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"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 21st Apr 2020

Isolation Tips
Lessons in enjoying self-isolation from a 21st century hermit
‘Things haven’t changed for me … I’m free to go out whenever I want,’ says Italian who’s the lone resident of a remote village in coronavirus-hit Lombardy. He says people in lockdown with only themselves for company should use the time to consider their actions, and how they can improve their existence
Quarantine survival tips for extroverts and perfectionists — and those who live with them
As a psychologist, I see the differences in how people adjust to the challenges of isolation, constricted life, uncertainty and dramatic change. Two personality traits that seem to have especially strong effects on people’s current functioning and household disagreements are extroversion, though introverts can also have issues, and perfectionism.
VicHealth's three tips to avoid 'isolation fatigue' (it's a thing)
It may seem counter-intuitive given many of us are moving and working less, but… “Isolation fatigue is definitely a thing,” VicHealth CEO Sandro Demaio confirmed to Ross and John this morning. Lethargy, inability to focus and moodiness are some symptoms that you might notice. But it’s best to act before isolation fatigue hits, so Mr Demaio gave us his TOP THREE tips:
Coronavirus Help: Dr. Ken Hopper Shares Tips On Coping With Confinement During COVID-19 Crisis
Fear and anxiety about the outbreak of the coronavirus has a lot of people living on the edge. It may not help that many have been forced to be confined inside their homes with hardly any social or physical interaction for several weeks. Dr. Ken Hopper is a nationally renowned behavioral and population health specialist with 30 years of experience. He joined Rudabeh Shahbazi and Eliott Rodriguez via Skype to discuss some coping techniques to help with the burden of isolation.
Clinical psychologist's lockdown tips
“Begin by asking yourself some questions,” Dr Parker said, “including what are your usual coping strategies in difficult times and what has helped in the past? What aspects of these things can you reintroduce now? How can you adapt them for social isolation?” Another strategy she suggested is to “focus on what you can control rather than what you can’t. “You can focus on how you follow Covid guidelines, how you relate to others and how you choose to spend your time
Here are 56 really fun things you can do at home if you've run out of isolation activities
We've rounded up fun things to do at home and some brilliant ways you can spend your time indoors that are a little more exciting than watching your freshly-painted wall dry. From cheese tasting to virtual beach cams and even making your own crazy golf course, there's something for people living alone, those looking for a romantic evening in with a loved one and fun things to do with the family.
Cooped up by coronavirus? Ex-astronaut José Hernández has NASA-approved tips to stay sane
He recommends a technique NASA used as a safety procedure: Say something more than once, and get confirmation. "What I have found is that it's probably good to repeat when you communicate with others, because it allows you to hear what you have told the other person, and when that other person repeats it to you, you hear what you said, and it filters out unreasonable requests, for example," Hernández says. "That way you can defuse situations that could escalate."
Environmental Isolation Impacts
Poland’s wildlife thrives amid coronavirus lockdown. “Only now can we see how much we have lost”
The temporary ban on entering Poland’s forests, imposed as part of the governments efforts to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, has had an unforeseen positive effect, as emboldened animals have begun to venture further onto roads and even into towns, according to the environment ministry. “It is like a miracle of nature,” the ministry commented in a statement. “Only now, with the ban on entering the forests, have we seen how much we have lost.” It cited examples from opposite ends of the country suggesting that the two weeks of prohibition on entering parks and forests – a controversial measure which ended today – have led to animal behaviour not seen for years.
Animals wander abandoned streets as humans stay indoors - News
A lone kangaroo hopped through empty streets in Australia, deer wander through the suburbs in London and a record number of sea turtles hatched in Thailand – these were some of the scenes across cities as humans were confined indoors
Hygiene Helpers
Hygiene expert reveals how to turn bleach into disinfectant simply by diluting it with water - and says it's important to target 'frequently touched' areas like front doors
Hygiene expert Dr Lisa Ackerley, is trustee of The Royal Society for Public Health She shared advice for using household bleach as a disinfectant amid covid-19 British mum-of-three said it's important to target areas that are regularly touched
Quarantine health tips: When working remotely, stay hydrated, check caffeine intake & avoid junk
One of the biggest challenges one faces when working from home during the lockdown period is to keep nutrition in check, says a nutritionist. Nutritionist Pooja Makhija says being hydrated, keeping a check on caffeine consumption, planning meal times, keeping away from junk foods and not eating at one's desk are extremely crucial. It is extremely essential to complete 8-12 glasses intake of water daily, she said. Being hydrated also acts as a barrier to potential unnecessary
Consumer Watch: Cover up when you're out - it might help save lives
A lack of facial coverings and inappropriate use of masks in retail spaces are exposing the public to disease transmission. The risk is compounded by poor examples set by public officials, a lack of education, and minimal enforcement of correct personal protection equipment (PPE) usage. In retail environments, this places staff and customers at a higher risk of exposure to the coronavirus and other pathogens. Some stores have been forced to close temporarily for decontamination after staff members tested positive, including Checkers in the Bayside Mall in Table View, Cape Town, and the Ballito Junction Mall, north of Durban.
Air pollution filters to protect NHS staff and patients from coronavirus
Healthcare transport provider, the HATS Group (HATS), is installing clean air technology in 100 vehicles used to transport patients to help reduce exposure to coronavirus. AirLabs, which is supplying its ‘AirBubbl’ in-vehicle air filters to HATS, has published a white paper on reducing exposure to airborne viruses using air filtration systems. It explains its evidence behind airborne virus transmission and how air filtration can effectively remove bioaerosol particles, which help to spread the virus.
Community Activities
Coronavirus: Mental health charity helping people in isolation
The founder of a mental health charity working to support people in need under lockdown has admitted he did not expect the scale of demand. The charity has also set up a Covid-19 support page on its website, where people can find tools and tips on how to cope while in isolation or spending extended periods cooped up inside.
The power of social media: Strangers across India connect to help the needy
The world is reeling from the COVID-19 crisis and the vulnerable segments of our society are the most at risk. Microsoft News India is supporting HelpAge India buy hygiene kits for the elderly. You can help the charity reach many more. Donate here for the cause (you will be directed to the HelpAge India site). With the nationwide lockdown imposed in India due to the coronavirus outbreak, the families of daily wage earners, labourers, waiters, taxi and autorickshaw drivers, and others who depend on their everyday earnings for survival have been severely affected.
Making masks helps them become self-sufficient
she and 10 other women from her group make 3,000 masks each day. The driving force behind the initiative are Dr Mamatha, mission director, National Rural Livelihood Mission (Karnataka) and LK Ateeq, principal secretary of the department of rural development and panchayat raj. In less than a month, she got over 500 women’s self-help groups across 30 districts to stitch close to 10 lakh masks, an average of over 25,000 masks per day. The women earn Rs 2 to Rs 3 per mask.
New York woman creates exchange for unused travel cards to go to key workers during coronavirus crisis
As the coronavirus pandemic continues worldwide, one woman in New York has devised a simple system to ease the financial burden for those risking their lives on the frontline. Sophie Vershbow, 30, an assistant social media director in the book publishing industry, felt key workers shouldn't be paying for their journeys to work at such a time of national crisis. As she herself began to stay at home due to New York's lockdown, she launched an initiative in mid-March to enable citizens to swap their unused Metro Cards - and so far more than 650 have been sent to key workers.
Tribute to NHS mapped by satellite in Bristol Channel
A unique tribute to the NHS has been created in the waters of the Bristol Channel. A Bristol Port Company crew used a satellite tracker to spell out ‘♡NHS’ across the entrances of Royal Portbury and Avonmouth Docks. The ‘herogram’ plotted by the crew of the Graham Robertson dredger was captured by satellites tracking the vessel on a live global ship tracking website.
Google Doodle thanks public transportation drivers on coronavirus frontlines
Google is honoring those heroes with a series of appreciation doodles featuring medical personnel, emergency workers, scientists, custodians, farmers, grocery store employees and public transportation drivers. On Friday, Google turned its spotlight to teachers and child care workers.
Every day, homeless and poor volunteers from the Upper Silesian Charitable Society in Katowice hand out between 350 to 400 servings of hot meals. It's more than they usually do.
Every day, homeless and poor volunteers from the Upper Silesian Charitable Society in Katowice hand out between 350 to 400 servings of hot meals. It's more than they usually do. They have adapted to the new sanitary requirements and have not stopped their work despite the epidemic. However, they also need support themselves. They collect money to keep the kettle brewing, because the one they have is in a very bad state. Anything you can do to help them carry out this fine work would be warmly appreciated
Working Remotely
Top working from home tips from around the world
With challenges like sharing workspaces and managing mental health, working from home during a pandemic is uncharted territory. Here are your best tips for maintaining productivity – and sanity.
US farm rents out miniature donkey to crash video calls
A miniature donkey named Mambo is getting some online love in North Carolina, where a farm is getting in on the idea of having animals spice up tedious virtual meetings during the coronavirus pandemic. Peace N Peas Farm will rent Mambo, the eight-year-old miniature donkey, and his friends to crash company conference calls, The Charlotte Observer reported. This camera crowding donkey is “like a pesky little brother” that “doesn’t let anyone relax too long,” Francie Dunlap, Mambo’s owner, said. Companies can choose other farm animals they want to invite as guests on their video calls.
Why working remotely feels so jarring – according to philosophy
Perhaps the lessons of COVID-19 may lead us to preserve some forms of work against the tide of technological progress. The internet allows us a great degree of connectivity, but it simply cannot satisfy all of the complex and diverse ways in which we express our social nature through working with others. Even if we replace productivity with robots, or compensation with a basic income, work is still valuable as a shared activity through which we exercise our most basic human needs for connection
Rwandan bankers adopt virtual classes to avoid course interruption
Rwandan Bankers’ Association has turned to virtual classes to ensure the continuance of ongoing basic training course for bankers under the Rwanda Academy of Finance, an initiative involved in training different staff levels in the financial sector to acquaint them with international competencies
9 Secrets to Stay Visible When You Work Remotely
How do I stay top of mind and provide value when I’m working remotely? It’s a great question. Not being physically present with your team and senior leaders has its consequences. It means you have to be more intentional about putting yourself out there, promoting your achievements, and sharing what your team is doing with the rest of the company.
It is critical to overcome the challenges of remote working to push a virtual Parliament over the line
Whilst MPs may be subject to the same social distancing measures as the rest of the UK, Parliament has a vital role to play in the coronavirus pandemic. During a time of major social and economic pressure, passing emergency laws, scrutinising the Government and representing constituents is absolutely essential to both the nation’s response and to safeguarding democracy. Facilitating these key roles whilst minimising risk to health has presented a unique challenge for House authorities.
Blog: The remote work phenomenon: How virtual employment is shaping a new future for parents
Remote work makes it very possible to achieve the perfect balance between career and quality time with the kids. It’s also a tremendous benefit to employers as well. As mentioned, the economy is driven by small business. Often, small businesses experience the growing pains of needing to hire, but lack the funds to create the space needed for that growth to happen. This is right where remote work comes in handy. Statistics provided through Global Workplace Analytics (GWA) have shown cost savings to businesses of up to $11,000 per employee each year by simply allowing remote work. There’s also a cost-savings due to fewer sick days with remote employees versus in-office ones as well.
Can remote working rejuvenate rural Ireland?
The building of digital hubs in community centres and the future prospect of working from home could help rejuvenate rural communities. That’s according to a UCC technology expert and a county councillor, who has been campaigning for several years to regenerate rural Ireland. Bernard Moynihan has consistently argued more has to be done by the Government to help some communities, especially in western Duhallow which has seen villages like Knocknagree hanging on by its fingernails due to depopulation.
Top tips on how to remain motivated in the new normal of working remotely
The global pandemic has meant many companies are implementing mandatory work from home policies. Karla Pearce, Senior Marketing Manager Europe, Cvent Hospitality Cloud gives her top tips on how to remain motivated in the new normal of working remotely.
How Cancer Research UK’s workforce became fully remote
While many of our researchers have volunteered to return to the front line and support the COVID-19 response, we hear from our Chief Information Officer, Tiffany Hall, about how new technology and shifting to more adaptive, collaborative and flexible ways of working last year have allowed our office-based staff to continue their important work during lockdown
Virtual Classrooms
The world’s your classroom: 10 fun ways to home school
Running out of home schooling ideas? Take the kids on a virtual voyage with these interactive learning tools, from safaris to cooking lessons with an Italian chef
Authorities see virtual education as an opportunity to raise the bar in terms of standards
The minister said that 92% of the students in the world are now adapting to virtual classes and that the only way any deficiencies can be diagnosed is by practice. He did stress that the system needs to be implemented before any review searching for improvements can be meaningful and when it is, armed with the data, we can raise the standards bar in terms of education in Paraguay. That is why "We are prepared to continue with the virtual teaching process for the rest of the year if that needs to be the case," the minister said.
Tri-Cities private schools 1st to tackle virtual classrooms during the shutdown
Principal Lisa Stueve at Bethlehem Lutheran School in Kennewick explains how they formulated and implemented a plan to continue educating students during a statewide school closure during the coronavirus threat
Covid19, MCO force education sector to grapple with technology, virtual classrooms
The Covid-19 pandemic has seen private colleges and universities forced to switch from in-person teaching to online learning. Traditional examinations are also being replaced with other forms of assessments following the Movement Control Order (MCO) being enforced. Students, however, have expressed concern over the efficiency and accountability of online testing and assessment. In addressing this, the Malaysian Association of Private Colleges and Universities (MAPCU) said students should not assume and treat alternative assessments as being “easier”.
Children take part in over 250,000 lessons on first day of virtual school
Over a quarter of a million online lessons have been accessed by children on what would have been the first day back at school after the Easter break. The Oak National Academy, a Government-backed virtual school which was created by 40 teachers in England in less than a fortnight, launched on Monday for pupils in Reception to Year 10. More than 250,000 video lessons were streamed online by pupils across the UK on the first day of the virtual academy.
Public Policies
A sustainable exit strategy for the coronavirus: Managing uncertainty, minimising harm
A sustainable exit strategy for the coronavirus: Managing uncertainty, minimising harm
Maryland obtains 500,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea
Maryland has obtained 500,000 tests from South Korea following weeks of negotiations, Larry Hogan, the state’s Republican governor, said on Monday, in an announcement that raised questions about governors circumventing the federal government to obtain medical equipment. Hogan confirmed on Monday that the state has obtained the tests from LabGenomics. Speaking in Annapolis alongside Yumi Hogan, Maryland’s first lady, the governor said a Korean Air passenger plane arrived at BWI airport on Saturday carrying the tests. Hogan said insufficient testing remained “the most serious obstacle to safely reopening our states” and celebrated the “exponential, game-changing step forward” that Maryland is taking.
Billion pound support package for innovative firms hit by coronavirus
UK businesses driving innovation and development will be helped through the coronavirus outbreak with a £1.25 billion government support package, the Chancellor announced today.
Support for internally displaced people needs to be 'urgently stepped up'
To prevent an added humanitarian crisis in the already-vulnerable Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, 24 Rohingya volunteers are working with UN Women to mobilize their communities and raise awareness on COVID-19.
First online platform helping firms collaborate on coronavirus launches
Companies aiming to help healthcare responses to the COVID-19 crisis can now collaborate via a new online platform. Spearheaded by InterTradeIreland and TechIreland, the cross-border platform allows businesses to see quickly, in and beyond their region, who they can work with to combat the many supply chain and manufacturing challenges generated by the pandemic and meet pressing public need. Presented as an interactive map, it will initially focus on healthcare innovation supports – but will soon expand to include broader economic and societal responses to coronavirus. It will also contain links to public tenders.
Maintaining Services
It's landed! A few moments ago a Boeing 787-9 Polish Airlines Dreamliner flight landed
It's landed! A few moments ago a Boeing 787-9 Polish Airlines Dreamliner flight landed at Lotnisko Chopina in Warsaw, bringing personal protection products ordered by WOŚP in China for Polish doctors, medical staff, medical rescuers, very brave nurses, as well as for employees Social Assistance homes. Thanks to the great work of aircraft crews and well organized by LOT Polish Airlines Cargo and the Polish government of China - Poland, the first batch of ordered articles by WOŚP was in Warsaw by late evening. Huge joy and let this be the positive message I wrote about in an earlier post dedicated to Carmen from Spain. This is also happening in Poland and this is the power of all good people, good events and friends.
TikTok pledges £5m for RCN Foundation coronavirus support fund
Video-sharing platform TikTok is donating £5m to a fund set up by the Royal College of Nursing’s charitable foundation to support health workers on the frontline of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. The pledge comes amid a 5000% increase over the past month in healthcare-related posts on TikTok from staff themselves as well as the public showing their support for those delivering care.
Healthcare Innovations
Twenty-one new studies into the novel coronavirus have been funded by the UK government, including the first clinical drug trial in primary care, vaccine and therapy development, and studying epidemiology, disease transmission, behavioural interventions and policy approaches to COVID-19.
Twenty-one new studies into the novel coronavirus have been funded by the UK government, including the first clinical drug trial in primary care, vaccine and therapy development, and studying epidemiology, disease transmission, behavioural interventions and policy approaches to COVID-19. This second round of projects receive £14.1 million as part of the £24.6 million rapid research response funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and by the Department of Health and Social Care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
These are the new hot spots of innovation in the time of coronavirus
There has already been an impressive amount of collaboration, says Sam Altman, the former president of top Silicon Valley start-up accelerator Y Combinator and current CEO of artificial intelligence research lab Open AI. “This will be a before moment and an after moment for the world,” Altman tells CNBC Make It, and “there’s incredible innovation coming,” he says. Here’s a look at the areas of innovation which have become freshly important as the coronavirus pandemic takes center stage.
Institutions form UK Coronavirus testing consortium
New national collaborations such as the UK-RTC will contribute to the government’s wider target to carry out 100,000 tests a day by the end of April, focusing on frontline healthcare and other essential workers first before deploying the tests to the wider population. The consortium will draw on BBI Solutions’ rapid test development and expertise, as well as its wider manufacturing capabilities, primarily at its headquarters at Crumlin, South Wales, and its site in Edinburgh. The company will also draw on resource and expertise in other parts of the global BBI Group, in the United States, China and South Africa.
The Polish coronavirus test is ready. "Young volunteers worked day and night" - we made our own
There was a shortage of reagents on the market. So we thought why not try to develop our own test? - Dr. Luiza Handschuh, a member of the team that developed the Polish coronavirus test explains what they did. The test is based solely on Polish reagents.Thanks to this, it will be cheaper than foreign counterpart tests. The application for registration has already been submitted. The start of production at the Medicofarma plant in Radom is a matter of days thanks to a grant provided by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education "- wrote the Polish Academy of Sciences on Facebook on Friday.