Military fights coronavirus as RAF evacuates patients, Army builds hospitals and Navy submariners advise on isolation – The Sun


THE MILITARY has been helping the UK respond to coronavirus, evacuating patients, building makeshift hospitals and advising people how to cope in isolation.

With the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the UK surpassing China’s official tally, the armed forces are doing vital work to help the national effort.

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There have been 41,903 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK, and 4,353 people have died.

The military has already put 20,000 troops on standby to help respond to the deadly virus, transporting equipment, managing logistics and helping in hospitals, but each service is also making extra contributions to help the national effort.

BRITISH ARMY



The Army has led the transformation of London’s ExCel centre into an enormous makeshift hospital.

The ExCel centre in East London, which usually hosts international conferences and exhibitions, was transformed into the UK’s biggest hospital by the British Army in just 10 days.

NHS Nightingale has 4,000 beds, dwarfing the second biggest hospital in Tooting, South London, which has 1,300 beds.

The new hospital will start to take its first patients in the coming days, supported by 16,000 staff.

The project was led by Colonel Ashleigh Boreham, a Gulf War hero who has served in the Army since 1992.

He said: “It’s the biggest job I’ve ever done. But you know what? I’ve spent 27 years on a journey to the moment. This enemy is different to what we’re used to dealing with. This is a threat you can’t see.

“Yes it’s a big job, without a doubt. But it’s achievable.

“I’ve got the experience. I’m the right person at the right time for this particular project.”

There are plans to replicate the build in other large venues across the UK, with the NHS confirming on Friday that there are plans for four few sites.

NHS chief executive, Sir Simon Stevens, said that more NHS Nightingale hospitals would be built in Birmingham, Bristol, Harrogate and Manchester.

The new emergency centres, which the Army will help to plan and build, will offer up to 4,500 beds between them.

The Army are also planning to embed their medics in hospitals to support NHS workers.

Last month, 450 British Army medics were withdrawn from a military exercise in eastern Europe to prepare for deployment in the UK.

Ministry of Defence has recently drawn up plans for up to 11,200 trained members of the Defence Medical Service to help on the frontline.

Finally, the Army is helping to transport vital equipment to hospitals across the country.

Troops have been transporting masks and other protective equipment, and 150 troops are being trained to drive oxygen tankers.

ROYAL NAVY



The Royal Navy has also been supporting the UK’s effort to combat coronavirus, lending its helicopters to the NHS.

Three Navy choppers based on the south coast will help the South West Ambulance Services, supporting more than 4,500,000 people in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Bristol and Somerset.

The Merlin MK2 helicopters and their crews, which are usually used for hunting submarines, will be working 12-hour shifts carrying stretchers and coronavirus patients to nearby hospitals.

The helicopters’ Commanding Officer Chris Knowles said: “This is very different from our ordinary role, but jobs like this are in our DNA.

“We are helping out the nation and the National Health Service during these testing times – it’s a real moment for everyone to pull together.”

The Navy has also been assisting in helicopter practice exercises to the North East, where three Wildcat choppers will be tasked with delivering supplies, ferrying medics and carrying patients.

The helicopters manoeuvred through Newcastle city centre and past the famous Tyne Bridge to land at NHS Calliope, HQ for 100 Royal Navy Reservists.

The seaborne service, however, isn’t just helping the UK’s effort, with the Navy sending a battleship to assist in the British Overseas Territories.

On Thursday, the RFA Argus was dispatched to the Caribbean, where it will support the islands during the pandemic.

The 175-metre ship has previously operated off the coast of Yemen and Iraq, and featured in the Hollywood hit World War Z.

Merlin and Wildcat helicopters were also sent to support the ship.

Have something to look forward to and try not to get too downhearted. Think of the things you and your friends will be able to do once it’s all over!

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Finally, Navy submariners have given advice to Brits about how to cope in self-isolation.

While on patrol, submarine teams can spend months under the water and have little contact with the outside world.

Sub Lieutenant Andrew Rose said people should find a routine to get through self-isolation.

He said: “Get a routine and stick to it. There’s plenty we could do in the house such as cleaning, exercising, contacting family or friends, learn a new skill etc.

“Also remember that, just like being at sea, isolation won’t last forever. Have something to look forward to and try not to get too downhearted. Think of the things you and your friends will be able to do once it’s all over!”

ROYAL AIR FORCE



The RAF is doing its bit to help UK’s coronavirus response too, evacuating patients from remote areas of the country and setting up temporary mortuaries in aircraft hangers.

In late March, and RAF transport aircraft evacuated a man with COVID-19 from the Scottish Shetland Islands.

The Atlas plane, which can carry up to 116 troops, alongside helicopters and other vehicles weighing up to 37 tonnes, took the man in his 60s to an intensive care unit in Aberdeen.

Alongside this, the RAF has provided helicopters to help NHS hospitals across the country.

The service has dispatched three choppers to Moray, in Scotland, and two to Leeming, in North Yorkshire, where they will move equipment, medical personnel and patients.

The Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, said that the aircraft “are ready to support emergency services and local communities wherever needed across the highlands and islands of Scotland – the Armed Forces have always got your back.”

Prince William wants to help the new helicopter support teams and return to the frontline as an air ambulance pilot.

On a visit to an NHS call centre in March, he revealed that he missed working in the life-saving role.

A source told The Sun last week: “William has been seriously considering returning as an air ambulance pilot to help in the current pandemic.

“He knows the whole country is doing its bit and he wants to help. But it’s complicated as he was originally grounded from the job so that he could become a senior working royal.”

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Finally, RAF aircraft hangars could be used to store up to 6,000 coronavirus victims.

Footage shot inside a disused US airbase in Oxfordshire showed hangars filled with plastic sheeting and scaffolding, built to hold the bodies of those killed by COVID-19.

In a statement, Oxfordshire County Council said: “In common with all other areas of the country, there are longstanding contingency plans to provide extra mortuary space during emergency situations.

“Partners from organisations including the NHS, registration services, Coroner’s office and local authorities have been meeting regularly to consider requirements that may be placed upon Oxfordshire during the coronavirus outbreak.

“This has led to a temporary facility being prepared at the former RAF base at Heyford Park, which will be used if required.”

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President of Royal Institute of British Architects steps down

‘Deeply religious’ President of Royal Institute of British Architects temporarily steps down over fears woman claiming to be his mistress will reveal embarrassing details of their affair as he battles to save his marriage

  • Alan Jones, 55, told 180-year-old Riba that ‘matter had arisen’ in his personal life
  • Members of the institute have called for greater transparency in investigation
  • Professor is married to dentist Laura, 54, and lives Randalstown, County Antrim
  • A friend said he is ‘a religious man’ and is now ‘working on saving his marriage’

The ‘religious’ president of the Royal Institute of British Architects has temporarily stepped down over fears that his alleged mistress would disclose the details of their sordid affair.

Alan Jones, 55, emailed members of the council on Thursday to say ‘a matter had arisen’ in his personal life that meant he could not carry on with his duties as president. 

Members of the 180-year-old institute have called for greater transparency as an investigation into whether Mr Jones used any of Riba’s funds to conduct his affair continues.

Alan Jones, 55, (pictured) emailed members of the council on Thursday to say ‘a matter had arisen’ in his personal life that meant he could not carry on with his duties as president

There have been no allegations of financial misconduct and the woman involved is not an architect, reports suggest.

The Queen’s University Belfast professor is married to dentist Laura, 54.

The couple live with their two children in Randalstown, County Antrim, where he also works. 

Mr Jones – who will be out of the post for up to six weeks – said in his email: ‘I’m grateful for the strong support I have from my wife and family. 

‘I need to take some time out from my duties as president and would be grateful if everyone could respect our privacy.

‘I appreciate this comes at a time when there are extraordinary demands on everyone and I can only ask that you reinforce your support to our staff and senior officers during this period.’

 A friend, who asked not to be named, told The Times: ‘Alan is a religious man and is working on saving his marriage. 

Members of the 180-year-old institute (pictured) have called for greater transparency as an investigation into whether Mr Jones used any of Riba’s funds to conduct his affair continues

‘There was a relationship which ended and he believed that the other person involved might make details of that relationship public.

‘The woman involved is not an architect and the institute has not received any complaint from any member or member of the public.’ 

Following Jones’ email, RIBA’s honorary secretary Kerr Robertson said in a statement: ‘RIBA president Alan Jones has brought a sensitive matter to our attention which we are investigating and, in line with regulations, we have informed the Charity Commission.

‘Alan Jones has temporarily stepped back from his day-to-day duties as RIBA president. It wouldn’t be appropriate for the RIBA to comment further at this stage.’

‘We will be working as hard as ever during the President’s time away to ensure minimum disruption to the RIBA business. The RIBA is led by a team of dedicated senior trustees and expert staff, who will continue to support our members and represent their interests at the highest levels.’

A Charity Commission spokesman also said: ‘The Royal Institute of British Architects has acted in line with our guidance, by submitting a serious incident report to the Commission in connection with the recent stepping down of the charity’s president.

‘We are currently assessing the charity’s response to this matter, to ensure that it is being handled appropriately.’ 

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My wedding's off and now I'm planning a proper party!

My wedding’s off and now I’m planning a proper party! Like so many brides, bra tycoon Michelle Mone’s big day has been cancelled but she’s not complaining about the delay

  • Michelle Mone’s wedding was meant to take place at the House of Lords soon
  • The budget was off-the-scale and the dress and bridesmaids were ready to go
  • Like so many others, Michelle had no option but to pull the plug on her big day

A few weeks ago, when we were less careful with vocabulary, we might have described Michelle Mone’s wedding as having been planned with military precision. It was certainly an event she poured everything into — money, heart, trademark organisational zeal.

The ceremony this month was to take place at the House of Lords (she was made a Conservative peer in 2015; full title Lady Mone of Mayfair), with guests then decamping to one of Britain’s grandest hotels.

The budget was off-the-scale, unsurprising since the bride is worth an estimated £20 million, while the groom is said to be worth closer to a billion.

The dress, designed by couturier Suzanne Neville, was ready, as was the body to go in it.

A few weeks ago, when we were less careful with vocabulary, we might have described Michelle Mone’s (pictured) wedding as having been planned with military precision. It was certainly an event she poured everything into — money, heart, trademark organisational zeal

Michelle, 48, had famously lost 8st since she came to public attention as head of the Ultimo bra empire (unofficial title: Baroness Bra). The final 11lb that would see her ‘dress-ready’ for her wedding to fellow businessman Doug Barrowman, had also been conquered. ‘I had the final fitting then this all kicked off the following weekend and we realised the seriousness of what was happening,’ she says.

‘Everything was done. Five bridesmaids dresses. Seven ushers. Everything was boxed up, ready to go. My dress was ready to step into, and so was an evening gown. We had booked a big honeymoon in the Far East. We were going to go to Singapore and Bali. Guests were flying in from all over the world, all of our family and friends. It’s the biggest dream isn’t it — having everyone together?’

And then came Armageddon — or the fear thereof.

Like so many brides at the moment, Michelle had no option but to pull the plug on what she hoped would be the biggest and happiest day of her life. ‘There was a day or so when, like everyone, we were gauging what was happening. We were speaking to the chapel at the House of Lords, and our venue, but circumstances were changing by the hour.

‘Then, two weeks ago, we got ourselves a gin and tonic and sat down. We both looked at each other and agreed we had to postpone.

‘It’s heartbreaking, but there was never an option. We could never take a risk with a single one of our guests. Even if it has blown over by then, how could you? You’d never forgive yourself if anything happened.’

Events have moved on. Now every bride in the country who was expecting to walk down the aisle in the next few weeks is in the same position, with cancelled weddings, plans up in the air, hopes, dreams — and crucially for so many, if not Michelle — finances in tatters.

Michelle, 48, (right) had famously lost 8st since she came to public attention as head of the Ultimo bra empire (unofficial title: Baroness Bra). The final 11lb that would see her ‘dress-ready’ for her wedding to fellow businessman Doug Barrowman (left), had also been conquered

‘My heart just goes out to all the other couples,’ she says. ‘We don’t have the money worries, but there will be so many who have put every penny of their savings into their weddings. They will have lost deposits. I just hope hotels and venues are sympathetic, particularly to those who don’t have insurance.’

The economic fallout — even before you start thinking outside the wedding industry — is extraordinary. As well as the venues, there are photographers, caterers, florists, make-up artists all facing financial ruin.

‘The scale of it is staggering, and when we start to rebuild it’s going to be about the big companies helping the little companies, everyone pitching in.’

It sounds as if she made her own personal wedding decisions in a pretty calm, measured fashion.

‘I did. I think my business brain kicked in. When you are in business and you are in a crisis, you become quite calm. What are the facts? What can we do immediately? I was like that.

‘It was a case of ‘OK, let’s have a CTP here — a Critical Time Path. Let’s get everyone on video-conferencing.’ But I know I’m different. There will be brides out there who will still be in tears. My heart goes out to them.’

Being Michelle, she has not only come up with a Plan B for her own nuptials, but put it into action.

Yes, she has lost many thousands of pounds (she declines to be specific), but she is in what she admits is the privileged position of being able to afford to rearrange.

‘This will pass. China is coming out of it. We have set a new date, but we decided not to go for June or July, just to be safe. We’ve set a new date in August. We will get married.

‘My number one dream now is that all my family and friends come out of this. This [revised] wedding is going to cost us even more money, because at the end of all this we are going to need a bloody party!

‘Instead of getting drunk for one day and one night, we will get drunk for three days and three nights. We’ve now booked to have it over three days — a Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

‘I hope the same thing for all couples-to-be out there, that they can get all their families around them and just celebrate.’

The alternative — that, collectively, we won’t have those families with us — seems too awful to contemplate. ‘God forbid,’ says. Michelle ‘Otherwise there will be no celebrating.’

Much is talked at the moment of how we are all in this together, all gripped by the same fears. There is a tendency to scoff when the super-rich say this from their mansions, behind big gates, but in this case, it is true.

Money can only go so far; for all Michelle Mone’s millions, she is still sitting at home fretting about whether her parents will be around to see her down that aisle.

As she puts it: ‘It doesn’t buy you health, does it? It doesn’t buy you happiness. And what good is being the richest person in the graveyard?’

Michelle and Doug are holed up at their mansion in the Isle of Man. They had been planning to be in London at this time (they have another home in Belgravia), but ‘the border shut and we couldn’t get there, so we are staying put on the Isle of Man’.

Her grown-up children — she has three from her first marriage — are on the mainland, ‘not allowed to come here’. Her parents, who are 71 and 70, and in the high risk category, are at their home in Glasgow.

Her father is in a wheelchair, and has been for decades, after suffering from a rare spinal condition. Her mother is recovering from breast cancer. She had a mastectomy in December 2018 (Michelle got engaged that Christmas), followed by chemotherapy treatment. She got word the treatment had been successful just three weeks ago.

‘But obviously her immune system was affected,’ says Michelle. ‘They are both in that category where it’s imperative they just don’t go out. They are carers for each other now. I’ve been having food parcels delivered to them and telling them to wait an hour before bringing them in, then using their hand sanitiser.

‘I’ve been warning them they must not go out of the door. I’ve been absolutely screaming at them down the phone. My mum will say: ‘I will just pop to get milk,’ and I shout: ‘Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare go out that door.’

‘You have to be quite firm. They are at that age where they think: ‘Och, it’s not going to happen to me.’ ‘

It sounds like she is rather good at screaming down the phone.

‘I’m the CEO of the family,’ she says, managing a laugh. ‘Doug is the chairman. I’ve been bossing everyone around. I’ve been arranging deliveries, where I can, and telling the kids that if they don’t need toilet roll they have to see if they have elderly neighbours who do. They are all doing the right thing, which is nice. I brought them up OK.’

Her parents are stoics, too. ‘They’ve been through a lot: my Dad’s illness; losing my little brother [her brother died of spina bifida when she was ten]. As a family, we have gone through a lot of trauma. They are built for it, and know that we just have to take one day at a time. That’s what my Granny used to say, God bless her soul: one day at a time.’

Mother’s Day was the first she has spent without the whole family around her. ‘Which was unthinkable. We always have a big lunch on Mother’s Day, with everyone there. This year, we were just grateful that the postman was able to bring us cards.’

Like most families, they have quickly embraced WhatsApp groups, video-conferencing network Zoom and the like. All normal rules about the use of social media have gone out the window, too.

‘Normally, I’m strict about having the phone on silent at night. Not now. I have it on. We can be on WhatsApp at 2am.’

Michelle reverts to business-speak as she shares her advice on how we, the nation, can get through this crisis, and apologises if this sounds ‘cold-hearted’.

‘I think when you are in business — as I have been since I was 24 — you do become hard. You have so many knocks along the way. At times like this, your mind goes into business mode. And I’ve always had deadlines, plans. That is still the case now, and I think it’s helpful.’

Some of her business advice — like always keep a rainy-day fund — is a bit of the horse-has-bolted variety. Some, like ‘keep a clear head and think about how you can use your time constructively’ is more applicable.

‘On a business level, I’m saying to people, yes this is hideous, but we’ve got to focus on what we can do, focus on the positives. If you own a business, is there a way of using those two hours you are not commuting to do something that will take things forward. Sort your emails. Write a new business plan. Do all the things that normally get pushed aside when you are busy.’

She’s still furiously planning.

Michelle famously set about getting herself wedding-dress-ready with a 29-point fitness and weight-loss plan.

When we speak, she is still continuing with this — mindful that she has a dress to fit into at the end of the summer. ‘I seriously can’t be snacking now.’

It’s a flippant comment — who on earth is thinking of their waistline at this time — but perhaps a more serious one, too. She and Doug have decided to do two workouts a day rather than one from here on.

‘It’s the same with keeping fit. We can still exercise, in fact we have to,’ she says. ‘My own challenge will be keeping motivated and not getting bored and heading into the snack cupboard.

‘I used to be an emotional eater, but I know from bitter experience how that makes you feel even more depressed. You have no confidence. That ten minutes of stuffing your face can play havoc, mentally.’

Little wonder her own wedding was such a significant deadline in her life. It marked a new beginning, new body, new everything. It might seem a little trite to move into diet-speak, but in her case, it is about more than just weight loss.

‘For me, the weight represented who I was at that time. I was someone who didn’t like myself — and not just because of how I looked. I hated myself, was never happy.

‘I’m a completely different person now because I’m in a very loving relationship, but I worked life out for myself. It’s not about getting to grips with your weight; more your mind.’

Once she had sorted out her mind, she started to ‘treat the weight like a business’, making difficult choices. But she still struggles. ‘It’s a demon. It erodes confidence, happiness, everything,’ she says, of the inability to regulate what you eat.

‘Working with some of the most beautiful women in the world didn’t help either (models such as Rachel Hunter and Kelly Brook were on the Ultimo books, while Julia Roberts wore a prototype in the film Erin Brockovich).

‘For me it’s now a daily thing. I know I could go off the rails and go back there again, but I’m determined I won’t. It’s like being an alcoholic, isn’t it? I don’t want to go there.’

Hence, the charts of fitness workouts and meal-planners, even now. Maybe, especially now.

Then there is the home organisation, another thing she has thrown herself into with surprising vigour.

‘I never bothered about anything like this before, but last night I found myself clearing out the kitchen cupboards. I’d never even looked in some of them before, but there I was. It’s about keeping busy, feeling that you are doing something constructive.’

The thought of Michelle Mone on her hands and knees stacking Tupperware might underline what crazy times we live in, but there can be few who don’t hope that she — and every bride-to-be like her — will eventually get their dream day.

Her new date is now firmly in the diary, the ultimate goal to reach. ‘Then we will have that party,’ she says. ‘And by God we will all need it.’

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Mother's fury as she is told to leave her son at Morrisons entrance

Single mother’s fury as she is told to leave her crying seven-year-old son at Morrisons entrance by security guard due to ‘coronavirus rules’

  • Alexa Bowyer, 39, and son Ted visited the store in Hookstone Chase, Harrogate
  • They had gone to spend vouchers received from school to help during lockdown
  • But Miss Bowyer left the store without food and was made to feel ‘like a criminal’

A single mother claims she was told by a security guard to leave her seven-year-old son at the entrance to a Morrisons supermarket due to ‘coronavirus rules’. 

Alexa Bowyer, 39, and son Ted visited the store in Hookstone Chase, Harrogate, on Wednesday to spend the lunch vouchers they had received from his school to help during the lockdown period.

But Miss Bowyer said she ended up leaving the store without food and with her son in tears after she was made to feel ‘like a criminal’ by the ‘bullish’ security guard.

Alexa Bowyer, 39, and seven-year-old son Ted (pictured) visited the store in Hookstone Chase, Harrogate, on Wednesday to spend the lunch vouchers they had received from his school to help during the lockdown period

Miss Bowyer had arrived at lunchtime and queued outside the store.

But when she reached the entrance a member of security, who she said she had recognised from visiting the supermarket over the years, told her that she could not take her son inside with her.

She claims that he told her it was store policy and reasoned that by taking her son inside she was increasing the chance of him contracting coronavirus.

The guard instead suggested that she leave him outside on a bench by the entrance.

Miss Bowyer said: ‘I laughed because I thought he was joking. I thought “Of course he’s joking”.

‘Another security guard said he can’t come in and I thought “He’s a child. There’s no way I can leave him outside”.

‘I told them it was ridiculous. I’m sure they’d just made it up on the spot…’ 

‘He would have been sat right by the entrance where people would have been going past and breathing on him. 

‘I said I wasn’t going to do that and they said to come back without him.’

Miss Bowyer said she ended up leaving the store without food and with her son in tears after she was made to feel ‘like a criminal’ by the ‘bullish’ security guard

Miss Bowyer said that she was eventually forced to leave her son with a man she knew from a church group who had appeared by chance and offered to watch Ted while she shopped.

Miss Bowyer went inside and was soon approached by another member of staff who saw her looking distressed.    

Miss Bowyer said: ‘I told her what happened and she came out to the front door with me. 

‘She asked the security guard and he just said: “Mum’s choice.” 

‘If it was my choice he would have come round with me!

‘He told the store assistant that she had not been briefed and it was a new policy. 

‘She said that if it’s a new policy I can’t do anything.

‘I put my basket down and left with my son. We didn’t get any lunch.’

Miss Bowyer later spoke to the manager of the store he confirmed that this was not part of Morrisons policy. Pictured: Morrisons in Harrogate

She added: ‘It just left us really down. I rang the manager when I got back because I was really upset.

‘I should’ve asked to speak to the manager at the time but I was so shocked with what happened I was not thinking straight.

‘The way he spoke and the way he handled it. It was like I was a criminal.

‘I get that he’s security and he’s got to monitor what’s going on but you can still be nice about it. It was though he was on a power trip.’

Miss Bowyer later spoke to the manager of the store she confirmed that this was not part of Morrisons policy.  

She was invited back by the manager later that day and arrived when neither of the security staff from earlier were working.

Miss Bowyer added: ‘It’s not Morrisons I’ve got a gripe with but with the security who handled the situation… 

‘I said “You need to rein in your security men because that is not cool. People can’t be treated like that”.

‘[The manager] was very apologetic and said she was going to have a word with the relevant security people.’

Miss Bowyer added: ‘I get that people are panicking but use your discretion.

‘Ideally I wouldn’t be taking my son to supermarkets but can you get deliveries at the minute? Can you travel distance? No.’

Miss Bowyer that she did not feel comfortable going back to the store in future but would continue visiting to show she had not been ‘intimidated’.

A spokesperson for Morrisons confirmed that it was not part of their store policy and that Miss Bowyer had since received an apology from the management.

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Brave 6-year-old with cystic fibrosis beats coronavirus after being quarantined with fever for two weeks – The Sun

4
A SIX-year-old boy with cystic fibrosis who tested positive for Covid-19 has beaten the virus, calling himself a 'warrior'. 

Joseph Bostain, from Clarksville, took to Facebook to share the news after he was given the all-clear.

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His relieved mom, Sabrina, said how her son was quarantined for two weeks at their home after being struck down by a fever and cough.

After his symptoms worsened he was rushed to Monroe Carroll Jr Children's Hospital, where he was diagnosed with coronavirus.

As Joseph battled the virus, the family was inundated with support sent by caring members of the community.

"I'm a cystic fibrosis warrior and I beat Covid-19!" the brave six-year-old announced in the video posted on the site.

'WARRIOR'

Another recovery story was revealed yesterday after a 104-year-old World War II veteran who survived Spanish flu also beat coronavirus.

OPB.org reports that it has been 19 days since Bill Lapschies developed a fever and he doesn't know how he managed to beat the killer bug.

“It just went away," the upbeat grandpa declared. "Sit out here and you can get rid of anything."

He told the publication he felt "pretty good" about being 104: "I made it," he said.

Born in Salem, Oregon in 1916, Lapschies lived through the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, which claimed the lives of up to 100 million people, and the Great Depression.

Doctors said he had a moderate case of the disease and no respiratory issues.

His recent recovery was surprising given his age: the CDC cautions that people aged 65 and over are particularly at risk of contracting, and dying from, coronavirus.

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New York’s new budget is all about denial

Seen in the cold light of day, New York’s new so-called state budget is nothing but page after page of denial, mixed with business-as-usual. Boy, did lawmakers fail to rise to the occasion.

It wasn’t “a normal budget,” complained Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, “not even the budget we envisioned a month ago.” Of course not: The state economy has tanked thanks to the coronavirus.

The budget outlines $177 billion in spending — just a billion less than Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed pre-crisis, despite revenues collapsing by at least $15 billion. The Legislature even pushed Cuomo into dropping much of his Medicaid savings.

Yes, lawmakers gave Cuomo’s budget director the power to slash spending as needed starting next month. But it plainly will be necessary. As Maria Doulis of the Citizens Budget Commission put it, they “passed something akin to a wish list and punted to the state budget director to figure out what can and should happen later.”

Thus, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie crowed about a supposed $18.4 billion investment in higher education — but there’s no way those outlays will actually happen.

Lawmakers handed the gov an $11 billion credit card to maybe avert some cuts — even as they failed to end handouts to Hollywood and Cuomo’s insanely wasteful “economic development” slush funds. Way to prioritize, folks.

They couldn’t resist such non-urgent measures as outlawing polystyrene food containers as well an even-more-permanent ban on fracking for oil and natural gas.

The one saving grace is that Cuomo & Co. didn’t raise taxes as New York heads into recession. But if the same crew is running the Legislature after this fall’s elections, you can bet it’ll be their first resort next year.

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Having bigger thighs might mean you live longer – The Sun

HAVING larger thighs reduces the risk of heart disease, according to a new study.

Doctors now could begin measuring patients' thighs in a bid to help determine those at risk of high blood pressure among overweight and obese people in the future.

Researchers found having big thighs is linked with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease in obese people.

Findings revealed overweight and obese men and women with a larger thigh circumference could be less likely to suffer from high blood pressure.

The new discovery suggests carrying more weight on the thighs could be a marker of a healthier heart among obese and overweight people.

It means thigh circumference could be useful for targeting obese and overweight people for detecting high blood pressure earlier on.

Dr Zhen Yang, of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in China, said: "Circumference measurements are easy, low cost and previously effective at evaluating risk of certain diseases."

"A large waist circumference is well known to be associated with elevated blood pressure and a small thigh circumference is associated with diabetes.

"However, there are currently no studies that examine the potential of thigh circumference as an indicator of high blood pressure in people with obesity."

What can high blood pressure cause?

If your blood pressure is too high – which is known as hypertension – it puts extra strain on your arteries (and your heart) and this may lead to heart attacks and strokes.

Some symptoms can include severe headaches, fatigue or confusion, vision problems and chest pains.

Sufferers of high blood pressure could also experience difficulty breathing, an irregular heartbeat, blood in the urine and pounding in the chest, neck, or ears.

High blood pressure is a major public health problem affecting more than a billion people worldwide and is the leading cause of mortality and disability globally.

The serious condition can be caused by several factors including being overweight, lack of exercise, smoking, or a high amount of salt in the diet.

Elevated blood pressure causes excess strain on the heart and arteries and can lead to build-up of fat in blood vessels, limiting blood flow.

This increases the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

Dr Yang said: "Many people are unaware they have high blood pressure as it rarely has noticeable symptoms.

"Therefore, identifying high risk individuals early and employing intervention strategies such as monitoring diet or increasing exercise may help prevent further damage to blood vessels and the heart."

In the study, Dr Yan investigated links between thigh circumference and blood pressure in a population of 9,250 Chinese men and women aged 40 or older, of which around 5,350 were overweigh and obese and around 4,170 were normal weight.

Having a larger thigh circumference of more than 55cm in men and 54cm in women had significant links with a lower prevalence of high blood pressure.

This was consistent in both men and women and was independent of age, body mass index, and waist circumference.

Whereas those with a small thigh circumference, of less than 51cm for men and 50cm for women, were more likely to have high blood pressure.

Dr Yang said: "In contrast to stomach fat, leg fat may be beneficial for metabolism.

"The most likely cause of this association is that there is more thigh muscle and/or fat deposited under the skin which secretes various beneficial substances that help keep blood pressure in a relatively stable range."

How can I lower my blood pressure?

You can take steps to lower your blood pressure by losing weight, which is helped by increasing exercise and eating a healthy diet.

Doctors also recommend reducing alcohol intake and cutting out smoking.

Reducing the sodium in your diet is also a good step to reducing blood pressure, so make sure you read the labels on food, and avoid eating processed meats and canned veg where possible.

If you can't reduce it by natural methods, your doctor can then prescribe you medication.

The study suggests thigh circumference could potentially be used as a convenient and inexpensive indicator for earlier detection and prevention of high blood pressure and other related complications, such as heart disease, in obese or overweight people.

But due to large differences in thigh circumferences among different races and different physical activity groups, the thigh circumference sizes in this study may not be a reference for other populations.

Dr Yang now plans to further investigate this link by measuring body composition including thigh fat mass, thigh muscle mass, thigh bone mass and thigh proteins.

He added: "Different proportions of these components may provide clues to the association between thigh circumference and blood pressure and may help us develop future treatments."

The findings were published online by the journal Endocrine Connections.

 

A simple trick could tell you how healthy your heart is in just 30 seconds.

To do it, fill a bowl with cold water and ice before putting yours hands in it for the full 30 seconds.

If your fingers go red, this means you have good heart and blood circulation.

If they are pale of blueish, it could mean you have bad circulation,

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Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter, 40, and son, 8, are missing and feared dead after paddling out to sea in canoe – The Sun

ROBERT F. Kennedy's granddaughter and her eight-year-old son are missing and feared dead after they tried to retrieve a lost ball from a bay in a canoe.

Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her son Gideon, have yet to be found, after police spent the night searching the Chesapeake Bay area in Maryland.




Governor Larry Hogan offered his sympathies to the family at a press conference on Friday.

Maeve and Gideon were kicking a ball near the water, when it went into the water, her husband David McKean said.

The duo went out in a canoe to retrieve it, but "got farther out then they could handle, and couldn’t get back in," McKean told The Washington Post.

A statement from Maryland's Department of Natural Resources Police shared by Hogan's spokesperson said police responded just before 5 p.m. to a call of two people who "appeared to have be overtaken by the strong winds" in the Chesapeake Bay.

"The preliminary investigation revealed that the pair may have been paddling the canoe from a residence in Shady Side, MD out into the Bay to retrieve a ball and were unable to paddle back to shore," the statement said.

Authorities were still searching for the duo on Friday morning.

David would not confirm to the Washington Post whether the canoe was found.

Maryland's DNR Police on Friday that a canoe matching the description of the one the mother and son used had been found, however.

"At approximately 7:00 p.m., an overturned canoe, matching the approximate description of the one which the pair were in, was located," a statement said.

Just an hour after the statement was shared, Hogan announced Maeve and Gideon had drowned.

The tragedy is the latest to befall the prominent family – with some believing they are the victims of a 'Kennedy curse."

As the closest thing America has to a royal family, the Kennedy's have been faced with decades of tragedy – leading

Edward Kennedy, John and Robert's brother, to himself debate if there is a family 'curse.'

Maeve and Gideon's disappearance comes just months after the Kennedy Family mourned the death of 22-year-old Saoirse Kennedy Hill, who died of a suspected drug overdose.






The 'Kennedy curse' led four of Edward's eight siblings – half of Joseph and Rose Kennedy's kids – to suffer violent deaths.

The most famous was the assassination of John F. Kennedy during his presidency.

"JFK" died when he was just 46 on November 22, 1963 during a visit to Dallas, Texas, after he was shot in his back while riding alongside his wife, Jackie in a convertible.

Joseph Jr, was killed while serving as a pilot bomber in August 1944, during World War II.

Then in 1948, their second eldest daughter, Kathleen, died in a plane crash in the south of France, aged just 28.

Robert 'Bobby' Kennedy, died in 1968 when he too, was assassinated during his campaign to become the Democratic presidential nominee.

When he was just 38, John F. Kennedy Jr. died in a plane crash.

John Jr.'s wife Carolyn and sister-in-law Lauren tragically died in the accident with him.

Edward's brother David Kennedy died when he was 28 of a drug overdose in 1984.








Michael, David's son, died nearly a decade later in the mountains of Aspen, Colorado while playing football in his skis.

Kara, Edward's daughter, died of a heart attack at age 51 in 2011.

Saorsie, Joseph and Rose's Granddaughter, died this past August, just eight months ago.

Maeve shared a sweet picture of Gideon listening to an interview with Steph Curry and Coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci just last week.

"@StephenCurry30 and Dr. Fauci's very informative interview was part of my 8-year old son's homeschooling today!" Maeve tweeted, with a happy Gideon smiling and holding a phone.

Maeve – who worked as the executive director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiative – penned an open letter published in Politico last year, denouncing her uncle Robert F. Kennedy's anti-vaccination crusade.

She wrote the letter alongside her mother Kathleen, who is the former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, and her cousin Joseph P. Kennedy.

"We love Bobby. He is one of the great champions of the environment," the letter said.



"We stand behind him in his ongoing fight to protect our environment. However, on vaccines he is wrong," the letter continued.

The letter added: "He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines."

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Joe Biden rejects Medicare for all, says it wouldn’t have slowed coronavirus spread

Joe Biden has again declared that he does not back Medicare for all — and said that it would not have made a difference in dealing with the escalating coronavirus pandemic.

“If you had Medicare for all option now, it still has to be implemented by the federal government,” the former veep told ABC News during an interview Thursday.

“Look here’s the point, the idea that this would have stopped the virus from occurring, the idea it would have been able to be implemented earlier, the idea it wold have fundamentally changed anything is just not accurate,” Biden continued when asked whether the private sector could meet the growing demands of the current pandemic.

“Besides, you got to pass what is a $35 trillion bill over the next 10 years. Mildly complicated.”

Instead, the Democratic presidential frontrunner said, the Affordable Care Act — which the Trump administration is trying to kill in the courts — should be enhanced to ensure that all Americans have health care coverage.

“What we should be doing is having the Affordable Care Act, add the public option for those who want it, meaning Medicare if that’s what they want rather than keep their own health insurance policies,” he said.

“If you notice, its not about whether health insurance is available to people that have private insurance, it’s not about that now. It’s about whether or not the government is going to be able to implement all the things they’re supposed to be doing so I don’t see where Medicare for all would make any difference.”

Pressed about whether supporters of Bernie Sanders would be willing to vote for him if he opposed one of the Vermont senator’s key issues, Biden suggested he wasn’t worried — and praised Sanders.

“Senator Sanders is passionate about this belief in every fiber of his being, and I respect him for that. I just disagree with him,” Biden told the network.

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Ousted Navy captain Brett Crozier, who raised coronavirus alarm, gets dramatic send-off

A massive crowd of sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt threw coronavirus-related caution to the wind to send off their captain — standing by their former commander after he was abruptly relieved of his duties.

Capt. Brett Crozier — the ship captain who was reassigned because the Navy said he broke protocol by alerting higher-ups about a coronavirus outbreak on his vessel — received a prideful, raucous farewell Friday morning, footage of his exit posted on social media shows.

Hundreds of service members ignored social distancing protocol and packed the hangar deck of the Roosevelt to pay tribute to their erstwhile leader, a day after he was ousted by top Navy brass.

The decision clearly wasn’t water under the bridge for the large crowd of sailors, as they signaled their opposition to Crozier’s superiors who made the decision to send him packing to dry land.

“Captain Crozier!” the crew shouted to rhythmic clapping, one video shows.

“That’s how you send off one of the greatest captains you ever had!” a man can be heard in another video proudly proclaiming. “The GOAT! The man for the people!”

The dramatic farewell to the commander comes after Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly announced Thursday that Crozier would be relieved of command, though he will remain in the Navy.

captainScreen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11_22_59 AMCaptain Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, speaks at seaCaptain Brett E. Crozier watches Royal Navy HMS Sutherland as she arrives in YokosukaaScreen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11_22_26 AMaScreen Shot 2020-04-03 at 11_22_41 AM

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