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15 Incredible Kids Who Stepped Up in 2020

While COVID-19 has rained on a lot of our parades, it hasn’t dampened the spirits of these 15 kids. Whether it be singing a song of encouragement, sewing masks for first-responders or even creating videos, these kids are doing good deeds and helping others, showing us how they can make a difference in our world if given a chance. Keep reading to learn more about these young community leaders.


photo: Alex and Ben Joel/Intutorly

Alex and Ben Joel Started an Online Tutoring Service for Kids

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools online, Alex and Ben Joel were concerned by the articles they read about potential learning losses due to distance learning. So they did something about it. Their motto is simple: Bridging the educational divide with free, online, one-on-one tutoring for elementary school students. We caught up with the dynamic duo to find out more about their service, what inspired it, and how Intutorly is helping change the world, one kid at a time.

photo: Elissa Rogers/Becky Chapman

Curtis Rogers Created His Own Prom

Talk about special. Curtis Rogers, a seven-year-old boy, felt bad that his babysitter would not be able to attend her prom due to the coronavirus, so he decided to create one himself including a “promposal” banner that read, “Mini-Prom is not today, but will you join me on Monday?” Of course, Rachel Chapman said yes. “I decided that we should just do this now because the coronavirus has people down in the dumps,” the boy told CBS News.

He dressed in a suit and bow tie, and she wore an elegant gown, and they stood six feet away from each other with the help of a pool noodle. The table was decorated with fresh flowers and a meal of Chick-fil-A, and smoothies were served followed by dancing. He’s a keeper.

Avi Made a Website

Back in December, 17-year-old Avi Schiffmann decided to use his computer knowledge and create a website that tracks the coronavirus before the virus had even left China. The NCOV2019 website contains information on global and local stats, a preparation guide, a question and answer section and a map showing the outbreaks of the virus. It’s pretty incredible.

“I noticed there was so much misinformation,” Schiffmann told the Mercer Island Reporter. “It was so hard to just get clear and concise data. So I thought, ‘Well, I can do better than the government,’ so I just made it. I reached out to news agencies, just for fun. None of them replied. And now they’re coming back to me, which I find so funny.”

photo: Lucy’s Love Blankets Facebook Page

Lucy Made Blankets (& Masks)

Over in Tennesse, Veronica Blaylock taught her daughter Lucy how to sew when she was just eight-years-old. Together, they started making flannel “love blankets” for other kids each with a signature Lucy heart sewn in. The blankets have been shipped to 13 countries and given to children who have been bullied, have been fighting cancer, have lost a loved one, etc.

Lucy is 11-years-old now and busier than ever with Lucy’s Love Blankets, but things have changed a bit this year. “Because of COVID-19, we decided to put the love blankets aside for a minute and start making masks,” Lucy told The Tennessean. Together, Lucy and her mom have sewn and given away hundreds of masks to healthcare workers. In fact, on May 26, Lucy had sewn her 1100th mask!

Sydney Made a Video Series

Sydney Dilling’s reaction to COVID-19 wasn’t much different from other 10-year-olds. She became nervous and uneasy. Knowing that she wasn’t the only one with these types of feelings, she and her mother decided to do something about it. Together, they wrote, recorded and even animated four short videos entitled, “Kids Coping with COVID-19” right in their own living room. They can be found on YouTube.

“I hope our animations can help kids everywhere,” says Sydney on episode three of the series. She also requests that local schools donate surplus supplies too since they aren’t using them. “It never hurts to ask!” Sydney told Good News Network.

photo: courtesy Carlos Mercado

Dominic Gave Out Food

In New Jersey, 12-year-old Dominic Mercado decided to forgo the usual birthday festivities this year and instead, he asked for boxes of pasta and jars of spaghetti sauce for the local food kitchen in his hometown. Spirit & Truth Ministries told ABC 7 TV that his donation was by far the largest they’ve seen in years. It took five SUVs just to haul of all of the food away. His effort even caught the attention of New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy. Over 100 people drove to Dominic’s home to deliver the goods.

“They might already have food for this week and next week, so these items won’t expire for a while. (The food) won’t perish for a while,” Dominic said.

Layla Sang to Her Teacher

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that make the biggest impact. Take, for instance, nine-year-old Laya DeMayo from Long Valley, NJ. She heard that her teacher’s favorite song was “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey and decided to give Mr. Dauchert his own private concert on Ukelele.

“It meant more than any gift that I have every unwrapped in my life,” Dauchert told ABC 7 News. “And just thinking that during these challenging times, ‘Don’t Stop Believing,’ how appropriate is that?”

“I hope that during this hard time that we are going through right now, I hope that this song makes everyone a little more,” says DeMayo.

photo: Scrunchies by Mar Facebook Page

Marley Made Masks

In Seattle, young entrepreneurs 13-year-old Marley and 16-year-old Zoe Macris began their Scrunchies By Mar business in March of 2019. Then COVID-19 hit, and the girls decided that they would need to pivot a bit. They put aside their scrunchies and made room to sew face masks for nurses, firefighters, the police and others on the frontlines for free using donations given to them from others. They made 300 masks in just the first few days of operation.

Working together isn’t always for the pair. “We’re sisters, it’s not always the best thing in the world but we make it work, Zoe Told Seattle Refined recently. “We have our moments, but for the most part we really get along.” And Marley agrees, saying, “It feels good knowing that you’re giving back to the community.”

photo: courtesy Chelsea’s Charity

Chelsea Gave Out Art Supplies

According to her mom, Chelsea Phaire has been begging her to start her own charity since she was seven years old. This year when she turned 10, she got her wish. When the girl from Danbury, Connecticut sent invites for her friends to attend her birthday party, she requested that they bring art supplies so that she could donate them to others. Today, Chelsea’s Charity has sent over 1,500 art kits to homeless shelters and foster care homes to give these kids a little boost. Contained in sturdy plastic boxes, these kits contain markers, crayons, colored pencils, paper, coloring books and gel pens.

“I feel good inside knowing how happy they are when they get their art kits,” Chelsea told CNN. “I have definitely grown as a person because of this. Now my dream is to meet every kid in the entire world and give them art. Who knows, maybe if we do that and then our kids do that, we’ll have world peace!”

Stephen Made a Hand-Washing Station

Even though his village, Mukwa, in Bungoma County, Kenya, hasn’t seen a single case of COVID-19, nine-year-old Stephen still wanted to help. He designed a hand-washing machine that tips water from a bucket with the use of a foot pedal to avoid touching surfaces to help reduce infections. Stephen told BBC he came up with the idea after learning about preventing infection on the TV. “I now have two machines, and I want to make more,” he says. On June 1st, he was Presidential Order of Service, Uzalendo (Patriotic) Award. Stephen says he wants to be an engineer when he grows up, and his father says the county governor has promised him a scholarship. 

photo: Duck Chick Facebook Page

Brianna and Ashley Made Keychains

Two years ago, Brianna and Ashley Wong received a catalog during Christmas time that would donate ducks and chickens to people in need in other countries, and that really struck a chord with the girls.

“Since we didn’t have enough money from our piggy banks, we decided to earn money by making bracelets and other things,” says nine-year-old Brianna, who started the company Duck + Chick with her six-year-old sister. “We use part of the money we make to donate to different organizations. So far we have donated to Heifer International, World Vision [and] Compassion.”

When COVID-19 hit, the East Bay kids switched gears and starting making keychains to raise money for their local No Kid Hungry program while their local schools are closed. The girls recently posted a video on their Facebook page showing other kids how to make leather nametags.

Christian Made Some Phone Calls

After noticing the effects of COVID-19 had on his community, 12-year-old Christian Willis decided that he wasn’t just going to sit back and watch. He was going to make a change.

“He independently ran everything himself, and I was just like really proud of him,” his mother Shante told WTOP News. “To him, it’s like, a loaf of bread can get them sandwiches for a week. I think it made him realize that he is making a difference.”

Christian simply picked up the phone and began calling friends and family asking them for donations for the House of Mercy in Manassas, VA. Those calls paid off as he was able to collect $900 for the cause.


photo: Patrick Bonner Facebook Page

Stella Wrote a Novel

The tale begins like this … before COVID-19, Patrick Bonner would make up bedtime stories for his daughter Stella to help her get to sleep. After adding on “chapters” to this never-ending story, the ten-year-old suggested that they write down their thoughts on paper. When they got quarantined together, the two got serious creating “Darien the Librarian.” The 50,000-word book is about a girl who can magically jump in and out of books.

“My dad wanted to publish, it but I didn’t want to,” Stella told WCVB5 News. “I wanted to make a fundraiser about it because we already have all the money we need. What would we do with the extra? Some people can’t put food on the table.” The initial goal was to make $500 that they could give to Feeding America. As of May 26, Stella’s book had raised over $26,000 on their Facebook page.

—Jeff Totey

 

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The post 15 Incredible Kids Who Stepped Up in 2020 appeared first on Red Tricycle.

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YouTube’s algorithm is steering viewers away from anti-vaccine videos

 Tinfoil hat

.A brand-new research study of YouTube’s suggestion algorithms reveals the filter bubble remains in complete impact.A user’s history viewing false information about essential conspiracy theories leads to more videos being pumped towards them.One exception is lies about vaccines. “YouTube may be responding in a different way to various subjects based upon the pressures they’re obtaining from the media,” stated the author. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories

YouTube’s tendency to press individuals down bunny holes has actually been consistently penetrated by academics and reporters alike, and a brand-new term paper reveals the filter bubble in action.

Tanushree Mitra and coworkers at Virginia Tech University’s department of computer technology examined the method YouTube’s algorithmic suggestions pressed videos on lightning arrester subjects for conspiracy theories.

The academics took a look at how YouTube recommends videos connected to 9/11 conspiracy theories, chem routes, the concept the Earth is flat, that we didn’t arrive on the Moon, which vaccines are damaging or do not work.

 YouTube

” We saw all these media reports and viewpoint pieces speaking about how YouTube is driving individuals down the bunny hole,” stated Mitra. “But I resembled: ‘All these reports are talking with no empirical proof. Is this in fact occurring?'”

They collected 56,475 videos on those 5 subjects and audited YouTube’s search and suggestion algorithms.

They developed bot accounts on YouTube that then engaged with those subjects and videos by viewing them and looking for them.

The search audit the scientists carried out includes the bot accounts looking for videos around a specific subject utilizing typical search terms, and seeing what is advised by YouTube’s search algorithm.

They discovered that YouTube was much better at pulling individuals out of the anti-vaccine bunny hole than other conspiracy topics.

” No matter just how much you look for anti-vaccines, or if a user browses and goes for anti-vaccine videos, the resulting suggestions from the algorithm would still be pointing them to exposing videos, or pro-vaccine videos,” stated Mitra. “That’s not the case for other ones, which possibly shows it’ll press you down the bunny hole if you’re trying to find chem routes, however not for vaccines.”

A comparable watch audit included the bot accounts enjoying various kinds of videos associated with each subject.

One set of bot accounts would view exclusively anti-vaccine videos; another would see videos exposing anti-vaccine conspiracy theories; and a 3rd would take in a video diet plan that both pierced and supported false information about vaccines.

” We discovered even if the behaviour is seeing anti-vaccine videos, the algorithm still provides pro-vaccine suggestions on the Up Top and next 5 suggestions sidebar, which was not the case for the other subjects,” she stated. “That’s where the distinction lies in between vaccine subjects and the other subjects we examined.”

Mitra assumes that YouTube is more proactively policing anti-vaccine videos offered the existing significance of the subject to the world’s fight versus coronavirus.

” A great deal of these media posts are at first about how these platforms in basic are pressing individuals towards vaccine debates,” she stated, “so it’s not unexpected that’s the very first subject they wish to deal with, and the other ones aren’t a high concern for them.”

A YouTube representative stated: “We’re dedicated to supplying valuable and prompt info, consisting of raising reliable material, decreasing the spread of damaging false information and revealing details panels, to assist fight false information.

They included: “We likewise have clear policies that restrict videos that motivate unsafe or hazardous hate, impersonation or material speech. When videos are flagged to us that break our policies, we rapidly eliminate them.”

Read the initial short article on Business Insider

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Silver Lake to invest $747M in India’s Jio Platforms

Weeks after Facebook invested $5.7 billion in Jio Platforms , India’s leading telecom operator, personal equity company Silver Lake is doing the same — — and wants to pay a premium for it.

Silver Lake revealed on Monday it will be investing 56.56 billion Indian rupees (about $746.8 million) in Jio Platforms for about 1.15% stake in the Indian telecom network, providing it an appraisal of $65 billion, a 12.5% premium * to the appraisal suggested by the Facebook financial investment.

The Menlo Park-headquartered PE company, which has roughly $40 billion in combined possessions and dedicated capital, has actually purchased lots of tech companies for many years consisting of in computer game engine maker Unity, audio and video interaction service Skype, consultancy firm Gartner, Alibaba’s Ant Financial, computer system giant Dell, and Chinese ride-hailing huge Didi Chuxing.

Silver Lake has actually made a number of financial investments this year. Last month it purchased Expedia and Airbnb . In March, it invested $1 billion in Twitter and co-led a round in Waymo . This is the 2nd financial investment Silver Lake is making in an Indian company. In 2013, it invested in Bangalore-based product trading and threat management software application start-up Eka.

Reliance Jio Platforms, which started its business operation in the 2nd half of 2016, overthrew the regional telecom market by using bulk of 4G information and voice require 6 months to users at no charge. A subsidiary of Reliance Industries (India’s the majority of important company by market price), Jio Platforms has actually generated 388 million customers considering that its launch to end up being the country’s leading telecom operator.

Jio has actually “brought remarkable engineering abilities to bear upon bringing the power of affordable digital services to a mass customer and small companies population. The marketplace capacity they are attending to is huge, and we are honored and pleased to have actually been welcomed to partner with Mukesh Ambani and the group at Reliance and Jio to assist even more the Jio objective,” stated Egon Durban, co-chief executive and handling partner at Silver Lake, in a declaration.

Jio Platforms, formerly referred to as simply Jio, likewise runs a suite of services consisting of music streaming service JioSaavn (which has strategies to end up being a public business), mobile phones, broadband organisation, on-demand live tv service JioTV, and payments service JioPay.

In a declaration, Mukesh Ambani, who manages Reliance Industries, stated, “Silver Lake has an impressive record of being an important partner for leading innovation business worldwide. Silver Lake is among the most highly regarded voices in innovation and financing. We are thrilled to utilize insights from their international innovation relationships for the Indian Digital Society’’ s improvement.””

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In the business’s incomes call recently, Ambani stated numerous companies had actually revealed interest in purchasing stakes in Jio Platforms, in which he has actually put over $30 billion throughout the years, in wake of the handle Facebook.

Facebook stated that other than using the capital to Jio Platforms for a 9.99% stake in the company, it would deal with the Indian giant on a variety of locations beginning with e-commerce.

Days later on, JioMart, an e-commerce endeavor run by India’’ s most valued company , started evaluating an ““ purchasing system ” on WhatsApp , the most popular smart device app in India with over 400 million active users worldwide’s 2nd biggest web market.

The handle Facebook and Silver Lake need to assist Ambani additional cement his in 2015’s dedication to financiers when he stated he intended to cut Reliance’s net financial obligation of about $21 billion to absolutely no by early 2021. Its core organisation, oil refining and petrochemicals, has actually been hard struck amidst the coronavirus break out. Its net revenue in the quarter that ended on March 31 fell by 37%.

* It’s uncertain what class of shares Jio Platforms has actually accepted offer to Silver Lake; if it’s the exact same as what Facebook has actually gotten, the seriousness of the financial investment at a premium recommends Jio might be headed to an IPO, or taking part in a number of more significant financial investments in the coming weeks — — or both.

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Security lapse at India’s Jio exposed coronavirus sign checker results

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So What is Protein Folding, Anyway?

The current COVID-19 pandemic is rife with problems that hackers have attacked with gusto. From 3D printed face shields and homebrew face masks to replacements for full-fledged mechanical ventilators, the outpouring of ideas has been inspirational and heartwarming. At the same time there have been many efforts in a different area: research aimed at fighting the virus itself.

Getting to the root of the problem seems to have the most potential for ending this pandemic and getting ahead of future ones, and that’s the “know your enemy” problem that the distributed computing effort known as Folding@Home aims to address. Millions of people have signed up to donate cycles from spare PCs and GPUs, and in the process have created the largest supercomputer in history.

But what exactly are all these exaFLOPS being used for? Why is protein folding something to direct so much computational might toward? What’s the biochemistry behind this, and why do proteins need to fold in the first place? Here’s a brief look at protein folding: what it is, how it happens, and why it’s important.

First Things First: What Do Proteins Do?

Proteins are crucial to life. They provide not only the structural elements of the cell, but also serve as the enzymes that catalyze just about every biochemical reaction. Proteins, whether structural or enzymatic, are long chains of amino acids that are linked end-to-end in a specific sequence. The functions of proteins are determined by which amino acids are present at various locations on and in the protein. If a protein needs to bind to a positively charged molecule, for example, the binding site might be full of negatively charged amino acids.

To understand how proteins achieve the structure that defines their function, a quick review of the basics of molecular biology and the flow of information in the cell is in order.

The production, or expression, of a protein begins with the process of transcription. During transcription, the double-stranded DNA that holds the genetic information in a cell is partially unwound, exposing the nitrogenous bases of the DNA to an enzyme called RNA polymerase, often referred to as RNAPol. RNAPol’s job is to make an RNA copy, or transcript, of the gene. This copy of the gene, called messenger RNA or mRNA, is a single-stranded molecule that is perfect for directing the protein manufacturing machinery of the cell, the ribosomes, in a process called translation.

Ribosomes act like a jig, taking the mRNA template and matching it up to other small bits of RNA called transfer RNA, or tRNA. Each tRNA has two main active areas — one that has a three-base section called an anticodon that matches up with complementary codons on the mRNA, and a region for binding an amino acid that’s specific for that codon. During translation, tRNA molecules randomly try to bind to the mRNA in the ribosome using their anticodon. When a match is made, the tRNA molecule attaches its amino acid to the previous amino acid, forming another link in the chain of amino acids coded for by the mRNA.

This sequence of amino acids is the first tier of structural hierarchy in a protein, and is referred to as the protein’s primary structure. The entire three-dimensional structure of the protein, and indeed its function, comes directly from the primary structure through the different properties of each of those amino acids and how they interact with each other. If it weren’t for these chemical properties and interactions between amino acids, polypeptides would just remain linear sequences with no three-dimensional structure. We see this all the time in cooking, which is the heat-induced denaturation of the three-dimensional structure of proteins.

Long-Distance Connections Between Parts of Proteins

The level of structure beyond the primary structure is cleverly called the secondary structure, and includes fairly short-range hydrogen bonds between amino acids. These stabilizing interactions form two main motifs: the alpha-helix and the beta-pleated sheet. The alpha-helix forms a tightly coiled polypeptide region, while the beta-sheet is a flat, broad area. Both motifs have structural properties as well as functional properties, depending on the characteristics of the amino acids within them. For example, if an alpha-helix has primarily hydrophilic amino acids within it, like arginine and lysine, it’s likely to be involved in aqueous reactions.

alpha-helix and beta-sheet motifs in proteins. The hydrogen bonds form as the protein is being expressed. Source: OpenStax Biology

Proteins combine these two motifs, as well as variations on their themes, to form the next level of structure, the tertiary structure. Unlike the simple motifs of the secondary structure, tertiary structure tends to be driven more by hydrophobicity. Most proteins tend to have highly hydrophobic amino acids, like alanine and methionine, at their core, where water is excluded due to the “greasy” nature of the residues. These structures will often show up in transmembrane proteins, which are embedded in the lipid bilayer membrane surrounding cells. The hydrophobic domains on the protein are thermodynamically stable inside the fatty interior of the membrane, while the hydrophilic regions of the protein are exposed to the aqueous environment on either side of the membrane.

Tertiary structures also tend to be stabilized by long-distance bonds between amino acids. The classic example of this is the disulfide bridge, which often occurs between two cysteine residues. If you’ve ever been to a hair salon and smelled the slight rotten-egg stink of someone getting a perm, you’re witnessing the partial denaturation of the tertiary structure of keratin in hair by the reduction of disulfide bonds using sulfur-containing thiol compounds.

Tertiary structure is stabilized by long-distance interactions, like hydrophobicity and disulfide bonds. Source: OpenStax Biology

Disulfide bridges can occur between cysteine residues in the same chain of polypeptides, or between cysteines locate in completed different chains. Interactions between different polypeptide chains are the fourth level of protein structure, the quaternary structure. The hemoglobin in your blood is a perfect example of quaternary structure. Each hemoglobin molecule is formed by four identical globin protein subunits, each of which is held in a specific conformation by disulfide bridges within the polypeptide as well as bonding with the iron-containing heme molecule. All four globin subunits are bound together by intermolecular disulfide bridges, and the entire molecule acts as one to bind up to four oxygen molecules at once, and to release them when needed.

Modeling Structures In a Search for Solutions to the Illness

Polypeptide chains begin folding into their final shape during translation, as the growing chain is extruded from the ribosome, similar to the way a piece of straightened memory wire can snap into a complex shape when heated. But as is always the case with biology, there’s much more to the story.

In many cells, there is extensive editing of the transcribed genes that occurs before translation, which alters the primary structure vastly compared to the raw base sequence of the gene. The translational machinery also often enlists the help of molecular chaperones, proteins that temporarily bind to the nascent polypeptide chain to prevent it from taking an intermediate structure that would prevent it from taking its final shape.

All this is to say that predicting the final shape of a protein from the primary structure is not trivial. For decades, the only way to explore protein structure was with physical methods like X-ray crystallography. It wasn’t until the late 1960s that biophysical chemists started building computational models for protein folding, focused mainly on modeling the secondary structure of a protein. These methods and their descendants take a vast amount of input data in addition to the primary structure sequence, such as tables of bond angles between amino acids, lists of hydrophobicity, charge states, and even conservation of structure and function over evolutionary timescales to make a best guess at what a protein is going to look like.

Current computational methods for secondary structure prediction, like those running on Folding@Home’s network right now, run at about 80% accuracy, which is pretty good considering the complexity of the task. The data generated by the folding prediction models for proteins like the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein will be coupled with physical study data to come up with a firm structure for the protein, and perhaps give us insights into how the virus binds to the human angiotension converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptors that line the respiratory tract, which is its path into the body. If we can figure out the structure, we might be able to find drugs to block binding and prevent infection.

Protein folding research is central to our understanding of so many diseases and infections that even once we figure out a way to beat COVID-19, the Folding@Home network, which as seen such explosive growth over the past month, will not go idle for long. The network is a research tool well-suited to exploring protein models central to dozens of diseases that are related to misfolded proteins, such as Alzheimer’s and variant Cruetzfeldt-Jakob disease, often incorrectly called mad-cow disease. And when the next virus inevitably comes along, all that horsepower, and all the experience being gained in managing it, will be ready to go again.

Read more: hackaday.com

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Travel in the Time of Coronavirus

The whole world has somewhat come to standstill at this moment due to the COVID-19 virus; everyone is affected but probably the most affected are all types of travelers such as globetrotters, adventure travelers, frequent flyers, holidaymakers, pilgrims etc. So we’ve come up with this post which not only enlightens on you everything about this corona virus, its after-effects, safety measures and precautions, but also put out its positive side along with some effective tips to make the most of this pandemic time.

WHAT IS COVID-19 OR CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019?

Barring Antarctica, COVID-19 has hit almost all continents. This alone speaks the volume of its unprecedented spread, which presumably has originated from one of China’s food markets at Wuhan in December 2019. In approximately four months, more than one million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide, with close to 70,000 deaths. So what really is this deadly virus and disease?

COVID-19 is a kind of respiratory illness, caused due to SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2). As its name indicates, it comes from a family of coronaviruses that are usually seen in animals, mammals, reptiles etc. While the chances of coronavirus transmission from animals to human are rare, the previous cases of coronavirus outbreak were reported in 2003 and 2012, with SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) respectively.

The animal source of the virus behind COVID-19 is still controversial;however this would have possibly originated from bats, pangolins, or snakes.

COVID-19 – SPREAD, SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

Spread

COVID-19 is a communicable ailment which usually spread from people to people via respiratory droplets that come from an infected person who are in close contact with another person within a radius of less than three feet. Another possible cause of this virus is when a person touches an infected object or surface.

Once it enters the body….

When this coronavirus comes in contact with your body and enters through mouth, nose or eyes, it moves through your nasal passages and then to the respiratory tract, causing infection in your lungsas well as other organs depending on its severity. It has an incubation period ranging from two to 14 days.

Symptoms

Low to high fever
Continuous cough
Shortness of breath and breathing complications
Sore throat
Body ache

IS THERE ANY MEDICINE OR VACCINE FOR THIS DISEASE? CAN IT BE CURED OR IS IT LIFE-THREATENING?

As of now, no specific medicine or vaccination has been developed to combat or treat this disease. When it comes to whether it’s curable or life-threatening, this depends on a variety of factors. With isolation and excellent support care to treat its symptoms, this disease is mostly curable in the case of healthy adults and kids. However, elderly people above 65 years plus people with a medical history of lung diseases, heart ailments, cancer, liver and kidney diseases etc are most at risk to develop severe complications including pneumonia kind of symptoms and multiple organ failures which sometimes even lead to death.

HOW CAN I PREVENT OR KEEP MYSELF SAFE FROM THIS DISEASE?

The most recommended way to avoid the spread of this infection is via social distancing or by limiting your interaction with people who show symptoms of respiratory illnesses. Following strict hygieneor sanitation practices also help you to keep this disease at a bay. So here are a few things which you should consider in order to protect yourself from this disease.

Make sure that you wash your hands (using any soap and warmwater) on frequent basis for at least 20 seconds.
If you’re not able to wash your hands, you can use a hand sanitizer, preferably with 60% alcohol content in it.
Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth with your dirty hands.
Maintain a distance of at least six feet when you speak or interact with other people.
Skip any kind of physical contact such as hugs, handshakes, kisses etc, especially when you greet someone.
Use your bent elbow or a handkerchief or a disposable tissue in order to cover your mouth / nose while sneezing and coughing.
Wear mask and a pair of hand gloves when you step outside.
It’s advisable not to share your personal items (such as cups, cutleries etc) with anyone.
Clean and disinfect all objects / surfaces which possibly can be the carrier of this virus / disease, such as your phone, computer, keyboard, mouse, tabletops, kitchen counter top etc.
After shopping, be sure to disinfectant all items / products which you brought from the store.
Eat healthy and opt for foods that would help to boost your immunity. And avoid outside food as far as possible.
If you’ve any kind of flu like symptoms or discomfort, it would be prudent of yourself to self-quarantine or self-isolate from others.
If the condition becomes worse, get medical assistance immediately.

COVID-19 & TRAVEL UPDATES

Due to the fast and unparalleled spread of this virus, most nations across the world have imposed lock downs with travel bans, thus closing all air pathsas well as land borders. This has forced most people to either cancel or postpone their already booked or confirmed holidays. That apart, the health officials and government agencies worldwide have warned people to completely refrain from any kind of contact with people who have already traveled to the most infected regions / countries. What’s more; most major tourist attractions plus restaurants, leisure attractions etc all over have been now closed for an indefinite period or until the situations become better.

Now if you’ve an upcoming travel which is urgent or unavoidable, be sure to make a thorough research to ensure that it’s safe to travel before you apply for an international visa and carry on with other travel arrangements. Moreover, take a look at the website of World Health Organization (WHO) for more reliable updates on this disease. It’s also wise to check if your airline / accommodation service provider offers any help / special fee waiver policy in the event you’ve to cancel or face any trouble that may emerge due to the outbreak of this disease.

COUNTRIES MOST / LEAST AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS

Al though first identified in China, this virus has spread to over 200 countries in different parts of the world, from South Asia and Middle East to Europe and America. Currently, the United States (USA) tops the list of countries that are most affected by this pandemic (with over 330,000 confirmed cases), followed by Spain (over 135,000 cases), Italy (128,900 cases), Germany (100,000 cases), France (over 90,000 cases) and China (over 81,000 cases). That said, there are luckily a few countries which have escaped this disease and still coronavirus-free, such as Angola, Barbados, Botswana, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Syria, Tonga, and Yemen.

POSITIVE SIDE OF COVID-19

Amidst all chaos, fears and pandemonium, there is also some heartening news as a result of this pandemic.

The number of new cases has begun to decline in the place of its origin: Yes, China with its effective preventive measures has now managed to bring down the effects of this disease, with almost no new cases reported in the place in recent times.
Majority of infected people recover: As per the reports, more than 95% infected people (including elderly people) recover and return to normal life.
Nature is at its blissful best: With almost no vehicles in the land, water or air, this has significantly reduced the carbon emissions, allowing the nature to breathe, heal itself and of course thrive.
Wildlife too has now got a new lease of life: The root cause of this pandemic is believed to be wild animals. And the good news is that China has now declared that the trade or consumption of wild animals is illegal.
The iconic, always-packed landmarks look even better and more peaceful: Take Venice’s canals, Paris’ Eiffel Tower, California’s Disneyland Resort, Dubai’s traditional souks, or the Roman Colosseum – they all are now deserted but absolutely pollution-free and seem to appear more exquisite in their tranquil version.

FINALLY, HAVE A LOOK AT SOME INSPIRING TIPS TO KEEP YOUR WANDERLUST ALIVE

Missing travel? Then these following suggestions would help your love for travel and wanderlust intact.

This is the best time to revisit your cherished travel moments. Flip through the old travel images, start a travel blog or jot down your unforgettable adventure / travel memories in a diary or a notepad.
Make a virtual travel to a country or experience a new culture by reading some of the best travel books like On the Road (Jack Kerouac), Seven Years in Tibet (Heinrich Harrer), The Beach (Alex Garland), Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer), and Vagabonding (Rolf Potts).
Try new hobbies or brush up your long-forgotten skills, may be practicing music / Yoga, try cooking innovative dishes, or learning new language (which may prove helpful to your upcoming travel).
Most of all, keep yourself connected to the world by watching movies, documentaries and television / online series themed around nature, culture, new destinations etc.
Some of the world’s most celebrated museums, galleries etc have now launched virtual tours means you can now discover or know a place in-depth from the comfort of your home or couch.

CONCLUSION

While it’s now wiser to cancel or put off all your travel plans until things get right, don’t stop yourself from researching planning and updating your travel wish-list or bucket-list. Yes, make the absolute best of this time to de-stress yourself, de-clutter all negativities from your life, and prepare yourself to get back to your normal life more refreshed yet sensible, Once the planet gets moving again, we’re sure that all these would help you to admire and appreciate the cleaner restored version world from a new light.

The post Travel in the Time of Coronavirus appeared first on USA Travel Blog.

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‘Absolute Chaos’ as Small Businesses Try to Tap Into Coronavirus Rescue Funds

NEW YORK —– Desperate small company owners who expected a fast federal government lifeline to assist them endure the coronavirus crisis are still without funds, rather fighting bureaucracy, careful banks and overloaded computer system systems.

Thousands of owners who got loans under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program remain in their 2nd week of waiting on their cash.

And thousands who looked for relief through Small Business Administration financial injury catastrophe loans have actually waited even longer —– some because mid-March.

A couple of have actually gotten cash. A panoply of concerns at the SBA and banks have far more questioning if they’ll be able to remain in service —– they’ve been required to close their doors due to social-distancing guidelines or since consumers have actually cut back their costs.

Those in limbo consist of owners wishing to prevent layoffs.

The cancellation of wedding events, celebrations and other occasions required catering service Leslie Nilsson to lay off half her personnel of 10, however her cooking area staffers are still working, preparing 500 meals a day for New York healthcare employees.

““ If I put on ’ t get this cash’, I’wear ’ t understand how I ’ m going to pay them past these next 2 weeks, ” stated Nilsson, owner &of Bartleby &Sage. She has actually requested a loan under the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. She’’ s likewise intending to get her administrative personnel back to work.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised expectations of almost instant money when, in revealing the Paycheck Protection Program, he stated business might get their loan cash the exact same day they use.

But Mnuchin’’ s anticipate didn ’ t consider technological problems, consisting of issues with the SBA’’ s E-Tran processing system on Monday. It likewise overstated the capability of the banks to reverse the enormous variety of applications they were getting.

Since April 3, when the program started, more than 791,000 applications have actually been authorized by the SBA. In 2019, it managed under 60,000.

Bankers state they understood entering into the program that there would be a tsunami of applications. Even those expectations were blown out of the water —– Huntington Bank, the biggest SBA lending institution by volume, had 16,000 applications the very first weekend. The bank dealt with SBA 36,000 applications in all of 2019.

A smaller sized bank, Washington Trust Bank, situated in the Pacific Northwest, got 1,900 applications the very first week, 20 times the variety of applications it dealt with in 2015.

““ It ’ s been outright mayhem, and we sanctuary’’ t even specified where the program is completely open yet,” ” stated Jack Heath, president of Washington Trust. Heath stated there were still another 600 applications waiting to be processed.

Some banks and loan brokers have actually been attempting to control owners’ ’ expectations. When Robert Bentz used to TD Bank on Monday, he was informed he’’d speak with the bank in 3 to 5 days. Bentz, owner of Purplegator, a digital marketing business based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, consequently got an e-mail from a TD staffer stating his application was being evaluated.

But banks’ requirements likewise annoyed owners. Numerous banks needed candidates to have an existing relationship with the bank, for instance, a service examining account, charge card and credit line. Veteran clients with just one or 2 accounts discovered themselves requiring to use somewhere else.

One week in, less than a quarter of the banks have really moneyed the loans and sent out cash to companies, stated an executive at a bank market group, who decreased to be recognized in order to talk about the information of the program.

One owner who got her cash, Jennifer Tribble, used through J.P. Morgan Chase on April 5, prior to the bank put an application link on its site. A Chase worker called Tribble and assisted her fill in the application, a hands-on procedure that seemed a dry run prior to the bank’’ s online application went live 3 days after the program started.

Tribble got the cash Tuesday. Her 3 Pigtails &&Crewcuts kids’’ s hairdresser in Orlando, Florida, have actually been closed considering that March 23. She wouldn’’ t have the ability to pay her 21 employees without the loan.

The loans of as much as $10 million at a rates of interest of 1% deal forgiveness of cash utilized to maintain or rehire laid-off employees.

While some banks were sluggish to get the essential facilities up and running to accept applications, the issues were additional intensified by technological concerns at the SBA, lenders stated. It is taking more than an hour to send each application to the SBA, the market group executive stated.

““ These systems are not constructed for enormous volumes,” ” stated Karen Kerrigan, president of the advocacy group Small Business &&Entrepreneurship Council.

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Furthermore, not every bank might utilize the SBA’’ s E-Tran system, leaving numerous neighborhood banks not able to assist their customers.

Legalities have actually likewise held up the approval and financing procedure. The banks stated they needed to wait on the SBA to provide assistance on how to process the loans and disperse the funds. Lenders still careful a years after the Great Recession hesitated to make loans that the federal government may not ensure.

Small company owners have actually likewise discovered the financial injury catastrophe loans bothersome.

The SBA started accepting applications in mid-March —– these applications go straight to the company’s site, http://www.sba.gov. On March 29 it relaunched the application, utilizing a brand-new, structured variation that enabled them to use for a $10,000 grant offered for in the federal government’s $2 trillion relief bundle. That implied owners who had actually currently used needed to use once again —– however lots of didn’t recognize that.

““ We’re speaking with a great deal of members that the procedure is stuck in confusion,” ” stated Molly Day, a representative for the advocacy group National Small Business Association.

David Busker got a catastrophe loan on March 21, and didn’t hear back from the SBA. He found out that he had to reapply and resubmit his paperwork when he logged into the company’s site the very first week of April. Busker, whose CycleBar health clubs in St.Louis have actually closed down and who’s lost income in his consulting organisation, stated he entered into the application procedure with low expectations.

““ I’m not stunned however it’s still aggravating,” ” he stated.

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Read more: time.com