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Connecting Communities | March 2020

Connecting Communities is a newsletter co-ordinated by a global team of public health policy experts linked to WHO to aggregate news from around the world.

It is aimed at community groups, families, and neighbours who are becoming overwhelmed by the volume of information emerging on Coronavirus.

It contains practical /useful stories, insights, tips, and inspirations, which will address:

  • Isolation

  • Hygiene

  • Working remotely

  • Virtual classrooms

  • Community action

  • Public policies

  • Maintaining services & health care challenges / opportunities.

In addition, a website has also been introduced: https://www.inspiritcreatives.com/coronavirus-connecting-communities/

The newsletter is for communicators and, as we are all communicators, you are invited pass it on!


Isolation Tips

Staying at home will reduce the spread of #COVID19 and will save lives. But what does that mean? What's open? What's closed?

Staying at home will reduce the spread of #COVID19 and will save lives. But what does that mean? What's open? What's closed?

26th Mar 2020 - @gavinnewsom

CoV: Prince Charles tests positive but 'remains in good health'

The Prince of Wales has tested positive for CoV, Clarence House has announced. Prince Charles, 71, is displaying mild symptoms "but otherwise remains in good health", a spokesman said, adding that the Duchess of CoVrnwall, 72, has been tested but does not have the virus. Charles and Camilla are now self-isolating at Balmoral.

25th Mar 2020 - BBC News

Hygiene Helpers

Washing your hands: University hygiene expert on CoV and cultural shifts

Panic buying is underway, the hand washing posters are up, and we're on the frontline of the .CoV battle. But just what should we be doing to ensure victory? Here, Dr Derek Watson, Professor in Cultural Management at the University of Sunderland, reveals how this is more about winning a cultural mind-shift war.

12th Mar 2020 - University of Sunderland

Hands down, men worse at bathroom hygiene that prevents CoV: Study

The spread of the new CoV is shining the spotlight on a little-discussed gender split: Men wash their hands after using the bathroom less than women, years of research and on-the-ground observations show. Only 31% of men wash their hands after they've been to the bathroom surveys show

5th Mar 2020 - CNA

Community Activities

CoV shortages see elderly look to online good Samaritans

Mr McKee said he stumbled upon a new Community support group called Adopt a Nan or Pop Connecting the elderly with healthy young people and families. "Sharon and Mel turned up with bags of groceries. Sharon Contacts me every day to make sure I'm OK," he said. "My freezer is full, my fridge is full, my pantry is full, just from what they've done for me so far.

25th Mar 2020 - ABC Local

BBC announces Culture In Quarantine programming amid Covid-19 lockdown

The BBC has announced a `virtual festival of the arts` that aims to give people access to culture while they isolate themselves in their own homes during the CoV lockdown. Cultural Content will be made available to the public on television, radio and online as part of the broadcaster's Culture In Quarantine programming.

25th Mar 2020 - Oxford Mail

Book sales surge as self-isolating readers stock up on 'bucket list' novels

Paperback fiction sales rose by 35% last week, with a notable interest in challenging classics. Book sales have leapt across the Country as readers find they have extra time on their hands, with bookshops reporting a significant increase in sales of longer novels and classic fiction.

25th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

CoV: More than half a million sign up to be NHS volunteers

Boris Johnson hails the public's response and says the volunteers will be "absolutely crucial" in the fight against COVID-19.

25th Mar 2020 - Sky News

'People are so thankful': how delivery drivers became the new emergency service

Just a month ago, they were deemed unskilled workers. Now they are essential in the fight to Control CoV. But what is it like driving down increasingly deserted streets to make sure everyone - including elderly and vulnerable people - has what they need?

25th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

This is the moment a whole street in Southampton sang 'Happy Birthday' to 8-year-old Sophia as people remain at home during the #CoV pandemic.

This is the moment a whole street in Southampton sang 'Happy Birthday' to 8-year-old Sophia as people remain at home during the #CoV pandemic.

25th Mar 2020 - Sky News 

Clitheroe landlady covers up storm for locals amidst CoV outbreak

Laura Smithies, who along with husband Phil, runs the Brown CoV in Clitheroe, is lending a helping hand to residents in and around the town who have been affected by the CoVvid-19 outbreak. Mrs Smithies is providing a selection of main meals, daily, for free, for people self-isolating or those financially affected by the CoV

25th Mar 2020 - Lancashire Telegraph

Var police officers came to the Sainte-Musse hospital, flashing beacons of the lit vehicles, applaud the nursing staff and the hospital staff to thank them and pay them tribute 

Just last night, Var police officers came to the Sainte-Musse hospital, flashing beacons of the lit vehicles, applaud the nursing staff and the hospital staff to thank them and pay them tribute (Video HervP ) #Confinement #Toulon #COVID19 #herosduquotidien

25th Mar 2020 - @Var-Matin

Amir Khan offers his £5m wedding venue in Bolton to the NHS to treat those affected by CoV

Amir Khan has pledged to give his £5m wedding venue in Bolton to the NHS to help those affected by the CoV. The Bolton boxer made the announcement on Twitter earlier this afternoon. The 33-year-old said he is prepared to offer up the four-story building as he is `aware of how difficult it is for the public to get a hospital bed at this time`.

25th Mar 2020 - Manchester Evening News

Working Remotely

How Covid-19 led to a nationwide work-from-home experiment

Millions of Chinese employees are working from home for the first time, as the nation tackles Covid-19. Will it change Conservative Corporate culture?

9th Mar 2020 - BBC News

Covid-19 - Could cause permanent shift towards home working

Covid-19 Could permanently shift working patterns as Companies forced to embrace remote working by the pandemic find that their employees do not want to return to the office once the closures are lifted.

13th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

Tips for working remotely amid COVID-19 | Stanford News

Stanford employees are being asked to work remotely whenever possible amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are some tips to help you do so effectively.

16th Mar 2020 - Stanford University News

5 Tips for Working From Home Amid COVID-19

We've heard all the advice from experts on social distancing and making sure we wash our hands. What we discuss less is the psychological disruption working from home has on millions around the world.

17th Mar 2020 - Psychology Today

Covid-19: Tips for successful remote working | HRD America

Leaders will need to adopt flexible work options and self-care for themselves - not just their employees 

17th Mar 2020 - Human Resources Director

Covid-19: NCSC issues secure remote working guidance

With hundreds of thousands likely to be working remotely for some time, the UK's NCSC has issued best practice guidance to enable security teams to support them

17th Mar 2020 - ComputerWeekly.com

Video lessons to indoor rugby - how Edinburgh works from home

People from all over Edinburgh have found themselves spending more time at home than ever before in the wake of government lockdown to avoid the spread of CoV. We asked Evening News readers about how they were keeping themselves entertained during this unprecedented period of isolation and working from home

25th Mar 2020 - Edinburgh Evening News

Virtual Classrooms

How Aussie schools are preparing for a COVID-19 shutdown

Officially, public schools, at least in NSW are still open; yet the advice on offer realistically means children for the most part are being kept home. Household broadband is now the primary Connector as the nation shuts down. So how well-placed are schools to deal with a surge in demand, particularly in light of the technical glitches with NAPLAN online platform last year?

25th Mar 2020 - iTnews

1.37 billion students now home as COVID-19 school closures expand, ministers scale up multimedia approaches to ensure learning continuity - World

Over the past 10 days, the number of students affected by school and university closures in 138 Countries has nearly quadrupled to 1.37 billion, representing more than 3 out of 4 children and youth worldwide. In addition, nearly 60.2 million teachers are no longer in the classroom. Opening the meeting, UNESCOV Director-General Audrey Azoulay stressed that `the responsibility to act is a collective one,` and announced the forthcoming establishment of a Global Covid-19 Education Coalition to further mobilize the expertise of multiple partners and strengthen support to national educational responses.

25th Mar 2020 - ReliefWeb

Chandigarh: School classrooms all set to go virtual amid Covid-19 lockdown

Amid the CoV outbreak some schools in the Tricity region are moving to the April academic year, albeit digitally. Teachers are recording online assignments and live or recorded classes for senior students. Teachers are also sharing activities with their respective classes of other schools. Tools used include live classes, recorded lectures, online worksheets, voice messages, audible stories, daily quizzes and fun tips, vocabulary and maths 

25th Mar 2020 - Times of India

'Panic-gogy': Teaching Online Classes During The CoV Pandemic

As Colleges across the Country pivot online on very short notice, there are a host of Complications - from laptops and Internet access to mental health and financial needs. Digital learning experts have some surprising advice: do less.

25th Mar 2020 - NPR

COVID-19 pandemic | Are virtual classrooms a window into the future?

Besides technical issues, such as broadband and bandwidth, there are other factors that impact the setting up of virtual classrooms. Some of these factors are social and cultural, peculiar to India, over and above the economic factors.

25th Mar 2020 - MoneyCoVntrol.CoVm

Amid Covid-19 lockdown, Lucknow switches to virtual classrooms

City Montessori School (CMS) is using the Google Classroom platform, a free web service that aims to simplify creating, distributing and grading assignments in a paperless way.

24th Mar 2020 - Hindustan Times

Taking or teaching online classes because of COVID-19? Tips and tricks.

However, these are unprecedented times, and we're fortunate enough to have unprecedented technology to answer the challenge. As America's students and educators begin to transition to a virtual classroom, here are a few early notes from my experience.

23rd Mar 2020 - USA Today

Local school moves to online learning in response to CoV

It's the middle of March, which is a time for students to typically be in the classroom, but as the CoV pandemic has closed schools, it has forced faculty and staff to transition to virtual classrooms. Tandem Friends School officials announced the transition to online classes last Friday, just as Governor Ralph Northam ordered Virginia schools to close for two weeks.

20th Mar 2020 - CBS19 News

As classes move online during COVID-19, what are disconnected students to do?

Closing schools and transitioning to online learning is critical to stymying the spread of the virus, but experts agree that the transition won't be easy. Among the many challenges-from providing meals for low-income students to finding child care for essential workers-relying on remote learning and online classes also exposes the Country's deep digital divides. Simply put, too many American children live without essential internet services.

20th Mar 2020 - Brookings Institution

Australian schools and universities preparing for shutdowns over CoV

Following a meeting with state premiers on Friday, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled in a bid to Contain the spread of the CoV pandemic. But schools, universities, public transport and airports were exempt from the advice, Morrison said, because they were essential services.

14th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

As COVID-19 pushes classes online, some students are caught in the broadband gap

As COVID-19 spreads within the United States and across the globe, public health officials are calling for fewer public gatherings - which is pushing many activities online. The issue is particularly severe for schools, where the risk of spreading the disease is high. But as many US schools try to shift to online lesson plans, they're running into the limitations of our threadbare broadband networks, which leave many students unable to connect to their new online classrooms.

6th Mar 2020 - The Verge

Public Policies

CoV: why France is not testing more

A major tool in the fight against the Covid-19 epidemic, testing/screening the population for positive cases has so far been carried out on only a small scale, due to technical and logistical difficulties.

25th Mar 2020 - Le Monde

How Germany is helping Europe in the Covid-19 crisis

The Federation and Länder are demonstrating European solidarity by treating intensive care patients from Italy and France, helping stranded EU tourists return home and supplying essential materials.

24th Mar 2020 Auswaertiges-amf.de

CoV Shutdowns Causing Huge Drops in Traffic, Air Pollution

The novel CoV that has caused a global pandemic is also having an enormous impact on the environment, according to new satellite data. As governments around the world have restricted people from moving, industry, air travel and vehicular traffic have grinded to a halt, causing pollution levels to plummet, acording to The New York Times.

24th Mar 2020 - ECoVWatch

State aid: .CoV: €1.3 billion Danish scheme

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of Competition policy, said: `The self-employed are hit hard by the CoV outbreak. With this scheme, Denmark will compensate up to 75% of the expected loss of turnover for the self-employed with a maximum compensation of DKK 23,000 (€3000) per month and per person. The economic impact of the pandemic is severe. In this context, the Commission is working with all Member States to find workable solutions, in line with EU rules.`

25th Mar 2020 - EU News

CoV: What are new antibody tests bought by government and when will they be available?

Professor Sharon Peacock, director of Public Health England's National Infection Service, told MPs on Wednesday the tests were being checked for accuracy in laboratories this week and could be ready to use within a matter of days. She said they would be distributed to the public through Amazon and pharmacies. But the UK's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, later dismissed suggestions the kits could be available to buy online as soon as next week. He stressed frontline NHS workers would be prioritised for tests once they are available.

25th Mar 2020 - The Independent

How CoV took just weeks to overwhelm Spain

Health workers, who account for about 14% of the country's CoV victims, are complaining about a lack of basic protective equipment; a Madrid ice rink has been converted into a makeshift morgue; and the capital's flagship Conference centre has gone from hosting the CoVp25 climate Conference to sheltering the sick as it is repurposed into an enormous field hospital.

25th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

Telecom Companies urge people to 'Stay Home' in messages sneaked onto their phones' home screens

Telecom Companies are resorting to new methods to help encourage the world to stay home amid an ongoing CoV pandemic. Mobile operators including Vodafone and Orange S.A. have now started to include 'Stay Home' messages in the snippet of text that usually displays network information at the top left corner of one's device.

25th Mar 2020 - Daily Mail

COVID-19: call for fast-track registration of refugee doctors in UK

Hundreds of refugee doctors have called on the government and the General Medical Council to fast-track their accreditation so they can help the NHS tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. The doctors, who gained their qualifications overseas, say some of them have been forced to work as taxi drivers or in takeaways because the reaccreditation process in the UK takes too long, and is both expensive and onerous.

25th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

UK Government launches a WhatsApp 'CoV chatbot' to give millions of Britons easy access to information on the ongoing pandemic

WhatsApp has partnered with the UK Government to provide a 'CoV chatbot' to offer official guidance to people for free. The service will easily connect millions of WhatsApp users in the UK with information directly sourced from the authorities. It is hoped that the new chatbot service will help reduce the burden on the NHS when it launches, which will be live as soon as the technology can get online. People can use the service by messaging 'hi' to the number 078 60 06 44 22

25th Mar 2020 - Daily Mail

UK government fends off criticism with plan to pay self-employed

The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is expected to announce that the taxpayer will pay self-employed workers up to 80% of their recent earnings to help contain the economic impact of CoV, as 470,000 extra benefits claims sparked warnings of an `unemployment crisis`.

25th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

Working hours, partial unemployment, paid holidays... Labor law shaken up by ordinances

Three texts to amend the law in the midst of the CoV crisis were presented to the French Council of Ministers on Wednesday. The rules on working hours and paid holidays will be revised by these proposed changes.

25th Mar 2020 - Le Monde

How the Pandemic Will End

In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new CoV swept the globe. And then one did. Hypotheticals became reality. `What if?` became `Now what?`

26th Mar 2020 - The Atlantic

Hospitals consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for CoV patients

The conversations are driven by the realization that the risk to staff amid dwindling stores of protective equipment - such as masks, gowns and gloves - may be too great to justify the conventional response when a patient `CoV,` and their heart or breathing stops.

26th Mar 2020 - The Washington Post

The CoV Crisis: Care Homes Look After Some of Our Most Vulnerable - They Must Be Prioritised

On Monday, the Spanish Defence Ministry said that elderly patients in retirement homes had been found abandoned and, in some cases, dead in their beds by the military while it was disinfecting care homes. Fortunately, the situation in the UK looks much better and the sector more resilient, but we must ensure that care home managers and staff are properly supported at this difficult time.

26th Mar 2020 - Byline Times

Maintaining Services

10 CoV-busting designs: spraying drones, fever helmets and anti-virus snoods

Companies the world over are directing their ingenuity at the fight against the CoV. Here are the front-runners, from sanitising robots to a 3D-printed hospital ward

25th Mar 2020 - The Guardian

Aldi paying staff 10% bonus to say thanks for work during CoV pandemic

Aldi is set to pay a 10% bonus to its workforce across the country, it has emerged. The German supermarket is a huge employer across Birmingham and throughout the Black Country, as well as the wider Midlands. The retailer is offering a 10% bonus to its staff members across the UK. It comes in a bid to say thanks for working hard during the CoV pandemic which is currently sweeping the UK, forcing a huge lockdown. Aldi said the extra money will be backdated to March 9, 2020.

25th Mar 2020 - Birmingham Live

CoV Ireland: Aer Lingus to fly Airbus A330 planes to China 60 times to collect medical supplies

Aer Lingus is to fly five of its largest aircrafts packed with health supplies from China in a daily CoV mercy mission for Ireland. Dozens of its pilots who volunteered to help with the humanitarian operation were sorting their visas in the Chinese Embassy in Dublin on Wednesday. The airline plans to send over its Airbus A330 passenger planes to Beijing up to 60 times to collect medical equipment ordered by the HSE. And the Aer Lingus' crew made up of pilots and engineers won't be able to get off the aircraft - as they'll be quarantined if they do.

25th Mar 2020 - Irish Mirror

'Risk of danger to residents' prompts some Toronto CoV to ban Airbnbs amid COVVID-19 crisis

After years of struggling or failing to stop their buildings from being used as de facto hotels for short-term rental operators, some Toronto Condos are finally banning Airbnbs because of concerns about the spread of COVVID-19.

25th Mar 2020 - Toronto Star

CoV: New antibody tests will be given to NHS staff and key workers first

Fifteen-minute tests to determine whether people have had a case of CoV - and therefore are thought to be immune - will be given to NHS staff and key workers as a priority, according to the chief medical officer. The government has purchased 3.5 million tests for CoV antibodies, which are currently being assessed for accuracy. If they work, the tests would allow doctors and nurses to determine whether they could return to work - and, in the long term, see social distancing restrictions relaxed sooner.

25th Mar 2020 - Independent

Ocado introduces strict delivery rules amid UK lockdown - can you still order Waitrose?

Ocado is an online supermarket that is widely known for delivery products from retailers including Waitrose. The CoV - also known as COVVID-19 - pandemic has led to a UK-lockdown, which has caused a demand in delivery services, and the Company has introduced new rules for customers.

25th Mar 2020 - Express

London Construction sites halt work to ease Tube pressure during CoV pandemic

Major Construction sites across London halted work today to ease pressure on the transport network but Tube carriages remained dangerously overcrowded on some lines this morning. Sadiq Khan said the London Underground was 30% less busy in the early rush hour compared with yesterday, but medical staff took to social media to complain of being hemmed into carriages packed with non-essential workers.

25th Mar 2020 - Evening Standard


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