Australia enlists particle
accelerator in search for
Australian scientists are using the largest particle accelerator in the southern hemisphere to help fast-track the hunt for a vaccine against COVID-19, researchers said Tuesday.
The Australian Synchrotron in Melbourne uses intense X-rays emitted by electrons coursing through the accelerator to examine key proteins in the virus, program director Andrew Peele told AFP.
Acting as a kind of microscope, the accelerator lets the researchers construct atomic-level 3D maps of the proteins so they can develop drugs that bind to the virus, potentially preventing or treating the disease.
"We shine the light on the proteins and the light that scatters off them tells us where every atom in the (COVID-19)protein molecule is," Peele said.
"You need to know what the protein looks like so you can design a drug to attach to it," he added. "It's like designing a key for a lock, you need to know the dimensions of the keyhole."
Researchers from around the world have sent the Melbourne team dozens of sample of proteins which they think might bind with the COVID-19 virus in a way that could minimize or protect from the disease, Peele said.
"Using our technology, within five minutes you can understand why a drug does or doesn't work in attaching to a COVID-19 protein," Peele said, likening the process to completing a jigsaw puzzle.
The government-funded project hopes its fast-tracking technology will shorten the normal development time for effective vaccines.
Scientists around the world are racing to develop vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, which has turned into a raging pandemic that has killed tens of thousands and infected more than 750,000 people across the planet.
masks to most needy
Taiwan dramatically upped its estimate for how much it would spend helping the economy deal with the impact of the coronavirus to $35 billion on Wednesday, and said it would donate 10 million face masks to the most needy countries.
Taiwan has reported 329 cases of the virus, including five deaths, winning plaudits for its early and so far effective measures to control the virus, especially compared to many of its neighbors. But, the export-reliant island's economy has wilted in the face of the pandemic's spread.
The government is already rolling out a stimulus package, and President Tsai Ing-wen said in total they would be spending T$1.05 trillion ($35 billion) including a second round of measures.
"We expect the scale of these two stimulus steps will in total reach T$1.05 trillion," Tsai said from the presidential office.
The central bank last month cut its full-year economic growth outlook to 1.92% from 2.57% forecasted in December.
But the virus fight has also taken on a diplomatic dimension for Taiwan, largely locked out of the international community due to pressure from China which considers the entirely separately-ruled island its own territory with no right to any of the trappings of a state.
Taiwan has repeatedly offered to share its knowledge and experience with the world as part of its "Taiwan can help" campaign, and Tsai said this now would entail tangible actions including the donation of masks.
"Over the past months, we have seen countless acts of bravery and sacrifice from medical workers around the world. It is our duty as global citizens to give them our full support," she said, speaking in English.
"We need to step up cooperation, and that means sharing experiences and materials, and working together to develop treatments and vaccines," Tsai added.
"Going forward, we will donate surplus masks and other supplies to our allies and countries hit hardest by COVID-19. These supplies will go to medical workers on the front lines who are working around the clock to save lives."
Taiwan has already agreed to work with the United States on vaccine development and other virus prevention work, though Taipei has expressed anger at the World Health Organization(WHO) for excluding it, also due to Chinese pressure.
The Foreign Ministry said seven million masks would be sent to Europe, including Spain, Italy and Britain, while two million would go to the United States, and the rest to the small band of countries which maintain formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan would also get masks.
"Taiwan can help, and Taiwan is helping," said Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, speaking at the news conference with Tsai.
death' at stake in
President Donald Trump warned Americans to brace for a “hell of a bad two weeks” ahead as the White House projected there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Public health officials stressed Wednesday that the number could be less if people across the country bear down on keeping their distance from one another.
“We really believe we can do a lot better than that,” said Dr Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. That would require all Americans to take seriously their role in preventing the spread of disease, she said.
Added Dr Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, “This is a number that we need to anticipate, but we don’t necessarily have to accept it as being inevitable.”
Trump called it “a matter of life and death” for Americans to heed his administration’s guidelines and predicted the country would soon see a “light at the end of the tunnel” in a pandemic that has killed more than 3,500 Americans and infected 170,000 more.
"I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” Trump said.
“This is going to be one of the roughest two or three weeks we've ever had in our country,” Trump added. “We're going to lose thousands of people.”
The jaw-dropping projections were laid out during a grim, two-hour White House briefing. Officials described a death toll that in a best-case scenario would likely be greater than the more than 53,000 American lives lost during World War I. And the model's high end neared the realm of possibility that Americans lost to the virus could approach the 291,000 Americans killed on the battlefield during World II.
“There's no magic bullet,” Birx said. "There's no magic vaccine or therapy. It's just behaviors. Each of our behaviors, translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic.”
Fauci called the numbers “sobering” and urged Americans to “step on the accelerator” with their collective mitigation efforts.
“We are continuing to see things go up,” Fauci said. “We cannot be discouraged by that because the mitigation is actually working and will work."
Birx said pandemic forecasts initially predicted 1.5 million to 2.2 million deaths in the U.S. But that was a worst-case scenario, without efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus through social distancing. She added that states that have not yet seen a spike in cases as New York has could take action to flatten the curve of rising hospitalizations and deaths.
It’s not only social distancing that could make a difference, but also the frantic efforts by hospitals around the country to prepare for an onslaught of seriously ill patients. The better prepared hospitals are, the greater the chances of lives being saved.
There’s also a wild card when it comes to treatment: whether the experimental drug combination Trump has touted — a medicine for malaria and an antibiotic — will actually make a difference. That combination is already being used on thousands of patients, and Fauci said he would want to see a rigorous test of its effectiveness.
Trump's comments came after he announced Sunday that he was extending to April 30 the social distancing guidelines that advise Americans to cease large gatherings, work from home, suspend onsite learning at schools and more in a nationwide effort to stem the spread of the virus.
It was an abrupt reversal for Trump, who spent much of last week targeting April 12 as the day he wanted to see Americans “pack the pews” for Easter Sunday services.
Trump called the data “very sobering,” saying it was his understanding that 100,000 deaths was a minimum that would be difficult to avoid. He also sought to rewrite his past minimization of the outbreak, saying he rejected those who compared the new coronavirus to the flu — when in fact he repeatedly did so publicly.
“This could be hell of a bad two weeks,'” Trump said. He added: “You know 100,000 is, according to modeling, a very low number. In fact, when I first saw the number ... they said it was unlikely you’ll be able to attain that. We have to see but I think we're doing better than that.”
Trump played down concerns from New York's Andrew Cuomo and other governors that their states' hospitals don't have enough ventilators to treat an anticipated crush of patients. Trump said the federal government currently has a stockpile of 10,000 ventilators that it plans on distributing as needed.
“Now, when the surge occurs, if it occurs fairly evenly, we'll be able to distribute them very quickly before they need them,” Trump said. “But we want to have a reserve right now. It's like having oil reserves.”
Birx said the experiences of Washington state and California give her hope that other states can keep the coronavirus under control through social distancing. That’s because they moved quickly to contain the early clusters of coronavirus by closing schools, urging people to work from home, banning large gatherings and taking other measures now familiar to most Americans, she noted.
“I am reassured by looking at the Seattle line,” she added. “California and Washington state reacted very early to this.” Many other states and local governments already have stiff controls in place on mobility and gatherings.
Trump said he would also ask Florida Gov Ron DeSantis to allow the docking of two cruise ships with passengers who have had contact with patients suffering from COVID-19. Passengers are anxious to disembark once they reach Florida, but DeSantis said the state's health care resources are already stretched too thin to take on a ship's coronavirus caseload.
“They're dying on the ship,” Trump said. “I'm going to do what's right, not only for us for but humanity.”
Trump also said he planned to curtail his travel for the month ahead and stay close to the White House to safeguard his health. The president hasn't held one of his signature big-stadium rallies since early March, and it's unlikely he'll be holding another one anytime soon.
"I think it's important that I remain healthy. I really do," Trump said. “So for the most part we're staying here.”
Trump spoke after another troubling day for the stock market, which has been in a free fall as the coronavirus ground the economy to a near-halt and left millions unemployed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 400 points, or roughly 1.9%, to seal the worst first-quarter finish of its 135-year history.
to New York
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,800 Tuesday, eclipsing China's official count, as hard-hit New York City rushed to bring in more medical professionals and ambulances and parked refrigerated morgue trucks on the streets to collect the dead.
Public health experts at a briefing with President Donald Trump projected that the number of U.S. deaths could range from 100,000 to 240,000 even if Americans continue to stay home and limit contact with others. They said they hope the figure won't soar that high if everyone does their part to prevent the virus from spreading.
“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” said Trump, who has extended social distancing guidelines to April 30. “We're going to go through a very tough two weeks.”
New York was the nation's deadliest hot spot, with about 1,550 deaths statewide, most of them in New York City, which braced for things to get much worse in the coming weeks.
At Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, critically ill COVID-19 patients are filling intensive care units, surgical floors and operating rooms and waiting in the emergency room for beds to become available, said Dr. Eric Wei of the city's hospital agency.
“I’ve practiced emergency medicine for a long time, and I’m seeing things that I never could have imagined in terms of the things this virus can do to all ages, including people who were previously healthy,” he said.
A 1,000-bed emergency hospital set up at the mammoth Javits Convention Center began taking non-coronavirus patients to help relieve the city's overwhelmed health system. A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds was expected to begin accepting patients Tuesday.
The indoor tennis center that is the site of the U.S. Open tournament is being turned into a hospital as well.
The city also worked to bring in 250 out-of-town ambulances and 500 paramedics to deal with a crush of emergency calls. The fire commissioner said ambulances are responding to double their normal daily total of 3,000 calls to 911. A five-day stretch last week was the busiest in the history of the city's emergency services operation.
In addition, New York authorities sought to bring on more volunteer health care professionals and hoped to have them on board by Thursday. Nearly 80,000 former nurses, doctors and others are said to be stepping forward, and the governor said officials are doing background checks and otherwise making sure they are fit for duty.
Around the city, workers in protective gear have been seen putting bodies of victims into refrigerated trailers. At some hospitals, like Lenox Hill in Manhattan, the trucks are parked on streets, along sidewalks and in front of apartments. Cars and buses passed by as corpses were loaded by forklift at Brooklyn Hospital Center. People captured some of the scenes by cellphone.
“Nobody can even believe it," Trump said about watching video footage from Elmhurst hospital in New York. “I watched the doctors and the nurses walking into that hospital this morning. It's like military people going into battle, going into war.”
The crisis hit close to home for Gov Andrew Cuomo, who reported teary-eyed that his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, was infected.
The 49-year-old TV newsman tweeted that he has suffered from fever, chills and shortness of breath and will be doing his shows from his basement, where he has quarantined.
“Luckily we caught it early enough," Gov. Cuomo said. "But it's my family, it's your family, it's all of our families. But this virus is that insidious, and we must keep that all in mind.”
Elsewhere around the world, hard-hit Italy reported that the infection rate appears to be leveling off and new cases could start declining, but that the crisis is far from over. Spain struggled to fend off the collapse of its hospital system. Vladimir Putin's Russia moved to crack down on quarantine violations and “fake news” about the outbreak. And China edged closer to normal as stores in the epicenter city of Wuhan began reopening.
Worldwide, more than 850,000 people have been infected and over 42,000 have died, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Italy and Spain accounted for half the deaths, while the U.S. had over 185,000 infections, with more dead than China's official toll of about 3,300.
Figures on deaths and infections around the world are supplied by government health authorities and compiled by Johns Hopkins.
But the numbers are regarded with skepticism by public health experts because of different counting practices, a lack of testing in places, the numerous mild cases that have been missed, and perhaps government efforts to downplay the severity of the crisis.
For example, in Italy, where the death toll was put at about 12,400, the country's emergency coordinator, Domenico Arcuri, acknowledged that officials don’t have a handle on how many people are dying at home or in nursing homes.
Still, there was a glimmer of hope there: Dr Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy's institutes of health, said that three weeks into a nationwide lockdown, the hardest-hit country in Europe is seeing the rate of new infections level off.
“The curve suggests we are at the plateau," he said. But "arriving at the plateau doesn’t mean we have conquered the peak and we’re done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day.”
With the country's health care system buckling under the pressure, a field hospital, built in just 10 days, was unveiled at the Milan fairgrounds.
“We made a promise and we kept it,” said the head of the project, former civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso, who ended up catching the virus while on the job and had to work from his hospital bed.
In Russia, lawmakers approved harsher punishments, including prison sentences of several years, for violating quarantine rules and spreading misinformation. The chief doctor at Moscow’s top hospital for coronavirus patients said he tested positive, a week after shaking hands with Putin.
Spain reported more than 840 new deaths, pushing the toll above 8,000 and forcing Madrid to open a second temporary morgue after an ice rink pressed into service last week became overwhelmed.
Dozens of hotels across Spain have been turned into recovery rooms, and authorities are building field hospitals in sports centers, libraries and exhibition halls.
Israel’s Defense Ministry said it has converted a missile-production facility into an assembly line for ventilators.
In the hot spot of Louisiana, the death toll climbed to 239. And Tony Spell, a pastor charged with a misdemeanor for holding six church services in violation of the governor's ban on public gatherings said he would continue to defy the law “because the Lord told us to.”
Louisiana and Michigan were running out of ventilators, despite promises by the White House of more equipment.
Louisiana's governor said the hard-hit New Orleans region is on track to run out of breathing machines by the weekend and hospital beds a week later. The Trump administration has committed to sending 150 ventilators from the national stockpile, but the state hasn’t received an arrival date. Michigan said it needs 5,000 to 10,000 more.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia.
Among the few positive signs: In Britain, where the number of dead reached nearly 1,800, the medical director of the National Health Service's operations in England said there is evidence that social distancing is working. And China reported just one new death from the coronavirus and 48 new cases, all of them from overseas.
handcuffs mar Africa's
Soldiers tower over youngsters in South Africa's Soweto township, forcing them to do push-ups and roll on the floor as punishment for not adhering to a lockdown meant to halt the spread of coronavirus.
Caught on camera and circulated on social media, they added to a string of videos purporting to show violence by security forces deployed to enforce curfew and confinement across Africa.
Rubber bullets, tear gas and whips have been used to maintain social distancing in shopping queues and to discipline citizens caught outside their homes without valid reason.
"It seems to be the only way in which authorities know how to deal with the populace, through violence and humiliation," said Amnesty International's Shenilla Mohamed, executive director for South Africa, adding that abuse had also been reported from Zimbabwe, Kenya and Nigeria.
South African police are investigating the deaths of three citizens allegedly killed by patrols for defying the lockdown, which came into force last Friday.
"That's almost the same amount of people that have died from coronavirus," noted Mohamed, referring to the nation’s latest death toll of five.
One person was allegedly shot by police on his way home from a bar -- a direct breach of regulations prohibiting the sale of alcohol during the 21-day shutdown.
Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has condemned the reported heavyhandedness and vowed to withdraw soldiers caught abusing their powers.
To date coronavirus has infected more than 5,690 people in Africa and killed at least 195, according to an AFP tally.
The pandemic has been slow to reach the continent, despite an acceleration in recent weeks, and numbers remain relatively low compared to other parts of the world.
Dozens of African governments have made use of the extra time to roll out curfews and shutdowns earlier than their worse-hit counterparts in the West.
But such measures are difficult to enact in countries where most people live in poverty and work informally, often in packed urban slums with little access to sanitation.
"If we take measures which starve everybody, they will quickly end up being defied," said Benin's President Patrica Talon on Sunday, adding that his country lacked the means to enforce public confinement.
As governments have struggled to keep citizens indoors, their security forces have been quick to fall back on intimidation tactics, raising widespread concern.
"It is unacceptable to see such inhuman and degrading treatment against the population," tweeted Nicolas Simard, Canada's ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo, in response to a video of masked policemen beating a young man to the ground in the capital Kinshasa, which went into lockdown last week.
"This is uncalled for and inappropriate," tweeted Mombasa governor Hassan Joho after police charged hundreds of commuters waiting for a ferry in Kenya’s port city.
Clad in riot gear, they fired tear gas at the crowd before the start of a dusk-to-dawn curfew, forcing people to the ground and whipping them.
The Mombasa Law Society denounced the police intervention as "excessive" and "detestable".
Uganda's army meanwhile apologised for a "high-handed" response after security forces violently cleared the streets in the capital Kampala, causing an outcry.
In a separate incident, two men were hospitalised after being shot by police for violating a restriction on public transport.
Footage from Senegal surfaced last week showing policemen beating people found outside after a night curfew.
In one video, officials force three young men to do squats after they were caught exercising at night.
"No torture, no inhuman degrading treatment and no excessive use of force," pleaded Amnesty International's former West and Central Africa director Alioune Tine.
Police eventually assured that all "excessive interventions" had been punished.
Yet the risk of a beating has done little to stop citizens across the continent from pursuing their daily activities.
The need to make a living trumps both fears of catching the deadly virus and encountering the police, prompting law enforcement officers to step up their show of force.
More than 1,100 people have been arrested for lockdown violations in South Africa, while Ivory Coast has detained 450 for failing to respect curfew.
Ivorian Human Rights Movement (MIDH) chief Doumbia Yacouba said many of the detainees had been beaten and mistreated.
"It is unacceptable and it adds to the psychosis created by coronavirus," he said.
Further cause for concern emerged when Kenyan police called for an inquiry into the death of a 13-year old boy felled by a bullet allegedly fired by police as they cleared a slum area last week.
In South Africa, three young children were wounded when security officials allegedly opened fire against a man.
Human Rights Watch has called for urgent investigations into all abuse allegations and "disproportionate" use of force.
coronavirus test clinic at
Australian authorities opened a pop-up coronavirus testing clinic at Sydney's Bondi beach on Wednesday, as the country's central bank warned the economic fallout from the pandemic could last for more than a year.
Authorities were zeroing in on specific areas that have reported clusters of infections, following a sustained slow down in new cases in recent days to around 4,700 nationally. The death toll stands at 20, after a steady creep upward in recent days.
Officials have stressed the need for continuing strict social distancing measures despite the slowdown, including restricting the number of people meeting in public to just two and the closure of parks, beaches and gyms.
"We can't let our foot off the pedal, we can't relax," New South Wales (NSW) state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in Sydney. "It doesn't take long for things to get out of control."
NSW, the country's most populous state, is responsible for almost half of the national cases and has imposed the strictest penalties for anybody found breaching the rules restricting movement.
At Bondi beach, health workers wearing masks and plastic gloves greeted people at the pop-up testing clinic. NSW officials said earlier this week the virus may have been transmitted in the Bondi community via an infected backpacker who was not aware they were carrying the disease.
"Bondi is one of those places where we are seeing local transmission, and we have seen cases among backpackers in recent days," NSW Health director Jeremy McAnulty said in Sydney on Wednesday.
Bondi made headlines in March when thousands of people were seen ignoring social distancing rules at its world-famous beach.
Official data showed that young people aged 20-29 account for the highest rates of coronavirus infections across the country, followed by those in their early 60s. Experts told local media the former were most likely to travel or socialize in groups, while the latter represented the cruise ship demographic.
The rate of growth in new infections across Australia has slowed to just under 10% over the past three days, from 25-30% a week ago, raising hopes that Australia is starting to "flatten the curve".
"Whilst there are still more cases each day, we're not seeing the scenes and the kind of growth in cases that so many other parts of the world are experiencing right now," Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, the country's second most populous state, said in Melbourne.
The federal government has planned for up to 100 pop-up clinics across the country to ramp up testing in transmission hot spots.
In South Australia, the Barossa Valley wine region has closed schools and facilities this week due to a localised outbreak, while six baggage-handlers working at the state's Adelaide airport have also tested positive to COVID-19.
Barossa council mayor Bim Lange said that put pressure on vineyards and related businesses at the height of the grape-picking season.
"We've had three years of drought, and now this," Lange told Reuters.
A single aged-care facility in Sydney accounts for a quarter of the national death toll.
The Reserve Bank of Australia warned on Wednesday the country's A$2 trillion ($1.23 trillion) economy would likely experience a "very material contraction" in economic activity that would spread across the March and June quarters and potentially longer. The RBA held an out-of-cycle meeting on March 18 when it reduced its cash rate to a record low 0.25% and embarked on a bond buying program to try and shield the economy from the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Like many countries, Australia's financial and jobs markets have been roiled by the outbreak, prompting the government to unveil several stimulus packages, including a A$130 billion($79.9 billion) six-month wage subsidy.
financial debt in
England, United Kingdom. - Four tins of tomato soup on Amazon UK selling at £18.99. Sainsbury's is selling four tins of tomato soup less than £4.00.
Amazon are cashing in on desperate people caught up in the coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom.
The online retailer has refused to crack down on the excessive prices being displayed on the uk website.
Single mothers are committing suicide and slashing wrists. The disgusting customer service has flourished during the crisis. Vulnerable adults are jumping from trains and bridges.
sneezes in front of her
daughters, Cash Warren
looked under the weather
News reports breaking in New York suggest thousands are infected with the Coronavirus.
World renowned actor Jessica Alba appeared to be unwell during an appearance on Monday 30th March.
She coughed wildly and sneezed on 'walk-about' with friends and family.
The mother of three – to Honor, Haven and Hayes – has since shared the video on Instagram, too. In recent weeks, Alba has been making multiple videos with her daughters for the platform. “Just over here doing @tiktok while staying inside. Havie was creative director on this one,” she captioned one that features her younger daughter, Haven. Keeping it simple, and keeping us all entertained, too.
Honest Company investors told New York press "Jessica is super-fit, but if the coronavirus spreads to her household, she could be in a lot of trouble. We like things running smoothly. Delays in work routine due to an Alba moment would jeopardise sales for the month."
Honest Company presented an "everything is normal sign to local photographers", but behind doors, it is a different story.
Employees at Honest Company are coughing, sneezing and "showing symptoms of the coronavirus."
There has been no word from Jessica about "paying salaries and bonuses to sick employees during the coronavirus outbreak."
The actor was "practically throwing herself into TIKTOK like life depended on it or $2 million dollars was placed in front of her face."
Jessica seems to be in another dream world, far from the nightmare scenes in New York.
Husband Cash Warren coughed and sneezed on Tuesday afternoon.
35 businesses in Malibu have been threatened with a power and water cut because they are not complying with the lockdown order imposed on California to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The Mayor of Los Angeles Garcetti previously issued a warning in a public update on the city's "stay at home" restrictions, under which all residents must stay at home and non-essential businesses must close.
Malibu businesses laughed at the Mayor's intrusive approach on matters beyond his control.
"We're still getting reports each day of non-essential businesses continuing to operate as normal. This behavior is irresponsible and selfish," reported the Mercury News.
He then reportedly went on to describe measures municipal authorities could take to force them to comply with the measure — including cutting off water and electricity supplies. They could also face misdemeanor charges, he said.
He provided assurances, though, that residential properties would not have their water or power cut.
"You know who you are. You need to stop it," Garcetti said. "This is your chance to step up and shut it down, because if you don't, we will shut you down."
Los Angeles was one of the first big US cities to issue a lockdown order as the coronavirus pandemic hit the US.
LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a March 19 mandate that all non-essential businesses were to be shuttered, and gatherings of more than 10 people banned.
The order affected 10 million people across southern California, and followed the issuing of a similar order by authorities in San Francisco.
Power and water was cut in 35 businesses on Tuesday 31 March. Corrine Dailies "Stop turning off the power and water because we want to work. End of year bills need to be paid, that is why we are open."
"Garcetti and his hooligans should stop what they are doing. Employees are being fired because productivity is down."
"Local authorities must show consideration for the hard-working business leaders that make Malibu great again."
World's last virus-free
corners hold tight
A coronavirus-free tropical island nestled in the northern Pacific may seem the perfect place to ride out a pandemic -- but residents on Palau say life right now is far from idyllic.
The microstate of 18,000 people is among a dwindling number of places on Earth that still report zero cases of COVID-19 as figures mount daily elsewhere.
The disparate group also includes Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica.
A dot in the ocean hundreds of kilometers from its nearest neighbors, Palau is surrounded by the vast Pacific, which has acted as a buffer against the virus.
Along with strict travel restrictions, this seems to have kept infections at bay for a number of nations including Tonga, the Solomons Islands, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
But remoteness is not certain to stop the relentless march of the new disease. The Northern Mariana Islands confirmed its first cases over the weekend, followed by a suspected death on Monday.
Klamiokl Tulop, a 28-year-old artist and single mother, is hopeful Palau can avoid the fate of Wuhan, New York or Madrid -- where better-resourced health services were overrun.
But she describes a growing sense of dread, a fear that the virus is coming or could already be on the island undetected.
"You can feel a rising tension and anxiety just shopping," she told AFP. "Stores are crowded even more during non-payday weeks."
There have been several scares on Palau, including a potential case that saw one person placed into quarantine this week as authorities await test results.
Inside Australia's four remote Antarctic research bases, around 90 people have found themselves ensconced on the only virus-free continent as they watch their old home transform beyond recognition.
There is no need for social distancing in the tundra.
"They're probably the only Australians at the moment that can have a large dinner together or have the bar still open or the gym still open," Antarctic Division Operations manager Robb Clifton told AFP.
The bases are now isolated until November, so the group is safe, but Clifton admits "the main thing that's on the mind of expeditioners is how their loved ones are going back home."
In some places, reporting no cases does not always mean there are no cases to report.
North Korea has portrayed emergency measures as an unqualified success in keeping COVID-19 out, despite sustained epidemics in neighboring China and South Korea.
But state media also appears to have doctored images to give ordinary North Koreans face masks -- handing skeptics reason to believe the world's most secretive government may not be telling the whole truth.
While Palau has no confirmed cases, it has still been gripped by the society-altering fears and economic paralysis that have affected the rest of the world.
Supermarket aisles in the country's largest town Koror have seen panic buying and there are shortages of hand sanitisers, masks and alcohol.
The islands depend heavily on goods being shipped or flown in, meaning supplies can quickly run low.
United Airlines used to fly six times a week from nearby Guam -- which has seen more than 50 cases -- but now there is just one flight a week.
"Look at how bad we coped when shipments were late before this pandemic happened," Tulop said. "Everyone was practically in uproar."
Residents have been practising social distancing. Doctors are waiting for test kits to arrive from Taiwan. The government is building five isolation rooms that will be able to hold up to 14 patients.
It all feels like waiting for the inevitable.
"I would like to be optimistic we won't get the virus," Tulop said. "But Palau would most definitely get it. We rely heavily on tourism and most of us even need to travel for work."
Rondy Ronny's job is to host big tourist events, but work has already dried up, and he admits to being "very anxious".
"I have loans and bills and payments due," he said. "This will definitely put me back, I hope the government will do something about our economy too, to help it recover."
Palau's biggest test may yet come with the first positive case.
But even in the most remote corners of the world, the impact of this truly global pandemic is already being felt.
Nowhere, it seems, is truly virus-free.
COVID-19 to police officers
and Jews in the Hamptons
HAMPTONS -- Extremist groups, including neo-Nazis and other white supremacist groups, have encouraged members to spread COVID-19 to police officers and Jews in the Hamptons, according to an FBI report obtained by ABC News.
"Members of extremist groups are encouraging one another to spread the virus, if contracted, through bodily fluids and personal interactions," according to the alert issued by the FBI's New York office.
Intercepted messages from these groups show members were asked to use spray bottles filled with body fluids to attack police. Others were directed to spread to Jews by going to "any place they may be congregated, to include markets, political offices, businesses and places of worship."
"From pushing the idea that Jews created the coronavirus virus to sell vaccines to encouraging infected followers to try to spread the illness to the Jewish community and law enforcement, as the coronavirus has spread, we have observed how white-supremacists, neo-Nazis and others have used this to drive their own conspiracy theories, spread disinformation and incite violence on their online platforms," said Michael Masters, the head of an umbrella group that coordinates security for Jewish groups and synagogues around the country, called Secure Communities Network, told Malibu Colony Tribune.
The Southern Poverty Law Center's annual report on extremist groups said its count of white nationalist groups has risen 55% over the past three years, from 100 in 2017 to 148 in 2018 to 155 in 2019.
Many of these white nationalists are embracing "accelerationism," a fringe philosophy that promotes mass violence to fuel society's collapse, the law center said.
must follow strict
Who is included in the ‘at risk’ groups?
The government is currently advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus to follow strict social distancing measures where possible, in an effort to reduce the transmission of the virus.
This includes avoiding non-essential use of public transport, working from home where possible, avoiding large gatherings and those in smaller public spaces, such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants and theatres, and avoiding gatherings with family and friends.
The following groups of people are advised to follow these measures if they are:
- aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
- under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple
- sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
What advice should asthma sufferers follow?
The current advice for at risk groups is to be stringent in following social distancing measures, meaning those in this category should stop “non-essential contact with others".
Malibu health advisors told Malibu Colony Tribune that those with long-term lung conditions, including asthma, should start to reduce the amount of contact they have with others in an effort to suppress the spread and stay safe.
Those who have asthma and have no symptoms of coronavirus are advised to take the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water
- Use tissues to wipe your nose or catch a sneeze, and then put them in the bin straight away
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean
- Avoid unnecessary interactions with other people, such as large gatherings, shaking hands with people or hugging them, and unnecessary travel, especially on public transport. You should also avoid going to public venues like bars, restaurants and cinemas. If possible in your job, try to work from home
- You do not need to stay inside your house at all times or self-isolate, just try to cut down the number of people you meet with on a daily basis and keep your distance from people when you see them
- Carry on taking all your usual asthma medicines as normal
- If someone in your home develops symptoms of coronavirus, you will need to stay in your home for 14 days
- If you have asthma and you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus (a new continuous cough or a fever), you should follow this advice:
- Stay in your home for seven days if you live on your own, or 14 days if you live with others. Everyone in your household will need to stay in the house for 14 days
- If you have mild symptoms, you can stay at home
- If your symptoms don’t go away after seven days, or get worse, or you are having difficulty breathing, call emergency for advice, or local hospital if you need emergency care. Tell them that you have asthma and if your asthma symptoms are getting worse
- If you get an asthma cough and are not sure whether your cough is a symptom of coronavirus or related to your asthma, speak to your GP, use the online emergency telephone number on your local hospital website.
- If you are having an asthma attack, call for an emergency as usual, and tell them you have coronavirus symptoms
- Carry on taking all your usual asthma medicines as normal
Covering your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, and disposing of used tissues straight away is advised. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms are: a dry cough, high temperature and shortness of breath - but these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. Look out for flu-like symptoms, such as aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose and a sore throat. It’s important to remember that some people may become infected but won’t develop any symptoms or feel unwell.
What precautions can be taken?
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. Local doctors advise to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in a garbage can immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
Should I avoid public places?
Most people who feel well can continue to go to work, school and public places and should only stay at home and self isolate if advised by a medical professional or the coronavirus service.
What should I do if I feel unwell?
Don’t go to your doctor but instead call emergency at local hospital or look online at the coronavirus service (malibu emergency helpline) that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next.
When to call Emergency
Emergency response team should be used if you feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, have been in a country with a high risk of coronavirus in the last 14 days or if you have been in close contact with someone with the virus.
Malibu A-List Celebrities are walking about holding hands, wearing no masks, no protective glasses.
Manuelle Savaltini "Lock-down…I saw celebs walking dogs. Children running about in the park. I don't think they release that an infected person in Italy coughed up part of his lung and blood in Rome".
Fans should warn the stars "they are walking into great danger".
Susanna Wei "Female celebs running on the beach like they are invincible".
Georgio Valtanes "Plastic surgery…the virus attacks internal organs. Your face could 'melt'. Celebrities in Italy are describing facial changes in relation to the nose, mouth and ears".
A top medic who contracted Coronavirus says the deadly respiratory disease is so contagious it can be transmitted through the eyes.
The Peking University respiratory specialist, Wang Guangfa, claims that he contracted the virus himself because of a lack of eye protection when visiting fever clinics and isolation wards in Wuhan, in Hubei province, China where the outbreak emerged.
“At that time we were highly vigilant and wore N95 masks,” he said. “But then I suddenly realised that we didn’t wear protective glasses.”
Dr. Jan Evans Petterson, professor of medicine and pathology in the Long School of Medicine’s infectious diseases division at UT Health San Antonio, confirmed that a scenario like Wang’s potentially could happen.
China’s National Health Commission expert Li Lanjuan said that staff who had direct contact with coronavirus patients needed to wear protective glasses, but ordinary people only needed to wear face masks.
The World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends protective eyewear, among other precautions, if you will be near someone with the virus for an extended period.
UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau or Italy in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors, even if symptoms are mild.
In addition, some reports suggest that the virus can cause conjunctivitis and be transmitted by aerosol contact with the conjunctiva. Therefore, patients who go to the optometrist/ ophthalmologist for conjunctivitis and have respiratory symptoms, in addition to having traveled to areas with known outbreaks could be suspect of having the virus.
To avoid catching or spreading germs, Malibu Colony Tribune recommends:
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin straight away
- wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
human butt and
known to test
A cat in Belgium has tested positive for the coronavirus after catching the potentially deadly bug from an infected owner, officials are investigating discarded used toilet paper.
The sick pet in Liège tested positive after showing classic symptoms of COVID-19 — including difficulty breathing — a week after its owner first fell sick, health officials told a press conference, the Brussels Times reports.
While it is the first known infection of a cat, two dogs in Hong Kong have previously tested positive — with the first, a 17-year-old Pomeranian, dying after returning home from quarantine.
“The cat had diarrhea, kept vomiting and had breathing difficulties. The researchers found the virus in the cat’s feces,” said professor Steven Van Gucht, according to the outlet.
a new movie?
Los Angeles -- Guess who is appearing in a new Batman movie? This person is really famous.
Loved by many. Extremely successful in the music world. Songs and albums blitzing the American market.
Is this person a man or woman?
Are you a fan?
Can we reveal the answer.
Yes, it's Harry Styles. Sensational Harry has been busy in Hollywood. No rest for the famous during self medication.
Phones haven't stopped ringing. This guy is popular. Another movie. This time Batman. Harry's clothes and musical routines just need something extra, like a Penguin umbrella.
The beautiful angel is going to appear as a villain in a new Batman movie. Walk-on part available for the world famous singer.
Congrats Harry! Fans will just have to shout and squeal at Harry every day until the Movie appears at theaters in the United States.
COVID-19 infects first-
With auto sales infected by the coronavirus in March, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported a 10% decline in its first-quarter sales after a healthy January and February.
Wednesday's quarterly auto sales reports from automakers are the first since the U.S. was hit by the coronavirus crisis which has closed auto plants and showrooms.
Hyundai and Porsche also saw sales decelerate, with the Korean manufacturer's sales down 43% in March alone.
For Fiat Chrysler, trucks and minivans were a bright spot. Ram pickup sales rose 7% to 128,805 vehicles while sales of the family-friendly Chrysler Pacifica climbed 5%. Jeep's all-new Gladiator pickup continued to impress with its third consecutive quarter of 15,000-plus sales.
But the industry is bracing for difficult months ahead. After a record five years of annual sales over 17 million units in the U.S., sales were expected to slow in 2020, according to J.D. Power forecasts, to a still healthy 16.8 million units. Sales at the start of the year were promising even as automakers put more money on the hood to keep customers coming.
But with automakers poised for the spring selling season in March, COVID-19 has changed the landscape.
Some 70% of the country's population is operating under state shelter-at-home orders including major markets like California and New York. As of Monday, at least 35 states had issued executive orders limiting non-essential business activity affecting dealerships.
Including its abysmal March results, Hyundai reported an 11% drop in the first quarter. Porsche first-quarter sales were off by 20.2% from a year ago after a record 2019.
The Michigan Automobile Dealers Association has advised its members that automotive sales operations remain closed under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's business guidelines. Even online sales have been suspended until April 14. Only service, parts and body-shop operations are allowed to stay open.
Elsewhere, dealers are offering no-interest loans and 84-month lease terms in order to try and keep consumer engaged.
In California, the nation's largest auto market, the California New Car Dealers Association has advised all 1,400 showrooms to comply with Gov. Gavin Newsom's shutdown order. Even home-team Tesla was forced to shut down production and showroom deliveries of its electric cars.
The shutdown comes as the Silicon Valley automaker is launching its first entry-level SUV, the Model Y. Analysts expect Tesla sales to be off 30%.
The Golden State's first-in-the-nation shelter-in-place order on March 16 showed ominous signs for the industry as sales cratered by 86 percent the first weekend after the order. J.D. Power expects that pattern to continue in other states that have enacted stay-at-home orders.
Despite the sales gloom, Kelley Blue Book reported the estimated average transaction for vehicles were up 3% over 2019 at $37,736 in March 2020.
“While the automotive industry and broader U.S. economy were brought to a near halt in March, average transaction prices remained stable,” said KBB analyst Tim Fleming. “Prices were supported by the abundance of incentives quickly enacted by manufacturers and their captive finance companies, including 0% financing for 84 months and payment deferrals of up to 180 days.”
'living room' show raises
$8 million for U.S.
A weekend benefit broadcast featuring recording stars performing live music online from home raised nearly $8 million for two charities serving first responders and Americans facing economic hardship amid the coronavirus crisis, sponsors said.
The Sunday night show, hosted by Elton John from his kitchen, featured Billie Eilish, the Backstreet Boys, Lizzo, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey, Lady Gaga and Tim McGraw - all appearing by way of smartphones, home cameras or online platforms.
The Fox broadcast network carried the hour-long show, dubbed the "iHeart Living Room Concert for America," live without commercial interruption, drawing 8.7 million television viewers, Fox said.
The songs were interspersed with short personal stories from nurses, doctors, truckers, grocery staff, and other essential workers as millions of Americans entered a second full week subjected to stay-at-home orders designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The concert, also broadcast on iHeart radio stations nationwide, urged listeners to donate to two charities, Feeding America and First Responders Children's Foundation.
As of Monday evening, the benefit special had raised nearly$8 million for the two organizations, including $500,000 donated by household products giant Procter & Gamble and a matching sum from Fox.
YouTube, which also made a donation in support of the cause, will continue streaming the benefit show through Wednesday on iHeart Radio's YouTube channel.
that joint a pass, warns lobby
“As long as cultures have consumed cannabis, the practice of sharing a joint among friends has been a common social practice,” said Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, a major US pro-cannabis lobby.
“But given what we know about COVID-19 and its transmission, it would be mindful during this time to halt this behaviour,” he said in a statement.
He also called on users to not share the various tools they might use to smoke marijuana — including bongs, water pipes or vaping pens — and to clean them with disinfectant gel.
“Further, because COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, some may
wish to limit or avoid their exposure to combustive smoke — as
this can put undue stress and strain on the lungs,” the statement
Opt for edibles and tinctures
“The use of edibles or tinctures can eliminate smoke exposure entirely,” Altieri said in the statement.
According to NORML, about 25 million Americans have smoked marijuana in the last year.
The drug is legal at varying levels — both for recreational and medicinal purposes — in 47 of 50 states, though it is still classified as a highly restricted substance at the federal level, similarly to LSD, cocaine or heroin.
Coronavirus is heading towards Malibu. Difficult decisions may have to be made by doctors and some people i.e. parent; will not survive. Saying goodbye to a parent is one of the hardest things we face in our lives. It is also something that almost everyone goes through. Ideally, when parents live their lives through to old age, an individual has time to prepare for the loss. Other times, parents may die unexpectedly, or too early in life, leaving behind children and other loved ones.
Losing a parent means a loss of childhood, of innocence, and a part of oneself. No other bond exists like the one with a parent.
You are now forced to cope with the loss of parental love and attention that was given uniquely to you, and that you depended on, possibly even took for granted.
As young people, we depend on our parents. Parents are caretakers. They typically provide us with information about the world and moral support. They also shape our perceptions about ourselves.
The circumstances of a parent’s death affect the intensity of a person’s grief. These factors include the current and past relationship with the parent, and the individual’s age at the time of the parent’s death. The timing of the death also affects survivors’ reactions. Was the death sudden? Was there long-term suffering involved?
Adult Grief Over Loss of a Parent
When a parent dies, whether through old age, unexpectedly, or from disease, children are left with a range of emotions ranging from emptiness and loneliness to guilt and anger. The most common emotions and normal reactions include:
After learning of a parent’s passing, an individual will begin showing symptoms of the five stages of grief. While considered “normal grieving,” it is important for friends and family of the surviving adult child to be aware of the person’s grief, to be supportive, and to be willing to encourage the individual to seek help for extended or difficult grief symptoms, such as uncontrolled crying or prolonged depression.
When death occurs at a decisive time in the adult’s life, such as at a time of a wedding, a graduation, birth of a child, or other pivotal moments, accepting and dealing with this loss can be even more difficult. For example, if the adult is struggling with health issues themselves, the parent’s death raises questions of his or her own mortality.
Even when a person is estranged from the parent that passes away, losing that parent brings up powerful emotions. If a person lacked a bond with the parent, or in cases where abuse or abandonment was involved, death can be a time for closure.
The parent’s death will likely bring up all of the unpleasant emotions one experienced during the abuse. Unresolved anger is the most common emotion for people in this situation. Even if that parent was already “dead” to a child, the emotions cannot be ignored. It leaves people with feelings of unfinished business, lost opportunity, ambivalence, regret; and also feelings of relief and freedom. The only way to deal with these emotions is to face them in psychotherapy or grief therapy.
If the surviving adult was a caretaker for the parent, similar feelings of guilt and ambivalence will be experienced. A sense of relief—both for oneself and for the parent who was suffering—is normal. Losing a parent will also sometimes turn surviving siblings into caretakers for younger brothers and sisters. Pressures like this can delay the grieving process.
As with all grieving, special occurrences such as birthdays and holidays are especially difficult when surviving the loss of a parent. Renewed grief on these occasions is known as an anniversary reaction, and while these reactions can re-occur for years, they are most common for the first three to 24 months. These types of anniversary reactions are even more pronounced in children.
Children’s Grief Over Loss of a Parent
Psychological research has shown that a person’s age affects his or her ability to cope with the death of a parent. The loss of a parent before adulthood has a profound effect on the rest of that person’s life. The loss affects adult personality development, a sense of security, and relationships with the surviving parent and significant others.
Loss of a parent at an early age has been shown to lead to long-term psychological damage in children, especially when the parent lost is the mother. To prevent this, psychologists suggest grief therapy for the child, allowing the child to express his or her feelings and providing feedback and activities to pursue when grief resurfaces.
Children have four “tasks” of mourning they must accomplish in order to process the death of a parent:
- They must accept the reality of the parent’s death.
- They must experience the grieving and emotional pain of the loss.
- They must adjust to the world in which the deceased is no longer there.
- They must find ways to memorialize the deceased, and relocate the lost parent within his or her life in a different way.
Girls were more likely to experience depressive symptoms after the loss of a parent than boys. Additionally, younger children were more at risk for depressive symptoms than older children.
Children need age-appropriate support—that is, counseling and support that correlates to the way a person processes death at a certain age—to deal with the effects of the loss of a parent and the ensuing grief. Since people understand death differently at different stages of development, the emotional support they receive needs to reflect the child’s ability to process the information.
Children almost always exhibit some type of regression behavior when a parent dies. It is important to recognize these behaviors as part of grieving and not to punish the child for them. Children might resort to a behavior they had left behind, such as thumb sucking, bed wetting, or uncontrolled crying.
Behavioral Grief Symptoms in Children Include:
- Searching for the deceased
- Avoiding places and people who remind them of the deceased
- Changes in eating habits
Adolescent grief is an area of continuing interest and research. Teenagers experience such a varying and dynamic range of emotions, sometimes responding to psychological tests as adults, sometimes through avoidance or masking of emotions, and sometimes they respond as children.
However, we do know that adolescents are susceptible to short and long-term emotional damage from the loss of a parent. Teenagers may act out through risk-taking behavior, and disinterest in school and activities is common following the loss of a parent.
In addition to emotional reactions, children of all ages will suffer from physical symptoms of grief.
Physical symptoms experienced by both children and adolescents include weakness, low energy, dry mouth, and shortness of breath.
In order to successfully work through the grief of a parent’s death, individuals need to be open to dealing with their emotions completely, to express them honestly, and discuss them with someone who can provide support. Only through this process will a person be able to resolve his or her grief.
praying for your family
How to cope with the loss of a brother or sister
Advice and guidance on coping with grief after the death of a sibling. The coronavirus is heading to Malibu, you are loved.
The loss of any sibling is deeply upsetting and difficult to comprehend, not just for you but for the whole family unit. It creates a crater which disturbs the harmony at home and shifts the dynamics of the union. The death of a brother or sister is impactful and it can be particularly gruelling to those left to deal with it.
This grief guide helps you to understand the effects of losing a brother or sister and it shows you how to cope with such loss.
Losing a sibling
You grow up listening to their voice, playing with them and discovering the world together.
They are always there, especially when you need them to cover for you. It’s a relationship developed over many years and based on deep trust and unconditional love for one another.
It’s precious and constantly evolving to adapt to the changes and challenges along the way.
Then one day, they are gone and they are not coming back. Such a personal loss has the potential to inflict a lot of pain and to leave you with mixed emotions. It can create division within the family and cause you to distance yourself from other siblings or your parents.
There are many factors which can influence your ability to cope with the loss of your brother or sister, including age.
Loss of a brother or sister as a child
The loss of a sibling at a young age is particularly cruel and it affects the child in the same way as it affects the bereaved parents. It’s likely to leave them confused and raise questions about death - their own and that of others. Sometimes they can feel guilty about fights and arguments with the deceased sibling or feel responsible for their death.
Quite often children and young adults don’t seem to be affected by it at all but they are. If your child is “fine”, you need to look out for sudden changes in their behaviour. Maybe they refuse to go to school or are behind on their school projects? Perhaps they seem angry, agitated, anxious or fearful? These changes and emotions are normal reactions to loss and they get better with time.
Loss of a brother or sister in later life
Losing a sibling when you are an adult doesn’t make it any easier and in some cases it may be your first experience with the death of someone that is close to you. There’s no way of predicting your reaction but the loss of such importance is likely to come as a shock and send you on an emotional rollercoaster ride through the different stages of grief. Be prepared to experience intense feelings and emotions which can leave you quite disturbed and confused.
You may feel as if a part of you is missing or abandoned by them. You may struggle or not wish to express your feelings and emotions from fears of upsetting your parents and other siblings. Sometimes, you may even feel as if your grief is not acknowledged, particularly in the cases where your sibling has left a family behind. These reactions are normal and temporary but you need to be patient as it takes time to overcome them.
Moving forward after the loss of a sibling
Regardless of how, when and why it happens, the death of your brother or sister is likely to leave you shocked and devastated. The particulars and intensity of your relationship as well as the reaction of your other siblings and parents may have an effect on your grief.
If for example, your parents are more vulnerable to their loss due to age, illness or other factors, you may feel the need to stay strong for them. You may even decide to protect them by not showing your grief in front of them. That’s normal and sometimes expected but you still need to make sure that you look after your health and well-being.
Here are some suggestions for coping with the loss of a brother or sister:
- Try and get some sleep
- Eat a balanced diet
- Talk it through
At some point, you need to face your feelings. Find a local bereavement counsellor, talk to friends or join a grief support group. Any of these provide you with a safe environment to share your experience without being judged.
- Start a journal
The loss of a sibling is unique to you but it also affects your other brothers and sisters as well as your parents. It’s likely to disturb the family relationships. It’s important to find the time and make an effort to hear about their feelings too but remember that people have their own ways of dealing with grief and you need to respect that.
Coping with stress in hospital
Stress is a primitive physiological response. It has been described as the 'fight or flight' response.
The analogy frequently given is of the cave man being challenged by another cave man or a wild animal. He is faced with a stark choice. He can both stand his ground and risk being injured or decide to take flight and live to fight another day.
While faced with this threat the body produces extra amounts of two particular hormones known as adrenaline and noradrenaline. These prepare you for action — fight or flight.
Modern man still experiences the same physiological responses in reaction to the pressures of modern life. Although the perceived sense of threat for modern man is of a lower order to his primitive predecessor, the intensity of the chemical response is similar for both. The physical experience of stress is related to the release of adrenaline and noradrenaline into the bloodstream.
Referral to the hospital department or being admitted as a patient is acknowledged as being a very potent stressor.
How do I recognise stress?
Physical symptoms of stress:
- A pounding heart.
- Short, fast breathing.
- A dry mouth.
- Clammy hands.
- Tension headaches.
- Gritting or grinding of teeth.
- Tense muscles.
- Panic attacks.
- Diarrhoea or constipation.
- Guilt or nervousness.
- Increased anger or frustration.
- Racing thoughts.
- Problems in concentrating or learning.
- Difficulty making decisions.
- A sense of being overloaded or over-burdened by problems.
- Nervous habits such as finger or foot tapping.
- Increased irritability or edginess.
- Increased use of alcohol or cigarettes.
- Defensiveness or suspiciousness.
- Withdrawal from social situations.
- Difficulty sleeping.
How do I cope with stress in the hospital environment?
- Bring in familiar objects such as family photographs, books or pillows.
- Listen to relaxing music during procedures. Audiocassette players with headphones are generally available in most procedure rooms.
- Don't be afraid to ask for what you need. If you are cold ask for another blanket. If you are experiencing increased levels of pain inform the nurse. If you cannot sleep tell the night nurse. If appropriate she can organise a sleeping tablet for you.
- Ask not to be disturbed when you want to rest.
- Be positive in the way you talk to yourself, eg. ‘Many people have coped well with this test and so will I’.
- Try not to focus on the possibilities of what can go wrong.
- Take your mind off the problem by using distraction — read a magazine, listen to the radio or play an audiotape. Remember that laughter can be a very effective method of relieving stress.
- If you are unclear about the nature of the procedure you are about to undergo ask one of the nurses for clarification.
- If you are afraid say so to a member of the ward staff. Your fears may be groundless.
- Many hospital patients derive great comfort from speaking to a chaplain. If you would like to speak to the chaplain just ask.
Preparing for going home:
- Ask for any information you may require before going home. Ask the staff to write down details if necessary.
- If you have any problems following discharge from the hospital, contact your doctor or specialist nurse, eg. diabetes nurse specialist.
it's trendy since the year 1647
British American Tobacco (BAT) has said it has made a "significant breakthrough" on a potential vaccine for COVID-19 using tobacco plants.
The company, which makes Lucky Strike cigarettes, announced on Wednesday that its U.S. biotech unit Kentucky BioProcessing (KBP), based in Owensboro, Kentucky, was working on the development of the vaccine on a not-for-profit basis.
The company said in a news release that it could produce between 1 million and 3 million doses per week starting in June with backing from the partners and government agencies.
KBP recently cloned a portion of COVID-19's genetic sequence to create an antigen, which induce an immune response in the body and produce antibodies, BAT said.
The company said the antigen was inserted into tobacco plants for reproduction and once the plants were harvested, the antigen was purified.
The vaccine is now undergoing pre-clinical testing.
BAT says using its "fast-growing tobacco plant technology" has several advantages over conventional vaccine production methods.
It says it is "potentially safer" because tobacco plants can't host pathogens which cause human disease and vaccine KBP is developing remains stable at room temperature, unlike conventional vaccines which often require refrigeration.
"Vaccine development is challenging and complex work, but we believe we have made a significant breakthrough with our tobacco plant technology platform and stand ready to work with Governments and all stakeholders to help win the war against COVID-19," Dr. David O'Reilly, director of Scientific Research at BAT, said in a statement. "We fully align with the United Nations plea, for a whole-of-society approach to combat global problems.
KBP has been exploring alternative uses of the tobacco plant for some time.
One such alternative use is the development of plant-based vaccines. We are committed to contributing to the global effort to halt the spread of COVID-19 using this technology."
Dr. O'Reilly added that the company is working with the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and seeking guidance on the next steps to take. He
said BAT was also engaged with U.K. health authorities to expedite the
development of the vaccine.
KBP made headlines in 2014 when it said it had created an effective
treatment against Ebola called ZMapp with California-based Mapp
Biopharmaceuticals. But the experimental drug was dropped from clinical
trials after other treatments proved more effective.
On Tuesday, FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn said the agency's staff are working with all sectors in the fight against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
"Quickly after the emergence of this virus, we began working directly with federal health partners, academia and industry to advance medical countermeasures against COVID-19," Hahn said.
"Our staff continues to work across all sectors to expedite the development of numerous, innovative potential prevention and treatment approaches. We are also looking at pragmatic and expedited ways to make these products available to patients, while still ensuring the FDA's standards are met."
saves lost dog and helps
rescue men in freezing
LAKEWOOD, Ohio -- The Lakewood Fire Department had a busy weekend helping to rescue not only a lost dog but also two men thrown into a chilly Lake Erie after their vessel capsized while riding the raging Rocky River.
The first call came in on Saturday (March 28) regarding a dog -- lost for a couple of weeks -- spotted on the Lake Erie shoreline.
“The dog, which was pretty protected in the cove, was inaccessible from the cliff area,” Lakewood Fire Capt. Gordon Polando said. “Also, the weather was too bad on Saturday night, so on Sunday morning firefighters used an inflatable rescue dinghy to get the canine. Not only had the water calmed down, but there was more light.”
While obviously shaken from the experience, the dog, Aspen -- which was fed overnight by onlookers -- was reunited with her owner.
Later on Sunday after heavy rains poured from the sky, the Lakewood first responders, as well as Rocky River police officers, were dispatched to the Lake Erie shore regarding two men tossed into the cold water after going for a whitewater rafting-like experience down a rapid Rocky River.
“A couple of guys had gotten down by the mouth of the river near the lake,” Polando said. “Where the river and the lake met there was a lot of turbulence and it tossed them out of their vessel. The current picked up and they weren’t able to turn around.
“They both had lifejackets on, but they did spend close to a half hour in the water. They were pretty lucky there were people down by the lagoons who saw them head out and capsize. They called the police.”
A Rocky River police officer with a visual on the men, who were pushed out about 100 yards past the break wall, vectored in a Coast Guard boat to make the rescue. They were then brought to the shore where the Lakewood Fire Department took them to Fairview Hospital.
“With the cold-water temperature, after 15 minutes or so most people lose their fine motor functions,” Polando said. “They were in the water for a half hour. One gentleman lost his gross motor function. We had to carry him to the squad. The other guy was able to walk, but he was within probably 10 minutes or so of doing the same.”
As for the dangers of boating, canoeing or rafting on a wild Rocky River, Polando said safety-wise it’s not a smart choice.
“I had heard reports from the swift water guys that the river was flowing at over 10,000 cubic feet a minute,” Polando said. “That’s pretty high. It normally runs a couple hundred cubic feet per minute.
“Also, the guys were not properly prepared either. They did have life preservers on, but not wetsuits. So as soon as they went into the water, they were in danger of hypothermia. Just remember, moving water is always dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.”
CHICAGO -- Twenty people were shot across Chicago over the weekend, including two teenagers who were fatally wounded.
A 16-year-old boy was killed Saturday in West Town.
Someone in a passing silver BMW fired shots about 11 a.m., striking Darius Lane, Chicago police and the Cook County medical examiner's office said. He was rushed to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
On Friday night, a 19-year-old man was fatally shot during an attempted robbery in Gresham on the South Side.
A male suspect approached Xavier S. Pointer just before 10 p.m. in the 8500-block of South Carpenter Street, authorities said. The suspect announced a robbery and shot Pointer in the chest when he said he didn't have anything. The shooter ran off, and Pointer was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he was pronounced dead.
In nonfatal shootings, a 16-year-old girl was injured when someone fired a gun outside a West Rogers Park apartment on the North Side.
She was in the apartment about 11:35 p.m. when she heard two women outside arguing, police said. Someone fired a gun during the argument and a bullet flew through the door and hit the girl in the arm. The teen was taken to Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston in good condition. The women were last seen entering a black Chevrolet Malibu.
The most recent nonfatal attack left two women injured early Monday in Albany Park on the Northwest Side.
They were arguing with another woman about 2:15 a.m. in an alley in the 3500-block of West Montrose Avenue when someone fired shots from a passing black vehicle, according to police. One woman, 25, was hit in the pelvis, groin, leg and backside and taken to Illinois Masonic Medical Center in fair condition. A 22-year-old was grazed on her shoulder and taken to the same hospital in good condition.
Officers stopped a vehicle near the scene and several people inside were taken in for questioning by Area North detectives, police said.
On Sunday afternoon, two concealed-carry license holders shot a man who fired at them in Scottsdale on the South Side.
The 47-year-old man opened fire at a southbound vehicle about 5:20 p.m. in the 7900-block of South Knox Avenue, police said. Two men inside the vehicle, 21 and 29, returned shots, striking the older man in the abdomen, side and leg. He was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition.
Neither of the men in the vehicle was hurt, according to police. They both had valid FOID cards and concealed-carry licenses.
Minutes before, a man was shot during an attempted robbery in Austin on the West Side.
The 21-year-old was outside about 5:15 p.m. when another male approached him in the 400-block of South Lockwood Avenue, pointed a gun at him and tried to rob him, police said. After a struggle, the robber shot the man in the thigh. He was taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.
Early Sunday morning, a man was shot and robbed in Gage Park on the Southwest Side.
The 26-year-old was walking at 12:35 a.m. when two males approached and one put a gun to his chest in the 5700-block of South Sawyer Avenue, according to police. The other suspect took the chain off the man's neck before the gunman shot him in the hand and leg and the robbers ran away. A relative drove the man to Holy Cross Hospital and he was later transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition.
Saturday night, two people were wounded in Garfield Park on the West Side.
The 29-year-old man and 18-year-old woman were standing on the corner with a group of people about 9:30 p.m. in the 3900-block of West Van Buren Street when they heard gunshots and realized they'd been hit, according to police. The man was hit several times in the foot while the woman was hit once in the leg. They were both taken to Stroger Hospital in good condition.
In the morning, a 53-year-old woman was grazed by a bullet on the South Side.
About 11:20 a.m. she was in the 10500-block of South Avenue J, when she was grazed in the head, police said. She was taken to University of Chicago Medical Center in good condition.
Less than an hour before, a 27-year-old man was shot during a fight in Humboldt Park on the Northwest Side.
About 10 a.m. officers responding to calls of shots fired in the 4100-block of West Kamerling Avenue, found the man with a gunshot wound, police said. Investigators later learned he got into a fight with someone who pulled out a gun and shot him in the shoulder. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital for treatment in good condition.
The weekend's first shooting injured a 19-year-old woman Friday night in the Back of the Yards on the South Side.
She was riding in a vehicle about 8:07 p.m. in the 5200-block of South Laflin Street when she heard gunfire and felt pain, police said. The woman was struck in the head and was driven to St. Bernard Hospital, where she was listed in fair condition.
Seven other people were wounded in shootings between 5 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday.
Last weekend's gun violence saw one person killed and 17 others hurt throughout the city.