How To Help A Friend Or Neighbour You Believe Is Experiencing Domestic Abuse

By Rachel Moss

We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus lockdown.
‘Higher Risk’ Of Domestic Abuse During Coronavirus Self-Isolation, Warn Campaigners

Heather*, a survivor who was able to escape her abusive ex-partner last year, points out that while lockdown has the potential to exacerbate abuse, it is not the reason for it.

Coronavirus doesn’t trigger abuse. An abuser triggers abuse. They find a reason even on a sunny day with no financial or health problems,” she tells HuffPost UK. “Blaming coronavirus or blaming financial worries for abuse or murder suggests anyone could become an abuser or do the same given the circumstances and this is simply not true. The responsibility for domestic abuse starts and ends with the abuser. The abuse belongs to them.”

Ordinarily, the window for a victim of abuse to seek help is “extremely limited”, says Refuge, but during periods of isolation with perpetrators, “this window narrows further”.

So, how can you tell if a neighbour, friend or family member may need help?

It’s important to remember that domestic abuse isn’t always physical. Abuse can be emotional, economic, psychological or sexual, Refuge points out.

“Coercive control is an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim,” adds Lisa Johnson, manager of direct services for Women’s Aid.

“This controlling behaviour is designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from support, exploiting them, depriving them of independence and regulating their everyday behaviour.”

During this period of isolation, Johnson says signs of abuse to out look for include:

  • Your loved one being deprived of basic needs such as food or medication.

  • They are not allowed out to go out, not even once a day to the shops.

  • They are not allowed to call any support services, including medical services.

What can you do if you suspect someone is experiencing abuse?

If you are concerned about someone’s welfare, do not approach the perpetrator, says Refuge. “This could escalate the abuse and put you and the victim at risk of harm,” a spokesperson explains.

Instead, Refuge advises calling the Freephone 24h National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247, or visiting to use the contact form for a call back from one of the helpline staff.

“They can offer you confidential support on how best to help the person you are worried about,” the spokesperson says. “If you are worried about their safety, call 999.”

If someone experiencing abuse reaches out to you, Johnson says it’s important to listen to them, try to understand their situation and take care not to blame the victim.

“Tell her that no one deserves to be threatened or beaten, despite what her abuser has told her – nothing she can do or say can justify the abuser’s behaviour,” she says. “Acknowledge that it takes strength to trust someone enough to talk to them about experiencing abuse. Give her time to talk or write, but don’t push her to go into too much detail if she doesn’t want to.”

Are women’s support services still running in lockdown?

Women’s Aid’s usual support services are still running during lockdown and Lisa Johnson recommends highlighting this to anyone who needs reassurance. The majority of UK shelters are still open, but there have also been calls for empty hotels to provide space for a potential increase in people fleeing their homes amid the pandemic.

“Survivors often find accessing online help is safer than making a phone call where they could be overheard,” Johnson adds. “Tell your friend or neighbour to contact Women’s Aid for expert support through our Live Chat helpline 10am – noon Monday to Friday, and email helpline Monday to Friday ([email protected]). Women’s Aid Survivors’ Forum will enable her to speak with other survivors in a supportive community.”

You should also encourage the person you’re trying to help to keep a mobile phone with them at all times if possible.

“The police are a key service when in immediate danger. Tell her not to be afraid to call 999 in an emergency,” says Johnson. ”If she can’t speak after calling 999, there is a system called Silent Solution – tell her press 55 on her phone and the police will know it is an emergency and she can’t speak. ”

The ’55′ Silent Solution function does not work on a landline. Those who rely on landlines, but can’t speak aloud, should “stay on the line and the operator will connect you to a police call handler,” says Refuge.

“If you need to put the phone down, the line will stay open for 45 seconds. If you pick it up again during this time and the operator is concerned for your safety, they will put you through to a police call handler. Calling 999 from a landline means the police may be able to retrieve information on your location to send help,” the spokesperson adds.

While it’s natural to want to help if you think someone is in trouble, both Refuge and Women’s Aid highlight the importance of taking a moment to consider the best course of action, instead of storming in. Try not to pressurise the victim into taking immediate action, adds Johnson.

Let her create her own boundaries of what she thinks is safe and what is not safe,” she says. “Don’t urge her to follow any strategies that she expresses doubt about.”

Remember, to report a domestic abuse emergency, you can always call 999.

Other useful numbers:

If you, or someone you know, is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. If you are not in immediate danger, you can contact:

  • The Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline (run in partnership by Women’s Aid and Refuge): 0808 2000 247
  • In Scotland, contact Scotland’s 24 hour Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline: 0800 027 1234
  • In Northern Ireland, contact the 24 hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414
  • In Wales, contact the 24 hour Life Fear Free Helpline on 0808 80 10 800.
  • National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 999 5428
  • Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
  • Respect helpline (for anyone worried about their own behaviour): 0808 802 0321



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40 Tweets From Parents About Homeschooling Amid Coronavirus

By Caroline Bologna

Parents are currently facing new challenges as communities across the country practice social distancing in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.

One of the biggest changes is the closure of schools and implementation of distance learning, which effectively means many moms and dads have to add “homeschool teacher” to their resumes.

Needless to say, the new educational circumstances have been a source of chaos and humour in countless households. As always, many parents have turned to Twitter to vent their frustration.

We’ve rounded up 40 funny and relatable tweets about homeschooling kids in this time of social distancing. Enjoy!

me: *at every parent/teacher conference ever* I want passion in my kids, a joie de vivre, the desire to question everything

me: *homeschooling day 1* just sit down, shut up and I’ll ask the questions

— bacon popsicle 🥋🧟‍♂️ (@Gupton68) March 29, 2020

I’m not saying I’m going to suck at homeschooling my kids but my daughter just asked
“Dad, what’s a synonym?”
And I replied
“It’s a spice”
Have a top week, everybody

— joe heenan (@joeheenan) March 30, 2020

Quarantine Homeschool Spirit Week!

Monday: Pajama Day!
Tuesday: Pajama Day!
Wednesday: Pajama Day!
Thursday: Pajama Day!
Friday: Pajama Day!

— Taco Dragon (@tchrquotes) March 28, 2020

First week of homeschooling I felt like Ms. Frizzle. I was so excited to teach my children in fun creative ways, but now after 2 weeks of this “homeschooling” I’m just walking around with a bottle of wine yelling at things.

— Marcy G 🍕 (@BunAndLeggings) March 31, 2020

Two weeks into homeschool and my 9 year old has already broken the world record for longest amount of time spent sharpening a pencil.

— Lurkin’ Mom (@LurkAtHomeMom) March 30, 2020

[Homeschool field trip to the laundry room]

Kids: Dad, what IS this place?

Me: I have absolutely no idea

— Son of Dad (@ThugRaccoons) March 31, 2020

Homeschool update day 10, no 12:

Somehow my kids are late to school. What is time!?

— Heather 🦠doo do doo do doo do doo do (@dishs_up) March 27, 2020

[spelling bee]

judge: your word is homeschool

me: ok, I’ve got this

judge: *laughs* do you though?

— Divergent Mama (@Divergentmama) March 26, 2020

Everyday is Crazy Hair Day at homeschool.

— Marl (@Marlebean) March 27, 2020

Homeschooling day 5

Me: don’t forget to write the date at the top of the page

7: mummy what day is it?

Me: um I think it’s Tuesday or maybe July I don’t know

— MumInBits (@MumInBits) March 27, 2020

How is your homeschooling going we are screaming at each other about parallelograms right now

— Rodney Lacroix (@RodLacroix) April 2, 2020

Homeschooling day 7: The PE teacher is not wearing a bra.

— Jessie (@mommajessiec) March 24, 2020

Homeschooling would be a lot more fun if the kid in our class wasn’t a bully.

— WTFDAD (@daddydoubts) March 30, 2020

Day two of home school: My three year-old is better than you’d expect at Grand Theft Auto.

— Julius Sharpe (@juliussharpe) March 13, 2020

Homeschooling update day 7

6 year old said she was really missing her teacher

She said it TO MY FACE

Bit rude

— ThreeTimeDaddy (@threetimedaddy) March 31, 2020

The best thing about homeschooling is that now I can add “I’ll fail you” to my repertoire of empty parenting threats

— SpacedMom (@copymama) March 27, 2020

First day of homeschool and my 13yo tried to call in sick…

— No Idea: Daddy Blog (@byclintedwards) March 30, 2020

Quarantine Day One: This could be fun! I’ve always wondered what it would be like to homeschool!


— Lurkin’ Mom (@LurkAtHomeMom) March 16, 2020

If you see my boys locked outside, mind your business.

We’re having a fire drill.#homeschool

— Jack’s Dad (@DaddingAround) March 24, 2020

Homeschooling day 4

Today there was a lot of yelling & crying, things were thrown around, it was anarchy.

But I calmed down and apologised to the kids and they seem ok about it

— MumInBits (@MumInBits) March 26, 2020

Homeschooling is just standing behind your kid checking their math on your phone calculator

— SpacedMom (@copymama) April 2, 2020

Homeschooling update day 2:

Helped 6 year old with telling the time. For instance, how there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 245,934,992 hours in 2 days of homeschooling

— ThreeTimeDaddy (@threetimedaddy) March 24, 2020


Monday: Mac n cheese with fruit cup
Tuesday: Chicken nuggets & chips
Wednesday: Mac n cheese again
Thursday: Make your own damn lunch
Friday: Cheetos

— Jessie (@mommajessiec) March 27, 2020

Day 1 of kids at home

All morning: Doing homework and reading
– No commute
– No dropoff line
– Working quietly
– Finished their projects in record time

Me: I may homeschool them from now on!!

1st free time: 60 MIN OF SCREAMING.


— Robert Knop (@FatherWithTwins) March 16, 2020

Not everyone knows this but a homeschool day is actually 40 times as long as a regular day.

— Mommy Owl (@Lhlodder) March 17, 2020


10yo: Ugh, why do I have to do all this stupid work?
Me: So you can one day become a brilliant scientist who discovers cures for viruses and saves parents from having to homeschool.

— SpacedMom (@copymama) March 18, 2020

Homeschooling day 6

Me: write a short description about life in Roman times

7: “in Roman times they were all butt heads and farted really loudly out their big butts”

Me: I don’t think that’s quite…..oh fuck it *emails to teacher*

— MumInBits (@MumInBits) March 30, 2020

So far, the kids have had the subjects of math, reading and coloring shamrocks during our homeschool time. They’ll be well ahead of the curve after the pandemic is over.

— It’sReally10Months (@really10months) March 17, 2020

After an hour of attempting to homeschool my kids, they revolted, went off schedule and started playing nicely together. New rule! If you are playing nicely together, you can continue. If you start fighting, back to the schedule!

— Ilana Wiles (@mommyshorts) March 16, 2020

L ranked all his teachers today.

I came in last place.

So, yeah. Homeschool is going great.

— Becky Too Many Kids, Send Help (@beckyhas4kids) March 18, 2020

The hardest part of homeschooling is trying to figure out what happened to Carole Baskin’s husband at the same time.

— Paige Kellerman (@PaigeKellerman) March 30, 2020

Homeschooling isn’t going great but at least my son has learned the skill of hiding in the bathroom in case he has kids one day

— Mom On The Rocks (@mom_ontherocks) March 26, 2020

It turns out the best way to respect homeschool families is to be forced to become one.

— Sammy Rhodes (@sammyrhodes) March 21, 2020

Your kids are doing homeschool still wearing Christmas pajamas too right?

— Simon Holland (@simoncholland) March 19, 2020

If there is a way to teach 4th grade fractions without a lot of crying, I don’t know what it is.

— the Mom TruthBomb (@momTruthBomb) March 27, 2020

Homeschool prom gonna be lit this fall

— Sammy Rhodes (@sammyrhodes) March 24, 2020

Homeschooling day 12: Fed the math homework to the dog myself.

— Jessie (@mommajessiec) March 31, 2020

We‘re done with homeschooling we do anger management now.

— WTFDAD (@daddydoubts) April 6, 2020

Well the good news is that all those insufferably chipper homeschooling moms have stopped posting their daily schedules.

— Ramblin Mama (@ramblinma) April 6, 2020

If there’s one thing that scares me more than an apocalyptic end of the world, it’s the possibility that if my kids fail at homeschooling they have to retake it

— ThreeTimeDaddy (@threetimedaddy) March 26, 2020

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus
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Amanda Holden Getting Dressed Up To Take The Bins Out Is A Proper Lockdown Mood

By Ash Percival

We don’t know about you, but we’re enjoying living in jogging bottoms and old sweatshirts as we all stay indoors during lockdown.

However, one person who is apparently sick to the back teeth of her comfies is

A post shared by Alan Carr (@chattyman) on Apr 6, 2020 at 10:56am PDT


Amanda has certainly been keeping herself busy during lockdown.

Last week, she shared a video of her playing an especially cunning April Fool’s prank on her daughters, Lexi, 14, and Hollie, eight, tricking them into believing they would be going to school during weekends and holidays when things eventually get back to normal.

She is also continuing to present her Heart Breakfast Show during the lockdown, travelling from her Richmond home to central London each day to wake up her listeners.

Amanda also found herself at the centre of controversy after a link to a petition suggesting 5G is linked to coronavirus appeared on her Twitter page last week.

However, she insisted she had accidentally tweeted the link, and does not believe in 5G conspiracy theories.

“Amanda was sadly emailed a petition suggesting 5G is linked to coronavirus, did not know she’d accidentally tweeted a link to it, and does not believe in 5G conspiracies,” her rep said.

She will be back on our TV screens this weekend as the new series of Britain’s Got Talent kicks off on Saturday on ITV.



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What You Need To Know About 'Zoombombing' – And How To Stay Safe

By Natasha Hinde

Children and adults have been subjected to inappropriate comments and images from hackers while using video conferencing tool, Zoom.

The act of so-called ‘Zoombombing’, which sees people enter video calls uninvited, seems to have become a regular occurrence as the tool’s popularity has
Digital Friendships Can Be Overwhelming. It’s Okay To Turn Down A Group Video Call

What is Zoom?

Zoom is a communication company founded in 2011, which offers video and audio conferencing, as well as webinars across phones, desktops, and meeting room systems.

It was relatively popular pre-lockdown, but it’s become a household name since the coronavirus outbreak, as more of us have had to work, socialise and learn from home. To put that into perspective: the number of people using it daily jumped from 10 million in December 2019 to 200 million in March.

But the conferencing system is falling victim to its own success and is proving to be a target for hackers.

Why have hackers been able to enter people’s video calls?

Every Zoom meeting has a nine-digit meeting ID that you share with people you want to chat with. Previously, to join a call, they simply needed to enter the meeting ID, and they were in.

But in some cases, that ID has become public – whether hackers found it in a web search or simply guessed it using a random set of numbers – and other people have joined the video call. This is called Zoombombing.

Now, the rules have changed slightly to stop this from happening.

How can you prevent Zoombombing?

Previously, when a host organised a Zoom meeting, they had the option to add an additional password – so their pals would need this, as well as the meeting ID, to enter. As this was an option and not the default, though, it wasn’t always used by hosts.

As of 5 April, however, Zoom made passwords mandatory for members. This means all users now need a password and the ID number to enter a call. This lowers the risk of hackers entering.

Once all the people are in, hosts can also lock the meeting, so no new users can join. To do this, click “participants” at the bottom of the Zoom window, and press “Lock Meeting”.

Other key ways to prevent Zoombombing:

  • Don’t share your meeting link on social media or other public forums. When you do this anyone can join your meeting.

  • Use the “waiting area” setting so people can’t join the meeting immediately and you can keep an eye on who’s joining.

  • Increase security by only allowing signed-in users to join. This basically means if someone tries to join your event and isn’t logged into Zoom with the email they were invited through, they’ll have to sign up.

  • To avoid unsolicited pics or other content from being shared, turn off file transfer before hosting a meeting.

What are the alternatives?

Not convinced Zoom is for you? There are other options. WhatsApp video calls, Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger are some of the well-known alternatives. Techradar also suggests Google Duo and Line.

Whatever you use, read around and get clued up about the privacy options before committing to it.



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Boris Johnson Awake And Breathing Without Ventilator In Intensive Care, Says No.10

By Ned Simons

Coronavirus has changed everything. Make sense of it all with the Waugh Zone, our evening politics briefing. Sign up now.

Boris Johnson is breathing without a ventilator and is in “good spirits” while being treated in intensive care for coronavirus symptoms, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday evening as his condition worsened.

On Tuesday afternoon, his official spokesperson said: “The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other treatment.

“He has not required mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support.”

No.10 said Johnson has not been diagnosed with pneumonia, which affects some Covid-19 patients, but has been moved to intensive care “as a precautionary step in the event that he were to need ventilation.”

The spokesman refused to say whether the PM was able to sit up and talk or use his phone to communicate with officials, who are working from No.10, or his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds.

Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, is currently standing in for the prime minister.

Johnson has sent Raab a message saying he wanted him to assume some of the PM’s responsibilities “where appropriate”. They last spoke on Saturday.

Downing Street confirmed that if Raab is also incapacitated, chancellor Rishi Sunak would step into the role at the top of government according to the “established order of precedent”.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, who is taking charge of the government's response to the coronavirus crisis after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care Monday, arrives at 10 Downing Street, London.

The pressure on the government was underlined this morning when it emerged that Michael Gove – one of the senior ministers leading the government’s response to the crisis – had been forced to self-isolate after a family member displayed symptoms.

Johnson’s top aide Dominic Cummings also went into self isolation last week and has not returned to No.10 since, the spokesman said.

Cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill is however working as usual.

Raab is continuing to work from the Foreign Office and is being supported by officials from across Whitehall.

He will chair the national security council if required while the PM is in hospital and has the responsibility along with the rest of the cabinet to authorise actions to protect the UK.

“The first secretary of state and cabinet have the authority and ability to respond in the prime minister’s absence.

“The UK has a robust national security architecture, including the national security council, which is designed to be resilient and able to operate effectively under different circumstances.”

Johnson was admitted to hospital on Sunday evening, 10 days after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Downing Street said at the time that the move was a “precautionary step” as his symptoms of a cough and high temperature were continuing to persist after 10 days in self-isolation.

Initially he was said to have been continuing to work from his hospital bed and was receiving his ministerial red boxes.

But by 7pm on Monday, the decision was made to transfer him to intensive care so that a ventilator was close at hand if required.

The cabinet was informed shortly afterwards and the move was made public in an announcement by No 10 shortly after 8pm.

Gove this morning said Johnson was receiving the “very, very best care” and insisted that the government machine is continuing to function.

The PM has also received good wishes from leaders from around the world.

But Downing Street appeared to snub Donald Trump’s offer to approach US pharmaceutical companies to ask them to offer the PM experimental coronavirus drugs.

“We are grateful for all the warm wishes the prime minister has received overnight, we are confident that the prime minister is receiving the best possible care from the National Health Service,” the spokesman said.

“Any treatment which he receives is a matter for his doctors.”



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We're Sunbathing Indoors During Lockdown. Here's How You Can, Too

By Amy Packham

We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus lockdown. .

Depending on your flat or house, you can get creative, too. Grab a yoga mat and lay it down in your hallway if that’s where the sun is hitting, then search YouTube for the sound of the sea and enjoy a mini trip to the beach, lying on your floor, in your own living room.

It’s all in the imagination, guys.

Sunbathing like a pro.



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Michael Gove Self-Isolating After Family Member Experiences Coronavirus Symptoms

By Ned Simons

Michael Gove is in self-isolation at home after a member of his family experienced coronavirus symptoms.

The Cabinet Office minister, one of the most senior figures in government, has said he is not displaying any symptoms himself.

Many thanks for kind messages. In accordance with the guidance, I am isolating at home after a member of my family started to display mild symptoms of coronavirus on Sunday. I have not displayed any symptoms and am continuing to work as normal. #StayHomeSaveLives

— Michael Gove (@michaelgove) April 7, 2020

In a series of interviews this morning, Gove insisted the business of government will carry on after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care following a worsening of his coronavirus symptoms.

The prime minister was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday evening as what was said to be a “precaution” in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.

In Johnson’s absence, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, is standing in for him.

The deterioration in the PM’s condition comes at a critical moment in the coronavirus crisis, with the epidemic expected to reach its peak in the UK in the coming days.

There was a sense of shock in Westminster and beyond at the speed of his apparent decline following his admission to hospital on Sunday.

Downing Street said at the time that the move was a “precautionary step” as his symptoms of a cough and high temperature were continuing to persist after 10 days in self-isolation.

Initially he was said to have been continuing to work from his hospital bed and was receiving his ministerial red boxes.

But by 7pm on Monday, the decision was made to transfer him to intensive care so that a ventilator was close at hand if required.

The cabinet was informed shortly afterwards and the move was made public in an announcement by No. 10 shortly after 8pm.



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The One Show's Home Hairdressing Segment Sparks Nearly 300 Complaints

By Ash Percival

Michael also shared a post on Instagram to clarify his comments, saying: “It wasn’t an incorrect statement, but I probably should have clarified that what the hairdresser offers is the skill and expertise, application, colour choice, the ability to blend colours together.

“I was making a point that it is safe to colour your own hair…perhaps in retrospect I would have phrased things differently.”

The One Show airs nightly at 7pm on BBC One.



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Comic Relief And Children In Need Team Up For New TV Event To Celebrate UK's 'Resilience'

By Daniel Welsh

As with usual Red Nose Day and Children In Need telethons, we should expect live performances (direct from the artists’ homes) and “big surprises”.

There’ll also be the chance to win “money can’t buy” prizes and a celebration of the “incredible community heroes” who have helped out during the crisis.

The Big Night In will air for three hours from 7pm on Thursday 23 April.



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Black The Ripper Remembered By Skepta, Dave And Maya Jama Following His Death, Aged 32

By Daniel Welsh

A post shared by Big Narstie (@bignarstie) on Apr 6, 2020 at 2:36pm PDT

Condolences and prayers to Black The Rippers family this is devastating news 🙏🏾🙏🏾

— #RIPCARMEN 💔 (@LadyLeshurr) April 6, 2020

2020 is cancelled. Swear down. Just pause it and stop taking lives man wtf 💔

— #RIPCARMEN 💔 (@LadyLeshurr) April 6, 2020

This year is really going for it. RIP Black The Ripper 💔🖤

— Rizzle Kicks (@RizzleKicks) April 6, 2020

Light one up for Black the ripper ❤️🙏🏾 very sad news man


Rest in peace Black the Ripper. Sad sad times man! Thoughts go out to his family at this time x

— Dynamo (@Dynamomagician) April 6, 2020

I can’t believe this is real 😔 R.I.P 💔

— #TCWE2 (@MsBanks) April 7, 2020

I don’t wanna talk like me and Black The Ripper were close but there’s so many things he’s done on record and behind scenes that shaped this game. Not many shouted ‘Fuck the industry’ louder than him and then carved their own lane. A lot of real heads are shedding tears tonight

— Genesis Elijah (@GenesisElijah) April 7, 2020



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‘Donald Trump Has Blood On His Hands’: NYC Official Lashes Out After Mother's Death

By Ed Mazza

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer says President Donald Trump has “blood on his hands” after he lost his mother to the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.

Arlene Stringer-Cuevas, a teacher who served on the New York City Council in the 1970s, died Friday at the age of 86.

In a CNN interview, Stringer eulogised his “extraordinary” mother as a “New York original” who loved her city.

Then he pointed the finger at Trump for his administration’s failures on addressing the pandemic.

“In New York City, this is playing out in so many families, and I’ve got to tell you, Donald Trump has blood on his hands and he has my mom’s blood on his hands,” Stringer told Anderson Cooper, saying the government is supposed to be able to protect the people:

New York is one of the epicentres of the outbreak, with more than120,000 in the state testing positive, 16,000 in hospitals and nearly 5,000 dead ― with nearly half of the fatalities in New York City, according to the latest numbers in The New York Times.

Despite the grim numbers, Governor Andrew Cuomo on Monday said there were signs the figures are starting to stabilise ― but he warned residents to keep at home to stem the spread of the virus.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus



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US Police Look For Woman Who Says She’s ‘COVID-19 Positive’ And ‘Wilfully Spreading’ It

By Elyse Wanshel

Police in Texas are asking people to help them track down a young woman who claims to have COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and is “willingly spreading” it. Police will charge her with “terroristic threat.”

On Sunday, Carrollton Police Department identified Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, as the person who posted a series of worrisome and bizarre videos on Snapchat over the weekend.

In one of these videos, Maradiaga is seen filming herself at what she says is a Walmart and issues a strange threat to the camera, KXAS, a local news station in Dallas-Fort Worth, reported.

“I’m here at Walmart about to infest every (expletive), because if I’m going down, all you (expletive) are going down,” she said, per the station.

In another video seen by KXAS, the woman appears to be sitting in a car at a coronavirus drive-through testing site. A nurse can be heard telling the person driving the car to go home and wait for the test results.

Maradiaga also filmed herself later that day repeatedly coughing into the camera and saying, per KXAS: “If you want to get the coronavirus and (expletive) die, call me.”

The Carrollton Texas Police Department noted on Twitter that they are unsure if Maradiaga has COVID-19, and “have no confirmation Maradiaga is actually a threat to public health.” But they are taking the teen’s actions on social media “very seriously.”

We have no confirmation Maradiaga is actually a threat to public health. We are, however, taking her social media actions very seriously.

— Carrollton TX Police (@CarrolltonTXPD) April 5, 2020

A representative from the Carrollton Police Department told HuffPost that officers went to Maradiaga’s house on Sunday, but she was not home. As of Monday they are still searching for her.

The rep said that the department’s criminal investigations and intelligence division are currently on the case. They added that they’re now also working “in conjunction with the Dallas Field Office of the FBI.”

Maradiaga isn’t the only person threatening public health on social media amid the coronavirus pandemic. In March, a man in Missouri was charged with a terrorist threat after he filmed himself in a Walmart saying, “Who’s afraid of coronavirus? Don’t touch your mouth,” before licking a row of deodorant sticks on the store’s shelf.

On Sunday, a Twitter user responded to the Carrollton Texas Police Department’s post about the woman’s whereabouts with a video that is presumably from Maradiaga’s Snapchat account.

In it, Maradiaga appears to be in a car while talking to the camera.

“Like 60 people screen-recorded my whole Snapchat, I don’t give a fuck,” she says, presumably about the content of her earlier posts. “Make me famous, bitch.”

ew this girl think she’s bad or something. she deadass has corona and refuses to stay in quarantine. this is so the most selfish thing i’ve seen 🤮
(she lives in the carrollton/ farmers branch area) so y’all be careful and if y’all see her throw a brick at her for me🤍

— samantha 🦋 (@saman4ha) April 4, 2020

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus



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Coronavirus Death Toll In US Surpasses 10,000

By Hayley Miller

The US death toll from the new coronavirus surpassed 10,000 on Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

More than 347,000 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in the US, and over 1.3 million have been reported globally. At least 72,000 people across the world have died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

New York state has reported a sizable chunk of the total confirmed cases in the US with more than 122,000 known infections. More than half of those cases have been recorded in New York City.

China documented the world’s first known case of COVID-19 in December. Scientists believe the virus was transmitted from a bat to humans via an intermediate animal.

The US documented its first known case on January 21 in Washington state. The patient was a man in his 30s who had developed symptoms after returning from a trip to China.

As of Monday, at least 176 countries have reported infections. The US has reported the third-highest number of COVID-19 deaths, trailing behind Italy and Spain, which have suffered more than 16,000 and 13,000, respectively.

A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus



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Don't Catch Coronavirus Deliberately Just To Get An 'Immunity Passport', Brits Warned

By Ned Simons

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Britons have been warned by a leading global expert in the spread of coronavirus it is “not a good idea” to contract the disease on purpose in an attempt to secure a so-called immunity passport, which could grant them the freedom to return to normal life.

The government is hopeful of obtaining an antibody test that would show whether someone has already had the illness.

People who have recovered from the disease are thought likely to be immune, or at least to have increased immunity.

Boris Johnson has previously talked up an home antibody test as a potential “game changer”.

And Matt Hancock, the health secretary, has raised the possibility the government could grant an “immunity certificate or maybe a wristband” to people “when the science is good enough” to allow them more freedom from lockdown measures.

David Heymann, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, told HuffPost UK there was “always a concern” people could therefore try to be infected deliberately.

“There was chickenpox before,” he said. “Many times people try and expose their children to measles to get them sick early on so they would be immune later on.

“It’s not a good idea. This disease is infectious and it affects all people and can cause illness in all people.”

 Professor David L. Heymann is advising the WHO on the spread of coronavirus.

Heymann headed up the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) response to the 2003 Sars epidemic. From 2012 to March 2017 he was chair of Public Health England (PHE).

He said the form any immunity document took “would depend on the government and what national tradition is”.

The professor, who is currently advising the WHO on coronavirus, added: “I think if there is a passport rolled out where there are people with antibodies who are then able to go back to work, there has to be clear instructions to them as to what that means and the risk of trying to become infected themselves.”

But professor Sir John Bell, who advises the government on coronavirus, warned today it would be “at least a month” until a reliable test was available.

Writing on his website, the Oxford academic said: “We clearly want to avoid telling people they are immune when they are not, and we want all people who are immune to know accurately so they can get back to work.

“The Spanish apparently returned test kits that were not working, and the Germans who are developing their own sensitive kits believe they are three months away from getting these available and validated.”

And Professor John Newton, the director of health improvement at PHE who has been tasked with overseeing the UK’s coronavirus testing regime, told The Times the antibody tests looked at so far by the government were “not good enough to be worth rolling out in very large scale”.

The number of coronavirus-related hospital deaths in the UK stood at 5,373 patients as of 5pm on Sunday, up by 439 from 4,934 the day before.

Amid some attacks on how the UK government has responded to the spread of the virus, Heymann said it “doesn’t do any good to just criticise” past actions of ministers and officials.

“I don’t think it’s useful to look back at this point in time. We’re all in this together. We have to move forward together. What’s happened in the past will be identified afterwards,” he said.

He added “of course” it was a bad idea to set an arbitrary date for when lockdown measures would or should be lifted. “It needs to be done on current risk assessment and containment of the targets that have been set for the lockdown,” he said.



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