"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 27th Mar 2020

Isolation Tips
Seniors: Tips on coping with COVID-19 isolation | Coronavirus
Ryan Hastings, Program Director, said “It is important to find ways to connect and engage in activities to help mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression during this time. We put together these quick tips to share with our communities and hope they will encourage self-care and support.” Quick tips for older adults experiencing social isolation
Tips for surviving self-isolation and social distancing
There is no denying that the new coronavirus is changing the way we go about our daily lives, which in itself is unsettling and scary – never mind the threat of getting sick. But remember you are not alone (even if you are self-isolating), we are all in this together. Here is a handy guide to surviving the social symptoms of Covid-19.
Coranavirus: Is video calling the key to happiness during the COVID-19 lockdown?
Video calling is one way of keeping up communication, but is it as effective as seeing someone in real life? The good news for people under the COVID-19 lockdown is, apparently so. Professor Sophie Scott, Director of the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, told Sky News that video calling has been proven to be just as good for your brain and happiness as being in the same space.
Coronavirus: In Space, at Sea - Tips on Self Isolation From the Pros
With billions of people around the world suddenly adjusting to social distancing measures as part of the battle to slow the spread of COVID-19, some professionals who are used to confinement have some tips. From astronauts to submariners, here are some practical ways to boost your well-being and stave off cabin fever during those weeks stuck at home.
Find Your Quiet, and 6 Other Isolation Tips From a Submarine Commander
How to work from home with the same people for a long, long time
Phil Sharp: Tips to succeed in isolation
Key messages can be transferred from ocean racing to land as people move into isolation to support the fight against COVID-19. Adapting to change is a daily routine for an offshore sailor, and so solo ocean racer Phil Sharp shares his top tips on how to live productively in an isolated and turbulent environment:
Covid-19: weathering the storm
David Oliver counsels against political point scoring: there will be time enough for that when this is over, he says. So we should for the moment focus on things that will help us weather the impending storm. An urgent return to community contact tracing, says Allyson Pollock. Testing of frontline healthcare workers, says Julian Peto. Lowering the baseline of underlying illness, say Robert Hughes and colleagues. To these, like Mary Black, I would add three more necessary things: candour about the scientific and political uncertainties, kindness to ourselves and each other, and courage.
Hygiene Helpers
How to fight infection by turning back your immune system's clock
Your immune system ages too, weakening as you get older and making you more susceptible to infections. Fortunately, we are discovering plenty of things you can do to turn back the clock and stay healthy
How to Talk With Children About COVID-19 | At the Smithsonian
An early childhood education expert provides tips about how to explain the ongoing pandemic to children
You could be spreading the coronavirus without realising you’ve got it
Research published last week by Jeffrey Shaman of Columbia University in New York and his colleagues analysed the course of the epidemic in 375 Chinese cities between 10 January, when the epidemic took off, and 23 January, when containment measures such as travel restrictions were imposed. The study concluded that 86 per cent of cases were “undocumented” – that is, asymptomatic or had only very mild symptoms. The researchers also analysed case data from foreign nationals who were evacuated from the city of Wuhan, where the first cases were seen, and found a similar proportion of asymptomatic or very mild cases. Such undocumented cases are still contagious and the study found them to be the source of most of the virus’s spread in China before the restrictions came in. Even though these people were only 55 per cent as contagious as people with symptoms, the study found that they were the source of 79 per cent of further infections, due to there being more of them, and the higher likelihood that they were out and about.
Doctors demand 'clarity' on whether to wear protective gear to see all patients
'GPs across the country have never been more concerned, not just for the safety of themselves and their teams, but for patients too,' says Royal College of General Practitioners
Community Activities
Sanitation workers and garbagemen continue to work in Iraq amid COVID-19 fears, so a restaurant owner in Karbala delivers them free lunch everyday. #StayHome #Iraq #coronavirus
Sanitation workers and garbagemen continue to work in Iraq amid COVID-19 fears, so a restaurant owner in Karbala delivers them free lunch everyday. #StayHome #Iraq #coronavirus
Thousands of people across the UK clap from their homes to say a nationwide thank you to NHS staff and carers battling the spread of #coronavirus. #ClapForOurCarers #ClapForNHS.
Thousands of people across the UK clap from their homes to say a nationwide thank you to NHS staff and carers battling the spread of #coronavirus. #ClapForOurCarers #ClapForNHS.
David Beckham leads the charge with his family as footballers join rest of UK in #ClapForNHS
David Beckham has led the charge among footballers to give support to the NHS staff working tirelessly to save lives during the coronavirus crisis. The country came together as one at 8pm on Thursday night to stand on their doorsteps and hold a minute of applause and cheer for workers in the health industry who are battling on the front line.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Jorge Mendes donation to fight coronavirus worth £1m and enable three new intensive care units to be built
The Portuguese footballer has combined with his super agent to aid their country in their battle against covid-19
Staying Inside - group sets the Bee Gees famous song to a new context and advises people to stay alive by staying inside
Staying Inside - group sets the Bee Gees famous song to a new context and advises people to stay alive by staying inside
Coronavirus: Government launches coronavirus chatbot to stop fake news
Professor Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director at Public Health England, said the coronavirus chatbot would ensure the public had access to the latest health guidance, ‘providing assurance that they are not misled by any of the false information circulating.’
People Around the World Are 3D-Printing Face Shields to Battle the Coronavirus
An informal network of thousands of printers is emerging to provide critical medical supplies
Coronavirus in Ireland – Calls for volunteers to get involved helping their local and national community amid
A NATIONAL Covid community response team has been launched to assist volunteers helping in local communities during the coronavirus in Ireland. The group was set up to help coordinate both national and community initiatives in their fight against Covid-19 under the tag line 'One community, together'.
Optimism in the time of Covid-19. "It will be all right" can become even more contagious than Covid-19. "It will be all right" message is starting to spread“
Optimism in the time of Covid-19. "It will be all right" is a message gaining traction and becoming viral by itself. "The mail box of our editorial team has been literally bombarded by drawings, photographs and messages. Like the one from little Agnese from Carpignano Salentino and Mattia da Nardò. Whole families, such as one including mom Annalisa and dad Carmine, together with their two-year-old daughter Chiara, drew us a "colorful" invitation to positivity. Moreover, from a medical perspective, it is well known that optimism can prove therapeutic and contribute to strengthening the immune system.“
Working Remotely
Working Remotely for the First Time? These Seasoned Experts Have Advice for You to Follow
You need to stay productive, maintain communication and connection, and take care of yourself. We explain how
More than 30,000 USAA employees are working remotely during COVID-19 pandemic
More than 80 percent of employees and contractors with possibly the largest employer in the city are working from home. According to USAA, more than 30,000 employees are working remotely across the country and the number is increasing daily. In San Antonio, a majority of the 17,000 are also working from home.
6 Tips for Staying Successful While Working Remotely
We know a thing or two about working remotely. In fact, it’s one of the foundational cornerstones of our company. Over the years, we’ve found the secret recipe that enables us to spend ample time with those we love, while still having fulfilling careers. When working from home is done right, we know that remote workers can be more productive than those in an office.
Keep calm and carry on working (remotely)
Buffer, a company specializing in social media content, surveyed 2,500 remote workers on the benefits and challenges associated with teleworking. The number one challenge, at 22%, was the ability to unplug after work. While appreciating this statistic, I suspect many office-bound workers who regularly take laptops home probably suffer from this issue as well. Number two on the list, at 19%, was loneliness, closely followed by collaboration and/or communication at 17%.
The Art Of Working Remotely: How To Ensure Productivity
Most of us have been conditioned to work and focus because of outside constraints. Meetings force us to adhere to certain schedules, office hours dictate our start and end time and a manager’s watchful eye keeps our internet surfing to a minimum, for the most part. Once on your own, you may find yourself floundering a bit to stay productive. Here are some tips to set yourself up for success.
While working remotely, chaplains aim to give COVID-19 patients rare human touch
With a ‘new normal’ causing most clerical duties to be conducted via phone or video chat, spiritual caregivers try to adapt without changing what works most
The secret to landing a remote job — and who is hiring right now
To help those who want to shift away from working in the office to working from home, CNBC spoke to FlexJobs to find out the best way to search for a remote job, sell your skills and prepare for the interview — and which companies are hiring remote workers right now.
Virtual Classrooms
Government makes provision for virtual learning during lockdown
The departments of communications and digital technologies and basic education have joined forces, to ensure virtual learning is a reality during the nation-wide lockdown. This was announced by communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, detailing the interventions undertaken by her department to mitigate some of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the education system.
Schools Closed: CA Teachers Connected in Virtual Classrooms
Thanks to technology, even though she can’t be in her Brea classroom, Fanning Academy of Science and Technology teacher Lisa Esparza can still teach from a distance. Talking online can have some lag and takes some patience, but the screen—which might never replace the white board—still allows her to see their faces. “They would love to be next to me or next to each other in the classroom, but they’re eager to jump on,” said Esparza.
What professors are learning about virtual classrooms
Some of the lessons Richmond-area professors are learning in the first few days of running virtual classrooms relate directly to thousands of workers who are currently teleworking from home. Dr. Kelly Lambert, a neuroscience professor at the University of Richmond, taught her first online class Tuesday. Lambert said all of her students “Zoomed” into their online meeting from places like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Broadcast lessons important step to bridge education inequalities
Communications and digital technologies minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams has announced plans to broadcast school lessons on TV during the lockdown. Her announcement must be commended, the author comments
Nobel International School Algarve opens virtual classrooms
Having anticipated this closure, the school’s leadership teams for both national and international sections began meeting to plan a move to online learning in February and was ready to launch a virtual learning programme for students aged five to 18 on the first day of closure, Monday, March 16.
Making School Work at Home: Local Advice on Adjusting to Remote Learning
It’s not easy for teachers to adjust curriculum plans to remote learning and what feels like a moving target of expectations and needs, and it’s not easy for students of any age – or their families – to figure out how to help make learning work. Patience with each other and ourselves will be key in helping the Montclair school community find successful outcomes this spring.
Education remains uninterrupted with shift to virtual classrooms — Nuaimi
Education Minister Tayseer Nuaimi on Sunday said that the learning process in the Kingdom is continuing despite the suspension of classes at schools. During a joint press briefing with Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh and Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Muthana Gharaibeh at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, Nuaimi announced the launch of online educational platform Darsak via www.darsak.gov.jo, which will provide services from 7am until 4pm. The Darsak platform provides educational content for students from grade one to 12, he said, noting that access to the platform is free.
Public Policies
UK government and Bank of England tell banks to keep lending
British banks must keep lending to businesses through the coronavirus crisis to ensure viable companies do not fail, the government and Bank of England said on Wednesday, after promising 330 billion pounds ($389 billion) in loan guarantees.
Rishi Sunak orders banks to help firms amid claims they are 'profiteering' from coronavirus crisis
Rishi Sunak has told banks they must do more to help firms on the brink of collapse because of the coronavirus pandemic, as MPs hit out at "profiteering" by financial giants. A joint-letter from the Chancellor, Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey and Financial Conduct Authority boss Chris Woodard said banks should take "all action necessary" to pass on state support to struggling firms and consumers.
Coronavirus: The chancellor's lifeline for self-employed explained
Who is eligible to get help and when will they get it? Sky News examines the package of support for the nation's sole traders.
Coronavirus: How do you stop COVID-19 in a country where people have other problems?
How can South Africa convince some of its poorest people that a virus is more of a threat than the poverty they live in every day?
Coronavirus: Around 10 more UK sites could become makeshift hospitals
Officials are looking to convert around 10 more sites across the country into makeshift coronavirus hospitals similar to the ExCel exhibition centre in London, Sky News understands. Military planners are already examining five locations in support of the Department of Health and Social Care, a Whitehall source said.
UK virus models based on many people still going to work Britain’s modeling for the spread of the coronavirus through the country is based on the assumption that many people would still need to go to work, England’s chief medical officer said on Wednesday. “The modeling we have done here ... was based on the idea that quite a lot of people would have to go to work,” Chris Whitty said at a news conference alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Refugees to the rescue? Germany taps migrant medics to battle virus
Saxony's regional medical board reported on Monday that 300 volunteers had responded to its appeal for help, including "many foreign doctors whose licensing procedures are not yet completed, whose help is very welcome." As of Tuesday, there were 31,554 cases of coronavirus in Germany, with 149 deaths, the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases said. The government says Germany is still at the beginning of the epidemic.
UK has enough intensive care units for coronavirus, expert predicts
Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London gave evidence today to the UK’s parliamentary select committee on science and technology as part of an inquiry into the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. He said that expected increases in National Health Service capacity and ongoing restrictions to people’s movements make him “reasonably confident” the health service can cope when the predicted peak of the epidemic arrives in two or three weeks. UK deaths from the disease are now unlikely to exceed 20,000, he said, and could be much lower.
Coronavirus, infections on the decline for the third consecutive day but deaths up slightly - are we getting close to the peak of this pandemic? | Is there reason for slight optimism?
There remains strong insistence that social distancing, a total lockdown and strict observance of all hygiene measures remain in place to prevent the spread of the virus from the pandemic epicentre in the north of the country to the south
Maintaining Services
At work: in a Tunisian factory, 150 people, mostly workers, locked up with something to live in almost self-sufficient, in order to continue to manufacture masks and protection for caregivers fighting the new coronavirus!
Confinées... at work: in a Tunisian factory, 150 people, mostly workers, locked up with something to live in almost self-sufficient, in order to continue to manufacture masks and protection for caregivers fighting the new coronavirus!
Coronavirus tests will be given to NHS staff and key workers first
Fifteen-minute tests to determine whether people have had a case of coronavirus – and therefore are thought to be immune – will be given to NHS staff and key workers as a priority, according to the chief medical officer. Scientists say accurate tests could be crucial in the fight against the pandemic
Coronavirus: NHS uses tech giants to plan crisis response
Data collected gathered via the NHS's 111 telephone service is to be mixed with other sources to help predict where ventilators, hospital beds, and medical staff will be most in need. The goal is to help health chiefs model the consequences of moving resources to best tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Three US tech firms are aiding the effort - Amazon, Microsoft and Palantir - as well as London-based Faculty AI. The plan is expected to be signed off by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Children eligible for free school meals to get weekly vouchers worth £15 instead
Children entitled to free meals at school will get weekly supermarket vouchers in their place to help them eat amid coronavirus closures. The pupils are set to receive the £15 payments as part of a national scheme being rolled out next week, according to Schools Week. The vouchers work out at £3 per day - 70p more than what schools are paid to provide meals - and are believed to have the backing of all major supermarkets.
'Military drafted in to deliver PPE' to medics on coronavirus frontline
The military have been drafted in to deliver vital personal protective equipment (PPE), including 10 million masks, to medics on the coronavirus frontline, the Housing Secretary has told ITV's Peston. Robert Jenrick said the Government were "ramping up efforts very significantly" in order to meet the extra demand for PPE, he told Anushka Asthana. "We need to get more PPE out to people working on the frontline, that's in hospitals, it's in social care, it's in pharmacies and GP's surgeries," he said.
Schools asked to donate science goggles for NHS to use as face shields
Schools across England are being asked to donate science goggles and other apparatus to the NHS due to a shortage of protective equipment for doctors dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. The Guardian has heard from a number of schools and teachers who are responding to urgent messages from NHS trusts that need face shields.
Healthcare Innovations
Summer heat unlikely to halt coronavirus, EU body says
The European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) cited research which it said suggests that the virus does not become less dangerous in hot and humid conditions, reducing hope that the northern hemisphere could get a respite when the summer arrives. “There is no evidence to date that SARS-CoV-2 will display a marked winter seasonality, such as other human coronaviruses in the northern hemisphere,” the ECDC said in a report, using the name for the novel virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. The document cited preliminary analyses from the outbreak in China which found the virus was able to maintain high levels of reproduction in tropical places with high humidity, such as Guangxi and Singapore.
Coronavirus from Rimini, one of the researchers hunting for the vaccine. "We are going to defeat this"
The Rimini-born virologist Giacomo Gorini, a pupil of Burioni, works in Oxford and talks about his mission in the laboratory
Malaria Drug Chloroquine No Better Than Regular Coronavirus Care, Study Finds
Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine for malaria that President Donald Trump has touted as a treatment for coronavirus, was no more effective than conventional care, a small study found. The report published by the Journal of Zhejiang University in China showed that patients who got the medicine didn’t fight off the new coronavirus more often than those who did not get the medicine. The study involved just 30 patients. Of the 15 patients given the malaria drug, 13 tested negative for the coronavirus after a week of treatment. Of the 15 patients who didn’t get hydroxychloroquine, 14 tested negative for the virus.
Coronavirus: Gtech designs prototype ventilator
Worcester-based manufacturer Gtech has designed a prototype ventilator which could be mass produced to help patients with coronavirus. The company, best known for its vacuum cleaners, spent a week working on the ventilator design after it was asked by the government to help out. The company's managing director, Nick Grey said he'd be making public the technology behind the design so others could use it.
How this South Korean company created coronavirus test kits in three weeks
In the basement of Seegene's headquarters in Seoul lies the key to the company's coronavirus success. There the company houses an artificial intelligence-based big data system, which has enabled the firm to quickly develop a test for coronavirus. Tests known as assay kits are made up of several vials of chemical solutions. Samples are taken from patients and mixed with the solutions, which react if certain genes are present. Without the computer, it would have taken the team two to three months to develop such a test, said Chun. This time, it was done in a matter of weeks.
Should scientists infect healthy people with the coronavirus to test vaccines?
Radical proposal to conduct ‘human challenge’ studies could dramatically speed up vaccine research
Lancaster University scientists develop 30 minute coronavirus detection app
The researchers believe that the device would be operated by ambulatory care professionals, nurses, and biomedical scientists.