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Global Coronavirus Case Count Surpasses 20 Million

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A mural in Chennai, India, celebrates workers on the front lines against the coronavirus pandemic. The global case count crossed the 20 million threshold on Monday, with the U.S., Brazil and India in the lead. Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Arun Sankar/AFP via Getty Images

More than 20 million people worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday evening, nearly five months to the day after the World Health Organization declared it a global pandemic.

This is according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which puts the total number of deaths globally at nearly 734,000.

On Monday, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, acknowledged that “behind these statistics is a great deal of pain and suffering” and urged governments and citizens worldwide to do their part to suppress the virus.

“I know many of you are grieving and that this is a difficult moment for the world,” he said. “But I want to be clear, there are green shoots of hope and no matter where a country, a region, a city or a town is – it’s never too late to turn the outbreak around.”

The U.S. leads the world with more than 5 million coronavirus cases and 163,400 deaths.

After surging in July, infections remain widespread in much of the U.S., especially in the South, West and parts of the Midwest. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that 11 states had recorded more than 10,000 new cases in the previous week.

The country is logging more than 1,000 deaths per day, or about 40 people an hour, as NPR’s Allison Aubrey has reported. The coronavirus is on track to become the third leading cause of death in the U.S. this year, following cancer and heart disease.

Two other countries have case counts in the millions: Brazil is at more than 3 million and India surpassed the 2 million mark last week.

They are followed by Russia, South Africa, Mexico and Peru.

While many countries in Europe and Asia were largely able to bring the virus under control earlier this spring, cases have surged there and in other parts of the world.

The Philippines has overtaken Indonesia as the coronavirus hot spot in Southeast Asia. Mexico has the world’s third highest death toll after the U.S. and Brazil. Australia is struggling with a COVID-19 resurgence, and has greatly restricted the city of Melbourne in an effort to slow the spread.

Ghebreyesus said that there are two elements to addressing the pandemic effectively: leaders taking action, and citizens embracing new measures.

He cited several examples of countries that have successfully clamped down on the virus. He called New Zealand, which has gone more than 100 days without community transmission, as a “global exemplar.”

In Rwanda, he said, a “similar combination of strong leadership, universal health coverage, well-supported health workers and clear public health communications” helped make progress.

Many countries are using all available public health tools to respond to new spikes, he said. For example, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson put parts of northern England under stay-at-home orders and French President Emmanuel Macron mandated masks in busy outdoor areas.

Ghebreyesus encouraged all countries to focus on rapid case identification, contact tracing, clinical care, physical distancing, mask wearing and good hygiene practices to slow the spread of the virus.

“Whether countries or regions have successfully eliminated the virus, suppressed transmission to a low level, or are still in the midst of a major outbreak,” he said. “Now is the time to do it all, invest in the basics of public health and we can save both lives and livelihoods.”

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/08/10/901172452/global-coronavirus-case-count-surpasses-20-million?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=coronavirusliveupdates

Covid19

How The Great Recession Lead Me To Innovate Now

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@lblewisauthorL.B. Lewis

Nominee for “2020 Contributor of the Year – Women in Tech.” I write about modern culture.

We all know startups are supposed to solve problems. And, 2020 has been a record-setting year for problems.

“Founders often hold too tightly onto solutions and too loosely onto problems,”- Michel Siebel, Y Combinator.

One problem is unemployment. It’s estimated that COVID unemployment could be close to that of the Great Depression which reached 25%, according to Pew Research.

When shelter-in-place took effect in March in the Bay Area, and my projects got put on hold, I started actively networking for a new job. To do this from home, I’ve attended over 100 virtual events in the past six months. Like a lot of people, I’ve discovered new groups, events and resources in addition to re-connecting with my existing network.

The problem I kept hearing was: people wanted to work, but didn’t have a job.

Then, people becoming depressed looking for jobs can cause problems. (The New York Times gives tips on how to overcome job seeker depression.) And, finally, people losing skills and financial gains because they are not working are also problems.

When I took a digital detox at the end of June, I thought about these problems and my own unemployment problem. I reflected on doing my best to make intros which got a few people new work, but I, myself, had not been successful in securing a job.

(I spoke more about the detox in my Hacker Noon Noonies interview here.)

I thought back to my first freelance marketing client during The Great Recession, a fashion designer who paid me in clothes. While I had done other work-trade gigs before (a resort in Hawaii, a farm in France, ashram in New York and more), this was the first one I was using my marketing skills to help a solopreneur. Adding to my wardrobe was a definite plus, too.

In July, as my solution to the unemployment problem, I launched THE WISHERIE. I used my barter experience plus my marketing (10 years) and community building experience (got to #12 on Amazon’s New Adult Book Bestseller List) to develop the plan. It’s a remote, barter network for professionals and business owners that have time, are stuck at home/life, and want to be productive with their many skills.

THE WISHERIE is a different type of start-up. First, it’s a side project for me, while continuing looking for a job. Second, it’s solely based on donations and bartering. Third, I call it a pop-up startup because I have the goal of helping 20 professionals get new barter projects by Dec. 31, 2020. I would consider future options if we meet this goal and response gains (financial) momentum.

In short, THE WISHERIE is a referral-based barter network, rooted in the passion economy and improving mental health. I’d like to share the evolution of THE WISHERIE broken down into four strategic steps that I recently did for a job application:

  1. Research: From March – June, I heard from a lot of frustrated people in my network that they wanted to work. While I did my best to make quality introductions, I felt frustrated I could not help them. I also felt frustrated with the rejections I had been getting.
  2. Planning: In June, after a digital detox, I developed a plan for a pop-up startup project with my goal to help 20 people by Dec. 31, 2020 secure barter projects. The goal is to help beat job seeker depression, help small businesses and create new opportunities. I came up with the name “Wisherie” because people are wishing for easier times and I wanted the community to tell us what they need and wish for to make it through the pandemic.
  3. Launch: In July, I secured the domain Wisherie.co and built the website with forms for seekers and businesses to express their needs. I also created a plan, brand book and calendar for THE WISHERIE. In late July, we completed the first barter project. I traded copywriting for WordPress consulting based on a contract with deliverables and dates.
  4. Community: Presently, I send out THE WISHLIST, our weekly email newsletter for THE WISHERIE. In addition, I also hold BREAKFAST PIZZA, our virtual networking event. We’ve been featured in Virtual Mojito and had the founders of ConversationExchange and NOMAWO speak at BREAKFAST PIZZA. Talented professionals seeking opportunities in marketing, copywriters, branding, creative, UX/UI, and web development make up the majority of the community presently.

Lastly, while I have worked with many early stage startups in my career — not one was a six-month project, based on donations or had a budget as small as mine. In addition, I don’t provide any job guarantees, shady subscriptions, or tax advice. THE WISHERIE is unique in many ways and is built on referrals and reciprocity to provide one solution to the unemployment problem we are currently facing. Bartering is not for everyone, but it’s something worth trying to get unstuck and move forward. You never know who you will meet.

**To learn more about how to participate or be featured, write us today: hello@wisherie.co.

(P.S. I’ve been nominated for two of Hacker Noon’s awards and would appreciate your support for “Contributor of the Year, Women in Tech” and “Indie Tech Journalist of the Year.” Thank you!)

Also published here.

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Source: https://hackernoon.com/how-the-great-recession-lead-me-to-innovate-now-ac153tsc?source=rss

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President Of Guatemala Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei, shown at an event marking the country’s independence earlier this week, tested positive for COVID-19 Friday. Moises Castillo/AP hide caption

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Moises Castillo/AP

Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei said Friday he’s tested positive for the coronavirus. Giammattei made the announcement to Sonora, a local radio station.

He said he feels well, is showing typical symptoms of high fever and body aches and has been treated at the Centro Medico Militar, one of the hospitals designated to treat COVID-19 patients in Guatemala City.

In a live appearance on the Guatemalan government website, Giammettei said he’s following his doctor’s recommendations, “resting and isolating myself from all public activity,” though he said, “your government continues to work.”

Giammettei said he’s asked his entire cabinet to be tested and to work remotely.

The Central American country closed its borders with Belize, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico as well as its international airports on March 16.

Giammettei’s announcement came on the same day that Guatemala reopened its borders, the International Aurora Airport in the capital, and Mundo Maya International Airport in the northern part of the country.

The Ministry of Health announced new travel protocols, asking that everyone older than 10 seeking to enter the country present a COVID-19 negative test result taken at most 72 hours before arrival.

The ministry is also making face masks, social distancing and hand sanitizing mandatory at the ports of entry. If a foreign traveler presents suspect symptoms upon arrival, the traveler will be denied entry; a local traveler will be isolated.

The small country with a population of less than 20 million has 84,344 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,076 deaths, according to the Guatemalan Ministry of Health.

Giammettei was elected president last year. He is a former prisons chief who has butted heads with President Trump over immigration.

Giammettei joins the ranks of other world leaders who have tested positive for coronavirus, such as Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Boris Johnson of the U.K.

“I ask for your prayers,” said Giammettei on his live remarks. The 64-year-old president has multiple sclerosis and walks with the help of a cane.

Source: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/09/18/913693550/president-of-guatemala-tests-positive-for-covid-19?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=coronavirusliveupdates

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How Covid 19 has changed the education system in the world

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A matter of weeks

The COVID 19 pandemic has quickly seeped into our lives and left its mark on all daily activities. It barely needed a couple of days to change the way we did things completely. Education is one sector that underwent drastic changes as a result of the pandemic. After almost every country in the world initiated large scale lockdowns, students and teachers had to change their entire model of education. At the beginning of March 2020, alerts sounded on the developing spread of the COVID-19 infection. At that point, just China and a small bunch of schools in other nations were upholding social distancing by ending school procedures.

By the middle of March, 120 nations had shut down schools around the globe. This affected around a billion children who were about to witness the most extended holidays of their lives. In the beginning stages, circumstances were higher, particularly in the most intensely affected nations such as China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran. However, as the virus spread rapidly in more countries day by day, almost all countries adopted the online learning method. These progressions have entirely caused a level of burden, but also incited new models of development in education. 

Though the school kids could use the breaks, more serious academic courses could not afford such a long gap. Therefore, the modification from in-class learning to online learning became a quick process in a matter of weeks. Schools, universities and colleges had demanded for quite a long time that web-based learning was not for them. With the COVID pandemic, out of nowhere, schools had no option but to adopt a quick change. In less than a month, the idea that faced a stiff resistance unexpectedly became relevant and even necessary. 

The need for revolution 

Education is a realm that has restricted or rather did not require modification and change for several centuries. The conventional models of college and school that we see today have been practically the same since the beginning of civilisation. Like all the other sectors, education too could use a bit of improvement and revolution. This much-needed change came about when the countries adopted strict measures against the pandemic. The termination of school procedures appeared to introduce a suitable solution for implementing social distancing in smaller populations. Such strategies forced schools and colleges to adopt the online mode of teaching quickly. 

An empty classroom

Schools immediately understood that the sudden interruption in their programs could have drastic and long-lasting effects. China is one nation where the education system proceeded with paying little heed to class terminations. It continued easily through web and distance learning. In February, many schools in Hong Kong began to teach from home by means of creative applications. In China, 120 million Chinese gain admittance to learning material through live transmissions. 

Countries all over the world adopted similar arrangements for schooling. A school in Nigeria quickly reaped the maximum benefits out of the standard web-based learning devices like Google Classroom. They used live video instructions to carry on with the lessons. Likewise, understudies at one school in Lebanon started utilising internet learning. Even subjects like physical instruction became useful and enjoyable through online learning. The children shot and sent over their home video recordings of athletic practice and sports to their instructors as schoolwork. Furthermore, this pushed them to learn new technical skills.

The undesirable effects

The change in the mode of education has adverse effects only on the underprivileged sections of society. The availability of internet connection varies among each family. Technological devices are not available to all children everywhere around the world. Many in the developing nations did not have access to high data transfer capacity web, or even to cell phones. They have less open doors for learning at home, and their break of school may introduce financial weights for the guardians. The families may confront difficulties finding delayed childcare, or even sufficient food without school dinners. 

As school terminations extend beyond what we can predict, the opportunities for education also decrease. The other choices, like distance learning, stay far off for those without the necessary means for it. This may bring on additional misfortune in human capital and lessened financial chances. The educational institutions too have their share of challenges. They soon realised that they required the students more than the students wanted them. Even in the early months of online learning, college students all over the world started scrutinising the institutions. They began examining the integrity of their training and requesting a reduction in tuition fees. 

The interruption brought about by the COVID illness exposed the way that institutions were not providing authenticity. On the other hand, teachers have put in a colossal measure of work to keep up the curriculum with the new method of learning. However, the disruption in regular fee structure will also have an adverse effect on their income. Even after the situation gets better, the school Guardians would prefer not to send their youngsters to class.  Schools will not be able to afford such a long term halt in procedures. 

The bright side 

During an emergency, adaptive educational methods can uphold pandemic prevention protocols in no small extent. The young kids do not have to witness how their world has changed due to the privilege of learning from home. Furthermore, the schools can be transformed into emergency treatment centres during an emergency. All it needs is proper arranging, especially during the stages of adapting and healing. Moreover, online learning prompts them to cope and keep up some regularity during an emergency.  

We can hope that the students will recover from this lapse rapidly and with some helpful new abilities. Without a doubt, they have acquired distance education abilities and more profound command over digital devices. Also, in some low-limit situations, quite across areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, schools are regularly the main perpetual government structures. In provincial towns, they can quickly take the role of an emergency crisis response centre. If used properly, the new method of teaching can be one of the few positive outcomes of the pandemic.


Nidhia Sebastian is an English literature graduate who looks forward to a career that complements her passion. Her never-ending love for language has brought her to creative writing. Having an open heart to knowledge is what leaves her with a thirst to explore the world. She believes in living life to the fullest and hopes to convey the same enthusiasm through her words.

Source: https://timesnext.com/covid19-educationsystem/

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