasks could also be assigned to this platform.
Six Harvard Graduate Schools To Conduct Classes Online in Fall 2020 | News
Six of Harvard’s 12 degree-granting schools will conduct classes remotely during the fall semester, they announced Wednesday. Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Harvard Divinity School will hold classes online in the upcoming term; Harvard Graduate School of Education will conduct its classes and operations online for the entire 2020-2021 academic year. Graduate School of Education Dean Bridget T. Long wrote in an email to affiliates that the school's decision “largely centers” on “disruptions to residential learning” as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Here’s which Michigan colleges will have in-person, online fall classes -- or both
A list of Michigan colleges, universities and how they’re adapting to the coronavirus pandemic this fall
Public Policies
The Latest: New Zealand on verge of eradicating virus
New Zealand is on the verge of eradicating the virus from its shores after it notched a 13th straight day with no reported new infections. Only a single person in the nation of 5 million people is known to still have the virus, and that person is not hospitalized. However, it remains likely that the country will import new cases once it reopens its borders, and officials say their aim remains to stamp out new infections as they arise. The country has already lifted many of its virus restrictions and could remove most of those that remain, including limiting crowd sizes, next week. Just over 1,500 people have contracted the virus during the outbreak, including 22 who died.
Australians will be among the first tourists to be allowed into Japan in the coming months
Australian tourists could soon be able to take a trip to Japan as the nation considers opening its borders to countries that have low rates of coronavirus. On Monday in Tokyo, lockdown restrictions began to be lifted with the Japanese capital reopening sports clubs, cinemas, department stores and schools. The country had previously closed its border to overseas travelers in February to stem the spread of COVID-19. Japan is now considering allowing in tourists from New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, and Vietnam over the next few months.
Italy opens borders ahead of neighbors, still eyed warily
Italy officially ended its long coronavirus lockdown Wednesday, opening regional and international borders in a bid to boost summer tourism, but found itself alone as European neighbors viewed the move as premature and remained wary of visitors from Italy. Italy's long-awaited internal and external opening after nearly three months allowed residents to finally reunite with friends and family members, and brought a flood of French shoppers across the border for less expensive groceries and cigarettes. But normalcy was a long way off.
Coronavirus: New Zealand could lift all lockdown restrictions next week after 11 straight days with no new cases
New Zealand could lift its remaining restrictions on social distancing and group gatherings next week, after recording no new coronavirus cases for an 11th consecutive day. "Our strategy of go hard, go early has paid off," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday. "In moving to level one so soon, we will be one of the first countries in the world to have experienced a COVID-19 outbreak and then return to that level of normality so quickly."
Gradual easing of lockdown better for global supply chain, study suggests
Easing coronavirus lockdown measures over a 12-month period will minimise the impact on the global supply chain compared to lifting restrictions quickly, new research suggests. The study, led by University College London (UCL) and Tsinghua University in China, assessed how the world’s economy could be affected by Covid-19 lockdowns. It found that a gradual easing of restrictions – rather than lifting them over a two-month period and introducing a second lockdown in January next year – would be “less disruptive” for the global supply chain. It also suggests that stricter lockdowns implemented over a shorter period of time were “economically preferable” to more moderate measures imposed for four to six months.
Coronavirus: Germany lifts travel restrictions for 31 countries, including UK
German foreign minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday announced that the country will lift its travel restrictions for 31 countries on 15 June. As well as allowing its citizens to travel to 26 EU member states, Germany will also lift its warning for Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and the UK. However, Maas said that the government does not recommend travel to the UK while the country still has a 14-day quarantine period in place. “I realise that this decision will raise great hopes and expectations, but let me say that travel warnings are not travel bans — and travel advisories are not invitations to travel,” Maas said.
Strict lockdown needed for the next year to control coronavirus, UK study finds
A strict lockdown would be needed in the UK for the next year to control coronavirus, save lives and prevent UK hospitals from becoming overwhelmed, a new study has suggested. Researchers said "extreme measures" are likely required to prevent "very large" numbers of deaths and intensive care units from filling up. The measures could include social distancing, school closures, shielding by the elderly and vulnerable, and self-isolating at home, the study said. It comes as the Governement gradually eases lockdown restrictions in England after 10 weeks amid fresh signs that more Britons are ignoring social distancing rules.
Italy reopens to tourists from Europe after economically crippling lockdown
Switzerland has warned its citizens that if they go to Italy they will be subject to "health measures" on their return. The country will open its borders with Germany, France and Austria on June 15, but not with Italy. Austria is lifting restrictions in mid-June with Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary -- but again, not Italy, described last week by Vienna's health minister as "still a hotspot". Other countries, such as Belgium and Britain, are still advising against, or forbidding, all non-essential travel abroad. In response to perceived anti-Italian sentiment, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio has warned countries not to treat Italy "like a leper"
Italians on the move again as lockdown restrictions ease
Italians were allowed to travel to other regions of the country on Wednesday for the first time in nearly three months, in a further relaxation of lockdown restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus. Travellers boarding trains in Milan, capital of Lombardy in northern Italy, were excited at the prospect of finally being able to visit family and friends elsewhere in the country. “I work here in Milan and up until now I couldn’t move between regions,” said Anna Falcone, who was getting ready to board a train to Calabria, southwest Italy, to see her parents. “But now, with the possibility of smart working, I can return home and go and meet my parents and hug them again after three months of not seeing them,” she said. “I am happy and I can’t wait to see them.”
Maintaining Services
Air pollution in China back to pre-Covid levels and Europe may follow
Air pollution in China has climbed back to pre-pandemic levels, and scientists say Europe may follow suit. Air pollution causes at least 8m early deaths a year, and cleaner skies were seen as one of the few silver linings of Covid-19. Experts have called for action to help retain the air quality benefits of lockdowns, and measures taken to date have included expanding cycle lanes and space for walking in cities. Data from the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air (Crea) shows concentrations of fine particles (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) across China are now at the same levels as one year earlier. At the height of the country’s coronavirus response in early March, NO2 levels were down by 38% from 2019 and levels of PM2.5 were down by 34%.
How Business Owners Are Preparing For A Post-Covid World
We talked to founders from across various industries in the Gen.T community to learn how they've rapidly pivoted their businesses to survive and thrive in a post-pandemic world
Rethinking the world's largest cities in wake of COVID-19
Remote working was already on the rise in many parts of the world before the pandemic. Now, as firms grapple with social distancing rules that limit how many workers can return, they are thinking about what their offices are really for. That in turn will force planners and city officials to reconsider and redesign central business districts, said Tony Matthews, a senior lecturer in urban and environmental planning at Australia’s Griffith University. “If daytime working populations fall, new populations are likely to be needed to keep these areas buzzing and generating incomes,” he said. “Some areas may need to be redesigned if they are no longer economically viable — retail districts, for example. Some office buildings may be demolished or repurposed, with the surrounding infrastructure and public space also changing in time,” he said.
Global report: Germany eases travel warning and cafe culture returns to Paris
Germany lifted its blanket European travel warning as coronavirus lockdowns across the EU continued to ease, with officials saying new cases in western Europe were now in steady decline. Parisians reclaimed their cafe terraces and Berliners took back their bars as normal life inched closer to returning in many parts of the continent. Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said his government was maintaining its travel warning for non-European destinations, but from Wednesday it would issue individual advice for all Schengen-zone countries to allow holidaymakers to decide where they could safely travel this summer.
Restaurant bookings have fully recovered in Germany in a sign that activity rebounds quickly as lockdowns ease
Analysts at BCA Research compiled this chart, showing German bookings have actually fully recovered. Another place showing a strong recovery is Australia, which like Germany has been praised for its coronavirus response and has been further along in reopening than many countries. “Germany and Australia show that quickly after the lockdowns are eased, the number of reservations in restaurants rebounds strongly. This suggests that even if the behavior of households will not return to normal, there is significant scope for improvement from current levels,” said the analysts.
It's like the 1944 liberation, say Parisians as they taste freedom from lockdown
The speed with which freedoms are being handed back has caught many restaurant owners by surprise. They were only informed on Thursday that they could open, and many have not had time to do so. Others, like Le Select, are serving drinks only. Jacques Viguier, the owner, who visited his brasserie every day during the two and a half months it was shut “to give myself something to do”, said he had yet to buy in the ingredients needed for a menu that features dishes such as duck confit, veal kidneys and beef tartare. He expects them to arrive in time to start serving meals tomorrow.
Coronavirus in Spain: No deaths reported for second day in a row as lockdown restrictions eased
Spain, holding its breath as it emerges from lockdown, reported no deaths for the second day in a row since the pandemic started. One of the hardest-hit countries by Covid-19, it was positive news for Spaniards who had lived through dark times when hundreds of people lost their lives each day to the virus.
Spain's job haemorrhage dries up as country emerges from ...
The brutal job losses registered in Spain following the coronavirus outbreak reversed in May with the creation of net jobs for the first time since one of Europe's toughest lockdowns was imposed more than two months ago. As the lockdown gradually eased in May, a net 97,462 new jobs were created during the month, although the overall number of jobs in the country was still 885,985 lower than in May 2019. Data from the previous months had showed 900,000 jobs were lost in the second half of March alone. Spain registered 26,573 more people as jobless in May than in April, which represented a 0.69% increase. About 3.86 million people were out of work, data from the Labour Ministry showed on Tuesday.
Healthcare Innovations
Coronavirus: Solar fridge firm set for role in Covid-19 fight
A firm that produces solar-powered fridges to keep vaccines cool in the world's most remote outposts could play a key role in fighting coronavirus. Dulas has been working with global vaccine alliance Gavi, exporting its products to Africa, Asia and South America. The technology is essential to keep vaccines preserved in places with unreliable power supplies. For them to work they must be kept between two and eight degrees Celsius. This is also likely to be the case for any future Covid-19 vaccine.
Fauci is 'optimistic' Moderna's coronavirus vaccine will work
Dr Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he is 'cautiously optimistic' that the US will have an effective coronavirus vaccine 'within a reasonable period of time.' Speaking at a Wall Street Journal Tech Health Conference, Fauci said his chief concern is that it's not clear how long vaccine protection will last. At least 124 vaccine candidates are being developed worldwide. Fauci expressed particular optimism about the Moderna vaccine that the NIH is helping to develop. Moderna's vaccine showed promising early results last week, but the economic and medical experts have criticised the data as 'over-hyped'
Million-pound fund a “step change” for innovative coronavirus research | Imperial News
Community Jameel and Imperial College London have created a new fund to support the scale-up of crucial COVID-19 projects. The £1 million Community Jameel Imperial College COVID-19 Excellence Fund will provide a new injection of financial support for major research projects into the impact, understanding, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of COVID-19.
Governments and WHO changed Covid-19 policy based on suspect data from tiny US company
The World Health Organization and a number of national governments have changed their Covid-19 policies and treatments on the basis of flawed data from a little-known US healthcare analytics company, also calling into question the integrity of key studies published in some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals. A Guardian investigation can reveal the US-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, has provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19 co-authored by its chief executive, but has so far failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.
WHO restarts drug trial as doubts grow over clinical data
The World Health Organisation will resume coronavirus trials of the contentious drug hydroxychloroquine after doubts emerged over the validity of a study that led to them being put on hold. WHO officials said on Wednesday that the decision to resume was made after considering data from a number of studies. “We are now fairly confident, not having seen any differences in mortality . . . that the trial can continue,” said Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO’s chief scientist.
Hydroxychloroquine no better than placebo, Covid-19 study finds
Taking hydroxychloroquine does not protect people who have been close to someone with coronavirus from becoming infected, a study suggests. Donald Trump told the world he was taking one pill a day to safeguard himself against the coronavirus, on the advice of his doctor. However, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests the drug is no more effective in protecting people exposed to the virus than a placebo. The trial, which was carried out in the USand Canada, recruited people who were at moderate to high risk of contracting Covid-19. Most of them were deemed at high risk because they had been closer than 2 metres from somebody with the virus for more than 10 minutes without wearing any personal protective equipment. The hope was that the drug could be used to protect people where somebody in their family was infected.