"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 10th Jun 2020

Isolation Tips
Stay Active During COVID Lockdown: Stay Fit, Stay Healthy, Stay Safe
Staying active and fit is difficult at the best of times. But add the self-isolation rules associated with the current Corona Virus pandemic then keeping physically active becomes even more problematic.
Coping with children’s feelings of isolation during pandemic times
It is normal that children and youth may be anxious or upset during the COVID-19 outbreak. Young people that were already at risk prior to the pandemic may be disproportionately affected by the media saturation, school closures and additional stressors that are being experienced during this time. There are numerous online resources available that provide support, tips and links to services for families and youth, including Children’s Mental Health Ontario at cmho.org, and Jack.org, a partnership between Jack.org, School Mental Health Ontario and Kids Help Phone. Both resource hubs contain easily accessible education, tools, support and reliable information.
Coronavirus: Mental health of women and young hit hardest by pandemic
Institute for Fiscal Studies report finds substantial negative impacts on mental health across the population — but some groups worse affected than others.
The coronavirus quarantine has changed us — and it’s not all bad
living in quarantine for months has offered some — mostly the privileged among us — a rare opportunity to reflect on our lives and, potentially, to reset them. Workers whose jobs defined their lives are now asking what all that productivity was for, and whether we really want to measure our self-worth by the yardstick of hypercompetitive capitalism. Many are finding that the things that made them look “successful” actually also made them feel miserable, or precarious, or physically unwell. Quarantine has allowed them to experiment with new habits and new lifestyles. And they want to keep some of these things going, even in a post-lockdown world.
Coronavirus: Social bubbles key to helping unlock economy and ensuring mental health well-being, says Naomi Long
Families could soon be allowed to meet up with other households in Northern Ireland under new proposed "social bubbles".
Struggling with anxiety amid COVID-19 pandemic? Ease your mind with R-A-I-N
In an interview with CNN Philippines’ Rico Hizon, Henick said people are not prepared for the mental health effects brought by the pandemic. “They have to change their entire lives and haven’t had contact with people that they love and care about for a long time now. The loneliness is setting and the isolation is being internalized. People are having difficult time in dealing with it,” Henick said. Being irritable and the feeling of isolation are some of the signs that one has an anxiety or stress disorder, Henick explained. To overcome the anxiety brought by the movement restrictions due to the pandemic, Henick laid out his four-step R.A.I.N. tips that might be useful for everyone:
Cabin fever: Definition, symptoms, and how to cope
With people around the world in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cabin fever may be more common and widespread than ever. In this article, we outline the signs of cabin fever and provide tips on how to cope. We also offer advice on when to seek help for the psychological or behavioral effects of cabin fever.
Wondering How To Sleep Better? These 11 Products Can Help
Even in normal times, approximately 30 to 35 percent of the population experiences acute, or short-term, insomnia, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. Add on the stress of coronavirus, social distancing, home schooling and job loss and you have a recipe for sleep problems, says Dr. Raj Dasgupta, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “Everyone became a night owl in lockdown and now that the country is slowly opening up, we’re finding it hard to get back to our normal sleep schedules,” he says. Dr. Dasgupta stresses that a good night’s rest is highly individualized. “It’s like a puzzle,” he says. “The missing piece is different for everyone.”
Covid-19 lockdown has negatively impacted kids’ diet, sleep and physical activity: Study
“The tragic COVID-19 pandemic has collateral effects extending beyond direct viral infection,” said Myles Faith, PhD, childhood obesity expert and co-author of the study.
Hygiene Helpers
Tips To Keep Schools Clean And Safe From COVID-19
“I strongly recommend that all staff and teachers be put through the correct training to make sure they understand and properly implement health measures. They will need to be intimately familiar with the basics such as the difference between cleaning and disinfecting a surface, as well as the safe disposing of any potentially hazardous medical waste,” adds Corder. But there is also a responsibility on all parents and caregivers to ensure students are fully prepared, by creating a “Covid-19 Back to School Pack”. The use of a big sized pencil box is perfect to pack two clean masks, pack of wet wipes and hand sanitizer. It’s also advised that the learners take their own water bottles so as to not fill them at the school or use public water taps, and especially to not drink directly from the mouthpiece of a tap.
Chinese businesses adapt to post-lockdown reality
China’s big cities have started to come back to life but worries remain about a potential second wave and businesses are struggling with a shortage of customers. Most urban centres are free from the virus yet companies are implementing disease control measures, ranging from checking guests’ temperatures and having staff and customers wear masks to conducting regular deep cleans of facilities. To understand how China’s service industry is adapting to the post-virus environment, the Financial Times spoke to three representative businesses in Beijing and Shanghai.
Lockdown has changed the parameters of personal space – so where do we go from here?
We have never been more aware of personal space; the houses we are confined to, the two-metre-distance we maintain, the proximity of urban living. Zoe Beaty asks what this will mean long-term
The Latest: SKorea Requires QR Codes at ‘high-risk’ Venues
South Korea has reported 50 new cases of COVID-19 as officials begin requiring nightclubs, karaoke rooms and gyms to register their customers with smartphone QR codes so they could be easily located when needed. The figures from the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday brought national totals to 11,902 cases and 276 deaths. At least 41 of the cases were reported from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have struggled to trace transmissions linked to entertainment venues, church gatherings and low-income workers who couldn’t afford to stay home. Since late May, the country has been reporting around 30 to 50 new cases per day, a resurgence that has threatened to erase some of the hard-won gains against the virus as people begin to ease on distancing.
Spain makes masks mandatory until coronavirus defeated
Wearing masks in public will remain mandatory in Spain after the country’s state of emergency ends on June 21 until a cure or vaccine for the coronavirus is found, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday. Spaniards must continue to wear masks indoors and outdoors if they cannot guarantee a 1.5 metre distance from other people as part of a decree to govern conditions after the lockdown is lifted, Illa told a news conference. The obligation to wear masks will remain until “we definitively defeat the virus, which will be when we have an efficient therapy or an effective vaccine,” Illa said.
Italy's launches new Immuni contact tracing App to combat the spread coronavirus
The Italian government has released its new contact tracing App for Covid-19 called ‘Immuni’. Testing of the App begins this week in four Italian regions: Liguria, Abruzzo, Marche and Puglia and will then be extended nationwide, although Italians are already able to download the App to their phones now if they want. The Italian government’s official exposure notification app was developed by Italy’s Extraordinary Commissioner for the Covid-19 emergency in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry for Innovation Technology and Digitalization.
Safety tips for taking a taxi or rideshare during coronavirus
As stay-at-home orders ease and people head back to the office, the CDC has recommended new precautions for commuters, including those using public transportation such as trains and buses as well as people who travel via taxi or use rideshare services like Uber or Lyft. According to the CDC, if you're commuting by taxi or rideshare, you should wash your hands or use hand sanitizer both before your ride and after you arrive at your destination. You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cover your coughs and sneezes; stay 6 feet apart from others; and wear a face mask properly.
Community Activities
New Zealand gears up for 1st rugby match with spectators post lockdown
New Zealand will host the inaugural match of the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa competition on June 13 at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. This decision comes as the New Zealand government confirmed that the country will proceed to Alert Level 1, lifting all restrictions and allowing the first major sporting event with a live mass audience at the stadiums in the country, a statement said. Pulse Energy Highlanders CEO, Roger Clark, said he is delighted that level 1 has arrived in time for crowds to attend their first home game. "No one can ever underestimate the sacrifices New Zealanders have made to allow this special event to take place. In many ways the staging of this game in front of a crowd represents our country''s success in fighting the pandemic, and while we appreciate there is still some work to do, it''s certainly a good time to celebrate what we have achieved so far.
In New Zealand, shopping, parties and big hugs mark start of 'COVID-free' life
New Zealanders hugged and kissed, shopped, and planned parties on Tuesday as the country took off all coronavirus restrictions for the first time in more than three months, while much of the rest of the world is still grappling with the pandemic.
Working Remotely
Working from home has lifted productivity and work-life balance
Of all the things UK residents are looking forward to post-Covid-19, heading back to the office does not seem to be high on the list. A recent survey by CIL Management Consultants also found that their attitudes to work and leisure may be permanently changed, meanwhile, as 33% said they expect to work remotely more often than before the coronavirus pandemic, while almost a third expect to save rather than spend wages in preparation for similar situations. One of the persisting worries among many bosses is that working from home means staff become less productive – as it becomes harder to subject their activities to the panopticon of surveillance that is common-place in office life. However, those worried they cannot trust their employees to fulfill their responsibilities from beyond the confines of the company compound might want to reconsider their position in light of new evidence from Eden McCallum.
What If Working From Home Goes on … Forever?
“But it was win-win,” Bloom says. As far as could be determined, the boost in productivity derived from employees’ being able to work more efficiently, without interruptions from their colleagues. (One employee reported that working from home was a welcome respite from her former cubicle-mate, who had a habit of loudly clipping her toenails.) People also worked more hours: There was no commute to make them late for their shifts, and even their tea breaks were briefer. Working at home can also improve how employees feel about their jobs. Historically, “research has shown a powerful correlation between telecommuting and job satisfaction,” says Timothy Golden, a professor of management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who has studied telework for two decades. People tend to prize the greater flexibility in setting their work hours, the additional time with family members, the reduced distractions. Even with the onslaught of online messages confronting teleworkers, “no one’s stopping by your cubicle standing over you saying, ‘Hey, I need this,’ or ‘I need your help right now,’” Golden told me recently.
Coronavirus: Is home office becoming a new normal in Japan?
Employees have adapted to working at home and companies appear to be happy with the financial benefits, but there are concerns that the shift away from the salaryman model will experience problems. Julian Ryall reports.
The Tribune is moving out of its office and working remotely through the end of the year
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to reshape how companies do business, The Tribune has made the difficult decision to move out of our office on Tank Farm Road in July. COVID-19 has accelerated our organization’s ability to work remotely. Since mid-March, many of us have been working from home. From pandemic to protests, we haven’t skipped a beat thanks to technology, communication tools that connect us instantaneously and the hard work of our dedicated staff.
Virtual Classrooms
COVID-19: Schools in Oman make quick transition to online learning
School systems in Oman were able to transition towards virtual learning soon after they received instructions to temporarily close schools and run classes online. Following the decision on 14 March by the Ministry of Education to close all educational institutions to stop the spread of COVID-19, schools attempted to make sure the standards of education their students received through online learning was of a similar level to that achieved in classrooms. The Indian school system, which represents the largest school system primarily attended by expats in Oman, already had some online resources prior to this, and began expanding them once the ministry’s decision had been made.
Coronavirus: Irish universities prepare for students to return
The threat posed to public health by the coronavirus pandemic has led to universities across the globe having to address how they can continue teaching while keeping their staff and students safe. While non-essential businesses had to close their doors to the public in the space of just a few weeks in March, almost all teaching activity at Ireland’s universities and colleges had to rapidly migrate online. Course instructors had to adopt technologies that had never before been used on this scale in the experience of Irish education. All of a sudden, the virtual classroom took centre stage. Students would complete their studies online without having to attend classes in-person, while assessments and examinations were quickly reappraised and reconstituted. This migration represented the single biggest structural change in the third-level sector in Ireland in recent years. One academic referred to it as “the great onlining of Irish higher education”.
Virtual Education: Will the nature of schooling change post COVID-19?
The online technology they were uncomfortable with, is gradually becoming essential due to the restrictions imposed in the wake of the pandemic.
Public Policies
Philippine students face distance learning until COVID-19 vaccine found
With schools in the Philippines only due to reopen when a vaccine for COVID-19 has been found, educational authorities are racing to devise a distance learning regime for 27 million children by August, when the summer holidays end. That poses a huge challenge in a archipelago nation of 107 million, where many households have no access to the internet or a computer, and teachers fear they will not be ready to roll out remote learning in two months. Duterte last month said resuming face-to-face classes without a vaccine for COVID-19 “spells disaster”.
WHO Expert Walks Back Remarks on Asymptomatic Transmission of Coronavirus
Van Kerkhove's remarks on Monday raised confusion and questions among outside experts and health officials who have recommended and in some places required that people wear masks to try to prevent the virus from spreading
Coronavirus UK: 'Whole flights' of passengers land without filling in quarantine form
Arriving travellers must give phone number and an address for self-isolation Travellers tell of three-hour waits at Manchester Airport amid 'pandemonium' Some say QR codes they were asked to scan for forms upon arrival did not work Others claim 'snotty' border guards said they should have filled in form earlier
Coronavirus: Zoos and safari parks set to reopen from 15 June - PM
Zoos, safari parks and drive-in cinemas are set to reopen in England from Monday, the PM is due to announce. Boris Johnson is expected to outline the latest step in the easing of the coronavirus lockdown at Wednesday's daily briefing. He will say the outdoor attractions can reopen as long as they follow social distancing rules. Some zoos, including Chester Zoo and London Zoo, have reported financial struggles during the pandemic. The move will pave the way for zoos to reopen in England alongside non-essential shops, which can also open from 15 June.
Australian state lets sports fans back in stadiums as COVID-19 cases slow
“Football and crowds are back in South Australia,” Steven Marshall, South Australia’s premier told reporters in the state capital on Tuesday, heralding the match between the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide. Professional sport was allowed to resume in Australia last month after a two-month hiatus, but it will become one of the first nations to admit spectators to stadiums as lockdowns begin to be relaxed in many countries.
COVID-19 spikes in some states reignite hospital capacity worries
Most U.S. hospitals put elective procedures on hold in late March and April. They began restarting the services last month. But the Arizona Department of Health Services warned the state's hospitals Sunday to reduce or suspend elective surgeries to ensure bed capacity. As other countries have succeeded in reducing spread of the virus, they have used robust contact tracing efforts the U.S. does not currently have in place. Some attempts exist, including via software from Apple and Google, but privacy concerns and lack of public buy-in have stunted efforts.
Cornflakes for lunch! German parents say open school before mum goes nuts
Women are bearing the brunt of home schooling and extra housework, according to surveys. That hurts efforts to promote diversity and narrow Germany’s gender pay gap. Job satisfaction of mothers has fallen by 5 percentage points more than that of fathers during the crisis, and they are more likely to have cut their hours or stopped working, according to a survey by the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB). “Just as before the crisis, it is often the women who are putting back their careers to be there for the children,” said WZB’s social science Professor Lena Hipp, herself trying to fit in work around caring for three young children. At SAP, co-CEO Jennifer Morgan, a mother of two, stepped down in April after only six months as the first female head of a German blue-chip company, leaving Christian Klein in charge.
Moscow's lockdown ends as coronavirus cases in Russia pass 485,000
Sobyanin's critics accuse him of rushing to ease the lockdown in time to allow a Red Square military parade later this month and a July 1 nationwide vote that could extend President Vladimir Putin's rule until 2036. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters he did not think the decision to lift Moscow's lockdown was hasty because some restrictions would remain in place until later in June. Sobyanin has cited a steady fall in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks, an easing of strains on the health system and Muscovites' responsible behaviour as reasons for lifting the lockdown. Most commuters wore masks on Tuesday while using Moscow's metro system, which was still less busy than before the outbreak.
NY emerges from lockdown today
New York will begin reopening today after 78 days of stay-home-orders due to the coronavirus pandemic which claimed the lives of nearly 22,000 New York residents and infected more than 205,000. Non-essential construction and manufacturing workers will return to work sites and retail stores will reopen to instore pickups. Hair salons, offices and indoor seating at bars and restaurants will be permitted in the next phase of reopening.
Johnson Continues U.K. Lockdown Easing But Retreats on Schools
Johnson Continues U.K. Lockdown Easing But Retreats on Schools
Maintaining Services
COVID-19: The time for mental healthcare reform is now
The global outbreak of COVID-19 forced many mental healthcare services across Europe to adjust. Lockdown restrictions led to a disruption of many services crucial for the mental wellbeing of people. Civil society organisations and the United Nations (UN) have called on policymakers to support mental healthcare reform now and beyond the pandemic. The biggest crisis can be an opportunity for much-needed systemic change. Service providers all over Europe are leading the way, as the examples below illustrate.
Inside Story - What is the psychological cost of the coronavirus?
More than 264 million people worldwide were affected by depression, and suicide was the second-leading cause of death among young people - and that was before the coronavirus pandemic. Before distance and isolation became our new experience of life; before grieving loved ones without being able to say goodbye; and before the sudden loss of jobs. Such difficult experiences have led to elevated levels of stress and anxiety, experts say. They warn of a potential rise in suicides and drug abuse, and a possible psychological cost in the coming years, after the pandemic is over. Human Rights Watch has urged governments to expand mental healthcare services. The United Nations says facilities already lacking resources and people fleeing violence, are of particular concern. So, what is the long-term impact of the coronavirus on people's mental health?
Spain sees rise in air pollution as coronavirus lockdown eases
As Spain began to deescalate the confinement measures, more traffic has returned to the roads, and nitrogen dioxide levels are once again on the rise. This increase was calculated by EL PAÍS based on the data from air-monitoring centers from the 15 most populous cities in Spain, which are home to more than 10.7 million people, or around one fourth of the total population. Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has been compiling and sharing the weekly evolution of several pollutants as recorded by around 3,000 air-monitoring centers in the European Union. Thanks to the work of the EEA, it is possible to follow the changes in air-pollution levels during the crisis.
Nine million UK children off school for six months will be 'lost generation'
Union leaders tonight warned that a return to school in September could not be taken for granted. Education Secretary Mr Williamson admitted the disruption could leave kids needing “a year or more” of support to catch up. It came as the UK death toll rose by 286 to 40,883. Children’s Commissioner for England, Ms Longfield warned “the education divide is broadening... almost a decade of catching up on that gap may be lost”. She said: “The risk I am most concerned about is that of a generation of children losing over six months of formal education, socialising with friends and structured routine... The Government need to face up to the scale of damage this is doing to children and scale-up their response.”
When will pubs and restaurants reopen? The new UK lockdown rules explained
After nearly two months in lockdown, the UK started to ease certain restrictions on travelling to work, exercise and going outside. New rules allow people to exercise outside more than once a day and spend time in parks and outdoor spaces – sunbathing and having picnics – even if they’re not exercising. But what does this all mean for the hospitality industry? Not only are pub and restaurant owners wondering about the future of their business but people are asking when they might be able to start drinking or eating out again, especially as the weather gets warmer.
Chinese businesses adapt to post-lockdown reality
China’s big cities have started to come back to life but worries remain about a potential second wave and businesses are struggling with a shortage of customers. Most urban centres are free from the virus yet companies are implementing disease control measures, ranging from checking guests’ temperatures and having staff and customers wear masks to conducting regular deep cleans of facilities. To understand how China’s service industry is adapting to the post-virus environment, the Financial Times spoke to three representative businesses in Beijing and Shanghai.
With China's Economy Battered By Pandemic, Millions Return To The Land For Work
Seasonal agricultural workers plant peanuts next to wheat fields in China's Henan province. With tens of millions of urban and factory jobs lost, many of the newly unemployed have returned to their rural villages.
Regional airports reopen in France as lockdown eases
Airports in France that were closed during the lockdown are reopening as the country continues to ease restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19. Nantes airport in the west of France and Biarritz on the southwest coast opened on Monday, with Lille in the north slated to restart flights on 15 June and Bordeaux on 6 July. The airport in Nantes is seen as the gateway to the western Atlantic region.
'Moment of a lifetime' for Italians taking advantage of museums emptied of tourists by COVID lockdown
Italians become tourists at home and embrace 'slow tourism' as the country reopens. As pandemic restrictions were lifted this past week, with Italy opening its borders to EU travellers and allowing inter-regional travel, the country's world-renowned museums and cultural sites also reopened. With only a trickle of EU tourists arriving, Italians have a historic opportunity: the chance to see their own masterpieces free from throngs of tourists and by booking just days in advance, rather than weeks or months.
Nine in 10 GPs want to continue with remote consultations after coronavirus
Nine in 10 GPs want to carry on delivering consultations remotely after the coronavirus pandemic has ended, a BMA survey has found.
The interactive IATA coronavirus travel regulations map that reveals restrictions country-by-country
It's user friendly - simply click on a country and a panel pops up that reveals the latest regulations. It has been produced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and is continuously updated. Each country is colour-coded according to how strict its regulations are – dark blue for 'totally restrictive'
Healthcare CFOs look to technology and automation for COVID-19 recovery
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic is forcing hospitals and health systems to tighten their belts due to shrinking revenues and margins, but many CFOs won't be reducing spending in one key area: technology and automation. In the recent months of the crisis, 84% of hospitals surveyed by Black Book and 79% of large physician practices have confirmed they performed audits on the existing state of digital transformation. Ninety-three percent of all providers said that missing capabilities and redundant or conflicting systems were identified in the second quarter, and will drive immediate financial systems rationalization and acquisitions.
Healthcare Innovations
Insight on the Impact of COVID-19 on Medical Imaging
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has peaked in most states, hospitals are starting to reopen general imaging services and have seen a surge in the number of patients needing scans. So, where does the industry currently stand on imaging procedures, as compared to 2019 figures for the same time period?
Healthcare RPA could boom with COVID-19 'tailwinds'
The healthcare industry could see an RPA ‘takeover’ as organizations look to streamline operations and save costs. These tools are quick to integrate with existing tools and systems to help handle repetitive, admin-heavy tasks