Covidiot GOP state senator hospitalized after contracting Covid-19

Arkansas GOP state senator Jason Rapert previously tweeted about “liberal quacks” who “keep spreading fear” and who are “trying to quarantine the healthy.”

The infamously anti-gay senator is now posting from the hospital, after coming down with Coronavirus disease.

Trump and Trump Jr. praise doctor who says diseases are caused by “evil deposits from the spirit husband”

Trump and Junior are urging their social media followers to heed the Covid-19 advice of Dr. Stella Immanuel, a Houston pediatrician who has determined that many diseases are caused by sex with demons and/or alien DNA. The Daily Beast reported that Dr. Immanuel “praises hydroxychloroquine and says that face masks aren’t necessary to stop transmission of […]
READ THE REST

A day after the NY Times runs a laudatory piece on Arizona’s successful pandemic response, the state sees a surge in new cases and deaths

Yesterday, The New York Times ran an article about how the GOP governor of Arizona’s limited response to the pandemic resulted in a “leveling off” of Covid-19 deaths and cases: As the United States surpasses four million known coronavirus cases, far more than any other country, new outbreaks are sending thousands of seriously ill people […]
READ THE REST

Utah grocery employee recounts mask policy drama at the store

If you’ve wondered what it must be like for employees working in stores and having to deal with mask-deniers while trying to enforce social distancing and mask-wearing, wonder no more. This guy from Provo, UT has a Twitter thread of what his life has been like trying to implement a new mandatory mask-wearing policy in […]
READ THE REST

This fitness-centric smartwatch has all your Google app favorites for under $80 

As the Wear OS revolution chugs on, we can expect to see more diversity in smartwatch design, including more stylish and elegant models for business or a night out; as well as those better suited to the rough and tumble of sports and workouts. The TicWatch Sport Smartwatch definitely fits into the later category, engineered […]
READ THE REST

For small businesses, QuickBooks Essentials remains an accounting gold standard

 Every company needs to have a firm grasp on their bottom line. But while every company used to have their official ledger books or one of those old-school physical world accountings of a company’s every asset and expenditure, many firms don’t work that way anymore. Oh, they all still balance their “books” (if they want […]
READ THE REST

Are you ready to write and publish your own book? It’s not as crazy as it sounds…

For all its downsides, you have to admit all this extra time spent at home has to have boosted your creativity. More time to sit and think means more time to develop new original ideas. Trust us, you wouldn’t be the first to find that a global emergency has fueled the need to start a […]
READ THE REST

Source

Nigeria to allow would-be graduates back to school despite spreading COVID-19 – Reuters

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria will allow schools to reopen for pupils due to take graduation exams, a presidential aide said on Monday, reviving a plan dropped earlier this month due to rising cases of COVID-19. The West African country has reported 40,532 coronavirus infections including 858 deaths and the number of deaths has jumped from 460 since the schools plan was postponed on July 9. But in the last few weeks domestic flights have resumed and a ban on interstate travel was lifted as authorities relax restrictions to open up the economy. “The federal government orders the re-opening schools for secondary school students in exit classes on August 4, 2020,” Bashir Ahmad, a presidential aide, tweeted. In the message, he said the move was made ahead of the start of the West African Examinations (WAEC) – a region-wide test for graduation from secondary school – on Aug. 17. A ministry of education statement included in the tweet said students would have two weeks to prepare for the exams. It said the decision was taken to reopen for students in “exit classes” following a meeting between the ministry, education officials from all 36 states and the Nigerian Union of Teachers. Pupils aged 14 and above typically sit the exams in Nigeria. “On schools & #COVID19: there are no easy decisions,” said Chikwe Ihekweazu, director general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, in a tweet that linked to the ministry of education statement. Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram; Additional reporting by Angela Ukomadu; editing by Philippa Fletcher
Source

Houston surpassed 40,000 coronavirus cases. Over half of them have been reported in July alone.

Healthcare workers push a patient into a less intensive unit from the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas on July 2, 2020.

MARK FELIX/AFP via Getty Images

Houston, as of Saturday, has reported more than 40,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and over 20,000 of them have been reported in the month of July, according to Harris County Public Health and Houston Health Department.The city’s total number of deaths from coronavirus also surged from 224 to 386 in July, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s daily update on coronavirus which uses data from the Houston health department.Meanwhile, on Saturday, Johns Hopkins reported over 390,000 total cases of coronavirus in Texas.Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Houston confirmed a total of 40,987 coronavirus cases,  and over 20,000 of them have been added in the month of July alone, according to Harris County Public Health and Houston Health Department.The city’s total number of deaths from coronavirus also surged from 224 to 386 in the month of July, according to Mayor Sylvester Turner’s daily update on coronavirus which uses data from the Houston health department.  The Mayor said there were 131 coronavirus deaths on June 1st. —Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) July 1, 2020—Houston Health Dept (@HoustonHealth) July 25, 2020—Sylvester Turner (@SylvesterTurner) June 1, 2020At least five days in the month of July added at least 1,000 new cases to the total number of confirmed cases, according to Harris County Public Health and Houston Health Department.Meanwhile, on Saturday, Johns Hopkins reported over 390,000 total cases of coronavirus in Texas. At the end of June, Texas Governor Greg Abott put a halt to the state’s reopening plan as coronavirus cases surged with the state reporting thousands of new cases each day. LoadingSomething is loading.

Read more:This color-coded chart will help you decide when to leave the house during the pandemicLawyers in Florida are offering free wills for teachers. One says he received about 600 inquiries.Here’s a running list of countries barring American tourists from entering as the US coronavirus outbreak surges to new heightsA North Carolina private school reopened amid national concerns over in-person classes. Days later a staff member tested positive for coronavirus.

LoadingSomething is loading.

More:

coronavirus
Texas
Houston
Greg Abbott

Chevron iconIt indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

Source

I am fine: Shivraj salutes corona warriors

BHOPAL: A day after Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tested positive for Covid-19 and was admitted to the Chirayu Hospital for treatment, Chouhan on Sunday said that he is fine and saluted the corona warriors of the state for their services. Taking to Twitter, Chouhan urged people to inform health officials if they develop any symptoms of coronavirus. प्रिय प्रदेशवासियों, आपको #COVID19 से डरने की जरूरत नहीं है। लक्षण प्रकट होते ही टेस्ट कराएं और पॉजिटिव होने पर त… https://t.co/Xha13vcYgh— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) 1595751247000″Friends, I’m fine. The dedication of #CoronaWarriors is commendable. I salute all the Corona warriors of the state serving the #COVID-19 victims by risking their lives selflessly,” Chouhan said in a tweet (translated from Hindi). In a subsequent tweet, he said, “Instead of being afraid of #COVID-19, we should fight it with full confidence. Keeping two yards distance, washing hands and wearing masks are the biggest weapons to save yourself from coronavirus. I appeal to all the people to use these weapons for yourself and your loved ones.” #COVID19 से डरने की बजाय पूरे आत्मविश्वास के साथ हमें इसका मुकाबला करना चाहिए। दो गज की दूरी रखना, हाथ धोते रहना… https://t.co/Vr0JfDNZfd— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) 1595740917000In another tweet, the chief minister urged people not to be afraid if they get infected with coronavirus, but tell health officials about it. यदि आप संक्रमित हो भी गए हों तो डरने की ज़रूरत नहीं है, लक्षण दिखें तो इन्हें छुपाएँ नहीं, तुरंत बताएँ ताकि समय पर… https://t.co/3si25VFXk9— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) 1595740918000″If you have become infected then there is no need to fear. If you show symptoms, do not hide them. Tell them immediately so that treatment can be started on time. Timely treatment will make you fully healthy. Be careful. I pray to god that you all remain safe and healthy,” he tweeted.
Source

Covid: MP CM admitted to hospital after testing +ve

Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has tested positive for Covid-19 — the first CM to be infected by the virus. He has been admitted to a private hospital. Chouhan (61) tweeted on Saturday, “I appeal to all my colleagues and all those who came in contact with me to get themselves tested for Coronavirus. My close contacts have moved into quarantine. I am following all Covid-19 guidelines.” मैं अपने सभी साथियों से अपील करता हूँ कि #COVID19 के ज़रा भी लक्षण आये तो लापरवाही न बरतें, तत्काल टेस्ट कराएँ और उपचार प्रारम्भ करें।— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) 1595665311000मुझे डॉक्टर्स ने अस्पताल में भर्ती होने की सलाह दी है, मैं #COVID19 डेडिकेटेड चिरायु अस्पताल में भर्ती होने जा रहा… https://t.co/aPsPfrsiXn— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) 1595665310000I will quarantine myself following medical advice… I appeal to the people of my state to be careful. The slightest of carelessness invites coronavirus infection. I made every effort to avoid Covid-19 but people meet me for various reasons,” he added. Two days ago, Chouhan’s cabinet colleague Arvind Bhadoria had tested positive just hours after attending a meeting chaired by the CM. Bhadoria and Chouhan were also together at the last rites of BJP veteran Lalji Tandon in Lucknow, which was also attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh and UP governor and acting MP governor Anandiben Patel. BJP state chief V D Sharma who was at the same event and had travelled with Bhadoria has tested negative. Chouhan has been admitted to Chirayu Medical College in Bhopal, said home minister Narottam Mishra. “As the CM tweeted, he took all protective measures to avoid infection. His medical update will be available on Thursday evening,” he said. In the evening, Chirayu medical college director Ajay Goenka told reporters that the CM’s health is “absolutely stable”. “He only has Covid-19 and his medical condition, sugar levels and oxygen saturation are normal,” said Dr Goenka. “Line of treatment is not defined in Covid-19. It is novel coronavirus, and unpredictable. As we speak, the patient’s condition is stable,” he added.
Source

Surrendering and Coping with Covid19

The wisdom in Leonard Cohen’s “Hineni.”

Posted Jul 25, 2020

Lyrics You Want it Darker; Leonard Cohen

Source: Tanya Cotler

The messages embedded within Leonard Cohen’s moving (and even slightly eerie) “You Want it Darker/Hineni” are particularly relevant right now as we collectively experience a global trauma due to COVID-19. 
Within the song, we find themes related to the primary coping skills that most parents have cultivated since the start of the pandemic, the same ones that we will continue to rely on as this pandemic continues to ripple through communities around the globe. 

The poem centres around the word “Hineni,” which means “here I am” in Hebrew and is replete with biblical references to the fundamental human quest: to surrender — through pain, confusion, fear, anger, sadness, and when moral responsibility trumps reason. It speaks to the surrender of superhero narratives, benevolent worldviews, and the unknown in faith, anchored only in the moment there is. 

We are experiencing a call to surrender of this kind right now. It is an impalpable ask to surrender — to good and bad, impermanence, chaos, isolation, vacillating emotion, and to the loss of all that was known. We are being called to surrender to discomfort, but, at the same time, to the (anomalous) potential of greater meaning and hope.

In this way, I see COVID-19 as our version of Hineni, and I believe there are many valuable lessons to be found within Cohen’s famous piece: 
1. Presence 
In mindfulness, presence refers to the skill of peaceful abiding: cultivating intentional awareness so that the mind is undistracted by conscious thoughts and remains focused and anchored in breath (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). 

Through the hymn, Cohen vacillates through a range of emotions suggestive of the inner dialogue that occurs in times of distress. He ends with grace, finding his center despite the flux. 
In this turbulent time, it is often hard not to dwell on our future-oriented anxiety. We obliterate hope, confidence, and resilience with fears of what is to come — taken prisoner by our future projections. 

You know you are in this place when you catch yourself asking questions like: How will I endure this? How will my children return to school? What was the impact of “sheltering home” on my ( and my children’s) mental health? What if I get sick or my child or loved one falls ill? 
Here’s an exercise to try: As these thoughts take over, place your hands on your belly and breathe. Notice your belly filling up like a balloon as you inhale. As you exhale, notice your belly deflating, a balloon losing air. With each breath, say to yourself: I am inhaling, I am exhaling. Once your breath deepens and slows, observe five things you can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. Name them. Notice your capacity to intentionally be here, anchored in the breath, and the power of your mind to choose present-centered awareness to quiet the inner turmoil in this moment. Whisper a silent affirmation to yourself, “ I am here now, I am safe, and I can do and feel hard things.” Remember that all we have are present moments; past and future only exist in our minds. 

2. Impermanence and compassion
Cohen’s use of sound in the song “Hineni” evokes the experience of oscillating emotions. He rhythmically blends his signature raspy, haunting, baritone voice with the mesmerizing sound of Cantor Zelermyer’s choir, a reflection of the fact that feelings, thoughts, and experiences are not permanent. Emotions flow through us and come and go as long as we do not cling too strongly. Listen here. 

There is no need to judge our thoughts or feelings — or have feelings about our feelings (guilt, anyone?). So often, especially as mothers, we feel crippled by our “not good enoughness.” Yet, vulnerability, fear, anger — all feelings — deserve to be met with compassion.
Here’s an exercise to try next time you (or your child) experience a big feeling: Draw your awareness to the feeling you have and where it “lives” in your body. Observe and describe the feeling as a narrator (“my chest feels heavy, I am scared,” or “I see you’re angry, you’re kicking the sand”). 

Practice active coping through breath. As the breath enters the body, the vagus nerve will remind your brain to calm (exit fight-or-flight and welcome rest-digest). Like a Teflon pan, practice present attention and compassionate acceptance towards your (or your child’s) feeling without clinging to it too strongly. You might say to your child, “I am here with you. You are allowed to be angry. When you’re ready, we can… (breathe, hug, insert any active coping strategy).” Notice how the feeling will rise and fall and give way to the next feeling all on its own. 

Over time, we become increasingly aware of the power of sensations coming and going. When validated, each feeling gives way to another; sorrow to joy, sad to anger, worry to calm. Nothing lasts. So often, we brace ourselves for the storm of emotion, unsure if we can weather its intensity. But when we learn the power of being with feeling without rushing to change, fix, or stop, we get to witness that trust in the constant flow can settle and calms us. 

3. Practicing gratitude and finding meaning
The final teaching of “Hineni” is to accept what is and trust that moving through discomfort is the impetus to growth. We are (paradoxically) being taught patience: to wait, to wonder, to be open, and to find moments of gratitude, purpose, and meaning. 
A daily practice with children of naming the “cookies” or sweetness of the day or developing your own gratitude journaling practice can help to foster resilience. Research shows that making a point to highlight even the small tasks or moments such as making your bed (clean sheets day!) or cooking and eating a delicious meal helps to energize and elevate your mood. How does this work? the brain is a  muscle and like any other muscle in your body, it strengthens through repetition. With practice, we can re-adjust the storyline we tell ourselves.

Moreover, through gratitude journaling and therapeutic writing, we open the possibility to find meaning and purpose — the keys to resilience. As psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankel writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of his human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. To choose one’s way” (1959).

What will we learn through this experience beyond lessons of economic strife and the importance of supporting small businesses? Perhaps in an age where we have become turbines of consumerism, this will bring a healthy pause to our insatiable cities. Perhaps it will be an invitation to savor the moments with loved ones in slow motion. Perhaps we will awaken to the power of bearing witness: not of fixing or solving, but of being present with big feelings, both our own and others. 

On a policy level maybe we’ll realize that mental health doesn’t discriminate, that trauma is a subjective experience of helplessness and fear, and that there is danger in perceiving mental health issues as unique to subgroups of the population. Perhaps we will come to appreciate the value of public funding for mental health so that therapists can continue to hold the salve of emotion without compromising their financial earning and so that support could be more widely available to those in need. 

Maybe we’ll surrender to our independent responsibility to defend human rights and human dignity, to protect our abused and vulnerable populations, to free our wrongfully convicted, to house our homeless, to provide accessible medication, treatment, and vaccines globally and equally. 
Maybe we’ll re-examine our practices around conception, birth, and death. Maybe we’ll realize that we need a complete revamp in our thinking about human agency. Perhaps we’ll come to appreciate the universal human need for connection in spite of fears of vulnerability and judgment.

Maybe. For now, all I know is that we have this moment to see the natural beauty that surrounds us, to listen to those speaking to us, to feel the clean breeze on our skin and the earth beneath our feet. 
If we move through the helplessness, powerlessness, grief, and fear that deplete us and “magnify the flame,” we might begin to see the light creep in: the surrender to mindful presence with compassion, to impermanence and interconnectedness, to meaning. Can we collectively surrender? Can we say it — in a whisper and then more audibly — Hineni. 

Source

Surrendering and Coping with Covid19

The wisdom in Leonard Cohen’s “Hineni.”

Posted Jul 25, 2020

Lyrics You Want it Darker; Leonard Cohen

Source: Tanya Cotler

The messages embedded within Leonard Cohen’s moving (and even slightly eerie) “You Want it Darker/Hineni” are particularly relevant right now as we collectively experience a global trauma due to COVID-19. 
Within the song, we find themes related to the primary coping skills that most parents have cultivated since the start of the pandemic, the same ones that we will continue to rely on as this pandemic continues to ripple through communities around the globe. 

The poem centres around the word “Hineni,” which means “here I am” in Hebrew and is replete with biblical references to the fundamental human quest: to surrender — through pain, confusion, fear, anger, sadness, and when moral responsibility trumps reason. It speaks to the surrender of superhero narratives, benevolent worldviews, and the unknown in faith, anchored only in the moment there is. 

We are experiencing a call to surrender of this kind right now. It is an impalpable ask to surrender — to good and bad, impermanence, chaos, isolation, vacillating emotion, and to the loss of all that was known. We are being called to surrender to discomfort, but, at the same time, to the (anomalous) potential of greater meaning and hope.

In this way, I see COVID-19 as our version of Hineni, and I believe there are many valuable lessons to be found within Cohen’s famous piece: 
1. Presence 
In mindfulness, presence refers to the skill of peaceful abiding: cultivating intentional awareness so that the mind is undistracted by conscious thoughts and remains focused and anchored in breath (Kabat-Zinn, 1994). 

Through the hymn, Cohen vacillates through a range of emotions suggestive of the inner dialogue that occurs in times of distress. He ends with grace, finding his center despite the flux. 
In this turbulent time, it is often hard not to dwell on our future-oriented anxiety. We obliterate hope, confidence, and resilience with fears of what is to come — taken prisoner by our future projections. 

You know you are in this place when you catch yourself asking questions like: How will I endure this? How will my children return to school? What was the impact of “sheltering home” on my ( and my children’s) mental health? What if I get sick or my child or loved one falls ill? 
Here’s an exercise to try: As these thoughts take over, place your hands on your belly and breathe. Notice your belly filling up like a balloon as you inhale. As you exhale, notice your belly deflating, a balloon losing air. With each breath, say to yourself: I am inhaling, I am exhaling. Once your breath deepens and slows, observe five things you can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste. Name them. Notice your capacity to intentionally be here, anchored in the breath, and the power of your mind to choose present-centered awareness to quiet the inner turmoil in this moment. Whisper a silent affirmation to yourself, “ I am here now, I am safe, and I can do and feel hard things.” Remember that all we have are present moments; past and future only exist in our minds. 

2. Impermanence and compassion
Cohen’s use of sound in the song “Hineni” evokes the experience of oscillating emotions. He rhythmically blends his signature raspy, haunting, baritone voice with the mesmerizing sound of Cantor Zelermyer’s choir, a reflection of the fact that feelings, thoughts, and experiences are not permanent. Emotions flow through us and come and go as long as we do not cling too strongly. Listen here. 

There is no need to judge our thoughts or feelings — or have feelings about our feelings (guilt, anyone?). So often, especially as mothers, we feel crippled by our “not good enoughness.” Yet, vulnerability, fear, anger — all feelings — deserve to be met with compassion.
Here’s an exercise to try next time you (or your child) experience a big feeling: Draw your awareness to the feeling you have and where it “lives” in your body. Observe and describe the feeling as a narrator (“my chest feels heavy, I am scared,” or “I see you’re angry, you’re kicking the sand”). 

Practice active coping through breath. As the breath enters the body, the vagus nerve will remind your brain to calm (exit fight-or-flight and welcome rest-digest). Like a Teflon pan, practice present attention and compassionate acceptance towards your (or your child’s) feeling without clinging to it too strongly. You might say to your child, “I am here with you. You are allowed to be angry. When you’re ready, we can… (breathe, hug, insert any active coping strategy).” Notice how the feeling will rise and fall and give way to the next feeling all on its own. 

Over time, we become increasingly aware of the power of sensations coming and going. When validated, each feeling gives way to another; sorrow to joy, sad to anger, worry to calm. Nothing lasts. So often, we brace ourselves for the storm of emotion, unsure if we can weather its intensity. But when we learn the power of being with feeling without rushing to change, fix, or stop, we get to witness that trust in the constant flow can settle and calms us. 

3. Practicing gratitude and finding meaning
The final teaching of “Hineni” is to accept what is and trust that moving through discomfort is the impetus to growth. We are (paradoxically) being taught patience: to wait, to wonder, to be open, and to find moments of gratitude, purpose, and meaning. 
A daily practice with children of naming the “cookies” or sweetness of the day or developing your own gratitude journaling practice can help to foster resilience. Research shows that making a point to highlight even the small tasks or moments such as making your bed (clean sheets day!) or cooking and eating a delicious meal helps to energize and elevate your mood. How does this work? the brain is a  muscle and like any other muscle in your body, it strengthens through repetition. With practice, we can re-adjust the storyline we tell ourselves.

Moreover, through gratitude journaling and therapeutic writing, we open the possibility to find meaning and purpose — the keys to resilience. As psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Victor Frankel writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of his human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances. To choose one’s way” (1959).

What will we learn through this experience beyond lessons of economic strife and the importance of supporting small businesses? Perhaps in an age where we have become turbines of consumerism, this will bring a healthy pause to our insatiable cities. Perhaps it will be an invitation to savor the moments with loved ones in slow motion. Perhaps we will awaken to the power of bearing witness: not of fixing or solving, but of being present with big feelings, both our own and others. 

On a policy level maybe we’ll realize that mental health doesn’t discriminate, that trauma is a subjective experience of helplessness and fear, and that there is danger in perceiving mental health issues as unique to subgroups of the population. Perhaps we will come to appreciate the value of public funding for mental health so that therapists can continue to hold the salve of emotion without compromising their financial earning and so that support could be more widely available to those in need. 

Maybe we’ll surrender to our independent responsibility to defend human rights and human dignity, to protect our abused and vulnerable populations, to free our wrongfully convicted, to house our homeless, to provide accessible medication, treatment, and vaccines globally and equally. 
Maybe we’ll re-examine our practices around conception, birth, and death. Maybe we’ll realize that we need a complete revamp in our thinking about human agency. Perhaps we’ll come to appreciate the universal human need for connection in spite of fears of vulnerability and judgment.

Maybe. For now, all I know is that we have this moment to see the natural beauty that surrounds us, to listen to those speaking to us, to feel the clean breeze on our skin and the earth beneath our feet. 
If we move through the helplessness, powerlessness, grief, and fear that deplete us and “magnify the flame,” we might begin to see the light creep in: the surrender to mindful presence with compassion, to impermanence and interconnectedness, to meaning. Can we collectively surrender? Can we say it — in a whisper and then more audibly — Hineni. 

Source

Big Tech, Beyond COVID19

For most of us, the COVID-19 crisis has been truly awful. But for Big Tech, it’s actually been … [+] pretty good, if markets are anything to go by
Shutterstock
By Professor Michael G. Jacobides, London Business School
For most of us, the Covid-19 crisis has been truly awful. But for Big Tech, it’s actually been pretty good, if markets are anything to go by, with demand soaring and governments turning to tech to help. The Trump administration’s focus seems to be narrowly focused on immunity from prosecution, aimed at social media in particular. If we take the broader perspective, clouds of potential regulation seem to be dispersing for now. But is the newfound love for Big Tech misplaced?
While data, IT, geolocation and AI will be key to recovery, serious questions arise- whatever happens with the social media pushback from the administration. New services, digitally provided and ushered in by Covid-19, are becoming increasingly important. Who should offer them? How should we set the rules of the game, in terms of who can control the data and access the insights? Some say “leave it to the market.” In China, insurer PingAn leveraged its superior customer knowledge to expand into healthcare, becoming the trusted provider for customers lost in a maze of options. Tencent and AliBaba have created similar webs covering a vast array of individual needs. Given the sensitivity over privacy, Big Tech in the West has been more circumspect, despite well-funded healthcare subsidiaries. Yet Amazon can be a true force in healthcare; like Google’s Verily, its goal is to revolutionize healthcare B2B and B2C. Facebook is already active in preventive healthcare.
We live in a world increasingly dominated by technology platforms and their associated business ecosystems. By making us even more dependent on virtual connections, Covid-19 is hastening this shift; Facebook just ventured into e-commerce to challenge Amazon. Yet where does customer convenience end, and competitive dominance begin? Beyond privacy, how does data relate to competition? To tackle dominance, we’ll need to focus on the business models of the platforms that aspire to run every aspect of our lives. The economics of digital businesses, with easy scalability, lock-ins and “winner-take-most” dynamics, can lead to a minefield, as recent reports from the UK and the EU demonstrated.
To “follow the money”, consider Big Tech M&A. Microsoft paid $8.5bn for Skype and $26bn for LinkedIn, while Facebook spent $22bn on WhatsApp. These massive investments helped acquirers cement their hold over their respective ecosystems and snuff out the threat from a potentially competing platform. The problem is that today’s antitrust playbook is ill prepared to deal with the new rules of digital platforms and ecosystems. From Alphabet’s tally of 150+ acquisitions over the last decade, EU and US competition authorities opened a case for six and acted on none. Is Google really so pro-competition? Or are we working with outdated ideas of what competition and power really are? This is by no means an idle question. Right now, Google, Apple and Facebook are sitting on combined cash reserves of $570bn, or three times the GDP of my native Greece. They can buy anything they want, given the looming contraction. Should we really allow this, or should we try to foster more competition between ecosystems?
Recently, LBS, UCL and the WEF co-organized a workshop on the regulation of platforms and ecosystems, involving several heads of European competition authorities and Big Tech leaders. The event highlighted a systemic unease and growing calls for a rethink of intra-platform competition and how all-powerful orchestrators manage members of their ecosystems. The current stock-market valuations of Big Tech suggest their power will persist and raises questions about our entire regulatory apparatus. Whether we intervene or not, our choices today may set the stage for the competitive landscape for decades to come, and while the unease is clear, the framing and solutions are still being debated.

Unencumbered by existing Big Tech players in Europe, and with heightened sensitivities in terms of data protection, the EU is charging ahead. It is likely that the EU will set the stage, and for sure will influence the framing, of much of the subsequent discussion, including the actions of the potential new administration in the US. Ongoing consultations about the forthcoming Data Act and the Data Services Act, a well as the implementation of its “business to platform” guidelines and the new regulatory tool for platforms, as well as its current investigation into the role of dominant platform orchestrators within 2020 can leave a lasting mark. In the meanwhile, the EU is refraining from pushing back on the Google-Fitbit deal, which critics fear will significantly entrench its position. (Sadly, the UK, which has shown a progressive stance, will be struggling to make a global dent, drifting off on its own Brexit seclusion.)
A number of non-governmental initiatives are also bubbling up that may sound rather technical, or even geeky, but could still shape the business landscape of the future. GAIA-X, started in Germany, proposes a neutral way to connect players in industry and public sector so that they do not have to become subjugated to any Big Tech giant. In the (hot) healthcare sector, firms such as Phillips are advocating a new template for sharing healthcare information. Partly as a result of historical accident and its political economy, the EU can have an impact- and so should the academic community focusing on these topics.
Technology can bring us important new solutions, as long as we find the right way to connect players and leverage data- including tackling Covid-19. In healthcare, for instance, what role should healthcare providers and insurers play? And what about telcos, handset makers (which include Samsung and Huawei) or the providers of mobile OSs? How do we feel about the service-ization of data, and the generation of advertising revenues? If we do turn our backs on Big Tech, how can we justify neglecting its prodigious, potentially life-saving power, or justify the frictional costs? If we don’t, how can we ensure a level playing field? The point of regulation is not to protect outdated incumbents, but to facilitate dynamism while addressing the real risk of excessively powerful firms- an agenda we’re ill prepared to serve. To rise to the challenge, regulators and economists have to rethink their toolkit, and those of us interested in strategy, innovation, and digital business models have to focus on societal challenges.
While President Trump’s recent Executive Order, aimed at Twitter,  focused on the responsibility of Social Media firms in terms of content, and may lead us to revisit their responsibility in polarizing society, there is a broader agenda at play, that can shape our economies for a long time. The force majeure of coronavirus has granted us a brief détente with Big Tech. But as we will soon see very clearly, the big questions raised by the shift to a platform-based economy have not gone away. Every technological choice we make has profound ramifications for strategy, competition, social welfare and the individual. If we want solutions that will meet all those needs, both during the crisis and long afterwards, it’s time we updated our playbook.
The writer is the Sir Donald Gordon Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Professor of Strategy at London Business School and the co-author of the World Economic Forum’s White Paper on Digital Platforms & Ecosystems.
Follow London Business School on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Discover insights from some of the world’s top business leaders and researches at Think at London Business School.

Source

Florida GOP Congressman ‘Devastated’ After Longtime Staffer Dies From COVID-19

A longtime staffer for Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) died Friday from COVID-19.
Buchanan tweeted he was “devastated” by the death of 66-year-old Gary Tibbetts, a field representative who had worked for him since 2011.
Tibbetts died at Manatee Memorial Hospital in Bradenton, Florida.
The state is currently experiencing a devastating spike in daily confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Buchanan described his aide as “the consummate professional and a true public servant in every sense of the word.”

“He touched so many lives and was loved and respected by those who knew him,” he continued. “I will never forget his uplifting spirit, sense of humor and sheer joy at helping others.”
“Sandy and I offer our deepest sympathies to his wife, Valerie and family,” Buchanan added. “He will be missed greatly.”
Buchanan had announced Tibbetts’ hospitalization on July 15.

Tributes were paid to Tibbetts, who served as a sergeant with the Manchester Police Department for more than two decades before entering politics.

The Bradenton Police Department mourned the loss of “our dear friend” and “dedicated and tireless advocate for the community he proudly served.”

Political figures remembered him as “a wonderful man” and as being “loved by so many in our community.”
Saddened to hear about the passing of Gary Tibbetts. He was a wonderful man who cared greatly for our Country. He is in a better place but he will be missed by all who had the privilege to meet him. Jen and I are praying for his family and for the @VernBuchanan staff.— Congressman Greg Steube (@RepGregSteube) July 24, 2020

Julie and I are heartbroken to hear of the loss of our friend Gary Tibbetts, a longtime staffer of Congressman Vern Buchanan, who passed away from Covid-19.— Bill Galvano (@BillGalvano) July 24, 2020

Gary was loved by so many in our community, particularly those whose lives he touched through years of work in constituent services. Our prayers are with Valerie and his entire family, @VernBuchanan and his staff, and all the friends and colleagues who mourn this tragic loss.— Bill Galvano (@BillGalvano) July 24, 2020

You will not find a better and more positive person than Gary Tibbetts.BIG loss for our community. https://t.co/WK9CtFMX5l— Christian Ziegler 🇺🇸 @FloridaGOP Vice Chair (@ChrisMZiegler) July 24, 2020

I had the honor and pleasure of working with Gary Tibbetts @vernbuchanan long time aide while working at @mysuncoast. Gary was a great man and a real pro. Congressman please express my condolences to Gary’s family. And as we say in my tradition “May his memory be a blessing.”— Alan Cohn for Congress (@AlanMCohn) July 25, 2020

“My heart goes out to his family, friends, and colleagues. He was a dedicated public servant who worked every day to make this community a better place.” – state Rep. Margaret Good, D-Sarasota @GoodforFlorida on #COVID19 death of Gary Tibbetts— Marc R. Masferrer (@MRMasferrer) July 24, 2020

Weigh in on the biggest stories of the day
Important conversations are happening now. Add your voice!
Join HuffPost Today!
No thanks.

Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter

Source

Province Announces 27 new COVID-19 Cases, 24 in the South – DiscoverMooseJaw.com

27 new cases of COVID 19 were announced by the provincial government on Friday.
24 of those cases are located in the south, 1 in the central region, 1 in the north, and 1 in the Regina region.
21 of the 27 new cases are also from Hutterite colonies, where there are 21 different colonies with active cases in both southwest and west-central regions.
There have now been 1,099 reported cases in Saskatchewan, with 235 considered active. 848 people have also recovered.
Fourteen people are in hospital as well, with 10 receiving inpatient care, and 4 in intensive care.
Late Thursday night, the Saskatchewan Health Authority issued yet another advisory for several businesses in Swift Current after confirming that an individual made several stops and has now tested positive for COVID-19.
They say that while this individual did sanitize their hand prior to entering the stores in question, they were not wearing a mask and could, therefore, pass along the virus through air droplets.
The businesses in question are from a period on July 14th:
Home Hardware, 11:00 a.m. – Noon.
Dollarama (Swift Current Mall), 3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Staples, 3:20 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.
Canadian Tire, 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
The following information and statistics were provided by the Government of Saskatchewan.
Of the 1,099 cases in the province:
216 have no known exposures; and
115 are under investigation by local public health. 
Overall in Saskatchewan:
59 cases are health care workers; however, the source of the infections may not be related to health care in all instances.
347 of the cases are from the Far North, 220 from the South, 218 are from the Saskatoon area, 129 from the North, 97 from the Central region and 88 from the Regina area.
169 cases involve people 19 years of age and under, while the remainder are adults.
364 cases are in the 20-39 age range; 345 are in the 40-59 age range; 187 are in the 60-79 age range; and 34 are in the 80-plus range.
51 per cent of the cases are females and 49 per cent are males.
16 deaths related to COVID-19 have been reported to date. 
To date, 87,988 COVID‐19 tests have been performed in Saskatchewan.  As of July 22, 2020, when other provincial and national numbers were available from the Public Health Agency of Canada, Saskatchewan’s per capita rate was 63,850 people tested per million population.  The national rate was 98,361 people tested per million population.
Yesterday, an all-time high of 1,604 COVID-19 tests were performed in Saskatchewan. 
Bored of COVID? COVID Doesn’t Care 
It has been more than four months since COVID-19 arrived in Saskatchewan.  It’s understandable that many people are tired or frustrated with the continued state of cautiousness.  If you are feeling well or don’t know anyone who has gotten sick, it is easy to think that you do not need to be careful.  However, the recent surge in COVID-19 in all regions of Saskatchewan shows that we cannot become complacent.  There is no region in Saskatchewan without active cases.  Personal protective measures protect you, your friends and family.
For the health and safety of your community, act as if there is a risk of coming into contact with COVID-19 anytime you go in public or meet with friends.  We have seen from our past case numbers that Saskatchewan residents know what needs to be done to reduce transmission: wash your hands often, keep gatherings small and with the same group of people, maintain a physical distance of two metres and wear a mask anywhere where you cannot maintain physical distancing.  We all have a responsibility to follow these guidelines.  If we all do our part to keep ourselves and others safe, we will be able to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan again. 

Source

Ric Wilson Joins Living Room Dance Party in “Don’t Kill The Wave” Music Video

Back in May, Ric Wilson and Terrace Martin shared their funky EP titled They Call Me Disco. Now, the pair have returned with visuals for the joyful track “Don’t Kill The Wave.” Directed by A Solo Vision, the music video is reflective of the song’s energetic spirit, capturing Wilson and his friends having a dance party in the living room.
“I made this song for the dance floors at the block party, the cookout, the weddings, the rallies, the covid19 living room clubbbbbbbbs,” says Wilson. This type of feel-good energy is evident in the music video for “Don’t Kill The Wave.” Wilson and his friends let loose in the quaint apartment space, dancing and laughing without a worry. “If you, if you, got no rhythm babe,” Wilson sings. “Get up out the way, don’t kill the wave.” He continues, “And every night is the night of our lives/The day that we walk means that somebody dies/So even at home we pour up like vacation/Home of the youth footwork.”
Watch the music video for “Don’t Kill The Wave” above and listen to the entire They Call Me Disco EP on streaming platforms.
In other music-related news, Curren$y and Harry Fraud are reuniting to deliver their new collaborative project, The OutRunners.

What to Read Next

A sophisticated collection informed by clean lines and textiles.

Following Kanye calling Baby his favorite rapper.

A simple, yet effective trick to impress friends.

Along with a breakdown of its advanced tech.

The 45-date tour has been rescheduled complete with redesigned production.

From the group’s sophomore album ‘Halo’ releasing this October.

More ▾

Source

Fox News host loses job months after coming to work visibly ill during coronavirus pandemic

Fox News personality Heather Childers arrives at Trump Tower, 16 December, 2016 in New York City: (Getty Images)Fox News has parted ways with Fox and Friends First host Heather Childers, months after she was criticised for coming to work visibly ill.A spokesperson for Fox News told The Independent on Thursday: “Fox News and Heather Childers have parted ways. We wish her all the best,” but did not elaborate further.Childers, who had been at the network since 2010, was taken off the show in March after colleagues became concerned about her working while seemingly ill amid the coronavirus pandemic.She first appeared unwell while hosting her hour at 4am on 18 March and visited a doctor after the show when colleagues became concerned that she may have contracted Covid-19, according to CNN.Childers was told she was fine, so returned to the show the following morning, but still seemed to be ill while hosting her hour, and did not return to host it again.During late February and early March, Fox News hosts were criticised for appearing to downplay the seriousness of Covid-19.However, by mid to late March, hosts were social distancing on all their programmes and their coverage became more serious, as states all across the country began to take measures to stop the spread of the virus.Andrew Cuomo, who is the governor of New York, where the Fox News studios are based, declared a state of emergency on 7 March as the area became the US epicentre for the outbreak.During the week that Childers seemed ill while working, Fox News implemented measures that allowed people to work from home and limited the number of people allowed in their studios, according to CNN.On 31 March, Childers, who had not returned to work since 19 March, tweeted that she had to look at the rundown daily to see if she was going to be working and confirmed that she had tested negative for coronavirus.No. Last day I was on I mentioned I had gone to a dr to make sure I had no fever or cough of concern after coughing & sneezing on air. Never went to work feeling sick. I sent those results showing no temp or cough. Was then told Covid19 test would most helpful. Negative 🙏— Heather Childers (@HeatherChilders)March 31, 2020“Last day I was on I mentioned I had gone to a dr to make sure I had no fever or cough of concern after coughing & sneezing on air. Never went to work feeling sick,” she wrote.“I sent those results showing no temp or cough. Was then told Covid-19 test would most helpful. Negative,” Childers added.By April, Childers was starting to tweet more about her absence and on 6 April wrote that she had tested negative for Covid-19 twice and asked president Donald Trump to help her get back to work.“I’d love to go back to work @realDonaldTrump,” she tweeted. “But the antibody tests only show positive if you have had the virus. I’ve had two negative Covid-19 tests results & no symptoms.”Childers added: “Can I go back to work?”Despite her pleas, Childers did not return to Fox News and had removed all references to the network on her social media profiles by July.Read more Ex-Fox News presenter accused of rape, others of harassment in lawsuit
Source

Pizza Hut: Have fun staying at home

DescriptionDuring the COVID19 pandemic, millions of people had to lock themselves in their homes for several weeks, but the situation was particularly difficult for children. That’s why Pizza Hut made their pizza box to come with instructions to turn it into board games and cope better with time at home.
Source

Ottawa’s COVID-19 spike: 33 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday – CTV News

OTTAWA —
The City of Ottawa continues to see a spike in COVID-19 cases, with double-digit increases for a fifth straight day.

Thirty-three new cases of COVID-19 were announced on Wednesday, along with zero new deaths.

Data provided by Ottawa Public Health shows 17 of the 33 new cases of COVID-19 are people under the age of 40. 

The 33 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday comes one day after 43 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Ottawa.

Since the first case of COVID-19 on March 11, there have been 2,320 laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa, including 263 deaths.

There are currently eight people in hospital with COVID-19, including three in the intensive care unit.

Active cases of COVID-19

Ottawa Public Health is reporting 189 active cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa.

Statistics show 80.5 per cent of COVID-19 cases in Ottawa are considered resolved.

A total of 1,868 people have recovered after testing positive for COVID-19.

Cases by age group 

Ottawa Public Health reports 17 of the 33 new cases involve Ottawa residents under the age of 30, while nine new cases are in residents aged 40 to 49.

Here is a breakdown of the new cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Wednesday:

0-9 years: 0 new cases

10-19 years: 7 new cases

20-29 years: 5 new cases

30-39 years: 5 new cases

40-49 years: 9 new cases

50-59 years: 4 new cases

60-69 years: 2 new cases

70-79 years: 0 new cases

80-89 years: 1 new case

90+: 0 new cases

Seven day total

The City of Ottawa has seen 153 new cases of COVID-19 over the past seven days.

In June, Ottawa Public Health reported 132 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa.

Ontario is reporting 165 cases of #COVID19, a 0.4% increase. Locally, 28 of 34 PHUs are reporting 5 or fewer cases, with 18 of them reporting no new cases. Ottawa is adding 33 cases, with 25 in Peel and 39 in Windsor-Essex. Just over 50% of today’s cases are under the age of 40.
— Christine Elliott (@celliottability) July 22, 2020

Source