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Food Focus of Tas COVID-19 Study

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Tasmanians can let UTAS researchers know how their access to food and shopping habits have changed during the pandemic.

Accused fatal hit-run driver awaits coronavirus results

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A driver accused of hitting and killing a Melbourne teacher is in isolation awaiting a relative’s coronavirus test results.

Second man charged over alleged robbery of man in wheelchair

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A second man has been charged over the alleged robbery of a wheelchair-bound man in Sydney’s CBD.

Second Sydney school closed after positive coronavirus case

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Moriah College and Waverley College in Sydney’s eastern suburbs have both been evacuated.

Grimes And Elon Musk Tweak Baby’s Name To Include Roman Numerals

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Grimes and Elon Musk have changed their baby’s name ― but it doesn’t make it any easier to figure out how to say it.

The Canadian singer-songwriter revealed the change in an Instagram comment on Sunday. She and SpaceX CEO Musk welcomed their first child together on May 4 and announced that they’d named him X Æ A-12 Musk.

However, the name raised questions as it did not comply with state naming guidelines; a spokesperson for the California Department of Health told HuffPost it would not be allowed. Characters outside of the 26 letters of the alphabet and numerals are not permitted.


A commenter on Grimes’ latest Instagram post asked if she’d changed the baby’s name because of California law. The singer then shared the new name, which swaps out the 12 with Roman numerals: X Æ A-Xii.

“Roman numerals. Looks better tbh,” she said in another comment, adding later that “one dash is allowed.”

It’s unclear if the new name would be accepted.

Grimes had explained the meaning behind the original name on Twitter:

•X, the unknown variable ⚔️
•Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence)
•A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent 🤍
(A=Archangel, my favorite song)
(⚔️🐁 metal rat)

— ꧁ ༒ Gℜiꪔ⃕es ༒꧂ 🍓🐉🎀 小仙女 (@Grimezsz) May 6, 2020

As baffled fans guessed at how to say the baby’s name, it turned out that even the parents didn’t agree on how it should be pronounced.

During an appearance on “The Joe Rogan Experience” on May 7, the Tesla founder said it was pronounced “Just X, like the letter X. And then the ‘Æ’ is pronounced ‘ash.’”

He added: “And then A-12 is my contribution. The Archangel-12, the precursor to the SR-71, the coolest plane ever.”

However, Grimes, responding to an Instagram comment on the same day, had a different take on their child’s name: “It’s just X, like the letter X. Then A.I. Like how you said the letter A then I.”

Social media users continued to be baffled following the update to little X Æ A-Xii’s name:

Grimes: “Oops we messed up the baby’s name”

Us: “Yeah we noticed, his name must be AJ or s-“

Grimes: “It’s ‘X Æ A-Xii,’ not ‘X Æ A-12’”


— IyK (@immustarded) May 25, 2020

X Æ A-XII 1.0.1 update patch notes:
-Changed name from X Æ A-12 to X Æ A-XII
Developer commentary: “Looks better tbh”

— vic (@victorcangil16) May 25, 2020

Whenever I see “X Æ A-Xii,” my brain reacts like this:

— Ellis Mitchell (@ellismitchell18) May 25, 2020

Second earthquake hits New Zealand

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A second moderate earthquake has struck New Zealand in as many days.

Coronavirus disrupts Airbnb and smashes Australian listings

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Airbnb bookings have been decimated in popular Australian locations, threatening to send overleveraged investors who carved a lucrative living from the platform into financial peril.

When Melissa Leong Will Return To MasterChef After Missing Social Distancing Episode

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

'MasterChef Australia: Back To Win' judge Melissa Leong

‘MasterChef Australia’ judge Melissa Leong has assured viewers she will be back on screen on Tuesday night after not appearing on Monday night’s episode.

The 38-year-old food critic was notably missing from the show’s first social distancing episode, and explained on Instagram that her absence was due to health issues amid the coronavirus pandemic.


“For those of you wondering where I am in this landmark episode, I had sinusitis and took myself to the GP in order to do the safe, thorough and responsible thing in such uncertain times,” Melissa wrote on Monday night.

“I was cleared and returned to set the next day.”

“As a cast and crew, we take the health and safety of each other and our community seriously and feel fortunate to continue bringing you a season we’re thrilled you love.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Melissa Leong | FOODERATI (@fooderati) on May 25, 2020 at 2:34am PDT

Monday night’s episode was a social distancing first for the series, where contestants and judges, Jock Zonfrillo and Andy Allen, were asked to stand 1.5 metres apart. 

The final 12 were split into three teams of four for a relay challenge, with Brendan Pang, Emilia Jackson, Simon Toohey and Khanh Ong’s team ultimately winning. 

Current MasterChef Contestant: ‘Hygiene Has Gone Up By 10 Times’

Current contestant Reynold Poernomo previously said appropriate health and safety measures have been adapted while filming. 

“Production has been very, very different. Ever since the stage one, two and three government restrictions, we’ve been following every single rule,” he told HuffPost Australia. “We’ve been socially distanced, even in the competition. It’s a bit weird, so we haven’t really had any outside challenges. 

“We’ve been keeping 1.5 metre distance, and before we cook we have to wash our hands. Definitely hygiene has gone up by 10 times.”

A spokesperson from production company Endemol Shine Australia said social distancing, hand sanitising stations, gloves for groups challenges and additional sinks were being provided. 

Endemol Shine Australia’s statement: 

“MasterChef Australia has always employed the highest standards of food safety and hygiene, and we now have an even keener focus on that. All recommendations outlined by Federal and State government health authorities are being followed.


Under the current circumstances, we are introducing new measures for the foreseeable future. These include, but are not limited to social distancing measures across every facet of the production and additional hand sanitising stations positioned around the set and offices.


On the set, changes will be made to the spacing of contestant cooking benches and gloves provided for team challenges where equipment may be shared, as well as when handling food in the pantry. Additional sinks have been added as dedicated hand washing stations, so as to separate from any food preparation. 


Judges will step up to taste individually portioned meals and no cutlery or plates will be shared.” 

 ‘MasterChef Australia: Back To Win’ continues at 7:30pm on Channel 10. 


Melbourne teacher tests positive to coronavirus

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A teacher from a school in Melbourne’s north-west has tested positive to coronavirus as about 400,000 students begin to return to classrooms. 

Shades of Greyhound in Adoption Program

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The state’s first dedicated greyhound adoption facility is now open, but not everyone is happy.

“When I want to test my eyesight, I jump behind the wheel of a moving vehicle”, by Dominic Cummings

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

There has been a lot of speculation and innuendo about my movements throughout April when I was sick with coronavirus.

Coronavirus In Australia: How To Cope With Back-To-School Anxiety

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Children return to campus for the first day of New South Wales public schools fully re-opening for all students and staff amidst the easing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions at Homebush West Public School in Sydney.  REUTERS/Loren Elliott

Like every unprecedented development during the coronavirus pandemic, Sydney mum Peri Wilson’s first reaction to schools returning in May was that of anxiety. 

With roughly two months of home-based learning under their belt, Wilson’s family had finally worked out “a good system” but face-to-face teaching resumes at schools this week and the decision comes with a certain amount of risk. 

Although health authorities along with state and federal politicians continue to say children are at less risk of spreading COVID-19 than adults, there are other worries of the minds of families. 

Australia has reported just over 7,100 COVID-19 infections, including 102 deaths, well below figures reported by other developed countries.

Here’s what you need to know: 

What’s Worrying Parents? 

For the Wilson family, it’s public transport. 

“My 13-year-old son goes to a high school that’s too far away to walk and in peak hour traffic is about a 15-20 mins drive each way,” Wilson told HuffPost Australia.  

“That’s a lot of time to spend away from my desk dropping off and picking up, but I’m really worried about the bus.  Will he even get on with the reduced capacity? It could potentially double his commute time. 

“It’s also a pretty tense world out there at the moment, and I worry about him commuting with highly stressed/anxious people.”  

Wilson and her husband have worked out a roster to take their son to school in the mornings but, like many other students in metro areas, he’ll get the bus in the afternoons.  

“We’ve got 1.2 million kids on the move,” NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance told Channel 9 on Monday. “We just need everyone to be patient.”

Back to school anxieties and how to deal with them.

Data Suggests Schools Are Safe

Working off the latest evidence, Australian health authorities have consistently said schools are safe for pupils amid this pandemic.  Researchers from Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and Telethon Kids ­Institute in Perth said data suggests children are not huge spreaders of coronavirus in the community.

Our PM Scott Morrison said in March, “I’m telling you as a father, I’m happy for my kids to go to school” and reiterated on Monday that reopening face-to-face teaching is essential to revive Australia’s economy.

In NSW, from March to mid-April 2020, 18 individuals (nine students and nine staff) from 15 schools contracted COVID, 735 students and 128 staff were close contacts of these initial 18 cases but no teacher or staff member contracted the virus from any of the initial school cases.

Millions of dollars has been injected into creating COVID-safe schools, including extra cleaning and more hygiene products for classrooms. 


It’s Normal To Feel Anxious 

It’s very normal for parents and children to experience some levels of anxiety Matt Gardiner, Executive Director of Save the Children’s Australian Services told HuffPost Australia. 

“We also need to remember that schools play an important role in supporting children’s mental health too,” he said. 

“For children, being back in the classroom and seeing their friends is really important for their emotional wellbeing. By extension, many parents will feel less anxious when they see that their children are happy and coping too.” 

A recent Save the Children global survey showed that one in four children living under COVID-19 lockdowns were experiencing some form of anxiety and many were at risk of lasting psychological distress and depression.  Gardiner urged parents to send their kids back to the classroom ASAP to give them the best chance at recovering from the past two months of unsteadiness.

“We know that the longer children are out of school, particularly children from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds, the less likely they will be to go back to school,” he said. 

“We need to make sure the most disadvantaged children are really supported and encouraged to return to schooling and stay engaged in education. This will support children’s emotional wellbeing in the short-term while also helping to ensure they are as well prepared for the future as possible.”

Also Feeling Totally Relieved?  You’re Not Alone. 

Parents may feel a sense of guilt about feeling so relieved when their child is finally back in the classroom, Australian-based stress and trauma Psychologist Dr Scott Lyons explained. 

“It is absolutely normal to have some relief that comes with not having to take care of your children all day … especially for parents that were also trying to manage work and their own feelings around the pandemic,” Dr Lyons told HuffPost Australia. 

“Just because you enjoy some space from your children, doesn’t mean you love them any less.

“Having that space can certainly help a parent feel more regulated- which will inevitably allow them to be more present for their children. “  

For working mothers like Wilson, the demands of playing parent and teacher had its challenges. 

“I’m fortunate in that I have teenagers – only one of which has been learning remotely. I have no idea how parents with younger kids have coped,” she said while adding that home schooling a 13-year-old meant a constant struggle of balancing screen time with other activities and making sure “unchecked access to a computer” didn’t go too awry. 

“I tried to be present enough to make sure he was stepping away from the computer at break times – but it was hard if I had a lot of meetings,” she said. 

“My husband still had to go into the office, so I went a bit mad feeling like I was fighting these battles on my own – but he took over in the evenings so I could clock off. There were also a few days where he stayed home to help if I was at the end of my rope.” 

Back to school anxieties and how to deal with them.

What If Your Child Doesn’t Want to Go Back?

It is a strange aspect of parenting during the coronavirus pandemic that you can spend so (soooo) many hours with your kids during the week, and they can still be hungry for more of your time and attention. Especially the very young ones. 

One major reason why kids cling to their parents is because they are trying really hard to help themselves feel safe and comforted, explained Steven Meyers, a professor of psychology at Roosevelt University.

“Clinginess is an instinctual response to perceived threat and anxiety. In evolutionary terms, offspring of all species are more likely to survive if they stay close to their parents for protection when danger is imminent,” he told HuffPost. “Children have this encoded into their biology, and it can be triggered by the stresses and uncertainties of a global pandemic.”

Clinging, then, is the visible manifestation of your child’s effort to cope with all of the changes and the uncertainty in their world right now.

To help, try to dig into the specific source of their unease.

“The question becomes, what exactly are they anxious about? Contracting the illness? Death? Like so many things, clinginess should be understood in context,” Mark Reinecke, a clinical psychologist and clinical director of the Child Mind Institute’s San Francisco Bay Area centre, told HuffPost.

Kids are remarkably perceptive. So even if you’re doing your best to keep them away from too much news or maintaining some level of routine at home, they might be picking up on other emotions from you that are making them uneasy. In turn, they might cling to you even more, looking for reassurance.

So just check in with yourself and your partner about the kinds of messages you’re putting out there. Experts aren’t saying you can’t or shouldn’t acknowledge how hard this all is, but you should be really mindful of how much fear or anxiety they can feel coming from you. That will also help ground them in some level of confidence that you’re not going putting them in an unsafe position.

“In ambiguous situations, young children turn to their parents for guidelines on how to respond,” Reinecke said. “If the parent is confident and self-assured, the child will perceive this. Is the child’s anxiety inadvertently being modeled or maintained at home?”

Back to school anxieties and how to deal with them.

Will You Be Fined For Keeping Your Kids Off School?

Not exactly.  Authorities are urging parents to keep their children at home if they show even the mildest sign of illness.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Monday that she realises there will be some parents who choose to keep their kids home purely because they’re nervous about COVID-19.  She confirmed their child will be marked as absent and there will be a follow-up process. 

“That is a matter for them (the parents) but their children will be marked as absent,” she told reporters. 

“We are not changing a policy. I appreciate that a small percentage of parents make those choices, but all choices have consequences, and that is a matter for them.”

What’s The Latest Across States And Territories?  

Even though Scott Morrison pleaded with teachers to keep classes open in April, each premier or chief minister decided how they tackled the issues of schools staying open – which led to some confusion. 

It really comes down to what state or territory you reside in.  According to statistics released Monday by the Institute of Public Affairs, most schools across Australia are to resume face-to-face teaching by June. 

  • New South Wales – All schools will return to full-time face-to-face classes from May 25.

  • Victoria – A staggered return to classrooms will begin on May 26, with prep, grades one and two, and years 11 and 12 returning. Students in years three to 10 will return on June 9.

  • Queensland – From May 11 kindergarten, prep and years 1, 11 and 12 return. Remaining students planned to return from May 25.

  • Western Australia – Face-to-face teaching in place for all students, but attendance is optional until May 18.

  • South Australia – Schools reopened and students encouraged to attend.

  • Tasmania – Home-learning still in place, but schools open for parents who are unable to supervise their children.

  • Northern Territory – Returned to classrooms on April 20.

  • ACT – Plan to return during term 2. Primary school children, and year 7 and 12 students will return first.


Finance Advice 2021