Connecting Communities | April 3rd 2020
Dear colleagues / friends
Greetings from lock-down. Here is today’s newsletter. Thank you for all good suggestions and we are working on incorporating ideas into next issues
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'Connecting Communities’ is drafted by WHO public health experts aggregating news from around the world. It aims to provide a selected sampling of 'news for you to use, inform behaviour and help others. Please contribute and pass on to your friends, family, networks. Send stories in any of the eight areas listed below.
Maintaining services & health care challenges / opportunities.
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Research findings help people cope
The COVID-19 pandemic has delivered the world into uncharted waters, and researchers, health-care workers and public health authorities are scrambling to keep up. “It’s a rapidly changing landscape,” says University of California, Irvine, psychologist Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD. While the new pandemic is unique in many ways, there are lessons to be learned from a significant body of literature on the psychological and behavioural health responses and consequences of disaster events.
Physiotherapist finds a social-distancing workaround.
A Viennese physiotherapist has found a social-distancing workaround. His clients follow instructions and work with him from inside a box made of plexiglass
How to clean / disinfect all your Gadgets
Whether you want to protect against COVID-19 or just give all your gadgets a deep-clean while you’re stuck at home, now’s the ideal time! Here’s how you can safely clean your tech gadgets, without damaging anything.
Cosmetics : The do's and don'ts
Keeping up with cosmetics during the pandemic can be difficult, as non-essential businesses remain closed. However, it is essential to allocate time for personal care. "Personal care is something we can't neglect, you know, during this time," said Gina Petak, education manager for European Wax Center. "You know, personal care makes you feel good about yourself."
High dose exposures most dangerous
People should take particular care against high-dose exposures, which are most likely to occur in close in-person interactions — such as coffee meetings, crowded bars and quiet time in a room with Grandma — and from touching our faces after getting substantial amounts of virus on our hands. In-person interactions are more dangerous in enclosed spaces and at short distances, with dose escalating with exposure time.
Experimental treatments should only be used in a hospital setting
Thirty cases of suspected adverse reactions to medicines tries are being analysed. Hydroxychloroquine is suspected of being involved in five of these cases, three of which proved to be fatal. ANSM said "In no case should these drugs be used either for self-medication or on by prescription from a city doctor, or self-prescribed by a doctor for himself, for treatment of Covid-19.
BBC stars lead mass singalong
UK radio listeners formed a nationwide choir on Thursday, as five BBC stations teamed up for a communal singalong. For the first time, Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music, 1 Xtra and Asian Network all broadcast the same programme, designed to lift spirits during the lockdown. "This is a unique moment," said Radio 1's Greg James. "Isolation doesn't mean you have to be lonely." Songs were suggested by listeners, with choices including Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline and Prince's Raspberry Beret.
Not every hero wears a cape - giant Polish graffiti mural tribute to staff
Not every hero wears a cape - a giant Polish graffiti mural tribute to healthcare staff
Seven tips for home working
Not going into the office is an effective way of preventing the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, because it minimises the risk of you coming into contact with someone carrying the disease. Many companies are suggesting workers who can get the job done from home do just that. Some technology companies which produce software used by remote workers, including Zoom and Slack, have subsequently received a bump in share prices in recent days.
How to work remotely in a time of crisis
A David Ainsworth article intended to take a look at the technological solutions which enable effective distributed working, and the adaptations to culture and ways of working that are involved. It’s based on learning from our own organisation. Catalyst is a charitable initiative incubated at CAST, a charity set up for remote working. We’re distributed by default. For most people that means four days based at home, and only one in the office
There is no workplace like home
As the coronavirus spreads across the globe, forcing more people to work from home, has the outbreak kickstarted the world’s largest workplace experiment?
How to work from home during outbreak
As the coronavirus outbreak grows, more people are working from home. Tech giants including Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Twitter announced earlier this week, that most of their staff are mandated to work remotely due to the coronavirus. Business Insider has highlighted some tips that will help your staff remain productive while working from home.
IPA, WHO and UNICEF launch ‘Read the World’ International Children's Book Day
Much-loved children’s authors are joining an initiative to read extracts of their books to millions of children and young people currently living in isolation amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the World is a collaboration between the International Publishers Association (IPA), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. It kicks off today, on International Children’s Book Day, at 15.00 GMT/17.00 CET with Italian author Elisabetta Dami, creator of the popular character Geronimo Stilton.
New World opens to teachers on front line
On March 27, UNESCO dedicated its second webinar on the educational response to Covid-19 to those working on the front lines to ensure continuity of learning: 63 million teachers from 165 countries, plus educational staff. This symposium brought together participants from all regions of the world to study a wide range of issues, ranging from training and support to provide teachers to the problem of distance learning in remote or rural areas with access weak or even zero on the Internet.
"Harry Potter at Home" - free hub for kids
If you don't know how to keep your kids occupied during confinement, JK Rowling has thought of you - and it's free! Harry Potter at Home is a hub on which you will find quizzes, games and the whole world of Hogwarts with free access.
Europeans to "pool financial resources", in order to avoid "food supply risk"
European Commissioner Thierry Breton said he was convinced on Thursday that the 27 countries would find a way to converge the financing of new instruments in the fight against the coronavirus crisis and has ruled out any "food supply risks" in the 'European Union. "We will certainly have to have a fund, we can call it an industrial European stimulus fund, for example, which will make it possible to issue bonds which will make it possible for governments to access additional funding", he said on France Inter. "I am convinced our interests will converge," added the European Commissioner responsible for industrial policy and the internal market. "The only word that matters here is solidarity."
"Telework" for frontier workers and carriers
French authorities have defined teleworking so that it is possible to define the role an employee does on behalf of an employer and the instructions given to the employee, and this forms the basis of whether they are entitled to compensation under the government's scheme for any loss of job or earnings - a lawyer explains
Extended state benefits for entrepreneurs
The government's legislative proposal seeks to extend the right to the unemployment benefit to all entrepreneurs, including those who have employees on the payroll. The current system requires businesspeople to shut down their companies if they want to draw on unemployment benefits. However, under the proposed new rules they would not need to close up shop to receive the benefit and they would also be entitled to income from ongoing operations without losing the entire benefit.
Matt Hancock sets aim of 100,000 tests/day
The government is aiming to carry out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day in England by the end of April, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said, as he announced a "five-pillar" testing plan. It comes as the government was criticised for not increasing the number of tests more quickly. Currently, there are around 10,000 tests being carried out a day. The new target includes swab tests, which are already in use, and blood tests, which are yet to be launched. It was originally thought the target would be for the whole of the UK, but the government later issued a correction saying the goal will only be for England.
Medicines delivered to home for €1
La Poste announced on Tuesday that it had entered into a partnership with the Aprium Pharmacy network and the delivery specialist Stuart to offer a brand new medication delivery service called Aprium Express. For just 1€, it is now possible to have medicines delivered to your home in less than two hours, reports BFM TV . Delivery is even free for nursing staff.
Companies encouraged to add mental health benefits
The coronavirus pandemic may drive companies to invest more heavily in mental health benefits. Some companies, like Starbucks and PwC, have already updated their benefits in response to the virus. Companies that provide mental health tools for individuals and workers have seen an uptake in the number of people requesting services. Younger generations, like millennials and Gen Zers, are driving the push for more mental health care at work.
NHS Nightingale -world's largest critical care unit
With 80 wards, the temporary facility at the ExCel Centre in London's Docklands is now the world's largest critical care unit.
Coronavirus: Pharmaceutical boss says two patients prepared for trials of vaccine
Hugo Fry, UK managing director for Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi, said the firm has existing products which could help treat people with COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus. He added the firm was "working closely" with the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to get "things moving" in Britain and two people were currently being lined up for vaccine trials.
Scientists develop vaccine via fingertip-sized patch
A fingertip-sized patch could be a potential vaccine for coronavirus, researchers say. Scientists suggest that when tested in mice, it produced antibodies specific to Covid-19 in quantities thought to be sufficient for neutralising the virus. The vaccine is described in a paper published in EBioMedicine, which is published by The Lancet, and is thought to be the first to be reviewed by other scientists.
Just breathing or talking could spread virus
Large droplets are still a means of infection, but researchers now say that tiny airborne particles may also carry infectious virus. “Currently available research supports the possibility that SARS-CoV-2 could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patients’ exhalation,” researchers from the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine wrote in an April 1 report to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. If the coronavirus is airborne, that could help explain why it is so contagious, and can spread before people have symptoms
Two solid candidate molecules to prevent the virus from infecting cells
While no treatment has yet been developed against the Sars-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for Covid-19, many clinical avenues have been explored, including that of focusing upon the receptors expressed by the target cells.
Asymptomatic carriers and beating the virus
ProPublica’s health reporter Caroline Chen explains what the conversation around asymptomatic coronavirus carriers is missing, and what we need to understand if we’re going to beat this nefarious virus together.
The world seeks an answer
More than 130 therapeutic trials are already underway around the world against the virus, some modest, others international. But what can we expect from this overflowing of scientific effort?
Scientist donates £1m to increase UK level of testing
A British entrepreneur has donated £1m to establish a network of labs that could dramatically increase coronavirus testing. Mike Fischer CBE has launched the Covid-19 Volunteer Testing Network, which aims to use common pieces of equipment found in thousands of labs across the UK to test for the illness.
Antibody tests crucial to identify immune people
New tests can identify people who have recovered from by searching for coronavirus antibodies in the blood. They could available in the US within weeks. Such tests can provide results in 15 minutes or less, after a single finger prick. They are easier to produce than the diagnostic tests that check for active infections. Experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have expressed confidence that recovered coronavirus patients will be immune, though further research is needed to be sure. That means identifying people who have recovered is critical in getting people back to work and school.