Lockdowns, Round 2: A New Virus Surge Prompts Restrictions, and Pushback

first_img“But it’s also much worse than the spring because this virus is now much more widespread,” she said. “It’s not just one region of the country experiencing the surge. It’s every state.”As in the spring, the latest moves to buckle down have frequently been led by Democratic officials, who have tended to be more willing than Republicans to place restrictions on businesses and issue mask mandates. The governors of Michigan, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington who have announced new restrictions in the last few days are all Democrats.So is Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, who said on Monday that his state was “pulling the emergency brake” on its reopening plan.He moved most of California’s more populous counties back into the most restrictive tier in the state’s tiered reopening plan, meaning that indoor dining and some other businesses that had been allowed to reopen with limits would have to shut down again. Mr. Newsom added that the state was studying options for imposing a curfew. The virus killed about 1,700 people in Philadelphia in the early months of the pandemic, overwhelming the city’s funeral homes. With Covid-19 hospitalizations soaring again in the city, Dr. Farley warned that the virus could kill a similar number of Philadelphians this fall and winter if left unchecked. Dr. Atlas said later on Sunday that he did not mean to incite violence.The fraught political atmosphere is a return to an earlier era of the pandemic, when protesters who were angry about business shutdowns screamed without masks on at state capitols and Mr. Trump encouraged right-wing protests demanding the reopening of the economy. Those tensions faded in the summer after viral outbreaks cooled in many states. Governors made plans to open up businesses and restaurants, and some of the millions of jobs lost in the pandemic came back. But the new restrictions are meeting resistance, and it has been especially fierce in Michigan, where Governor Whitmer, a Democrat, said on Sunday evening that she would shut down indoor dining, shutter casinos and movie theaters, and halt in-person learning at high schools and colleges for three weeks. A Republican state legislator quickly called for her to be impeached, and Dr. Scott Atlas, President Trump’s coronavirus adviser, urged people in the state to “rise up” in protest. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – But now, the arc of the pandemic has returned to crisis levels nearly everywhere.The country is now recording more than 150,000 new cases each day on average, more than ever before. More than 69,000 people are in the hospital with the virus, the highest number of the pandemic. Reports of coronavirus-related deaths are up 64 percent in the past month, to more than 1,100 people a day. And governors and mayors are returning to the lecterns and video streams where they held daily briefings in the spring, this time to announce urgent new restrictions and plead for compliance.“It feels very similar to the spring,” said Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Dr. Watson said she worried that hospitals in many cities would soon become overwhelmed, as they were in New York City and other places on the East Coast during the spring peak. Under the new rules, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people for every 1,000 square feet of space, which Dr. Farley said meant barring fans from football games. Youth, community and school sports will be canceled. High schools and colleges were told to shift to remote learning, but child care centers and elementary and middle schools will be allowed to remain open.“The bottom line is this: If we don’t do something to change the trajectory of this epidemic, the hospitals will become full,” Dr. Farley said. “They’ll have difficulty treating people, and we’ll have between several hundred and a thousand deaths by just the end of this year.”Reporting was contributed by Kathleen Gray, Marie Fazio, Jill Cowan, Simon Romero and Bryan Pietsch. But as the pandemic penetrates far and wide, reaching more rural areas and wide swaths of Republican-led states than it touched in the spring, Republican officials who had been hesitant about government overreach have also been wielding their authority more forcefully. The Republican governors of North Dakota and Utah imposed mask mandates last week; Iowa’s governor did the same on Monday, also announcing curfews at restaurants and bars and restrictions on the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings. So far, few officials have returned to the most restrictive measure used in the spring, a complete stay-at-home order. But the Navajo Nation reinstated its stay-at-home order after health officials warned of uncontrolled spread of the virus in dozens of communities in the vast reservation.The order, one of the most aggressive antivirus measures in the nation, took effect on Monday and is to last three weeks. During that time, all roads in the Navajo Nation are closed to visitors, residents must stay at home except for urgent trips, and most government offices will be closed. Essential businesses like gas stations and groceries are allowed to open, but only from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.Warning that serious action was needed to prevent a new wave of deaths, officials in Philadelphia announced sweeping measures on Monday to shut down indoor dining, gyms, museums and libraries, close down in-person learning at high schools and colleges through the end of 2020 and ban all indoor gatherings of people from multiple households, even in private homes.“That means no indoor parties, group meals, football watching groups, no visiting between households, no indoor weddings, funerals, baby showers,” Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner, said. “We know that is a very strong policy, but this gets at the most important sites of spread.” “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept,” Dr. Atlas wrote on Twitter. On Monday, Ms. Whitmer said the statement left her “breathless.”“It’s just incredibly reckless, considering everything that has happened,” said Ms. Whitmer, who faced fierce opposition for her coronavirus restrictions in the spring: Mr. Trump tweeted a call to “liberate Michigan” and protesters at the State Capitol chanted, “Lock her up.” She was later the target of an alleged kidnapping plot by an antigovernment extremist group, the authorities said.- Advertisement – The scene was familiar: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, addressing a rapidly escalating coronavirus surge in her state, stood at a lectern and somberly announced new restrictions meant to stop the virus from spreading out of control.Within hours, the backlash began.- Advertisement – As the coronavirus crisis mounts with renewed force in the United States, surpassing 11 million total cases and threatening to overwhelm hospitals across the country, governors, mayors and other officials are ordering restrictions, and once again finding themselves in the crosscurrents of public health and economic crises.California, Washington State, Michigan and Oregon have shut indoor dining back down, among other measures. In Chicago, a new stay-at-home advisory went into effect on Monday. In Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney introduced a sweeping new set of coronavirus rules, including a ban on most indoor private gatherings, with a plea for understanding: “We do not take any of this lightly,” he said. “Believe me, more than anything in the world, I wish none of this was necessary.”The new wave of restrictions comes at a time when health officials across the nation are reporting more new cases and more hospitalizations from the virus than ever before, and experts are warning that another 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from the virus in the next few months if significant action is not taken.last_img read more

Watch: Amazing footage by lifeboat crew at yesterday’s rescue mission

first_imgVideo: Portrush Lifeboat StationHave you ever wondered the horrific conditions faced by our brave lifeboat volunteers when they get a call to a rescue?These are the conditions which faced volunteers yesterday off the coast of Donegal. The video was taken by members of the Portrush Lifeboat crew who rushed to aid colleagues from Lough Swilly LIfeboat and also Arranmore Lifeboat.Gales of up to 60mph as well as heavy seas met the crews as they went to the aid of a crabber which lost power yesterday afternoon 20 miles off Fanad Head.The brave men and women who man these lifeboat stations face these kinds of conditions on a regular basis.We salute their bravery and thank them for keeping us safe at sea. Watch: Amazing footage by lifeboat crew at yesterday’s rescue mission was last modified: December 17th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Redwoods mega signing adds 10

first_imgThe College of the Redwoods softball team held its largest single-day signing event in program history as 10 local players, all currently seniors in high school, committed to play softball at the college.Fortuna High’s Paige Johnson; Eureka’s Briana Graham, Raime Young, Karyn Jensen, and Sadie Wilkinson; McKinleyville’s Jaycee Morais, Grace Rosebrook, McKenna Turner and McKenzie Gonsalves; and Del Norte’s Laycee Coopman all signed letters of commitment at the college Monday afternoon.“I’ve …last_img read more

Chiefs vs. Raiders: Five questions with opposing beat writer

first_imgChecking in with Adam Teicher, who covers the Kansas City Chiefs for ESPN:1) A pretty impressive Week 1 by Patrick Mahomes. Is it even possible for him to be better than he was last season when he won the MVP?It’s difficult to see Mahomes topping his stats from 2018, when he became only the second player in NFL history to get to 50 touchdown passes and 5,000 yards. But he can still have a greater impact on games even if he throws, say, 40 touchdowns and 4,500 yards. His impact on last …last_img read more

Foundation Plan for a Snowy Climate

first_imgIs there really a rot problem here?Malcolm Taylor replies that the stipulated 16-inch separation between ground and untreated lumber that’s mentioned in building codes refers to the structural components, such as deck beams outside the structure, not to exterior wall framing.“What governs there,” he says, “is a separation of 8 inches from grade to the top of the concrete foundation wall. Seeing as this is the case, and almost all houses in cold climates are built with wood framing which is covered by snow during the winter, is there really enough evidence of widespread rot to make you need to deviate from the how everyone else builds?”Stephen Sheehy takes a similar line. In Maine, where Sheehy lives, last winter saw more than 6 feet of snow piled against the north wall of the house for three months. “So long as the melted snow or rain drains away from the house, the sills are going to be OK,” he says. It’s drainage, not simply the exterior walls’ distance above grade, that really matters here.”Although Kevin Zorski also believes that the 8-inch-above-grade guideline is plenty adequate even for a snowy climate, he suggests that Scaglione could incorporate some pressure-treated material into the house near the ground to ease his worries about rot. If he does go ahead with the plan he’s already outlined, Scaglione might consider using an insulated concrete form (ICF) foundation, which combines rigid foam insulation and a structural concrete core.“These should probably go below grade as we’ll, as there is nothing in your drawing preventing frost from getting under your slab,” Zorski says. “Or you could extend foam down the inside of the stem walls to protect the soil under the slab.” Our expert’s opinionHere’s what Peter Yost, GBA’s technical director, adds to the mix:Any foundation and above-grade wall combination system, and with any cladding in any climate, works for me, so long as both bulk and capillary water are well managed.If you don’t manage both well, there is no combination of assemblies and claddings that will be robust and durable.In cold climates, you do see a lot of failures in walls where there is no capillary break in the transition from the below-grade portion of the wall to the above-grade portion, and in walls where the barrier to bulk water entry is not continuous. But these failures are more about the detailing than they are about the type of assemblies and claddings.Just to be sure, I checked in with GBA architect Steve Baczek, who does a lot of high-performance designs for cold climates. Here is what Steve had to say:“This is a water management problem. More specifically, a bulk water management problem. Snow against a wall doesn’t really bother me; what bothers me is what happens when the snow or ice melts. Where does the water go?“First, there is the question of the proximity of wood to the water. Code requires a distance of 8 inches between grade and a wood sill. Start with that. In addition, you should provide a relatively steeply sloped grade away from the foundation to make sure water doesn’t pool around the house. As snow melts, it will typically stay below the 8-inch mark. Nathan could increase that distance to 10, 12 or even 18 inches, but I don’t think that’s necessary.“The problem with Nathan’s wall as drawn is that’s it’s a single-wythe barrier. Because of that, I question how one manages any water or moisture in that system. On a rainy afternoon in late fall, for example, that block wall could get saturated with water, and then become susceptible to freezing through the night. Eventually, repeated freeze-thaw cycling will take its toll.“I think it’s important to build in a protective layer. If Nathan sticks with a lower wall made of block, he might build it with two layers of masonry and leave a gap between the two. This is similar to the suggestion from James Morgan. Alternately, Nathan could lower the wood-framed wall so it starts just one course of block above grade, but add a ventilated rain screen to create a capillary break. That’s better, but it still leaves a course of block at the base of the wall not as well protected as I’d like. Let’s not forget block is not as robust as a poured concrete foundation would be.“There’s one more potential detail he could consider — one I have used on a house in snow country: a layer of corrugated steel protects the bottom of the wall, with a layer of rigid foam insulation between the steel and the wood framing behind it. (See Images #2 through #4, below.)“In summary, keeping wood framing above the soil will certainly help, but true success lies in proper management of the water that the wall is bound to see.” Nathan Scaglione’s central New York State building site gets plenty of snow and cold weather during the winter, and that’s proving to be a sticking point in his plans for a new house.He’d prefer a slab-on-grade foundation rather than a basement, even though a full basement would be a more typical choice in this part of the country. The foundation would consist of concrete-block stem walls extending to a footing below frost line. Exterior walls would be framed on top of the block walls, roughly 24 inches above grade. Inside the block walls, Scaglione will pour a concrete slab floor. As he explains in a Q&A post at Green Building Advisor, Scaglione has seen this detail in garage construction, not necessarily for a house.“I would like to build on a slab with radiant floor heat,” he writes. “But I really can’t get behind the idea of melting snow sitting up against the stick frame and gradually rotting the walls. For everything except a [frost-protected shallow foundation], code says 16 inches above grade. Ideally I’d like to have the stem walls be 2 feet above grade. With a platform framed house, now we’re talking about the floor being close to 3 feet off the ground. From a design standpoint, I really don’t like being way up off the ground. I’d rather one step down and I’m walking on the grass.”The drawing Scaglione has provided (above right) includes the basics. The slab would be about 6 inches above grade, and doors would be “about one step off the ground.”Are there structural problems here that Scaglione is missing? Does this type of foundation have a track record? Those are the questions for the his Q&A Spotlight. Another option: Masonry veneer and a waterproof membraneTo James Morgan, it’s getting a little complicated. A simpler approach, he says, would be to frame the exterior walls from the slab. To guard against water damage, Morgan would apply a peel-and-stick waterproof membrane to the first 2 feet or so of sheathing, and protect all of it with a masonry veneer wall. (See the drawing at left for a sample of this construction detail).“Backfill against the masonry to your heart’s content,” Morgan says. “Protect exterior door sills with at least 4 feet of gable porch overhang. Exterior walls are insulated right down to the slab and you will have no jamb issues with inward opening doors.”Morgan says that finish grade can even be higher than the finish floor when necessary. “We’ve used variations of this kind of detail reliably for many years when at-grade entries are either preferred or required, e.g., for wheelchair accessibility,” Morgan adds. He concedes that his experience has been entirely in Climate Zone 4A, bordering a county with an even milder Climate Zone 3A, but there’s no doubt it’s been successful.Sullivan would be “paranoid” about the peel-and-stick membrane becoming a “wrong-side vapor barrier” and potentially allowing wood wall components to get wet by condensation.Another possible problem, Holladay adds, is that the brick veneer will draw soil moisture upward via capillary action. “This shouldn’t be a problem if the mason remembers to install through-wall flashing a few inches above grade, along with an adequate number of weep holes to allow drainage and to provide ventilation inlets,” Holladay adds. “Your sketch fails to show the flashing and weep holes, but these details are essential. They are also tricky, because the mason may not know how the excavation contractor plans to backfill and grade the site.”Says Morgan, “I did not go into into the complementary details which I assumed would be taken for granted in this forum: proper roof water management strategies, good overhangs, proper surface grading, etc. But bottom line: I see a clear advantage in a clean and consistent wall insulation and service run condition all the way to the interior floor level. (Maybe I missed it but nobody seems to have mentioned the problems that the electrician and the plumber would face in the originally proposed configuration).“Stepping out to grade seems to be Nathan’s core performance requirement,” Morgan continues. “I stand by a construction strategy which with appropriate local detailing offers a way to achieve both objectives without making a dog’s breakfast of the exterior wall construction.” CONSTRUCTION DETAILS Foundation/Floor Connections A full basement would be a better choiceGBA senior editor Martin Holladay sees no structural problems with Scaglione’s plan, and he agrees with Scaglione’s concerns about water damage to the lower parts of exterior walls when they’re only 8 inches or so above grade. Increasing the separation between soil and wood can’t hurt.Still, Holladay would proceed differently: “I would go for a full basement (with poured concrete walls, not CMUs), and my first floor would be framed with joists rather than using a slab,” he says.Scaglione can’t disagree with the functional advantages of a full basement built with concrete, rather than block, walls, but there’s a labor issue here as well. Scaglione is working by himself, and he doesn’t have access to concrete forms.With than in mind, Charlie Sullivan suggests ICFs for the foundation walls, “one of the easier solo building approaches if you don’t mind calling a concrete company to come fill them.” Scaglione could even do the entire first floor with ICFs, Sullivan adds.Scaglione has considered, and rejected, ICFs after seeing a fellow owner/builder bracing his ICF walls before the concrete was poured with metal forms he had to rent. Second, Scaglione wasn’t embracing the idea of having the expanded polystyrene foam of an ICF exposed on outside walls.An alternative suggested by James Morgan would protect the base of the framed wall with a peel-and-stick waterproof membrane (in red) and a masonry veneer outer layer. It’s a detail Morgan has used successfully for many years. All About Wall RotZen and the Art of GradingFlashing Brick VeneerGreen Basics: Foundation TypesHow to Insulate a Basement WallFoam Under Footings Wall rot actually is a common problemScaglione isn’t convinced that an 8-inch gap between ground level and the bottom of a wood-framed wall is enough. “I have seen sill plates rotting and water damage all over the place where I live,” he says. “I would say it is a widespread problem on houses that are less than 1 foot above grade. I think you’re right that the code doesn’t say 16 inches. The old houses that are in good shape around here all have at least an 18-inch-stem wall.”He first read about extending the height of stem walls in a book by Ben Falk, who said one of the most common problems in houses built in cold, humid climates was the interface of the foundation and the frame.Before buying his lot, Scaglione saw several houses that were rotting in this area. One house he remembers in particular was a timber frame built in the 1970s, with one corner about 8 inches above grade.“The [pressure-treated] sill was hanging in there, but they also put down a timber sill that was completed rotted away to the point that the house was sagging and there were gaps around the windows,” he says, “I want my house to last longer than 40 years.”Although replies posted to his original question suggest there are ways to detail a wall so melting snow drains harmlessly away, Scaglione still wonders whether adding two courses of 8-inch block and getting the walls that much farther away from the ground is, in the end, a simpler and more foolproof approach.“Just about every well built old house in this area has at least 16 inches of clearance above grade, and I don’t think those guys were stacking rubble for fun,” he says. RELATED ARTICLES last_img read more

Why Netflix changed its algorithm to track the shows youre actually watching

first_imgAdvertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The CEO of Netflix has offered insight into how the online streaming service arrives at the suggestions it makes to users about what shows and movies to watch.During a question-and-answer session Saturday morning at the TED conference, Reed Hastings, the co-founder, chairman and CEO of Netflix, talked about running the multi-billion dollar company.Sitting onstage with lead TED curator Chris Anderson, Hastings provided this description of Netflix’s programming strategy: Twitter Facebookcenter_img Login/Register With: “We have some candy,” Hastings said. “But we have lots of broccoli, and if you have a good mix you get to a healthy diet.” Advertisement Netflix has been investing heavily in its own programming, like The Crown.last_img read more

Alvaro Morata planned to leave Chelsea to Madrid

first_imgChelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has revealed that Alvaro Morata wanted to leave the club, ahead of his potential move to Atletico Madrid.However, Sarri explained that the decision to sign Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus was in part forced by Morata’s desire to leave Stamford Bridge.The Spain international cost a then club record £60 million when he joined the Blues from Real Madrid in July 2017, but now seems set for a loan move back to the Spanish capital to make way for Higuain.Tammy Abraham, ChelseaChelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“I think that Morata is a very good player. I think that Morata has the characteristics for playing in my team,” said Sarri, according to France24.“But Morata, one month ago, said he wanted to play in another team. So it was really very difficult for him to give us the 100 percent for his mental situation, I think.”“From the physical and technical point of view, he is a very good player and suitable for my football. But the situation changed in the last month. So we needed to change.”last_img read more

Bigg Boss 13 Exclusive Zareen Khan Mahika Sharma Danny D fight hard

first_imgZareen Khan, Danny D and Mahika Sharma fight hard to become Bigg Boss 13 highest paid contestant.InstagramAlthough makers of Bigg Boss 13 have not revealed the confirmed list of contestants, it seems that some of the most popular reported contestants are already fighting to become the highest paid contestant of the show this season.Zareen Khan and controversial couple Mahika Sharma-Danny D are expected to be three of the highest paid contestants in upcoming Bigg Boss 13. While Zareen is a well-known Bollywood actress, Mahika is a TV actress and Danny is British porn star.It has been learnt that the trio are charging a bomb to be part of the show, and are trying their best to come up as the highest paid contestants of Bigg Boss 13.”A tough competition is going on between Zareen Khan and Mahika-Danny D to become highest paid contestant in Bigg Boss 13. Zareen is being paid Rs 95,000 per day to enter the controversial house. Whereas Danny D is demanding Rs 1.5 crore per day to be a house member and Mahika Sharma has been finalised at around Rs 92,000 per day by the show,” a source close to the show informed International Business Times India.Earlier Zareen had tweeted that she is not part of the show, but sources say that she is first finalised contestant of Bigg Boss 13. It is being speculated that the celebrities have been instructed not to confirm anything before the show makers reveal the final list of contestants.Meanwhile, there were reports stating that Bigg Boss host Salman Khan is going to charge record sum of money this season as his fee. As reported, he will take home Rs 31 crore per weekend (two episodes), which will be around Rs 402 crore for the entire duration of the show.Apart from Zareen, Mahika and Danny, the leaked list of probable contestants included names of Rajpal Yadav, Chunky Pandey, Ankita Lokhande among many others.last_img read more

S Africa train crash kills 14 injures 180

first_imgtrainA passenger train smashed into a truck at a level crossing in South Africa on Thursday, killing at least 14 people, injuring 180 and throwing several carriages off the rails.Flames ripped through the twisted wreckage and choking black smoke rose into the air as desperate passengers clambered out of the train to escape the inferno.Rescuers rushed to the scene to search for survivors and treat the injured. Officials warned the toll could rise as operations continued to clear the crash site.”Police are investigating. The truck driver was taking chances… that cost lots of lives,” Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi told reporters at the scene.”The truck driver has been taken to hospital where we are going to do a blood test to verify if he was sober or not, or what was the problem.”The Shosholoza Meyl rail company, which operates long-distance trains in South Africa, said the train travelling from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg collided with the truck at about 09:00 am (0700 GMT).- Fierce fire -It said in a statement that the truck had made an “untimely” crossing of the tracks when it was hit by a train at high speed, between the towns of Hennenman and Kroonstad, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of Johannesburg.One of the derailed carriages was the power generator — the car, sitting behind the locomotive, that provides power to the rest of the train. The car caught fire and the flames spread rapidly.Shosholoza Meyl said there were 429 passengers on board, though Maswanganyi put the number at 730.”The death toll has increased to 14,” provincial government health spokesman Mondli Mvambi told AFP, adding that at least 180 people had been injured — two of them critically.”It is feared that they could find more bodies as the search, recovery and rescue work is ongoing.”The number of injury reports also varied widely in the immediate aftermath of the crash.”We still have to lift the carriages to see to whether there are any other people that are still trapped there or not. We still don’t know what is underneath,” said one railway official at the accident site, promising a full investigation.Some victims were treated on a strip of grass beside the railway line while others were taken to hospital. Uninjured passengers waited on a nearby road, some of them carrying their luggage.The New Year is a busy period for transport in South Africa, with railways and roads carrying passengers returning to work after the holidays.last_img read more