Blog Archive


L.A. County Could See New COVID-19 Lockdown “Early Next Week”; Record New Cases & Hospitalizations In Region

Mere minutes after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new regional stay-at-home order for the state to counter rising coronavirus cases, Los Angeles County health officials said Thursday that the looming shutdown could hit the battered region within days.

“The anticipation is that threshold might be reached sometime early next week,” Dr. Christina Ghaly declared today of the order that kicks in once ICU capacity falls below 15% in specific regions of the Golden State. “It would be the Southern California region that would reach that threshold, not L.A. County alone,” added the area’s Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis in a clarification after Health Services Director Ghaly spoke.

Still, the wider scope doesn’t take any of the intensity out of the dire situation.

Right now, ICU beds are at 76% occupancy of the “roughly” 2,500 available in the county, Ghaly said at Thursday’s comparatively low-key briefing.

That ICU data should

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  • December 4, 2020

Nine weird lockdown habits we might never be able to kick

We’re on the cusp of the next phase of what you might call restricted living. Come the end of the week we could be in Tier 3, Tier 2, voluntarily sheltering – who knows? – but whatever happens we’re beginning to realise we’re never going to rid ourselves of all the weird habits we’ve developed during the course of two lockdowns.

Here are a few of them:

1. Throwing stuff out every single day

Something about that original super spring clean has turned us into our own hypervigilant robomaids. We’re forever rooting out the dead wood. Rushing to the dump with an obsolete lamp that we missed during the last sweep. Some of us are going to the dump as often as we used to go the pub, possibly instead of the pub. Repeat after me: a house is a machine for living in and let’s keep it that way.

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  • November 30, 2020

‘Holidays have been banned – but I made thousands selling travel in lockdown’

Mr Kelbie said his biggest commission had come from a booking to Mykonos this summer, which made him £1,800. He had contacted an Airbnb villa owner and negotiated the price from £19,000 to £13,000 on behalf of his client.

James Ferrara, founder of InteleTravel, said the business model had “offered a lifeline” to people at a time of record layoffs, particularly in the tourism industry. He said: “We have doubled travel sales since 2019, even while travel was at a standstill. People will always book a holiday.”

Mr Ferrara predicted a holiday boom in 2021 would make next year even more lucrative for his firm’s agents.

While there may be optimism for the new year, for now, people are stuck at home and many new travel agents have been unable to make money.

Emily Heath, a 56-year-old carer whose name has been changed, is more than £300 out of pocket

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  • November 28, 2020

Can I go on holiday after lockdown? What the new tier system means for getaways

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock has today revealed what tier each part of the country will fall under, when lockdown ends on December 2.

Manchester, Hull and Newcastle are among swathes of the North set to face the toughest coronavirus restrictions with only three areas – Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight placed into the lowest Tier 1 category.

The shift from national lockdown to a tiered system means that holidays will be back on the cards for people living in Tiers 1 and 2, where hotels and self-catering accommodation can reopen.

For anyone falling in Tier 3, however, hotels will remain closed, group holidays with multiple households will be banned, and non-essential travel in and out of your area will still be prohibited.

So will you be able to travel overseas, or within the UK, after December 2? Here’s a look at what re-entering the

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  • November 27, 2020

America never did lockdown.

a yellow gate and an opening lock
Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash

In America right now, we’re sort-of attempting to cancel Thanksgiving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s director of preparedness announced at a press conference last week that the organization is “recommending against travel.” The guidelines online provide more nuance than that, outlining various considerations for risk reduction, like shortening the “duration of the gathering,” and considering the “behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering.” Health experts of many sorts, as detailed in trend pieces, are eating with their households alone, but others are gathering in small groups with precautions. Some are planning to drink with relatives, but not eat; some are planning on eating, but only outside. Some of us are attempting to shame others into complying with the “rules,” which is difficult, because the “rules” are only really suggestions.

The “rules” also vary a lot by geographical location. Coronavirus is surging nationally,

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  • November 25, 2020

MPs draw up plans to ensure golf can resume after second national lockdown

Plans to ensure golf was the first sport to return after the second national coronavirus lockdown were being drawn up by MPs on Saturday ahead of a parliamentary debate on the “ridiculous” closure of courses.

The Telegraph Sport revelation that gyms and leisure centres would be allowed to reopen after December 2 sparked calls for outdoor grassroots and children’s sport to be cleared to resume as well.

That included golf, a debate on which will be staged in Westminster Hall on Monda afternoon after a petition to exempt courses from the list of venues required to close due to Covid-19 attracted more than a quarter of a million signatures.

Craig Tracey, the chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf, told Telegraph Sport there was “unlikely” to be a U-turn from Boris Johnson on the current restrictions.

But he added: “What we’re working towards now is getting it the first

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  • November 21, 2020

What England’s Covid lockdown rules mean for you

In a separate letter to vice-chancellors, the minister said she wanted all students to have “some form of face-to-face learning” where possible, as they had not seen evidence of increased transmission within teaching environments on university campuses.

The University and College Union (UCU) called on vice-chancellors to move all non-essential activities online to keep students and staff safe and to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

The Department for Education (DfE) also offered guidance on what universities and students in England should do under the current restrictions, saying face-to-face teaching should continue where it can be done safely.

The guidance said “commuter students” – those who live at their family home and travel to the university campus for lessons – would still be allowed to attend the university for educational purposes during this lockdown.

It also advised that face coverings should be worn in all university learning environments, providing that they

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  • November 21, 2020

Doctor Who’s Mandip Gill talks making a Black Mirror-style movie in lockdown

From Digital Spy

Interactive movie Five Dates lands this week. From November 17, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch fans will be able to embark on a much lighter take on the concept of a narrative delivered via a click-based adventure.

Featuring Doctor Who’s Mandip Gill (Yaz), Five Dates is an online rom-com (ROM-com?) telling the story of Vinny (Two Weeks to Live’s Taheen Modak), a charming (or slightly less charming, depending on which options you choose) singleton who’s signed up for a dating app to help him get through lockdown. Vinny has five dates to go on, and one of his matches is played by Gill.

Photo credit: Good Gate Media

So, yeah, less heavy than Black Mirror, but it turns out Gill had already avoided the darker version of Bandersnatch going into Five Dates.

“I played it a couple of times. I’m not really adventurous, so I was like ‘No,

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  • November 16, 2020

10 decadent lockdown cocktails to make at home this month

The Manhattan is widely said to have been invented at New York’s Manhattan Club in the mid-1870s. Cocktail lore has it that Lady Randolph Churchill (Winston’s mother) was hosting a banquet for presidential candidate Samuel J. Tilden on the night it was first concocted.

Experts dispute this story, on the basis that Churchill would have been in England, giving birth to Winston, on the date the banquet was allegedly held. An alternative story has it that the drink was invented by a man known only as ‘Black’, who “kept a place ten doors below Houston Street on Broadway in the 1860s – probably the most famous drink in the world at the time”.

A third legend posits that the drink was invented by Colonel Joe Walker, who ran a saloon in New Orleans, after he experimented with mixing whiskey and vermouth during a yachting trip with friends in New York. 

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  • November 14, 2020

Students to be sent straight home from university after lockdown

Students are to be sent straight home from university after lockdown so they can spend Christmas with their families, official guidance will say. 

The long-awaited advice, which will be published on Wednesday by the  Department for Education will say that all lectures and classes should move online by December 9 at the latest so students can continue attending from their homes.

As soon as the national lockdown ends on December 2, the “student travel window” will begin with universities told to organise staggered departure dates over the following seven days. 

Students who are returning to their home in England from elsewhere in the UK will be told to complete two weeks of self-isolation either before or after traveling, since they will not have just come out of a month of lockdown. 

Michelle Donelan, the universities minister, said: “We know this Christmas will feel different, and following this incredibly difficult year 

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  • November 11, 2020