The great rail trips you can do at home

From experiencing The Canadian’s trip through the Rockies to travelling around the world with Tony Robinson, the great rail trips you can do at home

  • Channel 5 is airing Around The World By Train With Tony Robinson on Monday 
  • Take a virtual ride on the White Mountain Central Railroad, New Hampshire  
  • Get some inspiration for a future trip from train buff Mark Smith 

Every week our Holiday Hero Neil Simpson takes an in-depth look at an important holiday topic, doing all the legwork so you don’t have to. This week: How to go on a great train journey from the safety of your own home.

There’s always been something about a train journey that stirs the imagination. Today’s locomotives may not have the romance of steam trains, but the grandeur of city-centre stations has actually increased as renovations bring glamour back to great public buildings such as St Pancras in London, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s Grand Central in New York and the palm-filled Atocha station in Madrid.

The journeys themselves are as exciting as ever, and travellers can enjoy them all, even under the pandemic lockdown.

Plan for the future

All aboard: Experience The Canadian’s trip through the Rockies

Start with Mark Smith, the train buff whose Man In Seat 61 website ( began as a hobby in 2001 and became an award-winning travel phenomenon. Seat 61 is his favourite place to be on a First Class Eurostar train, and the website shows how to get from A to B by train all around the world.

Why not take a look now as inspiration for future trips? Then, for a fuller flavour, go to The Man In Seat 61’s series of short videos on YouTube. Most are step-by-step guides to different journeys.

You are led from concourse to platform as you make connections across the Continent and beyond, and you’ll see how trains differ as you head from France to Italy, for example. Images of a bottle of beer and a bowl of soup in the buffet car on the London to Vienna video bring home one of the small joys of travel. Seeing the sun bounce off the gleaming silver carriages of The Canadian does the same, as the classic train crosses the Rockies on the Toronto to Vancouver video.

 Read all about it

Let the power of the written word take you on a short trip on the White Mountain Central Railroad in rural New Hampshire, USA. The team which runs the railway’s heritage centre say it’s ‘where history meets fun’, and if you click on Virtual Tour – Steam Train Ride on the website (, you feel it straight away.

‘The engineer has just informed me that we have a full head of steam so I’ll give him the High Ball sign and we’ll be on our way,’ the text begins, as the endearingly old-fashioned travelogue describes almost every part of the trip.

Driver’s eye view

The trend for ‘cab-ride’ films was born in Norway in a ‘slow TV’ experiment 

Hop into a train cab for a driver’s-eye view of an entire journey. The trend for ‘cab-ride’ films was born in Norway in a ‘slow TV’ experiment that found a huge market for lovely but uneventful real-life films. The original, seven-hour Bergen to Oslo journey from 2009 is hard to find online, but YouTube has plenty of amateur alternatives, and once you click one you’ll be recommended many more.

Staying closer to home, you can enjoy the ride from Glasgow to Mallaig, or head to the other side of the world and follow the journey from Christchurch to Greymouth in New Zealand amid stunning mountain and ocean views. 

TV stations

TV fans are in for a treat for the next few weeks. Channel 5 is repeating Around The World By Train With Tony Robinson on Monday nights and is putting The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys on its Freeview service My5. A favourite is Episode 2, riding through Spain’s Picos de Europa and ending near Bilbao’s Guggenheim museum.

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World News

New York’s coronavirus death toll jumps 100 in just one day to 385

The coronavirus has now killed 385 New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday — with a startling leap of 100 fatalities in the span of just 24 hours.

That staggering toll represents a triple-digit hike from the 285 cases Cuomo reported on Wednesday, among 37,258 confirmed cases now tallied statewide.

“This is the really bad news,” said Cuomo in his now-daily Albany press briefing. “That’s the worst news you can have.”

The grim death tally includes 281 in the Big Apple, according to city statistics current as of Thursday morning.

With the worst of the contagion still expected to be at least two to three weeks out, Cuomo said that the state is working to establish at least one 1,000-bed overflow hospital in each of the five boroughs, plus Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties.

It’s projected that the state will need at least 140,000 hospital beds at the disease’s peak, easily more than double New York’s 53,000 permanent beds.

“I don’t want to sugarcoat the situation,” said Cuomo. “But easy times don’t forge character, it’s the tough times that forge character.

“And that’s what we’re looking at right now.”

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TV and Movies

What all the celebrities are doing in coronavirus lockdown from David Beckham playing with Lego to Maura stripping off – The Sun

CELEBRITIES have more money and bigger houses than the majority of their fans, but just like us they're looking for ways to entertain themselves in self-isolation.

Some stars have seen their TV roles cancelled and PAs postponed as the showbiz industry heads towards lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the UK into lockdown – warning Brits that they may be fined if they are caught out of their homes for anything other than one of the four essential reasons.

Millions across the country are now looking for ways to pass the time, with most school-age children also at home after schools were closed on Friday [20 March] aside from special circumstances.

Here we take a look at what our favourite famous faces are up to as they stay home either isolated or with loved ones for the next few weeks.

The Beckhams play with Lego…

David Beckham has always been a self-confessed Lego nut, and social lockdown has given the former footballer the perfect excuse to stay home and get to grips with his next triumph.

Taking to her Instagram Story, Victoria shared clips of David and their children starting work on their new sets.

While 17-year-old Romeo opted for a red London bus, David chose a new Harry Potter creation.

…And so does Jade Thirlwall

The Beckhams aren't the only ones making the most of their endless free time with fiddly creations, as Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall also turned her attention to a new Lego set.

The 27-year-old beauty proudly shared a photo of herself sat nonchalantly behind a massive Disney castle on her Instagram page.

She boasted in the caption: "PROUD NERD ALERT.

"4000 Lego pieces later, staying indoors helped @zacktate and I finally finish our Disney castle."

Michelle Keegan stocks up on puzzles

Michelle was spotted stepping out of a shop clutching onto a newly-purchased jigsaw puzzle earlier this week.

Seemingly preparing for her new life in lockdown, the Our Girl star was dressed casually and clutched onto her phone as she stocked up on the last minute provisions.

Kylie Jenner has also been trying her hand at puzzles while she practices self-isolation in Los Angeles, sharing a snap of all of the pieces to her Instagram Story.

Maura Higgins strips off

Love Island and Dancing on Ice star Maura Higgins has been using her free time to pose in her underwear and sexy swimwear.

The 29-year beauty has posted snaps of her Ann Summers collection as she showed off her incredible figure.

Sharing a sexy mirror selfie, Maura said amid the lockdown: "Everything you need and more… "

She also appeared to supporting the restaurant business by having takeaway from popular celeb haunt Sheesh, Essex.

Maura showed off a huge spread at home as she enjoyed indulging after a busy few weeks promoting her new swimwear line.

Molly-Mae Hague tidies up

Maura's Love Island pal Molly-Mae Hague is being practical during her stint at home with Tommy Fury.

She organised her mammoth walk-in wardrobe last week, before heading out to do a food shop.

Molly then turned her attention to sorting out her make-up drawers.

She said: "Going to spend the day getting things done that I don't normally have the time to do.

"Self-isolation fun. Hope you're all staying safe."

Stacey Solomon stocks up on tan

Stacey Solomon has been stocking up on tan to make sure she keeps a golden glow in self-isolation.

The busy mum-of-three has been stock-piling everything from toilet roll to laundry detergent and crisps for months and showing off her now famous 're-fill' cupboard with her 3 million followers on Instagram.

But she was in hysterics when trolls suggested she knew about the coronavirus outbreak weeks before everyone else.

She's been using organisation to deal with her anxiety – and today was no different when she nipped out to get two bottles of fake tan.

"I don't want to be on lockdown and pale," laughed Stacey.

She added: "Like everyone else in the world right now my mind is going a million miles an hour so trying to do things to take my mind off everything for a while."

Stacey also confessed to struggling with home-schooling her oldest sons, admitting that she can't quite keep up with the demanding work-load.

Jacqueline Jossa posts singing videos

I'm A Celebrity winner Jacqueline Jossa updated fans on how she's going to be passing the hours at home with her two children and husband Dan Osborne.

The 27-year-old impressed with her incredible singing voice in unearthed videos while she was in the jungle.

Now Jacqueline has promised to make some new ones to entertain everyone.

She said: "To keep you entertained I'll be doing some singing videos.

"I might actually get Dan to sing with me too because he's quite good.

"I'll also do Q&As and update my TikTok.

"I want to keep positive because I'm terrified."

Luke Mabbott makes music

Love Island's very own Justin Bieber, Luke Mabbott, has also been inspired to get creative during the coronavirus outbreak.

He showed fans off a guitar and keyboard at home, revealing that he can play both instruments.

"Today I've been pretty much chilling, he said.

"I've been sorting out my wardrobe but now it's time to make some music. Going to have a jam."

Gemma Collins gets glammed up

Diva Gemma Collins made the most of some time off by getting her hair done at home as she avoided her usual top salon.

She posed alongside her hairdresser as she got her blonde locks highlighted from the comfort of her sofa in a rare turn of events.

The 38-year-old was having some much-needed self-care after a tough few days.

She admitted to fans she was struggling with the pandemic's affect on her.

Gemma told fans: "Sorry guys I can’t just act like nothing is going on. Sending love to anyone who is a little worried right now. Please listen to the government guidelines.

"If anyone is feeling a little anxious…. I know I am… it’s real but there is always someone whose need is greater than ours.

"Please do listen to what we need to do in order to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe."

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Hollywood actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been keeping fit while he's in self-isolation – with two pet donkeys for company.

He posted on Instagram that he's been doing workouts in his home gym and getting out in the fresh air by riding a bike.

Arnie told fans: "Doctors and experts say that riding my bike outside is OK so it’s the only way I’m leaving the house, but if you do ride your bike or go for a walk, don’t stop, avoid social contact.

"Apologies to everyone but I won’t be stopping on my rides for selfies. Stay positive, stay home as much as possible. Stay safe."

Laura Whitmore and Iain Stirling do DIY

Love Island presenter Laura Whitmore put her voiceover boyfriend Iain Stirling to work as they made the most of their rare time off together.

Instead of wasting time, Laura got to work on some odd DIY jobs – including getting Iain to finally fix their door handles.

The Irish beauty has also posted a series of workout videos for people to follow from home.

They included star jumps, squats, high plank shoulder taps, high plank high step and the plank.

Saffron Baker gets fit

The Strictly star and social media influencer has also been inspired to keep up her exercise routing from inside her home.

She's been in self-isolation since returning from holiday earlier this month.

Saffron posted a video of her working out in her living room as she got her blood pumping after a quiet week.

She told her 1.4million followers: "Excuse how rough I look. Today's the first day i've started to feel better.

"I'm bored out of my brain but going to post about new ideas of what to do when you're in quarantine.

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Beauty and Fashion

We're due to give birth during coronavirus lockdown – now we're terrified we'll have to do it alone

TERRIFIED mums fear giving birth alone after Britain went into lockdown just days before they were due to deliver. 

It comes as New York hospital Columbia University Medical Center revealed it had BANNED dads from attending their partners’ births amid the coronavirus outbreak and the Royal College of Midwives telling Fabulous any birthing partner showing signs of coronavirus would be forbidden from the delivery room. 

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Birte Harlev-Lam, Executive Director for Professional Leadership at The Royal College of Midwives, urged expectant mums to plan for a backup birthing partner as the coronavirus gripped Britain.

However, Jenny Meecham, 33, from  Grimsby, North Lincs., who is due with a girl tomorrow, hasn't anyone available.

"There's only my mum Janet and my sister Lucy and if mu husband, Rob, gets sick then mum'll look after the kids and Lucy has her own family," she said.

"I'll be on my own."

Meanwhile, Emily Scott, 28, from York, who is 38 weeks pregnant, also worries she will be delivering alone.

Emily, mum to 17-month-old Lucas, said: "I just have to keep thinking it will be okay in the end."

Jenny, already mum to Emma, 11, and Greg, five, is due to attend Diana Princess of Wales Hospital in the town to discuss a possible induction tomorrow. 

She is concerned as, as well as suffering from asthma, she will have a big baby.

Her first two children weighed in at a hefty 10lb 8oz and 10lb 9oz respectively.

Scans indicate this baby, a girl, is likely to measure a similar weight – so doctors might forgo a natural labour in favour of an induced birth or even a c-section.

Jenny, a blogger and freelance writer, told how she hoped writer husband Rob, 38, would be there with her when she gives birth, but admitted she could be delivering alone if either he, or their only childcare – mum Janet – displayed any symptoms of corona and couldn’t care for the children.

“The plan is for Rob to drive me to hospital and the kids to go to my mum’s home,” said Jenny. “She is 70 – so in the risk category – but healthy and has been self-isolating. 

“It isn’t ideal but we haven’t got a lot of options as my dad has passed away, Rob’s dad died a few months ago and his mum is poorly.

“I just really don’t want to be in hospital too long. 

“One doctor said to me, ‘the safest place you can be right now is at home’.

“My fear is that more and more coronavirus patients will come into hospital while I am giving birth or have a newborn.

“But I am likely to have a big baby, so I might have to be induced or have a c-section and then I will be there for days.

“I’m dreading that because I was told I was safest at home, not in hospital.

“I want her to arrive sooner, rather than later, as I think it will only get worse.”

Jenny, who has been self-isolating along with her family for three weeks, told how she was sad her mum would not meet her new granddaughter immediately, as she had her previous grandchildren.

“But it is simply not safe,” she added. “My sister, Rob’s siblings and my nieces and nephews won’t either as they attend three different schools and they are being kept separate from us.

“It’s really sad as I would love them to see her.

“Having a new baby is so special, but we can’t risk it. Me, Rob and Greg are asthmatic so we have to be extra cautious.”
She told – how despite Brits being allowed to go out once a day to exercise – she intended not to take her daughter for walks in the pram.

“That’s what mums do,” she said. “Walk for miles so their baby sleeps. But I just can’t risk that.

“So I will only be taking her out in the garden. I am worried, of course I am, but I am trying to be calm.”

However, Jenny has had to turn to Amazon to buy baby essentials including breast pads for double the price.

“I paid £4 for 20 which I will get through in a couple of days, so I don’t know what to do,” she said. 

“You bleed a lot after giving birth and we had totally run out of toilet roll so we used our business account and spent £43 on a couple of industrial sized rolls.”

She’s also seen midwife appointments cancelled and is worried about her healthcare visits post-birth, where the baby’s weight and progress is checked, disappearing.

Emily’s husband, who asked not to be named, is a key worker in food production and his parents are nearly 70, placing them in a difficult situation.

We know this is a really worrying time for pregnant women and having the reassurance of their birth partner is more important than ever. However, if they do have COVID-19 or symptoms of it, they won’t be able to be at the birth.

She said: “We had been relying on them to take our boy but my father-in-law has heart and lung conditions so is high risk.

“If we all stay symptom free, they say they will still take our son when I go into labour, but if my husband and I get symptoms we cannot risk infecting his parents so have no idea what we will do.

“It's all very scary and is giving me lots of anxiety.

"My first birth was pretty traumatic – four days of contractions and nine hours of pushing.

"I'm anxious about having endless contractions again this time.

"My midwife told me last week that if I were to have virus symptoms and when I go into labour, everything would be the same but the midwives in the hospital would be wearing full protective suits. But otherwise nothing will be different. That was before these tighter restrictions though.

"I've heard that only your birth partner can enter the ward and visit, but that is to be expected in this situation.

"I have no idea what I would do without my husband there through the birth. It's not something I want to think about really as it would be very tough and emotional without him.

"The thought of holding my newborn baby without him there is devastating. But I expect the midwives would be even more caring and helpful if I had to be alone.

“My parents are in London so unable to step in. 

“Knowing it is unlikely they will be able to come and meet the newborn is absolutely devastating, plus I have constant fear of not being able to get milk for my son or nappies for the baby.

"I just have to keep thinking it will be okay in the end."


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Anonymous mums-to-be  have also voiced their concern on Mumsnet.

One woman said: “I'm due a baby, but in the UK. I'm terrified of this, but understand it may happen, and trying to get my head round it.”

Another added: “My daughter is pregnant, not due yet, but we have no idea how long this will go on.

“I imagine this is something she's very worried about as her husband has always been very important to her feelings of comfort and support during birth.

“I also don't know if I would be permitted to go and look after their other children either while she's in labour, it's all very worrying.”

Ms Harlev-Lam from The Royal College of Midwives, said: “We know this is a really worrying time for pregnant women and having the reassurance of their birth partner is more important than ever. If your birth partner does not have COVID-19 or any symptoms, then there should be no barriers to them being with you.

"However, if they do have COVID-19 or symptoms of it, they won’t be able to be at the birth. This is for your and your baby’s safety, as well as that of the midwives and maternity staff.

“If it’s possible that your birth partner may not be at the birth, start thinking about an alternative birth partners as a back-up. This could be a friend, another family member or a doula.

“This is a new disease, and, as such, we are developing our knowledge quickly, which means the guidance may change. Remember, you can speak to your midwife to discuss your options.”

Desperate mums were forced to turn to eBay for baby milk after shops sold out – and were shocked to find it on sale for £155.

And this mum told how she battled swine flu, as coronavirus grips the world.


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Coronavirus' ventilator demand: Who makes them and what will it take to get them?

Trump: We’re ordering ‘thousands and thousands’ of ventilators

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence discuss ordering upwards of 10,000 ventilators to the U.S.

On Sunday, President Donald Trump challenged the Big Three automakers to switch their production lines over to manufacturing ventilators to meet the increasing demand states and hospitals say they will need to handle spread of the coronavirus.

Continue Reading Below

Not to be left out, Tesla chief Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend about his meeting with one of the leading ventialtor companies.

But as noble as these intentions may be, supply chain experts say it is not like flipping a switch in a factory and such a move could take months before a line is operational. “When you are repurposing a factory, it really depends on how similar the new product is to the existing products in your product line,” said Kaitlin Wowak, a professor at the University of Notre Dame who focuses on industrial supply chains. “It’s going to be a substantial pivot to start producing an entirely different item.”

The National Institues of Health estimates there are slightly more than 62,000 ventilators in the U.S. A February report by Johns Hopkins Univeristy stated that "During a severe influenza pandemic, it has been projected that the demand for assisted ventilation in hospitals could increase by 25% or more." That would mean an additional 15,000 machines.

So where would they come from? Here is a look at some of the top manufacturers of ventilators, many of which have plants here in the United States.

Closeup detail of a hospital ventilator machine in an operating room

Vyaire Medical 

Vyaire Medical is a Chicago-based supplier of respiratory care devices and is the largest supplier of "consumables," or masks and tubes needed for patients to use the ventilators.

“We are receiving unprecedented demand for our ventilation equipment,” a company spokesman told FOX Business on Monday.

The company currently has 200 employees working on the manufacturing line with plans to "rapidly expand that". On average, a single ventilator takes about 2 to 6 days to build and the company has produced an average of 1,000 to 1,700 ventilators, which it is “looking at mulitplying that by 10 greater” given the current demand.

Vyaire has two manufacturing plants, one located in Mexicali, Mexico for the production of masks and ventilator tubes, and one in Palm Springs, CA for the production of the ventilator machines themselves.


GE Healthcare

In a press release on Thursday, Chicago-based GE Healthcare said it would work "around the clock" to increase its output of medical equipment including CTs, ultrasound devices, mobile X-ray systems, patient monitors and ventilators in an effort to help combat the coronavirus.

“As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators. We continue to explore all options to support this increased need,” GE Healthcare President & CEO Kieran Murphy said.

In order to meet the demand, the company said that it is adding manufacturing lines to ventilator production and increasing the number of shifts available in order to speed up how many ventilators can be produced. They will also hire additional manufacturing employees and shift current employees to support increased demand immediately.

In addition, the company said it would monitor the health of its field service engineers and provide them with personal protective equipment, work with its supply chain partners to mitigate shortages, and work with global regulators to help address customer questions about how to meet patient needs.

The company manufactures its ventilators at a plant in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Medtronic is a medical device manufacturer based in Dublin, Ireland with over 90,000 employees worldwide.

The company says it has increased production by more than 40 percent to date with 250 employees currently dedicated to the production of ventilators. The company said in a tweet on Thursday that it has plans to "more than double" that number.

“Medtronic recognizes the demand for ventilators in this environment has far outstripped supply,” said Medtronic executive vice president Bob White in a statement, “No single company will be able to fill the current demands of global healthcare systems. However, with all manufacturers increasing their production and through partnerships with governments, hospitals and global health organizations, Medtronic is committed to getting more ventilators into the market and to the right locations in the world to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19.”

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MDT MEDTRONIC PLC 72.92 -4.54 -5.86%

In order to meet the demand, Medtronic will transfer staff from its other sites to support its ramp up activities as well as make additional manufacturing shifts availabe to turn the plant into a 24/7 operation.

Ventec Life Systems 

Washington-based ventilator manufacturer Ventec Life Systems announced in a joint statement Friday that it will partner with General Motors to help increase production of ventilators that are needed in hospitals dealing with patients who have the coronavirus.

“We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mary Barra, GM Chairman and CEO. “We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis.”

“With GM’s help, Ventec will increase ventilator production,” added Chris Kiple, Ventec Life Systems CEO.  “By tapping their expertise, GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster.  This partnership will help save lives.”

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GM GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY 17.60 -0.54 -2.98%

Ventec Chief Strategy Officer Chris Brooks told FOX Business on Saturday that the partnership is expected to increase production from 150 ventilators a month to close to 1,000.


Hamilton Medical 

Hamilton Medical is a ventilator manufacturer based in Bonaduz, Switzerland. The company said in a statement on Friday that since the beginning of the year, it has "massively increased" its capacity for producing ventilators and is aiming to double its production by the end of April.

"Normally, we produce 220 ventilators per week. We have already increased output by 50% compared to that. We are aiming at producing over 20,000 ventilators this year", the company said.


The Associated Press contributed to this story

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Rihanna’s Charity Foundation Donates $5 Million for Global Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Rihanna is the latest celebrity doing their part to help combat coronavirus. The singer’s charity organization, the Clara Lionel Foundation, has donated $5 million to support the global fight against the pandemic.

“CLF is supporting on-the-ground partners working on the frontlines of disaster response especially those focused on protecting and serving marginalized communities—helping the most vulnerable in the United States, the Caribbean and in Africa prepare for what is to come,” read a statement from the foundation, according to People magazine.

The generous donation will reportedly help benefit organizations such as Feeding America, Direct Relief, Partners in Health, the International Rescue Committee, and the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund. Rihanna and her foundation will also aim to help local food banks serve at-risk communities and the elderly in the United States, accelerate testing efforts in countries such as Haiti and Malawi, and aim to provide protective equipment for medical professional and diagnostic lab workers who are working to develop vaccines to combat the virus.

“Never has it been more important or urgent to protect and prepare marginalized and underserved communities—those who will be hit hardest by this pandemic,” commented Justine Lucas, executive director of CLF.

Just last month, Rihanna was honored for her philanthropic efforts with CLF—alongside her countless cultural contributions—at the 2020 NAACP Image Awards, where she received the President’s Award.

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‘Younger’ actress Debi Mazar describes coronavirus symptoms after positive test

The coronavirus pandemic doesn’t just hit the elderly — it also hits the “younger.”

Debi Mazar, 55, took to Instagram to describe her symptoms and tell fans she’s OK after testing positive for COVID-19.

The actress, who co-stars with Sutton Foster and Hilary Duff on TV Land’s hit show “Younger,” wrote that her husband and two tween daughters felt the symptoms first, about a month ago.

“My entire home … got an odd bug — low-grade fever, headaches, sore throat, body aches, ears ringing and a dry cough. It cleared up quickly. Seasonal I thought? But it felt unusual/different …” Mazar wrote.

Two weeks later, Mazar woke up with 102.4-degree fever and “super intense body aches.”

“I had had cocktails the evening prior and smoked a few cigarettes. I figured I had jacked my immune system from having a fun night with friends,” the Jamaica, Queens, native wrote.

Mazar called a friend of hers who is a doctor on Monday to ask if she could get the test for the deadly disease.

But she was denied the test because she didn’t meet the criteria — she hadn’t traveled out of the country or interacted with anyone who had tested positive, she wrote.

“I found this kind of a CRAZY criteria for a NY’er as I had taken the subway, gone to the theater, the grocery store, the pharmacy, hair salon,” Mazar wrote. “I was the mom who was trying to prepare the home and get supplies and bleach wipes, dry goods and extra food.”

Mazar’s family followed news about the coronavirus closely because she has family in Italy. She said her “biggest panic” in recent weeks was Mayor Bill de Blasio initially refusing to close schools and officials allowing movement around the city.

“Prospect Park yesterday, I hear was jumpin’!” Mazar wrote.

Mazar eventually got tested Tuesday after another friend told her that CityMD/Urgent Care had kits available.

Doctors first tested her for the flu, but results came back negative. She was then tested for the coronavirus and doctors told her to self-quarantine while waiting for the results — which she received Saturday.

“I’m hoping I’ve been through the worst of it already,” Mazar wrote. “One day I feel crappy and the next I’m normal. Today my lungs are heavy, but I’m tough”

Mazar said she will continue to heal at home and that her entire family will be goodfellas and stay under quarantine for 14 days.

“Stay home people! Protect yourselves and your loved ones. Build up your immune systems,” she wrote. “Good luck and God bless us all!”

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Celebs groove during virtual dance parties while under quarantine

Celebs like Gabrielle Union, Naomi Campbell and Mary J. Blige have been spending their time in quarantine at virtual dance parties.

Obama favorites, DJ D-Nice and DJ Cassidy have been going live on Instagram, hosting dance-a-thons from their LA homes. D-Nice started his social distancing dance party four days ago. He’s been doing nine-hour Instagram Live sessions.

“Music heals the soul. Thank you so much for this. Bless you angel,” Campbell commented during his session last night. “That’s that issshh,” Blige commented when he spun one of her tunes.

Cassidy promises to play his favorite songs and take requests every night “until the world is back to normal” with his “Resort Radio: Rockin After Midnight” dance party. Gabrielle Union and Christie Brinkley were on their Instagram rockin’ with him last night.

Meanwhile, Big Night club group — which owns venues including Memoire, Shrine, Big Night Live, The Grand — is hosting dance parties every night at 9pm at

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World News

Hope Hicks' new man Jim Donovan comes with family baggage

EXCLUSIVE: MIT professor father of Hope Hicks’ new man accused his Goldman Sachs executive son of hiring a Russian hitman to kill him and claimed he laundered $180million

  • Hope Hicks, 31, has a new man in her life – Jim Donovan, 53, Goldman Sachs managing director and adjunct professor at the University of Virginia
  • Massachusetts native Donovan has four children with ex-wife Christina, 48, a physical therapist 
  • Donovan’s father dragged him to court in Massachusetts in 2005, claiming his son had hired a Russian hitman to kill him in 2005
  • His father also accused him of laundering $180million through unlawful trading of restricted stock – but he was cleared by Goldman Sachs 
  • Hicks and Donovan were pictured canoodling in DC in January, then in LA in February and then again since her move back to D.C.  
  • The 31-year-old split from former White House Staff Secretary and alleged wife abuser Rob Porter some time after they both left the White House in Spring 2018
  • In November 2018, Hicks relocated to LA to take up a job with Fox, but a little over a year later, she announced she was quitting to return to Washington DC

The new man in Hope Hicks’ life, Goldman Sachs executive Jim Donovan, comes with family baggage, can reveal, just as her previous lover, White House Secretary Rob Porter.

JDonovan, 53, a father-of-four, and the former White House communications director have been pictured together by repeatedly over the past three months.

But as with her previous lover Porter, her relationship with Donovan could prove complicated – not least of all because of his ex-wife Christina, 48, and their four children.

In 2005 Donovan’s own father dragged him to court claiming his son had hired a Russian hitman to kill him.  

Hope Hicks and Jim Donovan were first spotted canoodling in DC in January, then in LA in February and then again since her move back to D.C. last week where they picked up take-out. He lost the leg brace but was still on crutches

 Donovan’s father, MIT professor John Donovan, dragged him to court in Massachusetts where he claimed his son had hired a Russian hitman to kill him in 2005

Donovan’s father John, 78, a former MIT professor and millionaire tech entrepreneur, had been embroiled in a long-running dispute with Donovan and his siblings over a trust fund worth hundreds of millions and 68-acre estate in Long Shore, Massachusetts. 

In a drama worthy of a true crime movie, John Donovan falsely accused his son of  hiring a hitman to kill him.    

In court, Jim Donovan testified that his father called him a demon, and said he should be careful because he had young children and a lot to lose. 

The father warned: ‘I will ruin you,’ Jim Donovan said.  

John was found to have shot himself in the stomach and filing a false police report.  

Relations soured further after Donovan and his siblings attempted to take control of property put in trust for them by their father.

John went on to accuse Donovan of laundering $180million through unlawful trading of restricted stock but he was cleared by Goldman Sachs after testifying against his father in court in 2007.

In October 2016, the pair returned to court again following the death of Donovan’s brother John Jr, this time in a dispute over land he had owned jointly with his father.

According to records held by the Suffolk County Probate and Family court, the case was finally closed the following October.

Despite his troubled family life, Donovan’s career has proved hugely successful with the 53-year-old instrumental in building up Goldman’s private wealth management unit.

Records held in Warrenton, Virginia, show that James Donovan filed for divorce against his wife Christina on January 23, 2019

Massachusetts native Donovan, 53, has four children, two girls and two boys, with estranged wife Christina, 48, a physical therapist. The family is pictured here together in a photo posted in February, 2018. They are members of the Piedmont Fox Hounds Hunt Club in Upperville, Virginia

Hope Hicks is in love again – and spent a weekend last month with Donovan in Los Angeles, DailyMailTV can exclusively reveal. The former Trump aide, who is due to return to the White House this month, enjoyed a string of romantic outings with him (pictured together in January)

On the weekend of February 21, Donovan paid her a visit in LA, turning up on crutches and in a leg brace (pictured). He was all smiles with his younger girlfriend as they went for dinner with friends at Mr Chow

Donovan appears to be one of the reasons for the cross-country move – with the pair first spotted canoodling in D.C. in January. They were seen at salad joint Sweetgreen in March after she returned to the capital 

One of his clients was Bain Capital, a private equity firm set up by Mitt Romney who later hired Donovan as an adviser during his 2012 presidential campaign.

He later went on to work on Jeb Bush’s failed 2016 attempt to become the Republican presidential nominee, but was nominated for the number two job at the Treasury by President Trump the following year.

Two months after his nomination, Donovan pulled out citing family concerns. In a statement released at the time, he said: ‘I am deeply honored by President Trump’s decision to nominate me as Deputy Secretary of the U.S Department of the Treasury.

‘However at this time, I want to focus on my family, and I can no longer accept it. I hope to be able to serve this administration in the future and fully support President Trump and Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s ongoing work to reform the tax system and the U.S economy.’ 

Donovan is a father of two sons and two daughters with hsi ex-wife Christina, 48.

Records held in Fauquier County Circuit Court in Warrenton, Virginia, show that Donovan filed for divorce against Christina on January 23, 2019. But the judge sealed all documents in the case including the date when the divorce was finalized.

Donovan’s physical therapist ex is thought to be living in the former family home in Upperville, Virgina.

During their marriage, the pair were known for their philanthropy – even setting up a joint foundation to fund cancer research.

Both are also members of the Piedmont Fox Hounds hunt club and are pictured riding to hounds with their children in a photo posted on Christi’s Facebook page in February 2018.

Like Hicks herself, both Donovan and Christina are keen on fitness. She has been photographed swimming and is known to be a runner.

Along with his role at Goldman Sachs, where he has worked since 1993, Donovan is an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia where he teaches corporate strategy and team management.  

The pair spent their nights at Hicks’ apartment with neither emerging until the following morning when the 31-year-old was seen strolling up to her local branch of WholeFoods to pick up breakfast.  Soon afterwards, Donovan was seen jumping in a luxury car outside her apartment block which took him to LAX where he boarded a flight bound for D.C. (pictured) 

John accused Donovan of laundering $180million through unlawful trading of restricted stock but he was cleared by Goldman Sachs after testifying against his father in court in 2007

Hicks’ return to the White House has been welcomed by insiders, among them her replacement as Director of Communications, Stephanie Grisham

Donovan has been multiple times with Hicks over the past three months and even flew down to Los Angeles for a weekend just before she moved back to DC. 

During the romantic break, the pair were spotted enjoying a double date with friends at Beverly Hills institution Mr. Chow and venturing out to Malibu for a three-hour lunch at Nobu.

Hicks is used to dealing with men with baggage after dating Rob Porter, 42, who had a girlfriend when he hooked up with Hicks and  was forced to resign after revealed his alleged history of domestic abuse 

Since Hicks’ return to DC last week, she has been staying at his $5,000-a-month apartment in the capital’s upscale Georgetown neighborhood while setting up her new home. has approached Donovan for comment. 

Hicks had put romance on the backburner during her 18-month stint in Los Angeles, although last month Vanity Fair claimed she had had a fling with a producer that foundered over their political differences.

In February 2018, broke the news of Hicks relationship with the then White House staff secretary Porter with the couple pictured canoodling in the back of a cab in DC.

Porter, 42, had a girlfriend when he first hooked up with the 31-year-old and later revealed his history of alleged domestic abuse – with both of his ex-wives claiming he had hit and belittled them during their marriages. 

Porter, then 38, had been living with a willowy blonde political appointee but the pair split around Thanksgiving 2017 after she discovered suggestive text messages between him and Hicks.

Rumors about their relationship began after they were spotted at a DC church on January 7 – praying together despite coming from different religions.

Utah-native Porter is Mormon, while Connecticut-born Hicks is Roman Catholic.

The relationship continued after both left the White House in Spring 2018 following revelations about Porter’s alleged record of domestic abuse, with the pair spotted working out together in New York.

But the romance came to an end after Hicks left DC for the West Coast to take up a lucrative job with FOX in Los Angeles.


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Nicole Kidman's Dancing During Keith Urban's Online Concert Was Too Adorable To Handle

Keith Urban just proved that the show must go on—even if you’re singing to an empty room.

After the country music star’s latest concert was cancelled due to Coronavirus concerns, he gave an impromptu performance via Instagram Live to keep his fans entertained. In the 32-minute video, Keith sang and strummed his guitar while musician Jeff Linsenmaier played keyboards and percussion in the background. Nicole Kidman also made an appearance, dancing and singing along throughout the private show.


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“Hi everyone. We’re coming to you live from our warehouse actually. This is where we store all of our gear, so it doesn’t really get on camera very much,” Keith said in the clip. “But we thought we’d just set this up to stream tonight. Honestly because I was supposed to be playing tonight, and I just thought it would be nice to be able to play anyway.”

“Even though we can’t be in front of all you guys tonight, I want to be able to play and just play some songs and bring a little bit of entertainment into your screens,” he continued. “Wherever you guys are watching, all over the world.”

Keith kicked off the set with his chart-topping hit “Somebody Like You,” but made a subtle change to the well-known lyrics. “It sure feels good to be playing live music for you on Instagram tonight,” he sang.

After the virtual concert, Nicole shared a sweet selfie of herself with Keith singing in the background. “Just loved getting to sing and dance with you all,” she captioned the shot.

If everyone in the Urban-Kidman household is as bored as we are, there may be more free concerts in our future. Fingers crossed!

Stream Keith’s Biggest Hits

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