Health

Virus was in Italy’s wastewater before Christmas

ROME — A study by Italy’s National Institute of Health has found that the new coronavirus was in circulation in wastewater in the northern cities of Milan and Turin in December 2019, at least two months before the virus was confirmed to have spread locally in the population.

The study, released Thursday, was based on 40 water samples collected as part of regular checks from sewage treatment plants in northern Italy from October 2019 to February 2020. It showed the virus that causes COVID-19 in Dec. 18 samples from Milan and Turin, while earlier samples were negative.

“This research can contribute to understanding the beginning of the circulation of the virus in Italy,” the institute said in a statement.

The research has so far not linked any confirmed cases to the virus’ earlier presence, but researchers have proposed using the system to monitor the presence of the new coronavirus in … Read More

With the Federal Health Megaphone Silent, States Struggle With a Shifting Pandemic

A restaurant in Austin, Tex., on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Ilana Panich-Linsman/The New York Times).
A restaurant in Austin, Tex., on Wednesday, June 17, 2020. (Ilana Panich-Linsman/The New York Times).

WASHINGTON — The federal government’s leadership in the coronavirus crisis has so faded that state and local health officials have been left to figure out on their own how to handle rising infections and to navigate conflicting signals from the White House.

About 800 Americans a day are still dying of COVID-19, a pace that, if sustained over the next few months, would yield more than 200,000 dead by the end of September. Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Oregon and Texas all reported their largest one-day increases in new cases on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Oklahoma recorded 259 new cases, a single-day record for the second day in a row, and just three days before President Donald Trump is scheduled to hold an indoor campaign rally in Tulsa in defiance of his own administration’s guidelines for “phased reopening.”

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What to expect from Apple’s online-only WWDC 2020

There’s at least one other sign that Apple is rethinking its old conventions. Mark Gurman at Bloomberg reported earlier this year that the company is considering letting people set third-party apps as the default for actions like writing emails and web-browsing, rather than Mail and Safari. The move would be great news for Apple’s power users, but make no mistake: If this happens, it would likely be because of the heightened antitrust scrutiny the company faces from US lawmakers and the European Union. (Just don’t expect Tim Cook to dwell on that too much that on-stage.) Curiously, the conversation around this move has died down since Bloomberg broke the news in February, so we’ll just have to see how things play out.

Beyond all that, Apple has been working on several updates to its slew of preloaded iOS apps. According to MacRumors, Apple is working on a “mention” system

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Domestic abusers use tech that connects as a weapon during coronavirus lockdowns

<span class="caption">Technology plays a major role in violence against women and girls.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/sad-teen-with-a-phone-in-her-bedroom-royalty-free-image/820379104" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:AntonioGuillem/iStock via Getty Images">AntonioGuillem/iStock via Getty Images</a></span>
Technology plays a major role in violence against women and girls. AntonioGuillem/iStock via Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has driven much of daily life – work, school, socializing – online. Unfortunately, perpetrators of violence against women and girls are also increasingly turning to technology in response to the pandemic.

Globally, violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions, with one in three experiencing an act of physical or sexual violence in her lifetime. Most of these acts of violence are perpetrated by intimate partners and family. In the United States, women are at increased risk of violence from a current or former intimate partner, and they are more likely than men to suffer injuries, be treated in emergency rooms and be killed as a result of intimate partner violence.

Violence against women and girls is costly for victims and their families, communities and society. The problem is

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What Does Virtual Care Mean for the Future of Maternal Health?

Take one look at some of the maternal health data in this country and it’s hard to argue with the fact that the U.S. is not just in the midst of a pandemic, but also a maternal health crisis.

Here’s a grim glimpse: About 700 women die every year in the United States due to pregnancy or delivery complications (with 60,000 “near-miss” deaths every year), the number of reported pregnancy-related deaths has increased from 7.2 deaths for every 100,000 births in 1987 to 16.9 deaths for every 100,000 births in 2016 in this country, and wide racial disparities exist across the board with Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women being two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women.

“Before the pandemic, with all of the different touchpoints across the healthcare system and different clinics — from diagnosis and referral to treatment — we

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Gov. Newsom must make face masks mandatory in California to save lives from COVID-19

The evidence is clear: Cloth masks can help significantly reduce the spread of the coronavirus. That’s why California must make masks mandatory in all public places. Sources say Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to address the question of mandatory masks today.

Multiple scientific studies show that, until there’s a vaccine, cloth masks will provide our best defense against the unchecked spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. That’s why all Californians should gladly do their part and wear masks in public places.

“This protective measure alone significantly reduced the number of infections, that is, by over 78,000 in Italy from April 6 to May 9 and over 66,000 in New York City from April 17 to May 9,” according to a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. “Other mitigation measures, such as social distancing implemented in the United States, are insufficient by themselves in

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Virgin Voyages announces ‘Voyage Well’ health plan for Scarlet Lady ship

Virgin Voyages' first ship, Scarlet Lady, will finally set off on her maiden voyage on Oct. 16, six months later than scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Scroll ahead to get a look around the ship.
Virgin Voyages’ first ship, Scarlet Lady, will finally set off on her maiden voyage on Oct. 16, six months later than scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Scroll ahead to get a look around the ship.

Virgin Voyages’ Scarlet Lady is a brand-new ship, part of a brand-new cruise line and will have brand-new health protocol when it finally hits the high seas on Oct. 16 for its “soft open” sailing (with a limited number of passengers on board), according to company CEO, Tom McAlpin. 

The Scarlet Lady’s maiden voyage had been initially scheduled April 1 but was canceled in early March, McAlpin told USA TODAY. The Scarlet Lady’s debut was to be the cumulation of seven years of work and Virgin Voyages’ first ship’s first journey.

“We could have never predicted the extent of the global health challenge and what this would mean for travel,” he added.

Since the

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6 virtual groups to join if you want to make friends

Photo credit: Getty/Country Living
Photo credit: Getty/Country Living

From Country Living

Are you looking to join a virtual group to help ease feelings of loneliness? From online choirs to social gatherings via video call, there are plenty of wonderful options for everyone to find companionship.

According to newly-released data, the risk of loneliness during the lockdown period has increased significantly. “During the pandemic and the rise of self-isolation, many people could be experiencing loneliness for the first time,” Stephen Buckley, Head of Information at Mind, tells Country Living. “Some people can find it difficult to admit that they are lonely, but one of the best things we can do to manage loneliness is to talk about it.”

Whether you want to make new friends or simply want to join a group that will put a smile on your face, take a look at some ideas below…

1. Virtual choir group

Do you enjoy singing

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Duchess of Cambridge says lockdown is ‘difficult’

The Duchess of Cambridge will tell children lockdown has been a difficult time for everyone as she encourages them to look after their mental health in an online assembly.

Kate, a mother of three, recorded an assembly from Anmer Hall which is being broadcast with Oak National Academy, an online classroom developed during the pandemic.

She will tell children tuning in on Thursday morning that “frustrations are totally normal” as she encourages them to be kind to each other.

The duchess will say: “Today, I wanted to talk to you about the importance of being kind and looking after one another.

“We all have our ups and down, especially when things change in our lives as they have in so many ways recently. This can cause us to have a huge range of different feelings. Sometimes these feelings may be good, but sometimes they may be uncomfortable, and we feel

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Duchess of Cambridge tells children lockdown is ‘difficult for us all’ in online assembly

The Duchess of Cambridge will tell children lockdown has been a difficult time for everyone as she encourages them to look after their mental health in an online assembly.

Kate, a mother of three, recorded an assembly from Anmer Hall which is being broadcast with Oak National Academy, an online classroom developed during the pandemic.

She will tell children tuning in on Thursday morning that “frustrations are totally normal” as she encourages them to be kind to each other.

The duchess will say: “Today, I wanted to talk to you about the importance of being kind and looking after one another.

“We all have our ups and down, especially when things change in our lives as they have in so many ways recently. This can cause us to have a huge range of different feelings. Sometimes these feelings may be good, but sometimes they may be uncomfortable, and we feel

Read More