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World News

Surge in fake coronavirus tests and ‘miracle cures’ sold online, medicines watchdog warns – The Sun

BRITS are being warned over a surge in fake coronavirus tests and "miracle cures" being sold online, the medicines watchdog has warned.

Bogus medical products claiming to treat or prevent Covid-19, including self-testing kits and "antiviral misting sprays", have popped up online.

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The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says it is currently investigating 14 cases of such unlicensed items being sold through unauthorised websites.

There are currently no medicines that are licensed specifically to treat or prevent Covid-19, meaning that any claiming to do so have not undergone required regulatory approval for sale in the UK.

Don't be fooled by online offers for medical products to help prevent or treat Covid-19

The MHRA says it has already disabled nine domain names and social media accounts for selling fake coronavirus-related products.

"Don't be fooled by online offers for medical products to help prevent or treat Covid-19," said Lynda Scammell, MHRA enforcement official.

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"We cannot guarantee the safety or quality of the product and this poses a risk to your health.

"The risk of buying medicines and medical devices from unregulated websites are that you just don't know what you will receive and could be putting your health at risk.

"We are working alongside other law enforcement agencies to combat this type of criminal activity."

Ramp up testing

The Government is ramping up testing and has already ordered 17.5million kits from nine different makers in the hope they would work.

Officials suggest the Covid-19 checks – which reveal if people have been infected and are now resistant – would be rolled out this month.

Brits testing positive could then “confidently go back to work”, helping bring an end to the UK’s strict lockdown restrictions.

Boris Johnson hailed the checks as a potential “game-changer” in mid-March and said they were fast "coming down the track".

However, one expert has warned that an effective antibody test will not be available until May at the earliest.

Professor Sir John Bell, who is leading the Oxford team evaluating them, says none of the checks tested so far are up to scratch.

He said Brit scientists are now working with makers to improve their reliability, but add: “This will take at least a month.”

None of the tests we have validated would meet the criteria for a good test

Prof Bell, Covid Scientific Advisory Panel and Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, said: “Multiple tests have been provided for evaluation.

"Sadly, the tests we have looked at to date have not performed well.

“None of the tests we have validated would meet the criteria for a good test. This is not a good result for test suppliers or for us.”

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Prof Bell said other nations were having similar problems, with Spain sending tests back because they don’t work.

Downing Street said it will seek refunds from companies that cannot improve the failed antibody tests ordered by the Government.

The PM's official spokesman said: “No test so far has proved to be good enough to use.

“We continue to work with the testing companies, we're in a constant dialogue with them and we give feedback to them when their products fail to meet the required standards.”

England's top doctor also said effective antibody testing could now be months away.

Speaking at a Downing Street briefing, Prof Chris Whitty said: "I am very confident we will develop antibody tests, whether they be lab-based or dipstick-based over the next period. I'm very confident of that.

"The fact that we have not, in our first pass, in the first things that people produced, got ones which are highly effective is not particularly surprising to anybody who understands how tests are developed.

"I would expect those to continue to improve potentially on the dipstick-side and definitely on the lab-side which would be available in due course through the NHS over time."

Report fakes

In the meantime, the Government is urging Brits not to attempt to buy medicines or treatments for coronavirus online.

The MHRA's ongoing campaign, #FakeMeds, aims to encourage people who buy medical products online to make sure they are purchasing from legitimate sources.

It advises that all medicines and medical devices should be bought from registered pharmacies, either from the premises or online.

Suspicious products can be reported to the MHRA via their monitoring system, the Yellow Card Scheme.

Anyone who thinks they may have been a victim of fraud relating to the purchase of medical products or personal protective equipment (PPE) should also report to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau online or by calling 0300 123 2040.

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World News

Reverend says coronavirus is adding to despair of grieving families

‘We’re witnessing immeasurable heartache’: Reverend tells how coronavirus crisis is adding to despair of grieving families who can’t have church service and must limit number of relatives at funerals

  • Reverend Kim Mannings said she is ‘witnessing families fall apart’ over funerals
  • Curate, 30, at Prescot Parish Church in Merseyside says relatives are suffering 
  • Funeral services can only be held at crematoriums or gravesides – not churches 
  • Only immediate family members can attend while abiding by social distancing

A reverend has told how vicars are seeing ‘immeasurable heartache’ among grieving families who cannot have proper funeral services due to the coronavirus.

Kim Mannings, 30, the curate at Prescot Parish Church in Merseyside, said relatives are suffering through having to limit the number of family members at funerals.

The services can only be held at crematoriums or gravesides – not churches – and only immediate family members can attend while abiding by social distancing.

Reverend Kim Mannings is the curate at Prescot Parish Church in Merseyside (file picture)

And Reverend Mannings told Sky News: ‘Normally when you go to visit a family who are bereaved, you go to their home, you shake their hands, you sit down in their living rooms, you listen as stories are told of the person who they loved so much.

‘You pray for them in person and you make the promise that you’ll make the service as fitting a goodbye as possible. As perfect as possible. 

‘And actually I can’t make that promise right now, I can’t make the promise that the service will be as perfect as possible because it won’t. 

‘You’re having to tell grieving families that they can’t have flowers. That they can’t have more than ten people at the service. They can’t have the service in a church. That some relatives perhaps shouldn’t be present because they’re high-risk.

Reverend Kim Mannings, 30, told Sky News how relatives are suffering through having to limit the number of family members at funerals, which is causing ‘immeasurable heartache’

Mourners spaced out for social distancing at a funeral at a burial ground in Chislehurst, South East London, for Ismail Abdulwahab, 13, who died after testing positive for coronavirus

‘When you look around and there’s key people missing there at the graveside. We’re just witnessing families fall apart. We’re just witnessing immeasurable heartache.

‘And whilst I might believe with all of my heart that death is not the end, that Jesus walked among the mess and the death of this world and conquered death forever, we know that it really hurts now, that people are really hurting now.

‘And it’s those families who I will really, really be praying for this night.’

Mrs Mannings, who is married to pianist Stephen, 36, is a former secondary school religious education teacher who was ordained a priest in Liverpool last year.  

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Reverend Rachel Treweek, has told how funerals are ‘going to be different for the foreseeable future’

While weddings were banned when the lockdown was brought in on March 23 and all churches were ordered to close, funerals are still allowed to take place.

However they are subject to strict limits on numbers present and social distancing rules, with only the partner, parents and children of the deceased allowed to attend.

No wake or gathering should be now held following any funeral, and this should be scheduled for a later date – along with any larger memorial service in the future. 

The Church of England has also issued recommendations on using technology to capture the event for those who are unable to be there in person. 

Speaking about funerals last month, the Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Reverend Rachel Treweek, said: ‘When someone we love dies, it is a time of great sadness.

‘Funerals are significant events to mark the end of a person’s life here on earth, and family and friends come together to express grief, give thanks for the life lived and commend the person into God’s keeping.

‘As we adapt to the threat of Covid-19 in our society the nature of funerals is having to change because we all need to be keeping people safe in line with government guidelines.

‘However, while funerals are going to be different for the foreseeable future we remain committed to offering pastoral and spiritual support as we share the love and hope of Jesus Christ.’ 

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Lifestyle

MLB discussing coronavirus plan for all teams to play in Arizona

Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.

The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.

Ideas are still in the early stage, and the Arizona option would have many obstacles to overcome, the people said.

Half of the MLB clubs hold spring training in Arizona, the other half in Florida.

Arizona’s advantage is 10 spring training ballparks plus the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field all within about 50 miles. Florida’s spring training ballparks are spread by as much as 220 miles.

“It allows for immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it, provide Major League Baseball to America,” said Scott Boras, baseball’s most prominent agent. “I think players are willing to do what’s necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country and providing a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.”

“It gives them a sense of a return to some normalcy,” Boras added. “You talk to a psychologist about it and they say it’s it’s really good for a culture to have to have sport and to have a focus like that, where for a few hours a day they can take their minds off the difficult reality of the virus.”

Baseball’s season had been set to start March 26 but spring training was halted on March 12. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for eight weeks, MLB said it would not open until mid-May at the earliest.

Texas Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said MLB is examining different options and he didn’t want to speculate.

“But, obviously, we’d all love to find a way to play, provided we could do safely, and that would be the priority,” he said.

The players’ association would want to survey its members to determine whether they would support such a plan, one of the people said.

“You’re going to be largely separated from your families and you’re going to have to function in a very contained way. It’s not it’s not a normal life, this idea,” Boras said. “You’re going to have an identified group of people. You’re going to have a constantly tested group of people. And you’re going to have a very limited access of those people to the outside world so that you can assure a very uncontaminated league, if you will, to produce a product that is inspirational to our country.”

Chase Field, with artificial turf and a retractable roof, could be the site of daily tripleheaders, Boras said.

MLB and the union reached a deal March 26 to advance $170 million in salary to players for the first 60 days of the season. As part of the deal, players would get only prorated portions of their salaries if the regular season is cut from its usual 162 games and would receive no additional salary if the season is scrapped.

Both sides have agreed to attempt to play as full a season as is possible, and this plan would enable to season to start while waiting for health and government officials determine whether it is safe to resume play in regular-season ballparks, with the travel that would entail.

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Celebrities

Naomi Campbell Devastated as People Close to Her Died of Coronavirus ‘Every Day’ Last Week

The 49-year-old supermodel reveals she lost people she knew ‘every day’ to Covid-19 amid the global pandemic and she’s worried she’s a jeopardy to her elderly relatives.

AceShowbiz -Devastated Naomi Campbell lost people close to her “every day” last week as a result of the global Covid-19 crisis.

The 49-year-old model took to Twitter to share a sombre looking selfie as she encouraged fans to stay strong in these difficult times.

Alongside the snap, Naomi wrote, “Going into week 4, these next 2 weeks are going to be toughest yet, every day this week we lost someone I know, there is no time to mourn or being able to be there for their loved ones.”

“PLEASE KEEP THE FAITH STRONG!! Breathe, rest and reset. Keep your spirits high and your attitude positive! Sending love.”

Naomi didn’t reveal who she’d lost in the post, but she previously said in a quarantine diary for USA Today that she had several elderly relatives she was worried about contracting the disease.

“I’m absolutely social distancing alone,” she told the outlet. “I would have loved to have gone home, but I had to bear in mind my mother is in remission of cancer, my two grandmothers are older. I felt like I was a jeopardy to them, so I chose to stay away in this home.”

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Lifestyle

Disney Has Stopped Charging Annual Passholders While Parks are Closed After Backlash on Social Media


The Walt Disney Company announced that they will no longer charge their annual passholders for monthly payments and will refund customers while their parks are closed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Effective April 5, 2020, we will automatically stop and waive all upcoming monthly payments while the theme parks are closed. We will also retroactively refund payments made between March 14 through April 4, 2020,” a statement on their website reads. “Payments will resume on the Passholder’s regularly scheduled payment dates once the parks reopen.”

The statement also noted that pass expiration dates would not be extended and that they will “expire upon their originally scheduled expiration dates.”

An exception will be made to passholders who decide to “postpone” their canceled payments instead.

For annual passholders who have already paid in full for their passes (versus opting for the monthly payment plan), Disney said that they will extend the passes for the number of days the parks are closed. So far that’s 22 days.

Disney’s policy change comes after some intense backlash on social media when passholders realized they were still being charged despite not being able to visit the theme parks.

“Disney really had the audacity to take money out of my bank account for my annual pass when the park is CLOSED…” one customer shared on Twitter.

Another added, “So Disney is closed but made sure to pull their Annual Pass payment causing my account to go negative $90….. no it’s fine I’ve just been laid off for 3 weeks with a baby due any minute now…”

Writing on their website, Disney thanked their customers for their “patience” during this “truly unprecedented time” as the company works “through the many details related to the temporary closure of the theme parks.”

On March 27, Disney announced that both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be closed indefinitely amid the pandemic, after they originally planned to reopen at the end of the that month.

The company shared the announcement in a statement on their official Twitter, writing, “While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the impacts of COVID-19, the safety and well-being of our guests and employees remains The Walt Disney Company’s top priority.”

Disney has continued to pay their park employees since the parks first closed in mid-March, and they indicated in the statement that they “have made the decision to extend paying hourly parks and resorts cast members through April 18.”

PEOPLE first learned that the parks would close on Thursday, March 12, reporting that they would shut down that weekend.

While Walt Disney World and Disneyland remain closed, the company has made additional efforts to keep their fans engaged and entertained.

On Sunday, their official blog shared a “virtual viewing” of their new Magic Happens parade on YouTube in order to “bring a little joy, a little fun and, yes, a little magic” into the homes of people who can’t currently visit in person.

They also shared an adorable video of one of their cast members, who continued to do her job from home — leading a Kilimanjaro Safari ride through her living room filled with stuffed animals.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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Lifestyle

Police Break Up Hasidic Jewish Funerals in NYC: 'These Gatherings Must Cease Immediately'


Police in New York City had to be called in to help disperse dozens of mourners who crowded the streets in Brooklyn for multiple funerals within the Hasidic Jewish community amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The large gatherings directly defied an executive order from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo that canceled all non-essential gatherings and urged anyone in public to remain at least six feet away from others to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The NYPD needs all New Yorkers to cooperate with the ban on social gatherings in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. It is important to note that the vast majority are following all guidelines,” an NYPD spokesperson tells PEOPLE. “The NYPD will continue to enforce social distancing and any large gathering — including services — put both members of the public and officers at risk. These gatherings must cease immediately.”

The funerals took place in the Borough Park and Williamsburg neighborhoods on Sunday, according to the New York Post and Gothamist.

NYPD officers had not been made aware of the events, and received word of them from concerned members of the public, PEOPLE has learned.

The NYPD responded, and officers were able to disperse the crowds using sirens and by playing a pre-recorded message explaining the importance of social distancing over a PA system. No summonses were issued, PEOPLE has confirmed.

Video shared to Facebook of one of the funerals shows dozens of mourners — many wearing face masks — flooding the streets as police sirens wail and an officer says, “This is not six feet!” over the PA system.

One mourner can be seen approaching the cop car to offer apologies in the video, though the crowds largely drown out the sounds with readings of their own.

Gov. Cuomo appeared to address the gatherings at a briefing on Monday, CW affiliate WPIX reported.

“Now is not the time to play frisbee with your friends at the park. Now is not the time to go to a funeral with 200 people,” the Cuomo said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also reportedly weighed in, saying that while it was “not easy for people to give up traditions, especially when they’re in mourning,” large gatherings would not be tolerated, Gothamist noted.

The Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn has been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus; Jewish neighborhoods like Borough Park and Midwood had the highest number of cases in Brooklyn, Gothamist reported, citing recent city data.

Rabbi Abe Friedman told the outlet that there have been at least 300 coronavirus deaths over the last 10 days in the Orthodox communities of Brooklyn, Rockland County and Orange County.

Houses of worship have not been ordered closed per Cuomo’s executive order, though the governor “strongly” recommended no congregate services be held.

As of Monday afternoon, there have been 131,239 cases and 4,758 deaths attribute to coronavirus in New York, according to The New York Times. In the United States, there have been 357,036 cases and 10,522 deaths.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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Lifestyle

FDA Changes Blood Donation Regulations for Gay Men Amid Coronavirus Crisis, but Restrictions Remain


The Food and Drug Administration has reduced its restrictions surrounding blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men amid mounting pressure from activists and legislators.

The U.S. blood supply is under threat with donation centers experiencing a dramatic reduction, as well as many blood drives canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The FDA therefore announced last week that they were reducing the amount of time male donors who have had sex with men were required to wait before donating blood or blood plasma — the later of which can be donated by coronavirus survivors to be used in experimental treatments aimed to fight the virus.

Under previous guidelines, which were set in 2015, the FDA recommended that gay and bisexual men wait for 12 months before making a donation. The deferral period has now been reduced to 3 months. Prior to 2015, sexually active gay and bisexual men were banned for life from making donations, a policy that had been in place since 1983, when there was no way to test donations for HIV, according to The New York Times. Sexually active women and straight men have no waiting period.

“The FDA has concluded that current policies regarding certain donor eligibility criteria can be modified without compromising the safety of the blood supply,” the government agency said in a statement on Thursday, noting that the changes were expected to remain in place “after the COVID-19 pandemic ends.”

“This wasn’t something we needed to keep anymore,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious diseases physician at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told The New York Times. “These types of restrictions weren’t really making sense in the era of modern diagnostic technology.”

Although LGBTQ activists have called the change a “triumph over discrimination,” many point out that the current guidelines still stop short.

“This is a victory for all of us who spoke out against the discriminatory ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood,” GLAAD President and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement. “[It’s] a step towards being more in line with science, but remains imperfect. We will keep fighting until the deferral period is lifted and gay and bi men, and all LGBTQ people, are treated equal to others.”

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, also emphasized that “our work is not yet done.”

“While this change by the FDA is a step in the right direction, it still bases itself in bias rather than science,” David said in a statement. “Creating policy based on identity as opposed to risk is irrational and given the current COVID-19 crisis, it is more critical than ever to prioritize science and facts over fear and bias.”

The change came as activists and politicians joined together to urge the FDA to rethink the “antiquated policy.”

GLAAD launched a petition in March to lift the 12-month deferment policy, imploring the FDA to “put science above stigma.” In the petition they pointed out that the American Red Cross was not in support of the FDA’s policy, and had previously spoken out against eligibility requirements “based upon sexual orientation.”

The petition has been signed by over 23,000 people, including Sam Smith, Chasten Buttigieg, Nico Tortorella and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney also wrote a letter to the FDA, urging them to immediately “revise its policy of turning away blood donations from gay and bisexual men.”

“This antiquated policy is not based on current science, stigmatizes the LGBTQIA+ community, and undermines crucial efforts to increase the nation’s blood supply as the United States grapples with the coronavirus crisis,” they wrote, noting that over 4,000 blood drives across the country have been canceled due to the virus, which has resulted in about 130,000 fewer donations.

They also pointed out that both the American Public Health Association and the American Medical Association had criticized the 12-month ban in the past.

“In light of the potential long-term impacts the coronavirus outbreak may have on the nation’s blood supply, we urge FDA to act swiftly in revising its policy so every person who can safely donate blood in the United States has the opportunity to do so,” they wrote.

Another letter was also written to the FDA by a group of senators, including Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren.

“We are steadfastly committed to ending this policy and encourage the FDA to shift to scientific practices that secure our nation’s blood supply based on individual risk rather than the perpetuation of inaccurate stereotypes,” they wrote, noting that “with important advances in blood screening and safety technology, a time-based deferral policy is not scientifically sound.”

According to a 2014 study by the Williams Institute, an additional 360,000 men would likely donate blood should the 12-month deferral period be lifted, which “could be used to help save the lives of more than a million people.”

“It’s too bad that it took a pandemic to actually prompt this, because it should have been prompted much earlier when technology was such that we could ensure the safety of our blood supply,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious diseases physician at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told The New York Times. “These types of restrictions weren’t really making sense in the era of modern diagnostic technology.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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TV and Movies

NBCU to Cut Back Commercial Time as Advertisers Pause Campaigns

Company will also provide talent and production resources free of charge to marketers

When I need a distraction from reality, I often turn to video games for solace, because they tend to focus my attention more than watching a movie or TV show or reading a book does. And with the coronavirus pandemic causing so much harm and creating a ton of stress and anxiety for everyone, video games are more helpful than ever in that regard. So here’s a list of games that are great for chilling out with while you’re stuck at home for the foreseeable future.

  • “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” –

    This game for Nintendo Switch is all the rage at the moment just because, well, there’s pretty much nothing stressful about it. It’s like a real life simulator, but without any of the stakes. So, for example, you could pay down on your mortgage, or you could just not. It’s nice. Plus, if you have friends who play you can go visit them, or they can visit you, so you can do some socializing while you’re social distancing.

  • “Euro Truck Simulator 2” – 

    This game, which is available for PC and Mac, has been one of my favorites for a long time. I just turn on one of the European pop radio streams available in the game, and drive around. I pretty much only do jobs so so I’ll have a destination — you could just not do them if you’d rather just wander.

  • “The Sims” –

    You probably know all about this series a this point, so let this simply serve as a reminder.

  • “Katamari” series –

    These games are about rolling up garbage into a giant ball. They’re cute, and nice, and upbeat. The most recent of these, “Katamari Damacy Reroll,” is a remake of the original game for Switch and PC. If you’ve got an Xbox 360 or PS3 lying around you can play some of the older games too.

  • “Flower” –

    This game, which you can get as a digital download on any recent PlayStation device or on PC, is so chill and therapeutic. You’re just a flower petal floating on the wind drifting around with other flower petals. It’ll make you feel good.

  • “Portal” series – 

    It’s got a novel brand of puzzles, as well as a similar, though less crass, sense of humor to “Saints Row.” The story is overall almost nihilistic, and it’s got plenty of jokes about giant corporations exploiting people in horrible ways. It feels just about right.

  • “The Talos Principle” – 

    It’s another 3D puzzle game in the vein of “Portal,” but instead of cracking jokes it’s more about musing about the nature of humanity, which has long since gone extinct. That may sound upsetting, but honestly it’s pretty calming. It’s like going to therapy, but in a puzzle game that’s available on every platform, including mobile devices.

  • “Viscera Cleanup Detail” – 

    So when you’re playing a shooter game, you tend to leave a lot of corpses behind as you move to each new area. But in this game, which is available on Steam for PC and Mac, you’re not the one doing the shooting — you’re the one who cleans up all the bodies and mops up and blood. Some people enjoy cleaning their homes to chill, and this is like that but you don’t have to stand up.

  • “The Stanley Parable” – 

    Nothing really happens in this game. You just wander around pressing buttons and try not to do what the narrator tells you to. It’s a weird comedy meta-game of sorts, mocking standard video game storytelling. If you play a lot of video games, it’ll amuse you. Available for PC and Mac.

  • “Cities: Skylines” – 

    It’s kinda like Sim City, but I like this one much more just because it’s generally less complicated and annoying. Even better: you can get it on PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox and Switch, which is unusual for a game like this.

  • “Final Fantasy XV” – 

    Like all “Final Fantasy” games, the plot here is ludicrous. But the appeal of this game for me has always been as a sort of road trip simulator. You roll around the country with your bros, stopping every once in a while to get gas, kill some monsters, go camping, or climb to the top of a volcano to take down a giant bird so you can take its giant eggs and eat them with cup noodles. It’s nice.

  • “Goat Simulator” – 

    This may be the dumbest game ever made. It’s not a real “simulator” in the normal sense — it’s actually just a goofy physics game where you like strap a jetpack on your goat or whatever. It’s available on pretty much every platform you might use for gaming so you should probably just go for it.

  • “Yakuza” series – 

    The main stories in these games are overwrought Japanese melodrama, but the real fun is the wacky shenanigans that gangster Kiryu Kazuma gets into in his every day life. That juxtoposition hits the sweet spot. You can get these for PlayStation or PC.

  • “Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone” – 

    It’s just a silly PS4 rhythm game where you perform songs by the famous “vocaloid” Miku and her digital friends. There’s plenty of excellent songs, and most of them come with stupidly amusing music videos. And unlike the other Miku games, this one doesn’t bother with a plot or any kind of unlock progression. You just have all the 200+ songs from the start and there’s nothing to try to force you to do songs you don’t like.

  • “Saints Row IV” – 

    I will admit that I’ve had a pretty tough time laughing at anything the last few weeks, but the ludicrous action comedy game “Saints Row IV” manages to hit the spot even so. Plus it has just enough of a dark tinge to fit this moment in history — it’s pretty much just “The Matrix,” except it’s aliens running the simulation after they blew up the Earth. Anyway it’s funny in the right way for right now. You can grab this on any current game console or PC. For maximum chill, just turn down the difficulty setting and enjoy the madness.

  • Any mobile puzzle game – 

    This is your reminder that any app store you have on your phone is absolutely full of free puzzle apps, like word searches or crosswords or whatever. My phone go-to is sudoku, but almost certainly you can get whatever your preferred puzzle time-waster is without having to pay anything.

  • There are plenty of chill video games you can enjoy while there’s nothing to do outside your home

    When I need a distraction from reality, I often turn to video games for solace, because they tend to focus my attention more than watching a movie or TV show or reading a book does. And with the coronavirus pandemic causing so much harm and creating a ton of stress and anxiety for everyone, video games are more helpful than ever in that regard. So here’s a list of games that are great for chilling out with while you’re stuck at home for the foreseeable future.

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    Categories
    Lifestyle

    Duran Duran's John Taylor Reveals He's Recovered from Coronavirus: 'We Will Beat This Thing'

    Duran Duran star John Taylor has recovered from the coronavirus (COVID-19).

    The bass player, 59, revealed the news on Duran Duran’s social media pages Sunday.

    “DEAR FRIENDS OF MINE after giving some thought to this, I have decided to share with you that I tested positive with the Corona Virus almost three weeks ago,” Taylor wrote.

    “Perhaps I am a particularly robust 59 year old — I like to think I am — or was blessed with getting only a mild case of Covid 19 — but after a week or so of what I would describe as a ‘Turbo-charged Flu,’ I came out of it feeling okay — although I must admit I didn’t mind the quarantine as it gave me the chance to really recover.”

    The View to a Kill star added that he decided to speak out to show that, while “the enormous amount of fear being generated by the pandemic” is “entirely justified,” the virus doesn’t necessarily constitute a death sentence.

    “My heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with real loss and pain. But I want to let you know that it isn’t always a killer, and we can and will beat this thing,” Taylor — who’s married to Juicy Couture co-founder Gela Nash-Taylor — wrote.

    “Sending LOVE to all my Homies and Fans, in Italy particularly, the UK and the US and everywhere in the world I have been lucky enough to visit on my travels with DURAN DURAN.”

    Together with singer Simon Le Bon, 61, John Taylor, 59, and Nick Rhodes, 57, Taylor recorded 11 U.S. top 10 hits – and two No. 1s — in the ’80s, selling in excess of 100 million records worldwide.


    The band was also in the middle of recording their 15th studio album with legendary producer Giorgio Moroder when COVID-19 forced them to self-isolate.

    “We have made the decision to take a temporary break from the studio in order to keep everyone safe and sound,” the band announced on their website on March 19.

    “Our love goes out to all of our fans around the world, particularly in areas that have been badly hit by the virus. We have never seen anything like this in our lifetimes, and we are feeling much of the same uncertainty and fear that we’re sure you are.”

    While Duran Duran has canceled many of their 2020 tour dates, they are still scheduled to play at BST Hyde Park on July 12, alongside Gwen Stefani and long-term collaborator Nile Rogers — their first London show in five years.

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    Half of all coronavirus patients show NO symptoms at all – but are still infectious – The Sun

    AROUND half of all coronavirus patients show no symptoms at all but are still infectious, a new study has revealed.

    Scientists say that while the two warning signs of Covid-19 are a dry cough and a temperature – for about 50 per cent of individuals infected, the deadly illness is practically invisible.

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    It comes amid the growing fears that these infected carriers are slipping under the radar and could be behind the staggering advance of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Researchers made the revelation after gathering data from Iceland, the Italian town of Vò, and the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

    In these three places even people without symptoms of coronavirus were tested – which is not the case in the UK, where tests are reserved for seriously ill patients in hospital.

    And in each of these locations, around half of all individuals with coronavirus were asymptomatic.

    On the Diamond Princess cruise ship, of the 3,711 passengers who were tested, 712 tested positive, and 331 (46 percent) didn't show symptoms, according to Japan’s health agency.

    Similarly, in the small northern Italian town of Vò, where Italy’s first coronavirus death occurred, the entire population of 3,000 people was tested.

    The researchers were surprised to find that “a significant proportion of the population, about 3 percent, had already been infected – yet most of them were completely asymptomatic.”

    And in Iceland, more than six per cent of the entire country has been tested, by far the largest proportion in the world.

    Nearly half of those tests have been done as part of a “screening program," in which anyone who asks for a test can get one, even if they have mild or no symptoms.

    “Of the 5,502 samples taken in the screening program between March 13-19, 50 tested positive for SARS-CoV-2… 66 percent of those individuals reported symptoms, such as coughing and body ache,” Kjartan Hreinn Njálsson, at the Icelandic Directorate of Health, told Fox News, adding that the other third had no symptoms.

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    Njálsson added that non-symptomatic people can spread the disease, but, “we know that the virus is much more likely to spread from person to person if the infected one is showing symptoms."

    Experts say the discovery that about half of all coronavirus patients show no symptoms at all has critical implications and shows that even more widespread testing may be needed to identify all carriers.

    Patrick T. Dolan, a virologist at University of California, San Francisco said: "Many cases are apparently asymptomatic.

    "This is both good and bad news, because it means the virus lethality may be lower than initially thought, but also that people can unknowingly spread the virus.

    “It is still too early to be certain of the numbers, but it is clear that asymptomatic infection is contributing significantly to the spread of SARS-CoV2. This is exactly why strict adherence to social distancing measures is critical."

    A separate report this weekend has also revealed that asymptomatic coronavirus cases appear to be on the rise in China.

    Reuters reported late Sunday that the country’s National Health Commission identified 78 new cases considered asymptomatic in Beijing – whereas there were only 47 the day before.

    It comes as Chinese leaders have begun loosening tough travel restrictions following lockdown.

    Health officials warned early on in the outbreak of the new infection that it is possible to spread through "hidden webs".

    And a string of recent studies indicate people without Covid-19 symptoms are acting as unseen “super spreaders”.

    People can “shed” or emit the virus in the incubation period before they show symptoms.

    Research published recently found that those infected with Covid-19 can take a staggering five days for coronavirus symptoms to show – and they can still appear after the quarantine period.

    The new study, from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in the US, found that the average incubation period is 5.1 days.

    And they say that almost all – 97.5 per cent – of those who develop symptoms appeared to do so within 11.5 days of infection.

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    But while they are helping save lives, who is there to help them?

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    The Who Cares Wins Appeal aims to get vital support to staff in their hour of need.

    We have teamed up with NHS Charities Together in their urgent Covid-19 Appeal to ensure the money gets to exactly who needs it.

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    In another study, scientists from the United States, France, China and Hong Kong, found that time between cases in a chain of transmission is less than a week.

    Their findings, published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, also showed that more than ten per cent of patients are infected by somebody who has the virus but does not yet have symptoms.

    Children are often asymptomatic carriers of Covid-19 and can pose a particular risk to those closest to them.

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