Monday, March 23, 2020

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing is a tool public health officials recommend to slow the spread of a disease that is being passed from person to person. Simply put, it means that people stay far enough away from each other so that the coronavirus can’t spread from one person to another. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes social distancing as staying away from mass gatherings and keeping a distance of 6 feet or 2 meters (about one body length) away from other people. Social distancing also means not touching other people, and that includes handshakes. Physical touch is the most likely way a person will catch the coronavirus and the easiest way to spread it. Remember, keep that 6-foot distance and don’t touch. (Center For Disease Control And Prevention)


Playboy has announced that it’s closing down its flagship magazine for the rest of 2020

It seems unlikely, given the wording of the announcement and the state of print magazine-making, that it will ever return. It’s not a surprise, exactly as its circulation and advertising drooped long ago, accelerating as the nudie pictures for which it was celebrated became available everywhere for free. Hugh Marston Hefner, its founder/editor/latter-day reality-show star/loungewear enthusiast, died in 2017, as his faded empire contracted around him, and one got the sense that the magazine was kept going partly because nobody wanted Hef to outlive it. The magazine was founded in 1953 and was a significant force in the loosening of anti-obscenity laws regarding the press. By the early 1960s, it was a huge success, soon expanding to open its namesake clubs all over the world. It also moved into TV with Playboy’s Penthouse (later Playboy After Dark), a late-night talk show of sorts starring Hefner and an array of celebrity guests. The magazine peaked in the early 1970s at a circulation of 5.6 million copies a month. The magazine’s licensing operation since then has put the signature rabbit logo on cocktail glasses, clothes, car accessories, and far more. Plus, of course, online porn. Men (and some women) joked that they bought the magazine for the articles, even though the centerfold and its associated pictorials were, of course, the main draw. Playboy, the brand, will continue as it’s a very big adult-entertainment business online. (NYMag)


Deputies find 18,000 pounds of toilet paper in stolen tractor-trailer truck in North Carolina

Deputies with the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina discovered 18,000 pounds of toilet paper in a stolen tractor-trailer truck during a traffic stop. Sheriff Danny Rogers said deputies initiated a traffic investigation involving the 18-wheeler along Interstate 40 in Whitsett, North Carolina after a motor vehicle law violation. Investigators said they followed the vehicle to a warehouse/dock facility a short distance off of the interstate and encountered the driver. Deputies determined the 53-foot Hyundai dry-van trailer was reported stolen locally and was being utilized to transport nearly 18,000 pounds of commercial bathroom paper products. As the coronavirus outbreak spreads in North Carolina and the United States, toilet paper has become the ultimate symbol of panic buying in grocery stores and supermarkets. Georgia-Pacific, the maker of Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper, said that last week, some orders from retailers nearly doubled. The company managed to ship out 20% more than its normal capacity. And the American Forest & Paper Association, an industry group representing paper product makers, noted the industry is working hard to respond to the sudden spike in demand. (WXII)


The price of a gallon of gasoline has hit 99 cents at a station in Kentucky

GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan was tipped off by users of the GasBuddy app that the Spur 7 BP in on state route 25 in London, Kentucky had dropped below a buck. Don’t head there looking for a deal right now, though, because an employee at the station said that they’re currently sold out of fuel and didn’t know when the pumps would be open again. Commenters on Gas Buddy say the station is known for its low prices and is often very busy. Experts predict that the nationwide average could soon drop to $1.49 and that 99 cents would be a reality at some locations. A combination of increased supply in Saudi Arabia and Russia with falling demand from efforts to stop the spread of the coronavirus are driving the trend. (Fox News)


Woman gives birth in toilet paper aisle of Springfield Walmart

A baby was born in the toilet paper aisle at a Springfield, Missouri, Walmart. The woman warned store associates that her last child came in just 30 minutes. When the woman’s water broke in the toilet paper aisle, she was prepared to go into labor right then and there. The store manager grabbed a sheet and blocked the aisle to give the woman as much privacy as possible. Springfield firefighters rushed into the store and helped deliver the baby girl. The manager said the entire process took about 45 minutes and customers were cheering for the woman the whole time. The Walmart birth was the touch of happiness the manager said everyone needed. “You know a feel-good moment, everybody’s going through so much, and with a baby, it’s like everything comes full circle,” she said. She did touch base with the woman the next day and said both mom and baby are doing well. (KNWA)


Governors Order Statewide Stay-At-Home Order

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s 40 million residents to stay at home, restricting non-essential movements to control the spread of the coronavirus that threatens to overwhelm the state’s medical system. People may still leave their homes for walks and exercise and for essential needs such as food and medical care. Restaurant meals can still be delivered to homes. The Democratic governor also announced that he is mobilizing 500 California National Guard troops to help with food distribution, but said they will be in place only for humanitarian reasons. (KXAN)
  • Pennsylvania is extending its shutdown of nonessential businesses and other activities to the entire state as it continues to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic. That means the limitations that are already affecting Philadelphia and its suburbs are in affect in all of Pennsylvania. Nonessential stores must close, and bars and restaurants must restrict their business to takeout. (10 Philadelphia)
  • New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy implemented more restrictions on residents, including shutting down nonessential businesses to help fight the coronavirus outbreak as the statewide total hit 890 and is expected to “go into the many thousands.” Among the measures would be closing all non-essential businesses in the state. The governor did not explain which businesses that would include. (
  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered all residents across the state to stay home, venturing outside only for essential jobs and errands. The order will last through April 7, and bans all social gatherings and non-essential businesses from operating. Residents will still be allowed to leave their homes for some reasons, like exercise, walking the dog, picking up medicine, getting take-out orders from restaurants and shopping for groceries. All roads in the state will also remain open. (Town News)
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis ordered all Florida bars and nightclubs closed until at least May 8th, when another executive order declaring a state of emergency is set to expire. He’s asking Florida’s university board of governors to require students to return home for remote learning for the rest of the spring semester. The state’s university system announced it was canceling traditional cap-and-gown graduation ceremonies in May, and directed campuses to reschedule or devise alternatives. (Tallahassee Democrat)


A Restaurant is Selling Emergency Taco Kits That Includes 4 Rolls Of Toilet Paper And 30 Eggs

As restaurants have begun to shut down due to the coronavirus, many are looking for ways to help customers who don’t have the proper quarantine supplies. That’s why Guerrilla Tacos in Los Angeles, California has gone viral after they began selling their emergency taco kits that include four rolls of toilet paper and 30 eggs. They decided to put together emergency food kits, but wanted to keep things fun and homey. The best way to do this was to put together kits that included five pounds of roasted chicken, five pounds of carne asada, a pint of red salsa, a pint of green salsa, tortillas, onions, cilantro, and rice and beans, along with four rolls of toilet paper and 30 eggs. (CNN)


Mailman leaves $2,200 tip to help employees at Little Rock restaurant

Even during trying times, there are astounding acts of kindness that warm your heart. A man in Little Rock, Arkansas who delivers the mail to Doe’s Eat Place restaurant is also a regular customer. Recently, while paying for his $12 lunch bill, he left a tip of $2,200. That’s $100 for each of Doe’s 22 employees. “It’s my community. I deliver to them. I know all of them,” he said. “Just trying to support them because they support me.” Every employee teared up, including the lady who owns the restaurant. The man realizes that his generous tip comes as restaurants – and its employees face uncertain futures after Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. banned dining-in at restaurants and bars to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Without many to-go orders, Doe’s Eat Place plans to simply close for at least two weeks. “I wish it could’ve been more,” the man said. “But we’ll get through this and go back to normal and I can come back and get my fish on Fridays.” (KATV)


Gun, ammo sales increasing

As stores around the nation are struggling to keep up with the demand for food, toilet paper and hand sanitizer, there is another golden commodity fast disappearing from the shelves amid the coronavirus crisis: firearms. Over the past week, gun stores countrywide have seen long lines and a wiping out of inventory as unnerved customers turn to their Second Amendment rights in the bid for self-protection. Background checks via the universal FBI system experienced a 34 percent uptick in February alone, processing almost 3 million. In January, as news of the new virus permeated from its origins in Wuhan, China, checks increased some 25 percent, according to the most recently available data. Moreover, based on the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) summary of sales processed with a background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the sales of firearms through dealers has spiked 17 percent nationwide as of March 15, 2020, versus last year. However, there is some concern that the national supply may not be able to meet the growing appeal. (Fox News)


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its COVID-19 recommendations to specifically target older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions

They labeled this group as “higher risk.” However, another group of people could be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and hasn’t received as much attention: people who smoke, vape or have substance use disorders. Some medical officials say that because COVID-19 attacks the lungs, those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape may be especially threatened. The CDC reported on recently that young adults under age 44 make up a big part of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the United States. People who smoke are generally at an increased risk of serious complications, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, when they have a severe infection. The odds of a COVID-19 case becoming more severe (and at the most extreme, leading to death) were 14 times higher among people who had a history of smoking compared to those who did not smoke, according to a study from China published in the peer-reviewed Chinese Medical Journal in February. The study also found those with a history of smoking had a 14% higher risk of developing pneumonia. (Center For Disease Control & Prevention)


The coronavirus pandemic has increased the risk of cyberattack, the World Economic Forum has warned

Officials note that, with the world battling to contain the coronavirus outbreak, a cyberattack could wreak very real devastation. “In today’s unprecedented context, a cyberattack that deprives organizations or families of access to their devices, data or the internet could be devastating and even deadly,” explained the World Economic Forum in a statement, adding, “In a worst-case scenario, broad-based cyberattacks could cause widespread infrastructure failures that take entire communities or cities offline, obstructing healthcare providers, public systems and networks.” An emergency such as this could also cause people to lower their defenses, opening the door to cybercriminals. Additionally, spending more time online could increase the risks that internet users face. For example, users could fall for ‘free’ access to obscure websites or pirated shows, opening the door to likely malware and attacks. There has already been evidence of the threats that cyberattackers pose during the coronavirus crisis. As the U.S. ramped up its efforts to control the outbreak, a cyberattack recently hit the Department of Health and Human Services. (World Economic Forum)


Monday Could Be Another Fun Day With:

  • National Puppy Day
  • National Chia Day
  • National Tamale Day
  • Near Miss Day
  • OK Day
  • World Meteorological Day

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