Zoom has surely received a lot of fame during the social isolation period but every day, there are new questions about the security and privacy of the application. The video conference website was questioned recently about their end-to-end encryption but it turns out there are more loopholes than you can imagine. Source: Mashable According to BleepingComputer, Zoom allows hackers to get access to the user's Windows login information. This happens because Zoom converts Window networking UNC (Universal Naming Convention) paths into clickable links. So if you click on such a link, your Windows will reveal the password and login username to the attacker. The only good news is that the leaked password is hashed but how long can that encryption last? Password recovery tools are available everywhere today and can easily decipher the code with apps such as Hashcat. Source; Gadgets.ndtv This loophole was discovered by security researcher @_g0dmode and another security researcher, Matthew Hickey confirmed it. Hickey also informed the users that if anyone is trying to hack your computer, they can easily launch programs on the system using this vulnerability. The good thing is that Windows, by default, will notify you of the breach before it opens the sent program. Out of all the worst things we have found about Zoom so far, this fault tops all because it's a no-brainer. Anyone with even surface knowledge of programming can use it to manipulate the data of the victim’s computers and there is nothing much you can do. Source: Tech Crunch The only way to stop it is to not click on unknown links and use the filter in Windows security settings so you are informed about any such situation beforehand. However, Zoom still needs to take the issue into account and modify the way their chat handles links. Meanwhile, if you want to stay safe, follow the instructions mentioned below and make your computer secure. Go to Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Options -> Network security: Restrict NTLM: Outgoing NTLM traffic to remote servers and set to "Deny all". As the popularity of the application grows, hackers are having a field day with all the privacy issues that make Zoom users an easy target. The website can leak your pictures from the cloud to unknown parties due to numerous glitches in their software so they should fix all the problems soon before the data from their app is compromised.
The Prince next in line to the throne has recovered from coronavirus and he has a message for all those who are concerned about him. He remained in social isolation for seven days as prescribed by the doctors but the period has ended and The Prince of Wales has emerged victorious. He thanked all the people who sent him messages during the tough period and also showed support for paramedics and health care staff members who are risking their lives to protect others. Source: Free Malaysia Today "Having recently gone through the process of contracting this coronavirus, luckily with relatively mild symptoms, I now find myself on the other side of the illness, but still in no less a state of social distance and general isolation," the Prince said. "As we are all learning, this is a strange, frustrating, and often distressing experience, when the presence of family and friends is no longer possible and the normal structures of life are suddenly removed." "My wife and I are thinking particularly of all those who have lost their loved ones in such very difficult and abnormal circumstances and those having to endure sickness, isolation, and loneliness," he added. Source: Twitter Prince Charles also notified the viewers that he is funding the organization Age UK while his wife is the patron of Silver Line and both these charities are working to make the lives of senior citizens easier. "Our hearts go out to all those older people throughout this country who are now experiencing great difficulty," he said. "However, we also know that in every community up and down this land where people of all ages are being affected by this virus, there are truly wonderful neighbors, individuals, and groups of volunteers who are providing ceaseless care and attention to those most at risk." He requested the locals to remain hopeful in the face of difficulty and said, "As a nation, we are faced by a profoundly challenging situation, which we are only too aware threatens the livelihoods, businesses, and welfare of millions of our fellow citizens. None of us can say when this will end, but end it will. Until it does, let us try and live with hope, and with faith in ourselves and each other, look forward to better times to come." You can watch the full video here:
A lot of jokes are going around on the internet about how it is difficult for working parents to entertain their children during social isolation and that they keep disturbing them during important calls from work. From a parent's perspective, this is understandable but having a childhood where you are restricted to your house and cannot meet your friends is a little depressing. Source: Daily Excelsior Just imagine that you are 5 and want to go biking with your friends but parents say no because there is coronavirus outside. You want to visit your grandma and hug her but parents say no because she is old and therefore more prone to the virus. You want to go to class and show the amazing artwork to your teacher but parents say no because schools are closed as coronavirus can spread anywhere. The stay at home rule is particularly difficult for children as they are going through the age where the brain is still developing and so it is naturally curious to explore everything in sight. It is tough for adults to make them understand that going outdoors can be a risk to their health but when boredom takes a toll, kids act out. This is why many parents find it difficult to keep their kids busy with indoor activities since their work also demands attention and the burden of paying bills also keeps increasing with each day. Source: No Isolation Even though kids who are in their early teens can keep in contact with their friends via Zoom or other platforms, nothing can replace the warmth of meeting them in person and going on adventures. For older teens, their future looks uncertain because most of their exams are delayed and college applications are not going to respond anytime soon as all the institutions around the world have closed. Now imagine you are standing on the brink of adulthood with already so many questions related to identity and future but suddenly everything goes blank. Source: Twitter No one is sure about the duration of social isolation as the models prepared by researchers can only predict the situation and experts believe that this prolonged period can greatly affect children’s development. They might experience stress and anxiety and kids with disabilities who have learned to socialize and interact with other neurotypical humans might go through certain setbacks as there is no support of social services. Other than that, children who live in abusive households where domestic voice and hitting your kids are a norm, might experience extreme mental health issues so it is important to keep checking on children around you. Source: Nami.org Mental illnesses are already quite prevalent today in millennials and Generation Z and many kids rely on weekly or monthly sessions with their therapists to function properly. However, now that this would not be a possibility, psychologists are expected to remain in touch with their patients especially if they are young and struggling with the isolation. Jenny Radesky, a developmental behavioral pediatrician and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan, says "When it comes to kids, they are such sensory beings. They live with their whole bodies. This is a really sudden and difficult change for them, because it’s not the same to see your peers through a video chat or a Zoom meeting." So even though you have a lot of responsibilities, it is important to show compassion towards your children and keep an eye around for those kids who usually face issues at home.
We have some bad news for all the Android users of Dark Sky. Apple has acquired the popular weather application and will close down the access for Android and Wear OS users in July as reported by Dark Sky in a blog post.Source: Mashable “Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy,” Dark Sky co-founder Adam Grossman writes in the post. “There is no better place to accomplish these goals than at Apple. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to reach far more people, with far more impact, than we ever could alone.” Source: Twitter The Dark Sky application would not experience any changes for iOS “at this time” but it is available on the App Store for $3.99. However, if you are an Android user you will no longer be able to download it or even use it on Wear OS. If you already have it, then make the most out of it because they will be shutting it down on July 1st for all the other platforms. But what about the subscription? Many people have already subscribed to the application for the entire year but don’t worry, you will receive a refund soon, according to Grossman. Source: idownloadblog Dark Sky’s API will operate “through the end of 2021” but as Grossman noted, it would not allow new sign-ups to use that API. This means that if your weather application uses information from Dark Sky, it would not be able to access it anymore. So all your forecasts, maps, and other data would be limited till July 1st and the website will function after that date “in support of API and iOS App customers”. You can check out their website and see that the branding has been updated to “Dark Sky by Apple.”
Marriott International has a record of being extremely unsafe as far as the personal data of the guests is concerned and unsurprisingly, there has been another breach that has compromised the information of 5.4 million hotel guests.Source: Tech Crunch "At the end of February 2020, we identified that an unexpected amount of guest information may have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees at a franchise property," the international hotel chain wrote on Tuesday. "We believe this activity started in mid-January 2020." The hotel chain confirms that the data that has been revealed contains contact details, loyalty account information, airline loyalty programs, room preferences along with names, mailing addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and birthdays. Source: DW.com Even though the breach is under investigation, Marriott International says that passport information, payment options, national identification numbers, and license plates may not have been compromised. "Upon discovery, we confirmed that the login credentials were disabled, immediately began an investigation, implemented heightened monitoring, and arranged resources to inform and assist guests," wrote Marriott International. They notified all the guests that were affected via email on Tuesday and also acquired some call centers with a web portal so additional information could be provided to the users. The hotel says that they will provide affected Marriott Bonvoy members the permission to change their password and enable multi-factor authentication and are reportedly removing the charges for one year of personal information access in some countries. This is not the first time that Marriot has been under criticism for a weak online system as this is the second major break in two years. Previously, in 2018, the Starwood customer database was hacked which resulted in the theft of 5.25 million unencrypted passport numbers.Source: Grid Daily The data was already disclosed in 2014 and it took Marriott International 4 years to figure out the breach. So if they have sorted this theft in less than two months, it is definitely a moment for celebration of their technical staff. This situation could not come at a worse time for the hotel chain as businesses have already shut down due to coronavirus and companies are experiencing major losses. Even before lockdowns, travel restrictions were placed on citizens of many counties that greatly affected the tourism industry including hotels. Source: Mashable Earlier this month, Marriott International approved leaves of tens of thousands of employees and those who remained experienced major cuts in their salaries. Right now, the hotel chain is running at about 25 percent due to coronavirus as reported by Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson.
We finally have some good news amid the coronavirus chaos! Everyone remembers the bushfires in Australia that burned most of the jungles down and affected millions of animals in the region. According to wildlife authorities, the country has slowly released koalas back into their natural environment after months of destruction that surrounded the animals. Source: Weather In the Kanangra-Boyd National Park in the state of New South Wales, four adult Koalas and one brand new joey have been released. During the bushfires, they were rescued from the Blue Mountains area and were put in the shelter with 8 other koalas in Sydney’s Taronga Zoo since January. Others will be released soon due to the risk of coronavirus outbreak so this month, 13 koalas will return to their homes safely. In the destruction that reached its peak in January, almost 10,000 koalas that amount to a third of the total koala population of NSW were killed. The drought in the summer proved to be even more dangerous and the koala hospitals in the country received an overwhelming amount of emergencies, mostly for burns and dehydration.Source: Time After therapy and proper treatment, four fortunate Koalas along with a newly acquired joey have been taken to the wild by Sydney-based not-for-profit wildlife conservation organization Science for Wildlife with the assistance of San Diego Zoo Global, the U.S. zoo's nonprofit that works with partners on international conservation projects. Source: NewYork Post "While they have coped well in care we are delighted to finally send our koalas home," said Dr. Kellie Leigh, executive director of Science for Wildlife in a press statement. "We have been busy assessing the burnt area that we rescued them from, to establish when the conditions have improved enough that the trees can support them again. The recent rains have helped and there is now plenty of new growth for them to eat, so the time is right. We will be radio-tracking them and keeping a close eye on them to make sure that they settle in OK." The Blue Mountains Koala Project has been in action for five years now after it was set up by San Diego Zoo Global and Science for wildlife and it aims to provide resources in the wildlife to increase the population of Koalas in the region. They worked towards removing as many koalas as they could when the bushfires broke out in New South Wales and even though the number of species rescued wasn't high, it still helped in restoring some of their population. Source: New York Post "During the massive fires, as 80 percent of the World Heritage Area burnt, we were at risk of losing the entire koala population at this site and so that’s what drove us to try something so radical and pull these koalas out before the fire hit," said Dr. Leigh.Dr. Leigh also talks about the devices they used to track the location as she said, "The radio-tracking devices that enabled us to find the koalas quickly and move them from in front of the fire will now allow us to follow them and find out more about how koalas use the landscape after fire, including where else we might find pockets of surviving koalas. That will help us to plan a future for koalas under climate change, where we expect more frequent and intense fires." Source: Queensland Times Climate change has caused many animals in the world to go extinct and this bushfire would have wiped out the entire evolution of koala bears if not for the rescue operations carried out by the authorities. They have been declared “functionally extinct” by the Australia Koala Foundation so wildlife organizations are doing everything in their power to increase their population.
The application, Zoom has become quite popular recently as more and more businesses are moving towards work from home. However, many employees are worried whether their boss can monitor most of their activities on the system or not. Previous researches have revealed Zoom to be an unsafe platform but due to lack of options, people are forced to use it for work and online learning. Source: Metro The policy of privacy on the website and in its security white paper states that Zoom has end-to-end encryption for the meetings so people should not be worried about the security of the application. However, new research from The Intercept proved it to be a lie. A spokesperson from Zoom was questioned by The Intercept about the security of the video conferences and whether they support end-to-end encryptions or not. The spokesperson said, “Currently, it is not possible to enable E2E encryption for Zoom video meetings.” Well, so why does it say the opposite on the website? Source: The Intercept Basically, the application uses TLS encryptions that have a similar approach to those that companies use to secure HTTP websites. This means that whatever data is exchanged between you and other Zoom’s servers is protected just like the content on Gmail and Facebook. However, end-to-end encryption means that your information is not even visible to the company itself like WhatsApp states on its website and in every chatbox. So this particular feature is not supported by Zoom and this is why using the term “end-to-end encryption” is quite unethical. However, unsurprisingly, Zoom stresses that they are not misleading the users. A spokesperson said, “When we use the phrase ‘End to End’ in our other literature, it is in reference to the connection being encrypted from Zoom endpoint to Zoom endpoint,” and that “content is not decrypted as it transfers across the Zoom cloud.”Source: The Intercept The in-meeting text chat on Zoom does support end-to-end because according to the company, they cannot decrypt the messages exchanged between the users. The spokesperson also said that the data collected from the users usually resolves around IP addresses, OS details in device details and this is done solely to optimize performance. So, employees do not have any contact with the information that users transfer in their chat boxes and therefore, there is no chance of any sort of data being sold. However, when they were questioned about being forced to share the information for legal proceedings by the authorities, Zoom refused to give a statement.
Massachusetts is now considering its strategies to deal with coronavirus as the expected surge in mid-April approaches. This is why the state’s Supreme Judicial Court held a hearing of the emergency petition filed to release the inmates who are susceptible to the outbreak. The court hearing lasted for more than four hours where the prosecution council argued that the number of prisoners held in captivity should be reduced under the Prison Rights Protection Bill. Source: Wbur The petition was put forward by ACLU of Massachusetts, the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers who call for the release of the prisoners and those held on pretrial detention. However, seven district attorneys of the state opposed this petition while the other 4 were in favor. After the hearing on Tuesday, Rachael Rollins, the Suffolk District Attorney supported the claim in a statement and asked for the option to be considered due to these special circumstances. However, Hampden District Attorney Anthony Gulluni said that the petition can put the lives of inmates as well as the locals in danger, according to MassLive. Source: Wbgh Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said that it would reveal the decision after consultation in the next 24-48 hours as reported by Gulluni. “We’re really sensitive and we’re really compassionate towards the threat this poses to people who are incarcerated,” Gulluni said. “I don’t want that to be lost in arguments of public safety.” He also said that 16 individuals have already been let out of prison on account of coronavirus by Hampden County so they are taking necessary measures when required. Other than that, 16 more inmates are asking the Court to release them and one of them is Robert Nompleggi who is in prison on accounts of murder charges. However, he is still held in captivity and Gulluni says that there are no intentions of letting him go. Gulluni states that he wants to protect inmates who are susceptible to coronavirus and is doing everything in his power to protect them but releasing hundreds and thousands of prisoners on account of COVID-19 is a very risky decision. Therefore, he wants to assess every case individually and see what they can do for inmates. They are people whos backgrounds we’ve looked at, who we have determined don’t pose a great risk to public safety or a particular victim and who have a really identifiable issue that makes them more vulnerable where they could contract COVID - Gulluni said. Source: NBC Boston He is one of the six district attorneys in Massachusetts who have opposed the petition along with Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, Plymouth District Attorney Timothy Cruz, Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early Jr., Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe and Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn. According to Gulluni, the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement agencies are also against the petition as their work would increase because of the dangers these individuals might inflict in the state. However, Rachael Rollins said in a statement, “People do not stop being human the day they are sentenced. Although some have made terrible choices or engaged in reprehensible behaviour, the sentence they received for their crime did not include contracting COVID-19 and death.” So far, 10 inmates have tested positive for coronavirus in Massachusetts while five members of the Department of Correction have also acquired it .
As the cases continue to increase in Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker has extended the deadline for the state's stay-at-home advisory and closure of non-essential business till May 4th. “This order also extends the 10 person limit on social gatherings until May 4 as well,” Baker said. Source: Youtube The order was put in effect on March 24th and the tentative deadline to lift the restrictions was April 7th. It asks all the citizens except for workers of essential businesses to stay at home and strictly observe social distancing with the six feet distance rule. They can step out of the house occasionally for evening walks, jogging or for any necessary trips to grocery stores or pharmacies. "I want everybody to know that we appreciate the huge impact on our economy and on our daily lives that these decisions have and they have not been made lightly," Baker said.Source: Boston Herald The list of businesses that are considered essential by the state has also been updated and according to the governor, chiropractors, optometrist, employees providing disinfectant or sanitation services and some other jobs in the supply chain sector can function. However, they have to observe all the rules of social distancing or the authorities will take strict action against them. The extension in the deadline of the lockdown came after Donald Trump also introduced similar measures in federal social distancing policies. Governor Charlie Baker has requested all the locals to respect the guidance and “play their part” so that paramedics and other healthcare workers who are risking their lives feel less pressured, especially with the new surge expected in mid-April. He called social distancing “our single greatest weapon” against the pandemic. Source: Boston University "As most of you know, my weekly visits with my 91-year-old father are (now) phone calls. And as I said previously, neither one of us are very good at that. And I miss him," a visibly emotional Baker said, pausing, "but that's just the way it should be and it’s the way all of us need to be as purposeful as we can be in dealing with the contagious nature of this virus." He was grateful to all the local business communities and citizens who showed cooperation and took the order seriously but said that the emergency imposed in the state might get difficult in the upcoming days so he expects them to show similar interests in the favor of Massachusetts. "The state is filled with remarkable people and remarkable communities. Time and again we have watched them rise together to fight, to battle and to win," Baker said. "We are about to enter what will be perhaps the most difficult period associated with this particular virus and there's no doubt in my mind, the Lt. Governor's mind or anybody else's around here that you will all perform above and beyond." According to researchers at the University of Washington, the coronavirus death toll can increase till 80 per day in Massachusetts and it might hit the state the hardest on April 14th.
The number of cases in Massachusetts keeps increasing and according to latest reports, thirty-three more people have died in the states due to the virus. The total fatalities in the region has reached 89 and the Massachusetts Department of Health is trying its best to provide excellent care to the patients. Source: Boston Herald However, the lack of equipment is not helping with the increasing number and the department said on Tuesday that there are 868 new cases in the state, bringing the statewide total to 6620. Out of 89, 84 deaths have been of people in their 70s, 80s, or 90s and one patient was over 100 years old. Most of them had pre-existing conditions and according to the department, only one was reported to not have any sort of health concerns before the virus and was hospitalized due to COVID-19 only. So far, the reported cases have been in abundance in Middlesex and Suffolk counties with more than 1300 cases in each region. The department has started preparing statistics to fight the battle against coronavirus with more efficiency and revealed that 3300 patients were male while about 3200 were female. Source: Sunbeam Earlier this week, Governor Charlie Baker asked the federal government to take notice of Massachusetts as researchers concluded that the virus will reach its peak in the state between April 7 and April 17. The curfew imposed in mid-March is extended further and the deadline for the closure of non-essential business that was supposed to expire on 7th has been increased till 4th May. The same date has also been assigned for the closure of institutions all around the state. Governor Baker also stated that platforms and hotel room bookings carried out by Airbnb will not operate for vacations anymore. Instead, this facility will be used solely by healthcare workers who are away from their homes on duties as a temporary source of residence. The strategies employed by the state might prove effective but the coronavirus surge that is expected to hit the world soon can increase the death toll by thousands.
Hospitals are understaffed and the equipment needed to fight against coronavirus is less than what is needed as manufacturers find it difficult to meet the growing demands. Source: FordBecause of this, many tech companies are offering their assistance in making the ventilators that are needed to treat the patients of COVID-19. The latest automaker that has offered their services is Ford that is going to start making the equipment as soon as they get the design. On Monday, they announced that they will start manufacturing ventilators for General Electric’s health care division which has approved a ‘simple’ design that is not powered by a Florida ventilator company called Airon. Source: Tech crunch Since the coronavirus pandemic has broken out in the world, Ford began to work with GE to assist them in making their own ventilators. Furthermore, it has stated that the automaker will lend their services to Airon to increase the production of the equipment as they are already helping in making masks and other protective gear for workers in the health care sector. Ford was also one of the companies that were shut down immediately due to coronavirus but they have resumed operation in Ypsilanti, Michigan where 500 United Auto Workers-represented volunteer employees will be paid to make ventilators. They will begin their work around 20th April after getting the approval and have estimated the production of about 1500 ventilators by the end of the month. Further figures suggest that the automaker will continue to produce around 12,000 ventilators by the end of May, 50,000 by July and if the trend continues, their production will reach the rate of 30,000 per month.Source: Business Insider Director of Ford’s global manufacturing core engineering division, Adrian Price has said that the unpowered ventilator design is “absolutely robust in terms of its capability” so it will be easier to make. As far as the employees who would be working to produce these ventilators are concerned, Ford stated that it would partner up with UAW to come up with strategies to screen them. They would also maintain social distancing at all times with the help of barriers, shield and other protective gears. Price notified that they would “also be looking at deploying new technology that can help us in the fight on COVID-19” but no further details have been disclosed.
Coronavirus has caused many schools to introduce online learning among students and this is why applications like Zoom are being employed to teach the syllabus efficiently. However, the online platforms have faced problems in the last two weeks as the video conferences were hijacked.Source: NBC Boston The FBI in Boston has issued a warning for all the schools as this would cause invasion of privacy for institutions for children. Basically, “Zoom Bombing” happens when a third party who is not invited to a conference appears during the video or voice call and displays hate content or graphic images on the application. Right now, people are more susceptible to such hijacking as along with schools, businesses have also moved their work to the application. The FBI notified that two schools were compromised due to this in the last two weeks and as more people will use Zoom in the near future, the risk would also increase. Source: Newark Now In one case, the online class was interrupted when an unknown individual entered the video chat and screamed abuses and yelled out the teacher’s home address. This was scary and the person still remains anonymous. In the second video call, a different school was targeted as an unknown individual displayed swastika tattoos during the live teleconference. Both of these incidents are really disturbing and till the FBI works to catch the culprits, they have released a set of guidelines that could help in keeping the hackers at bay. • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private; require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests. • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people. • Manage screen sharing options. In Zoom, change screen sharing to “Host-Only.” • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join. • Lastly, ensure that your organization’s telework policy or guide addresses requirements for physical and information security. So follow these guidelines to keep your classrooms safe.
In Massachusetts, coronavirus cases are increasing day by day and the latest place to get affected is a veterans facility in the state. According to reports, around 11 people died in the residential area and the same day, the facility's superintendent was given an administrative leave. Out of these 11 fatalities, 5 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and due to further threats, they have taken the decision of closing the place down.Source: Wavy A state official has confirmed the news and stated that they are conducting tests on the other 5 people to confirm the cause of their deaths as the status of the 11th person has not been identified. Apart from the eleven other deaths, 11 more people have tested positive in the Soldiers’ Home while five staff members and 25 more veteran residents are waiting for their test results, according to NBC affiliate WWLP of Springfield. The governor has taken notice of the incident and said that public health officials are preparing a detailed report to review the situation and will soon notify the residents about the preventative measures.Superintendent Bennett Walsh has been given paid administrative leave while Val Liptak, the CEO of Western Massachusetts Hospital has to take over the Soldiers’ Home as confirmed by state Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary, Dan Tsai.Source: wwlp The department monitoring the veteran facility has also devised an “onsite clinical command team” of medical, epidemiological and other paramedic staff to limit the spread of the virus in the state. As noted on the website, this home provides residential care and has a 247-bed long-term nursing care facility to take care of the affected patients. Source: Masslive The mayor of Holyoke, the city where the Soldiers’ Home is located is heartbroken as he said, "It has been devastating to hear about the full extent of the COVID-19 outbreak at the Soldiers' Home. While I am grateful that the State is now taking swift action to ensure residents and staff get necessary care and treatment, I am grief-stricken for those we have already lost, and my heart goes out to their families and friends.” Governor Baker also visited the facility to assess the situation and said, "The loss of these residents to COVID-19 is a shuddering loss for us all.” Right now, Massachusetts is one state that is experiencing an alarming number of COVID-19 cases as 5700 confirmed patients are admitted in the hospitals according to the state Public Health Department.
One state where coronavirus cases continue to increase is Massachusetts. The city went under lockdown last week with only essential services operating but this action has done little to prevent the spread of the virus. Health care facilities are trying their best to accommodate as many patients as they can but the lack of resources, especially ventilators are causing a hindrance. Source: wghb The local government also made a website so that citizens and organizations could help and donate the required equipment but it is still not sufficient as researchers say that the virus has yet to reach its peak in Massachusetts. On Monday, Governor Baker said, “If we get the 1000 ventilators the feds are promising, that will make a big difference.” The patients entering the facilities add to the pressure of providing ventilators and beds every day along with predictions of researchers who suggest that the virus needs to be controlled urgently in the state. Right now, paramedics estimate that they need 1000-1400 additional ventilators to accommodate the growing number of patients and if the predicted new wave of April 7 to April 17 arrives, the situation will become far worse. This estimation was made by the researcher at the University of Washington who notified that coronavirus might reach its peak in the Bay State around April 14th. The research paper prepared from the fundings of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation points out the future model for all fifty states as noted by the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Source: nbc Boston The paper has been presented after a close study of all the measures that different states have taken to limit the spread of the virus. It states that hospitals in Massachusetts would require 2700 more beds to successfully deal with the expected increase in the upcoming weeks. On average, 80 people could die every day so it is important to take timely measures and the governor should urge the federal government to provide ventilators to the health facilities in the state. The model predicts that the virus might stay in the state till August and kill a total of 1700 people if the trend continues to increase. Unfortunately, the research has proved to be quite accurate and confirms the cases that have surged during the weekend as reported by The White House. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said on Sunday that the fatalities across the entire country might reach over 100 000 in the upcoming months. "I think that number is probably optimistic," said Samuel Scarpino, an assistant professor at Northeastern University who studies networks and complex systems, including the spread of infectious diseases. He believes that researchers are being modest in their predictions because if the same trend continues for another month, we are looking at millions of fatalities in the United States. "We are in a very, very serious situation and we need to be moving decisively," he said. All the researchers acknowledge that no one knows when the virus will go away and the numbers will only go down once the respective departments come up with the cure.
The whole world is now using applications like Zoom for video conferences and business meetings. Well, staying online to attend such calls can be boring especially when you are sitting in your pyjamas and eating peanut butter right out of the jar. So we have compiled some of the best hacks and features on Zoom that can help you make your video conferences smooth!This list will also be useful for those people who are struggling to use Zoom so keep an account of all the features mentioned below and make the online experience refreshing. Source: Mashable Change the Background You can have a lot of fun with Zoom backgrounds while chatting with your friends. The Zoom wallpaper on the screen can be changed to any colour, meme or cartoon so utilise the feature when you are taking screenshots to post on Instagram and Snapchat. Right now, everyone has become lazy so if you do not want your friends to see your messy bedroom, just change it to any virtual appearance, ranging from the sky to a beach. Source: Zoom How to do it? 1. Click on the little arrow next to the "Stop Video" button in the lower-left 2. Then click "Choose Virtual Background" 3. Once you're in there, click the little plus sign to add an image or, no joke, a video. Know your Hotkeys Zoom has a lot of built-in keys that can take away the use of mouses or trackpads. So you just have to click on those and can pretty much operate the application without any indicator. Features between Mac and Windows differ but the key idea is the same. If you are a Mac user and want to shut off the camera, just use Command+Shift+V. V is for video so it is easy to remember! Same rules apply for other shortcuts so if you want to shut off the mic, you can use M and press S for the screen. No Zoom Time Limits Like every video chat, Zoom also has a time limit. So after every 40 minutes, your call ends and this can be a problem for people who are staying at home and want to gossip for 3 hours straight with their friends. Zoom does have a feature for limitless calls but unfortunately, you have to pay for the subscription. The easiest hack is to end the call and restart it by adding the same people in it. If you are in China or the United States, the restriction for 40 minutes has been lifted so you are kind of lucky but other folks have to use the traditional hack. Look Nice on ZoomSource: Zoom This is probably the most pretentious feature but we have to inform you about it. Many business meetings happen on short deadlines so you do not have time to make your sleepy face “presentable”. For this, Zoom has a solution. You can go to the videos section in the settings menu and click on the ‘Touch Up My Appearance’ feature. Zoom says that this makes your appearance a little smoother to people on the other end of the call. So take advantage of these hacks and get down to business meetings or school lectures!
Celebrities criticizing Trump’s policies is not a new thing but the fact that the President has failed to rise to the occasion even during a global pandemic is quite disappointing. He has been encouraging people against the orders of the CDC and WHO to step out and continue to contribute to the economy. While we did expect this from a capitalist like Trump, we were not sure that he would preach his nonsense publicly. On Sunday, during a press conference when Donald Trump was scheduled to answer the queries of citizens voiced by journalists, he took the most crowd approach. He ran away after handing the mic to his VP, Mike Pence who sat there handling all the hatred directed towards Donald Trump and his incompetence. Source: Variety One person who criticized this action the most was Captain America himself who is tired of dealing with a President who cannot even come up with proper speeches, let alone strategies to calm the people of the United States. Chris Evans voiced his anger on Twitter and said, “The president just ran off stage after his rambling press conference without answering a single question. America wants answers. America wants leadership. America doesn’t want a president who runs off stage during a crisis and lets Mike Pence do all the talking.” Source: Twitter The post has been retweeted 21 000 times as people all over the world share similar concerns. Chris Evans has also criticized Trump previously on his relationship with Putin and his lack of policies for climate change. The virus has affected more than half of a million people globally but the President of the most powerful country in the world refuses to take it seriously.
All the recreational activities have closed due to coronavirus and people are just trying to find multiple ways to entertain themselves. From Instagram challenges to online concerts, users are keeping themselves busy with any source of amusement. Aspiring artists, specifically, are suffering due to coronavirus as their shows and gigs have been cancelled and they have to survive on limited means. The times are quite upsetting and multiple organizations have been set to help individuals who are struggling to maintain financial stability. Amid this, the state of California just introduced a new activity for people who like art and love to visit museums. They believe that if you cannot go out to appreciate art, you can become art. This is why the Getty Museum in Los Angeles is making people recreate their favourite works from the museum using household objects. As people are restricted to their houses since last week after the state issued a complete lockdown, closing all non-essential businesses, they have found this new activity for social media. Getty Museum tweeted on 25th March, “We challenge you to recreate a work of art with objects (and people) in your home. Choose your favourite artwork. Find three things lying around your house. Recreate the artwork with those items. And share with us.” People did not disappoint at all as they gathered objects from all around the house to recreate social works of art. Here are a few examples if you need any inspiration. Source: TwitterSource: TwitterSource: TwitterSource: Twitter Source; TwitterSource: TwitterSource: Twitter Source: TwitterSource: TwitterSource: Twitter Social distancing does not mean that you stay away from art so find all things around your house that can help you recreate paintings or sculptures from museums. Honesty, we never thought that our lives would come to this but since no one has anything better to do in self-quarantine, this is the best option. So stop scrolling through your social media for the 99th time since the morning and try to be creative. You can also include your family members in these crazy renditions and have fun while you're stuck in this quarantine. We cannot believe that historians who will look back at this global pandemic are going to find such amazing masterpieces.
Health departments all over the world are facing issues like lack of equipment as the cases of coronavirus continue to increase. The gear for doctors and other paramedics staff is not enough to cater to the patients and organizations are asking for donations to fight the battle against the crisis. Source: Turnto10 Due to social distancing and lockdown observed by many countries right now, individuals do not require precautionary measures like masks and gloves if they stay at home. So, Massachusetts has developed a website where any company or individual can donate Personal Protective Equipment to the CommonWealth. Any kind of equipment that is needed for the doctors would be accepted and people are being encouraged to help the staff as they are on the front line of this war. So if you would like to donate, here are some of the essentials that the hospitals in Massachusetts require right now. ● N95/N99 masks (respirators). ● Surgical/procedure masks. ● Facemasks with integrated shields. ● Powered Air-Purifying Respirators (PAPR). ● Goggles. ● Gloves. ● Protective suits/gowns. ● Booties/shoe covers. ● Headcovers. ● Hand sanitizer. ● Sanitizing wipes. Source: mdassociates “We have a constant demand and need for personal protective equipment (PPE) available to our medical, first responder and essential service communities. Over the past week, hundreds of deliveries of PPE have been made to front line health care providers, and first responders, but we need so much more,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders who is requesting individuals and billionaire companies to play their part in assisting the paramedics.
All the states in America are taking measures to make sure they limit the spread of coronavirus as the numbers have surpassed 100 000. The latest region that has imposed a complete lockdown on non-essential businesses in Massachusetts. The government of the state has issued new orders that limit the gathering of more than 10 people and operations of businesses that do not provide essential services like first responders. Source: wcvb Charlie Baker, Massachusetts Governor is forcing people to stay inside their houses and has banned all sports and games in the state. He says that sports like football or basketball would promote the spread of the virus so people should maintain the six-feet rule and let the state control the affairs for the time being. He also noted that citizens over the age of 70 should stay inside because they are more susceptible to the virus. “There’s been a lot of talk about a government mandating people take shelter in their homes. I do not believe I can or should order U.S. citizens to be confined to their homes for days on end,” Baker said on March 23rd. “It doesn’t make sense from a public health point of view, and it’s not realistic.” Source: 24news During the full closure, you would be allowed to go out to get your groceries, buy your prescribed medicines and visit laundry shops. However, restaurants, bars, pubs and any other establishment that offers food delivery or take out services should make their customers stand at a distance of six-feet or they would face consequences. “We will always allow all grocery stores, pharmacies and other types of businesses that provide essential goods and services to Massachusetts residents to continue to operate,” Baker said on Monday. “We will not stop anyone from accessing these essential businesses.” The restrictions were placed last week on Tuesday and will last till April 7th when the entire country will reassess the situation to see how long will lockdowns last. Right now, we are not sure if the government under Baker is planning to extend the deadline of the limitations but as we approach April 7th, there might be some changes introduced later in this week. The stores that will continue to operate during this period are supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants that offer delivery and takeout services. Institutions, where many foreign students are stuck right now, will also continue to keep their cafeterias open as campus residents are not allowed to leave the premises of their forms. Liquor stores all around the state can also function if the owners are willing to keep the business running. Source: dw As we mentioned earlier, the Department of Public Health operating in Massachusetts has made it clear that restaurants have to make sure their employees and customers observe social distancing. If anyone is found breaching the law, strict actions would be taken against them .One question that remains essential during this time is what will happen to elders who live alone. They also need necessary things like groceries and medicines but the state has asked them to stay at home specifically. To solve this problem, Baker says that citizens who have friends or family over the age of 70 years should go out and take care of their needs. Also, if you have neighbours who are unable to step out of their homes due to any problems, you should be kind enough to deliver groceries and other stuff to their houses. However, if older citizens do not have anyone who can assist them during the lockdown, they will be provided with special hours to take care of their necessities. The grocery stores all around the state are being asked to fix time limitations when people over 70 years old can come for the shopping and are able to to avoid contact with the masses. BigY, Shaws, Star Market and Whole Food have taken notice of this and have set up special hours for seniors citizens. As of now, the public transportation in the state has not closed because employees who help with bus terminals, train stations and airports are considered essential workers so all public transit is still functional. Source: Boston Herald However, Baker said that this does mean that you should be using these services to go meet your friends. It has been done to make things easier for people who want to go grocery shopping and get medicines so they do not have to take unnecessary long tours and risk the spread of the virus. The MBTA is taking measures like back-door boarding on buses and above-ground trolleys so that the passengers and drivers maintain social distance. The services of public transit have been made free in Massachusetts as reported by Boston Globe so minimum wage workers can use them to collect essentials. If you violate any rules of the lockdown given by executive order or DPHs guidance, authorities would make sure you face criminal penalties. First offence might result in a warning but if you continue to break the rules, you can face a fine up to $300 or $500 with prison time, depending on the extent of the offence. Many citizens were concerned about the religious services so the state has decided that churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship can continue to operate but they would not be allowed to have more than 10 people in the enclosed space at a time. Same rules also apply to funerals, weddings, fundraisers, protests and other recreational activities. Following the orders, many religious institutions have moved to the services of online application and are connecting via virtual means to continue praying. Services that are strictly closed and will face penalties if they are found operating are salons, game stores, casinos, major retailers, vendors and parks. They have to follow these orders until April 7th until the government comes up with a new strategy to deal with the virus. These measures came after 646 people in the Bay State tested positive for coronavirus. Five people have died so far in the region according to the state Department of Health.
For all the single people out there, dating just got complicated. While many couples are observing social isolation together and uploading cute videos, people without partners cannot even meet someone new because of the lockdown situations in many countries. However, this did not stop a particular Brooklyn-based photographer, Jeremy Cohen, who is nothing less than a hopeless romantic during the quarantine. Source: Mashable His love story started because of social isolation and he documented every step in a series of TikTok videos that are receiving massive internet hype. He says that flirting is "usually daunting" for him but given the special circumstances, he built up confidence and went for the game. Last week he saw his neighbor, Tori Cignarella, who was dancing on her roof across the street from his apartment and he was mesmerized. So he attached a piece of paper with his number on it to a drone and flew it to Tori's rooftop where she received it. "I think being confined to a box while being quarantined can inspire creativity," said Cohen in an email to Mashable. He admitted that he wouldn't have made a move if he was not observing social distancing. "Because of this and the fact that I craved human connection more than ever, it gave me the guts to shoot my shot with Tori." Well, it worked. She texted him an hour later and asked him out on a dinner date which was slightly different than the usual ones. Both of them microwaved frozen dinners and set tables on their balcony and rooftop with glasses of wine to enjoy a socially distanced date. They Facetimed each other during the dinner and uploaded a video of doing so on TikTok. "I can understand how people seeing it could think it would be fake considering there are so [many] endless amounts of videos online that tell fake stories," he said. "All I can say is that if they knew me personally, they would know I'm not the type of person to put out a big lie and run with it." However, the story doesn't end here. For their second date, Cohen decided that it was time to meet Tori in person so they went for a walk. He inflated a human-sized hamster ball, got flowers and went to Cignarella's apartment so they could take a walk down the street without having any contact with each other. Unfortunately, he was not able to give her those flowers due to the hamster ball but they hugged each through the bubble and it was adorable. "There are heaps of different ways to communicate [with] people through technology, and it's all at our fingertips. Just be creative, kind, open-minded, and put yourself out there! (Virtually)", advises Cohen. So, if your partner is making excuses and avoiding you during social distancing, show them the efforts this individual just made for a stranger.