"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 29th Oct 2020
9 tips for surviving quarantine and staying sane
Fourteen days of quarantine will be part of relocation for many international teachers for the foreseeable future. At the point of writing, my family and I are coming to the end of our own quarantine in Kuala Lumpur and will shortly join our new school community. If it’s a reality you are facing, it could be off-putting – no one really likes the idea of being forced into isolation for so long.
7 tips for staying safe as COVID-19 cases rise and colder weather heightens the risk
The U.S. isn’t anywhere close to herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2, estimated to be reached when about 60% to 70% of the population has been infected – likely more than 200 million people. Without a vaccine, hospitals would be overwhelmed by the illnesses and hundreds of thousands more people would die. We also don’t know how long immunity lasts. Since we don’t have an approved vaccine in widespread use yet, protective measures are still essential. As a nursing school dean, I recommend taking these seven simple steps to protect yourself and your loved ones and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
England's contact-tracing system needs better data handling to beat COVID-19
An anxious Jane receives a text message from the NHS confirming she has tested positive for COVID-19. She had called in sick to work that morning, after she first began to experience a dry cough and mild fever. But she’d spent the previous week running around town for work and various errands. Jane quickly picks up a piece of paper and starts retracing her steps as far as back as she can remember. She writes 11 names on the blank corner of an old electricity bill. Seven more quickly followed on a couple of post-it notes. She had phone numbers for ten.
Northeast Drives Record U.S. Testing to Monitor Covid-19 Surge
The Northeast is running America’s biggest Covid-19 surveillance operation as a coronavirus resurgence sweeps the country, sending U.S. testing overall to a record. The seven-day average of U.S. tests rose to 1.2 million Tuesday, part of an upswing that started about a month ago and has continued unabated, according to Covid Tracking Project data. The Northeast states account for 26% of average daily tests, even though they are reporting just 10% of the country’s positives and have 17% of the country’s population. That makes it the top testing region per capita.
Lockdown in paradise: how the Seychelles is reopening to visitors
Darting through the opal-blue water of Anse Source d’Argent is a riot of silver fish; their puckered lips pecking at the mounds of blushing coral beneath me. A pale moray eel slithers past, flashing a toothy grin. As the warm waves lap over my back, I revel in this quiet, watery world. Praslin Island in the Seychelles couldn’t feel further from the grey UK or, indeed, the events of this year. With only 153 cases of coronavirus recorded since the start of the pandemic and zero deaths, the Seychelles has recently been added by the Foreign Office to the travel corridor list, meaning visitors from Britain don’t have to quarantine on their return. Direct flights there have resumed. It’s good news for those desperate for respite
Three Covid-19 Success Stories
Yet there are also reasons for cautious optimism. I’d like to highlight three recent success stories. 1) Disney World in Florida has operated for 3 months safely. An October 9, 2020 story in the New York Times reported that, “As tumultuous as the three months since the reopening have been, however, public health officials and Disney World’s unions say there have been no coronavirus outbreaks among workers or guests. So far, Disney’s wide-ranging safety measures appear to be working.”
Midnight revelry in Melbourne as lockdown ends, eager diners say it 'feels like New Year's Eve'
Melburnians have flocked to bars and restaurants and even Kmart in a celebration of the four-month coronavirus lockdown lifting at midnight. With restrictions still on how many people are allowed in certain venues, bookings were made hours in advance by those eager to finally "get on the beers". And over 10,000 people ahd been through the doors at Kmart since 6am this morning, the group's managing director Ian Bailey told 3AW. "I now officially declare Melbourne restaurants open for business," Angus and Bon steakhouse owner Liam Ganley said as he cut a ribbon to cheers, confetti and applause.
US consumers brace for COVID-19 surge by hoarding food – again
American consumers who’ve worked their way through the trove of shelf-stable meals they frantically bought back in March are at it again. This time, food makers are prepared. General Mills Inc., the maker of Cheerios and Annie’s boxed mac and cheese, added 45 external production lines through contractors since the first round of pantry loading this spring. Campbell Soup Co. spent $40 million to expand production of Goldfish crackers and is building capacity for chip brands like Cape Cod. Conagra Brands Inc. boosted third-party manufacturing and warehousing, while Stonyfield Farm, a producer of organic dairy products, is buying more milk from its direct supply network of farms.
In the UK, young, non-white people likelier to lose jobs: Survey
Twice as many young and non-white British workers have lost their jobs after going on furlough compared with the average, largely because they are more likely to work in sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, a study showed. The Resolution Foundation think-tank said 19 percent of workers aged 18-24 and 22 percent of ethnic minority staff had lost their jobs after being furloughed, compared with 9 percent of employees overall.
What should HR do to promote wellbeing whilst employees are working remotely?
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, HR leaders are having to ask themselves questions they’ve never had to before. A key one being: “how do we address the blurred boundary between work and home life for our employees during Covid-19 restrictions?” The reality is that lockdowns and restrictions have blurred that boundary, and merging one’s private life and working day can have a negative impact on an individual’s wellbeing.
Cayman Islands allowing remote workers earning $100,000-plus a year
For those with a salary of at least $100,000 a year (or $150,000 for married couples and domestic partnerships) the Cayman Islands is willing to grant a certificate to work there for two years. In order to apply, workers must submit proof of health insurance, a criminal background check, a valid passport, and notarized bank letter. COVID-19 cases have been low in the country, with only 239 confirmed cases as of October 27. Barbados, Bermuda, and Anguilla have their own versions of a remote work program.
Will We See A Technology Repatriation Post-Covid?
Tech adoption rates are up dramatically in the last six months due in large part to COVID. Almost overnight, even the least tech literate companies were forced to move business to the cloud, buy collaboration platforms, and start using SaaS applications to keep their business running and their employees safe. Events and meetings moved online. Companies from Facebook to Microsoft are allowing remote work to continue likely for all of 2021. But at some point in the future, however, the world will return to some semblance of normal. Travel will be safer and easier. Deals will be made over dinner and a glass of wine again. Companies will return to their abandoned offices and employees will return to work like normal.
Women say their WFH setup falls short - Bizwomen
As many workers stare down several more months of operating remotely, a new survey highlights a gender gap in satisfaction related to work-from-home setups. LendingTree discovered men are far more likely than women to have a dedicated home office space. As of early September, close to half of those polled were still working from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Most likely to work remotely? Gen Xers, men, Northeasterners and those making at least $100,000 per year.
The remote work revolution could spark essential job creation and economic empowerment for First Nations
Aside from well-documented issues such as inadequate housing, access to clean drinking water and systemic racism, most Indigenous peoples in hard-to-reach communities also face difficult life choices. Although they have the right to earn a living in their ancestral lands, reality often dictates they have to leave their communities to get a good education and access to a broader range of career opportunities. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The work-from-home movement spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with advances in technology, present a unique opportunity to create jobs and economic empowerment for Indigenous communities.
Moscow extends remote working, online learning COVID-19 restrictions: Mayor
A remote working period for businesses in Moscow will be extended until Nov. 29, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a post on his website on Wednesday, and online learning for secondary school students will continue until Nov. 8. “There is no need to introduce new restrictions today,” said Sobyanin. “But at the same time, it is premature to soften existing restrictions, as they could lead to detabilisation of the situation.” Russia on Wednesday said it would send army medics to a region in the Urals hit by a surge in COVID-19 cases, after doctors there made a public plea to President Vladimir Putin for help.
Parents Should Resist the Urge to Helicopter Parent During Remote School, Experts Say
Child development experts have already firmly established why helicopter parenting and lawnmower parenting — or swooping in to rescue our kids from every problem — is harmful. Overly involved parenting jeopardizes kids’ independence and resilience, not to mention parents’ sanity. Yet months into a pandemic that’s forcing physical classrooms to remain closed, the unescapable proximity has caused many parents to struggle. It can be hard to let children muddle through the challenges of virtual school without intervening. Earlier this fall in Berkeley, California, Allison Landa went to check on her 5-year-old son, a transitional kindergartener who is learning remotely. When Landa saw her child wasn’t following the teacher’s instructions to draw dots on a page, she decided to jump in. “I took the crayon and helped him swirl it on the page. Then I drew a dot of my own. Then I quizzed him: What color was the dot? How big was it?”
‘You’re Out of Your Mind if You Think I’m Ever Going Back to School’
“You’re out of your mind if you think I’m ever going back to school.” Awo Okaikor Aryee-Price, a Black mother of two who lives in Florham Park, N.J., initially laughed off the pronouncement her 13-year-old made in March after the Covid-19 pandemic closed the state’s schools. But it became clear that her daughter, Saige, was serious. So Ms. Aryee-Price started to revisit the things she’d heard her daughter say in response to her daily “How was school?” queries. “Whether it was other students saying that she’s too loud, or people saying she has anger-management issues, it was always something,” Ms. Aryee-Price said, describing the subtle bigotry that Saige experienced but was unable to articulate and name.
German govt, states agree partial lockdown from Nov. 2 - sources
German federal and state governments agreed on Wednesday on a partial lockdown that will see bars and restaurants closing from Nov. 2 to Nov. 30, sources with knowledge of the talks said. Under the partial lockdown, shops would be allowed to remain open on condition that they respect social distancing by allowing in just one person per 10 square metres, the sources added.
Germany to compensate firms hit by new lockdown measures - sources
German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz plans a coronavirus aid package worth up to 10 billion euros ($11.82 billion) to compensate firms hit by a new round of lockdown measures, three people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday. “The situation is very, very serious. We need far-reaching measures now and we have to cushion their impact financially,” Scholz said during a virtual meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel and the 16 state premiers according to participants, according to one of the people. Scholz wants to pay small and medium-sized firms that will be forced to close 75% of their lost sales in November, the three people said. Large companies should get 70% of lost revenues for next month.
White House lists ending Covid-19 pandemic as an accomplishment despite cases spiking to record levels
The White House included ending the coronavirus pandemic on a list of the Trump administration's science and technology accomplishments, despite nearly half a million Americans tested positive for Covid-19 in just the last week. A White House Office of Science and Technology Policy news release made the claim in announcing a document highlighting the administration's science and technology achievements over the past four years. "Highlights include: ENDING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC," the news release sent to reporters read. "From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administration has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease."
Covid: Protests take place across Italy over anti-virus measures
Protests took place across Italy on Monday over new restrictions to curb the country's second wave of Covid. Clashes were reported in the northern cities such as Turin, where petrol bombs were thrown at officers. In Milan tear gas was used to disperse protesters, and thousands of people gathered in the centre of Naples. The demonstrations began soon after the national government's order to close restaurants, bars, gyms and cinemas came into effect at 18:00 local time. Many regions have also imposed night-time curfews - including Lombardy, where Milan is, and Piedmont, where Turin is. The violence was blamed on extremist agitators and police said 28 people had been arrested in Milan alone.
Basque Country Becomes Fifth Spanish Region To Lock Down As The Second Wave Hits Hard
A ban on movement between municipalities is in force throughout the basque region as well as perimeter confinement. The Basque Country has become the fifth of Spain's 17 regions to re-impose closure of the boundaries with other parts of the country in an effort to slow the spread of the second wave of Covid-19, following declaration at the weekend of a new national state of emergency in response to the pandemic.
COVID-19: New cases spark second-wave fear in Pakistan, partial lockdown reimposed
In cities with more than two per cent positivity – Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Gilgit, Muzaffarabad, Mirpur Peshawar, Quetta, among others – certain restrictions will be in place with effect from Thursday till further notice.
Coronavirus: South Africa's COVID lockdown may have created 'herd immunity'
Leading scientists in South Africa believe the country has established a form of collective or herd immunity to COVID-19 after the number of infections unexpectedly plummeted following a major outbreak in June and July. Commenting on a series of studies revealing the existence of high infection rates in the provinces of Western Cape and Gauteng, the country's leading vaccinologist, Professor Shabir Mahdi, told Sky News that he believed the coronavirus had stimulated a level of immunity in approximately 12 to 15 million people.
India's only state to not report any Covid-19 death so far, registers first fatality
Amid the declining number of novel coronavirus cases and deaths across the country, there comes a rather unexpected news from the only Indian state to have not reported a single virus-related fatality yet. Mizoram, which is the only state in the country to have not reported a single Covid death since the pandemic hit the country several months back, registered its first fatality today. A 62-year-old man with existing co-morbidities was under treatment for the virus in a city hospital for last 10 days. “The first Covid-19 mortality in Mizoram comes as a huge shock to the entire state.
South Korea’s Moon Says Virus Is Contained; Aims to Revive Economy
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday, Moon also vowed to make South Korea carbon-neutral by 2050, putting a date on the goal in line with one proposed by his progressive ruling party. It also aligns the country with commitments made by other major economies including the European Union, China and Japan. Moon called for strengthening the government’s fiscal role next year by increasing the budget by 8.5%. South Korea’s vigorous response in fighting the pandemic has helped boost Moon’s political standing at home and led to a stronger-than-expected rebound from its pandemic-triggered recession. “By reinforcing the active role of fiscal policy, we can quickly overcome the crisis,” Moon said.
Australia's second-largest city ends 111-day virus lockdown
Coffee business owner Darren Silverman pulled his van over and wept when he heard on the radio that Melbourne’s pandemic lockdown would be largely lifted on Wednesday after 111 days. Silverman was making a home delivery Monday when the announcement was made that restrictions in Australia’s second-largest city would be relaxed. He was overwhelmed with emotions and a sense of relief. "The difficulty over the journey, when you’ve put 30 years of your life into something that’s suddenly taken away with the prospect of not returning through no fault of your own — I felt like I could be forgiven for pulling over and having a bit of a sob to myself,” he said.
France will go into a new lockdown from Friday, says Emmanuel Macron
France will go back into lockdown from Friday to combat a surge in cases of COVID-19, President Emmanuel Macron has said in a televised address to the nation. Schools and creches will remain open, he added. The evolution of the virus in France has surpassed "even the most pessimistic projections", the president said. While remote working should be carried out where possible, Macron said citizens will be able to leave their homes for essential work purposes, medical appointments, to help vulnerable individuals and to do grocery shopping.
Sweden at 'critical juncture' as Anders Tegnell warns herd immunity is futile
The pandemic is approaching a “critical juncture” in Sweden after the number of daily cases rose by 70 per cent in a week, according to the country’s chief epidemiologist. Anders Tegnell, the public face of the Swedish authorities’ coronavirus response, said it would be futile and immoral for a state to deliberately pursue herd immunity, where a large enough number of the population has been infected so that the disease struggles to spread.
Trump’s COVID-19 response angers former supporters
For months, Tony Green believed the conspiracy theories. The coronavirus was a hoax masterminded by the “mainstream media” and the Democratic Party to bring down United States President Donald Trump ahead of the presidential election, he thought. But then the 43-year-old from Dallas, Texas, got sick, as did 14 members of his extended family after he hosted a get-together in June. Two of his relatives, aged 52 and 69, later died from COVID-19.
Covid-19: Russia applies to WHO for emergency use tag for its vaccine
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is one of the developers of the Sputnik V, has submitted applications to the World Health Organization (WHO) for an Emergency Use Listing and prequalification of the coronavirus vaccine. The acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccine by the UN health agency could help allay concerns over its safety and quality.
Coronavirus: Europe is 'epicentre of pandemic once again', WHO chief warns after deaths rise by 35%
Paris has seen hundreds of miles of traffic jams as people tried to leave the city ahead of France's new national lockdown. Crowded scenes on the roads and railways came as the World Health Organisation warned that Europe has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic once again. The region accounted for nearly half of the 2.8 million new COVID-19 cases reported worldwide last week, WHO said.
Wikipedia and W.H.O. Join to Combat Covid-19 Misinformation
As part of efforts to stop the spread of false information about the coronavirus pandemic, Wikipedia and the World Health Organization announced a collaboration on Thursday: The health agency will grant the online encyclopedia free use of its published information, graphics and videos. The collaboration is the first between Wikipedia and a health agency. “We all consult just a few apps in our daily life, and this puts W.H.O. content right there in your language, in your town, in a way that relates to your geography,” said Andrew Pattison, a digital content manager for the health agency who helped negotiate the contract. “Getting good content out quickly disarms the misinformation.” Since its start in 2001, Wikipedia has become one of the world’s 10 most consulted sites; it is frequently viewed for health information.
Covid hospital cases in UK ‘could pass spring peak in November’
The number of coronavirus patients in UK hospitals could pass the spring peak by the end of November without further lockdown measures, a leading government scientific adviser has warned. Sir Mark Walport, a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said it was “not unrealistic” that there would be 25,000 people in hospital with Covid by the end of next month – higher than the April peak. Walport compared the UK’s situation with France, where he said 16,000 Covid patients were in hospital including 2,500 people in intensive care – roughly half of its capacity – compared with 852 in intensive care in the UK. The picture was similar in Spain, he said, in spite of these countries implementing similar restrictions to the UK.
Dashboard designed to chart England's Covid-19 response finds major gaps in data
There are crucial gaps in the data available to map England’s response to Covid-19, according to researchers who have developed an interactive, visual tool condensing disparate streams of publicly available information to help the public make sense of the numbers. The one-stop dashboard – developed by an interdisciplinary research team from University College London (UCL) – found substantial shortcomings in the quality, consistency and availability of reliable figures required to manage the pandemic.
Germany Moves to Shutter Bars and Restaurants for One Month
Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing for a partial lockdown in Germany that would include closing bars, restaurants and leisure facilities through the end of November, as coronavirus infections continue to surge across Europe. Merkel is also urging citizens to keep social contacts to an absolute minimum and avoid all non-essential private travel, according to a draft federal government briefing paper obtained by Bloomberg. Germany will help companies affected by the toughest restrictions since the end of the spring lockdown by making up to 10 billion euros ($11.7 billion) in aid available in November, when the measures will be in place, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Milan fights against new local coronavirus lockdown
As Italian businesses grapple with the sweeping new Covid-19 restrictions introduced by the central government, the country’s financial capital is fighting to avoid a local lockdown that some people fear will cripple its economy. Milan, the capital of the Lombardy region with a population of 1.3m and a host of high-profile companies, is one of Europe’s coronavirus hotspots. Since the pandemic, commuter and tourist numbers have plummeted — dropping more than 70 per cent this year — leaving retailers, restaurants, bars and hotels with losses nudging €10bn.
Europe heads back into lockdown after warning hospitals are filling with COVID patients
A number of European countries are locking down again as COVID-19 surges across the continent. Tuesday’s World Health Organization (WHO) figures showed the region reported 1.3 million new cases in the past seven days, nearly half the 2.9 million reported worldwide, and over 11,700 deaths, a 37% jump over the previous week. The WHO’s Dr Margaret Harris warned that deaths are spiking and hospitals filling up across Europe. Germany and France are among the European countries preparing to announce restrictions that approach the severity of the blanket lockdowns seen in spring.
'We're in Hell': Russia's second wave of Covid-19 is catching the regions off guard
In a video widely shared across Russian social media last week, dozens of bodies wrapped in black plastic bags line the walls of a decrepit basement in a hospital in Barnaul, the capital city of the Altai region in Siberia. “The deceased Covid-19 patients were being stored in the basement of the hospital due to a shortage of pathologists and an increase of coronavirus infections and deaths,” the region’s Health Ministry said in a statement on Thursday, confirming the authenticity of the disturbing footage. Russia’s health watchdog Rospotrebnadzor on Saturday sounded a further alarm, saying the region is approaching an “Italian Scenario,” a reference to Northern Italy, one of the world’s worst-hit areas by the coronavirus.
English COVID data patchy, researchers say, as new dashboard launched
There are significant problems with the availability and quality of COVID-19 data in England, British researchers said on Wednesday as they launched a dashboard to help make sense of the patchwork of stats. The COVID Response Evaluation Dashboard (COVID RED) presents available statistics from Public Health England (PHE), the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the National Health Service (NHS) and also highlights where more data are needed. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced a three-tier system of local lockdowns for England in a bid to tackle local flare-ups in infections while avoiding a new national lockdown.
Partial covid-19 lockdown in Germany prioritizes in-person schools over dining out
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron each announced month-long national lockdowns Wednesday, saying health authorities have lost control of skyrocketing new infections while hospitals fill rapidly. The announcements came as governments across Europe struggle to contain a second wave of the virus in colder weather, even after the relative success of strict lockdown restrictions in the spring. “We in Europe are all surprised by the propagation of the virus,” Macron said in a televised address to the nation.
Covid second wave at 'critical stage' as nearly 100,000 catch virus every day, research shows
The second wave of coronavirus in England has reached a "critical stage” with almost 100,000 people a day in England being infected, experts have warned. Researchers say they are detecting early signs areas that previously had low rates of infection are following trends observed in the country's worst-affected regions. They add that there has to be change before Christmas, and if more stringent measures are to be implemented, it needs to be sooner rather than later as the current measures are "not sufficient". The interim data from round six of the React study uses data and swab results from 86,000 people between October 16-25, and estimates there are around 96,000 new infections per day.
Coronavirus England: 5.5% slump in bus passenger journeys to 4.07bn
The number of bus passenger journeys in England fell by 238million in the year ending March 31, figures show. The total of 4.07billion journeys was a 5.5 per cent reduction on the previous 12 months. The Department for Transport (DfT) said the fall can 'largely be attributed' to the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic may be leading to fewer babies in rich countries
When Kampala went into covid-19 lockdown, singletons in the Ugandan capital were looking for “lockdown partners”, says Allan Creed, who works in digital marketing. He and his friends couldn’t get to their local shops to buy contraceptives. Mr Creed has been relying on free condoms doled out by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) via a local motorbike ride-hailing app called SafeBoda. But three of his friends now have unplanned pregnancies in the midst of their university degrees. “We were not moving, we were not working, nothing was happening, so you had a lot of time on your hands,” the 26-year-old explains. Meanwhile in wealthy Singapore, where contraception is easy to come by, young people who were already reluctant to start a family before the pandemic are even more so during a global recession. The government is trying to coax people into reproducing with a one-off grant of S$3,000 ($2,200) for having a child in the next two years on top of pre-existing payments and savings schemes. For Keith, even that doesn’t make up for the cost of becoming a father. “I know that me and my wife will have a very good time in the next 30, 40 years without kids,” the 36-year-old says. “Do we want to risk that?”
COVID's cognitive costs? Some patients' brains may age 10 years
People recovering from COVID-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases of the infection linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain ageing by 10 years, researchers warned on Tuesday. A non-peer-reviewed study of more than 84,000 people, led by Adam Hampshire, a doctor at Imperial College London, found that in some severe cases, coronavirus infection is linked to substantial cognitive deficits for months. “Our analyses ... align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having COVID-19,” the researchers wrote in a report of their findings. “People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits.”
Can You Get Covid Twice? What Reinfection Cases Really Mean
The questions of whether people have immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after getting it, and if so for how long, have become more acute now that scientists have found a growing number of individuals who’ve caught the coronavirus twice. One woman even died after the second infection. Researchers are still working out the full implications of the reinfections and the ramifications on efforts to end the deadliest pandemic in a century. 1. How many people have been reinfected? A tracker maintained by the Dutch news agency BNO News had recorded 24 cases globally as of Oct. 16. The first confirmed case, a 33-year-old man from Hong Kong, was reported in August. He’d tested positive in March with mild symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, and had two negative tests a few weeks later. Four and a half months after the first event, he tested positive again, although he had no symptoms. The only known person to have died from a case of reinfection was an 89-year-old Dutch woman, who was also undergoing chemotherapy treatment for a rare white blood cell cancer....
A room, a bar and a class: how the coronavirus is spread through the air
After studying this outbreak carefully, scientists were able to calculate the extent to which the risk could have been mitigated if they had taken measures against airborne transmission. For example, if masks had been worn, the risk would have been halved and only around 44% of those present would have been affected as opposed to 87%. If the rehearsal had been held over a shorter period of time in a space with more ventilation, only two singers would have become infected. These super-spreading scenarios increasingly appear to be critical to the development and spread of the pandemic, meaning that having tools to prevent mass transmission at such events is key to controlling it.
The concept of “fatigue” in tackling covid-19
The concept of “fatigue” has been used to describe a presumed tendency for people to naturally become “tired” of the rules and guidance they should follow to prevent the spread of covid-19. This fatigue, so the theory goes, eventually makes people less motivated to adhere to these rules over time.1 The idea appears to be gaining currency and has alternatively been referred to as “behavioural fatigue,” “pandemic fatigue,” “emergency fatigue,” “public fatigue,” and “adherence fatigue.” A Google search on the phrase “pandemic fatigue” resulted in around 200 million hits, with articles on the first page with titles such as “10 reasons why pandemic fatigue could threaten global health,” and “Europe experiencing pandemic fatigue.” The question is whether the concept of fatigue accurately captures what is happening. This question is important because it affects policies aimed at maximising adherence. Outside of covid-19, the term fatigue has three main uses. One is a subjective feeling of mental or physical tiredness, which can be caused by mental or physical exertion, sustained activity, lack of sleep, or a health condition. It is a common symptom of covid-19 and of diseases such as cancer.2,3 It is also found in healthy individuals as part of daily living. The exhaustion may or may not be accompanied by reduced motivation to engage in particular tasks.
Around 1.4% of Covid-19 patients will suffer a stroke, scientists warn
Patients who have a stroke tend to be older, but younger than expected. Strokes caused by Covid-19 appeared to be more deadly than typical strokes. High blood pressure and diabetes were risk factors for Covid-19 stroke. The findings come from analysing 100,000 hospitalised patients
Needle-free injection tech to deliver UK's COVID-19 vaccine
The University of Cambridge has received multi-million-pound funding from the government for a clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine. Trial preparations are underway for the vaccine, which will be delivered via an innovative needle-free injection technology developed by US firm PharmaJet. It is hoped that a successful trial will result in the widespread availability of a low-cost vaccine. The vaccine has been developed by DIOSynVax, a spinoff company supported by the University of Cambridge, and uses computer modelling of the virus’ structure to identify the distinct genetic code. The combined artificial intelligence and synthetic biology approach allows for development of a vaccine that is specific to developing antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.