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Well Being

New COVID-19 test numbers show that Italy is close to flattening the curve

New COVID-19 test numbers show that Italy is close to flattening the curve
via Al Jazeera News / Twitter

The big reason that people around the planet are social distancing is to slow the spread of COVID-19 so that fewer people need to seek treatment and hospitals are not overrun. Epidemiologists call this practice "flattening the curve."

In Italy, the curve wasn't flattened fast enough and hospitals became overloaded with patients fighting the deadly virus. So patients went without having ICU beds and hospitals suffered from a lack of basic supplies.

Italy has seen the most COVID-19 deaths in the world with over 11,500.



via Science Alert

Italy's healthcare workers have paid a tremendous price for their bravery during the crisis. Sixty-three have died because of the virus and there has been an average of 600 new infections among these workers every day.

However, there is good news coming out of Italy. On Monday, the Italian Civil Protection Department announced a clear slowdown in the number of infected people. The number has only grown 2% to reach 75,528.

"We are witnessing a slowdown [of the outbreak]," Fabrizio Pregliasco, a virologist from the University of Milan, said according to Newsweek. "It is not plateau yet, but it is a good sign."

The total number of those who have recovered from the virus had a sharp increase, reaching 14,620.

Although the outbreak hasn't peaked, Italian experts believe it's near.

via Reuters / Twitter

The disease's progress may be slowing, but Italy is looking to extend its lockdown which was scheduled to lift on April 3. Reports show that it may be extended at least another two weeks.

"The measures expiring on April 3 will inevitably be extended," regional affairs minister, Francesco Boccia, said according to Newsweek.

"I think that, at the moment, talking about re-opening is inappropriate and irresponsible," he added.

Italy appears to have the highest death rate on the planet from the disease. China had a similar number of infections but only a third of the deaths of Italy.

A big reason is that only the most severe cases are being treated because Italy's medical system has been completely overrun by the pandemic.

"We have a national healthcare system that works very well, especially in Lombardy -- but even our system has been hit by this," Dr. Massimo Galli, head of the infectious disease unit at Sacco Hospital in Milan, said according to CNN.

"Miracles have been done in multiplying the numbers of beds in hospitals," he continued. But medicine "has been lacking -- and this is a big problem that will be felt by other countries."

Another major factor is that Italy has the second oldest population on the planet behind Japan. The average age for Italians who have died after testing positive for the virus is 78.

Pedro Pascal and Bowen Yang can't keep a straight face as Ego Nwodim tries to cut her steak.

Most episodes of “Saturday Night Live” are scheduled so the funnier bits go first and the riskier, oddball sketches appear towards the end, in case they have to be cut for time. But on the February 4 episode featuring host Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian,” “The Last of Us”), the final sketch, “Lisa from Temecula,” was probably the most memorable of the night.

That’s high praise because it was a strong episode, with a funny “Last of Us” parody featuring the Super Mario Brothers and a sketch where Pascal played a protective mother.

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AMC Theaters/Youtube, Variety/Twitter

AMC announced that it would be implementing a new three-tier ticketing system.

AMC Theaters, America’s largest movie theater chain, announced on Feb 6 that it will be adopting different ticket prices based on seat location.

Moviegoers will have three tiers to choose from based on sightline of the movie screen—Preferred Sightline, set in the middle at the highest price point, Value Sightline, set in the front of the auditorium at the lowest price, and Standard Sightline, which is basically everything else (including the back seats, which are perhaps the most commonly picked) set at the traditional cost of a ticket.

In other words…heartbreak will feel more expensive in a place like this…or less, depending on where you sit



The company’s announcement was met with both criticism and approval. While some feel the move follows a well-established business model, others have found it to be taking away a valued aspect of the moviegoing experience.

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Pop Culture

Keanu Reeves shocks a small-town pub by stopping in for a pint and taking photos with the staff

“So today we had a surprise visitor for lunch. What a lovely man he was, too."

Keanu Reeves in São Paulo, Brazil, 2019.

Keanu Reeves has a reputation as one of Hollywood’s nicest celebrities. Recently, he cheered up an 80-year-old fan who had a crush on him by calling her on the phone. He’s also bought an ice cream cone for a fan to give an autograph on the receipt and crashed a wedding to take photos with the bride and groom.

He’s also an incredible humanitarian who gave up a big chunk of his money from "The Matrix" to a cancer charity.

The “John Wick” star was his usual gracious self over the weekend when on Saturday, February 4, he and a friend walked into The Robin Hood pub in Tring, Hertfordshire, about 30 miles outside of London.

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via Pexels

A mother puts a fresh diaper on her baby.

Scientists at Penn State University have devised a “smart diaper” that alerts parents when their baby is wet. The diaper is made of paper, treated with sodium chloride (salt) and has a circuit board drawn with a pencil.

When the humidity level rises in the diaper, the graphite and the urine are absorbed by the paper and it turns on a sensor powered by a small lithium battery. The sensor then sets the alarm on an app that parents download onto their phones.

“The hydration sensor is highly sensitive to changes in humidity and provides accurate readings over a wide range of relative humidity levels, from 5.6% to 90%,” the researchers at Penn State said in a statement.

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Pop Culture

Kelly Clarkson and Pink's gorgeous unplugged 'What About Us?' duet came with a timely​ message

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry…"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson teamed up for a sweet acoustic version of "What About Us?"

Pink and Kelly Clarkson are both known for having powerhouse voices that can belt at incredible ranges but also soften for a sweet ballad. Put the two of them together, and…well, dang.

On Feb 6, Clarkson featured Pink on her daytime talk show, in which she often sings with musical guests. The two superstars sang several acoustic duets with pitch-perfect harmonies, prompting fans of both artists to clamor for a collaborative album.

One song they sang together was Pink's "What About Us?" Pink previously described the song to The Sun in 2017: "The world in general is a really scary place full of beautiful people. Humans are resilient and there's a lot of wonderful—like I said in the song—'billions of beautiful hearts' and there are bad eggs in every group. And they make it really hard for the rest of us."

In the intro to their duet, Clarkson asked Pink about the impetus behind her writing the song.

"We're not listening to each other right now. And it's so loud, and so gross, and so angry and people are being forgotten," Pink shared. "People are being counted out and their rights are being trampled on just because a group of people doesn't believe in them."

"Like, I don't understand how so many people in this world are discounted because one group of people decided they don't like that," she continued. "And I won't—I won't have it. One of the most beautiful things that my dad taught me was that my voice matters and I can make a difference, and I will."

The lyrics of the song seem to address the political leaders and decision-makers who hold people's lives in their hands as they pull the levers of power. It's a beautiful song with an important message wrapped up in gorgeous two-part harmony.

Enjoy:

Saturday Night Live/Youtube

"It's a me."

Pedro Pascal and HBO seem to be a match made in pop culture heaven. His role in the fourth season of “Game of Thrones” shot him to notoriety. He’s currently starring in “Last of Us,” which also boasts a massive viewership.

And now, thanks to one epic “Saturday Night Live” skit, fans are clamoring to see Pascal take on a new role—a brooding, hardened, princess smuggling Mario.

The faux trailer imagines the video game Mario Kart as a quintessential HBO drama. Mario (Pascal) has to use his driving skills to get Princess Peach (played by Chloe Fineman) through an apocalyptic Mushroom Kingdom.
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