Day: August 12, 2020

UN chief says pandemic threatens new conflict

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that the cordonavirus pandemic not only threatens gains in fighting global poverty and building peace but risks exacerbating existing conflicts and generating new ones.

The U.N. chief told a Security Council meeting Wednesday that his March 23 call for an immediate cease-fire in conflicts around the world to tackle the virus led a number of warring parties to de-escalate or stop fighting. But, he added, “regrettably, in many instances, the pandemic did not move the parties to suspend hostilities or agree to a permanent ceasefire.”

Guterres predecessor as secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, told the council it is astonishing that the world has locked down billions of people, closed borders and suspended trade, but has failed to put conflicts on hold.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— 1,200 Alabama students home after positive test

— Companies test

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Joe Biden And Kamala Harris Make First Remarks As Historic Democratic Ticket

Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris appeared together for the first time as a joint Democratic ticket Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware, with a clear general election message: President Donald Trump is a purveyor of crisis.

“America is crying out for leadership, yet we have a president who cares more about himself than the people who elected him,” Harris said after being introduced by Biden. “A president who is making every challenge we face even more difficult to solve.”

The event, held in a high school gymnasium, was only attended by press and staff, as well as Biden’s and Harris’ spouses, Dr. Jill Biden and Doug Emhoff, due to social distancing protocols during the pandemic. Speeches that would typically be met with big fanfare and applause were delivered in a silent room, and livestreamed to a virtual audience. Biden and Harris did not shake hands and for the most part

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How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Masks

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To help contain COVID-19, one of the most important things you can do is wear a mask. Especially when paired with physical distancing, wearing masks is “the single best way, short of a lockdown, to slow the spread of the virus,” says William Schaffner, M.D., a professor of medicine in the division of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn.

But small annoyances can discourage people from wearing masks, Schaffner says, even when they know they should. “These may seem like minor problems, but if the new normal is going to be mask wearing for months, then they need attention,” he says.

The good news is that the things that may bug you about masks are mostly fixable. Even when they aren’t, there are steps you can take to minimize them. Here, we have

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Relatives remember loved ones who died in Beirut explosion

With a mix of grief and rage, Lebanese nationals all over the world have entered a period of mourning following the powerful blast on August 4, which killed at least 171 people, injured thousands and plunged Lebanon into a deeper political crisis. 

Adding to the trauma, residents of Beirut have taken on much of the cleanup themselves, bandaging their wounds and retrieving what’s left of their homes.

While bereaved family members are grieving their loved ones, others continue frantic searches for the missing. As the death toll from the explosion continues to rise, hopes anyone could have survived so long under the debris are starting to fade. 

Krystel el Adem 

This image shows the funeral for Krystel el Adem. / Credit: Courtesy of Fady Fayad
This image shows the funeral for Krystel el Adem. / Credit: Courtesy of Fady Fayad

Immediately after the explosion, Krystel el Adem, 35, called her father, asking for help. She was inside her apartment alone, stuck under the debris. 

That

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Mask altercations can turn violent. Here’s how to de-escalate them safely

It was a video seen around the world: On July 29, a woman using a cane was left hospitalized with a broken knee after she was thrown to the ground during an altercation over masks in a New Jersey Staples store.

Margot Kagan, who has been diagnosed with liver cancer and liver failure, received a life-saving organ transplant back in March. Her condition leaves her vulnerable to severe illness if she contracts COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

“Because of my transplant, I’m on immunosuppressants,” Kagan told TODAY by phone. “I was literally told when I left the hospital that if I get COVID-19, I’d be back in the hospital and I’d probably die.”

While she was using a fax machine at Staples in Hackensack, Kagan said she noticed a woman at the machine across from her was wearing her mask below her mouth. (The Centers for Disease

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Infectious Coronavirus Retrieved From Hospital Air

Skeptics of the notion that the coronavirus spreads through the air — including many expert advisers to the World Health Organization — have held out for one missing piece of evidence: proof that floating respiratory droplets called aerosols contain live virus and not just fragments of genetic material.

Now a team of virologists and aerosol scientists has produced exactly that: confirmation of infectious virus in the air.

“This is what people have been clamoring for,” said Linsey Marr, an expert in airborne spread of viruses who was not involved in the work. “It’s unambiguous evidence that there is infectious virus in aerosols.”

A research team at the University of Florida succeeded in isolating live virus from aerosols collected at a distance of seven to 16 feet from patients hospitalized with COVID-19 — farther than the 6 feet recommended in social distancing guidelines.

The findings, posted online last week, have not

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A TODAY All Day town hall

The upcoming school year is going to look and feel different from any other. While the shifts have been necessary because of COVID, we can’t ignore how these changes will affect the mental health of children or their parents, whether kids are learning remotely or in person.

Jenna Bush Hager spoke to a panel of mental health professionals on TODAY All Day, the TODAY show’s streaming channel, for a special hour-long town hall, “Coronavirus and the Classroom,” a collaboration with Common Sense.

Related: Craig Melvin sat with experts to answer viewer questions about school safety.

Watch TODAY All Day: Get the best news, information and inspiration from TODAY, all day long.

Answering questions about children’s development and mental health were Dr. Stephanie Lee, a clinical psychologist with the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Allison Kanter Agliata, a psychologist and former head of middle school in Tampa Florida, and Tom Kerstin, a

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Try this simple hack to make a surgical face mask fit better

Surgical face masks appear to be one of the best ways to stop the spread of respiratory droplets. They can also be problematic when it comes to a snug fit, with wearers often noticing gaps on the side of their faces.

Enter a simple hack to improve the fit.

Two viral videos from two dentists demonstrating the same technique during the coronavirus pandemic have received millions of views online.

Dr. Olivia Cui, a dentist in suburban Calgary, Alberta, posted her tutorial on TikTok:

Dr. Rabeeh Bahrampourian, a dentist New South Wales, Australia, showed the hack on YouTube:

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Start with clean hands — always wash them before handling a new mask (and after taking off a used one).

  • Fold the mask in half, lengthwise, so that the bottom and top strip are edge-to-edge.

  • Take one ear loop and make a knot as close as possible

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1,200 Alabama students home after positive test

MOULTON, Ala. — More than 1,200 students at two Alabama schools will begin the year at home after a person connected with both schools tested positive for COVID-19.

While 12 other Lawrence County schools planned to begin traditional classes Wednesday, Superintendent Jon Bret Smith told the Decatur Daily that students from the elementary and middle schools in Moulton, located in north Alabama, would start the academic year taking classes online.

Education officials learned Monday that a person linked to both schools had tested positive for the disease caused by the coronavirus. State health officials recommended delaying the reopening by two weeks. Combined, the schools have more than 105 workers.

School officials notified 10 people who were in contact with the person. Computers are being distributed for online classes.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— India adds more than 60,000 virus cases in 24 hours

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Biden, Harris make unusual campaign debut in virus era

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Joe Biden is making his first appearance with newly chosen running mate Kamala Harris on Wednesday, betting that the California senator’s historic profile and confrontational style against President Donald Trump will boost Democrats’ efforts to oust the Republican president amid cascading national crises.

The former primary rivals will appear at a high school in Biden’s Delaware hometown to discuss their shared vision for how to defeat Trump and then lead the country through a pandemic, its economic fallout and a long-simmering reckoning with racism. Harris and Biden then will sit down together for an online fundraiser designed to let small donors get a fresh glimpse of what the Democratic presidential ticket will look like together.

In a reflection of coronavirus guidelines, there will be no adoring throngs that would greet a new running mate in a routine campaign and certainly one with Harris’ historical significance. The

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