Day: June 13, 2020

What It’s Like to Be an Advice Columnist During a Global Pandemic

In the weeks before the coronavirus reshaped the lives of people around the world, Daniel M. Lavery, who writes the “Dear Prudence” advice column at Slate, received an unusual letter. The writer, in the course of asking for tips for dealing with a husband who kept leaving bits of toenail around the house, admitted to dealing with the problem by putting the toenail bits in his coffee cup.

By the time Lavery answered the question in April, the world had changed–and so had his thinking on the issue. As the increased closeness of shelter-in-place orders amplified existing frustrations, what might that marriage look like? “I think about this letter writer a lot,” Lavery says.

By now, as the world changes once again, questions that address the pandemic directly have been filling his inbox for months. There was the reader looking for adjudication in a dispute with a nurse friend who

Read More

The best virtual escape rooms to play online with friends

We could all do with a bit of escapism from reality at the minute, as lockdown continues in the UK.

Escape rooms are very popular with groups who love a challenge, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, all of them in the UK have closed their doors for the foreseeable.

But in the past few weeks, escape rooms have come online instead to make socialising with your friends adrenaline-pumping.

Even the World Health Organisation is urging everyone to stay at home and play games, so if you need some more inspiration we’ve rounded up the best apps that you can play games on with friends and family here.

As with physical escape rooms, the mission is as the name suggests – to escape the room – through a series of problem-solving missions and teamwork. Here are a few of our favourites.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn

Read More

Alarming rise in confirmed cases in U.S. states spared from first outbreaks

While coronavirus cases in the former epicenter of New York have been steadily decreasing over the past few weeks, new cases are popping up in other areas of the U.S.

States like Texas, California, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah, North Carolina, and South Carolina are seeing increased rates of positive COVID-19 tests. Many of these are being attributed to Memorial Day weekend activities, in which many crowds assembled throughout that weekend, potentially exposing themselves.

Coronavirus cases are declining in New York but remaining steadfast in the rest of the U.S. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

“In many parts of the country, there was minimal exposure,” Dr. David Katz, a specialist in preventative medicine and president of Public Health and True Health Initiative, said on Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker. “People followed the rules, sheltered in place, socially distanced. And now there’s sort of a haphazard return to the world without a lot

Read More

CDC issues guide to going out in COVID-19 world

COVID-19 changed how the world operates — from remote learning to grocery deliveries. But as states peel back restrictions and businesses reopen, some have questioned how they should safely resume their daily activities.

On Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new set of guidelines addressing what that might look like within the confines of a pandemic.

Some say it was long overdue.

Julia Marcus is a Harvard medical school professor who advocated for public health guidelines on how to navigate everyday life during the pandemic in an article for The Atlantic last month. On Friday, she told the Associated Press “she was delighted by the CDC’s tips.”

“I think it’s a huge step in the right direction,” Marcus told the AP. “These guidelines are really directed toward ordinary Americans trying to make decisions about risk every day.”

What to ask yourself before going out


Read More

9 things you need to know before your appointment

Teeth whitening is becoming more accessible – both over-the-counter and at your dentist – and fortunately the processes have come a long way. If you’re considering whitening your teeth, we spoke to the experts about everything you should know first.

The procedure

It’s a relatively straightforward procedure. Teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to make them lighter. Teeth whitening can’t make your teeth brilliant white, but it can lighten the existing colour by several shades, explains clinical director Steve Williams at Mydentist.

The dentist will check that your teeth are healthy and suitable to proceed, whilst also discussing your expectations. If you’re happy to continue, the dentist will first take an impression of the teeth.

“This is a simple procedure that takes a mould so that the whitening trays can be made bespoke for yourself. A shade of your teeth before treatment is taken, so that you are able to

Read More

Online programs used for coronavirus-era school promise results. The claims are misleading

This story about education software was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up for the Hechinger newsletter.

Coronavirus school closures in all 50 states sent educators and parents scrambling to find online learning resources to keep kids busy and productive at home. Website traffic to the homepage for IXL, a popular tool that lets students practice skills across five subjects through online quizzes, spiked in March. Same for Matific, which gives students math practice tailored to their skill level, and Edgenuity, which develops online courses.

All three of these companies try to hook prospective users with claims on their websites about their products’ effectiveness. Matific boasts that its game-based activities are “proven to help increase results by 34 percent.” IXL says its program is “proven effective” and research “has shown over and over that IXL produces real results.”

Read More

How spas will look when they reopen after lockdown

After months of lockdown spent juggling working from home with parenting, health concerns and financial woes, many of us have been left feeling anxious, fatigued and highly strung.

If there was ever a time for self-care it is now. The ultimate spa experience is something many of us are desperate to indulge in, with our sunlight-starved skin and poor posture longing to be pacified by the hands of a professional while surrounded by lavender scented spritzes and soft music.

But with the hospitality industry closed for business due to the coronavirus outbreak, a deep tissue massage or aromatherapy facial is sadly off the cards.

Just like hairdressers and beauty salons, all spas have been closed since Boris Johnson imposed a nationwide lockdown on 23 March and while many of the restrictions have started to ease, spas are likely to be one of the last outlets to open.

The date for

Read More

Accessible Mental Health Resources for Black Women

If you need mental health assistance right now, call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-NAMI or text “NAMI” to 741741.

Black lives matter, and so does Black mental health. The Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health reports that African Americans are 10 percent more likely to experience serious psychological distress. At the same time, only 30 percent of African American adults with mental illnesses get help each year, which is below the U.S. average of 43 percent.

Racism and racial trauma continue to affect the mental well-being of Black people, who already face so many obstacles when it comes to receiving mental health treatment. As the National Alliance on Mental Illness stated, “Racism is a public health crisis.”

If you feel like the continued incidents of police brutality and lack of injustice for Black lives (on top of living in a society that upholds systems of racism) are taking

Read More

Why you could be doing your online workout wrong

Coronavirus Charity Appeal – compact puff to donate page – article embed

Right now online workouts are a godsend – keeping us fit both physically and mentally. Apps and live streaming services have replaced our daily (OK, weekly) visit to the gym, and suddenly every ‘fitfluencer’ worth his or her salt is posting routines on Facebook, YouYube and Instagram.

These days your (workout) world is your oyster: you can do Hatha yoga for breakfast, HIIT for elevenses, resistance bands at lunchtime and 80’s aerobics for tea. Whatever takes your fancy, there’s a routine for you out there, and very often they’re free. 

But what if you found that your workout isn’t actually as good as you think it is? That it isn’t getting you fitter and that it could be actually doing you more harm than good?

Personal trainer Aaron Roberts-Rudland believes there are a lot of bad online

Read More

To solve California’s coronavirus-fueled budget woes, Newsom should gamble on sports betting

Amado Nanalang watches basketball games while making bets at a sports book in Las Vegas. Some legislators hope to legalize sports betting in California. <span class="copyright">(John Locher / Associated Press)</span>
Amado Nanalang watches basketball games while making bets at a sports book in Las Vegas. Some legislators hope to legalize sports betting in California. (John Locher / Associated Press)

If we legalize sports betting in California, schoolkids will be the winners.

Maybe also the aged poor. And working single moms looking for child care while schools are shuttered.

Practically every state legislator — Democrat and Republican — is attacking Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed draconian cuts in funding for K-12 schools, impoverished seniors, healthcare for the poor and a long list of safety net programs.

But very few are suggesting serious ways to blunt the governor’s chopping ax by raising new revenue — the dirty T-word for tax.

Two exceptions are Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa and Assemblyman Adam Gray of Merced. They’re proposing that California finally legalize sports betting — as 23 other states have done — and reap

Read More