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"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 2nd Jun 2020

Isolation Tips
7 mental health coping tips for life in the time of COVID-19
Half of Canadians reported a worsening of their mental health due to the COVID-19 pandemic in an April poll. In Alberta, a similar government poll found 74 per cent of Albertans felt the pandemic had negatively affected their mental health. These stats are not surprising, because a pandemic is a perfect “anxiety stew.” It has all the ingredients that go into causing worry even in people who are not typically anxiety-prone. These include: uncontrollability, uncertainty and high consequence.
How to seek and provide mental health support in a remote work context
As many people worldwide have started working remotely due to the pandemic, face-to-face communication has become more sparse. How can we tell if a teammate may be experiencing mental health struggles when all our interactions are from behind a screen or computer keyboard?
Coronavirus recovery: COVID-19 recovery tips and how to call for help
From paracetamol to isolation guidelines, follow Dr Juliet McGrattan's simple steps to help with coronavirus recovery.
Life after lockdown: astronauts and adventurers on the ‘shock’ of getting back to normal
After circumnavigating the world solo at 16, spending 20 weeks in space, and summiting Everest (twice), Jessica Watson, Andy Thomas and Peter Hillary have learned a lot about life after isolation
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus: Tooth decay fears over dentist wait until 2021
Concerns have been raised that routine dentistry such as fillings will not be available to patients until next year. Lowri Leeke, who runs a practice in Merthyr Tydfil, said that it was "too long", with holes in teeth getting "bigger and worse". Senior dentists across Wales want plans for allowing practices to offer more than just urgent care to be sped up. Wales' Chief Dental Officer Dr Colette Bridgman said she was taking a "phased and careful approach".
COVID-19: Thermal imaging cameras to play crucial role as Japan reopens
-As Japan plans to get rid of its months-long lockdown restrictions post the COVID-19 pandemic, thermal imaging cameras are expected to play a crucial role.
Robot greeter fights coronavirus in South Korea
There's an new, high-tech greeter at the lobby of SK Telecom in Seoul, South Korea. It checks body temperatures, dispenses hand sanitiser, disinfects the floor and can see who is and isn't wearing a mask -- an AI-driven helper in the fight against COVID-19. SK employee Lim Yeon-June said she's realised how useful it can be. "At first, I felt awkward when I heard it was a robot doing this. But when my colleagues and I were talking to each other, the robot said 'please move away from each other for social distance', I found myself walking away and it was really impressive."
Handwashing is not just for coronavirus – how good hygiene could help reduce antibiotic use
Coronavirus put focus on handwashing, but basic hygiene is crucial to stopping a variety of diseases. Home hygiene has big role in reducing spread of antimicrobial resistance. Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health.
Mask acne and coronavirus skin care: How to take care of your skin while wearing a mask
A surprising number of Jessica Wu’s patients have approached her in recent months with questions about random bouts of mask-related irritation. While they’ve been in quarantine, the Los Angeles-based dermatologist told me, her clients have become more fixated on their skin than ever before; most rarely wore masks for an extended period of time prior to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, those with more sensitive or oily skin have been seeing minor complications: acne breakouts, flare-ups of eczema or rosacea, or general skin irritation.
Community Activities
Creating moments of comfort, connection and celebration during Covid-19
Thank-you ice creams for everyday heroes, creating opportunities for virtual catch-ups and helping families speedily cater for mealtimes. Find out how our foods and refreshment brands are reaching out to help consumers and communities navigate lockdown.
BBC One soap Doctors to air lockdown episode about coronavirus pandemic
The cast of BBC One daytime soap Doctors have filmed a lockdown episode from their homes, exploring the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on staff at The Mill medical centre. Written by Toby Walton, the 45-minute episode, titled Can You Hear Me?, was entirely self-shot by the cast on their mobile phones.
Picnics at last: Paris parks reopen after Covid-19 lockdown
Parks and gardens in Paris reopen on Saturday as France enters the second phase of its relaxation of lockdown rules that were imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19. Many Parisians can at last enjoy their first picnics of the summer. The city’s parks and green spaces reopen on Saturday following Prime Minister Edouard Philippe’s address on Thursday, when he announced “good results” in the battle against Covid-19.
Working Remotely
Coping with COVID: Pointers for working remotely
In this trying time, it may be difficult to adjust to the sudden changes in the world. Now abruptly, many people have been directed to gather their essential work resources and set up an office at home. Though many may have thought working remotely would be ideal, it still requires an adjustment to manage being productive and maintaining a positive mental outlook. Though there can be many benefits to working from home, isolation, additional stress about how to accomplish requirements and striking the right balance can cause some anxiety and/or depression. Some key and easy additions to your daily schedule might just make all the difference!
Business Leaders Weigh In On How The Workplace Will Change Post-Covid-19
While Chamberlain suggests that working from home won’t last, Kiran Prasad, vice president of product for the consumer experience on LinkedIn, believes that more people are now looking for remote work. Prasad explains that for some companies who have navigated the Covid-19 situation well and trust their employees, the idea of working remotely might just stay, particularly as for a number of job seekers, it is actually going very well.
81% Of SMEs In Business Service Sector Plan Remote Working Post Covid-19
Just over a third (34%) of SME companies in business services already had a remote working policy in place and nearly half (48%) had to create one to react to the pandemic. On average 74 per cent of staff working in this industry are operating from home. Over recent years, remote working has become increasingly popular, as technology has reduced the need for a physical office space for some industries. Many employers and HR professionals also advocate this way of working as an approach to enhance the work-life balance of employees.
Virtual Classrooms
Mmegi Blogs :: Online learning popularity grows under COVID-19
Virtual or E-pedagogy might broadly be defined as ‘learning design that incorporates educational quality, values and effectiveness of teaching, learning and assessment activities supported by technology’. It is also a comprehensive science, which integrates all issues related to online education, starting with the theoretical foundations, and embracing higher education institutions, pedagogic systems, personal and professional development, principles of teaching and learning, instructional approaches and methods. Online classes, mean conducting teaching and learning sessions with the help of ICT; the internet is an important player. You can inform students through email or WhatsApp about the time and topic of the online class. You can also stream your video tutorials live on YouTube. What are the basic dos and don’ts of conducting online classes?
Summer School To Be Mostly Online In Wisconsin Amid COVID-19 Concerns
With nearly 17,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the state, Wisconsin schools are keeping their doors closed to students through the summer. The state's five largest school districts have laid out plans for online summer school, billing it as the safest option for both students and staff. At the same time, local recreation departments are laying out in-person plans to make sure parents headed back to work have somewhere to send their children. Milwaukee Recreation Senior Director Lynn Greb said her department will have a pared-down lineup of summer programs, with only 50 children allowed at each site. Those children may get further split into smaller groups that might have staggered meal times, on top of other precautions to keep the groups from mixing.
This is online learning's moment. For universities, it's a total mess
The University of Manchester, which has announced plans to keep lectures online-only in the autumn term, is already preparing for the worst. On April 23, vice-chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell told staff that redundancies and pay cuts may be necessary if 80 per cent of students from outside the EU and 20 per cent of UK and EU students decided to stay defer or drop out. In the worst-case scenario, the university could lose up to £270m in a single year – a 15 to 25 per cent deficit.
Universities will never be the same after the coronavirus crisis
The coronavirus crisis is forcing universities to confront long-standing challenges in higher education, such as skyrocketing tuition costs and perceptions of elitism — and some of the resulting changes could be permanent. Over the long term, universities might shift many classes online (a trend already under way), have fewer international students and even refashion themselves to be more relevant to local and national communities — both to solve pressing problems and to prove their worth at a time when experts and public institutions are coming under increased criticism. “The pandemic is speeding up changes in a tremendous way,” says Bert van der Zwaan, former rector of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, and author of Higher Education in 2040: A Global Approach (2017).
Public Policies
Coronavirus: Restaurants and theatres to reopen in Finland, as Europe continues to ease lockdown
Finland and other European countries relaxed a string of coronavirus lockdown restrictions on Monday, permitting a wider range of leisure and social activities as well as limited travel. Helsinki said it would allow public gatherings of up to 50 people from 1 June, recommending that people stick to social distancing and hygiene guidance. Such gatherings can include demonstrations, competitions, and entertainment events, the government said in a statement. Theatres, libraries and swimming pools will reopen, while cafes and restaurants will be allowed to use only half their capacity. Domestic tourism within Finland is to be allowed once more, subject to safety standards. The Finnish government also said it would phase out restrictions on the interest rate.
Italy opens its monuments and beaches to tourists
Italy is rolling out the red carpet for foreign visitors this week as it eases restrictions on tourism to help rebuild its decimated economy. On Wednesday a rule requiring new arrivals to self-isolate for two weeks will be scrapped for visitors from Europe, including the UK, while all travel between regions in Italy will be allowed as the country emerges from its coronavirus outbreak.
Rwanda cancels further easing of lockdown after reassessment
The Rwandan government on late Sunday cancelled its earlier decision to further loosen COVID-19 lockdown after reassessing the situation. Transportation between provinces and the capital city Kigali as well as motorcycle passenger services, which had been scheduled to resume on Monday, will remain closed until further notice in the interest of public health and further measures against COVID-19 would be announced by the cabinet on Tuesday, the Prime Minister's office said in a tweet. Rwanda's Health Ministry on Sunday reported 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and six recoveries, bringing the total number of confirmed cases and recoveries to 370 and 256, respectively
Spanish PM Sanchez to extend lockdown a final time to June 21
Spain's prime minister said on Sunday the country needed 15 more days of lockdown until June 21 "to finish with the pandemic once and for all", and he would ask parliament to approve a final two-week extension to the stay home rule. "We have almost achieved what we set out to do," Pedro Sanchez told a press conference, as he expressed his intense relief that the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Spain, one of the nations hardest-hit by the virus, had fallen dramatically. From June 21 a national state of emergency will end and with it the lockdown, allowing citizens to move freely
Spanish health minister bans British holidaymakers 'until UK's coronavirus situation improves'
Spain will refuse entry to British holidaymakers until the UK’s coronavirus situation improves, the country’s tourism minister has said. Maria Reyes Maroto said despite reports of a possible trial reopening which could see thousands of tourists from several nations pour into Spain, Britons would have to wait to be allowed to take holidays there. The tourism minister revealed that Germany and the Nordic countries were most likely to be first because their “epidemiological situations are very good”.
Coronavirus in Scotland: New lockdown laws warning after weekend breaches
Scotland's coronavirus guidelines could be enforced by new laws if "even a minority" continue to flout them, Nicola Sturgeon has said. The first minister relaxed restrictions north of the border on Friday, allowing more people to meet up while outdoors. She said the "vast majority" had complied with recommendations not to travel and to keep gatherings small. But Ms Sturgeon said it was clear that not everyone had complied, with police dispersing more than 2,000 gatherings. Police Scotland said there had been 1,391 "compliant dispersals" of groups of people over Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with another 650 where groups broke up "after a police warning
Deescalation gets even more complex in town split between Spain and France
At the border checkpoint in Le Perthus, the letters on the police signs are faded. An “L” is missing in one, an “E” and an “I” on another. There had been no daily police presence here since 1995, when the Schengen Agreement allowed for freedom of movement in Europe. But the coronavirus crisis has thrown up the barriers again and only authorized workers, freight truck drivers and individuals with written authorization are now allowed through.
Protests could cause catastrophic setback for controlling coronavirus, experts say
"If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week," said the mayor of Atlanta.
Maintaining Services
Filming in the UK set to recommence with new COVID-19 guidelines
Filming of TV shows and movies in the UK is set to recommence, with the publishing of new guidelines published by the British Film Commission.
Spain says will guarantee health safety when opening tourism to foreigners
Spain will guarantee health safety when reopening the country to foreign tourists next month after the coronavirus contagion prompted a three-month closure, industry and tourism minister Reyes Maroto said on Monday. "This will be our strength," she told Telecinco TV station.
Hygiene, savings, efficiency mark post-COVID-19 investments
While hygiene, savings and efficiency issues are likely to lead the venture ecosystem in the post-COVID-19 world, this effect can be observed in investments in three Turkish startups, namely Yolda, Nanomik and TatildeKirala.com
Vicars will take down names of worshippers to allow churches to reopen safely
Empty fonts and hand santizer stations are some of the new measures included in Church of England plans
Coronavirus: End of remote voting could see MPs form 1km-long queue in parliament
MPs are set to return to parliament on Tuesday but will no longer use the "hybrid" system for debates they had last month.
Lockdown: Parents concerned over plans to reopen schools, over 2 lakh petition govt
Over two lakh parents from across India have signed a petition demanding that schools should not be reopened unless the Covid-19 situation improves or a vaccine is ready
Coronavirus: Test 'could restore confidence' for staff to return to work
A business offering hi-tech hygiene tests says the process could give staff the confidence to return to their workplaces as the coronavirus lockdown eases. Tech Clean Wessex says its technology can prove that surfaces and equipment are clean and free of infections including Covid-19. Peter Hann launched the Bournemouth-based business in the early 1980s to specialise in cleaning office equipment including computers and keyboards. He says the new service works for any environment and measures the level of a molecule – ATP – which is in all organic matter.
'Demand is huge': EU citizens flock to open-air cinemas as lockdown eases
From Berlin to Madrid the movies are back, albeit with hygiene and distancing restrictions. Open-air cinemas will begin reopening across Germany on Friday evening, and indoor cinemas are expected to get the go-ahead from July. Operators say they welcome the chance to be among the first cultural institutions to be able to inject joy back into people’s lives. They also recognise the responsibility they have. If successful, their navigation of hygiene and distancing regulations will serve as a blueprint for other cultural venues such as concert halls and performance venues.
What we can learn from China and Sweden about post-lockdown traffic and travel
China has the most post-lockdown experience because it's believed that's where the novel coronavirus originated. Sweden, meanwhile, decided not to shut down its economy like most developed countries and can offer a glimpse of how people could act when the economy in Canada and other countries is fully open again even though the threat of COVID-19 still exists. Travel data from the two countries provides some insight into what to expect in terms of how many people will continue to work from home, traffic patterns on city streets, the eagerness of shoppers to return to stores and how long until travellers will have the confidence to catch a flight, among many other observations. Peoples' new travel habits will have broad implications for the economy, especially the oil sector, which saw demand plummet for fuel during the pandemic.
Restaurants reopening: How lessons from the US provide hope for UK businesses preparing to open after lockdown
The findings, published by research firm CGA Nielsen, reveal the preferences of US consumers in multiple cities where lockdown restrictions have been loosened, and offer UK firms an insight into the types of measures customers would like to see implemented once restaurants reopen here. One third of consumers in key cities in two US states - Texas and Florida - went out to eat in a restaurant or bar in mid-May, according to the findings. Of those that had ventured into a restaurant or bar, one in three had done so three times or more. Nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) of those polled stated they were satisfied with their overall experience.
Russia's COVID dissenters: Underground bars, gyms and hair salons flout tough quarantine rules
Another St. Petersburg bar, Depeche Mode, was also jammed with people socializing and drinking on a recent weekend night. There was no physical distancing and not a face mask or bottle of hand sanitizer in sight. "The [virus] fear is somewhere on the back burner," said bar owner Danya Lipovestsky. "For people, it's easier for them to come here to this underground bar to chat and forget the fear that we're all going to die. "Even me, I come here even though I am totally in the risk zone with asthma," he said. "I'm scared but to hell with it. It's just better to be here."
George Floyd protests spark COVID-19 fears in U.S., South Korea sees rise in cases
Protests around the U.S. against police brutality have sparked fears of a further spread of the coronavirus, while South Korea is reporting a steady rise in cases around the capital after appearing to bring the outbreak under control. The often-violent protests over the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer, are raising fears of new virus outbreaks in a country that has more confirmed infections and deaths than any other. The protests come as more beaches, churches, mosques, schools and businesses reopen worldwide, increasing the risk of cross-infections.
Shopper numbers jump 31% as lockdown in England relaxed
Shoppers rushed back to high streets and retail parks on Monday as the reopening of car showrooms, markets and some Ikea stores marked the easing of lockdown restrictions in England. The number of shoppers out and about jumped by 31% across all retail destinations by 5pm in England compared with last week’s bank holiday Monday, according to analysts at Springboard. For the UK as a whole, shopper numbers rose by 28%.
Japanese bathhouses awash with post-lockdown customers
Masazumi Kato sighed deeply as he lowered himself into a tub at a public bathhouse in a Tokyo suburb, enjoying a return to a Japanese tradition largely off-limits during the city's coronavirus lockdown. With the lifting of a nationwide state of emergency over the virus, Japan's onsen -- large bathhouses where patrons bathe naked in a series of warm pools and tubs -- are gradually reopening. And fans like 52-year-old Kato have few qualms about returning. "I believe they are taking anti-virus measures, like chlorine," he told AFP as he soaked in an outdoor tub, with other naked men submerged in pools nearby. "I trust them and I like to use this place," said Kato, a frequent patron of the Yumominosato facility in Yokohama, outside Tokyo.
Healthcare Innovations
Evidence suggests even those with mild covid-19 symptoms can be left with long-term damage to organs
The vast majority of the tens of thousands of patients in the UK who have tested positive for Covid-19 will be counting their lucky stars that they have had only a mild encounter with the deadly virus — but they may not be able to relax just yet. There is growing evidence from China, where the virus originated, and from Italy, the first European country to report cases, that patients diagnosed with even a mild case of Covid-19 may be left struggling with long-term health problems long after the virus has left their bodies.
Coronavirus: Reducing social distancing to one metre would double risk of infection, study suggests
Reducing social distancing from two metres to one could double the risk of being infected with coronavirus, according to a comprehensive new study published amid growing calls for the UK to reduce its guidance to allow more businesses to reopen. Researchers found distancing of a metre or more reduces the risk of infection to 13 per cent, compared to 3 per cent for less than a metre. However, analysis of modelling published in The Lancet suggests for every extra metre further away up to three metres, the risk of infection or transmission may halve.
WHO warns overuse of antibiotics for Covid-19 will cause more deaths
The increased use of antibiotics to combat the Covid-19 pandemic will strengthen bacterial resistance and ultimately lead to more deaths during the crisis and beyond, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned. WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that a “worrying number” of bacterial infections were becoming increasingly resistant to the medicines traditionally used to treat them.
How New Zealand Used Evidence-Based Policies to Beat The Pandemic
"Here in New Zealand, we are all very aware of how lucky we are, and we connect with colleagues overseas and really feel for them," Auckland City Hospital intensive-care specialist Chris Poynter previously told Business Insider. Experts say it's more than luck, but rather early lockdown efforts, citizen's adherence to the rules, widespread testing and contact tracing, and good communication that are the keys to its success.
Photos: step by step, how to use Egypt Health app against coronavirus
Egypt Health is the latest application launched by the Egyptian Health and Population Ministry to follow up on coronavirus infections. In this report, we guide you through how it works, and how it helps you diagnose your illness in case of suspected infection with the virus. 1.You can download the application for both iPhone and Android mobile phones. The app takes up less than 10 MB of space, and can work offline. However, in order to receive the latest information and data, the app should be kept updated.
Distancing and masks cut coronavirus risk, largest review of evidence finds
The findings, published in The Lancet journal on Monday, will help guide governments and health agencies, some of whom have given conflicting advice on measures, largely because of limited information about COVID-19. “Our findings are the first to synthesize all direct information on COVID-19, SARS, and MERS, and provide the currently best available evidence on the optimum use of these common and simple interventions to help ‘flatten the curve,’” said Holger Schunemann from McMaster University in Canada, who co-led the research.
New Zealand Has Just One Remaining Case of Coronavirus
New Zealand is down to its last known coronavirus case, approaching a milestone beyond reach in most countries: the elimination of the virus within its borders. It has been nine days as of Sunday since the last new Covid-19 case was confirmed. The only active case is an Auckland woman in her 50s who was diagnosed May 1. The last recorded death was a week ago and more than 1,100 people have recovered. The island nation of 5 million residents took advantage of a substantial easing of lockdown conditions—allowing people to travel outside their local area and gather in groups of up to 100—to enjoy a three-day holiday weekend that was nearing normalcy.
Standing three feet apart, wearing a mask AND face shield cut coronavirus transmission risks by up to 80 percent, new study finds
Researchers looked at 172 observational studies on the benefits of social distancing, face masks and eye gear against COVID-19, SARS and MERS. Standing at least three feet lowered the risk of virus transmission, but standing six feet away cut the risk by half. Not wearing an eye covering increased the risk infection by 2.5-fold and not wearing a mask increased the risk six-fold. Even when all three are used together, the team says none offer complete protection and that other measures. such as hand hygiene, are vital
WHO says coronavirus has not become less potent after Italian doctor claims
Experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other scientists have warned there is no evidence to back up a claim made by a high-profile Italian doctor that the coronavirus has been losing its potency. Professor Alberto Zangrillo, head of intensive care at Italy’s San Raffaele Hospital in Lombardy, prompted the warning when he told state television the new coronavirus “clinically no longer exists”. Mr Zangrillo is well-known in Italy as the personal doctor of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.