“I can’t think of anything, at least since the Second World War, that would have changed the vocabulary as drastically, and at the same time as quickly, as the corona pandemic,” said Anatol Stefanowitsch, a professor of linguistics at the Free University of Berlin. “I can think of many other examples of a huge cultural shift that changed the German vocabulary. But they didn’t happen within a few months.”
“When new things happen in the world [we] look for a name,” said Dr. Christine Möhrs, who works at the institute and collects the words. “Things that do not have a name can cause people to feel fear and insecurity. However, if we can talk about things and name them, then we can communicate with each other. Especially in times of crisis, this is important.”
She noted the new words are helping reduce Coronaangst (anxiety about the virus).
“Language has a strong power,” Möhrs added. “We see again and again how important it is to formulate precisely and to be very careful about which words we choose. Words not only convey content, but can also convey emotions and feelings. And speakers should be aware of that.”
A singular German word overflowing with length and precision can flummox an English speaker: from its amount of letters to its complex meaning. (Photo Illustration/iStock)
The 32-year-old actress skyrocketed to fame several years ago now when she joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Wanda Maximoff. While she’s built up an impressive acting resume, Olsen is known for something else as well: Her family.
Elizabeth Olsen (center) said that she considered using a different last name to avoid ‘nepotism’ due to being related to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
“I was 10 and I was curious about auditioning … and I realized very quickly it wasn’t for me because I was missing my sports teams, my dance class and all the extracurricular activities at school,” she told Glamour UK. “But during that time, I thought, ‘I don’t want to be associated with [Mary-Kate and Ashley],’ for some reason.”
She continued: “I guess I understood what nepotism was like inherently as a 10-year-old. I don’t know if I knew the word, but there is some sort of association of not earning something that I think bothered me at a very young age.”
“The word ‘No’ specifically was something that I remember my sisters isolating and it becoming really empowering,” Olsen said. “For women, it’s a really empowering word. People say ‘Just say no to drugs,’ but truly, you can just say no whenever the hell you want! It’s really a powerful thing.”
Since then, she’s “always” felt like she can say “no” in work situations.
We don’t have to follow suit if it doesn’t feel right,” Elizabeth explained. “We need to be listening to our gut. There was a time where women were competing with one another and now we’re at a time where women are holding each other up.”
Ted White, a musician from Liverpool, England, has captured sounds of nature on all seven continents. In celebration of Earth Day, he recorded music inspired by his travels and incorporated the sounds to create seven albums, each dedicated to a different continent.
The discovery of a new — possibly more virulent — coronavirus variant in India has prompted Canada to institute a 30-day ban on passenger flights from that country and neighbouring Pakistan while it assesses the situation.
The ban takes effect Thursday night.
But some health experts argue targeting specific countries won’t stem the tide, as numerous variants — including the strain first detected in India — have already spread across the globe.
“I do believe it’s a mistake to single out any one country or any one part of the world because these viruses have already spread into many different areas,” said Dr. Andrew Simor, an infectious disease specialist at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
“The most effective thing is screening on arrival and in particular, quarantine on arrival.”
But some critics argue the rules don’t go far enough — or provide loopholes — so Canada’s most effective move now would be to toughen up its screening and quarantine measures.
“The current travel restrictions are rather porous,” said Simor.
India’s new variant
COVID-19 cases are surging in India, which could be fuelled by a new variant in the country — B1617 — that may be more contagious and/or more deadly because it involves two mutations of the virus
As a result, some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Hong Kong, restricted travel from the country earlier this week.
That sparked demands from some federal opposition leaders that Canada follow suit by restricting travel from India and other global hotspots.
Why <a href=”https://twitter.com/PierrePoilievre?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@PierrePoilievre</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/fordnation?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@fordnation</a> are flights from India still landing in Canada!?? You NEED to advocate for a ban for flights to or from India. This is ridiculous. There is a flight landing at Pearson this AM and 2 more tomorrow!
The demand was fuelled by news reports tallying the number of recent flights from India to Canada carrying passengers who have tested positive for COVID-19.
Out of 117 flights to Canada between April 5 and 17, the government reported that 29 flights from India carried at least one infected passenger.
But 23 Canada-bound flights from Europe and 22 Canada-bound flights from the U.S. also carried infected passengers during the same time period. Several COVID-19 variants are spreading in both those regions — including the B1617 variant first detected in India.
And B1617 has already hit Canada, with cases reported in Quebec and B.C.
“It’s already here,” said Caroline Colijn, a COVID-19 modeller at Simon Fraser University. “We sound the alarm now, but it had plenty of opportunity to get all over Asia and all over the world.”
Considering the global spread of several COVID-19 variants, University of Ottawa epidemiologist Raywat Deonandan said a more prudent move would be for Canada to temporarily ban non-essential travel from across the globe.
“Nothing prevents someone from travelling from India to a second country and arriving from there,” he said of the proposed ban. “So [there are] loopholes.”
Still no tests for essential travellers
When announcing its 30-day ban on flights from India and Pakistan, the government said its pandemic travel measures have been effective at limiting the spread of the coronavirus.
“Since March of last year, Canada has had robust travel restrictions and border measures in place … and data show that our government — our measures have been working,” said Transport Minister Omar Alghabra.
But some experts say those measures need to be strengthened.
Currently, to ensure the free flow of goods and services during the pandemic, most essential workers — such as truck drivers and flight crew — are exempt from Canada’s rules requiring incoming travellers to take multiple COVID-19 tests and quarantine.
But critics argue essential workers crossing the border should at least be tested for COVID-19.
“If you have the tools to — at the very least — do a cursory screening, in this case a rapid [COVID-19] test, why wouldn’t you do it?” said Deonandan.
Canada is considering a halt to air travel from India, especially after a variant of interest first seen in that country was detected in Canada. 2:13
Long-haul truck driver Rick McNabbof Waterloo, Ont. would also like to see routine testing for truckers.
Hesaid he follows strict COVID-19 safety protocols, but still fell ill with COVID-19 three weeks ago. McNabb believes he got the virus during one of his weekly trips, hauling goods to Wisconsin, where he says many people don’t take the pandemic seriously.
“I would say less than 50 per cent of people wear masks,” he said. “They’re kind of in denial, they don’t believe it’s real, they don’t really care.”
In February, Ottawa said it was exploring tests for essential workers at the border, but has not yet presented concrete plans.
Hotel quarantine concerns
To help curb the spread of COVID-19 variants, the government recently mandated that air passengers entering Canada must take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and quarantine for up to three days in a designated hotel to wait for the results.
Deonandan said the government needs to do a better job to make sure travellers comply with the new rules.
“Are you an incoming traveller? Yes — in that case you are going to be cordoned and sent to that bus over there that will take you to the hotel. That’s the price to travel now.”
CBC News asked the Public Health Agency of Canada about stronger enforcement for travellers required to quarantine in a hotel, but has yet to receive a reply.
SFU’s Colijn agrees that Canada needs to be more vigilant on the home front. She said that banning flights to India seems like an easy fix, but that testing and monitoring travellers entering the country is now where Canada can best prevent them from spreading the virus.
“These other things are really hard, but they’re what we have to do if we want to prevent dangerous new variants from arriving.”
COVID-19 hospitalizations among older Americans have plunged 80% since the start of the year, dramatic proof the vaccination campaign is working. Now the trick is to get more of the nation’s younger people to roll up their sleeves.
The drop-off in severe cases among people 65 and older is so dramatic that the hospitalization rate among this highly vaccinated group is now down to around the level of the next-youngest category, Americans 50 to 64.
That slide is especially encouraging because senior citizens have accounted for about 8 out of 10 deaths from COVID-19 since the virus hit the United States.
Overall, COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have plummeted to about 700 per day on average, compared with a peak of over 3,400 in mid-January. All told, the scourge has killed about 570,000 Americans.
“What you’re seeing there is exactly what we hoped and wanted to see: As really high rates of vaccinations happen, hospitalizations and death rates come down,” said Jodie Guest, a public health researcher at Emory University.
The trends mirror what is happening in other countries with high vaccination rates, such as Israel and Britain, and stand in stark contrast to the worsening disaster in places like India and Brazil, which lag far behind in dispensing shots.
According to U.S. government statistics, hospitalizations are down 60% overall, but most dramatically among senior citizens, who have been eligible for shots the longest and have enthusiastically received them.
Two-thirds of American senior citizens are fully vaccinated, versus just one-third of all U.S. adults. Over 80% of senior citizens have gotten at least one shot, compared with just over 50% among all adults.
The hospitalization rate among those 65 and over is about 14 people per 100,000 population, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, citing a surveillance system that gathers data from over 250 hospitals in 14 states.
At the same time, however, overall demand for vaccinations in the U.S. seems to be slipping, even as shots have been thrown open to all adults across the country. The average number of doses administered per day appeared to fall in mid-April from 3.2 million to 2.9 million, according to CDC figures.
“My concern is whether the vaccine uptake will be as strong in these younger age groups,” Guest said. “If it’s not, we will not see the positive impact for vaccines in these younger age groups that we’ve seen in our older population.”
Also, new virus cases in the U.S. have been stuck at worrisome levels since March, averaging more than 60,000 per day, matching numbers seen during last summer’s surge. The new cases are increasingly among people in their 30s, 40s and 50s, who also make up a larger portion of hospitalizations.
In Michigan, which has been battered by a recent surge of infections, hospitalizations among people in their 50s have increased 700% since late February, outpacing all other age groups.
In Seattle’s King County, hospital physicians are seeing fewer COVID-19 patients overall, fewer needing critical care and fewer needing breathing machines. These younger patients are also more likely to survive.
“Thankfully they have done quite well,” said Dr. Mark Sullivan, a critical care doctor at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. “They tend to recover a little quicker because of their youth.”
With enough people vaccinated, COVID-19 cases should eventually begin to fall as the virus finds fewer and fewer people to infect. Guest and other experts say Israel appeared to reach that threshold last month after it fully vaccinated roughly 40% of its population of 9 million people.
But the U.S. faces challenges in conducting mass vaccinations because of its far greater size, diversity, geography and health disparities.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced new federal funding for small businesses so that employees can take time off with pay to get vaccinated or recover from the shot’s side effects.
The challenge will be quickly vaccinating younger Americans, who feel they are less vulnerable to the coronavirus but are mainly the ones spreading the disease.
“To really feel that we’re out of the woods we’ve got to see a lot less cases than we’re seeing now,” said Dr. Jesse Goodman, a vaccine specialist at Georgetown University. “It’s going to take a wider, continuing effort.”
In Chicago’s Cook County, where 91% of adults 65 and older have had at least one shot, the patients in the hospital these days are younger and do better.
“That feeling of dread is definitely eased with older patients getting vaccinated,” said Dr. Tipu Puri, a kidney specialist and associate chief medical officer for clinical operations at University of Chicago Medical Center.
At some moments, there’s even joy, he said. He recently stopped to help an elderly couple find the hospital’s vaccination clinic. The woman was pushing her husband’s wheelchair.
“Those are people you hope you won’t see in the hospital,” Puri said. “We’re not going to see them in the emergency room or in the ICU.”
He added: “This is what coming out of the pandemic feels like.”
NEW DELHI: In view of the prevailing surge in Covid-19 cases, registration for the annual Amarnath Yatra has been temporarily deferred. The pilgrimage to the holy cave is scheduled to start from the twin routes of Pahalgam and Baltal on June 28 and will culminate on August 22. It was also informed that the registrations will reopen once the Covid situation is reviewed. SASB had commenced registrations on April 1 and the arrangements were on track since February 2021 for the successful conduct of the pilgrimage. Last year the pilgrimage was cancelled for similar reasons and SASB had facilitated only the live telecast and virtual ‘darshan’ of the morning and evening ‘aarti’.
The government, the minister said, has been taking steps to deal with the second wave of COVID-19 with regard to supply of medicines and oxygen.
While the second wave of the pandemic has been challenging on many levels, the government has been taking decisions, including on import of medical oxygen, and boosting supply of medicines, she said at a webinar organised by the Financial Times and The Indian Express.
“We have to wait and watch a bit and then we have to take a call…but at the moment activities are all happening, industry is still on its recovery mode, and therefore, I won’t rush to think that this will hurt us if we are able to coordinate better,” she said.
“This morning when I met with secretaries, the mood and also the way in which we have planned out for disinvestment, setting up DFI, looking at the Asset Reconstruction Company (ARC), everything is on course,” the minister said when asked whether the second wave will derail Budget proposals.
The government plans to garner Rs 1.75 lakh crore by selling stakes in state-run companies, including privatisation of two banks and one state-run general insurance company.
Quoting the Prime Minister, Sitharaman said there will not be a country-wide lockdown comparable to 2020.
A fresh wave of infections has led to localised containments in some parts of the country, affecting the movement of people and goods.
The finance minister said it was too early to say if the restrictions are going to affect India beyond this week.
India registered over 3.14 lakh new coronavirus cases in a day, the highest-ever single-day count recorded in any country, taking the the total tally of COVID-19 cases in the country to 1,59,30,965, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday.
A total of 3,14,835 fresh infections were registered in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll increased to 1,84,657 with a record 2,104 new fatalities. The national COVID-19 recovery rate fell below 85 per cent.
On the India-EU trade pact, Sitharaman said India places a lot of importance on trade agreement with the US and European Union.
The negotiations between India and the European Union on a free trade agreement have been stalled since May 2013, when both sides failed to bridge substantial gaps on crucial issues, including data security status for the IT sector.
The negotiations with the 27-nation grouping were launched in June 2007.
As ‘Avengers: Endgame’ is just days away from clocking 2 years of its release, fans of the slain superhero, Iron Man, put up a billboard to urge Marvel Studios to bring back the famed character.
A picture of the billboard has gone viral on social media, with fans debating on whether or not the beloved character should make his return to the big screen. The billboard reads “For our beloved hero, please bring back Tony Stark.”
Marvel fans has put up a new billboard in Los Angeles, asking Marvel Studios to bring Tony Stark back to life in th… https://t.co/8SXn1wyvAq
Robert Downey Jr, who played the character for over the past 10 years, finally hung up his Iron Man suit in the events of ‘Avengers: Endgame’. The character plays the main part in reversing the death and destruction caused by the mad titan, Thanos.
Although Robert has denied the possibility of a return to the MCU, rumours are rife that he will feature in a cameo in the upcoming ‘Black Widow’ movie. The film is the first stand-alone feature for Scarlett Johansson, who played the Russian assassin-turned-Avenger, Natasha Romanoff.
Tony’s character will, however, not be resurrected as the film is set between ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Avengers: Infinity War’.
‘Endgame’ became the highest-grossing film of all time, until the title was won back by James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ that re-released in theatres as lockdown restrictions eased in parts of the globe.
The stakes were clear to the two dozen police officers who gathered for a workshop with an ambitious and increasingly urgent mission — recalibrating the way police interact with the public in America.
The class took place the same week as jury selection for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis officer who was convicted Tuesday of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
No one attending the conference would deny that the profession failed the day Floyd died with Chauvin’s knee on his neck. They came to the classes with the idea that judo, the martial art with a deep global history and an imprint at the Olympics, but still shallow roots in the United States, might be able to help fix it.
“The social contract between police officers and the public is degrading a bit,” said Joe Yungwirth, a trainer at the workshop who built his career doing counterterrorism work for the FBI and now runs a judo academy in North Carolina. “All law-enforcement officers I know, we feel we need to bring that back in line somehow.”
That’s been a common refrain over a year’s worth of police shootings and protests, all of which have been underscored by calls for police reform.
Replacing deadly force with judo techniques
The judo project is, by any account, an outside-the-box idea. Because the sport, known by insiders as “the gentle way” of martial arts, has little emphasis on striking and is considered less violent than some of its brethren, some leaders in judo, and in policing, saw an opportunity to use the discipline to rethink officer training. Last summer’s headlines pushed these courses, which had been in development since 2018, to the top of the priority list.
The main concept over the week of classes held at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy centred on teaching cops how to engage suspects verbally, then employ physical judo techniques if needed, to deescalate confrontations without using deadly force.
The goal is to avoid situations the likes of which led to Floyd’s death and, just last week, to the death of Daunte Wright, whose funeral was Thursday. Wright was shot and killed by an officer who thought she was reaching for her taser when it was, in fact, her gun.
Jim Bacon, a former athlete on the U.S. judo team who now serves as a police officer in Lafayette, Colo., says the most damning police-on-suspect encounters — many now caught on police body cameras or by onlookers holding iPhones — have this in common: “The cop resorts to higher levels of force than should’ve been used. If they have more skills, they might not have to rely on the gadgets on the belt,” he said.
The workshop also offered a window into the different role an Olympic organization, and maybe the Olympics themselves, can play in society at large. The USA Judo P3 Program is sponsored by USA Judo, the six-person operation in Colorado Springs, Colo., that has helped Kayla Harrison and Ronda Rousey, now of Ultimate Fighting Championship fame, bring Olympic medals back home, but that also must constantly nourish its own grassroots system.
The national governing body has been losing ground on both fronts, most recently because of the pandemic, and over the years because of the growing popularity of other martial arts, such as jujitsu and taekwondo, that have kept judo in the shadows in America.
With an emphasis not on hitting, but rather on using leverage and body position to execute holds and takedowns, judo has long been easy to overlook, both in the days when Bruce Lee kicked and nunchucked martial arts into the American conscience, then more recently, when UFC octagons overshadowed boxing rings among a wide, big-spending cross-section of 21st-century sports fans.
“This hits a societal issue,” USA Judo CEO Keith Bryant said. “And for us, it has potential to get more people on the mat.”
Changing the visual
In an exercise that cut to the core of the judo training, conference planners Taybren Lee and Mike Verdugo played suspects who were impaired, or mentally unstable, and challenged the officers to use judo to deescalate the situations. The scenarios were acted out as though they were happening in public, with pedestrians shooting the action from every angle on their phone cameras.
“If we can talk to you, if we can keep you up, that’s going to change the whole visual, especially when people have their iPhones recording,” Verdugo said. “This is a matter of keeping you up on your feet and not grinding you into the ground.”
Lee says the public would be alarmed at how little training the average police department provides to officers for street confrontations. And because so many more interactions are now caught on video, police are being scrutinized in ways previously impossible.
“It’s not the officers’ fault that they don’t have the training,” said Lee, an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who also teaches judo for the youth-based Police Athletic League, a sponsor of the training program. “Sometimes, the departments haven’t spent the money for the training, and in a lot of ways, the training hasn’t caught up to the realities of the technology that’s out there.”
The officers for the initial workshop came from Fort Worth, Texas; Billings, Montana; Meridian, Idaho; and other small towns scattered around the West. Another workshop for other cities is being planned for next month.
USA judo working outside of comfort zone
Spearheading this sort of endeavour is hardly the traditional role for leaders at an organization such as USA Judo, whose most high-profile mission is to help Americans bring home Olympic medals. But, as the past 13 months have shown, this could be an ideal time for the nonprofits that make up the backbone of the U.S. Olympic system to reinvent themselves.
USA Judo was among the 70 per cent of U.S. national governing bodies that asked the government for loans under the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program during COVID-19. It cut two of its eight-person staff. It currently has one Olympic medal contender, Angelica Delgado, in a sport that fans will have to scour the listings to find among the 7,000 of hours of NBC coverage this summer.
Over the course of the pandemic, most of the 400 clubs that USA Judo sanctions across the country were forced to close or severely curtail operations. With no sanctioned events to offer — the NGB will hold its first national competition in 17 months this weekend in Salt Lake City — its membership has dropped by half, to about 5,000. By comparison, there are between 600,000 and 800,000 judoka in France, host of the 2024 Olympics, and between 150,000 and 200,000 in this year’s Olympic country, Japan.
“People have always said, as soon as we get a gold medallist , then judo will grow” Bryant said. “But people thought that before. We had a gold medallist who won two gold medals [in Harrison]. It didn’t really move the needle.”
The unheralded and unglamorous art of police training might not, either. But Bryant sees judo as one of those rare sports — unlike, say, gymnastics or basketball — that has a spot both in a competitive venue and in real-world situations.
Among the program’s task force members are 2004 Olympic judoka Nikki Kubes Andrews, now a detective for the Fort Worth Police Department. And Bacon, the former U.S. national team member who is now an officer in Colorado.
“The public wants police officers to be better trained,” Bacon said. “That’s why we’re trying to integrate judo, so we can be more effective in these situations without hurting the other person.”
USA Judo is offering free memberships to officers who participate in the training, and has hopes the police initiative could spark new interest in the sport. But Bryant readily concedes that growing the sport in America will take time — and that none of this is designed to bring home gold medals from Tokyo this summer.
He is also acutely aware that there are other ways to measure success during a difficult time in America.
“We sat down and started talking,” Bryant said, “and we agreed that when you look at George Floyd, and all these situations, we felt like if these officers had been trained in judo appropriately, it wouldn’t have happened.”
A member of the Canadian parliament is apologizing after taking a photo of a fellow lawmaker, who was briefly caught nude during a virtual meeting of the parliament last week.
William Amos, a Liberal Party member of parliament who was caught nude, tweeted on Thursday: “I appreciate that MP Sébastien Lemire came forward and confessed to me directly that he took the screenshot of me getting clothed after my run. I also appreciate that he apologized to me and my family over the phone.”
But he added, “that piece of honesty is a good start. However, MP Lemire did not say with whom he shared it, why he shared it, and how many people shared it after receiving the photo from MP Lemire.”
The comments by Amos come a day after Lemire, a member of the Bloc Quebecois Party, said in the House of Commons that he would like to present his apologies to the House “for breaching the standing orders by taking a picture of a member on April 14th.”
Lemire said he had “no idea” how the picture made it to the media, and added that was the “only comment” he would make.
In this photo taken on June 19, 2020, Liberal Member of Parliament William Amos wears a Canadian flag mask as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference in Chelsea, Quebec. Amos, who has represented the Quebec district of Pontiac since 2015, appeared on the screens of his fellow lawmakers completely naked on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
In an email to Global News, Amos explained that his video was accidentally turned on as he was changing into work clothes after going for a run. “….I sincerely apologize to my colleagues in the House of Commons for this unintentional distraction. Obviously it was an honest mistake and it won’t happen again.”
Amos, apparently, was visible only to members of parliament and staffers on an internal video conference feed. Since he wasn’t speaking during the period when he appeared naked, his image didn’t show up on a feed visible to the public.
Amos said on Thursday, “I remain focused on serving my constituents and all Canadians. Since the Speaker of the House is considering an investigation, I don’t have further comments at this stage.”