Taylor Swift and Ariana Grande have urged their fans to take the growing coronavirus outbreak more seriously as they called out those putting the vulnerable at risk.
The pop stars both posted statements on their Instagram Stories after being concerned by seeing people attending social gatherings and adopting a “this isn’t a big deal” attitude.
Taylor posted on her Story: “Guys, I follow you online and I love you guys so much and need to express my concern that things aren’t being taken seriously enough right now.
“I’m seeing lots of get togethers and hangs and parties still happening.
“This is the time to cancel plans, actually truly isolate as much as you can, and don’t assume that because you don’t feel sick that you aren’t possibly passing something on to someone elderly or vulnerable to this.”
She added: “It’s a really scary time but we need to make social sacrifices right now.”
Sharing similar sentiments on her Instagram, Ariana wrote: “I keep hearing a surprising amount of people statements like, ‘This isn’t a big deal’ / ‘We’ll be fine’ / ‘We still have to go about our daily lives’ and it’s really blowing my mind. I understand if that is how you felt weeks ago, but please read about what’s going on please don’t turn a blind eye.
“It is incredibly dangerous and selfish to take this situation that lightly, the ‘we will be fine because we’re young’ mindset is putting people who aren’t young and / or healthy in a lot of danger.”
She added: “You sound stupid and privileged and you need to care more about others. Like now.”
In the US, there are at least 3,485 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with a total of 65 deaths.
Meanwhile at least 378 people in Australia have tested positive while five people have died after contracting COVID-19, one in WA, three in NSW and one in Queensland.
Self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t going to be easy, but some people are finding simple pleasures under the circumstance.Case in point: On Monday, many cat owners posted photos of their felines on Twitter and, in the process, tu…
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If you’ve been living under a (Casterly) Rock since last year, there are “Game of Thrones” spoilers below.
“Game of Thrones” ended with Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, the Breaker of Chains, the Drinker of Coffees, on the floor of the throne room, dead at the hands of lover/nephew Jon Snow. And now Emilia Clarke has spoken, and the dragon queen has one thing to say:
Oh, hells Snow!
Talking with The Times about heading to the West End for Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,” Clarke recently reflected on the controversial final season of the show, revealing there was one thing that “annoyed” her too about Daenerys’ end:
“Yeah, I felt for her. I really felt for her. And yeah, was I annoyed that Jon Snow didn’t have to deal with something?” She lets us out an exasperated laugh. “He got away with murder — literally.”
In the HBO show, Snow’s punishment for killing his queen/aunt amounts to a grand total of diddly-squat. Instead of being beheaded, he is sent to the Wall, where he gets to hang out with his friends and his dog all day and likely become King Beyond The Wall. It’s basically the equivalent of being sent to your room as a kid, where all you have is a PS4 and strong Wi-Fi connection. (Fortnite is coming.)
Of course, fans were annoyed by much more in Season 8, including everything from the season feeling rushed and not explaining things to how dark it was to Daenerys, who spent the previous seven seasons rising from the ashes to become the potential ruler of Westeros, burning it all to the ground in the span of one episode.
Clarke addressed the fan controversy saying the horrific news cycle may have had something to do with it, “Because people are going, finally, here’s something I can actually see and understand and get some control back over … and then when that turns, and you don’t like what they’ve done.”
However, the actor agrees the show could’ve been “spun” a little longer and that more attention was given to set pieces than dialogue. Reflecting on her thoughts on the end, Clarke said she felt like a “small cog in a very, very, very big machine.”
On the bright side for the Mother of Dragons, Tormund actor Kristofer Hivju recently revealed Jon Snow’s ending might not be as happy as we all suspect. Also, Drogon didn’t eat her, so there’s that too.
A moving new memoir about spitfire Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg and her family painfully delves into a troubled past when she stopped speaking and eating.
When Thunberg was 11 and in fifth grade, she “cried at night when she should have been sleeping. She cried on her way to school. She cried in her classes,” her mother, Malena Ernman, writes in “Our House Is on Fire: Scenes of a Family and a Planet in Crisis.”
“We tried our best, but nothing helped. She was slowly disappearing into some kind of darkness, and little by little, bit by bit, she seemed to stop functioning,” according to excerpts of the book available on Amazon.
“She stopped playing the piano. She stopped laughing. She stopped talking …. She stopped eating.”
Thunberg, who soon appeared to be on the brink of starvation, was later diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder. But part of the trigger for her mental health crisis that year — as well as the drive for her eventual recovery — was a video about climate change she saw at school, reports The Washington Post.
Thunberg, now 17, was searingly affected by what she learned. Eventually, an almost single-minded focus to do something to help mitigate climate change helped inspire a worldwide movement. She became Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year and was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She spoke at the United Nations and determined it would be a “waste of time” to speak to US President Donald Trump.
She and her family view her autism as both a challenge and a clarifying strength in her mission against climate change. “Neuropsychiatric functional impairments” can be a “superpower, that out-of-the-box thinking you so often hear performers, artists and celebrities talk about,” Ernman writes, reported the Times of London. “Greta has a diagnosis. It doesn’t rule out the fact that she’s right and the rest of us have got it all wrong.”
When Greta first found out about climate change, she recalls, “I remember thinking it couldn’t be true. Because if it were, we wouldn’t be talking about anything else.”
The book is due out Tuesday. Ernman, Greta, her dad, Svante Thunberg, and her sister, Beata Ernman, are all authors.
President Donald Trump sent a xenophobic tweet Monday evening, noting that he plans to bail out airlines and other industries “that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus.” Only a few hours earlier, Trump held a White House news conference on the emerging coronavirus outbreak and was praised for finally offering a relatively sober assessment of the emerging disaster. But the president unleashed the real Trump online not long after, calling COVID-19 the “China virus” for the first time and giving voice to a hateful blame game that has been simmering among hardcore right-wingers for weeks.
Prominent Fox News voices like Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham have been intoning for weeks that the dangerous virus was China’s fault and decrying any criticism they faced for tying the infection to one country. “On the left, you’ve heard them tell you that the real worry is you might use the wrong word to describe what’s happening to the country,” Carlson said in late February. “Wokeness is a cult. They would let you die before they admitted that diversity is not our strength,” he would later say. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a close Trump ally, even suggested in January that the coronavirus was the product of a Chinese “super laboratory that works with the world’s most deadly pathogens.”
There have been anti-Asian hate crimes in several places affected by the outbreak, and they appeared in New York City over the past week. It would be a dangerous development if the US president decided to elevate that xenophobia.
It would also be hypocritical. For weeks beginning in late January, Trump praised Chinese officials profusely for their response to the virus, even as some global observers were raising reasonable concerns about early Chinese efforts to downplay the severity of the crisis. Time and again, Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping for his handling of the outbreak and even boasted of a U.S. partnership in helping China fight the virus — until Trump seemed to find a useful scapegoat.
In an interview with Sean Hannity that aired right before the Super Bowl on February 2, Trump declared: “We have a tremendous relationship with China, which is a very positive thing… . We’re offering them tremendous help. We have the best in the world for that.”
Three days later, on February 7, a reporter on the White House lawn asked Trump if he was concerned that China might be covering up the extent of the coronavirus. The World Health Organization has consistently praised China for sharing information with the global health community early and often, but inside the country, it was a different story, with Chinese officials keeping citizens in the dark and downplaying the severity of the coronavirus spread until it could no longer be denied ― and after many thousands of people had already been infected.
“No. China is working very hard,” Trump said in response to the reporter’s question. “They’re working really hard, and I think they are doing a very professional job.”
Questions about the Chinese government’s handling of the emerging global crisis soiled a talking point Trump was keen to push as the presidential election drew closer: that the economy was doing great, with no signs of trouble, and he had struck a tremendous trade deal with China and his former rival Xi. That was apparent at a Feb. 10 campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire.
“Last month, we signed a groundbreaking trade agreement with China that will defeat so many of our opponents. The money that’s pouring in, people don’t even believe it,” Trump said at the rally. “And, by the way, the virus, they’re working hard. Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets a little warmer, it miraculously goes away.”
That same day, he did an interview with Fox News. “Well, I think China is very, you know, professionally run in the sense that they have everything under control. I really believe they are going to have it under control fairly soon,” Trump said. “You know in April, supposedly, it dies with the hotter weather. And that’s a beautiful date to look forward to. But China, I can tell you, is working very hard.”
Three days after that, on Feb. 13, reporter Geraldo Rivera again asked Trump if China was being honest about the damage being wrought there by the coronavirus. Trump granted maybe not — but sympathized with Xi. “I think they want to put the best face on it. So, you know, I mean, if somebody ― if you were running it, you’d probably ― you wouldn’t want to run out to the world and go crazy and start saying whatever it is because you don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said. “But, no, I think they’ve handled it professionally and I think they’re extremely capable and I think President Xi is extremely capable and I hope that it’s going to be resolved.”
Trump repeated these lines again and again in the following days. “I know this: President Xi loves the people of China, he loves his country, and he’s doing a very good job with a very, very tough situation,” Trump told a reporter on the White House lawn on Feb. 18. The next day, he told a local reporter in Arizona, “I mean, I know President Xi ― I get along with him very well. We’ve just made a great trade deal, which is going to be a lot of business for Arizona and every other place. But they are trying very, very hard, and I think the numbers are going to get progressively better as we go along.” Five days later: “President Xi loves his country. He’s working very hard to solve the problem and he will solve the problem. OK?”
By this time, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was already criticising China publicly for failing to let medical personnel in the country speak freely about the virus in the early days of the outbreak.
As the novel coronavirus spread around the globe and looked to threaten the United States, Trump’s praise ceased. The first hint in public comments that Trump might seek to blame China came at the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 29. “In our efforts to keep America safe, my administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to control our borders and protect Americans from the coronavirus,” Trump said. The virus, he added curtly, “Came from China.”
Early, constructive pressure from Trump on China to be honest with its people about the outbreak might have helped slow its spread. But Trump declined because lavishing praise on Xi Jinping and the deal they struck helped Trump’s politics. At the time, it was also in Trump’s interest to minimise the risk of a global pandemic, which would spook investors. Now Trump looks to be pulling a 180-degree turn and looking to blame the entire outbreak on China. It again suits his politics — and they are very dark.
Tasmanian residents are encouraged to acknowledge the sacrifice of servicemen and women in their own way on Anzac Day following the cancellation of commemorative services across Tasmania. The RSL Tasmania board took the decision last Sunday in accordance with the Australian government’s direction to cancel public gatherings involving more than 500 people. “Anzac Day and […]
The post ANZAC Services Cancelled appeared first on Tasmanian Times.
Why is the number of deaths from COVID-19 so different between large populations in Italy and South Korea?
Investigations revealed a man, purporting to be delivering a pizza, attended the home, before three further men also entered and assaulted a 58-year-old man, NSW Police said.
Summary of the Tasmanian government’s coronavirus support package.
The post Media Releases – Tasmanian Government Support Package appeared first on Tasmanian Times.
Working in the intensive care unit at any hospital means exposure to various infections, but contraction of COVID-19 is not the biggest fear for one ICU nurse at Blacktown hospital.
The nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, has been working 12-hour shifts at the western Sydney hospital that has 16 intensive care unit beds, only four of which are suitable for isolating coronavirus patients.
She told HuffPost Australia it is disconcerting to see doctors disagreeing over patients’ testing needs, and she’s worried that NSW Health still has “no specific set testing plans.”
“I think there’s an element of stress to it just because we’re so confused in what we’re doing,” she said. “We work with a lot of infections, we get people presenting with tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis. So I think dealing with the actual patient who could be infectious isn’t the scary part for us, because we obviously take the proper precaution and we deal with that.”
Over the past five weeks, patients who have travelled overseas or had flu-like symptoms have come to the hospital’s emergency department, and some have been transferred to ICU for COVID-19 testing. The nurse explained that depending on a patient’s condition, there can be up to three specialised medical teams treating the person. Given the rapid spread of the virus and “no real set” guidelines, doctors and nurses have been unclear about when to test for the virus. When each team’s head doctor has had a different opinion about testing, it’s been confusing and stressful for the nursing team.
“I think that’s where the stress lies in that, well this person could have it but people don’t want to test for it, or are we just over-testing unnecessarily, or are we exposing people to it and we don’t know?” she said.
“If one doctor says, ‘Yes, we’re going to test for coronavirus’, then in that sense we start doing all of our precautionary measures like wearing our protective gear and we put the patient in an isolation room.
“Whereas if a doctor says, ‘No, they don’t suit the requirement for testing’, then it’s business as usual. We don’t put them in an isolation room, and we technically don’t have to wear the mask and the goggles.”
Current Advice To Australian Health Professionals
Last week the Australian Medical Association (AMA) said guidelines were “confusing, frustrating and challenging” for doctors and nurses.
“In NSW it’s becoming increasingly challenging and frustrating to know what to do on the ground,” Dr Danielle McMullen, the NSW AMA vice president, told ABC.
“We’ve seen conflicting media reports over the past few days about who to test, when to test them, how to test them and where to test them.”
Australian doctors are being told that a patient requires coronavirus testing if they meet the ‘suspect case’ definition outlined in theCDNA (Communicable Diseases Network Australia) National Guidelines for Public Health Units.
To meet the criteria, the patient must have been overseas in the past 14 days before feeling symptoms or had close contact in the past two weeks with a confirmed case of COVID-19 and be showing symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and sore throat, with or without fever. The same goes for health care workers who are showing symptoms and have been exposed to confirmed cases.
For ICU patients, doctors have been advised that “clinical judgement should be exercised considering the likelihood of COVID-19”. Patients who have required ICU care for community-acquired pneumonia, with or without recent international travel, meet the testing criteria. If a person hasn’t required ICU care but has respiratory or multiorgan failure, they too are eligible for testing.
Nurses ‘Copping Abuse’
Clear guidance or not, the Blacktown nurse said “the panic that surrounds me” also doesn’t help when doing her job.
“You’re getting a lot of family members and patients come in; they’re rightfully stressed because they haven’t seen something like this before. There’s this mass hype around it where people are spreading false information and then kind of translating into our job where people think they know better than what we’re doing,” she explained.
“That’s kind of where we’re probably copping a bit more abuse and attitude from people who think they know what’s happening more.”
Not Enough Hospital Beds
At Blacktown hospital, there are 16 ICU beds. However, not all can suit COVID-19 patients. “For there to be proper isolation, they have to be negative pressure rooms, and we only have four of them,” the nurse explained.
If the coronavirus outbreak “reaches a bigger scale” within the Blacktown district, she said, patients will most likely be transferred to western Sydney’s largest hospital in Westmead, where other COVID-19 patients have already been treated.
This week, the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society (ANZICS) will ask Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy to double the amount of ICU beds in Australia to 4000 to cope with the pending demand.
“If it was a truly catastrophic situation, we could potentially in Australia double the number of ICU beds for a period of time,” ANZICS’ president, Anthony Holley, told the Sun-Herald.
On Monday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a newly formed National Cabinet would look into “changes to intensive care unit configurations and fever clinics,” but there’s been no promise to increase the amount of ICU beds.
Avoiding Italy’s Dire Situation
John Fraser, a pre-eminent specialist at the Prince Charles Hospital and director of ICU at St Andrews Hospital in Brisbane, said a lack of government action and a lag in the public changing their behaviour could lead to Australia facing a similar situation to Italy, where staff in ICUs have been advised to provide care to patients based on age limits, or “life-years” left based on pre-existing conditions.
“We will not cope,” he told ABC’s Australian Story. “Doctors may have to ration care based on age.
“We want less people to come to intensive care. That means stay at home if you can stay at home, avoid handshaking, no mass gatherings, even those under 500 people.”
Italy went into lockdown last week, with the country posting the highest daily increase in deaths of any country since the outbreak began. On Saturday, the number of positive cases rose to 24,747 from 21,157. There were 368 new deaths on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 1,809.
A nurse in Pavia, a city south of Milan, described her anguish and exhaustion from working around the clock in ICU while begging tourists to “stop travelling” and spreading the virus around Italy.
The woman, Anca Diana Negoita, said there were almost 500 people under age 30 in the hospital she works at, and there was one patient in ICU who was younger than 18. She said the system is so desperate for more staff that hospital management considered rushing nursing students through graduation in order to get them working in the wards faster.
“We had a 38-year-old sporty guy in ICU. He had no illness before,” she wrote in the Women Who Travel Facebook group, adding a grim warning that other countries could end up like Italy, with a surging death toll and nothing left to do but comfort patients as they await an uncertain future.
“I just put my head down,” she said while explaining the “heartbreaking” moment of trying to console an elderly patient who was close to giving up.
“Cus I didn’t know what to say.”
Coronavirus In Australia
At least 336 people in Australia have tested positive, and five people have died after contracting COVID-19.
The virus has infected nearly 170,000 people worldwide and killed over 6,600.
A Perth woman in a wheelchair said she was pushed by another shopper as she reached for the last pack of toilet paper on a supermarket shelf.