Thursday, April 23, 2020

Facebook says it will remove some, but not all, posts that promote events organizing anti-stay-at-home protests in some states

According to Facebook spokesman Andy Stone, the states where posts will be removed are California, New Jersey and Nebraska, where the protests run afoul of the states’ social distancing guidelines. The decision was made after consulting with officials in those states. Facebook has come under fire as groups organizing anti-stay-at-home protests have popped up all over the platform. Facebook would take down posts created through the Facebook Events feature that promote events in California, New Jersey and Nebraska. Other Facebook posts, including Facebook groups about the protests, might not be removed. A New Jersey governor spokeswoman said the governor’s office did not ask Facebook to remove the pages or posts. A spokesperson for Nebraska’s governor said Facebook reached out to them, asking about the state’s social distancing restrictions. According to Facebook, the company is working to get answers from state governments in Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York as to whether anti-stay-at-home protests are also prohibited under their social distancing guidelines. (CNN)


Sisters die 102 years apart from two separate global pandemics

A pair of sisters have died from two separate global pandemics, over a century apart. Selma Esther Ryan died from the coronavirus at an assisted living facility in Austin, Texas, three days after celebrating her 96th birthday. Her death comes after her older sister, Esther, whom she never met, died at the age of 5 during the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. “On April 3, I got a call from the facility that five residents, including my mother, were running a temperature,” her daughter said. Over the next five days, the family watched through the window as she got sicker and sicker. It was so hard to not be with her. Her 96th birthday was April 11th and the family gathered outside her window, but it was obvious that something terrible had happened. The Travis County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed she had tested positive for the virus following her death. In comparison to COVID-19, The Spanish flu is estimated to have infected 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At least 50 million people died worldwide from the virus with roughly 675,000 fatalities occurring in the United States. (KXAN)


The list of the worst states to work from home

A new Wallethub study published recently ranked states from best to worst to work from home in. The data set ranges from the share of workers working from home before coronavirus to internet cost and cybersecurity. They also considered factors like how large and how crowded homes are in the state. The best states inlcude:

  1. Delaware
  2. Washington
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Colorado
  5. Georgia

The worst states include:

  1. Alaska (#51)
  2. Hawaii (#50)
  3. Mississippi (#49)
  4. Arkansas (#48)
  5. Oklahoma (#47)

(Wallet Hub)


Reports suggest many have had coronavirus with no symptoms

A flood of new research suggests that far more people have had the coronavirus without any symptoms, fueling hope that it will turn out to be much less lethal than originally feared. While that’s clearly good news, it also means it’s impossible to know who around you may be contagious. That complicates decisions about returning to work, school and normal life. The head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 25% of infected people might not have symptoms. The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. John Hyten, thinks it may be as high as 60% to 70% among military personnel. Worldwide, more than 2.3 million infections and more than 160,000 deaths have been confirmed. The virus has caused nearly unprecedented economic and social harm since its existence was reported in early January. It will probably be months before enough reliable testing has been done to answer those questions and others, including how widespread infections have been and the virus’s true mortality rate, which has only been estimated so far. (Associated Press)


Cow rescued after taking unexpected dip in swimming pool

Firefighters in Ettrick, Wisconsin, came to the rescue recently when a cow unexpectedly took a dip in a swimming pool. In a Facebook post, a photo of the black-and-white cow standing in the water as firefighters look on. “A ‘Mool’? No, that’s udderly ridiculous, it’s a pool with a cow in it! The Ettrick Fire Department responded to a cow in a pool on Whalen Road today. The cow was safely returned home,” the post said. There’s not further details about how rescuers were able to moo-ve the bovine, which “was safely returned home,” the post said.
The Ettrick Fire Department seemed to take it all in stride. (WKTB)


Parents name their baby ‘Sanitiser’

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our lives dramatically. Whether that be social restricts or hygiene practices, the world we live in has now changed forever. But it appears the Covid-19 pandemic has been a source of new baby name ideas. One family has come forward, admitting they have named their newborn son “Sanitiser” as a way to remember the what they went through in 2020. The father said he wanted to make a contribution during the fight against the virus. “Everyone if fighting against this virus…from our Prime Minister to ordinary people. This (Sanitiser) is our contribution,” he said. “Sanitiser is one of the best ways to protect oneself against contracting coronavirus infection… We will remember this period (lockdown), whenever (we) utter his name.” (New Zealand Herald)


Outrage As China Factory Holds Kissing Contest To Celebrate Reopening

A factory in China is being criticized for organizing a bizarre kissing contest to celebrate its reopening. A video of the contest where participants were invited to kiss while separated by plexiglass has been viewed over 10 million times on Chinese social media platforms. The kissing contest has sparked outrage online, with many criticizing the factory for playing fast and loose with social distancing guidelines in the time of coronavirus. The furniture factory named ‘Yueya’ in the city of Suzhou invited 10 couples to take part in the kissing contest. Photos and videos that are being widely circulated online show factory employees, some of them reportedly married, lowering their protective face masks to kiss through a clear pane of glass. The employees were all seen wearing blue boiler suits. The organizers said this event can help the factory workers relax & there’s a transparent glass between the kissers. The pandemic has caused everyone to be so tense and the kissing competition was organized to celebrate the resumption of work in the factory as China began easing restrictions imposed during the lockdown to contain the spread of the highly infectious coronavirus. (NDTV)


Coronavirus to cancel nearly half of scheduled sports events in 2020

Sports around the world have been on hiatus only since mid-March, but when the numbers are crunched, the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the industry will be felt for years to come. Only 53% of the major sports events originally scheduled for 2020 are likely to take place this calendar year. According to new projections:

  • Just 26,424 sporting events will be held by the end of 2020 with the possibility that more are canceled as the virus spreads.
  • There were approximately 48,803 major sports events, ticketed events for professional and competitive sports with a projected attendance of at least 5,000, scheduled in 2020.
  • Because of the sudden and ongoing interruption to live sports, the global sports industry will generate just $73.7 billion in revenue in 2020 ($61.6 billion less than the projected revenue before the COVID-19 pandemic). In 2019, the global sports industry generated $129 billion in revenue and was anticipating a growth in the industry by 4.9% year-on-year. (ESPN)


Mexican president tells gangs to stop donating food, end crime instead

Mexico’s president chastised drug gangs earlier this week, telling them to end violence instead of distributing food, after several reports across the country in recent days showed armed narcos handing out care packages stamped with cartel logos. The Mexican president said gang members should refrain from harming others and instead think of the suffering they cause to their own families and the mothers of their victims. Mexico notched a homicide record of 34,582 dead during his first full year in office in 2019, as the president advocated for more social spending to address the root causes of crime. Last week, reports first circulated of several Mexican cartels deploying members to dole out aid packages to help cash-strapped residents ride out the coronavirus pandemic. A daughter of jailed drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman was among those spotted handing out the packages stamped with her own company’s “El Chapo 701” logo, which includes the image of her infamous father. The boxes included cooking oil, rice, sugar and other items were distributed in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-biggest city. (Reuters)


Testicles may make men more vulnerable to coronavirus

The coronavirus could linger in the testicles, making men prone to longer, more severe cases of the illness, according to a new study. Researchers tracked the recovery of 68 patients in Mumbai, India, to study the gender disparity of the virus, which has taken a worse toll on men, according to a preliminary report posted on MedRxix, which hosts unpublished medical research papers that have not been peer reviewed. The researchers said the virus attaches itself to a protein that occurs in high levels in the testicles. This protein, known as angiotensin converting enzyme 2, or ACE2, is present in the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract and the heart in addition to large quantities in the testicles. But since testicles are walled off from the immune system, the virus could harbor there for longer periods than the rest of the body, according to the study. The mother-daughter researchers said these findings may explain why women bounce back from the virus more quickly than men. They determined that the average amount of time for female patients to be cleared of the virus was four days, while men saw recoveries that on average were two days longer, the report said. The study may offer an explanation for reports out of Italy, South Korea and New York City that men are dying at higher rates from the virus. Others have suggested that men are more vulnerable because they are more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure or suffer coronary artery disease. (MedRxiv)


While many streaming and video conferencing apps have seen a download surge in the time of COVID-19, Zoom is the clear winner

According to data from Variety, Zoom was downloaded more than 11 million times in March, a 1,330.4% increase from the previous month. Google Classroom also saw a meteoric rise last month, with nearly five million downloads. Traditional streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+, saw more modest growth. (Variety Twitter)


COVID-19 patients experience major organ failure due to the way the virus attacks the body’s blood vessels, according to a new study

As the heart, kidneys, and other organs are heavily impacted, patients with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are particularly at risk, researchers said. “This virus does not only attack the lungs, it attacks the vessels everywhere,” said an author of the paper from University Hospital Zurich. He said the researchers had found that the deadly virus caused more than pneumonia. “It enters the endothelium [layer of cells], which is the defence line of the blood vessels. So it brings your own defence down and causes problems in microcirculation,” he said, referring to circulation in the smallest of blood vessels. It then reduces the blood flow to different parts of the body and eventually stops blood circulation. That also explained why smokers and people with pre-existing conditions who had a weakened endothelial function, or unhealthy blood vessels, were more vulnerable to the novel coronavirus. (South China Morning News)


The head of the World Health Organization said that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is yet to come

The head of WHO did not give details but compared COVID-19 to the 1918 flu that killed up to 100 million people. His warning comes as many European countries have started to cautiously ease social restrictions but also amid fears that the virus could lead to catastrophe in Africa. President Trump decided to halt funding to WHO last week, after accusing the U.N. body of failing to inform the U.S. about the danger of the virus before it started spreading outside of China. Tedros refuted the accusation, saying that officials for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have long been working alongside WHO personnel. He said that a strong collaboration between the CDC and WHO meant that there was “nothing hidden from the U.S. from Day One.” (Newsweek)


Thursday Tramples Over On:

  • Celebrate Teen Literature Day
  • English Language Day
  • English Muffin Day
  • Impossible Astronaut Day
  • International Girls in Information and Telecommunication Technologies Day
  • Movie Theatre Day
  • National Lost Dog Awareness Day
  • National Pie Day
  • Spanish Language Day
  • Take Your Daughters & Sons to Work Day
  • Talk Like Shakespeare Day
  • World Book & Copyright Day
  • World Book Night

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