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15 things to help you stay connected to friends and family this summer

These products can help you feel connected to friends and family this summer.
These products can help you feel connected to friends and family this summer.

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Whether you live across the country or down the street, it can be challenging to stay connected with your friends and family (especially with everything that’s going on in the world right now). Life has a tendency of getting in the way, and before you know it, you might not have talked or visited your loved ones in a few weeks, a month, or more.

Even when you’re crunched for time, there are ways you can stay in touch with the people who are most important to you—many of which include the help of today’s latest technologies. With these 15 cool products, you’ll be able to stay connected to everyone in your inner circle, even when a pandemic,

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UV sterilizers that can help you kill all the germs

It seems the COVID-19 nightmare isn’t going to conclude anytime soon, since we’re months into the pandemic and are projected to have months, if not years, left to go. Given the uncertainty of what lies ahead, many people have begun investigating how best to protect themselves from whatever biological threats may await them in a world that’s more scared of germs and bacteria than ever before. One solution people are gravitating toward is ultraviolet light.

UV light is used as part of a process called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, or UVGI for short. The idea is that short-wavelength emissions of UV light can kill bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful microorganisms. For that reason, simply waving a UV wand’s light over a surface for a brief period of time is enough to sterilize it and eradicate the most potential threats to your health.

So, now that you

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Mortgage Lenders ‘Make Hay’ With Loan Spreads Widest Since 2008

(Bloomberg) — Unemployment is high. Credit is tight. And scientists are warning that a dangerous second wave of the coronavirus is coming. But somehow, U.S. mortgage companies are having one of their best years in history.

Just ask Keith VandenAkker. He’s forgoing weekends to keep up with the work.

In 22 years as a Massachusetts mortgage appraiser, he’s never been this busy. The jump in refinancing was to be expected, with rates near record lows. The surprise, he said, is that the spring property sales season, delayed for a couple months by the health crisis, is demanding most of his time.

“June is kicking my butt,” VandenAkker said, rushing in his silver Subaru, mask in hand, to the next appraisal. “I got 8 or 9 orders yesterday and I’m just a one-man show.”

Lenders are getting bombarded with calls from homeowners looking for cheaper loans. They’re also hearing from potential

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Two million people forced to shield from Covid-19 to be released at ‘end of July’

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

More than 2 million people who are under orders to stay home and be fully “shielded” will be told they can stop isolating at the end of next month, it has emerged.

After being forced to “cocoon” themselves at home since the beginning of lockdown, members of the public classed as extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 are reportedly to be released from self-isolation at the end of July.

Whilst Downing Street insisted that no final decision had been made, other Government sources said reports that the policy will be relaxed in July were accurate.

Separately, senior Cabinet members indicated that two other major lockdown relaxations – cutting the two-metre social distancing rule and the creation of air bridges for British holidaymakers – were expected to be finalised by the “end of next week”.

Speaking to The Telegraph, a senior minister said a Downing Street review of the two-metre rule

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Reward for missing Fort Hood soldier raised to $50,000

The reward to help find missing Fort Hood, Texas soldier Vanessa Guillen has doubled to $50,000, nearly two months after she disappeared. The search for Guillen has attracted nationwide attention, including support from Texas Congresswoman Sylvia García and actress Selma Hayek. 

The Army Criminal Investigation Command said Guillen, 20, has not been heard from since April 22. She was last seen in the parking lot of her military unit’s headquarters in Fort Hood, wearing a black T-shirt and purple fitness-type pants. Her car and room keys, identification card and wallet were found in an armory room where she was working earlier in the day.

Congresswoman García, who represents part of the Houston area, announced in a Zoom press conference on Tuesday that her office has asked the FBI for further help and opened a congressional inquiry with the Department of Defense. 

“We need to get to the bottom of this,”

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Ontario urges use of face masks, U.S.-Canada border to remain closed

As cases of COVID-19 continue to spread around the world, Canadians seem to be increasingly concerned about their health and safety

Check back for the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak in Canada.

For a full archive of the first month of the pandemic, please check our archive of events.

Two workers have died in the province and 300 Mexicans in Canada are believed to be infected with the virus.

Ford said 724 works have been tested in Windsor-Essex but stressed the province can’t force anyone to get tested.

“We can’t force anyone to get a test, we’re encouraging them to get a test,” Ford said. “I want the cooperation of farmers and the workers.”

Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Christine Elliott, said the provincial government maintains that physical distancing is the most important rules to follow, with no plans to make mask wearing mandatory.

“Physical distancing is still … Read More

High-Volume MD Coronavirus Testing Site Opening

MARYLAND — One week after Gov. Larry Hogan told protesters to get tested for the coronavirus, the state will open up a high-volume testing site at the Baltimore Convention Center. It will start operating Wednesday, and people can now schedule appointments online.

Those who get tested at the convention center will receive their results in two to five days, according to the University of Maryland Medical System, which is overseeing scheduling at the site.

It will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, and Friday, June 19, at 1 West Pratt Street in Baltimore.

“Our health experts are strongly encouraging anyone who attended any of the protests or gatherings in Maryland over the past two weeks to immediately get tested for the coronavirus,” Hogan said at a news conference Wednesday, June 10, as he announced the lifting of restrictions on indoor dining and starting Friday,

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How to survive without your daily dose of Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks
Joe Wicks

Listen: Joe Wicks needs a break. Since the 23rd of March – that’s roughly three months or a geological eon ago, depending on how lockdown’s warped your sense of time – he’s been tirelessly turning up on TV and laptop screens every morning, bouncing off the walls at 9am in a bit to keep the nation fit and (somewhat) sane. 

Now, after several thousand Spider-Man lunges, many of them done dressed as Hanna Barbera characters, the nation’s favorite PE teacher has announced that he’s taking some downtime. He’s cutting back to three days a week – still more than almost everyone else was exercising before this all started – and many fresh-minted fans are, understandably, bereft.

With fitness, after all, the habit is the thing: clocking in at a set time every day to get the sweat flowing and endorphins going is the best way to stop the

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These Massage Therapists Worry About the Effects of COVID-19 on the Future of Their Industry

While the pandemic has been difficult for many, for those who are in the business of touch, the pain of social distancing has cut a level deeper. Relying entirely on in-person, hands-on services, massage therapists saw their business wiped out entirely in the blink of an eye when social distancing became a nearly ubiquitous mandate.

While their business has been on ice, some massage therapists have already pivoted to new ventures, while others are holding the line until they can return to what they know best. Areefa Mohamed, a New York City-based massage therapist who has been practicing for 10 years now, relates all too well. She’s found herself completely out of work since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “COVID-19 has affected me as a therapist because we are not physically able to help clients or to physically work. It’s a scary time and not being able to alleviate

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As L.A. reopens, an underground dance party draws revelers and worries health experts

Masked partygoers pass through a secret gate to attend an underground club Friday. <span class="copyright">(Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)</span>
Masked partygoers pass through a secret gate to attend an underground club Friday. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times)

At midnight on Friday, a security guard opened a thick steel door into a South L.A. warehouse. Unfamiliar sounds of late poured out from underneath: music, laughing and dancing. “Inside, inside,” the guard commanded, and slammed it shut behind a small line of wary but elated partygoers in paisley-print facemasks. A pink neon light beckoned them to a pair of masked ushers, who checked tickets for what was likely L.A.’s first underground club night since the coronavirus lockdowns began.

Around a dozen techno fans clustered on the small outdoor patio next to an enclosed main dance floor. The crowd wasn’t very big, at that point far fewer than 100 people. But as more guests trickled in to see the dark-techno DJ Axkan perform, some looked around in giddy disbelief that this was actually

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