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Connecting Communities | April 1st 2020

Dear colleagues / friends

Here is today’s newsletter.

Thank you for sending stories and comments.

Personal stories can be found on our blog at https://bit.ly/39we6RC

Stories with pictures are on the website at cccovid19.org

Please share with your networks especially community support groups.

'Connecting Communities’ is drafted by policy experts linked to WHO, aggregating news from around the world. It aims to provide a selected sampling of 'news for you to use, inform your own behaviour and help others. Please contribute and pass on to your friends, family, networks. Send stories in any of the eight areas listed below.

  • Isolation

  • Hygiene

  • Working remotely

  • Virtual classrooms

  • Community action

  • Public policies

  • Maintaining services & health care challenges / opportunities.

As we are all communicators in this era you are invited pass it on!

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PM Ardern answers Kiwis' self-isolation questions

Jacinda Ardern has answered Kiwis' self-isolation questions as the country enters week two of the COVID-19 lockdown. The Prime Minister hosted a Facebook livestream on Tuesday where she gave an update on the Government's coronavirus response, as well as taking the time to answer questions. 

1st Apr 2020 - Newshub on MSN.com

Top tips for self-isolation

Dr Helen Sharman, CMG OBE CChem HonFRSC, the first British astronaut, is no stranger to isolation, uncertainty and confined spaces. As many of us around the globe prepare for several weeks of lockdown, Helen shares with us her top tips for keeping spirits up, staying connected, and making the most of a difficult situation.

31st Mar 2020 - Royal Society of Chemistry

Geoff Thomas’s tips after cancer recovery

A former England footballer has been giving tips on how to self-isolate, after having to do that himself when he was diagnosed with leukaemia. Midfielder Geoff Thomas, who played for clubs including Wolves, Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, was given three months to live. But after being diagnosed in 2003, he overcame the disease two years later. Thomas set himself "little goals" and advised "doing little jobs you've been putting off for probably years". A strong tip would be exercise, he said. I’ve been getting on my static bike. It gives you the virtual sort of experience of getting out on the road.

31st Mar 2020 - BBC News

Brits find unity

One of the epidemiologists advising the government, Neil Ferguson, warned that the isolation measures aimed at reducing the spread of novel coronavirus could continue until early June. Then, England's deputy chief medical officer said it may be six months before life returns to normal. Both estimates extend well beyond April 14, the date when the British government is expected to reassess the restrictions.

30th Mar 2020 - PBS NewsHour

Social distancing could save millions of lives

Researchers from Imperial College in London say that without steps such as social distancing Covid-19 could have killed 40million people this year. Study warns governments will have to make 'challenging decisions' but limiting social contacts could halve the death toll

31st Mar 2020 - South China Morning Post

Hygiene Helpers

Hygiene Tips: deliveries and post

Government guidance on staying at home, social distancing and shielding very vulnerable people is being updated daily, so even if you have read it once, check again to stay safe. Furthermore, there are now more requirements for us all to simply stay at home. These blogs are written to help you follow the advice by giving some simple and practical tips about commonly asked questions on how to bust the journey of the germ. Some people may think some of my suggestions may be excessive, but we are in a critical situation, and over the top hygiene is becoming the new normal, because that and social distancing is what we need to do.

25th Mar 2020 - The Hygiene Doctor

Don't use cash, do wash veg

Don't deep clean your home - While you need to keep frequently used areas clean, you do not need a thorough deep clean of all parts of the house. You can't get infected by touching a contaminated surface, only if you touch your mouth, eyes and nose. `Be sensible about where you are going to come into contact with infection,` says Sally Bloomfield, honorary professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and chairwoman of the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH).

17th Mar 2020 - The Times

Community activities

New Yorker tries to seduce neighbour despite confinement

Jeremy Cohen, New York photographer, redoubles his inventiveness to seduce his neighbour Tori Cignarella, despite the period of extended confinement.

30th Mar 2020 - Paris Match

Hospital cleaning staff also deserve a tribute!

The cleaning staff at our hospitals are hardly ever mentioned and they also deserve a tribute!

30th Mar 2020 - @JosepGoded

Montreux Jazz festival unveils 50 free streaming concerts

With the postponement of the next edition of the festival the organizers have decided to invite themselves into your own homes and offer you the chance to see up to 50 streamed concerts for free

29th Mar 2020 - Sortir a Paris

Poles rally to help medical staff and the vulnerable

Several groups offer help with pet care, childcare and home schooling assistance or running errands. One such community, Widzialna Ręka (Visible Hand), was founded on 11 March when schools and universities were closed and has now reached over 80,000 members. Group founder Filip Żulewski estimates that there are now over 150 spin-offs, with thousands more members grouped by specific towns and cities across the country. There is also one for Poland's large Ukrainian community. Some are also using the I Help You app to offer voluntary support to the needy.

17th Mar 2020 - Notes from Poland

2 Indian chefs cooking meals for Drs and nurses in Poland

An Indian restaurant in Warsaw has been providing up to 90 free meals a day for staff at local hospitals. Its owner, Suresh Goyal, has lived in Poland 15 years and says he "feels a responsibility to help. It doesn't matter where you're from". We interviewed Goyal - who for years has been providing free food for Warsaw's homeless - in our article on how Polish society has been rallying to help those affected by coronavirus and medics on the front line. You can read it here: 

25th Mar 2020 - OKO Press

Polish police dance to entertain YMCA kids

Polish police dancing in the street to YMCA to entertain kids in lockdown

27th Mar 2020 - Polish Polic

Community rallies together to help those in need

The group, called Coronavirus Helpers Bicester and Surrounding Areas, is creating a huge list of all the people who need help such as the elderly, who have specifically been told to stay home. The support is not just for practical help including shopping but to make sure that people have someone to talk to in times of isolation and heightened anxiety. 

30th Mar 2020 - Oxford Mail

4000+ children of caregivers welcomed in facilities across the Ile-de-France

"We are civil servants above all else, we must embrace the public service ethic. "We welcome a dozen students. A rotation is organized between the teachers, they each come in for half a day per week. " We help the children with their homework and we organize games," the rector explains. In Paris, more than 400 teachers have volunteered, according to the school

30th Mar 2020 - France Info

Sewing scrubs for NHS staff

A new voluntary group has been set up to make and deliver much-needed scrubs to NHS staff in Bristol and Weston-super-Mare. ScrubHub Bristol is helping to tackle the national shortage of scrubs in the NHS. Set up by Amanda George at We Make Bristol, a gift shop in Westbury-on-Trym, ScrubHub Bristol is a voluntary group of sewers making new sanitary uniforms for staff working in the city, now everyone is stuck indoors.

30th Mar 2020 - Bristol247

Land needed for grassroots growers

Market gardener Humphrey Lloyd currently grows on a one-acre patch, Edible Futures, in Stapleton and is one of many that has had to change his business model in response to the outbreak. He is now urgently seeking more land to increase production and keep communities stocked up.

30th Mar 2020 - Bristol247

Marriott Warsaw Hotel lets rooms for doctors

The coronavirus outbreak is a very difficult time for healthcare workers. Lots of patients, and so a lot of work and hours of on-call time. The Warsaw Hotel has decided to help the doctors and is sharing its rooms so that they can relax and protect their families from possible infection

30th Mar 2020 - Warszawa Naszemiasto

Photos of Community Police in Donnybrook & Irishtown assisting elderly & vulnerable

Photos of our Community Policing Unit from Donnybrook & Irishtown assisting our elderly & vulnerable residents. We are here to help in any situation please don't hesitate to contact us donnybrook.community@garda.ie. #HereToHelp #StayAtHomeAndStaySafe

31st Mar 2020 - @GardaInfo

Liverpool heroes that are a beacon of light

This is a good time to follow the famous phrase 'look for the helpers' - those people who are doing their best to make a difference in challenging times. The NHS workers, social carers, children sticking hand-drawn rainbows in their bedroom windows, neighbours who always takes the time to wave from a socially-separated safe distance, teachers sending messages to their pupils from afar. Whenever there are hard times you will find them - and never more than in Merseyside, where people have a reputation for looking out for each other.

31st Mar 2020 - Liverpool Echo

Polish couple use 3D printer to produce protective masks for medics

A Polish couple have been praised for using their 3D printers to produce hundreds of protective visors for medical personnel during the current coronavirus pandemic. Łukasz and Justyna Więcek from Zielona Góra in western Poland came up with the initiative to 3D-print masks in response to a government appeal for help from private entrepreneurs to manufacture medical supplies, reports Gazeta Wyborcza.

24th Mar 2020 - Notes for Poland

Working remotely

Virus creates stressful home working experiment

Even before the pandemic struck, remote work was accelerating in the U.S. But the next few months will be a very strange test of our white-collar future.

13th Mar 2020 - The Atlantic

What if we just carried on teleworking?

In this article we discuss a possible knock on effect from the coronavirus pandemic and compulsory containment, with millions of employees working from home. Could we see a future working from home revolution just around the corner?

27th Mar 2020 - Le Point

Vague remote work policies won't cut it

As a result of the coronavirus, organisations should and likely will move away from arbitrary discretion and toward companywide, objective policies on which jobs can be done remotely and under what circumstances.

17th Mar 2020 - Fortune

Five tips on running a remote working drill

Firms have been running work from home tests in preparation for enforcing such arrangements as the crisis worsens. Here's how to get this right

16th Mar 2020 - People Management Magazine

How to set up remote teams

The CEO of HackerOne, which features a community of over 600,000 people working remotely, offers tips for the best ways to set up remote workers to succeed.

11th Mar 2020 - Fast Company

Virtual classrooms

Can confinement become an opportunity?

"The situation of confinement forces us all to introduce and perfect new forms of teaching practice," explains Line Numa Bocage, professor at the University of Cergy. "It updates the creativity and inventiveness of teachers." Would confinement have a positive effect on teaching practices to the point of changing the way the schools operate in practice? We discuss

26th Mar 2020 - Le Cafe Pedagogique

Toddlers taking online preschool classes

Schools across the country have closed to slow the spread of coronavirus, but teachers are still working and trying to connect with students, even toddlers as young as two years old. It's hard to imagine a dozen or more toddlers on a Zoom video call, so parents and teachers told Business Insider what the transition to digital learning has been like.

29th Mar 2020 - Business Insider

Not All Virtual Learning Is the Same

The so-called Homework Gap has taken on crippling dimensions now that closed school districts have been trying to maintain a semblance of instruction by putting teachers or course materials online. Internet-savvy school systems that serve connected populations appear to be moving ahead relatively smoothly with the new order of business. At the same time, some districts that lack infrastructure and serve heavily poor populations have given up altogether on remote learning. Still others are hesitant to pursue online instruction out of fear they might be hauled into court for offering course materials to which broadband-deprived families cannot gain access.

27th Mar 2020 - The New York Times

11 tips for using Google Classroom

Many of the international schools that have closed already due to Coronavirus have opted to use Google Classroom to teach remotely. Here they give their top tips.

14th Mar 2020 - TES News

Public policies

How the NHS London Nightingale Hospital was built in a fortnight

A 21st century global pandemic requires an unprecedented response and the NHS Nightingale is just that.

1st Apr 2020 - Sky News

Australia unveils $114b scheme to guarantee wages

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday (March 30) announced a A$130 billion (S$114 billion) scheme to provide replacement wages to up to six million people who may lose their jobs otherwise due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Describing the package as an "economic lifeline," Mr Morrison said the aim was to ensure that struggling businesses retained staff while the economy went into hibernation. The six-month scheme will be offered to almost half the workforce and will provide people with A$1,500 per fortnight, or about 70% of the average wage

1st Apr 2020 - The Straits Times

Social distancing slowing spread of virus but crisis won't end soon, officials say

The two top infectious disease experts on the White House coronavirus task force think social distancing measures appear to be helping but reminded Americans they are going to have a significant effect on how many people in the Unites States die. "It's communities that will do this. There's no magic bullet (for Covid-19), there's no magic vaccine or therapy, it's just behaviours," said Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the task force. "Each of our behaviours translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days."

1st Apr 2020 - CNN

Migrants / asylum-seekers given full citizenships

Portugal has temporarily given all migrants and asylum seekers full citizenship rights, granting them full access to the country's healthcare as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus escalates in the country. The move will "unequivocally guarantee the rights of all the foreign citizens" with applications pending with Portuguese immigration, meaning they are "in a situation of regular permanence in National Territory," until June 30, the Portuguese Council of Ministers said on Friday.

1st Apr 2020 - CNN

UK labs 'can process tens of thousands more tests'

The UK has the capacity to process tens of thousands more tests for coronavirus but has failed to organise itself properly, a former director at the World Health Organisation has said. Anthony Costello, a global health professor at University College London, called for the UK to make use of testing machines in every university and big hospital around the country, setting up mobile testing units like Ireland, which is testing far more people per head of population.

31st Mar 2020 - The Guardian

South Korea keeps covid-19 at bay without a total lockdown

That life in South Korea has not ground to a complete halt is mostly owing to an early and aggressive response to the covid-19 pandemic. The country's disease-control authority approved the first test kit for the virus in early February, less than a week after the application was filed. By the time the number of cases began to rise a couple of weeks later, it had the capacity to test thousands of people a day and get results within a few hours from a network of labs across the country.

30th Mar 2020 - The Economist

Maintaining services

Video reports on millions of medical supplies from China - including 10m facemasks

France24 on video reports on the arrival of millions of medical supplies from China to help the French battle the Covid-19 virus. This includes 10m facemasks for healthworkers flown in by the Chinese 

30th Mar 2020 - France24

Retail logistics firm put in charge of PPE deliveries

Clipper Logistics chosen to manage PPE-only supply channel - Trust deliveries due to begin daily from Tuesday - Community deliveries anticipated to begin next week

31st Mar 2020 - Health Service Journal

Fall in Covid tests putting lives at risk, critics claim

UK fails to reach goal of 10,000 daily tests, prompting accusations ministers are misleading public

30th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

Supermarket vouchers for children entitled to free school meals

The move comes as schools have been closed as part of measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the UK.

31st Mar 2020 - Sky News

Healthcare innovations

Spanish researchers manage to sequence SARS-CoV-2 virus genome in 2 Barcelona patients

Researchers from the Vall d'Hebron Hospital in Barcelona have successfully sequenced the complete genome of two strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from two patients, which will allow the tracking of disease sequencing between different populations and countries to see how the virus changes as it progresses and spreads through a population. What should have been a year-long project has turned into a race against time to stop the pandemic and in just 15 days the research group in Liver Diseases of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and the Respiratory Virus Unit of the hospital's Microbiology Service have sequenced the complete genome of two strains of SARS-CoV-2 from two patients.

31st Mar 2020 - La Vanguardia

4 treatments being tested - which Labs will produce?

The four treatments tested on a large scale are the following molecules: remdesivir (antiviral initially designed for Ebola), lopinavir in combination with ritonavir (drug used against HIV), the same combination but associated with interferon beta to try to lower the inflammatory process and hydroxychloroquine (cousin of chloroquine , but with less risk of toxicity and adverse effects). The first patient assessments will begin after a fortnight of treatment, in about a week. In particular, we will be able to measure the improvement in their state of health, the evolution of the presence of the virus in their organism, and the possible adverse effects of treatment by comparing these results with those observed with patients who have taken a placebo, a drug. not containing any active substance. Pending these results, pharmaceutical companies able to produce these various drugs, in case their effectiveness on Covid-19 patients is proven, are on the warpath.

31st Mar 2020 - BMTV

10,000 ltrs of hydroalcoholic solution per day` - a Paris pharmacy sets up a lab in the street

A pharmacy in the 6th arrondissement has installed an open-air laboratory to manufacture hydroalcoholic products. An initiative authorized by the authorities, which allows many professionals to restock their pharmacies and avoid shortages in the face of the coronavirus epidemic

30th Mar 2020 - France3-Regions

Patients treated with blood of recovered patients

In the United States, doctors have been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, in certain cases, to use blood infusions of antibody-laden blood from patients who can be shown to have recovered from the COVID-19 infection to promote healing in the most serious cases. Researchers believe that this method could even be used to create an immunity in people at risk, even if its effectiveness is less reliable than a peventative drug or vaccine in itself.

30th Mar 2020 - Sante Magazine

Century-old vaccine investigated as a weapon

A vaccine that's been used to prevent tuberculosis is being given to health-care workers in Melbourne to see if it will protect them against the coronavirus. With an immunisation specifically targeted against the pandemic-causing Covid-19 disease at least a year away, the World Health Organisation says it's important to know whether the BCG vaccine can reduce disease in those infected with the coronavirus, and is encouraging international groups to collaborate with a study led by Nigel Curtis, head of infectious diseases research, at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne.

30th Mar 2020 - Bloomberg


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