New Coronavirus Laws – An Overview
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has forced people and politicians to adjust daily lives and politics. This crisis is not something ‘other’ countries are dealing with; it is a worldwide predicament that has everyone changing and rethinking their lifestyles. At first, citizens were asked to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others and not gathering in groups of more than a few people. However, the suggestion wasn’t taken seriously enough, and government officials decided to take matters into their own hands and start enforcing stricter methods.
Not since World War I, during the outbreak of the 1918 Spanish Flu, has the world practiced social distancing, and at that time, when science was not as developed and medicines not as advanced, the self-isolation practice was done on a far smaller scale than is seen today.
Around the world, governments have closed schools, parks and playgrounds, and any nonessential businesses to help enforce the order to stay safe at home. President Donald Trump just recently extended that order to April 30, instead of limiting it to two weeks as was originally planned. Some health professionals warned that date may still be a little too optimistic as the disease hasn’t yet reached its peak.
Social distancing and staying home are difficult and perhaps boring, but that is only one of the many repercussions of the spreading virus. Small and large companies have had to shut down, either due to official orders or because business is too slow, and employees are left without jobs. The federal government is challenged with trying to help the American people during this financial crisis as well.
The president recently signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion bill which provides funding in many different areas. Part of the law includes sending a relief check of $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for couples, sometime this month. It also extends unemployment insurance to more people while adding extra time to receive benefits (39 weeks instead of 26), and an additional $600 weekly on top of regular payments. Money has been allocated to provide low-interest loans for small businesses that need to cover payroll, rent, and other necessities to keep their businesses going.
Talk of another stimulus package continues to float around Washington, D.C., but some politicians want to wait and see how this bill helps before adding even more to the national debt.
Goats Taking Over Town
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused havoc across the globe as most people remain inside their homes waiting for the “stay at home” order to be lifted by their local governments. Self-isolation is not easy as humans are a social species, and people have taken to becoming inventive to find ways of entertaining themselves. One community, however, didn’t have to search far as the entertainment came on four legs and hooves to them.
In the seaside town of Llandudno, Wales, a herd of Kashmir goats started roaming the deserted streets. It’s not completely unusual to see the animals come into town once in a while, but with the human residents confined to their homes and unable to go out shopping and exploring, the beasts took advantage of the situation and strolled around nibbling on shrubs and gardens.
One of the town’s councilors, Carol Marubbi, said the only times they usually ventured into the city was when the weather was “awful,” but now the goats sensed something else was going on to keep the humans out of sight. “I think they’re probably feeling a bit lonely and they have come down to have a look around,” she said.
The Kashmir goats are not new to the area; the herd has lived on the Great Orme promontory since the time of Queen Victoria. They were popular then because of their cashmere wool that was used to make shawls. Today, they are a local attraction with about 150 goats in the herd, including some kids that were born in February.
The townspeople were not upset by this latest intrusion and took to social media to share their pictures and comments. “Just love this,” said Sue Foster, a former schoolteacher, on Twitter. “Looks like they are definitely in charge.” Hashtags #goats and #Llandudno were trending on Twitter, and one imaginative commenter said, “Who we gonna call? Goat busters.”
It’s Autism Awareness Week
Monday, March 30 through Sunday, April 5 is Autism Awareness Week. It is a time designated for bringing public understanding to the condition and the challenges it poses, as well as fundraising and other events designed to help finance continued research and support for those affected.
Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects the way a person communicates, both with speech and nonverbal communication. Those with ASD also suffer from sensory overload where lights, sounds, and actions can become extremely painful and distressing. Adults and children may be affected, and children can be diagnosed as early as two years old.
The condition also vastly differs in individuals. Some autistic people can function mostly normally with only a few irritations to interrupt daily life, while others could be severely impaired and need much more medical attention and one-on-one work to help achieve basic tasks.
Some signs of autism include:
- Loss of previously acquired speech or social skills.
- Avoidance of eye contact.
- Persistent preference for solitude.
- Difficulty understanding other people’s feelings.
- Delayed language development.
- Persistent repetition of words or phrases (echolalia).
- Resistance to minor changes in routine or surroundings.
- Restricted interests.
- Repetitive behaviors (flapping, rocking, spinning, etc.)
- Unusual and intense reactions to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colors.
With most people restricted to at-home activities due to the Coronavirus pandemic, now is a good time to learn more about autism and how it affects those afflicted with the condition. Here is a short informational video on ASD: