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Hugh Jackman reveals how he’s staying fit in quarantine

<p>Beloved Aussie actor Hugh Jackman has shown how he’s still keeping active while being bunkered down in his apartment in New York.</p> <p>The city of New York is under lockdown, but after being called out by tennis legend Roger Federer asking how he’s keeping active, Jackman had a witty response ready for him.</p> <p>The 51-year-old shared a video that showed him running up the stairs in his 15-storey apartment building to get a cardio workout.</p> <p>“Roger, love those trick shots, unfortunately, we don't have tennis courts at our place in New York City,” explained Hugh as he panted up the stairs in his video.</p> <p>“But we have something you guys don't have which is a lot of this,” he added while panning out to show the deserted stairwell.</p> <p>“15 floors, baby!”</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">We don’t have a tennis court. But, we do have a lot of these! <a href="https://twitter.com/rogerfederer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@rogerfederer</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Trainingfromhome?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Trainingfromhome</a> <a href="https://t.co/SJ8RE6tFDC">https://t.co/SJ8RE6tFDC</a> <a href="https://t.co/OLbZoZ9fkF">pic.twitter.com/OLbZoZ9fkF</a></p> — Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) <a href="https://twitter.com/RealHughJackman/status/1247547043326971904?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 7, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>It is not known whether or not the X-Men star is still staying in his New York apartment as he was recently seen in the Hamptons with his wife Deborra-Lee Furness, 64, and daughter Ava, 14.</p> <p>Later, Jackman was spotted with his family and their two dogs Dali and Allegra along the beach. After the walk, he put up a sweet snap of their two dogs, saying that Allegra was “social distancing” from Dali.</p> <p>The image of Dali urged everyone to “stay safe” as the coronavirus pandemic continues to be fought around the world.</p>

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Miss England swaps beauty crown for hospital gown amid pandemic

<p>Miss England 2019, Bhasha Mukherjee, has returned to her lucrative medical career in trade for her crown in order to help those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.</p> <p>The 24-year-old winner told<span> </span>CNN<span> </span>she was returning to her career in the UK after coming back from doing humanitarian work as Miss England abroad. She is returning to her job as a junior doctor at Pilgrim Hospital in Boston, Eastern England – which she held before she won the crown.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-uoPX0gOgj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-uoPX0gOgj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Dr Bhasha Mukherjee (@bhasha05)</a> on Apr 8, 2020 at 10:39am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p> “I felt a sense of this is what I’d got this degree for and what better time to be part of this particular sector than now,” she explained on Monday.</p> <p>According to John Hopkins University data, the United Kingdom currently has 56,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, as of Tuesday morning.</p> <p>Mukherjee says her initial plans to act as an ambassador for a number of charities throughout countries including Turkey, India and Pakistan quickly had to quickly be given up after receiving messages from her former colleagues about the dire situation currently taking place in England.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9gsfeyHxP5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9gsfeyHxP5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Dr Bhasha Mukherjee (@bhasha05)</a> on Mar 9, 2020 at 4:15am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p> “When you are doing all this humanitarian work abroad, you’re still expected to put the crown on, get ready ... look pretty,” she said.</p> <p>For her, there is no better time to step back from her crown and help the country in its time of need.</p> <p>“Health care staff are risking their lives for us, so let’s risk our mere leisure for a little while to say thank you to them,” Mukherjee wrote in support of the U.K’s National Health Service.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8OamTtnfvN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8OamTtnfvN/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Dr Bhasha Mukherjee (@bhasha05)</a> on Feb 6, 2020 at 4:21am PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Mukherjee says being a doctor requires her to be as creative as possible in relation to speaking to patients and “trying to convince them of taking their medication or doing a certain treatment.”</p> <p>“That’s where the art comes in, you see,” she explained.</p> <p>“That’s where the humanities and all the communication skills come in. And that was very exciting for me.”</p> <p>Mukherjee told<span> </span>CNN<span> </span>she is placing herself under quarantine for two weeks before she returns to her medical profession, but stated she is prepared and readily awaiting the new challenge that she is soon to face.</p>

Caring

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Olivia Newton-John shares inspiring new health movement you can be a part of

<p>Australian actress Olivia Newton-John has shared a brilliant new initiative in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and is asking fans to make DIY protective gear as the struggle with the pandemic reaches new heights.</p> <p>The<span> </span>Grease<span> </span>star has taken to social media to share a photograph of herself sporting a chic homemade leopard print mask, and has encourager her fans to do the same.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-kvciUDiaF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-kvciUDiaF/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Olivia Newton-john (@therealonj)</a> on Apr 4, 2020 at 2:29pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Shortages of protective equipment has been reported globally, and impacts health workers on the frontline the most.</p> <p>“We don't need masks, because health workers need them desperately and there aren't enough for the general public too!” she said in a post to Instagram.</p> <p>“Please pass this video on - let's be creative and make our own, like the Czech Republic.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8nW6hgnfj0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B8nW6hgnfj0/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Olivia Newton-john (@therealonj)</a> on Feb 15, 2020 at 8:50pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Olivia finished the inspiring message by thanking the start-up company<span> </span>Masks 4 All<span> </span>which pushes for their critical message to be shared around the world.</p> <p>The post comes amidst Channel Nine personality Richard Wilkins being exposed to coronavirus.</p> <p>The TV star has tested for COVID-19  four times in the span of a month and worried fans when he posted a photograph of himself to Instagram with Olivia and Paul Hogan.</p> <p>The snap however was taken in September 2018 in Melbourne and showed Richard, Olivia and Paul on the set of<span> </span>The Very Excellent Mr Dundee.</p> <p>Richard has since returned to his hosting duties on Weekend Today after 18 days in quarantined isolation.</p>

Beauty & Style

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Perfect isolation recipe: Jamie Oliver’s two-ingredient pasta

<p>In these strange and unpredictable times, the one thing you can always rely on is a good Jamie Oliver recipe.</p> <p>The beloved British chef knows how to make delicious, wholesome food, that’s usually achievable at home.</p> <p>His new series,<span> </span><em>Keep Cooking And Carry On</em>, is serving up his best recipes with a self-isolation twist.</p> <p>“Let’s celebrate freezer faves, big up the store cupboard and get creative with whatever we have on hand,” he says.</p> <p>Not only should you tune in to his show for the great recipes using isolation pantry items, but you also have something to do during your time at home.</p> <p>Here’s a recipe for you to try that only includes two ingredients – one of which is water.</p> <p>“My easy homemade pasta recipe is great for emergencies. You don’t need a pasta machine, just a rolling pin.”</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li>2 large handfuls of plain flour, plus extra for dusting</li> </ul> <p>This recipe is so simple, it doesn't even require proper measurements.</p> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Put the flour in a bowl, then gradually mix in just enough water to bring it together into a ball of dough (if it's sticky, add a little extra flour).</li> <li>Knead for just a couple of minutes, or until smooth and shiny.</li> <li>On a flour-dusted surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the pasta to about 2mm thick.</li> <li>Dust it well with flour, then loosely roll it up. Use a sharp knife to slice it ½cm thick, then toss it with your hands to separate the strands.</li> <li>Cook in boiling salted water for 2 minutes, then drain and toss with your chosen sauce.</li> </ul>

Food & Wine

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Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla share rare snap as they celebrate 15th wedding anniversary

<p>The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary with a unique surprise for fans.</p> <p>As they remain in lockdown in their Balmoral residence amid the coronavirus pandemic, the couple will be celebrating the day quite differently this year, though they’ve proved it’ll be just as special with a heartwarming snap.</p> <p>Taking to Instagram to share a photo of their special day, the Prince and Duchess are seen sitting on the steps of their porch, beaming as they hold their two family dogs, Beth and Bluebell.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-u_JOXgPoA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-u_JOXgPoA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Ahead of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall's 15th wedding anniversary tomorrow, we are sharing this photo of Their Royal Highnesses with The Duchess's dogs Bluebell and Beth. The photo was taken earlier today at Birkhall.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/clarencehouse/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Clarence House</a> (@clarencehouse) on Apr 8, 2020 at 1:59pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In the caption of the photo, Clarence House wrote: “Ahead of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s 15th wedding anniversary tomorrow, we are sharing this photo of Their Royal Highnesses with The Duchess’s dogs Bluebell and Beth”.</p> <p>The Palace finished off by saying: “The photo was taken earlier today at Birkhall”.</p> <p>If you were questioning why the photo is deemed special, then you aren’t without reason.</p> <p>Private images like these are rarely shared by the royal family (unless it’s a very special occasion), and it’s uncommon to see images shared on the same day they are taken.</p> <p>With this in mind, it’s reassuring to see the pair looking so content as they remain in the lockdown currently being enforced around the country.</p>

News

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Double patriot: Russell Crowe's unique face mask tribute

<p>Russell Crowe has celebrated his 56th birthday by honouring his two home countries in self-isolation.</p> <p>The New Zealand-born actor, who has spent most of his life in Australia, took to social media on Tuesday to share a picture of himself wearing the Australian flag over his mouth and the New Zealand flag over his forehead.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Fashion tips for shoppers.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/anzacproud?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#anzacproud</a> <a href="https://t.co/FzGrTLjrxK">pic.twitter.com/FzGrTLjrxK</a></p> — Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) <a href="https://twitter.com/russellcrowe/status/1247295331798110208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 6, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>“Fashion tips for shoppers #anzacproud,” Crowe wrote.</p> <p>Earlier this week, the <em>Gladiator </em>star shared he was in self-isolation with his father John Alexander.</p> <p> “Isolating with the old man. 84 now. Wearing a hat I got at Princeton while shooting <em>A Beautiful Mind</em>,” Crowe wrote alongside a picture of his father.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Isolating with the old man .<br />84 now.<br />Wearing a hat I got at Princeton while shooting A Beautiful Mind. <a href="https://t.co/e6pXoqhGgQ">pic.twitter.com/e6pXoqhGgQ</a></p> — Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) <a href="https://twitter.com/russellcrowe/status/1246704020988690435?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 5, 2020</a></blockquote>

International Travel

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The personalities that thrive in isolation

<p>The coronavirus pandemic has caused tens of thousands of deaths around the world and pushed major economies into a tailspin. Beyond those impacts, almost all of us will face psychological challenges – trying to maintain a responsible social distancing regimen without sliding into psychological <a href="https://theconversation.com/social-distancing-can-make-you-lonely-heres-how-to-stay-connected-when-youre-in-lockdown-133693">isolation and loneliness</a>.</p> <p>At least we’re all in the same boat, and misery loves company, right?</p> <p>Actually, we’re not all in the same boat. Generalisations about how the COVID-19 lockdown will affect us overlook the fact people have different personalities. We’re all going to respond in different ways to our changing situation.</p> <p><strong>Extraverts and introverts</strong></p> <p>Take Bob, for example. After two days working from home Bob couldn’t wait to try a social drinking session over Zoom. But drinking a beer in front of his laptop just wasn’t the same. He’s wondering how he’ll cope in the coming weeks and months, cooped up inside and away from his friends.</p> <p>He wonders this on a call to his sister, Jan: “I might not get coronavirus but I’m going to get <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-self-isolation-a-psychologist-explains-how-to-avoid-cabin-fever-133317">cabin fever</a>!”</p> <p>Jan doesn’t understand Bob’s agitation or why he’s so worried about staying at home. If Jan is feeling bad about anything, it is the guilt of realising she might actually be enjoying the apocalypse – quiet evenings to herself, far from the madding crowd. Bliss!</p> <p>Jan and Bob are archetypes of people we all know well. Bob represents the classic extravert. He’s talkative, gregarious and highly social. Jan is an introvert. She enjoys solitude and finds rowdy Bob a bit too much.</p> <p><strong>Different people, different responses</strong></p> <p>Differences in extraversion-introversion <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2018-63285-007">emerge in early life and are relatively stable over the lifespan</a>. They influence which environments we seek out and how we respond to those environments.</p> <p>In a <a href="https://theconversation.com/happiness-hinges-on-personality-so-initiatives-to-improve-well-being-need-to-be-tailor-made-102341">recent study</a>, extraverts and introverts were asked to spend a week engaging in higher levels of extravert-typical behaviour (being talkative, sociable, etc). Extraverts reaped several benefits including enhanced mood and feelings of authenticity. Conversely, introverts experienced no benefits, and reported feeling tired and irritable.</p> <p>The social distancing rules to which we’re all trying to adhere are like a mirror image of this intervention. Now it’s the extraverts who are acting out of character, and who will likely experience decreased well-being in the coming weeks and months. Introverts, on the other hand, have been training for this moment their whole lives.</p> <p>Why might introverts find isolation easier to deal with than extraverts? Most obviously, they tend to be <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/239522412_Person_and_Thing_Orientations_Psychological_Correlates_and_Predictive_Utility">less motivated to seek out social engagment</a>. Introverts also tend to feel <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236156661_What_you_wish_is_what_you_get_The_meaning_of_individual_variability_in_desired_affect_and_affective_discrepancy">less need to experience pleasure and excitement</a>. This may make them less prone to the boredom that will afflict many of us as social distancing drags on.</p> <p><strong>Looking deeper</strong></p> <p>Other aspects of our personalities may also shape our coping during isolation. Consider the remaining four traits in the <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/basics/big-5-personality-traits">Big Five personality model</a>:</p> <p>People high in <em>conscientiousness</em>, who are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4492903/">more organised, less distractable and also more adaptable</a>, will find it easier to set up and stick to a structured daily schedule, as many experts recommend.</p> <p>People high in <em>agreeableness</em>, who tend to be <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-science-of-being-nice-how-politeness-is-different-from-compassion-81819">polite, compassionate and cooperative</a>, will be better equipped to negotiate life in the pockets of family members or housemates.</p> <p>People high in <em>openness to experience</em>, who tend to be <a href="https://theconversation.com/people-with-creative-personalities-really-do-see-the-world-differently-77083">curious and imaginative</a>, will likely become absorbed in books, music and creative solutions to the humdrum of lockdown.</p> <p>In contrast, people high in <em>neuroticism</em>, who are more <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2792076/">susceptible to stress and negative emotions</a> than their more stable peers, will be most at risk for anxiety and depression during these challenging times.</p> <p>Of course, these are all generalisations. Introverts are not immune to loneliness, and those with more vulnerable personalities can thrive with the right resources and social support.</p> <p><strong>Life in a capsule</strong></p> <p>For some, living under lockdown might feel like working on a space station or Antarctic research facility. What lessons can we draw from personality research in these extreme environments?</p> <p><a href="https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/pdf/10.1146/annurev.psych.51.1.227">That research shows</a> people who are emotionally stable, self-reliant and autonomous, goal-oriented, friendly, patient and open tend to cope better in conditions of extreme isolation. In particular, it has been observed that “‘sociable [read agreeable] introverts’ – who enjoy, but do not need, social interaction – seem optimally suited for capsule living”.</p> <p>To manage as best we can in our earthbound and non-polar “capsules”, we might aspire to some of the qualities noted above: to be calm and organised, determined but patient, self-reliant but connected.</p> <p><strong>Loneliness versus time alone</strong></p> <p>The coronavirus pandemic has arrived on the heels of what some describe as a “loneliness epidemic”, but these headlines <a href="https://ourworldindata.org/loneliness-epidemic">may be overblown</a>. Again, part of what is missing in such descriptions is the fact that clouds for some are silver linings for others.</p> <p>A counterpoint to the so-called loneliness epidemic is the study of “<a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0191886919303101">aloneliness</a>”, the negative emotions many experience as a result of insufficient time spent alone. As Anthony Storr wrote in <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2005-11953-000">Solitude: A return to the self</a>, “solitude can be as therapeutic as emotional support”, and the capacity to be alone is as much a form of emotional maturity as the capacity to form close attachments.</p> <p>Of course, some people in lockdown are facing formidable challenges that have nothing to do with their personality. Many have lost their jobs and face economic hardship. Some are completely isolated whereas others share their homes with loved ones. Even so, our response to these challenges reflects not only our predicament, but also ourselves.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/135307/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/luke-smillie-7502">Luke Smillie</a>, Associate Professor, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-haslam-10182">Nick Haslam</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/personalities-that-thrive-in-isolation-and-what-we-can-all-learn-from-time-alone-135307">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Russell Crowe's figgy gift for Bindi Irwin: "You’ll always be part of our family”

<p>Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell surprised the world by getting married in an intimate ceremony at Australia Zoo before the lockdowns came into place in Australia.</p> <p>Russel Crowe, long-time friend of the Irwins, thoughtfully gifted the newlyweds a fig tree as a wedding present.</p> <p>As the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world, the pair decided to celebrate Crowe’s 56th birthday in a sweet way by hugging the tree that Crowe gifted them.</p> <p>“Happy birthday Russell. You'll always be part of our family,” Bindi, 21, wrote on Tuesday.</p> <p>She added: “Even though we can't see you right now, we're giving the beautiful fig you gifted us a hug and thinking of you. Hope your day is extraordinary!”</p> <p>Bindi then shared a second photo of the sweet gift tag attached to the Port Jackson fig tree.</p> <p>“Presented to Bindi and Chandler to commemorate their wedding.  Love from Russell Crowe and family,” it read.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-qt4W7BRyb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-qt4W7BRyb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">‪Happy Birthday, @russellcrowe 💙‬ ‪You’ll always be part of our family. Even though we can’t see you right now, we’re giving the beautiful fig you gifted us a hug and thinking of you.‬ ‪Hope your day is extraordinary.‬</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/bindisueirwin/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Bindi Irwin</a> (@bindisueirwin) on Apr 6, 2020 at 10:11pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fans were quick to praise Crowe’s unique wedding gift to the newlyweds.</p> <p>“What an Amazingly thoughtful gift. The gift that keeps giving. Anniversary after anniversary. I’d take pictures of that tree it’s kinda symbolic it changes as it grows as will your marriage,” one fan wrote.</p> <p>The newlyweds tied the knot in front of only three people at the zoo, with Bindi’s mother Terri, brother Robert and Steve’s best friend Wes Mannion in attendance.</p>

Home & Garden

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Furious neighbours unleash on backpacking revellers ignoring COVID-19 rules

<p>Backpackers in a Bondi unit block continue to ignore social distancing rules put in place by COVID-19 by holding house parties just days after they were filmed drinking in their backyard until the early morning by angry neighbours.</p> <p>Australia is currently in stage three lockdown, which means that people are unable to leave their homes unless it is necessary (going to work or school, buying essentials, seeking medical care or exercising).</p> <p>Indoor and outdoor gatherings have been restricted to two people as part of further efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus, which is why neighbours are furious at the parties being held by the backpackers.</p> <p>The video of more than a dozen partygoers crammed into a backyard at the block of flats outraged many who are abiding by strict social distancing orders.</p> <p>The two neighbouring buildings are separated by only a few metres, which means sound travels easily.</p> <p>In footage taken just before 3pm, residents were heard yelling at their neighbours asking them to turn down their music.</p> <p>One neighbour confided in<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8199343/Spanish-backpackers-Bondi-party-house-filmed-blasting-music-coronavirus-lockdown.html" target="_blank">The Daily Mail</a></em><span> </span>that things haven’t gotten any better between the neighbours.</p> <p>“The photos that were shared last week, that was of a calm party, but it's gotten a lot of attention because everyone is trying to do the right thing at the minute,” she said.</p> <p>“I've lived here for about 11 years now and over the past 18 months it's just gotten way worse.”</p> <p>“I yelled out at them today because they were blasting music, but it doesn't do much at all most of the time, they'll be back partying in a few days.”</p> <p>The woman wishes to remain anonymous and says she calls police at least once a week about the neighbours.</p> <p>“It's worse at the minute because people are working from home and I know one girl said she was in a work meeting and was asked: ‘What's all that noise?’”</p> <p>However, one resident of the party block argues that the group are being vilified unfairly.</p> <p>“I think that (last week's party) was blown out of proportion. What you'll actually find is these places are really big and hold eight people each, so it seems like there's a lot of people partying but they're all residents,” she said.</p> <p>“It's not like there were people coming from all over Bondi, it was just a mix of people in the apartments.</p> <p>“There are signs up about noise but that's from New Year's Eve. I mean there can be a lot of noise, but I think it's not as bad as it's made out to be.”</p>

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Boris Johnson moved to intensive care

<p><span>British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to an intensive care unit of a London hospital after it was realised his coronavirus symptoms have worsened.</span><br /><br /><span>The PM’s office says he does not require any ventilation for the time being and he is conscious, 10 days after being diagnosed with the virus.</span><br /><br /><span>He is currently under the care of health professionals at St Thomas’ Hospital.</span><br /><br /><span>Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been asked to deputise for the PM.</span><br /><br /><span>"Since Sunday evening, the Prime Minister has been under the care of doctors at St Thomas' Hospital, in London, after being admitted with persistent symptoms of coronavirus," Downing Street said in a statement.</span><br /><br /><span>"Over the course of this afternoon, the condition of the Prime Minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital.</span><br /><br /><span>"The PM has asked Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is the First Secretary of State, to deputise for him where necessary.</span><br /><br /><span>"The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication."</span><br /><br /><span>The 55-year-old PM had been under strict quarantine measures in his Downing Street residence since he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26.</span><br /><br /><span>He was declared the first known head of government to fall ill with the deadly virus.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Johnson had continued his work via video isolation where necessary until Sunday when he was taken to hospital.</span><br /><br /><span>Mr Johnson downplayed his hospital visit, regarding it as “routine tests” and said he was in “good spirits”.</span><br /><br /><span>"Last night, on the advice of my doctor, I went into hospital for some routine tests as I'm still experiencing coronavirus symptoms," he said via social media.</span><br /><br /><span>"I'm in good spirits and keeping in touch with my team, as we work together to fight this virus and keep everyone safe."</span><br /><br /><span>A spokesman for the British PM denied reports made by the Russian media that he had been placed on a ventilator in hospital, describing it as “misinformation”.</span><br /><br /><span>His spokesman said on Monday that Johnson had spent a comfortable night in the intensive care unit and remained in charge of the Government despite symptoms of a cough and fever persisting.</span></p>

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We will meet again: Queen delivers rare address from Windsor Castle

<p>Queen Elizabeth has delivered a heartfelt messages amid the coronavirus pandemic and has delivered a thoughtful thanks to the Brits and the NHS for their effort to eradicate the disease. <br /><br />Millions of people tuned into to watch the British monarch and emotionally address the nation in the face of the worrying COVID-91.<br /><br />Her Majesty took time to thank families and individuals for staying at home and listening to the instructions given to them. <br /><br />She also hailed NHS workers as hero’s and urged the millions of people residing in the UK to remain “united and resolute,” and assured the commonwealth that “better days will return”. </p> <p>In a separate message to Australians released by Government House in Canberra, the Queen said: "At a time when people across the Commonwealth are experiencing a profound and rapid change to their lives, the pain of lost loved ones, and an understandable concern about the future, my thoughts are with all Australians.</p> <p>"Whilst it can be difficult to remain hopeful in such challenging times, especially following the summer's devastating bushfires and recent flooding, I am confident that the stoic and resilient nature of the Australian people will rise to the challenge."</p> <p><br />Viewers were shown a black and white photograph of the Queen and her sister Margaret doing their bit in the war as she reminisced on her past with her younger sibling. <br /><br />She said: “It reminds me of the very first broadcast I made, in 1940, helped by my sister.<br /><br />“We, as children, spoke from here at Windsor to children who had been evacuated from their homes and sent away for their own safety.<br /><br />“Today, once again, many will feel a painful sense of separation from their loved ones. But now, as then, we know, deep down, that it is the right thing to do.”<br /><br />The Queen went on to thank the whole country for their tireless efforts that have not gone unnoticed by her. <br /><br />“A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all,” she said. <br /><br />“I want to thank everyone on the NHS front line, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all.<br /><br />“I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times.”<br /><br />Her Majesty went on to say the country will look back on the crisis for years to come and remember they fought with “pride” to defeat the deadly virus. <br /><br />“Together we are tackling this disease, and I want to reassure you that if we remain united and resolute, then we will overcome it,” she said. <br /><br />“I hope in the years to come everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.<br /><br />“And those who come after us will say the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.<br /><br />“The pride in who we are is not a part of our past, it defines our present and our future.”<br /><br />Viewers were shown clips of selfless ordinary workers making deliveries and the army helping build NHS Nightingale hospital.<br /><br />Along with other images shown, clips were aired of the deliveries being made by the army to the NHS Nightingale hospital, and footage showing rainbow pictures drawn by children. <br /><br />“The moments when the United Kingdom has come together to applaud its care and essential workers will be remembered as an expression of our national spirit; and its symbol will be the rainbows drawn by children,” Her Majesty said. <br /><br />“Across the Commonwealth and around the world, we have seen heart-warming stories of people coming together to help others, be it through delivering food parcels and medicines, checking on neighbours, or converting businesses to help the relief effort.<br /><br />“And though self-isolating may at times be hard, many people of all faiths, and of none, are discovering that it presents an opportunity to slow down, pause and reflect, in prayer or meditation.<br /><br />“While we have faced challenges before, this one is different. This time we join with all nations across the globe in a common endeavour, using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal. <br /><br />“We will succeed - and that success will belong to every one of us.”<br /><br />The Queen finished her emotional, thoughtful message by using lines once sung by Dame Vera Lynn.<br /><br />She said: “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again. But for now, I send my thanks and warmest good wishes to you all.”<br /><br />It was just last month the WWII forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn used the momentous occasion of her 103rd birthday to call on the British public to find “moments of joy” during these “hard times”.<br /><br />The legendary singer marked the special occasion with a new video for her wartime classic <em>We’ll Meet Again </em>royal aides said The Queen’s speech was “deeply personal” to the 93-year-old monarch.<br /><br />The Queen is currently in isolation with her husband 98-year-old Prince Philip at Windsor Castle. </p> <p> </p>

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Roger Federer "devastated" at Wimbledon 2020 cancellation

<p>Tennis fans are reeling from the news that<span> </span><span>Wimbledon </span><span>has been cancelled for the first time since World War II.</span></p> <p>The All England Club announced the closure of the event. It’s the first time that the tournament, which began in 1877, will not be played during peacetime.</p> <p>The All England Club considered a number of alternatives, but decided that cancellation would be the best option, according to<span> </span><em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.espn.com/tennis/story/_/id/28981311/wimbledon-cancelled-due-coronavirus-pandemic" target="_blank">ESPN</a></em>.</p> <p>"It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic," Wimbledon said in a statement on its website.</p> <p>"Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen -- the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents -- as well as our broader responsibility to society's efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life."</p> <p>While moving Wimbledon into late July or August this year was discussed, it was vetoed due to not enough sunlight and too much dew on the courts.</p> <p>Playing the court behind closed doors with no spectators was also ruled out.</p> <p>"With the likelihood that the Government's measures will continue for many months, it is our view that we must act responsibly to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare The Championships from being at risk -- from the training of ball boys and girls to thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors who convene on the AELTC Grounds -- and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage The Championships would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement," the All England Club said in Wednesday's statement.</p> <p>Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer tweeted about the news, saying that he was “devastated”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Devastated <a href="https://t.co/Fg2c1EuTQY">https://t.co/Fg2c1EuTQY</a> <a href="https://t.co/cm1wE2VwIp">pic.twitter.com/cm1wE2VwIp</a></p> — Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) <a href="https://twitter.com/rogerfederer/status/1245373248210178048?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Fans comforted him saying that they too were devastated, but “public health” needed to be a priority. Federer agreed.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">Absolutely, health and family <a href="https://t.co/t31L86vsFk">https://t.co/t31L86vsFk</a></p> — Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) <a href="https://twitter.com/rogerfederer/status/1245378268540395520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Last year’s women’s winner Simona Halep expressed her sadness on Twitter.</p> <p>"So sad to hear Wimbledon won’t take place this year. Last year’s final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title!," she wrote.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">So sad to hear <a href="https://twitter.com/Wimbledon?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Wimbledon</a> won’t take place this year. Last year’s final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title 🤗 <a href="https://t.co/PmppwUuKtD">pic.twitter.com/PmppwUuKtD</a></p> — Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) <a href="https://twitter.com/Simona_Halep/status/1245367979707109376?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">April 1, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Next year’s event will be held from June 28 to July 1.</p>

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We just spent two weeks surveying the Great Barrier Reef – What we saw was an utter tragedy

<p>The Australian summer just gone will be remembered as the moment when human-caused climate change struck hard. First came drought, then deadly bushfires, and now a bout of coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef – the third in just five years. Tragically, the 2020 bleaching is severe and the most widespread we have ever recorded.</p> <p>Coral bleaching at regional scales is caused by spikes in sea temperatures during unusually hot summers. The first recorded mass bleaching event along Great Barrier Reef occurred in 1998, then the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/archive/media99.shtml">hottest year on record</a>.</p> <p>Since then we’ve seen four more mass bleaching events – and more temperature records broken – in 2002, 2016, 2017, and again in 2020.</p> <p>This year, February had the<a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-15/cyclone-great-barrier-reef-bleaching-record-seas-temperatures/12050102"> highest monthly sea surface temperatures</a> ever recorded on the Great Barrier Reef since the Bureau of Meteorology’s records began in 1900.</p> <p><strong>Not a pretty picture</strong></p> <p>We surveyed 1,036 reefs from the air during the last two weeks in March, to measure the extent and severity of coral bleaching throughout the Great Barrier Reef region. Two observers, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, scored each reef visually, repeating the same procedures developed during early bleaching events.</p> <p>The accuracy of the aerial scores <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature21707?dom=icopyright&amp;src=">is verified</a> by underwater surveys on reefs that are lightly and heavily bleached. While underwater, we also measure how bleaching changes between shallow and <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-05741-0">deeper reefs</a>.</p> <p>Of the reefs we surveyed from the air, 39.8% had little or no bleaching (the green reefs in the map). However, 25.1% of reefs were severely affected (red reefs) – that is, on each reef more than 60% of corals were bleached. A further 35% had more modest levels of bleaching.</p> <p>Bleaching isn’t necessarily fatal for coral, and it affects <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-coral-has-died-in-the-great-barrier-reefs-worst-bleaching-event-69494">some species more than others</a>. A pale or lightly bleached coral typically regains its colour within a few weeks or months and survives.</p> <p>But when bleaching is severe, many corals die. In 2016, half of the shallow water corals died on the northern region of the Great Barrier Reef <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0041-2">between March and November</a>. Later this year, we’ll go underwater to assess the losses of corals during this most recent event.</p> <p>Compared to the four previous bleaching events, there are fewer unbleached or lightly bleached reefs in 2020 than in 1998, 2002 and 2017, but more than in 2016. Similarly, the proportion of severely bleached reefs in 2020 is exceeded only by 2016. By both of these metrics, 2020 is the second-worst mass bleaching event of the five experienced by the Great Barrier Reef since 1998.</p> <p>The unbleached and lightly bleached (green) reefs in 2020 are predominantly offshore, mostly close to the edge of the continental shelf in the northern and southern Great Barrier Reef. However, offshore reefs in the central region were severely bleached again. Coastal reefs are also badly bleached at almost all locations, stretching from the Torres Strait in the north to the southern boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.</p> <p>For the first time, severe bleaching has struck all three regions of the Great Barrier Reef – the northern, central and now large parts of the southern sectors. The north was the worst affected region in 2016, followed by the centre in 2017.</p> <p>In 2020, the cumulative footprint of bleaching has expanded further, to include the south. The distinctive footprint of each bleaching event closely matches the location of <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/nature21707?dom=icopyright&amp;src=">hotter and cooler conditions in different years</a>.</p> <p><strong>Poor prognosis</strong></p> <p>Of the five mass bleaching events we’ve seen so far, only 1998 and 2016 occurred during <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/updates/articles/a008-el-nino-and-australia.shtml">an El Niño</a> – a weather pattern that spurs warmer air temperatures in Australia.</p> <p>But as summers grow hotter under climate change, we no longer need an El Niño to trigger mass bleaching at the scale of the Great Barrier Reef. We’ve already seen the first example of back-to-back bleaching, in the consecutive summers of 2016 and 2017. The gap between recurrent bleaching events is shrinking, hindering a full recovery.</p> <p>After five bleaching events, the number of reefs that have escaped severe bleaching continues to dwindle. Those reefs are located offshore, in the far north and in remote parts of the south.</p> <p>The Great Barrier Reef will continue to lose corals from heat stress, until global emissions of greenhouse gasses are reduced to net zero, and sea temperatures stabilise. Without urgent action to achieve this outcome, it’s clear our coral reefs will not survive business-as-usual emissions.</p> <p><em>Written by Terry Hughes and Morgan Pratchett. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-just-spent-two-weeks-surveying-the-great-barrier-reef-what-we-saw-was-an-utter-tragedy-135197">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Travel Tips

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Coronavirus: What the lockdown could mean for urban wildlife

<p>As quarantine measures take hold across the world, our towns and cities are falling silent. With most people indoors, the usual din of human voices and traffic is being replaced by an eerie, empty calm. The wildlife we share our concrete jungles with are noticing, and responding.</p> <p>You’ve probably seen posts on social media about animals being more visible in urban centres. Animals that live in cities or on their outskirts are exploring the empty streets, like the <a href="https://inews.co.uk/news/environment/goats-llandudno-wales-town-coronavirus-uk-lockdown-wildlife-2523916">Kashmiri goats in Llandudno, Wales</a>. Others that would normally only venture out at night are becoming bolder and exploring during the daytime, like the <a href="https://www.elnacional.cat/es/sociedad/coronavirus-jabali-pasea-calles-barcelona_482589_102.html">wild boar in Barcelona, Spain</a>.</p> <p>Our new habits are altering the urban environment in ways that are likely to be both positive and negative for nature. So which species are likely to prosper and which are likely to struggle?</p> <p><strong>Hooray for hedgehogs</strong></p> <p>It’s important to note some species may be unaffected by the lockdown. As it coincides with spring in the northern hemisphere, trees will still bud and flower and frogs will continue to fill garden ponds with frog spawn. But other species will be noticing our absence.</p> <p>The way we affect wildlife is complex, and some of the changes that we’ll see are hard to predict, but we can make some assumptions. In the UK, hedgehogs are our most <a href="https://www.rsb.org.uk/news/14-news/1649-hedgehog-wins-favourite-uk-mammal-poll">popular mammal</a>, but their numbers are in rapid decline. There are many reasons for this, but many die on roads after being hit by cars. With people being asked to only make essential journeys, we are already seeing <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/coronavirus-lockdown-london-citymapper-app-traffic-data-a9434841.html">reduced road traffic</a>. Our spiny friends will have just emerged from hibernation and will no doubt be grateful for the change.</p> <p>Cities are also noisy places, and the noise affects how different species communicate with each other. Birds have to sing louder and at a higher pitch than their rural counterparts, which <a href="https://academic.oup.com/beheco/article/27/1/332/1744993">affects the perceived quality of their songs</a>. With reduced traffic noise, we could see differences in how bats, birds and other animals communicate, perhaps offering better mating opportunities.</p> <p>School closures may not be ideal for working parents, but many will use their time to connect with nature in their own backyard. More time spent in gardens (for those lucky enough to have one), perhaps doing activities like making bird feeders, could help <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-10111-5">encourage nature close to home</a>. There’s been a surge in people taking part in citizen science projects like the <a href="https://www.bigbutterflycount.org/">Big Butterfly Count</a> too. These help scientists to <a href="https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.12956">predict the population trends</a> of different species. The British Trust for Ornithology has just made participation in their <a href="https://www.bto.org/our-science/projects/gbw">Garden BirdWatch Project</a> free during the lockdown, so you can connect with wildlife and contribute to important scientific research.</p> <p><strong>Desolation for ducks</strong></p> <p>All is not rosy for wildlife. Many species currently rely on food provided by humans. From primates fed by tourists in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/13/fighting-monkeys-highlight-effect-of-coronavirus-on-thailand-tourism">Thailand</a>, to the ducks and geese at local parks which have been closed to the public, many animals may be seeking new sources of food.</p> <p>In the UK, the bird breeding season has already begun for earlier breeders like robins. Depending on how long restrictions last, many birds could ultimately make bad decisions about where to breed, assuming their carefully chosen spot is always rarely disturbed. This could threaten rarer birds which breed in the UK, such as little terns, as dog walkers and other people flock to beaches once restrictions are lifted, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/29/uk-wildlife-enjoys-humans-lockdown-but-concerns-raised-over-conservation">potentially trampling and disturbing</a> breeding pairs and their young.</p> <p>Dog walkers also enjoy lowland heathlands, especially those near urban areas such as Chobham Common in Surrey. These rare heaths are home to many rare bird species, like Dartford warblers, which could also see their nests disturbed once humans begin to emerge again in larger numbers. People who are enthralled by wildlife venturing into new areas during lockdown will need to carefully manage their return to the outdoors once restrictions are lifted.</p> <p>Though some species may face challenges in now silent towns and cities, those species that live alongside us do so because they are so adaptable. They will find new sources of food, and will exploit new opportunities created in our absence. Hopefully this time will allow people to appreciate their local environments more, and find new ways to nurture them once all this is over.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/134918/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/becky-thomas-506528">Becky Thomas</a>, Senior Teaching Fellow in Ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/royal-holloway-795">Royal Holloway</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-what-the-lockdown-could-mean-for-urban-wildlife-134918">original article</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

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COVID-19 catastrophe imminent in the United States?

<p>“Right now, things are looking really good,” said US President Donald Trump at Sunday’s White House coronavirus briefing.</p> <p>“We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”</p> <p>Some may say he’s optimistic. Others, might call him delusional.</p> <p>The United States is now the undisputed epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic. It has recorded 336,830 confirmed cases – more than Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom combined. Its death toll has now passed 10,000.</p> <p>And experts say, the worst is yet to come.</p> <p>“This is going to be the hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly,” said Jerome Adams, Trump administration’s Surgeon General.</p> <p>“Buckle down,” said the country’s top expert on infectious diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci. “Because it’s going to be a bad week.”</p> <p>Mr Trump’s overly positive view of the entire situation contradicted what he said less than 24 hours prior, when he admitted there would be “a lot of death”.</p> <p>America, to put it simply, is in a great amount of trouble.</p> <p>For months, it failed to prepare for the outbreak, and now its already flawed health system is nowhere near ready to deal with the coming onslaught.</p> <p><em>The Washington Post<span> </span></em>published a detailed report on the Trump administration’s response to the virus, based on interviews with dozens of sources.</p> <p>According to the report, the government received its first formal notification of the outbreak in China on January 3 – and for 70 “squandered” days after that, did little to prepare.</p> <p>However, China is to blame, as the country repeatedly covered up the threat of the virus until January 20, when it finally admitted human-to-human transmission was happening and made a move to lockdown Wuhan.</p> <p>But not even China can be blamed for the way the US government handled the crisis in the early days.</p> <p>On January 22, the day after the first coronavirus case in the US was discovered, CNBC asked the president whether he was concerned about a pandemic.</p> <p>“No, not at all,” he said.</p> <p>“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”</p> <p>That was one of the first comments made which downplayed the severity of the virus.</p> <p>As the pandemic reached a critical tipping point, shortages restricted America to respond properly.</p> <p>There weren’t enough ventilators and protective equipment. This is largely due to the Trump administration’s slow response.</p> <p>A review of federal purchasing contracts by AP shows federal agencies waited until mid-March – not January or February, but March – to start placing bulk orders of N95 masks, ventilators and other equipment needed by frontline health workers.</p> <p>“We basically wasted two months,” said Kathleen Sebelius, health and human services secretary during the Obama administration.</p> <p>The lack of federal stockpile has left states competing with each other to secure the limited amount of equipment on the market.</p> <p>“You now literally will have a company call you up and say, ‘Well, California just outbid you,’” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last week.</p> <p>“It’s like being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator.”</p> <p>Trump recently admitted that a death toll of 100,000-240,000 would represent his administration doing a “very good job”. The next week will tell us how achievable that target is.</p>

International Travel

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Older and bolder

<p><em>Justine Tyerman likes the idea of ‘going green’ in <span class="markncls2fwx9" data-markjs="true" data-ogac="" data-ogab="" data-ogsc="" data-ogsb="">Botswana.</span></em><span></span></p> <p><span>I’m getting more and more daring in my old age. Having braved the Amazon jungle last year where I did not get swallowed by an anaconda or lose a limb to a caiman, Africa is in my sights next year... as soon as this C-19 monster is under control. The wildlife and landscapes are legendary but before setting toe in this vast continent, I am mindful of the need to be extraordinarily careful about who I chose to travel with, when to go and how I will be transported and accommodated.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Being a small-town girl, I have an aversion to crowds so I avoid travelling anywhere in the high season. I’m also short so jostling with thousands of others to glimpse the horns of a giraffe or the tusk of an elephant does not appeal.</span><span></span><span> </span><span></span></p> <p><span>At my age, I don’t want to be rushed from place to place. I will pass this way but once in my life so I need time and space to absorb the atmosphere and nuances of the experience. The prospect of careering across the savanna in a long convoy of safari jeeps and queueing up to take quick selfies of animals and scenery does not cut it for me.</span><span></span></p> <p><span></span><span>And the idea of camping with carnivores has always terrified me. If I am to get any sleep at all, I want something robust between me and the lions and leopards.</span><span></span></p> <p><span></span><span>So when an email from <u><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="http://www.jenmansafaris.com/" target="_blank" data-auth="NotApplicable">Jenman Safaris</a></u> popped into my inbox the other day, I sat bolt upright and my heart skipped a beat. A specialist safari tour operator with 25 years’ experience in Africa, Jenman Safaris was proposing a less-mainstream African experience during the off-peak ‘green season’ in <span class="markncls2fwx9" data-markjs="true" data-ogac="" data-ogab="" data-ogsc="" data-ogsb="">Botswana</span> when there are far fewer travellers around.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>These tours are scheduled between late October and April, a period of intermittent heavy rainfall that is considered low season for safari tours and therefore avoided by the masses.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>However, it is a time of exceptional beauty in <span class="markncls2fwx9" data-markjs="true" data-ogac="" data-ogab="" data-ogsc="" data-ogsb="">Botswana</span> when the rain breathes new life into the desert plains, transforming the arid, dusty land into lush green. Downpours tend to be unpredictable and highly regional, occurring in one area while a few miles away, there is no rain at all. Showers are usually followed by bright sunshine creating a sparkling, fresh landscape.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>Fewer people mean fewer safari jeeps and less noise so visitors can experience the vast, open space and soak up the verdant landscape in tranquil surroundings.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>The pace of travel is slower and more relaxed allowing travellers to spend more time at particular locations to observe wildlife and enjoy a fully-immersive experience.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>The ‘green season’ in <span class="markncls2fwx9" data-markjs="true" data-ogac="" data-ogab="" data-ogsc="" data-ogsb="">Botswana</span> is the ideal time to witness animals giving birth. A precious and sacred time in the circle of life, it would be a rare privilege to be to observe a baby giraffe, elephant, buck or hippo enter the world and take its first steps.<br /><br />While wildebeest migrations dominate the interest of many travellers, few people know about the zebra migration. A fascinating and spectacular sight, the zebra migration in <span class="markncls2fwx9" data-markjs="true" data-ogac="" data-ogab="" data-ogsc="" data-ogsb="">Botswana</span>’s green season is the longest animal land migration in the world. Herds travel from the north inland towards the Kalahari Desert in search of greener pastures before heading back during the dry months. </span><span></span></p> <p><span>The green landscape splashed with vibrant colour from desert flowers set against dramatic, stormy skies offers breath-taking photography opportunities. The rain settles the dust and clears the air providing superb light to capture once-in-a-lifetime images.</span><span></span></p> <p><span>During the off-season, travellers can take advantage of significantly-reduced rates for many safari packages... so you can stay longer for less.</span><span></span></p> <p><span></span><span>Talking of things green, these days, I will only travel with tour companies who operate in an environmentally and socially-responsible manner so I was heartened to learn that Jenman Safaris meet the strict guidelines of The International Ecotourism Society. Their safaris are low impact and environmentally-friendly, using experienced local guides and supporting community and conservation projects.</span><span></span></p> <p><span></span><span>Jenman Safaris offer numerous options from cycling and camping adventures to small-group tours with accommodation in lodges and transport in sturdy 4x4 vehicles. I love camping and cycling but there’s a limit to my courage. In Africa, staying in lodges with solid walls and doors, and travelling in reliable four-wheel drive Land Cruisers has an undeniable appeal.</span><span></span></p> <p><span></span><span>I’ll no doubt brave the crowds and visit Victoria Falls, and then maybe chill-out on the beautiful island of Madagascar with its colourful people, fascinating wildlife, tropical beaches, bustling markets and ever-changing scenery. A perfect way to round off a trip to Africa.</span></p>

International Travel

Health

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Head lice drug Ivermectin is being tested as a possible coronavirus treatment

<p>Researchers testing the head lice drug Ivermectin as a possible treatment for COVID-19 have <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0166354220302011">seen promising results</a> in lab studies.</p> <p>But the research is in its early stages and the drug is yet to be tested on people with COVID-19. There’s so much we don’t know, including the right dose and delivery method for people with coronavirus infection.</p> <p>So if you’re thinking of buying some just in case, think again.</p> <p><strong>What is Ivermectin currently used for?</strong></p> <p>Ivermectin is an antiparasitic agent that was isolated in the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3043740/">1970s</a> from the fermented broth of a species of bacteria called <em>Streptomyces avermitilis</em>.</p> <p>The drug has been used since the 1980s to treat and prevent diseases related to parasites in humans, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2198752">pets and livestock</a>, and works by <a href="http://www.antimicrobe.org/drugpopup/Ivermectin.htm">paralysing invertebrate parasites</a>.</p> <p>In Australia, Ivermectin is mainly used topically in creams and lotions for head lice.</p> <p>It’s also used in tablet form to treat <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/strongyloides/gen_info/faqs.html">roundworm infection</a> and as a <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/radar/articles/ivermectin-stromectol-for-typical-and-crusted-scabies">second-line treatment for scabies</a> and <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/rosacea/symptoms-causes/syc-20353815">rosacea</a>, a skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face.</p> <p>The pharmaceutical company that makes Ivermectin, MSD, has also been <a href="http://www.msd.com/about/featured-stories/mectizan.html">donating the drug to developing countries</a> to treat the parasitic diseases river blindness and elephantiasis for the past 30 years.</p> <p><strong>What are the side effects and potential harms?</strong></p> <p>When used at the recommended dose, Ivermectin is generally well tolerated. Some of the common <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/australian-prescriber/articles/ivermectin-1">side effects</a> include diarrhoea, nausea, dizziness and drowsiness.</p> <p>Less common is a lack of energy, abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, tremors, rashes and itching.</p> <p>Ivermectin may also <a href="https://www.nps.org.au/medicine-finder/stromectol-blister-pack-tablets">interact with some medicines</a>, such as the blood-thinning drug warfarin, or <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/ivermectin-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20064397?p=1">worsen some conditions</a> such as asthma.</p> <p>Ingesting Ivermectin found in topical products for head lice is dangerous. If this occurs, contact the <a href="https://www.poisonsinfo.nsw.gov.au/">Poison Information Hotline</a>.</p> <p><strong>How might Ivermectin treat COVID-19?</strong></p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104787">Recent laboratory data</a> from <a href="https://www.monash.edu/discovery-institute/news-and-events/news/2020-articles/Lab-experiments-show-anti-parasitic-drug,-Ivermectin,-eliminates-SARS-CoV-2-in-cells-in-48-hours">scientists at Monash University and the Doherty Institute</a> suggests Ivermectin is able to stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from replicating.</p> <p>Ivermectin has also been shown to stop other viruses (such as HIV, dengue, influenza and Zika) replicating, at least in the laboratory.</p> <p>The researchers found Ivermectin had an effect on SARS-CoV-2 after one exposure to the drug. Viral replication was shut down within 24 to 48 hours.</p> <p>It’s still not clear <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104787">exactly how Ivermectin works</a>. But it appears to stop the processes that allow proteins to move within the virus. These proteins would normally dampen the body’s antiviral response, allowing the virus to replicate and enhance the infection.</p> <p><strong>Where is the research on Ivermectin for coronavirus up to?</strong></p> <p>This research on Ivermectin has been conducted in <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104787">cell culture</a> (cells grown in a laboratory) and is very preliminary. It provides some promise, but not evidence of an effective treatment in people (yet).</p> <p>Rigorous clinical trials in people with or exposed to COVID-19 infection are needed to establish the drug works and is safe to use, and in what doses. The laboratory studies of Ivermectin suggest higher concentrations of the drug may be needed <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2751445/">beyond a standard dose</a> to have an <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jac/article/75/4/827/5710696">antiviral impact</a>. So safety monitoring will be important.</p> <p>If Ivermectin is found to work on people with COVID-19, it needs to be studied as a potential treatment. So researchers need to know: does it prevent COVID-19 infection, reduce the severity of the associated illness, or improve the time to recovery? These are important questions to be answered before it becomes a treatment for COVID-19.</p> <p>On a positive note, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ddr.21666">re-purposing drugs</a> such as Ivermectin as a potential treatment for COVID-19 is ideal because development can move quickly to clinical trial testing because we already know it’s safe to use in humans at currently recommended doses.</p> <p><strong>Should I buy some just in case?</strong></p> <p>No. It’s too soon to know if the promising laboratory test results will translate into a safe and effective drug for COVID-19 patients. The researchers were very clear <a href="https://www.monash.edu/discovery-institute/news-and-events/news/2020-articles/Lab-experiments-show-anti-parasitic-drug,-Ivermectin,-eliminates-SARS-CoV-2-in-cells-in-48-hours">Ivermectin should not be used to treat COVID-19</a> until further testing is complete.</p> <p>We certainly shouldn’t be stockpiling the drug to use later, especially since we don’t yet know the best way to take Ivermectin, including the right dose. And it could lead to unintended medicine shortages for people who need the drug to treat serious diseases caused by parasites.</p> <p><em>Written by Andrew McLachlan. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/head-lice-drug-ivermectin-is-being-tested-as-a-possible-coronavirus-treatment-but-thats-no-reason-to-buy-it-135683">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

Caring

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Coronavirus: 6 ways of turning anxiety into positive mental health habits

<p>Given the constant stream of negative news about the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s easy to feel anxious and uncertain. Anxiety is also an understandable reaction, since coronavirus has made many of us change our daily routines, and threatens our sense of safety. It can be difficult to let go of these thoughts and feelings. But, we can also try to use anxiety to develop habits that can protect our mental health.</p> <p>Our brain has a capacity to change and “rewire” in response to our experiences. We call this capacity “<a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jnc.13580">neural plasticity</a>”. If we have recurrent, anxious thoughts, we are establishing <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/neural-correlates-of-worry-in-generalized-anxiety-disorder-and-in-normal-controls-a-functional-mri-study/8C8E522025624086184A40E73025031B">neural connections</a> that make thinking anxious thoughts easier for us the next time we do so.</p> <p>But we can also use anxious thoughts as triggers for engaging in activities and thoughts that help manage and reduce anxiety. In this way, we can transform anxiety into one of the first building blocks of habits that can support our wellbeing when we face challenging circumstances. So the next time you notice anxious thoughts racing through your mind, or feel your shoulders tensing up from worry, try one of these activities to manage your anxiety – and change it into positive mental health habits in the future.</p> <p><strong>1. Practice self-care</strong></p> <p>When you feel anxious or overwhelmed, the simplest thing you can do is to just take three slow, deep breaths to calm down. Count slowly to four as you breathe in and then count slowly to five as you breathe out.</p> <p>This simple exercise helps increase activation in the <a href="https://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/FullText/2018/07000/Vagal_Mediation_of_Low_Frequency_Heart_Rate.11.aspx?casa_token=LORNIYI2cuwAAAAA:I5NNopYBLDdUCwLGe9pkdzGiewWwWY24vE-oobRAousDalvb5_4RHmntts8r6y_i-j5ReyVt8YTSvMbRZXtMO-dhKu4">parasympathetic nervous system</a>, which is associated with resting and digesting. It also reduces activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our fight or flight response – and is <a href="https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/jn.00220.2018">linked to anxiety</a>.</p> <p>When possible, listening to your favourite <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/srep23008">upbeat song</a> or a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005796718301190">brief physical exercise</a> at home can help improve your mental health and reduce anxiety.</p> <p><strong>2. Do something relaxing</strong></p> <p>After waking up and just before your go to sleep, try to do things that are <a href="https://www.cntw.nhs.uk/resource-library/relaxation-techniques/">relaxing and uplifting</a>. What you do early in the morning <a href="https://journals.aom.org/doi/abs/10.5465/amj.2007.005">sets the mood for the day</a>. If you notice having anxious thoughts soon after waking, try to think about something positive if you can. Or, do a few mindful stretches and focus on the sensations in your body.</p> <p>In the evening, try to avoid reading news or comments on social media about the virus spread extensively. Negative emotions experienced in the evening <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/buy/2008-05281-014">impact sleep quality</a>. Listening to a calming podcast, practising meditation or <a href="https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/resources/patient-information/cardiovascular/jacobsons-progressive-relaxation-technique.pdf">relaxation techniques</a> might help calm anxiety before bed.</p> <p><strong>3. Notice the small things</strong></p> <p>Reading the latest news about COVID-19 and planning all the changes to your work, childcare, or travel plans can lead to a nearly constant stream of stressful or anxious thoughts. When you notice the worry building up, try to look or listen to the things around you.</p> <p>Notice flowers in your garden, clouds in the sky, or the sound of a bird outside and take a couple of minutes just to see or listen. This simple mindfulness practice not only gives your busy mind a bit of a break, but it also may reduce activity in the midline structures of the prefrontal cortex of the brain <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/070674371205700203">involved in anxious rumination</a>. As a result you may find that you start feeling less anxious.</p> <p><strong>4. Do something to help</strong></p> <p>Some people might react to anxiety <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/da.20469?casa_token=GGwroC8ba1oAAAAA%3Aux2UKqbNSCtg4UKzvpq125v5sTvUxLCi0q6L109qmDHCkxZ_ct2zAvfIqSELRE3O94oedCuCmoCWMw">with hoarding behaviours</a>. This is perhaps reflected in the panic-buying and stockpiling of groceries in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Others respond to anxiety <a href="https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_to_keep_the_greater_good_in_mind_during_the_coronavirus_outbreak">with compassion</a>, through prosocial behaviours such as helping or sharing. Prosocial behaviour can <a href="https://www.nber.org/papers/w23761">protect our wellbeing</a>.</p> <p>When feeling anxious, think about doing something positive. Maybe this is just dropping an email to your colleague or friend and asking how they’re doing. Or perhaps you can call older relatives so that they have somebody to talk to for 10 minutes. There are <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-51995089">many other ways to help</a> – the main one being staying at home so that you (and others) don’t catch or spread the virus.</p> <p><strong>5. Put things into perspective</strong></p> <p>Our mind has a built-in <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17470919.2019.1696225?casa_token=cQAw1ssQZSIAAAAA%3AW_cb4fGU47ZuMLazET3jTd0PDJD_77EgFh4PiI5Fp6cKV3NpQZKHlyuKg7YuKbNJyJI5RKHszjg">negativity bias</a> making us think of and remember negative events better than positive ones. From an evolutionary perspective, this was important so that we would remember not to eat certain foods that made us ill a second time, for example. But this also means that we notice and remember <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/116/38/18888.short">negative news</a> over positive events.</p> <p>Knowing this, when you feel anxious try to make a conscious effort to overcome the negativity bias. This might mean changing your perspective, and trying to remind yourself of the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-51963446">many positive things</a> that have happened because of coronavirus – such as examples of kindness, or reductions in pollution. Research shows that increased hope <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005789419300681">strongly predicts decreases in anxiety</a>.</p> <p><strong>6. Meditate or pray</strong></p> <p>Over 80% of adults in the USA identify as <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/06/more-americans-now-say-theyre-spiritual-but-not-religious/">spiritual or religious</a>. Spirituality and religiousness have been <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01525/full">associated with better wellbeing</a>, particularly because they give us a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Having a sense of purpose and meaning can also <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2013-22421-001">protect us against anxiety</a>.</p> <p>You can use your feelings of anxiety as a reminder to <a href="https://theconversation.com/six-common-misconceptions-about-meditation-90786">meditate</a> or say a short prayer. Even brief regular meditations may <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0005789411001055">reduce anxiety levels</a>.</p> <p>Of course, different activities might work better for different people. To get started, the next time you feel anxious make a list of a couple of activities that you know will help calm you down. Then try to do these things the next time you feel anxious to eventually turn your negative thoughts and feelings into habits that support your mental health.</p> <p>In this way you will be creating new connections in the brain that will associate anxiety with something positive instead of an endless spiral of negative thoughts and feelings. With practice, you may find that anxiety you may have in response to the negative headlines <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/psychological-medicine/article/neural-plasticity-in-response-to-attention-training-in-anxiety/C5AE57DD17582694DB1A375E21F797BC">becomes less threatening</a> and easier to let go of.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/134292/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dusana-dorjee-410499">Dusana Dorjee</a>, Lecturer, Psychology in Education Research Centre, Department of Education, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-york-1344">University of York</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-six-ways-of-turning-anxiety-into-positive-mental-health-habits-134292">original article</a>.</em></p>

Mind

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Worrying update from PINK on her 3-year-old son

<p>Pink has revealed her 3-year-old son Jameson Moon Hart has run a 100-degree fever three weeks after testing positive for COVID-19.</p> <p>The 40-year-old singer bared it all in an Instagram livestream on Sunday where she said her son is still “showing symptoms”.</p> <p>The star first revealed her son’s positive diagnosis in a series of tweets on Friday but did not offer any information of their current condition.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-il39tJ57d/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-il39tJ57d/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by P!NK (@pink)</a> on Apr 3, 2020 at 6:27pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>However, on Sunday, Pink revealed her baby boy “has had the worst of it” and remains “really, really sick” weeks after testing positive.</p> <p>“I've had many nights where I've cried and I've never prayed more in my life," she said, continuing, "I thought they promised us our kids would be okay.”</p> <p>The CDC said in a report that children who test positive for COVID-19 “have generally shown mild symptoms.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9emKzAJ2vy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B9emKzAJ2vy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by P!NK (@pink)</a> on Mar 8, 2020 at 8:42am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“It's not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs.”</p> <p>“There is no one that is safe from this,” Pink told fans in the Instagram livestream, and also revealed that her husband, Carey Hart, and their 8-year-old daughter, Willow Sage Hart, have not exhibited symptoms.         </p> <p>The Grammy award winning artist also shared that she is donating $1 million to two emergency relief funds. The donation is split evenly between the Temple University Hospital Fund in Philadelphia and the COVID-19 response fund run by the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles.</p>

Caring

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Why exercise addiction is a real mental health condition

<p>We might assume a person that goes to the gym every day is “addicted” to exercise. But in reality, exercise addiction is a complicated condition that researchers still don’t fully understand.</p> <p>Exercise addiction is different from going to the gym or for a run everyday. Rather, the <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/357/bmj.j1745">condition</a> is characterised by an obsessive or compulsive need to exercise, to the detriment of quality of life. For example, a person with the condition might skip a friend’s wedding because they “need” to train.</p> <p>Exercise addicts also experience strong withdrawal symptoms and train through injury, rather than following medical advice. One example of this is the case of <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51294715?fbclid=IwAR0p0i8l0u18IUFlHndTIRqtoXY5Y-BPIdpmfsFu6kNfDlN54C8ij73X0ZI">Hope Virgo</a>, who exercised so much and ate so little that she had a calcium deficiency, causing her to break bones while exercising.</p> <p>Key symptoms of exercise addiction generally include:</p> <ul> <li>Feeling a compulsion to do more and more exercise, or feeling that you’re not doing enough</li> <li>Training through injury</li> <li>Feeling strong withdrawal symptoms if exercise is stopped</li> <li>Missing important social events because you “have to” exercise.</li> </ul> <p>Exercise addiction is not currently recognised by either the World Health Organization or the American Psychiatric Association due to a lack of research on the condition. However there’s a <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306460318308633">growing body of research</a> exploring exercise addiction.</p> <p>How common the issue is seems to vary significantly between different types of exercise. It’s estimated that between <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1469029212000829">0.3-0.5%</a> of the total population (including people who don’t exercise) are at risk of exercise addiction. In people who exercise regularly, between <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-018-1011-4">3-7% of people</a> are at risk of developing exercise addiction. However, we can’t be sure how accurate these numbers are as there’s currently no universally accepted diagnostic criteria for exercise addiction.</p> <p><strong>Complicated diagnosis</strong></p> <p>As such, current tools to diagnose exercise addiction assess a person’s risk by using an educated guess of what to measure. Some tools are based on medical <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3767415/">diagnostic criteria for substance</a> abuse, while others compare symptoms against the experiences of self-defined “exercise addicts”. This means that different methods of measuring exercise addiction are reporting on different things, which makes it pretty hard to say how common it really is.</p> <p>Complicating matters further is the athlete paradox. Professional athletes train a lot – typically more than the average gym enthusiast. They definitely have to make sacrifices, often impacting their quality of life because of it – for example, they probably miss social events for training at times.</p> <p>But if you ask them to analyse their own behaviour, they will often tell you they are just following their training schedule, that they have no choice. Athletes would therefore score highly on standard exercise addiction questionnaires.</p> <p>Exercise addiction has also been shown to be linked to eating disorders, with a <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40519-019-00842-1">recent study</a> showing that people with eating disorders are 3.7 times more likely to have exercise addiction. In fact, “excessive exercise” is part of the diagnostic criteria for both <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3221424/pdf/Dtsch_Arztebl_Int-108-0678.pdf">bulimia and anorexia</a>. This is because people with eating disorders look to find ways to lose weight, and exercise is one way to burn calories.</p> <p>Links have also been found between body <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/body-dysmorphia/">dysmorphic disorder</a> (also known as body dysmorphia) and exercise addiction. Body dysmorphic disorder is an anxiety disorder in which a person might obsess over one or more perceived flaws in their appearance. This link suggests that negative body image might be intrinsically linked to exercise addiction.</p> <p>There are also links between exercise addiction, eating disorders and <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/">obsessive-compulsive disorder</a> (OCD). People with OCD demonstrate many of the same traits that are present in both exercise addiction and eating disorders such as a lack of control over a compulsion, such as exercise. This shows that exercise addiction could simply be another form of OCD.</p> <p>Some researchers have argued that exercise addiction does not exist if <a href="https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/bjsports/34/6/423.full.pdf">another disorder</a> isn’t present. Yet the <a href="https://www.apa.org/pubs/books/4311538">majority of research</a> on exercise addiction doesn’t screen for primary conditions like eating disorders or body dysmorphic disorder – instead they only looks for signs of exercise addiction.</p> <p>This means that we just don’t know whether or not exercise addiction is an independent condition or simply a symptom of something else. Future research should try focusing on screening for other disorders when looking at exercise addiction to see whether or not this condition exists if other conditions – like eating disorders – aren’t present.</p> <p>Current treatments for potential exercise addiction can include <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cognitive-behavioural-therapy-cbt/">cognitive behavioural therapy</a>, although its <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1606635021000032366">efficacy is questionable</a> as limited studies have been conducted. When it comes to treatment, it’s important to determine if exercise addiction is the primary condition, or whether it is a symptom of something else. If it’s a symptom of another condition, treating the primary condition should be the priority.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/133577/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/mike-trott-534834">Mike Trott</a>, PhD candidate, Centre for Sport and Exercise Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lee-smith-509285">Lee Smith</a>, Reader in Physical Activity and Public Health, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/anglia-ruskin-university-1887">Anglia Ruskin University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/exercise-addiction-is-a-real-mental-health-condition-yet-still-poorly-understood-133577">original article</a>.</em></p>

Body

Lifestyle

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Fans surprised as Demi Moore and Bruce Willis self-isolate together

<p>Fans are thrilled that Demi Moore is self-quarantining with her ex-husband Bruce Willis and their daughters in the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The duo seems to have reunited to keep the family together.</p> <p>Youngest daughter Tallulah Willis, 26, posted a photo of Bruce, 65, and Demi, 57, posing together while wearing matching green striped pyjamas while smiling into the camera.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-py28VDrvV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-py28VDrvV/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">chaotic neutral</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/buuski/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> tallulah</a> (@buuski) on Apr 6, 2020 at 1:35pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Their daughter, Scout, 28, is posed in the background along with film director Dillon Buss, who is holding a small dog. The other family dog is asleep on the couch and is also wearing the same pyjamas.</p> <p>“Chaotic neutral,” Tallulah captioned the image.</p> <p>One fan commented that the family aren’t exactly social distancing, but Tallulah pointed out that the family have been together for a prolonged amount of time.</p> <p>“We made the choice to quarantine together and have been together for 27 days taking every precaution. Please stay inside and wash your hands!” she wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-r5aRlngVw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-r5aRlngVw/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Family bonding 💚</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/demimoore/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Demi Moore</a> (@demimoore) on Apr 7, 2020 at 9:11am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Demi posted the sweet snap, saying that they were enjoying some “family bonding”.</p> <p>Bruce and Demi have remained friendly with each other since they divorced in 2000 after being married for 13 years. She spoke candidly about their marriage in her recent memoir<span> </span>Inside Out.</p> <p>“I think Bruce was fearful at the beginning that I was going to make our split difficult, and that I would express my anger and whatever baggage that I had from our marriage by obstructing his access to the kids — that I’d turn to all of those ploys divorcing couples use as weapons,” she wrote in the book. “But I didn’t, and neither did he.”</p> <p>Bruce has since remarried to Emma Heming Willis, with whom he shares two daughters, Mabel Ray, 8 and Evelyn Penn, 5. It is not known whether they are all isolating with the Moore family.</p>

Family & Pets

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How to manage living with your partner during coronavirus pandemic

<p>Across the country an unprecedented number of couples are suddenly spending every waking and sleeping hour of the day with one another.</p> <p>That’s what <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019087">many older retired couples do too</a>, even when there isn’t a pandemic. Their experiences are worth listening to, because many psychology studies find that marriages among the Medicare-eligible set <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.79.4.644">are the happiest</a> of any <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/000312240807300202">cohort across the life span</a>.</p> <p>A review of the research reveals a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.88.1.189">U-shaped pattern of marital happiness</a> over the life cycle. Early marriage features many positive aspects interlaced with a lot of conflict, while older couples enjoy the highest levels of companionship with low levels of conflict. Midlife couples who are raising children are at the bottom of the U. They tend to see a plunge in their enjoyment of one another, along with an uptick in fighting.</p> <p>Of course, you might wish you could be securely retired with a partner right now, especially if you’re currently on your own. Working remotely or facing unemployment while running a one-room schoolhouse, planning three meals a day without running out of food and worrying about your family’s health makes retirement look like a dreamy vacation.</p> <p>But there are some important similarities between retirement and the isolation required by social distancing. Your social networks have shrunk. Without work connections and friends to meet for lunch or at the gym, a partner becomes more essential than ever. <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=sh-v7eQAAAAJ&amp;hl=en&amp;oi=ao">As a therapist who has been treating couples</a> <a href="http://www.momentumpress.net/books/life-cycle-approach-treating-couples-dating-death">at all stages of life</a> for almost three decades, I’m currently witnessing the relational challenges of this pandemic, a big magnifier that can bring out the very best and sometimes the worst in relationships.</p> <p><strong>Lean on me</strong></p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/56.6.p321">Older, retired couples</a> primarily focus on supporting one another: Can I depend on you when I need help, feel scared, worry about dying or don’t feel well? And am I willing to be that source of comfort and stability when you need me?</p> <p>No matter the age or stage of the couple, the current pandemic has revealed the need for much more mutual dependency. Can I count on you to protect yourself and us when you go to the grocery store? If I’m feeling scared about my parents’ health or mine, can I tell you? If teaching algebra (a subject I struggled with the first time around) to our children has pushed me to the breaking point, can I ask you to take over, kindly and with no eye-rolling?</p> <p>Now is an ideal time to develop your help-asking muscle and, in turn, to welcome your partner’s vulnerability. You can practice now for the years ahead when you’ll need to be comfortable with more mutual dependency – being able to count on and be counted on in moments of need and frailty.</p> <p><strong>Have fewer, kinder fights</strong></p> <p>My colleague, psychiatrist Bob Waldinger, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019087">brings octogenarian couples</a> into his laboratory to study their conflicts. He told me that he often has trouble getting them to reenact a fight. Having had the same fights for decades, these older couples are quite bored at the prospect of another round. They already know the other one’s lines. Do we have to do this again?</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1037//0003-066x.54.3.165">When older couples do fight</a>, they tend to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.10.1.140">handle conflict better</a> than younger ones: They are more likely to interject expressions of affection and are less prone to voicing disgust, belligerence and whining. Because the relationship is so central, they may be more likely to forgive their partners or let a grievance slide.</p> <p>So, try to catch a fight as it starts and consider saying to your partner, “Can we talk about something more interesting? We probably already know how this is going to unfold.”</p> <p>Or, if the conflict is important to air, try to remember that you can say something kind without surrendering, or give a warm nonverbal smile or touch.</p> <p>It’s also a good idea to refrain from making any contemptuous or nasty comments. Couples researchers recommend following the <a href="https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/">“magic ratio” of 5 to 1</a> during a fight to secure a stable relationship: Try to say five positive things to every one zinger or negative comment. This ratio, which may seem outlandish, is based on the fact that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2002.40102000083.x">negative interactions carry more weight</a> than positive ones.</p> <p><strong>Focus on the present reality</strong></p> <p>Studies suggest that older couples <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/56.6.p321">focus on the present</a> and are better able to accept the relationship as it is, rather than looking ahead to a time when it is going to be transformed.</p> <p>While they may not discuss their own mortality, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024569803230">older couples’ perspectives are shaped</a> by a shorter time horizon. They typically pay more attention to positive experiences, want to understand their emotions better and focus on a smaller group of close friends and family.</p> <p>Try focusing on what is good about your relationship. What do you admire and feel grateful for? If you focus on the ways your partner is supportive, research shows that both you and your spouse will <a href="https://doi.org/10.1024/1662-9647/a000077">feel better about the relationship</a>. Focusing on emotion will not be hard during a pandemic that elicits powerful feelings of anger, fear, worry, grief, love and gratitude. What can you learn about your partner that you didn’t know before about his or her strengths, ways of coping and cracks in that coping?</p> <p>Being stuck with your partner 24/7 may leave you pondering the expression “for better or worse, but not for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” But you may come out the other side with some new skills. You don’t have to wait for retirement to have a stronger relationship.<em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anne-fishel-146002">Anne Fishel</a>, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/harvard-medical-school-1710">Harvard Medical School </a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/stuck-at-home-with-your-partner-look-to-retirees-for-how-to-make-it-work-134834">original article</a>.</em></p>

Relationships

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Heartbroken son speaks out after Ruby Princess cruise ship death: “We’re just extremely mad”

<p>The Ruby Princess cruise ship quickly became a coronavirus hotspot with deadly consequences after eleven passengers passed away.</p> <p>Tasmanian man, 81-year-old Leonard Fisher was one of the victims who lost his life to the virus after boarding the cruise ship and his heartbroken son, Greg has spoken up about the horrific ordeal.</p> <p>Speaking to<u><em><span> </span>60 minutes,</em></u><span> </span>Greg said he wished he’d done more to convince his father out of leaving for his trip but his dad convinced him that if there had been anything wrong on the ship, Princess Cruises would have cancelled the cruise.</p> <p>"He said at my age, I'll probably never get a chance to do another trip like this again," Greg told Bartlett.</p> <p>However, as time went on Greg noticed his dad become increasingly more concerned throughout his trip.</p> <p>"He said that he had a gentleman sitting beside him that was coughing and coughing, and coughing, he had his hand over his mouth, and he was quite concerned about that," Greg told <em>60 Minutes</em>.</p> <p>"He did say that if he was aware that how bad this virus was, and if it was on the ship, he would never have got on the ship."</p> <p>Greg told Channel 9 both he and his dad had trusted the cruise line company as "At no stage were the passengers told that there was a possibility of coronavirus on that boat. They were unaware of any sickness that was on that boat, it was just so wrong,"</p> <p>Np passengers were told that in fact, 104 people on board were sick with respiratory infections and 15 had to be swabbed by the doctor onboard due to his fear of suspected COVID-19.</p> <p>Cruise passengers Gary and Kelly Callaghan expressed their frustrations that they were not warned that the disease had made its way on to the ship.</p> <p>"We are extremely mad, sad and cranky that we weren't told that somebody potentially had it on the ship. We're just extremely mad that we weren't told anything," she said.</p> <p>Neither Kelly or Gary were tested upon departure but instead were ushered quickly off the ship and were allowed to return into their communities and back to their homes.</p> <p>It is possible thousands were infected.</p> <p>"We were all expecting to be tested when we got off just to be sure, to be safe, you're letting us out in the public around people and nobody tested us and I really think that was disgraceful," Gary said.</p> <p>NSW Health deemed that the ship was a “low risk setting”, despite being told there were 15 passengers who had been swabbed for coronavirus.</p> <p>2700 passengers were disembarked without being tested.</p> <p>There are 600 cases of coronavirus linking back to the ruby cruise ship and 11 deaths.</p> <p>The Ruby Princess is now the largest single source of COVID-19 deaths in Australia.</p>

Family & Pets

Finance

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Jacinda Ardern slams Australian government telling Kiwis to go home

<p>New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has hit out at Australia’s new ruling on temporary visa holders after acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge told those unable to support themselves or access government schemes “it’s time to go home”.</p> <p>The Australian government has advised to the 2.17 million people in Australia on temporary visas, including 672,000 New Zealand citizens on the 444 visa, that they should leave if they could not sustain themselves for six months outside the critical sectors. The sectors are health, aged and disability care, agriculture, food processing and childcare.</p> <p>“Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home,” Tudge said on Saturday.</p> <p>“For these individuals, it’s time to go home, and they should make arrangements as quickly as possible.”</p> <p>Ardern said she had been taken aback by Tudge’s statement.</p> <p>She said many Kiwis were not eligible to access the JobKeeper scheme despite making up “a key part” of the Australian workforce.</p> <p>“If they wish for Australia to be in a position to gear up in the aftermath of the outbreak then they will need a workforce to do that and New Zealand make up that workforce,” Ardern said.</p> <p>“They on average earn more and pay more taxes than others. They are a key part of the Australian economy and I would have thought they wouldn’t want to be so quick to lose them.”</p> <p>Kiwis who arrived in Australia before February 26, 2001 are eligible for Centrelink and JobKeeper benefits. The 444 visa holders who arrived after 2001 had access to the JobKeeper payments, but not the JobSeeker payments. However, others in casual work or without employment have no support, <em><a href="https://www.sbs.com.au/news/jacinda-ardern-hits-out-at-australia-s-time-to-go-home-temporary-visa-advice">SBS</a> </em>reported.</p> <p>“New Zealanders should consider returning to New Zealand if they are unable to support themselves through these provisions, work or family support,” Tudge said.</p>

Legal

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Inside the mind of the online scammer

<p>When Dame Helen Mirren revealed she had been the victim of a <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1199903/Dame-Helen-Mirren-latest-telephone-scam-warning-BBC-Radio-4-news">“humiliating” scam</a> on the press junket for her latest movie (in which, coincidentally, she also plays the victim of a hoax), it highlighted how everyone needs to be on their guard against fraudsters. Even members of the royal family are not immune, as was illustrated when Prince Charles was dragged into a <a href="https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-charles-hit-counterfeit-art-20799908">major counterfeit art scandal</a>. But what motives scammers, other than greed? I believe the answer can be gleaned by investigating why humans lie in the first place.</p> <p>Online fraudsters carry out a sophisticated and well-planned array of deceiving strategies to con people. These include <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49825888">romance scams</a> in which the victim is enticed to contribute cash to foster a fake romantic relationship, fraudulent lotteries, prize draws, sweepstake games and auction sites. Substantial winnings are offered if the victim can send in some cash.</p> <p>The fraudsters are <a href="https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/scammers-have-upped-their-game-former-conman-shares-tips-protecting-ncna1057631">constantly building better mousetraps</a> in order to lure in increasingly sophisticated mice. For example, scams are being personalised to the victim by including references to familiar people or by targeting the victim’s occupation.</p> <p><strong>What’s behind the deception?</strong></p> <p>Scams are carried out using almost untraceable methods, so the criminals are often unknown, despite concerted efforts by law enforcement to identify and prosecute them. But the knowledge from several disciplines (<a href="https://www.britannica.com/science/ethology">ethology</a>, social psychology and criminology) can help us to understand them.</p> <p><strong>Deception to ensure survival</strong></p> <p>Ethologists study animal behaviour. They have observed that species, including humans, have developed a complex means of deceiving their prey in order <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1745691614535936">to ensure their survival</a>. For example, ethologists have identified complex forms of deceptions in other species, such as the jumping spider, which uses behavioural and chemical mimicry. This allows them to coexist with ants and feed on them. This is regarded as comparable to humans engaging in embezzlement by which they use their privileged access to resources and reputation for illegally extracting finances from other people.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/vAS3kahu76k?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>Altruistic lies?</strong></p> <p>Social psychologists have found that when humans lie for altruistic purposes or advancement of the group, the lie is often praised rather than denigrated. For example, even young children (aged between five and seven) show a willingness to tell “white lies” in order <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/bjdp.12083">to make others feel better</a>. Meanwhile other research shows that adults perceive lying that benefits others (because sometimes the truth hurts) <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022103114000328?via%3Dihub">as more “ethical”</a> than honest statements.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/wJCRzgAPwE4?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p><strong>Typical and serious lies</strong></p> <p>Social psychological research shows that <a href="https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351035743">lying is part of normal life</a>. Frequently, people tell everyday lies that are rather benign. Most of these lies are self-serving, but many are designed to benefit others.</p> <p>People most often tell <a href="https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=uC1NDwAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT116&amp;lpg=PT116&amp;dq=doi:+http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s15324834basp2602%263_4&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=b4Yp7Aw_WK&amp;sig=ACfU3U1sEhUyv82mQ4iTYFaGTKveIwdjpQ&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwijj9Dhq8HmAhWJa8AKHRFiB08Q6AEwAHoECAcQAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=doi%3A%20http%3A%2F%2Fdx.doi.org%2F10.1207%2Fs15324834basp2602%263_4&amp;f=false">“serious lies”</a> to their closest relationship partners. They tell serious lies in order to avoid punishment, protect themselves from confrontation, appear a highly desirable person, to protect others and also to hurt their partner. Common serious lies tend to involve affairs and taking money from others without their knowledge.</p> <p><strong>Liars, fraudsters and corruption</strong></p> <p>Frauds represent a complex array of deceptive behaviour that originates in species and arises, in part, from some of the typical motivations for deception. It is, of course, a criminal activity that is well understood by criminologists. Most criminals are typically male and have parents with criminal records, delinquent peer friends, arrests at a young age and come from poor areas with <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5892438/">higher crime rates</a>.</p> <p>Today’s most common online scams are often carried out by people from poor countries. These countries and their government officials are generally regarded as corrupt by <a href="https://www.transparency.org/files/content/pages/2018_CPI_Executive_Summary.pdf">international corruption indexes</a>. Such corruption conveys the message that deception is a desirable strategy. Poverty combined with high corruption contributes to a heightened motivation to deceive others for survival.</p> <p>The criminals in question tend to have traits of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047235217301897">psychopathic and antisocial personality disorders</a>. Research has investigated illegal downloading and hacking in adolescents from 30 countries. It was found that “<a href="https://www.cybercrimejournal.com/Udrisvol10issue2IJCC2016.pdf">cyber deviance</a>” was mostly carried out by males and by people who experienced “school disorganisation” (stealing and vandalism) and “neighbourhood disorganisation” (having untrustworthy or criminal neighbours).</p> <p>These “cyber deviants” tend to have <a href="https://www.cybercrimejournal.com/Udrisvol10issue2IJCC2016.pdf">elevated cognitive ability</a> and, of course, have access to computers and technology. This type of fraud is often well planned and the fraudsters employ a range of deceptive tactics.</p> <p>The law tries to keep these criminals at bay. In September 2019, Operation reWired in the US succeeded in prosecuting <a href="https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/281-arrested-worldwide-coordinated-international-enforcement-operation-targeting-hundreds">281 email scammers</a> from several countries.</p> <p>But the large numbers of fraudsters who combine deceptive and complex strategies make it extremely difficult to keep these crimes under control. So an understanding of how their minds work and their modus operandi is vital if one is to avoid becoming a victim.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/127471/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ken-rotenberg-272715">Ken Rotenberg</a>, Professor in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/keele-university-1012">Keele University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/inside-the-mind-of-the-online-scammer-127471">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Income

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Why one man's bulk buying hand sanitiser scheme failed

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>A man in America, Noah Colvin, bought 17,700 bottles of hand sanitiser with the intention of reselling them on Amazon for a profit, but the tech giant has put a stop to that immediately.</p> <p>Amazon has cracked down on pandemic price gouging, which resulted in the company suspending Colvin’s account.</p> <p>He drove over 2,000 kilometres across Tennessee, stocking up on hand sanitiser and sanitary wipes but is now unable to get rid of the excess of goods.</p> <p>He’s not the first account to be suspended, with Amazon removing hundreds of thousands of listing of people trying to price gouge items others are looking for, including respiratory masks.</p> <p>Colvin said to<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/technology/matt-colvin-hand-sanitizer-donation.html" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a><span> </span>that the whole experience has been a “huge amount of whiplash”, as he was able to sell 300 bottles at a markup before the company suspended his account.</p> <p>However, Colvin has since donated all of the supplies on Sunday just as the Tennessee attorney general’s office began investigating him for price gouging.</p> <p>He helped volunteers from a local church load two-thirds of the stockpile of hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes into a box truck that will distribute the goods across the state to those who need them.</p> <p>“I’ve been buying and selling things for 10 years now. There’s been hot product after hot product. But the thing is, there’s always another one on the shelf,” he said.</p> <p>“When we did this trip, I had no idea that these stores wouldn’t be able to get replenished.”</p> <p>After receiving hate mail and death threats after<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/technology/coronavirus-purell-wipes-amazon-sellers.html" target="_blank"><em>The New York Times</em></a> published an article about him, Colvin has since expressed remorse for his actions.</p> <p>“It was never my intention to keep necessary medical supplies out of the hands of people who needed them,” he said, crying. “That’s not who I am as a person. And all I’ve been told for the last 48 hours is how much of that person I am.”</p> <p>Tennessee’s price gouging laws are strict and prohibit charging “grossly excessive” prices for a range of items, including medical supplies. People can be fined up to $1,000 per violation, and the attorney general’s office sent Colvin a cease-and-desist letter as well as opening up an investigation.</p> <p>“We will not tolerate price gouging in this time of exceptional need, and we will take aggressive action to stop it,” Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III of Tennessee said in a news release.</p> </div> </div> </div>

Money & Banking

Entertainment

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Oscar winner plays bingo with nursing home residents

<p>Hollywood actor Matthew McConaughey has hosted a game of virtual bingo for residents living in a senior nursing home in Texas, U.S on Sunday.</p> <p>The A-lister was joined by his wife, Camila Alves and mother, Kay as they led a game of bingo for seniors currently residing at The Enclave at Round Rock senior Living in Round Rock, Texas.</p> <p>A clip of the event was shared to social media, where the 50-year-old star was recording saying: “We got I-24!</p> <p>“Richard is waving a hammer up high, we got Charles with the iPad up high. We got two winners!”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FTheEnclaveatRoundRockSeniorLiving%2Fvideos%2F652315845592481%2F&amp;show_text=1&amp;width=560" width="560" height="508" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="true"></iframe></p> <p>The clip also showed Camila taking pictures of the bingo participants who were all turning in through Zoom, along with two of their three children peeking in behind McConaughey’s shoulder.</p> <p>The caption of the clip which was posted by the facility’s Facebook page read: “Ever play virtual bingo with #MatthewMcConaughey? You'd be a whole lot cooler if you did! The residents at The Enclave at Round Rock Senior Living got to play virtual bingo with #MatthewMcConaughey and his family!</p> <p>“Thank you to Matthew, his wife Camila, and his mom Kay for hosting our residents for a few rounds of virtual bingo! Our residents had a great time playing, and they loved talking with Matthew about his family heritage and his favourite drink.”</p> <p>A second piece of footage from the virtual bingo game was also shared onto Facebook, with one of the facility’s employees thanking the award-winning actor for his support.</p> <p>“I wanted to say, from all of us, we want to continue to turn a red light into a green light.”</p>

Technology

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The Nanny cast reunites for virtual pilot re-enactment

<p>The cast of beloved ‘90s sitcom <em>The Nanny </em>has come together for a YouTube reunion, more than 20 years after the show aired its final episode.</p> <p>Fran Drescher and 13 of her former co-stars gathered via video conferencing platform Zoom for a reading of the show’s 1993 pilot amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>Titled “The Nanny Episode 1: Pandemic Table Read”, the 33-minute video posted to YouTube featured Drescher as the main character Fran Fine, Charles Shaughnessy (Maxwell Sheffield), Daniel Davis (Niles), Lauren Lane (C.C. Babcock), Nicholle Tom (Maggie Sheffield), Benjamin Salisbury (Brighton Sheffield), Alex Sternin (Eddie), Renee Taylor (Sylvia Fine), Madeline Zima (Grace Sheffield), DeeDee Rescher (Dottie) Rachel Chagall (Val) and Jonathan Penner (Danny).</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/C3a6KuP1X14"></iframe></div> <p>Co-creator Peter Marc Jacobson and composer Ann Hampton Callaway were also featured in the special event, with Jacobson reading the script directions and Callaway singing the theme song.</p> <p>“Laughter is the best medicine,” Drescher said in a statement.</p> <p>“So, in these challenging times, Petah and I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if we pulled together the original cast of <em>The Nanny</em> for a virtual read of the pilot?’</p> <p>“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic performance for our fans around the world who are currently stressing in isolation and could use a real upper! It sure has given each of us a lift, and we hope it does for you as well.”</p>

TV

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5 and a half ways to make movie masterpieces at home

<p>Isolation is a common theme in cinema: stranded on an island (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0162222/">Cast Away</a>), in space (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1454468/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Gravity</a> or <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">The Martian</a>), on a boat (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0454876/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Life of Pi</a>), stuck in the desert (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1542344/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">127 hours</a>), or simply confined to an apartment (<a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047396/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Rear Window</a>). But what about when the filmmakers themselves are stranded?</p> <p>Luckily, most of us are carrying sophisticated cameras in our pockets and have easy access to online film libraries and creative collaborators.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.oxfordbibliographies.com/view/document/obo-9780199791286/obo-9780199791286-0052.xml">psychoanalytic approaches to filmmaking</a> reveal, our screens have a unique ability to see beyond reality. Our screens reach into the deepest depths of our desires, fantasies, and emotional landscapes.</p> <p>Here are five approaches to filmmaking that can challenge our perception of the world, from the (dis)comfort of your own home:</p> <p><strong>1. Video diary</strong></p> <p>I’m not referring to the kind of YouTube vlogging that made <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/fashion/jenna-marbles.html">Jenna Marbles</a> a millionaire, nor the diary room confessional of Big Brother, but a visual rendition of expressive journal keeping.</p> <p>Avant-garde filmmaker <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/news/postscript/my-debt-to-jonas-mekas">Jonas Mekas</a> pioneered the film diary in the 1960s by experimenting with the camera’s limits – incorrect exposure, disorderly movement, re-arranging time, and injecting a poetic voice. The challenge here is to portray your inner experience and not let the recording device simply “capture” it.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kzkzQExJ9rc?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Jonas Mekas – Always Beginning | TateShots.</span></p> <p>If diaristic wanderings prove difficult, Gillian Leahy’s <a href="https://vimeo.com/ondemand/mylifewithoutsteve/179709856">My Life Without Steve</a> is a beautiful example of what can be achieved in a single apartment. The reflective narration from protagonist Liz guides us through emotional turmoil, memory, and theories of lost love.</p> <p>Additionally, the meticulous still-life compositions by cinematographer Erika Addis, entirely restricted to the apartment space, offer an intimacy and familiarity beyond words: streetlights dancing on the water, a steaming kettle, floral wallpaper …</p> <p><strong>2. Location home</strong></p> <p>Sometimes the location can be more significant than the person. This is certainly the case in films documenting imprisonment such as Berhouz Boochani’s experience of Manus Island detention centre in <a href="https://vimeo.com/230860000">Chauka, Please Tell Us The Time</a>, or Jafar Panahi’s discrete autobiography <a href="https://youtu.be/ajOgE_BPLVU">This Is Not A Film</a> recorded under house arrest in Iran. In 2015, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2415458/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Wolfpack</a> told the unusual tale of seven brothers confined to a New York apartment with Hollywood movies as their window onto the world.</p> <p>Isolation offers an opportunity to interrogate the politics of home. The 1970s feminist movement gave rise to scathing critiques of gender-based domestic roles. Martha Rosler’s video art performance <a href="https://www.moma.org/collection/works/88937">Semiotics of the Kitchen</a> has inspired generations of classroom appropriations. The crude infomercial inspired performance undermine both the authority of the camera and the kitchen as a space of domination.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oDUDzSDA8q0?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Semiotics in the Kitchen (1975)</span></p> <p>Chantal Akerman’s <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073198/">Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles</a>, also released in 1975, offers a less obvious subversion of domesticity. The protagonist is a single mother undertaking sex work as part of her daily routine to provide for her child. Rather than sensationalising prostitution, the camera respectfully captures the subtle gestures and emotions of the working mother.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ih3nBxjkBH8?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.</span></p> <p><strong>3. Online collaboration</strong></p> <p>Collaborative media comes in many forms: participatory video, citizen media, user-generated and crowd-sourced content.</p> <p>Collaborative approaches to filmmaking were pioneered by visual anthropologists attempting to accurately and ethically record foreign cultures. Handing the camera over was seen as a way to access insider knowledge. YouTube and Instagram could be considered large-scale collaborative media projects. More coherent and meaningful projects focus on a particular theme or creative parameter.</p> <p>User-generated content (UGC) and fan-based creations have since become common to the genre, such as <a href="https://vimeo.com/15416762">The Johnny Cash Project</a>, <a href="https://youtu.be/CB5ib4ouxes">Shrek Retold</a>, and <a href="https://vimeo.com/29174093">Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake</a>.</p> <p>Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s <a href="https://hitrecord.org">HitRecord</a> is one of the most innovative UGC platforms with more than 750,000 contributors and the opportunity to get paid if the production makes money. By investing in personal contributions, the audience gains a sense of proprietorship over the project and boost distribution through their social networks.</p> <p>The best examples of collaborative media are highly curated and elaborately produced. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and Katerina Cizek have produced a series of ambitious multimedia compilations under the <a href="http://highrise.nfb.ca">Highrise projects</a>. Of these projects, <a href="http://outmywindow.nfb.ca/#/outmywindow">Out My Window</a> is perhaps the most relevant to our current experience, featuring 13 participants from around the globe sharing personal stories from their highrise homes.</p> <p>Collaborative media offers a multitude of voices to common themes and experiences. The trick to maintaining cohesion and continuity is to formulate detailed instructions for how to contribute.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/31376449" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Highrise / One Millionth Tower | National Film Board of Canada.</span></p> <p><strong>4. Found footage</strong></p> <p>Found footage documentaries are composed entirely from existing media. The recent surge in this genre such as <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt8760684/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0">Apollo 11</a>, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5433114/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">Maradona</a>, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2870648/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2">Amy</a>, and <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7694570/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1">The Final Quarter</a> about footballer Adam Goodes, all demonstrate that filmmakers need not touch a camera to produce a cinematic masterpiece.</p> <p>While we may not individually be able to acquire rights to copyrighted material, most of us are unwittingly accumulating extensive media archives of our lives. The popular <a href="https://1se.co/">1 Second Everyday</a> app demonstrates how existing phone footage can be transformed into a revealing and enthralling sequence through rhythm-based montage.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/lyx6O_WFJhU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">1 Second Everyday.</span></p> <p><strong>5. Machinima</strong></p> <p><a href="https://voices.uchicago.edu/machinima/sample-page/">Machinima</a> (machine-cinema) is an innovative alternative to animation, in which detailed 3D graphics engines of computer games are used as cinematic stages. Most of the productions in this genre mimic mainstream comedy and action movies but there are a few examples of how the artform can interrogate our relationship to virtual worlds.</p> <p>Nominated for the “Weird” category of the <a href="https://www.webbyawards.com/">Webby Awards</a> for online excellence, the narrator of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1tAmAFSc-YS63RrFMwkG0GuPVN70ku_G">Grand Theft Auto Pacifist</a> navigates the ultra-violent game world, understood as an extension of our lived society, in a hilarious experiment to see if he can exist peacefully.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="440" height="260" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nDRKbYNjRic?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span class="caption">Grand Theft Auto Pacifist.</span></p> <p>But be warned, the first person I knew to go down the machinima path disappeared without a trace for two months, lost to the <a href="https://worldofwarcraft.com/en-gb/">World of Warcraft</a>.</p> <p><strong>The ½ – since it’s not for everyone</strong></p> <p>Lastly, my half recommendation. While not something I can recommend to students, during this difficult period of social distancing those of us fortunate enough to be isolated with loved ones might use the opportunity to master the elusive art of sexual desire … erotica.</p> <p>Again, the camera need not be enslaved as a witness but can be recruited to explore the psychological and physical playing field of our desires.</p> <p>And not all of your filmmaking need be shared around.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/134907/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/aaron-burton-676917">Aaron Burton</a>, Lecturer in Media Arts, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/great-time-to-try-5-ways-to-make-movie-masterpieces-at-home-134907">original article</a>.</em></p>

Movies

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The Gates Foundation’s prophetic coronavirus pandemic simulation

<p>On 18 October last year, the Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum and the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security held a pandemic simulation exercise, with the aim of “educating senior leaders” about an adequate response to the type of crisis the planet is currently in the grips of.</p> <p>The simulation was called <a href="http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/about">Event 201</a>. Fifteen participants took part in a mock pandemic emergency board. This included representatives from the UN Foundation, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Johnson &amp; Johnson, Lufthansa and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.</p> <p>Representing Australia was ANZ board member <a href="http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/players/halton.html">Jane Halton</a>, who incidentally has been <a href="https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/morrison-shuts-down-parliament-hands-nation-corporations">appointed</a> to the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission by Scott Morrison. The NCCC is a local body of corporate representatives designed to coordinate the economy during the very real COVID-19 crisis.</p> <p>The Event 201 scenario involved a new coronavirus – a disease that causes respiratory tract infection – that developed in pigs in South America and then infected farmers. The virus spread around the world, with some people developing mild flu-like symptoms, while others perished.</p> <p>Stranger than fiction</p> <p>Watching the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoLw-Q8X174&amp;app=desktop">highlights of Event 201</a> – which took place just five and a half months ago – is eerie. Simulated “GNN” newsreels appear between footage of emergency board discussions, one of which involves an immunologist outlining that efforts to find a vaccine during the outbreak failed.</p> <p>The Gates Foundation’s Christopher Elias asserts that keeping global supply chains open would take “knowledge that only the private sector has”, while the UN could play a role coordinating the various private entities. But, it’s clear to Elias that this aspect of the response would rely upon corporations.</p> <p>The most distressing part of the highlights comes when the issue of the “overwhelming amounts of dis- and mis- information circulating over the internet” is broached. The board members go on to discuss whether internet shutdowns would be necessary to deal with fake news.</p> <p>Think about it – as we sit locked down in our homes during a real pandemic, with newly imposed restrictions on gatherings with others outside of our own households – what would it be like if the government and private business decided to close down the main mode of communications?</p> <p>Too little too late</p> <p>Event 21 led to seven key recommendations, all of which, it would seem now, came too late. These suggested that governments and business sectors should plan for a pandemic situation, which would include stockpiling medical supplies and investing in <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-child-vaccination-be-compulsory/">vaccination</a> development capabilities.</p> <p>The outcome of the simulated pandemic was catastrophic, with 65 million people dying in the first 18 months. The outbreak was small at first and seemed controllable. But, once it started spreading through the poor neighbourhoods of megacities, it exploded, with cases in nearly every country.</p> <p>“We have to ask, did this need to be so bad?” says a GNN mock news presenter. “Are there things we could have done in the five to ten years leading up to the pandemic that would have lessened the catastrophic consequences?”</p> <p>The presenter concludes, “We believe the answer is yes.” However, that timeframe to prepare is now lost.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-gates-foundations-prophetic-coronavirus-pandemic-simulation/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

Art

Property

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Royal residence! Rare look into Prince Charles’ and Duchess Camilla’s Clarence House

<p><em>Google Arts &amp; Culture</em> have teamed up with the royal family to give onlookers a virtual tour of Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla’s highly publicised, but rarely seen Clarence House in London.</p> <p>Royal life is often tightly guarded and kept between the select few. However, it has never been easier to see what it is like to live as a royal.</p> <p>The virtual tour of Prince Charles’ Clarence House only lets onlookers see into the ground floor of the house, but even that is enough to showcase just how family-oriented this royal family is.</p> <p>Littered among the walls and every sitting place is portraits of the Windsor family – from the Prince of Wales’ grandmother to his youngest son, Prince Harry.</p> <p>It is a stunning property that the Queen herself is privileged enough to say she once called home – and judging by the grandeur styling and opulent decor, it is no wonder how the royal would have fit right in.</p> <p>Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall have called the Clarence House their own since 2003 and was originally built for the Duke of Clarence who would go on to become King William IV in 1827.</p> <p>He and the Queen were not the only utmost senior royals to call the abode their own, as the Queen Mother once graced the halls of the four-story property between the years 1953 to 2002.</p> <p>For a short time, Queen Elizabeth and The Duke of Edinburgh lived in the home after they were married in 1947.</p> <p>The most mystifying feature of the entire property is the lavish, stunning gardens which is what guests will first see when they enter upon the grounds of Clarence House.</p> <p>Prince Charles designed the gardens himself in 2005 in a bid to honour his grandmother, who he shared a very close relationship with while she was alive.</p> <p>The entrance hall of the home has its own unique and unbelievable features as portraits of great royalty line the walls along with treasured relics.</p> <p>Another intimate touch royal onlookers are given a rare insight to is the family photos on display in the Morning Room, where Prince Charles is said to entertain guests from all walks of life.</p> <p>The gorgeous and unique residence who is called home by Prince Charles and his wife has remained a treasure to the royal family for generations and will continue to do so even when he moves on to become King and is passed on to another royal family member.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see Prince Charles’ Clarence House.</p>

Real Estate

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The science is in: Gardening is good for you

<p>“That’s all very well put,” says Candide, in the final line of Voltaire’s novel of the same name, “but we must go and work our garden.”</p> <p>I studied this text at high school before I became a gardener and professional horticulturist. We were taught that Candide’s gardening imperative was metaphorical not literal; a command for finding an authentic vocation, not a call to take up trowels and secateurs.</p> <p>In fact, Voltaire himself really believed that active gardening was a great way to stay sane, healthy and free from stress. That was 300 years ago.</p> <p>As it turns out, the science suggests he was right.</p> <p><strong>The science of therapeutic horticulture</strong></p> <p>Gardens and landscapes have long been designed as sanctuaries and retreats from the stresses of life – from great urban green spaces such as Central Park in New York to the humblest suburban backyard. But beyond the passive enjoyment of a garden or of being in nature more generally, researchers have also studied the role of actively caring for plants as a therapeutic and educational tool.</p> <p>“Therapeutic horticulture” and “horticultural therapy” have become recognised treatments for stress and depression, which have served as a healing aid in settings ranging from prisons and mental health treatment facilities to schools and hospitals.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and school</strong></p> <p>Studies of school gardening programs – which usually centre on growing food – show that students who have worked on designing, creating and maintaining gardens develop more positive attitudes about health, nutrition and the <a href="http://www.kohalacenter.org/HISGN/pdf/HPP_2011_MMR_Sample1.pdf">consumption</a> of <a href="http://search.proquest.com/openview/61a8bb123ec000d6a6348aeb950645fa/1?pq-origsite=gscholar">vegetables</a>.</p> <p>They also <a href="http://horttech.ashspublications.org/content/15/3/439.short">score better</a> on science <a href="http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/syllabi/435/Articles/Klemmer.pdf">achievement</a>, have better attitudes about school, and improve their <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15330150701318828">interpersonal skills</a> and <a href="https://food-hub.org/files/resources/Blair_The%20Child%20in%20the%20Garden_J.%20Environ%20Educ_2009.pdf">classroom behaviour</a>.</p> <p>Research on students confirms that gardening leads to higher levels of self-esteem and responsibility. Research suggests that incorporating gardening into a <a href="http://kohalacenter.org/HISGN/pdf/Thechildinthegarden.pdf">school setting</a> can boost group cohesiveness.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and mental health</strong></p> <p>Tailored gardening programs have been shown to increase quality of life for people with <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v16n01_02">chronic mental illnesses</a>, including <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J004v16n01_02">anxiety and depression</a>.</p> <p>Another study on the use of therapeutic horticulture for patients with clinical depression sought to understand why gardening programs were effective in lessening patient experience of depression. They found that structured gardening activities gave patients existential purpose. Put simply, it <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/01612840.2010.528168">gave their lives meaning</a>.</p> <p>In jails and corrective programs, horticultural therapy programs have been used to give inmates positive, purposeful activities that lessen aggression and hostility during and after incarceration.</p> <p>In one detailed study from a San Francisco program, involvement in therapeutic horticulture was particularly effective in <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1300/J076v26n03_10">improving psychosocial functioning</a> across prison populations (although the benefits were not necessarily sustained after release.)</p> <p>Gardening has been shown to help improve the lives of <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jacqueline_Atkinson/publication/265575473_AN_EVALUATION_OF_THE_GARDENING_LEAVE_PROJECT_FOR_EX-MILITARY_PERSONNEL_WITH_PTSD_AND_OTHER_COMBAT_RELATED_MENTAL_HEALTH_PROBLEMS/links/55094b960cf26ff55f852b50.pdf">military veterans</a> and <a href="http://www.joe.org/joe/2007june/iw5p.shtml">homeless people</a>. Various therapeutic horticulture <a href="https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/2930">programs</a> have been used to help people with learning difficulties, asylum seekers, refugees and victims of torture.</p> <p><strong>Gardening and older people</strong></p> <p>As populations in the West age, hands-on gardening programs have been used for older people in nursing homes and related facilities.</p> <p>A systematic review of 22 studies of gardening programs for older adults found that gardening was a powerful <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01924788.2013.784942">health-promoting activity</a> across diverse populations.</p> <p>One <a href="http://journals.lww.com/jcrjournal/Abstract/2005/09000/Effects_of_Horticultural_Therapy_on_Mood_and_Heart.8.aspx">study</a> sought to understand if patients recovering from heart attack might benefit from a horticultural therapy program. It concluded:</p> <blockquote> <p><em>[Our] findings indicate that horticultural therapy improves mood state, suggesting that it may be a useful tool in reducing stress. Therefore, to the extent that stress contributes to coronary heart disease, these findings support the role of horticultural therapy as an effective component of cardiac rehabilitation.</em></p> </blockquote> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Yvir4sm2G7Q"></iframe></div> <p>While the literature on the positive effects of gardening, reflecting both qualitative and quantitative studies, is large, most of these studies are from overseas.</p> <p>Investment in horticultural therapy programs in Australia is piecemeal. That said, there are some standout success stories such as the <a href="https://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/">Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation</a> and the work of nurse <a href="https://www.anmfvic.asn.au/membership/member-profiles/steven-wells">Steven Wells at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre</a> and beyond.</p> <p>Finally, without professionally trained horticulturists none of these programs – in Australia or internationally – can take place.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/65251/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/chris-williams-300083">Chris Williams</a>, Lecturer in urban horticulture, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-melbourne-722">University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-science-is-in-gardening-is-good-for-you-65251">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Many Aussie plants and animals adapt to fires but the fires are changing

<p>Australia is a land that has known fire. Our diverse plant and animal species have become accustomed to life with fire, and in fact some require it to procreate.</p> <p>But in recent decades the pattern of fires – also known as the fire regime – is changing. Individual fires are increasingly hotter, more frequent, happening earlier in the season and covering larger areas with a uniform intensity. And these changes to the fire regime are occurring too fast for our native flora and fauna to adapt and survive.</p> <p><strong>Our fire-adapted plants are suffering</strong></p> <p>Many of Australia’s iconic eucalypts are “shade intolerant” species that adapted to exist within a relatively harsh fire regime. These species thrive just after a major fire has cleared away the overstory and prepared an ash bed for their seeds to germinate.</p> <p>Some of our most majestic trees, like the alpine ash, can only regenerate from seed. Those seeds germinate only on bare earth, where the leaf litter and shrubs have been burnt away.</p> <p>But if fire is so frequent the trees haven’t matured enough to produce seed, or so intense it destroys the seeds present in the canopy and the ground, then even these fire-adapted species can <a href="http://www.lifeatlarge.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/650007/Reshaping-alpine-landscapes-summary.pdf">fail</a>.</p> <p>The current fires are re-burning some forests that were burnt only a decade ago. Those regenerating trees are too young to survive, but also too young to have started developing seed.</p> <p>With the disappearance of these tree species, other plants will fill the gap. Acacias (wattles) are potential successors as they mature much earlier than alpine ash. Our tall, majestic forests could easily turn into shrubby bushland with more frequent fires.</p> <p>Even within a burnt area, there are usually some unburnt patches, which are highly valuable for many <a href="https://theconversation.com/burnoff-policies-could-be-damaging-habitats-for-100-years-30240">types of plants and animals</a>. These patches include gullies and depressions, but sometimes are just lucky coincidences of the terrain and weather. The patches act as reserves of “seed trees” to provide regeneration opportunities.</p> <p>Recent fires, burning in hotter and drier conditions, are tending to be severe over large areas with fewer unburnt patches. Without these patches, there are no trees in the fire zone to spread seeds for regeneration.</p> <p>Eucalypt seed is small and without wings or other mechanisms to help the wind disperse it. Birds don’t generally disperse these seeds either. Eucalypt seed thus only falls within 100 - 200 metres of the parent tree. It may take many decades for trees to recolonise a large burnt area.</p> <p>That means wind-blown or bird-dispersed seeds from other species may fully colonise the burnt area well before the Eucalypts. Unfortunately many of these windblown seeds will be <a href="http://hotspotsfireproject.org.au/download-secure.php?access=Public&amp;file=fire-weeds-and-native-vegetation-of-nsw.pdf&amp;type=">weed</a> species, such as African Love Grass, which may then cover the bare earth and exclude successful Eucalypt regeneration while potentially making fires even <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-invasive-weeds-can-make-wildfires-hotter-and-more-frequent-89281">hotter and more frequent</a>.</p> <p><strong>Animals have fewer places to hide</strong></p> <p>Young animals are significantly more vulnerable to disturbances such as fire than mature individuals. So the best time to give birth is a season when fire is rare.</p> <p>Spring in the southern zones of Australia has, in the past, been wetter and largely free from highly destructive fires. Both flora and fauna species thus time their reproduction for this period. But as fire seasons lengthen and begin earlier in the year, vulnerable nestlings and babies die where they shelter or starve as the fires burn the fruits and seeds they eat.</p> <p>Australian fauna have developed <a href="https://theconversation.com/animal-response-to-a-bushfire-is-astounding-these-are-the-tricks-they-use-to-survive-129327">behaviours that help them survive</a> fire, including moving towards gullies and depressions, climbing higher, or occupying hollows and burrows (even if not their own) when they sense fire.</p> <p>But even these behaviours will fail if those refuges are uncharacteristically burning under hotter and drier conditions. Rainforest, marshes and the banks of watercourses were once safe refuges against fire, but we have seen these all <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/nov/24/world-heritage-queensland-rainforest-burned-for-10-days-and-almost-no-one-noticed">burn in recent fires</a>.</p> <p><strong>What can be done?</strong></p> <p>All aspects of fire regimes in Australia are clearly changing as a result of our heating and drying climate. But humans can have a deliberate effect, and have done so in the past.</p> <p><a href="https://nph.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/j.1469-8137.1998.00289.x">Indigenous burning</a> created a patchwork of burnt areas and impacted on the magnitude and frequency of fires over the landscape. These regular burns kept the understory under control, while the moderate intensity and patchiness allowed larger trees to survive.</p> <p>There have been repeated calls of late to <a href="https://theconversation.com/our-land-is-burning-and-western-science-does-not-have-all-the-answers-100331">reintroduce Indigenous burning</a> practices in Australia. But this would be difficult over vast areas. It requires knowledgeable individuals to regularly walk through each forest to understand the forest dynamics at a very fine scale.</p> <p>More importantly, our landscapes are now filled with dry fuel, and shrubs that act as “ladders” - quickly sending any fire into tree canopies to cause very destructive crown fires. Given these high fuel conditions along with their potentially dangerous distribution, there may be relatively few safe areas to reintroduce Indigenous burning.</p> <p>The changed fire conditions still require active management of forests, with trained professionals on the ground. Refuges could be developed throughout forests to provide places where animals can shelter and from which trees can recolonise. Such refuges could be reintroduced by reducing forest biomass (or fuel) using small fires where feasible or by <a href="https://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/national/nbmp">mechanical means</a>.</p> <p>Biomass collected by machines could be used to produce biochar or other useful products. Biochar could even be used to <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13593-016-0372-z">improve the soil</a> damaged by the fires and excess ash.</p> <p>Midstory species could be cut down to prevent the development of fire ladders to tree crowns. Even the overstory could be <a href="http://theconversation.com/forest-thinning-is-controversial-but-it-shouldnt-be-ruled-out-for-managing-bushfires-130124">thinned</a> to minimise the potential for crown fires. Seed could also be collected from thinned trees to provide an off-site bank as ecological insurance.</p> <p>Such active management will not be cheap. But using machinery rather than fire could control biomass quantity and distribution in a much more precise way: leaving some biomass on the ground as habitat for insects and reptiles, and removing other patches to create safer refuges from the fires that will continue to come.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/129754/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cris-brack-98407">Cris Brack</a>, Associate Professor, Fenner School of Environment and Society, <a href="http://theconversation.com/institutions/australian-national-university-877">Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="http://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/many-of-our-plants-and-animals-have-adapted-to-fires-but-now-the-fires-are-changing-129754">original article</a>.</em></p>

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House of horrors: Dr. Phil's Beverly Hills mansion hits the market for $8.3 million

<p>If there has ever been a house to cause such a wave of disbelief in shock, it is the Beverly Hills mansion of Dr. Phil McGraw which just hit the market for AUD $8.3 million.</p> <p>The star of the Dr. Phil Show has put his house up for sale and it quickly went viral for its quirky, and quite frankly strange, features.</p> <p>From the bejewelled bear and rabbit figurines beneath a wall of guns, to a purple egg chair draping from the ceiling directly across from a massive piece of artwork that reads “f*ck” on it, this home has every eccentric momentum that you could squeeze into a five bedroom, six bathroom house.</p> <p>The images of inside the uniquely designed mansion quickly spread quickly once a Los<em> Angeles Times</em> writer tweeted a collection of interior shots of the house in question.</p> <p>The interesting décor choices and eccentric, out-of-the-box quirks got the attention of over 26,000 people who liked the post.</p> <p>Records show Dr. Phil purchased the home in 2007 however it appears the TV star has never actually lived there.</p> <p>The insane décor choices seem to be the choice of his son, Jordan, who currently calls the place home.</p> <p>He went on to clarify the wall of guns is actually “an anti-gun art installation”.</p> <p>The mansion features five bedrooms and six bathrooms, and the master suite has a private balcony. In true Californian style, there also includes also a dining gazebo, outdoor fireplace, swimming pool, and jacuzzi.</p> <p>On top of that there is a dedicated billiards room and wine cellar. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery to see the inside of the home up close.</p>

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