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    CHICAGO (CBS) — The Omicron surge of the COVID-19 pandemic have peaked in Chicago, after surging to record levels in early January, the city’s top doctor announced Wednesday afternoon. “I am very, very pleased to say that we have formally passed the Omicron peak here in the city of Chicago,” Chicago Department of Public Health Dr. Allison Arwady said Wednesday at City Hall. “However, we are a long way from being out of the woods, and it’s really important over these next few weeks and months that we continue to work hard on getting folks vaccinated, getting folks tested, continuing to wear masks, because there’s a long way to come down.” READ MORE: No Changes To Chicago Travel Advisory; Every State Remains On The List For 3rd Week In A RowArwady said COVID-19 cases are dropping in Chicago, with the city now averaging 2,903 new cases per day, a 46% drop in the past week. New cases peaked at 8,553 infections on Jan 4, the most ever recorded in Chicago during the pandemic. Hospitalizations also have started to level off,...
    There is simply no deterrent left in America’s major cities. It doesn’t matter how many times they commit the crime. Darrell Johnson, 23, had more than a dozen arrests and was out pretrial for attacking a woman when he allegedly attacked two more women in broad daylight on Dec. 2. One woman was knocked unconscious and lost a tooth. Now he is out free again! This week, the NYPD arrested Simon Martial and charged him with second-degree murder for allegedly shoving 40-year-old Michelle Alyssa Go to death from a subway platform. This happened in the heart of the Times Square subway in broad daylight. Go was killed instantly when a train hit her while she was on the tracks. Why are there so many brazen crimes like this being committed on subways? According to police, Martial had a criminal record dating back to 1998 and had an outstanding parole warrant. Aside from the abolishing of bail, the Soros prosecutors are constantly downgrading serious violent crimes, so even if a criminal amasses a robust rap sheet, the severity of...
    The outlet also pointed out that according to a report from Education Week, at least 422 active teachers died during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Given that there are over 3 million public school teachers in the United States, plus 500,000 in private schools, 'so many' deaths equates to a 0.012 percent death rate," the report concluded. The Education Week report also documented personal information of those teachers lost during the pandemic, such as their names, schools in which they taught, and ages. You can view the full list here. Penn State professor just deleted this tweet:pic.twitter.com/as5ipv2nBy — Corey A. DeAngelis (@Corey A. DeAngelis) 1642374142
    That batch of information didn't even include Fauci's current employment agreement or confidentiality and conflict of interest documents, the watchdog group reported, noting the latter could be numerous. Following more pressure and an official lawsuit filed in October alongside Judicial Watch, the agency "admitted they were holding 1,200 pages subject to our request," Andrzejewski recounted. "So think about this, we got 51 pages — there were redactions — and there are 1,200 pages," Andrzejewski added. "So they admitted to holding 1,200 pages that were subject to the request and 3,000 pages of line-by-line royalty payments. Every line is a potential conflict of interest and there are up to 1,000 NIH scientists receiving royalty payments. It's legal, but it should be disclosed." Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit on behalf of http://OpenTheBooks.com\u00a0 against the HHS for calendars and calendar entries of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Dr. Anthony Fauci. READ NOW: http://jwatch.us/LPaHzY\u00a0https://twitter.com/FreedomWorks/status/1483505359453106180\u00a0\u2026 — Judicial Watch \u2696\ufe0f (@Judicial Watch \u2696\ufe0f) 1642531590 Due to a reported backlog in FOIA requests, the NIH told OpenTheBooks.com that it is only...
    Biden administration lawyers are due in court on Wednesday to defend their use of a Trump-era immigration restriction that has led to more than a million migrants being expelled at the US-Mexico border. The Biden administration says the use of Title 42 public health protections are essential to stem the entry of COVID-19 into the country.  But human rights campaigners say its use deprives arrivals of their right to claim asylum and offers no public health benefit when the coronavirus is already widespread.  In September, a federal court in Washington, DC, issued a injunction barring the Biden administration from using the measure to expel families. However, that was overturned on appeal. Campaigners return to the appeals court on Wednesday where they will argue that they have documented thousands of murders, kidnappings, sexual assaults, and other forms of violence against expelled migrants. Asylum-seeking migrants from Haiti walk near the border wall after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas Critics have accused President Joe Biden of failing...
    President Joe Biden will hold a rare solo press conference on Wednesday evening, the day before his one-year annivesary in office, where he is expected to defend his tenure in the White House and preview his plans for the next three years.  He will also likely face questions on the issues of the day - voting rights, his Build Back Better bill, his declining approval rating, Russia and the Ukraine, inflation and the Omicron variant of COVID.  His last solo press conference in the White House was in March and his last formal press conference was in October, when he was in Glasgow, Scotland for COP26. He has held solo press conferences on foreign trips and joint ones with world leaders in addition to taking questions from reporters on the fly. In total, Biden has held six news conferences on his own and three jointly with foreign leaders - a number far below that of his predecessors in the Oval Office.  White House press secretary Jen Psaki started the defense of Biden's first year in her press briefing Tuesday when she...
    Originally published Jan. 18, 2022 MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s hard to deny that the COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to the hustle and bustle of downtown Minneapolis. READ MORE: COVID-19 Prevalence In Metro Area Wastewater Is Declining After Recent PeakAnd as for the future, there’s some bad news and some good news for the biggest city in the Upper Midwest. Jason Mill works in legal services. He’s one of the few who have been working downtown the whole time. “Used to seeing people walking around … before the pandemic. Now the pandemic, it’s just a different place,” Mill said. Roger Peters works in a financial firm and comes in one day a week. “I’ll probably never work downtown fulltime again,” Peters said. “Probably the most will be thee, maybe four days a week.” And Ronda Anderson-Drake says her publishing firm has only a handful of onsite employees. Does she think downtown will ever be the same? READ MORE: COVID In MN: Emergency Nurses Arrive To Help Hospitals Nicollet Mall before and during the pandemic (credit: CBS) “I think...
    Bill Gates, the billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist who warned that the globe wasn’t ready for a pandemic, shared a new prediction last week on the fate of COVID-19: “Once omicron goes through a country, then the rest of the year should see far fewer cases, so COVID can be treated more like seasonal flu.” Right now, that’s hard to imagine. With the U.S. recording more than 750,000 new cases and nearly 2,000 deaths a day from the super-contagious omicron variant, and hospitals in many parts of the country still bracing for the worst, it’s difficult to foresee the day we can liken COVID to influenza. “We’ve learned to kind of accommodate and live with influenza,” said Warner Greene, a virologist at the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco. “Hopefully we can get there with COVID, but we’re not there yet.” There is just no comparison. A closer look at the numbers two years into the pandemic shows two unmistakable takeaways: COVID killed more than eight times as many Americans in 2021 as the flu killed in the 2017-18 season, the...
              by Eric Lendrum   A recent report claims that the world’s top 10 richest men all saw their wealth double over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic, while 99 percent of global income dropped dramatically during the same period. As reported by ABC News, a study published on Monday by the group Oxfam showed that the collective wealth of the top 10 doubled from approximately $700 billion to over $1.5 trillion between March of 2020 and November of 2021. During that same time, over 160 million people fell into poverty as incomes plummeted. The increase for the top 10 in less than two years represented a greater increase for their wealth than their growth over the previous 14 years combined. The 10 men who were the focus of Oxfam’s study were: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bernard Arnault, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Ballmer and Warren Buffett. The data for the study was gathered from the World Bank. “Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic,” said Oxfam’s International Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. “Central banks pumped trillions of...
    While it is starting to appear that the Omicron COVID-19 wave could be nearing its end, one model projects a grim future ahead for the United States, modeling that 58,000 to 305,000 more Americans will succumb to the virus over the next two months. Projections shared during a White House briefing Tuesday estimate that between up to 305,000 Americans could die from Covid between now and when the wave is expected to subside by mid-March. This likely would bring America's overall Covid death total - sitting at over 853,000 as of Tuesday afternoon - over one million, a mark no other country in the world has reached. The projection comes despite the growing data that the Omicron variant is less severe than its predecessors. Data revealed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week showed that a person infected with Omicron is 91 percent less likely to die than a person who contracted Delta. Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, said last week that the Delta variant was even still responsible for the recent uptick in deaths...
    Children are extremely unlikely to die from COVID-19, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals. The agency's data shows that around 8.3 million children have contracted Covid and 841 have died since the pandemic began in March 2020. This means that children make up around 12 percent of cases and less than 0.1 percent of deaths in the U.S. The Census estimates that 22 percent of Americans are under the age of 18. Children under the age of five are especially unlikely to die, with 259 deaths being reported among the population that makes up six percent of Americans. It has long been known children do not suffer from Covid as badly as adults do. Previous studies have found that around half of cases among children are asymptomatic. Data from the CDC shows that children make up less than 0.1% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. since the pandemic first began in March 2020. Pictured: A young girl in Boston, Massachusetts, is tested for Covid on January 13 The CDC reports age mortality data on a...
    New York (CNN Business)Oranges are in trouble.Citrus disease and bad weather are constraining supply of oranges in the United States and internationally. Meanwhile, demand for orange juice — which has been sliding for years — got a bump during the pandemic. That has sent orange juice prices higher during the pandemic, and they will probably continue to climb: Frozen orange juice futures have surged more than 50% during the pandemic, and they rose to a two-year high last week — soaring 5% alone Thursday."You have your classical supply-demand mismatch," said Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors, which specializes in agricultural commodities analysis. Because of that, consumers should expect "much higher prices at the supermarket." Half a shelf sits empty of orange juice at a Target store in the Queens borough of New York City, NY, on October 19, 2021.The anticipated spike in orange juice prices comes as consumers are already facing inflation across multiple sectors. The US consumer price index rose 7% over the past year before seasonal adjustments, the steepest climb in prices since June 1982, the...
    Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is an “open question” if the omicron variant of the Chinese coronavirus marks the final wave of the pandemic, making the remark during a virtual appearance at The Davos Agenda event. “It is an open question whether it will be the live virus vaccination that everyone is hoping for,” the White House chief medical adviser said. “I would hope that that’s the case. But that would only be the case if we don’t get another variant that eludes the immune response of the prior variant,” he continued, reiterating that the virus will not be eradicated altogether. “Control means you have it present but it is present at a level that does not disrupt society,” Fauci said. “That’s my definition of what endemicity would mean.” It remains unclear, however, if federal health officials are willing to revert to a state of pre-pandemic normalcy, living with a virus without reintroducing restrictions such as mask and vaccine mandates, which they have been gleefully doing over the past year. “It’s not going to be that you’ll eliminate this disease completely....
    (CNN)Cate Blanchett dressed up as her daughter's teacher during the early months of the pandemic in order to get homeschooling done. When Blanchett's 7-year-old daughter began staying home in March 2020 due to Covid-19, Blanchett had to take on the role of teacher, which, she tells the BBC, wasn't easy. She said her daughter "wouldn't allow me at all to teach math or do phonics unless I dressed up as her teacher and put on her teacher's voice."A pile of stuffed animals also joined the class."I had an array of stuffed animals who also had to be taught. It wasn't an offer I made. It was a request she made," Blanchett added. "One thing that really came home to me was just how incredible teachers are."She said,"That is an inherently dramatic situation where you have to stand up in front of a class of 30 often disinterested pupils and try and get them engaged in medieval history."Read MoreAlong with homeschooling duties, Blanchett has spent some o fher time during the pandemic attending to her pigs and the chickens and "watching...
    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly planning to do away with all COVID-19 laws in the United Kingdom as case numbers drop and the country learns to treat the virus like a seasonal flu. The government is considering ending all legally enforced policies in England and is instead moving to a guidance-based system, a source told the Daily Mail. Laws that have existed since the beginning of the pandemic, including enforced self-isolation after an infection, could come to a halt, the source said. Emergency COVID-19 laws put into effect at the beginning of the pandemic are already scheduled to end in March, according to a timetable created before the omicron variant outbreak. WATCH: BORIS JOHNSON OFFERS 'HEARTFELT APOLOGIES' FOR ATTENDING 'BRING YOUR OWN BOOZE' PARTY Officials are reportedly discussing scrapping policies, such as the enforced use of COVID-19 passports, as early as later this month. Johnson is said to have made the decision based on the country's plummeting infection rate and hospitalization rate. Scotland is following suit, lifting all omicron-related restrictions as...
    A lot of memorable NBA players are getting a second chance…due to a new wave of a deadly pandemic. Can any joy be found here? For the third straight season, the NBA has been thoroughly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the season was able to start on time, and the league has managed to avoid a stoppage in play, the Omicron variant has wreaked havoc on things, often finding teams scrambling for players. As a result, we’ve seen more players play in the NBA this season than in any previous year, and we’ve only just crossed the halfway point. Teams like the Chicago Bulls and Memphis Grizzlies have had nearly half their rosters in COVID protocols, while a game between the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors had to be postponed because the Nuggets didn’t have the minimum eight players necessary to play an NBA game. After thinking that just maaaayyybe the pandemic was effectively over, the last month has been a rather intense reality check for basketball fans. The harsh realities of this situation led to the creation...
    My 88-year-old Latina mother, triple vaxxed and a diligent mask wearer, is struggling with COVID. Two weeks ago, I sat outside her apartment in my camping chair as her blood pressure plunged 40 points in one day, her heart rate dropped to 50, and her hacking cough prevented her from getting any sleep. We couldn’t get her in for treatment in an emergency room, nor could we access any of the antiviral drugs or monoclonal antibody treatments we’ve heard so much about. I couldn’t even get a her a telemedicine appointment with a doctor — any doctor — for three days. And my mom is one of the fortunate who has full medical coverage through Kaiser Permanente, but that’s not enough when the healthcare system is under siege to the point that the governor calls in the National Guard to help. It took eight hours just to get a call back from a nurse to learn whether she could be seen in the ER. This, it seems, is what “learning to live with COVID” looks like. As she struggles...
    SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The cycle of removing and re-imposing COVID-19 restrictions has no place in a post-vaccination world -- that's according to Dr. Jeanne Noble, the Director of COVID Response for UCSF's Emergency Department."Our, sort of, abundance of caution approach has caused a lot of harm," Dr. Noble told ABC7 News. "And since so many of us are vaccinated and well-protected, either from natural immunity or vaccination immunity, we need to acknowledge that and return to normal as quickly as we can."She and UCSF Infectious Disease Dr. Monica Gandhi wrote a piece, published on Time.com entitled, "We Can't Just Impose Restrictions Whenever COVID-19 Surges. Here's a Better Plan for 2022."RELATED: Sonoma Co. leaders say new COVID health order could hurt business, tourismPart of their approach includes putting a stop to blanket mask mandates. They're even setting a timeline for schools, suggesting getting rid of the mask requirement on campuses, come January 28.As Dr. Noble explained, that's 12 weeks after the last school-aged child was vaccine eligible."I would be excessively optimistic I think, to say that I think our...
    Donald Trump listens to the crowd cheer during a campaign event in Des Moines, Iowa.Mark Kauzlarich | Bloomberg | Getty Images Populist parties and politicians lost support all over the world during the coronavirus pandemic, a survey of more than half a million people has found. Published Tuesday by Cambridge University's Bennett Institute for Public Policy, the study had more than half a million participants across 109 countries. The research team has been monitoring participants' political attitudes since 2020. According to the report, there are clear signs that the so-called "populist wave" — which saw radical and anti-establishment leaders, including former U.S. President Donald Trump, rise to power — could be diminishing. The mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis by populist leaders, a desire for stability and a decline in polarizing attitudes were swaying public opinion away from populist sentiment, researchers said. Populist leaders were also considered to be less trustworthy as sources of Covid-related information than their centrist counterparts, the poll found. The pandemic prompted a shift toward technocratic politics, the paper said, which bolstered trust in governments and experts...
    BRITAIN has passed the Omicron peak and experts reckon the end of the pandemic is now in sight. Infections and hospital cases are falling across the country — the first time both measures have dropped since the ultra-contagious Covid variant swept the UK at the end of last year. 6Experts believe that Britain has passed the Omicron peak and reckon the end of the pandemic is now in sight 6Dr David Nabarro, of the World Health Organization, said Britain could now see 'light at the end of the tunnel'Credit: AFP The World Health Organization’s Covid special envoy David Nabarro said Britain could now see “light at the end of the tunnel”. And Professor Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia, predicted that life could be back to normal by the summer. He said: “Covid will soon be just one of the causes of the common cold and will be a pain in the behind, maybe flaring up in winter. "We will need boosters for the most vulnerable but I can’t see widespread mask use or testing being warranted. “I...
    Jon Cherry/Getty Images) New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait opined on Monday that it is time for progressives to come to terms with the fact that mass school closures throughout the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond were “catastrophic.” School closures of course resulted in mental health and other crises for young people, so much so that by early 2021, some were sounding the alarm about an increase in suicides among teens. Axios reported in February of 2021, “Hospitals have seen a significant increase in mental health emergencies among children, and federal officials have acknowledged that prolonged school closures have deprived students of both formal services and simple human interaction.” The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has even taken up the issue of prolonged school closures, noting: School closures carry high social and economic costs for people across communities. Their impact however is particularly severe for the most vulnerable and marginalized boys and girls and their families. The resulting disruptions exacerbate already existing disparities within the education system but also in other aspects of their lives....
    Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, warns that the Omicron variant may not spell the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, told the Davos Agenda virtual event Monday that 'natural vaccination' - or immunity via previous infection - might not be as effective as some believe. Like the emergence of Omicron, there is potential for a new variant to emerge in the future that can bypass the natural immunity provided by infection from the new strain.  He says that even if Omicron - which has caused a massive surge in new cases worldwide but is not as severe or deadly as its predecessors - is the final strain of Covid, it will likely become endemic. His warning runs counter to the positive predictions coming from some officials in the UK who believe that the virus could have a 'flu-type' relationship with people by the end of the year based on its current spread. Dr Anthony Fauci (pictured), warned that the Omicron variant may not be the virus's final...
    As we emerge from the pandemic, Joe Biden's economic policy bungling is driving America into a brick wall of malaise and stagflation. For those of us who lived through it, the comparisons to Jimmy Carter's failed presidency are hard to ignore.  So, why is the Biden administration so determined to ignore both the cause of Carter's economic failure and President Ronald Reagan's very successful formula for reversing it? Absent such an economic awakening, it's going to be a tough three years. Like Carter, the Biden administration is acting as though it can ignore fundamental economic problems forever. News flash – it can't. The longer we wait to seriously address inflation, labor shortages, and supply chain problems, the worse the threat of an inevitable and deep recession becomes. Case in point: On Wednesday Biden, claimed December's inflation report showed 'a meaningful reduction in headline inflation over last month' demonstrating that 'we are making progress in slowing the rate of price increases.' If you are a working or middle-class American that may have surprised you. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' actual report on...
    A pedestrian wearing a face mask delivers food to a homeless person sleeping in the entrance of a shop, closed due to coronavirus restrictions, in central London on December 23, 2020.Tolga Akmen | AFP | Getty Images The pandemic has made the rich richer while the income of the rest of the world — about 99% of humanity — dropped, according to a new Oxfam report titled "Inequality Kills." The wealth of the world's 10 richest men doubled from $700 billion to $1.5 trillion during the pandemic, the global charity said on Monday. "It has never been so important to start righting the violent wrongs of this obscene inequality by clawing back elites' power and extreme wealth including through taxation — getting that money back into the real economy and to save lives," said Oxfam International's Executive Director Gabriela Bucher. A 99% windfall tax on the pandemic gains of the world's 10 richest men would raise enough money to pay for vaccines for the world — as well as finance various social measures for more than 80 countries, the report...
    London (CNN Business)Billionaires added $5 trillion to their fortunes during the pandemic, according to Oxfam, exacerbating economic inequality as the pandemic pushed millions of people around the world into poverty.Using data compiled by Forbes, Oxfam says in a new report that the total wealth of billionaires jumped from $8.6 trillion in March 2020 to $13.8 trillion in November 2021, a bigger increase than in the previous 14 years combined. The world's richest 10 men saw their collective wealth more than double, shooting up by $1.3 billion a day. The report was released ahead of the World Economic Forum's online Davos Agenda, which will take place this week after the group's annual in-person meeting was delayed due to Omicron. Oxfam argues that governments should tax gains made by the super-rich during the pandemic and use the money to fund health care systems, pay for vaccines, fight discrimination and address the climate crisis. As millions fell into poverty during the pandemic, billionaires wealth soared"Billionaires have had a terrific pandemic. Central banks pumped trillions of dollars into financial markets to save the economy,...
    In the moment Andy died, I was certain of two things: that my beloved was gone, though the critical care team waited a bleak minute before confirming what my heart brokenly and instantly recognised — and that he would never leave. Death alters relationships. It doesn’t end them. It will be two years next month since my husband succumbed to a pneumonia that blindsided doctors with its severity and odd behaviours, defying their every intervention. Later, they would launch an inconclusive investigation, suspecting that Andy, only 64 when he died, had been one of the earliest UK Covid fatalities. He first showed symptoms of the illness that would kill him less than a week after his band, Gang Of Four, rounded off an international tour at packed venues in China. Widowhood came hard on the heels of another loss. My stepfather John died shortly after Andy’s return to London, his cause of death also listed as pneumonia. My mother and I were lucky in one respect; this happened before Covid barred families from hospitals. I was even able to hold...
    By Zeke Miller and Calvin Woodward | Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — From the inaugural platform, President Joe Biden saw American sickness on two fronts — a disease of the national spirit and the one from the rampaging coronavirus — and he saw hope, because leaders always must see that. “End this uncivil war,” he implored Americans on Jan. 20, 2021. Of the pathogen, he said: “We can overcome this deadly virus.” Neither malady has abated. For Biden, it’s been a year of lofty ambitions grounded by the unrelenting pandemic, a tough hand in Congress, a harrowing end to an overseas war and rising fears for the future of democracy itself. Biden did score a public-works achievement for the ages. But America’s cracks go deeper than pavement. In this midterm election year, Biden confronts seething divisions and a Republican Party that propagates the delusion that the 2020 election — exhaustively vetted, validated many times over, fair by all measures — was stolen from Donald Trump. That central, mass lie of a rigged vote has become a pretext in state after...
    Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that there has been too much scrutiny on red states voting legislation when several blue states have restrictive laws. Cassidy said, “Now Georgia has two days of Sunday voting that is optional, that you can do it. And by the way, there are no drop boxes before the pandemic. There were none, and now we still have drop boxes. So an accommodation made for a pandemic are going to continue in the future when theoretically the pandemic is over. And shall I point out that Georgia has more early voting days than does Delaware or New York by far? They have no-excuse absentee voting. So when Representative Clyburn says a 90-year-old woman has to stand in line for four hours in Georgia, she doesn’t. I think in Delaware, she might have to or New York. Maybe we need to look at the blue states which have not been nearly so reactive and supportive of voting as opposed to a state like Georgia, which clearly has relative to them.”...
    THERE are several trends that both divorced and divorcing couples should expect to see or even experience in 2022, according to California-based Ashley Silberfeld, Partner at top firm Blank Rome. Some of these include custody and alimony disputes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and even battles over family pets.  5A divorce attorney has predicted three major trends people will see in 2022 when it comes to marital separationsCredit: Getty 5She also listed the things to do and not to do when getting divorcedCredit: Getty “Covid is an equal opportunity pandemic – it literally affects every part of our lives, including divorce,” Ashey told The Sun. According to data collected by Legal Templates in 2020, 34 percent more people were turning to their site for a divorce agreement form than the previous year. While not all these folks looking to get divorced necessarily went through with it, it’s still a considerable increase from numbers before a pandemic-ridden world. Ashley said she has certainly kept busy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “For the first three months of the pandemic, the practice slowed down...
    The final Saturday Night Live episode of 2021 did not exactly go as planned after the live audience was sent home and the vast majority of the cast was either out sick with COVID or declined to risk their health for the sake of the show. So the pressure was on to deliver something better resembling what fans expect from SNL when the show made its big return to Studio 8H this week for the first new episode of 2022. And they kicked things off with a message from James Austin Johnson’s President Joe Biden about the one thing America can do to end the pandemic for good: “Stop seeing Spider-Man.” “Think about it,” he explained. “When did Spider-Man come out? December 17th. When did every single person get Omicron? The week after December 17th. Stop seeing Spider-Man.” For the rest of the cold open sketch, Biden took questions from reporters that mostly ended with him reiterating his plea. “See anything else,” he begged. “I saw the first half hour of House of Gucci. That’s more than enough movie for...
    Although the current COVID-19 pandemic has led to many sleepless nights, insomniacs can improve their sleep by understanding the habits that cause difficulty in falling asleep or staying asleep, according to American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  "The stress and isolation of the pandemic, the reduction in physical activity, none of those are good for sleep," Daniel J. Buysse, professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, recently told the Wall Street Journal.  Sleepless woman suffering from insomnia, sleep apnea or stress. Tired and exhausted lady. Headache or migraine. Awake in the middle of the night. Frustrated person with problem. Alarm clock with time. (iStock) A 2021 March survey studied 2,006 adults online, finding over 50% of Americans experienced trouble sleeping during the pandemic, and among those who had sleep disturbances, the most common complaint was difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, with 46% of respondents sleeping less at night and 36% having disturbing dreams, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.   The CDC defines insomnia as the "inability to initiate or maintain sleep," which...
    A Republican senator who grilled Dr Anthony Fauci over his financial disclosures - leading a frustrated Fauci to call him under his breath a 'moron' - has published the public health expert's federal records. The records show that Fauci - the highest-paid federal employee, who earns more than President Joe Biden - and his wife, the top bioethicist at the National Institutes of Health, have a combined wealth of $10.4 million. Fauci, 80, has lead the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984 and, if he continues until the end of Biden's term in 2024, will have made roughly $2.5 million as the president's chief medical advisor. Fauci's records show that he and his wife were paid $5,000 to attend a virtual awards ceremony in December 2020, and also have an interest in an Italian restaurant in San Francisco, Jackson Fillmore Trattoria. The restaurant did not make them any money, however, the disclosures show.  Roger Marshall, who represents Kansas, clashed with the 80-year-old on Tuesday. Marshall wanted to see Fauci's financial information; Fauci told him the documents were public....
    New York's Governor Kathy Hochul has said the state is 'turning the corner' in the fight against the coronavirus with the numbers of those still in hospital starting to decline. The Omicron surge finally appears to be on the wave in the state with the number of people still in hospital at 12,207 having dropped for the previous three days.   The spike in cases also now seems to be trending down with 49,027 new infections recorded on Thursday. One week earlier they were at a record high of 90,000.  At the peak, the percentage of those testing positive for the virus was at 23.17%. on January 3. It has since fallen to 16.3%.  New York Governor Kathy Hochul says the state is 'turning the corner' on the omicron-fueled winter surge as COVID cases, hospitalizations and state's positivity rate fell for the first time in weeks Governor Hochul touted the decline of the state's seven-day average of new cases which peaked last week over 90,000 and fell to below 50,000 on Friday People walk past a COVID-19 testing sign during the coronavirus...
                 State Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lititz) on Thursday introduced legislation that will expand parents’ access to school choice during the coronavirus pandemic. The measure, Senate Bill 1015, will create an Education Savings Account, allowing parents to potentially receive funding to send their children to schools that are better equipped to address their child’s needs. “Parents have seen the negative impact on their children from not having in-person instruction,” said Senator Aument. “If schools will not remain open, students and their families deserve options to ensure every child receives a high-quality education.” Because of transitions to virtual learning, parents who meet the eligibility requirements would be given funds to offset certain costs connected to educational alternatives to their current public school. Some examples include tutors, at-home instructional content, tuition, and testing. “By removing financial barriers to accessing these valuable tools, Pennsylvania students struggling with learning loss will have a greater chance of getting back on track,” wrote Aument in a recent opinion piece. “Education Savings Accounts will increase access to expanded educational options, offering students, parents, and teachers alike more learning...
    At his birthday party on Wednesday, Morrie Markoff was telling me about his family’s rough ride through the pandemic. His older brother died, and for a while it looked as though Morrie might follow him. “My mother thought she was going to lose me because I had a 104-degree temperature,” Morrie said. “And I fought it off. Amazing.” What’s more amazing is that Morrie wasn’t talking about the current pandemic. He was talking about the Spanish flu of 1918. Morrie just turned 108. “He’s now the 24th oldest person in the United States,” said Morrie’s son, Steve, who hosted the birthday party in his back yard in Pacific Palisades. California Column: These three Angelenos, ages 106, 101 and almost 90, haven’t let coronavirus dim their spirits Need some uplifting news? Meet these three seniors who are remaining upbeat despite the coronavirus pandemic Morrie Markoff comes in three years behind the leader of the pack, according to an internet gerontology site. At his party, Morrie was thinking, talking and even singing to his wife Betty, who died at...
    OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images A new poll finds that President Joe Biden is not viewed as a trustworthy source of information on Covid-19 by the vast majority of Americans, but even fewer people trust the news media. NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ teamed up to survey Americans about their thoughts on the pandemic for a poll that was released this week. NewsNation reported: NewsNation and Decision Desk HQ’s poll about the COVID-19 pandemic confirmed what many thought: Americans are transitioning from COVID-19 concerns to economic concerns such as inflation. But it also revealed registered voters’ thoughts on masks and vaccines, who they trust and who they may vote for this November. Several other questions in the survey stood out. For example, just over 73 percent of respondents said they were in favor of indoor mask requirements, while almost 27 percent said they opposed them. More than 56 percent of those polled said they were in favor of requiring people to prove their vaccine status, while almost 44 percent said they were opposed to such measures. Americans’ opinions on who they feel...
    Three epidemiologists, of which you are not even an epidemiologist, but three epidemiologists, prominent in their field [from] Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, you maligned them. You spoke openly with Dr. Collins and you did not disagree [to] paint them as fringe. You went after them and said we will do a public take down, not in Science or Nature or Lancet, but in Wired, in The Nation, a left-wing publication. You've engaged in base politics. You wonder why there's so much anger? You're not an objective scientist. You've lost that long ago. And so many of the things that people want, they want to know why you're forcing their children to be vaccinated when 95% of people at risk have been vaccinated. Over 95% of people over [age] 65. It's a huge, voluntary success. And yet you won't rest until you force every child to get this. So yes, there's a great deal of dissatisfaction with you and many people want you to go, but nobody wishes you violence. Paul told Dave our nation has probably never...
    It's very hard to fathom why the right seems so determined to prolong the deadly COVID-19 pandemic but it's obvious that they are. From politicians banning mask requirements to media celebrities pushing disinformation about vaccines, there is no escaping the fact that Republicans and their allies simply do not care that more than 850,000 thousand Americans are dead in less than two years from this scourge and that hundreds of thousands of them are still dying because they refuse to take life-saving vaccines. That the majority of them are their own constituents who have died because they believe right-wing conspiracy theories is just mind-boggling, but apparently they are convinced that this is good for them politically and gives them great ratings. I guess I was hoping against all evidence to the contrary that there was some corner of the former conservative world that was above exploiting a global health catastrophe for their own gain but that was a silly illusion. Not even the Supreme Court could set aside their partisan and ideological goals in the face of a calamitous crisis....
    (CNN)In 10 seconds, this animation shows the march of Covid-19 cases across the United States in the pandemic's most recent six months.Starting July 1, 2021, amid a relatively quiet summer the emergence of new cases fueled by the Delta variant spreads across the South in August. Cases then climb across the Plains, Midwest and Northeast by fall.Another dramatic rise overwhelms the map starting in December, likely attributable to the more transmissible Omicron variant. As of this week, nearly every county is reporting average rates higher than 100 new cases per 100,000 people. Average daily new cases nationwide are now more than three times the pandemic's peak last winter. The animation is based on county-level data collected by local governments and tracked by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.An estimated 64 million cases have been reported in the United States since the pandemic started in 2020, a number that is about 19 percent of the population — though some people have had Covid-19 more than once.
    SAN FRANCISCO -- It is "reasonably likely" to expect the pandemic to draw to a close as soon as a month from today, though COVID-19 is likely to stay, according to UCSF's Chair of the Department of Medicine, Dr. Robert Wachter.He expects infections to fall and community immunity levels to rise from a combination of vaccinations, antiviral medication and omicron infections as the pandemic enters a new phase -- turning endemic.RELATED: Debunking the idea viruses evolve to become less deadly over timeThis sentiment is echoed by other infectious disease experts in the field."The end game is really bringing down the virus to low levels where we just live with it. And what omicron will do is bring the virus down to low levels in the community because it's causing so much immunity," say Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious diseases doctor and Professor of Medicine at UCSF. "It'll bring it down to a controllable phase, which we call endemicity. So after this surge, we should be in the end game of the pandemic and into endemic.""In the next few weeks, we...
    New York (CNN Business)Jasmine Moorman is having a difficult week. The single mother of five is trying to sort out a logistical mess. She has to take her three oldest children to and from school because their bus driver is out, making her late to her job administering Covid-19 tests.Her sons stay late at an after-school program, so she can pick them up after work. But her daughter isn't old enough to be eligible for the program, and needs to be taken home earlier — while Moorman is supposed to be at work. She had to scramble to find a family member to help out, and is crossing her fingers that the bus driver will be back soon. Another complication: Her two younger children aren't old enough to go to school. A nearby daycare is dealing with its own staffing issues and isn't accepting more children at the moment. For now, Moorman's grandmother is caring for them, but she's getting older and taking care of two young kids is hard work. For some working parents, Omicron feels like a...
    Tips have improved during the Covid pandemic at Sugapeach Chicken & Fish Fry in North Liberty, Iowa.Courtesy: Chad Simmons At Sugapeach Chicken & Fish Fry, a fast casual eatery in North Liberty, Iowa, customers are feeling a lot more generous since the pandemic put the squeeze on the restaurant industry. Before, people would tip 10% to 15% for meals ordered and collected from the counter, said Chad Simmons, Sugapeach's co-owner. "Now, we get between 20% and 25%." Still, finding enough staff to keep the restaurant running remains a challenge, he said.   As the economy recovers, workers are hesitant to return to service jobs that offer few benefits and low pay, which has led to a severe shortage of fast-food workers, kitchen staff and delivery drivers even as consumers value these services more than ever. More from Personal Finance:Here are the top jobs in the U.S. Inflation gave the average worker a 2.4% pay cutPay hikes of 5% or more may be in store for employees in 2022 "The tips are the icing on the cake, but they really want more...
    A Chinese restaurant chain in the north west of England has been forced to make use of robotic waiters, after struggling for staff during the Covid pandemic. Directors at The Chinese Buffet unleashed one BellaBot in each of four restaurants in Liverpool, St Helens, Bolton and Wigan, to serve food to diners.  When the buffet re-opened after the last lockdown, its owners decided to serve food to people at the table, ordered via an app, rather than allow them to serve themselves. This added an extra strain on the already short waiting staff, according to owners Paolo Hu and Peter Wu, who said the BellaBots had already proved popular with diners. The guide price for the friendly-faced robots is $20,000 (£14,500), which is less than the cost of employing a waiter at minimum wage for 40 hours per week.  Quirky footage shows Bella, who features a wide-eyed feline face, sweeping across the restaurant floor dishing out delicacies to delighted customers.  A Chinese restaurant chain in the north west of England has been forced to make use of robotic waiters, after...
    Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been one element of mitigation that has been botched from the very beginning: communication. According to Vox, United States agencies and high-ranking government officials have consistently faced obstacles in relaying proper COVID mitigation recommendations since the beginning of the pandemic. Vox reporter Dylan Scott detailed the pandemic timeline and how poor communication strategies have increased apprehension where critical aspects of the COVID mitigation are concerned: mask and vaccine mandates have been particularly difficult to enforce. "Communication is an essential part of any public health response," Scott wrote. "But US health agencies have struggled with it since the very beginning of the pandemic, when government officials initially advised against wearing masks in early 2020 before reversing themselves to recommend nearly universal masking." Scott insists there are two reasons why public health agencies and institutions have faced such difficulty communicating. He explained: "America’s public health institutions have failed to communicate effectively with the US public throughout the pandemic for two reasons: either they have been left trying to defend poor policies, or the...
    When the nation’s second-largest school district reopens for business despite tens of thousands of positive coronavirus tests among students and staff, things have changed. When the state of California, which led the nation in caution, tells medical staffers who tested positive to go back to work if they’re asymptomatic, things have changed. When you listen to NPR’s “On Point” podcast and hear doctors saying that in the midst of the Omicron variant surge and hospital fatigue, there are reasons for optimism and that “if you’re vaccinated you can start to live your life again,” things have changed. We are two years into a pandemic that has killed roughly 5.5 million people globally and altered life in ways big and small. Last January I wrote a column suggesting there was hope for a turnaround because the best medicine available — vaccine — was being pumped into arms everywhere. So where do we stand now? I’ve been trying to figure that out and would love to give you a definitive answer. But going forward, the virus will give us new looks and...
    Australia has canceled Novak Djokovic‘s visa for the second time, four days after the number-one ranked tennis player in the world won an appeal to have his visa restored. Pending court action, Djokovic, 34, won’t be able to compete in the Australian Open. In a statement, Alex Hawke, Australian minister for immigration, citizenship, migrant services and multicultural affairs, said he revoked the visa “on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.” #BREAKING The Government will cancel the visa of @DjokerNole says Immigration Minister @AlexHawkeMP #AusOpen #auspol pic.twitter.com/8kMpQ4bmLy — Political Alert (@political_alert) January 14, 2022 In a statement, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison concurred with Hawke’s decision and noted the ordeal Australia has been through with the country’s strict Covid protocols that has included lockdowns. “This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods,” he said. “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” added Morrison. Djokovic’s...