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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>

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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>

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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>

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Heartbroken zoo announces tiger tested positive for coronavirus

<p>A tiger at Bronx Zoo in New York City has tested positive for coronavirus, which has been confirmed by the Wildlife Conservation Society in a statement today.</p> <p>Six other tigers and lions at the zoo are also showing symptoms but have not yet been tested for the disease.</p> <p>Nadia, a four-year-old Malayan tiger, was tested with an “abundance of caution” after she had developed a dry cough and a decrease in appetite.</p> <p>The Wildlife Conservation Society, the parent company of the Bronx Zoo, said in a<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://newsroom.wcs.org/News-Releases/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/14010/A-Tiger-at-Bronx-Zoo-Tests-Positive-for-COVID-19-The-Tiger-and-the-Zoos-Other-Cats-Are-Doing-Well-at-This-Time.aspx" target="_blank">statement</a><span> </span>that "appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them".</p> <p>They added: "Though they have experienced some decrease in appetite, the cats at the Bronx Zoo are otherwise doing well under veterinary care and are bright, alert, and interactive with their keepers."</p> <p>"It is not known how this disease will develop in big cats since different species can react differently to novel infections, but we will continue to monitor them closely and anticipate full recoveries."</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-j2Migp6oU/?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-j2Migp6oU/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Bronx Zoo (@bronxzoo)</a> on Apr 4, 2020 at 6:10am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>It is believed that the cats were infected by a person caring for them, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.</p> <p>“Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms. Appropriate preventive measures are now in place for all staff who are caring for them, and the other cats in our four WCS zoos, to prevent further exposure of any other of our zoo cats,” they wrote.</p> <p>While the tiger is the first known animal to test positive for coronavirus within the US, there are reports of animals catching the virus in other countries.</p>

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Aussie nurse shares incredible surprise found on doorstep: “Felt like Christmas”

<p>An Australian nurse has woken up to a lovely surprise on her doorstep this week.</p> <p>Supermarket shelves have been left empty of essential products due to panic buying at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic and Michelle, who works at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide shared a sweet image of toilet paper, tissues, pasta, rice and flour which she says she received from a “little angel”.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835441/face-mask-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/2f29a5022f1b45eeafb06a9b9a60b36b" /></p> <p>“While I was sleeping before my night duty this week a little Angel left this in a bag on my Porch. It felt like Christmas,” she wrote.</p> <p>The heartwarming post recurved kind comments from strangers praising Michelle and other hospital workers on the front line like her.</p> <p>“What a treasure chest,” one person wrote.</p> <p>“That's a billion $ shopping bag right there. Jackpot,” another comment said.</p> <p>Michelle shared another post a few weeks ago to her public Facebook page where she urged people to stay home amid the health crisis that has already taken the lives of 24 people in Australia.<span> </span></p> <p><span><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7835440/face-mask-4.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ded8a9d857704600bb7c4f2d9595c90b" /></span></p> <p>“As I finish up my shift tonight I have totalled 60hrs at work in the last 6 days,” she wrote alongside an image of her with a sigh that read: “I stayed at work for you. You stay home for us.”</p> <p>“We need to do all we can to stop the spread of this disease,” she added.</p> <p>The post was shared over 700 times.</p> <p>Photo: Facebook</p>

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Coronavirus is a wake-up call: our war with the environment is leading to pandemics

<p>The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the world is a crisis of our own making.</p> <p>That’s the message from infectious disease and environmental health experts, and from those in <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(15)60901-1/fulltext">planetary health</a> – an emerging field connecting human health, civilisation and the natural systems on which they depend.</p> <p>They might sound unrelated, but the COVID-19 crisis and the climate and biodiversity crises are deeply connected.</p> <p>Each arises from our seeming unwillingness to respect the interdependence between ourselves, other animal species and the natural world more generally.</p> <p>To put this into perspective, the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/onehealth/basics/zoonotic-diseases.html">vast majority</a> (three out of every four) of new infectious diseases in people come from animals – from wildlife and from the livestock we keep in ever-larger numbers.</p> <p>To understand and effectively respond to COVID-19, and other novel infectious diseases we’ll likely encounter in the future, policymakers need to acknowledge and respond with “planetary consciousness”. This means taking a holistic view of public health that includes the health of the natural environment.</p> <p><strong>Risking animal-borne diseases</strong></p> <p>Biodiversity (all biological diversity from genes, to species, to ecosystems) <a href="https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/">is declining faster</a> than at any time in human history.</p> <p>We clear forests and remove habitat, bringing wild animals closer to human settlements. And we hunt and sell wildlife, often endangered, increasing the risk of disease transmission from animals to humans.</p> <p>The list of diseases that have jumped from animals to humans (“zoonotic diseases”) includes HIV, Ebola, Zika, Hendra, SARS, MERS and bird flu.</p> <p>Like its precursor SARS, COVID-19 is thought to have <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2169-0">originated in bats</a> and subsequently transmitted to humans via another animal host, possibly at a wet market trading live animals.</p> <p>Ebola virus emerged in central Africa when land use changes and altered climatic conditions forced bats and chimpanzees together around <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Robert_Mahoney2/publication/245669692_Climatic_and_ecological_context_of_the_1994-1996_Ebola_outbreaks/links/545b0bd00cf2c46f66439322.pdf">concentrated areas of food resources</a>. And Hendra virus is associated with urbanisation of fruit bats following habitat loss. Such changes are occurring worldwide.</p> <p>What’s more, human-caused climate change is making this worse. Along with habitat loss, shifting climate zones are causing wildlife to migrate to new places, where they interact with other species they haven’t previously encountered. This increases the risk of new diseases emerging.</p> <p>COVID-19 is just the latest new infectious disease arising from our collision with nature.</p> <p>Due to its ability to spread at an alarming pace, as well as its relatively high mortality rate, it’s the sort of pandemic experts have been <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/27/opinion/coronavirus-pandemics.html">warning will arise</a> from environmental degradation.</p> <p>We saw this in 2018, for instance, when disease ecologist Dr Peter Daszak, a contributor to the <a href="http://origin.who.int/blueprint/priority-diseases/en/">World Health Organisation Register of Priority Diseases</a>, coined the term “Disease X”. This described a then-unknown pathogen predicted to originate in animals and cause a “serious international epidemic”. COVID-19, <a href="https://slate.com/technology/2020/03/coronavirus-covid19-pandemic-cause-prediction-prevention.html">says Daszak</a>, is Disease X.</p> <p><strong>Climate change makes us vulnerable</strong></p> <p>But <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/climate-and-health">climate change is undermining human health globally</a> in other profound ways. It’s a risk multiplier, exacerbating our vulnerability to a range of health threats.</p> <p>Earlier this year, all eyes were on the extensive, life-threatening bushfires and the resulting blanket of <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/23/bushfire-crisis-more-than-half-of-all-australians-found-to-have-been-directly-affected">smoke pollution</a>. This exposed more than half of the Australian population to health harm for many weeks, and led to the deaths of more than <a href="https://newsroom.unsw.edu.au/news/health/bushfire-smoke-pollution-responsible-over-400-excess-deaths">400 people</a>.</p> <p>For infectious diseases such as COVID-19, air pollution creates another risk. This new virus causes a respiratory illness and, <a href="https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-069X-2-15">as with SARS</a>, exposure to air pollution worsens our vulnerability.</p> <p>Particles of air pollution also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2944079/">act as transport for pathogens</a>, contributing to the spread of viruses and infectious disease across large distances.</p> <p><strong>A wake-up call</strong></p> <p>It might be clear to readers here that human health depends on healthy ecosystems. But this is rarely considered in policy decisions on projects that affect natural ecosystems – such as land clearing, major energy or transport infrastructure projects and industrial-scale farming.</p> <p>The current COVID-19 pandemic is yet another warning shot of the consequences of ignoring these connections.</p> <p>If we are to constrain the emergence of new infections and future pandemics, we simply <a href="https://www.cbd.int/health/stateofknowledge/">must cease</a> our exploitation and degradation of the natural world, and urgently cut our carbon emissions.</p> <p>Controlling the pandemic appropriately focuses on mobilising human and financial resources to provide health care for patients and prevent human to human transmission.</p> <p>But it’s important we also invest in tackling the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/117/8/3888">underlying causes of the problem</a> through biodiversity conservation and stabilising the climate. This will help avoid the transmission of diseases from animals to humans in the first place.</p> <p>The health, social and economic consequences of COVID-19 should act as a wake-up call for all governments to take stock, carefully consider the evidence, and ensure post COVID-19 responses reverse our war on nature. Because – as pioneering 20th century conservationist <a href="https://www.rachelcarson.org/SilentSpring.aspx">Rachel Carson argued</a> – a war on nature is ultimately a war against ourselves.</p> <p><em>Written by Fiona Armstrong, Anthony Capon and Ro McFarlane. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-is-a-wake-up-call-our-war-with-the-environment-is-leading-to-pandemics-135023"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Six-month-old baby endures 50-day fight with coronavirus

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>At just six months old, a cute baby boy has become a symbol of hope in Italy after defeating coronavirus after a 50-day battle.</p> <p>Leonardo has recently returned home to Corbetta, which is located in the northern Italian region of Lombardy after beating coronavirus. His 50-day long battle represents almost a third of his short life.</p> <p>Local mayor Marco Ballarini shared the news on his Facebook page, praising Leonardo for being “the wonderful face of hope”.</p> <p>“Today we have a reason to smile and be happy, to feel like we are part of a community,” Ballarini said.</p> <p>“Today, we look at the wonderful face of hope.</p> <div id="fb-root"></div> <div class="fb-post" data-href="https://www.facebook.com/MarcoBallariniSindaco/photos/a.1785192574841417/3311472052213454/?type=3&amp;theater" data-width="auto"> <blockquote class="fb-xfbml-parse-ignore"> <p>IL VOLTO MERAVIGLIOSO DELLA SPERANZA. BENTORNATO A CASA PICCOLO LEO! 🌈 Oggi abbiamo un motivo in più per sorridere, per...</p> Posted by <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MarcoBallariniSindaco/">Marco Ballarini</a> on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/MarcoBallariniSindaco/photos/a.1785192574841417/3311472052213454/?type=3">Wednesday, March 25, 2020</a></blockquote> </div> <p> </p> <p>“Corbetta welcomes home little Leonardo who has just been released from hospital after defeating COVID-19.</p> <p>“Thanks a lot Leo, and thanks to your parents who never gave up. They brought summer to the hearts of all Corbetta citizens! Strength Corbetta!”</p> <p>The baby’s mum told local media: “I was worried a lot, especially at night. I do not wish that on any mother.”</p> <p>She said that she knew her baby was ill after having a fever and feeling his heart rate quicken. She said that he was treated well by healthcare professionals.</p> <p>According to the latest figures, Italy has 101,739 cases of coronavirus, 11,591 deaths and 14,620 recoveries.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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"Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life”

<p>A 90-year-old coronavirus patient has died in Belgium after selflessly refusing a ventilator and instructing doctors to “keep this for the younger” patients.</p> <p>Suzanne Hoylaerts from Binkim, near Lubbeek, was admitted to hospital on March 20 when her condition began rapidly deteriorating due to contracting COVID-19.</p> <p>Currently, there is a global shortage of ventilators as the number of coronavirus cases increase. The equipment is key to help fight the battle against the respiratory disease.</p> <p>Hoylaerts sought medical attention after suffering from a lack of appetite and shortness of breath. She was admitted to hospital where she tested positive for the virus and was placed in isolation, meaning her daughter was unable to visit.</p> <p>She reportedly told doctors at the hospital: “I don’t want to use artificial respiration. Save it for younger patients. I already had a good life.”</p> <p>Hoylaerts passed away two days later, on March 22.</p> <p>Speaking to Dutch newspaper<span> </span><em>Het Laatste Nieuws</em>, her distraught daughter Judith said: “I can’t say goodbye to her, and I don’t even have a chance to attend her funeral.”</p> <p>Judith said her family were baffled as to how their mother could have contracted the virus as she had stayed at home and was complying carefully with lockdown measures.</p> <p>Belgium has now recorded 705 deaths according to the latest official toll.</p>

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Federer and Nadal step up with life-saving pandemic efforts

<p>Roger Federer and his wife, Mirka are donating more than $1 million to Swiss families in need amid the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>The tennis champion took to Instagram to announce the generous gesture on Wednesday, revealing that the couple will donate 1 million Swiss Francs to help “the most vulnerable families in Switzerland.”</p> <p>“Our contribution is just a start,” wrote Federer. “We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy!”</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-J7SYHlIjl/?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-J7SYHlIjl/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">These are challenging times for everyone and nobody should be left behind. Mirka and I have personally decided to donate one million Swiss Francs for the most vulnerable families in Switzerland. Our contribution is just a start. We hope that others might join in supporting more families in need. Together we can overcome this crisis! Stay healthy! Dies sind herausfordernde Zeiten für uns alle und niemand sollte zurückgelassen werden. Mirka und ich haben beschlossen, persönlich eine Million Schweizer Franken für die am stärksten gefährdeten Familien in der Schweiz zu spenden. Unser Beitrag ist nur ein Anfang. Wir hoffen, dass sich andere anschließen, um noch mehr bedürftige Familien zu unterstützen. Gemeinsam können wir diese Krise überwinden! Bleibt gesund! Nous vivons une période difficile pour nous tous et personne ne doit être laissé pour compte. Mirka et moi avons décidé de personnellement faire don d'un million de francs suisses aux familles les plus défavorisées en Suisse. Notre contribution n'est qu'un début. Nous espérons que d'autres se joindront à nous pour aider encore plus de familles dans le besoin. Ensemble, nous pouvons surmonter cette crise! Restez en bonne santé!</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/rogerfederer/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Roger Federer</a> (@rogerfederer) on Mar 25, 2020 at 4:33am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>As of Friday morning, Switzerland has 11,811 reported coronavirus cases and 191 deaths.</p> <p>And the 38-year-old isn’t the only athlete to lend a helping hand, as Spanish sports stars Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have launched a fund raising drive in order to give back to their nation which has been badly affected by the pandemic.</p> <p>Together, they are aiming to raise 11 million euros ($20 million).</p> <p>“The Spanish people have never let us athletes down. We are what we are because of them,” said Nadal.</p> <p>“We cannot let them down now.”</p> <p>Nadal said he came up with the idea and called his fellow Spaniard and friend Gasol to help promote his drive.</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/tv/B-A3UVNoXcq/?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/tv/B-A3UVNoXcq/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Mensaje a todos de ánimo y fuerza. #yomequedoencasa #iostoacasa #tuttoandràbene #jerestechezmoi #istayhome</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/rafaelnadal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Rafa Nadal</a> (@rafaelnadal) on Mar 21, 2020 at 4:08pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Spanish athletes have always tried to make our nation proud, today we want to go beyond that,” said double NBA champion Gasol.</p> <p>“We want to raise 11 million euros and help 1.34 million people, those hardest hit by coronavirus.</p> <p>“My contribution and Rafa’s too have already been made and I hope the whole of Spanish sport will rally behind us.”</p> <p>The pair have been praised for the enormous gesture, with World Cup winning goalkeeper Iker Casillas tweeting: “It’s the time for Spanish sport and it’s up to us to do our part.</p> <p>“I have already contributed."</p> <p>Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui, a former Spain manager, posted his support on Nadal’s Instagram account.</p> <p>“I hope all athletes will join this initiative and we can return, even if in a small amount, all that support that we have all enjoyed in our careers.”</p>

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Contamination experiment shows why social distancing is important

<p>As the new coronavirus continues to spread around the world, social distancing has become the new normal. We have been accustomed to sanitising our hands, coughing under cover, and keeping at least 1.5 metre away from others in shops and on the street.</p> <p>However, these guidelines are often forgone during visits to family’s or friends’ house as people let their guard down and interact freely.</p> <p>In light of this phenomenon, a 2010 clip from the Discovery Channel television series <em>Mythbusters</em> has once again been circulated around the Internet to warn the public about how easily the virus might be spread in close vicinity.</p> <div class="embed-responsive embed-responsive-16by9"><iframe class="embed-responsive-item" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k1j8bh8_O_Q"></iframe></div> <p>In the video, host Adam Savage performed a dinner party experiment. Savage put on a small rig filled with fluorescent dye – which was invisible to the naked eye – by his nose and went on to host the party for six guests while pretending to have a cold.</p> <p>Some of the things Savage carried out during the experiment included pouring alcohol, handing out plates and shaking hands.</p> <p>The UV light later revealed that the nasal secretions significantly contaminated five out of the six dinner guests. The sixth guest, Kari, was aware of the experiment and said she was a germaphobe.</p> <p>One of the more recent comments on the video said: “What a great way to show how easily our nose goo can spread to others. If you are sick, please keep others safe and self-quarantine!”</p>

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Should Australia ‘shut down’ for 30 days?

<p>Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a major boost to social security recipients and for those who lose their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which represents a turnaround from its previous determination not to increase the Newstart allowance.</p> <p>After declaring last year that the ‘the best form of welfare is a job’, the PM is now having to swallow those words as his Government comes to the realisation that sometimes, circumstances are out of people’s control, and gainful employment is not always attainable.</p> <p>Of course, these are unprecedented times, but what is being hailed as ‘one of the largest increases to social security benefits in Australia’s history’, requiring the government to spend $14 billion over six months. This couldn’t have come at a more welcome time, particularly as Australia also copes with the economic impact of recent droughts, bushfires and floods too.</p> <p>But many believe that in addition to these measures, Australia should follow the lead of other nations such as New Zealand by ‘shutting down’ the nation for a month by implementing what are known as ‘level 4 measures’ – which involves ceasing all non-essential services, essentially resulting in most businesses either having their employees work from home or, if this is not possible, not working at all over that time.</p> <p><strong>The ‘Coronavirus supplement’</strong></p> <p>In a bold move, the government is <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Income_Support_for_Individuals.pdf">establishing a new time-limited coronavirus supplement</a> to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight for the next six months.</p> <p>This will effectively double the current rate of Newstart, which is being renamed the jobseeker payment. (The rebranding was already under way.) and eligible income support recipients will receive the full amount of the $550 coronavirus supplement on top of their payment each fortnight. It’s available for existing and new recipients of the jobseeker payment, youth allowance jobseeker, parenting payment, farm household allowance and special benefit and will be paid on top of these fortnightly payments.</p> <p>The government will also waive the asset test in many cases along with waiting periods. What’s more it has expanded both Jobseeker Payment and Youth Allowance Jobseeker criteria to provide payment access for permanent employees who are stood down or lose their employment; sole traders; the self-employed; casual workers; and contract workers – this could also include someone who needs to stop work to care for someone affected by the Coronavirus.</p> <p><strong>The $750 payment</strong></p> <p>In the first package, the government announced that 6.5 million lower-income Australians would receive a one-off $750 payment. The payment – which will be made from 31 March – will be made to all social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. This includes those on Newstart, those who have commonwealth seniors health cards, and families receiving family tax benefits.</p> <p>This second payment will be made automatically from 13 July 2020 to around five million social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders.</p> <p>This won’t be available if you get the coronavirus supplement, but if you are eligible, you will receive the payment automatically.</p> <p><strong>Tap into your Superannuation</strong></p> <p>Under the changes announced in the second package, the government will allow individuals “in financial stress” as a result of the coronavirus downturn to have limited access to their superannuation savings, capped at up to $10,000 in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.You can apply online through MyGov for access to your super but must do so before 1 July 2020. Any money released will be tax free and won’t affect Centrelink or veterans’ affairs payments.</p> <p><strong>Aged pensioners and retirees</strong></p> <p>The Government is also introducing changes that will affect self-funded retirees and people who receive the aged-pension, enabling them more cash at this time.</p> <p><strong>Students</strong></p> <p>It has also been announced 230,000 full time students will have their <a href="https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/students-included-in-coronavirus-package-c-759139">benefits increased by $550 per fortnight</a>.</p> <p><strong>Concerns and lack of clarity</strong></p> <p>Some concerns do, however, remain about the job seeker payment (formerly Newstart). Given the financial boost is only for a limited time – what happens after 6 months – <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/desperate-and-hungry-struggling-to-survive-on-newstart/">do recipients go back to living on less than $40 a day?</a></p> <p>Most of these payments can be accessed online, and the government says the application process will be streamlined. But, given the automation of the system, people are also naturally concerned in the wake of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/centrelinks-flawed-robo-debt-system-is-killing-our-most-vulnerable/">mistakes, miscalculations and confusion created by ‘Robodebt,</a>’  whether Centrelink’s processes and procedures will be sophisticated and robust enough to cope with the significant influx of demand expected over the coming weeks, as thousands of Australians access Centrelink, many for the first time in their lives.</p> <p>After axing thousands of jobs in recent years, employing short-term contractors instead, the Government has now pledged an additional 5,000 staff to Services Australia, which runs Centrelink to be able to meet the needs of Australians engaging with the Centrelink service.</p> <p><strong>A complete shutdown?</strong></p> <p>And while the measures are welcomed by many, the voices calling for a nationwide shutdown of essential services, such as that being implemented by New Zealand for 30 days, seem to be increasing – the reasoning being that such a measure could result in a shorter period of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/theres-a-deafening-silence-on-the-current-debt-and-deficit-crisis/">economic crisis</a>.</p> <p><em>Written by Sonia Hickey. Republished with permission <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-australia-shut-down-for-30-days/">of Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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Coronavirus distancing measures: Here are 3 things to ask yourself before you see someone

<p><em>This article is based on the coronavirus and COVID-19 situation as of March 23. It’s important to remember that the situation is rapidly developing and official advice may change.</em></p> <p>If the flurry of new orders released in the last 24 hours has you feeling confused about what’s OK and what’s not when it comes to social contact, you’re not alone.</p> <p>It’s so difficult to adopt a set of hard and fast rules with the advice changing so quickly. Government departments have put out detailed guidance but that won’t cover all situations. Experts in the public sphere will give different advice.</p> <p>The fact is, if there’s an activity you want or need to do and you’re not sure if it’s advisable, often you’ll have to make a call. After ensuring that it doesn’t breach public orders, your decision will need to be based on your assessment of the risks and benefits.</p> <p>Whatever activity you’re considering, it can help to first clearly list your options. For example, if I’m talking to a friend with kids, we could organise to meet at the park, in a house, online or not at all. Or if I want to catch up with my sister, I could do it in person or on the phone.</p> <p>Then ask yourself some important questions as you consider your options.</p> <p>Here are three considerations that should help you make an informed decision on behalf of your family and the wider community.</p> <ol> <li><strong> What’s the latest advice of my state or territory health department?</strong></li> </ol> <p>The first is to look to the latest advice for your state and territory health department, and be aware that they may change from day to day or even within a day. So keep checking.</p> <p>Some departments are now developing quite detailed lists of dos and don'ts that are being updated as quick as is humanly possible.</p> <ol start="2"> <li><strong> Do I know the latest on how the virus moves between people?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Understanding as much as you can about the way that the virus moves between people can help you make an informed decision about whether an activity you’re considering doing poses a higher risk of passing coronavirus on or picking it up.</p> <p>The coronavirus causing COVID-19 is currently thought to be passed on through contact and droplet transmission. It comes from the mucous membranes (meaning the wet parts of your face - mouth, nose and eyes). A person with the infection might cough or sneeze or touch their mouth or nose and then touch another surface where it can remain infectious for a time.</p> <p>The virus is able to move to another person through direct contact with droplets from the cough or sneeze or if they touch that surface with their hands then touch their mouth, nose or eyes. The more symptomatic somebody is, the more easy it is to get the infection but people with very mild symptoms can still pass it on. More is being learnt about the virus and this knowledge may change.</p> <p>That is why handwashing and cough or sneeze etiquette is so important.</p> <p>COVID-19 is currently thought to be mostly spread by people who have symptoms and have been in close contact with others. Those more at risk of it are those who have had contact with someone who has been diagnosed with it or have recently returned from overseas.</p> <p>However, that is changing as it moves more in the general community in Australia.</p> <p>That basic understanding of how it moves can help people make decisions of who to see, how to see them, how to behave in public places and at home.</p> <ol start="3"> <li><strong> How do the risks of a certain activity weigh up against the benefits?</strong></li> </ol> <p>Whenever you are considering doing some activity with somebody, you need to weigh up the risks of harm with the potential benefits.</p> <p>First, make sure you are abiding by the public health orders. Also remember that this is not just a decision about your personal risk. We are all reducing the chain of transmission by reducing our contact with others as much as we can.</p> <p>Sometimes, we will still want or need contact with others.</p> <p>First of all, we need to accept that we take a risk whenever we have contact with another person and we need to weigh that risk against the potential benefits.</p> <p>There might be really important social benefits, for example, for seeing a person for whom contact with others is extremely important.</p> <p>There might be benefits in helping someone who has less access to resources than we do – for example, helping a neighbour in need.</p> <p>In these instances, if you decide to take the risk, it is important to follow guidance on doing everything you possibly can do to minimise the spread of COVID-19 within that encounter.</p> <p>That means proper hand hygeine; washing hands when arriving and leaving. Try to stay 1.5 metres or more apart. Never go out and meet with others if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough, or a fever. And it means trying to avoid contact with people at greater risk of severe disease, such as those with existing chronic disease, an older person, or person who is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.</p> <p>If the COVID-19 risk is really high to that person, then maybe the benefits don’t outweigh the potential harm. You may be forced to make a really hard decision.</p> <p><strong>Hard decisions ahead</strong></p> <p>There’s no magic cut off where you stop all risk. We have got to accept it is about degrees of risk and what we collectively do to minimise it.</p> <p>If we choose to have contact with another person, while staying within the boundaries of what is permissible based on the government requirements, then it’s important you have a set of evidence-based principles that helps guide your decision-making.</p> <p><em>Written by Julie Leask. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-distancing-measures-are-confusing-here-are-3-things-to-ask-yourself-before-you-see-someone-134394">The Conversation.</a></em></p> <p><em> </em></p>

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“Patience, confidence, courage, solidarity”: Prince Albert of Monaco's health update and personal message

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Prince Albert II of Monaco recently tested positive for COVID-19 last week, and has finally given a health update to the curious public.</p> <p>The reigning monarch is the second royal to contract the deadly virus, and over the weekend, People Magazine was able to give a look into the Prince’s condition.</p> <p>The 62-year-old is improving his health slowly and steadily as he continues to work from the confines of his home, under his doctor’s orders.</p> <p>“A little news. Condition unchanged. Little fever, little cough,” Prince Rainier III, who is the son of Princess Grace of Monaco told <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://people.com/royals/prince-albert-health-update-after-coronavirus-diagnosis/" target="_blank" title="People Magazine. ">People Magazine.</a></p> <p>“Vital signs all good. The doctors are satisfied for now.”</p> <p>Prince Albert, who falls into the category of high-risk coronavirus patients, is undergoing regular temperature checks, and is consistently receiving news on his blood oxygen levels.</p> <p>An insider to the family has said the king messages, emails and calls ranging from celebrities and politicians to regular everyday people has been touching.</p> <p>Issuing a statement on his behalf, the Palace said Prince Albert was grateful and “touched by the many expressions of sympathy that have come to him from around the world.”</p> <p>“His Serene Highness wishes to thank all those who have shown him their support.”</p> <p>The prince tested anonymously last week in a bid to avoid being treated differently in the healthcare system.</p> <p>The royal exhibited mild flu-like symptoms and was later confirmed to have the virus by the labs of the hospital named after his late mother, Princess Grace of Monaco.</p> <p>It is understood Prince Albert is still unsure of where he could've come in contact with the virus.</p> <p>The royal signed off his official palace statement with a handwritten message of “patience, confidence, courage, solidarity” in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>There are concerns for 71-year-old Prince Charles, who Prince Albert was with just days prior to his diagnosis as both royals attended the WaterAid Summit on March 10.</p> <p>Thankfully, it is believed Prince Charles did not come into contact with Albert during the event, and he has gone so far as to avoid handshakes during engagements and events since the beginning of March.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="post-action-bar-component-wrapper"> <div class="post-actions-component"> <div class="upper-row"><span class="like-bar-component"></span> <div class="watched-bookmark-container"></div> </div> </div> </div>

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Dolly Parton and others post heartfelt tributes to Kenny Rogers

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Dolly Parton has posted a heartfelt video tribute to her longtime friend, Kenny Rogers, who passed away on Friday.</p> <p>Rogers, 81, passed away “peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family” at his home in Georgia, according to the<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://twitter.com/_KennyRogers/status/1241244740957413376" target="_blank">Rogers family</a>.</p> <p>Parton posted the video on her Instagram account, explaining how she heard the news about her friend.</p> <p>“Well, I couldn’t believe it this morning when I got up and turned on the TV,” said Parton, “and they told me that my friend and singing partner Kenny Rogers had passed away.”</p> <p>“We all know that Kenny is in a better place than we are today, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today…He’s going to be asking Him to spread some light on a bunch of this darkness that’s going on here.”</p> <p>“I loved Kenny with all my heart,” she continued. “My heart’s broken, and a big old chunk of it has gone with him today, and I think I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans, when I say, that ‘I will always love you,'” quoting one of her most beloved lyrics.</p> <p>“God bless you, Kenny,” said Parton, her voice cracking as she cradled a photo of her and Rogers. “Fly high, straight to the arms of God. And to the rest of you, keep the faith.”</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/B9_9UgElH-y/?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/B9_9UgElH-y/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend. So you be safe with God and just know that I will always love you, dolly.</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/dollyparton/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Dolly Parton</a> (@dollyparton) on Mar 21, 2020 at 7:39am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Other celebrities, such as Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Billy Ray Cyrus have expressed their sympathies to the Rogers family.</p> <p>"No one bridged the gap between country and pop more often and better than Kenny Rogers. He will be missed, but his music and diverse style of story telling will live on forever,” said Billy Ray Cyrus on his Twitter account.</p> <p>“THANK YOU KENNY ROGERS- for decades of genre bending music and collaborations - for making music that travelled the globe .. and songs that became common threads for people from all walks of life !! GO REST HIGH BROTHER. With love and deep appreciation . KU,” country singer Keith Urban said on his<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://twitter.com/KeithUrban/status/1241453704416550914" target="_blank">Twitter</a>.</p> <p>"Country music has lost one of its pillars...sing with the angels and talk to God, Kenny. Bless you for being a part of so many lives..." expressed Carrie Underwood.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle share emotional message in wake of coronavirus

<p>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have issued an emotional statement during the coronavirus outbreak to call for “empathy” and “kindness”.</p> <p>The couple took to Instagram in light of the pandemic causing panic across the globe, saying these “uncertain times” means people need each other “more than ever”.</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/B9tY59rHH4k/?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/B9tY59rHH4k/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Meghan (fan page) (@_duchess_of_sussex)</a> on Mar 14, 2020 at 2:34am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>We need each other for truth, for support, and to feel less alone during a time that can honestly feel quite scary,” the couple wrote.</p> <p>“There are so many around the world who need support right now, who are working tirelessly to respond to this crisis behind the scenes, on the frontline, or at home,” they continued. “Our willingness, as a people, to step up in the face of what we are all experiencing with COVID-19 is awe-inspiring.</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/B931VgInJPI/?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/B931VgInJPI/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Meghan (fan page) (@_duchess_of_sussex)</a> on Mar 18, 2020 at 3:55am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“This moment is as true a testament there is to the human spirit. We often speak of compassion. All of our lives are in some way affected by this, uniting each of us globally.”</p> <p>The 35-year-old and his wife, 38,<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://o60.me/IKf11h" target="_blank">who are currently bunkering down in their Vancouver home</a><span> </span>went on to say: “How we approach each other and our communities with empathy and kindness is indisputably important right now.”</p> <p>The couple told their followers to continue doing their part by sharing accurate news and information to the public about safe and healthy practices.</p> <p>“We will be sharing information and resources to help all of us navigate the uncertainty: from posting accurate information and facts from trusted experts, to learning about measures we can take to keep ourselves and our families healthy, to working with organisations that can support our mental and emotional well-being,” they went on to say.</p> <p>“In addition, we will focus on the inspiring stories of how so many of you around the world are connecting in ways big and small to lift all of us up.”</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/B9luym7nBt1/?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/B9luym7nBt1/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Meghan (fan page) (@_duchess_of_sussex)</a> on Mar 11, 2020 at 3:12am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex wrapped up their farewell tour in the UK last week, where afterwards they rushed back to Canada to be with their son Archie, who turns one in May.</p>

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From the doctor's mouth: How to stay healthy during coronavirus

<p>Most people are feeling the current worldwide viral pandemic which is unlike anything anyone has ever lived through. Right now, people are preparing for a major community outbreak of the virus.</p> <p>The next few weeks to months will be intense, with people working long hours, and children having to go to and from school. But there are things you can do to ensure your mental and physical health, as well as those around you, are in optimal condition. </p> <p>Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, Dr Kate Gregorevic provided her top tips to say healthy during this difficult period.</p> <p><strong>1. Prioritising sleep: "</strong>People who have only slept four hours, compared to those who have slept eight hours, have a reduced response to vaccination," says Dr Kate. "While this may or may not translate to a better immune response to coronavirus, sleep is also valuable in its own right, and optimises memory and cognitive function. Adequate sleep is also important for managing anxiety, so it really is worth prioritising."</p> <p><strong>2. Regularly exercising:</strong> "This is one of my go-tos for stress management. Regular exercise does appear to decrease the number of days someone reports illness symptoms, although these studies are observational, so they show correlation not causation. Right now, most gyms are still operating, but if this changes I will continue to go for walks and do my home exercise program, as long as I am well."</p> <p><strong>3. Eating well: "</strong>While I have stocked up on a few essentials, I am also conscious that I can't store enough food for months. I can't help but notice at the supermarket, there are still plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables available. Even in Italy and Wuhan, the grocery stores remained open during the most stringent social restrictions, and I am going to continue to enjoy making myself healthy meals with fresh ingredients."</p> <p><strong>4. Cocooning people at risk:<span> </span></strong>"For most people who are young and healthy, particularly children, COVID-19 seems to present itself as a mild illness. But for people who are older it is far more dangerous. While it is heartbreaking to think that my children might not see their grandparents for a few weeks or months, the reality is that my father-in-law is in his eighties and we need to protect him. My youngest child is two and incapable of social distancing. My husband will still visit his parents to drop groceries off while maintaining a distance of about 1.5 metres."</p> <p><strong>5. Checking in on my neighbours:<span> </span></strong>"One of my neighbours is currently having chemotherapy. Since this knocks out the immune system, she is at risk of developing more serious symptoms from coronavirus, and so she and her family will be in self-quarantine. When I go to the shops, I'll check in whether she needs anything and leave it on her porch to avoid her or her family facing crowds."</p> <p><strong>6. Openly communicating with my children:</strong> "A few nights ago, my eight-year-old started crying. She knows that she can't see some people she loves for a while, and the school warned her that they might close soon. The kids are fully aware of what is going on, and that their parents are worried. The scientists who host children's YouTube show <em><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQJDFI9j8UeNoqra37p5OkA" target="_blank">Operation Ouch</a> </em>made <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2rQV34fr-M" target="_blank">a video </a>to give kids accurate and age appropriate information to help with this."</p> <p><strong>7. Putting the phone away:</strong> "While it is tempting to constantly read updates on news websites and Twitter, I also know that I need to mentally take a break. Since I find myself consumed by all the articles on coronavirus if my phone is nearby, in the evenings I am putting my phone away and taking some time to relax by reading a good book or watching something light on a streaming service."</p> <p><strong>8. Washing my hands:</strong> "This one I cannot emphasise enough. We all touch our faces all the time. It is something we do so absent-mindedly that we are almost powerless to stop it. Washing our hands with soap and water can remove microbes from our skin and disrupts the outer membrane of most viruses and bacteria. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are a good substitute if you can't wash your hands."</p>

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“Herd immunity” response plan sparks incredulous response

<p><span>The United Kingdom’s approach to COVID-19 has sparked widespread backlash as scientists urged the government to introduce tougher measures to deal with the pandemic.</span></p> <p><span>More than 220 scientists have signed an open letter condemning the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who said on Friday the spread of the infection could be managed to make the population immune.</span></p> <p><span>According to Sir Patrick, about 60 per cent of the population would need to get ill to reach “herd immunity”. The idea means at-risk individuals would be protected from infection because the people around them would be resistant to the disease.</span></p> <p><span>“Our aim is to try and reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely,” he said.</span></p> <p><span>However, the scientists argued in the letter such option is not “viable” and will risk “many more lives than necessary”.</span></p> <p><span>Dr William Hanage, professor of the evolution and epidemiology of infectious disease at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, said he thought the policy would overwhelm the healthcare system and put high-risk population in danger.</span></p> <p><span>Herd immunity only works to protect vulnerable individuals if most people in the population are vaccinated, according to <a href="https://vk.ovg.ox.ac.uk/vk/herd-immunity">Oxford Vaccine Group</a>.</span></p> <p><span>“We talk about vaccines generating herd immunity, so why is this different? Because this is not a vaccine,” Dr Hanage wrote on <em><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/epidemiologist-britain-herd-immunity-coronavirus-covid-19">The Guardian</a></em>. </span></p> <p><span>“This is an actual pandemic that will make a very large number of people sick, and some of them will die.</span></p> <p><span>“This virus is capable of shutting down countries. You should not want to be the next after Wuhan, Iran, Italy or Spain. In those places, the healthcare systems have broken down.”</span></p> <p><span>University of Auckland associate professor Helen Petousis-Harris said a herd immunity strategy means “throwing people under the train”.</span></p> <p><span>“When you have that proportion of the community affected, you can probably calculate how many people will be dead,” she told <em><a href="https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/120326939/nz-scientists-horrified-at-herd-immunity-strategy">Stuff.co.nz</a></em>. “When you have that overwhelming explosion of cases, your health system is overwhelmed and your mortality rate goes up.”</span></p> <p><span>Following the criticism, the country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday advised people to avoid non-essential travel and contact with others. He also asked households where someone was displaying symptoms to self-isolate for 14 days.</span></p> <p><span>At the time of writing, the UK has not introduced mandatory self-isolation measures for international arrivals.</span></p>

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How do I tell my family I’ve been charged with a crime?

<p>Being charged with a criminal offence can be a stressful experience, and telling your family members and close friends about the accusations can be a daunting task.</p> <p>But it’s important to know that those who are closest to you can be a pillar of support through difficult times – providing much needed emotional assistance when you need it the most.</p> <p>Here are some tips about how to approach a difficult task.</p> <p><strong>Obtain legal advice</strong></p> <p>It is always in your best interest to get <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/services/free-first-appointment/">legal advice</a> before talking to anyone about what you have been charged with.</p> <p>This not only protects your legal interests, but it also means you will be better informed of the next steps in the criminal justice process.</p> <p>Your initial meeting with a lawyer will inform you about the way forward, including your options, the best way forward, what you may be facing and the court process.</p> <p>This can help you when you speak to loved ones about your situation.</p> <p><strong>Be ready for questions from your loved ones</strong></p> <p>Whilst it may seem overly formal, it is often a good idea to anticipate some of the questions your loved ones may ask and prepare some responses in your head.</p> <p>Some common questions family members may ask are:</p> <ul> <li>What are they saying you did?</li> <li>Did you do it?</li> <li>What actually happened?</li> <li>What are you going to do?</li> <li>How long is this process going to take?</li> <li>What does your lawyer think?</li> </ul> <p>There are situations where it may be against your interests to divulge too much to those close to you, especially, for example, where they may be a witness to the events in question.</p> <p>That said, your family may well be able to provide you with emotional stability and a much needed avenue to help you make decisions, which can assist you through the process.</p> <p>Know the situation can be confronting for loved ones</p> <p>It’s important to be aware that receiving information that you have been accused of a serious offence – especially one that is seen as particularly repulsive or heinous such as a sexual offence – can stir emotions in your loved ones as well.</p> <p>They may find it difficult to reconcile the allegations with the person they know, while at the same time asking themselves why you would be facing charges if you are innocent.</p> <p>Try to step into their shoes and empathise with their feelings, rather than act confrontationally or aggressively when they ask you legitimate questions, such as those listed about.</p> <p><strong>Accept help</strong></p> <p>For some loved ones, the automatic reaction may be asking how they can help you get through this.</p> <p>You should make it clear that they should not attempt to investigate your case themselves and should never attempt to contact complainants or witnesses, as doing this could land them in trouble.</p> <p>But you may wish to encourage them to attend court with you, or to get in contact with your lawyer if they have information which may be of assistance to your case.</p> <p>Be willing to accept help if you think it could assist.</p> <p>Take care of yourself, your lawyer will take care of the legal side</p> <p>It is extremely important that, throughout the process, you remain focused on taking care of yourself by continuing to attend work and your regular social activities, as well as being physically active.</p> <p>Take care of yourself and let your lawyer take care of the legal side of things.</p> <p>If you feel it’s all getting too much for you, don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. After all, that what it’s there for.</p> <p>Some Australia-wide support services that you can reach out to for help include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/get-immediate-support">BeyondBlue</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.lifeline.org.au/">LifeLine</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.sane.org/index.php">SANE Australia</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.mensline.org.au/Home.html">MensLine</a> (Men)</li> <li><a href="http://www.headspace.org.au/">Headspace</a> (Youth)</li> <li><a href="http://www.kidshelp.com.au/">Kids Help Line</a> (Youth)</li> </ul> <p>So, the bottom line is not to try to do it all alone – those who are close to you will often want to stand by you and help in any way they can, and professional help is out there if you need it.</p> <p><em>Written by Ugur Nedim and Jarryd Bartle. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/how-do-i-tell-my-family-ive-been-charged-with-a-crime/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

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White Island volcano tour guide's miraculous recovery after surviving eruption

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>19-year-old Jake Milbank, a White Island tour guide, has been seen for the first time since the volcano erupted on December 9.</p> <p>He was leading a group of tourists around the volcano when it erupted, with the blast claiming the lives of 21 people.</p> <p>Milbank suffered burns to 80 percent of his body, but is now enjoying spending time with his family and his beloved family pet.</p> <p>He was allowed to leave the hospital for the first time on March 1 and it was the first time he had been outside in three months.</p> <p>“After more than three long months in hospital things are finally starting to look up as my medical team have cleared me for day leave,” he wrote in an Instagram update.</p> <p>“The first thing on my list was to go and see this little cutie who hasn't seen me in a whopping 1.8 dog years.</p> <p>“Such an awesome feeling to be back out in the real world breathing in some fresh air.”</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/B9lZPh6hJID/?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/B9lZPh6hJID/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">After more than three long months in hospital things are finally starting to look up as my medical team have cleared me for day leave! The first thing on my list was to go and see this little cutie who hasn’t seen me in a whopping 1.8 dog years 😅 Such an awesome feeling to be back out in the real world breathing in some fresh air. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me get to this point, I couldn’t have done it without you all ❤️</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/jake_milbank/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Jake Milbank</a> (@jake_milbank) on Mar 11, 2020 at 12:03am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Milbank also updated his<span> </span><a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/help-support-jakes-recovery" target="_blank"><em>Give a Little</em></a><span> </span>page, explaining that he had been able to spend the day celebrating his aunt’s birthday.</p> <p>“I am now fully grafted which means my physio regime has been getting more and more intense as my skin grafts heal,” the Give A Little update said. </p> <p>“From walking on the treadmill to pumping iron we are seeing improvements every day.</p> <p>“I am finally beginning to gain weight and have put on three kilograms in the last three weeks.”</p> <p>Friends and family of Milbank have been making the eight-hour round trip to the hospital to visit, including colleagues from White Island tours.</p> <p>“Words can't even express how amazing my family have been, they have been so supportive, keeping me company and bringing me home cooked meals, I can't thank them enough,” he said.</p> </div> </div> </div>

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What you didn’t know: Why can some organs regenerate while others can’t?

<p><strong>What are cells?</strong></p> <p>As you may know, the body is made of cells. We sometimes call these cells “the building blocks of life”. Nature builds all the parts of our bodies with cells.</p> <p>In other words, you might have played with Lego before. Cells are like pieces of Lego! Just like Lego blocks do, cells come in lots of shapes and colours. Cells can also do lots of different things.</p> <p>Your skin is made of different cells. Some of them make your hair, and some make your scars when you get a cut, for example.</p> <p>Even your blood is made of many different cells. The red blood cells give your blood its red colour.</p> <p>So going back to your question, some cells in our body are very special because they can multiply. Not only that, these special cells can turn into other cells as well. The name of these special cells is “stem cells”, and they are the key to our organs regenerating.</p> <p>Imagine if your Lego blocks could do that!</p> <p><strong>Which organs can regenerate themselves?</strong></p> <p>Maggie, you’re very clever at nine to know what “regeneration” means, but in case some other young readers don’t, regeneration is when our organs fix themselves after they’ve been damaged. Our organs might have been damaged if we get injured or we’re very sick.</p> <p>Organs like our skin (yes, the skin is the biggest organ of the body!) need to regenerate often. The skin’s stem cells produce new cells when the old ones are lost, like when we get a paper cut.</p> <p>Our livers are very good at regenerating themselves because they too can make new cells. The cells of the liver are called “hepatocytes”. Hepatocytes start to multiply when the liver is damaged. So hepatocytes work like stem cells.</p> <p>Intestines are another good example of an organ which regenerates itself. Our intestines regenerate all the time, even when we’re healthy. They lose cells when we digest food, but the stem cells in the intestines multiply to keep this important organ working well.</p> <p><strong>Which organs aren’t very good at regenerating?</strong></p> <p>The brain actually can’t regenerate itself well because when the brain is damaged its cells find it harder to make new ones. This is because the brain has very few of the special cells, or stem cells.</p> <p>In recent years, we’ve found some areas of the brain can regenerate. But we still need to do more research to better understand how this works.</p> <p>We do know the brain is better at regenerating itself when we are young than when we are old.</p> <p><em>Written by Jose Polo. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/curious-kids-why-can-some-organs-regenerate-while-others-cant-128217"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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