London children will be given daily “emotional well-being” classes and PE lessons to help them deal with the mental and physical effects of lockdown.Pupils at Stanhope Primary in Ealing will be given training in self-worth, confidence and expressing their emotions in an effort to help them feel safe again and cope with the return to school.
Young people are feeling more bored and lonely during the coronavirus pandemic than those aged 60 and over, Government data has shown. Three quarters (76 per cent) of people aged 16 to 29 said their well-being had been negatively affected by the outbreak, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. A further 42 per cent said the lockdown was making their mental health worse. Despite the youngest age group (16 to 19-year-olds) reporting lower anxiety on average than most other age groups, those aged 16 to 29 who said they were worried about the impact of the health crisis on their well-being were significantly more likely to report being stressed or anxious (72 per cent) than those aged 60 and over (54 per cent). They were also significantly more likely than either those aged 30 to 59 or those aged 60 and over to report feeling bored, lonely (51 per cent) or that the lockdown was making their mental health worse. In comparison, 43 per cent of people aged 60 and over reported feeling bored, while 27 per cent of 30 to 59-year-olds and 26 per cent of people aged 60 and over reported feeling lonely.
Reusable containers are safe to use during the pandemic, more than 100 scientists, doctors and academics have said, amid concern over the return of single-use plastics. As long as they are thoroughly washed with soap and hot water, tupperware, reusable coffee cups and cutlery have a similar risk to their single-use alternatives, according to a joint statement organised by Greenpeace. It comes after the plastics industry lobbied the EU to drop its ban on certain single-use plastics because of the pandemic. Several coffee shops including Starbucks, Caffè Nero and Pret a Manger, have all halted the use of reusable cups over hygiene concerns. The Government has also paused its ban on plastic straws and stirrers during the pandemic, citing the pressure on business. Meanwhile, the rise in personal protective equipment has led to a surge in plastic waste globally, with masks and gloves finding their way into oceans in Europe and Asia. “Reuse and refill systems are an essential part of addressing the plastic pollution crisis and moving away from a fossil fuel-based economy,” says the statement, which was signed by experts from 18 countries. It adds: “Based on the best available science and guidance from public health professionals, it is clear that reusable systems can be used safely by employing basic hygiene.” The statement highlights that evidence suggests the virus is spread mainly via inhaling aerosolised droplets, rather than contact with contaminated surfaces. It says disposable products present similar issues to reusable ones because either could become contaminated, and says cleaning with hot water and soap or detergent is sufficient to reduce the risk. Restaurants and cafes should use contact-free systems when customers are bringing their own kitchenware, the statement says. Professor Charlotte K. Williams, Professor of Chemistry at Oxford University, who signed the statement, said: "I hope we can come out of the Covid-19 crisis more determined than ever to solve the pernicious problems associated with plastics in the environment. In terms of the general public’s response to the Covid crisis, we should make every attempt to avoid over-consumption of single use plastics, particularly in applications like packaging."
Kensington Palace has sent a legal complaint to Tatler magazine over claims the Duchess of Cambridge feels “overworked”, it is understood. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are understood to have asked that the society magazine remove its ‘Catherine the Great’ profile from the website. The Royal couple are reportedly upset about what they say is unfounded criticism of the Duchess’s family, her children and her weight. The Tatler article described the Duchess as “perilously thin” and referred to Princess Diana’s eating disorders. The society magazine claimed to have spoken to various friends of the Duchess of Cambridge for the profile with a source reportedly claiming the princess feels “exhausted and trapped” after taking on more royal duties following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back. Kensington Palace has denied this account. "Meghan and Harry have been so selfish,” one source told Tatler. “William and Catherine really wanted to be hands-on parents and the Sussexes have effectively thrown their three children under a bus. “There goes their morning school runs as the responsibilities on them now are enormous." Another source allegedly added: “Kate is furious about the larger workload. Of course she's smiling and dressing appropriately but she doesn't want this. She feels exhausted and trapped. “She's working as hard as a top CEO, who has to be wheeled out all the time, without the benefits of boundaries and plenty of holidays.” Earlier this week a source familiar with the Duchess's work emphatically denied to the Telegraph that she feels "exhausted and trapped" by her duties, saying the description was inaccurate and offensive. They added: “Like many people across the country, the Duchess is juggling home schooling and work. But she's not also having to juggle being a front line worker. She is of course cognisant of that. "That's who she would much prefer the attention to be on." A Royal source told The Mail on Sunday the description of the Duchess as “perilously thin” is “such an extremely cruel and wounding barb. It's disgusting. It's sexist and woman-shaming at its very worst. “The [Tatler] piece is full of lies. There is no truth to their claim that the Duchess feels overwhelmed with work, nor that the Duke is obsessed with Carole Middleton. It's preposterous and downright wrong.” Tatler's article also claims that the Duchess had an argument with the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle ahead of her wedding to Prince Harry in 2018. It claimed the row took place at a rehearsal two days before the wedding and was over whether the young bridesmaids should wear tights. Quoting an unnamed friend, the article said: “There was an incident at the wedding rehearsal. It was a hot day and apparently there was a row over whether the bridesmaids should wear tights or not. “Kate, following protocol, felt that they should. Meghan didn't want them to. The photographs suggest that Meghan won." But Kensington Palace insisted the story is wrong, the Mail on Sunday reported. In response to the Tatler claims a Kensington Palace spokesperson said at the time: “This story contains a swathe of inaccuracies and false misrepresentations which were not put to Kensington Palace prior to publication”. Tatler issued its own statement: “Tatler's Editor-in-Chief Richard Dennen stands behind the reporting of Anna Pasternak and her sources. “Kensington Palace knew we were running the 'Catherine the Great' cover months ago and we asked them to work together on it. The fact they are denying they ever knew is categorically false.” During the pandemic the Cambridges are working from home at Anmer Hall, homeschooling Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis while holding royal engagements over Zoom. Along with the rest of the Royal Family, they have changed the focus of their work to helping the country through the coronavirus crisis, paying particular attention to mental health. The children have joined in the "clap for our carers" movement, and delivered homemade pasta to their isolated neighbours. Since the Covid-19 lockdown, the Duchess of Cambridge has launched photography exhibition Hold Still, and taken part in video calls to schools, hospitals and maternity services, as well as playing bingo with pensioners to highlight social care. Tatler did not respond to a request for comment on the legal complaint and Kensington Palace declined to comment.
The National Trust has announced it will begin reopening some parks and gardens in England and Northern Ireland from 3 June following more than two months of lockdown.Only members and visitors who have booked tickets in advance will be allowed to access sites. Parks and gardens will operate at around one third of their usual capacity to help people observe social distancing measures, the Trust added.
Child abuse may be going unreported because people do not know where to go for help during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown, it has been warned.A survey by the NSPCC revealed that a quarter of British adults would not know where to seek help if they thought a child was being hurt or neglected.
Coronavirus is exacerbating the gender gap as women bear the brunt of childcare responsibilities and homeschooling during lockdown – whether they’re working or not, a new study has found.The report, carried out by the London School of Economics, shows women are more likely than men to lose their jobs in the upcoming recession because a greater proportion work in sectors which are predicted to be hardest hit.
Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds celebrated the birth of their first child in the early hours of Wednesday, just 17 days after the Prime Minister left hospital after beating coronavirus. The couple’s son, who has yet to be given a name, is the Prime Minister’s sixth child and was born on only his third day back at work after his sick leave. A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister and his partner said: "The Prime Minister and Ms Symonds are thrilled to announce the birth of a healthy baby boy at a London hospital earlier this morning. Both mother and baby are doing very well. "The PM and Ms Symonds would like to thank the fantastic NHS maternity team." The baby will become arguably the highest-profile newborn in the country, with lots of questions still outstanding about his birth and his future.
Britain’s coronavirus lockdown will have “devastating consequences for a generation” unless the government urgently tackles rising abuse inside homes, MPs have warned.The Home Affairs Committee called for the government to mount a wide-ranging strategy to tackle domestic violence and protect victims and their children.
Women in Northern Ireland will be able to have early abortions due to an emergency response brought in to tackle the coronavirus crisis.The new scheme, launched by sexual and reproductive health charity Informing Choices NI, will cover the first nine weeks and six days of pregnancy.
Heavy drinking adds four centimetres to your waistline, warns a new study. Researchers found excessive boozing into older age was linked to a 1.5 inch larger waist and increased risk of a stroke in men. It was also associated with higher blood pressure, poorer liver function and a higher body mass index (BMI) in later life. Scientists at University College London (UCL) studied 4,820 adults aged 59 to 83 - three-quarters of whom were men. Participants were split into groups depending on their lifetime drinking patterns. Heavy drinkers were identified using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test for Consumption (AUDIT-C), a standard screening tool for GPs. The test assesses how often you drink, how much you drink, and how often you binge - have six or more drinks. Someone who has three or four drinks, four or more times a week, would score positive as a hazardous drinker. Participants completed the AUDIT-C retrospectively for each decade of their life from age 16 to 19, to 80 and over. The team then categorised their lifetime drinking into four groups: never hazardous drinker, former early hazardous drinker (stopped at age 50 or after), current hazardous drinker, and consistent hazardous drinker (during every decade of their life). More than half of drinkers had been hazardous at some point in their life - with 21 per cent current hazardous drinkers and 5 per cent consistent. Heavy drinkers were mainly men, predominantly white, and likely to be in senior level jobs. Results showed excessive alcohol consumption over a lifetime was linked to higher blood pressure, poor liver function, increased stroke risk, a larger waistline and BMI in later life. This was the case even if you stopped drinking heavily before you turned 50. Lifetime hazardous drinkers had significantly larger waistlines and BMI than those who had never been hazardous drinkers. Heavy drinkers who stopped aged 50 or after had a 1.17 centimetre larger waist than never hazardous drinkers. But current and consistent hazardous drinkers had a waistline that was 2.44 and 3.85 centimetres larger respectively. Stopping drinking at any point in life was likely to be beneficial to overall health. Study first author Dr Linda Ng said: "Alcohol misuse, despite the common perception of young people binge drinking, is common among older adults, with alcohol related hospital admissions in England being the highest among adults aged over 50. "Previous studies have focused on single snapshots of consumption, which has the potential to mask the cumulative effects of drinking. "This study raises awareness of the effect of alcohol consumption over the life-course." Dr Ng added: "This suggests that the longer adults engage in heavy drinking the larger their waistline in older age. That is why it is beneficial, along with other health benefits, that adults reduce heavy drinking earlier rather than later." Senior study author Professor Annie Britton said: "Despite high prevalence of stroke and liver disease steadily increasing in the United Kingdom, heavy drinking remains common among older adults. "Early intervention and screening for alcohol consumption, as part of regular check-ups, could help reduce hazardous drinking among this demographic." The findings were published in the journal Addiction.
The Government has outlined plans for Britons to conduct coronavirus antibody tests at home, with finger-prick kits that will be available from Amazon and Boots. But what are these tests – and do they work? What is an antibody test? An antibody test can detect if a person has had coronavirus before and has since recovered. The test, carried out by a device that pricks your finger for blood, works this out by testing your blood for coronavirus antibodies to see if they have already beaten the virus and gained some immunity to it. It can do this in about 15 minutes. The coronavirus swab test that the Government currently uses can only tell whether a person has the virus, not if they have had it and recovered. These swab tests also take much longer to get a result. The antibody test is also known as a "serological test". The Government had been hoping to roll out millions of antibody tests in the coming weeks, but supplies from China have so far failed to pass sensitivity and specificity tests. Ministers will attempt to recoup taxpayers' money spent on the fingerprick tests after an Oxford University trial found they returned inaccurate results. The failure is a significant setback because it had been hoped the antibody tests would show who had already built up immunity, therefore offering a swifter route out of lockdown. Earlier this month, however, Professor Karol Sikora, a private oncologist and Dean of Medicine at the University of Buckingham, validated a test kit using samples from staff at his clinics, which were then verified by a private lab. Around six per cent of staff were found to have had the virus but, crucially, under-40s who had tested positive came back negative, suggesting the test may not be useful for the wider population. Siemens Healthineers, a German diagnostics and medical imaging firm, also announced on Thursday that it is producing an antibody blood test to identify past coronavirus infections. The blood tests will be available to large labs by late May, the company said, adding that it will be able to provide more than 25 million tests per month from June thanks to an upgrade to its manufacturing site in Massachusetts. What is an antigen test? An antigen test detects the presence (or absence) of an antigen, not antibodies. An antigen is a structure within a virus that triggers the immune system's response to fight off the infection. It can be detected in blood before antibodies are made. An antigen test is effective because it can take a few days for the immune system to build enough antibodies to be detected in a test, however, antigens can be detected almost immediately after infection. So, in theory, the test can tell much sooner whether someone has the virus. Antigen tests are used to diagnose HIV, malaria and flu.
A chef from Ready, Steady, Cook has been doling out cookery advice to self isolators running low on supplies and those struggling to cook with produce from bare supermarket shelves. Ellis Barrie, who runs restaurants The Marram Grass and Lerpwl, said that anyone who sends him a tweet with the ingredients they have in their cupboard will get a recipe from him or one of his colleagues on the BBC show. Many are having to go outside their comfort zones to feed their family as shops struggle to stock staples including pasta, chicken and eggs. Mr Barrie told The Telegraph that he wanted to be able to use his skills to help the community. He said: "I'm on the front line, it's where I'm best actually. I like being in the action in a crisis." The chef is also delivering meals to families in Anglesey from his restaurant, including sausage casseroles and roasted meat and fish. Cooking with sparse ingredients could be an opportunity, he said, adding: "If you are needing to self isolate and whatnot you can have a bit of fun while you're doing it, thinking about the food you're going to eat it gives you something to aim for, you can get your family involved "I've noted lots of small suppliers we should be supporting are putting out deliveries selling fresh veg so we shouldn't be just sticking to tins." Many have asked him for quick recipes, Mr Barrie added, but said that the one thing self isolators have in bulk is time. He explained: "People keep asking me for quick recipes but you're stuck in your house! Take your time, enjoy your cooking, learn to use a knife. Look on YouTube! "Of course there's Ready Steady Cook on at half four every day which is perfect during this time." Many chefs have been using their skills to help the community as the country goes into quarantine. Roger Jones, who runs Michelin star restaurant The Harrow at Bedwyn has delayed his retirement to deliver free meals to the vulnerable in his community.
Kate Beckinsale has told of her "huge relief" at Harvey Weinstein's prison sentence after revealing she was "punished" by the former movie mogul. Weinstein, 67, was sentenced to 23 years in prison by a judge in New York after being convicted of assaulting a production assistant at his apartment in 2006, and third-degree rape of another woman in 2013. Prosecutors in Los Angeles have started the extradition process to bring the disgraced Hollywood film producer to California. Beckinsale, 46, posted an image of herself on Instagram at the 2001 movie premiere for Serendipity. She wrote: "We all refused to go because holding a premiere mere weeks after 9/11 with the city still smoking felt like the most insensitive, tone deaf, disrespectful idea possible. "But Harvey insisted. We flew into New York and somehow got through it. The next morning Harvey called me and asked if I would like to bring my less than two-year-old daughter to his house for a play date with his similar aged daughter. I said OK. "I turned up and he immediately called for his nanny to take the babies to another room to play. I went to go with them and he said: 'No, you wait here.' "The minute the door closed he started screaming 'you stupid f---ing c--t, you c--t you ruined my premiere.' "I had no idea what he was talking about and started to shake. "He said, 'If I am throwing a red carpet you get in a tight dress, you shake your ass, you shake your tits, you do not go down it looking like a f---ing lesbian you stupid f---ing c--t.' "The shock made me burst into tears. I tried to say, 'Harvey, the city is on fire. People are still looking for their relatives. None of us even felt the premiere was appropriate, much less coming out dressed like it's a bachelor party.' "He said, 'I don't care - it's my f---ing premiere and if I want p---y on the red carpet that's what I get."' Beckinsale said she "managed to get myself and my child out of there and yes that was one of many experiences I had that there was no recourse for, and falls under no felony. "But I was punished for it, and for other instances where I said 'no' to him for years, insidiously and seeming irreversibly." Beckinsale continued: "Hearing that he has gone to prison for 23 years is a huge relief to me on behalf of all the women he sexually assaulted or raped, and I hope will be a deterrent to that sort of behaviour in this and any other industry. "Having said that, the crimes that are not crimes, the inhumane bullying and sick covert abuse for which there is still no recourse no matter who you tell (and I did tell), these too need to go." Beckinsale previously told how a robed Weinstein offered her alcohol when she was just 17. Scores of women have accused Weinstein of sexual assault, and he was found guilty of two attacks following a high-profile trial in New York. One of the actresses who alleged he attacked her, Mira Sorvino, said on Twitter that she "cried tears of amazement" after he was sentenced. She tweeted: "I literally cried tears of amazement, gratitude that the justice system has worked on behalf of all of his victims today."
GPs are using catering aprons to treat patients presenting with coronavirus symptoms because they have not been issued the proper protective equipment, a doctor has said. Faye Kirkland, a BBC reporter who also works as a GP, told the BBC's Radio 4 Today programme GPs are also confused about who they should be treating at their surgery and who they shouldn't. She said: "Since the weekend I've been contacted by a number of GPs concerned about the current guidance. "There is clear guidance if you've been away in the past 14 days to a high risk area or if you've been in contact with someone with a known case of Covid-19. "But there is an increasing concern about those who have symptoms such as a fever or a cough but haven't been away or haven't had a known contact. "So I've been in contact with the Royal College of GPs and they're saying their members are experiencing some confusion about triage - so what patients they should be talking to on the phone and patients they should be bringing in and what steps GPs should be taking to manage these patients in the best way possible." Doctors are having to take matters in to their own hands in terms of their equipment too - with GPs using makeshift catering aprons as surgical gowns. She said: "Patients are calling 111, but they'll go through a whole set of questions. "And if they don't think they are at risk or don't fit the tightly-defined criteria for a swab then often those calls are passed to the GP and they might come and see the GP. "There's a difficulty in GPs in knowing. For the vast majority of patients - they can be spoken to on the phone. But there are circumstances whereby the patients will need to be examined. "I've heard of GPs trying to see those patients at the end of a list so they can be seen together, seeing patients and trying to use catering aprons to protect themselves because they haven't got the correct equipment." Equipment has not been widely shared among GPs, Dr Kirkland said. "I've heard from GPs desperately trying to contact the Public Health England and they're being passed to NHS England then to the local commissioning group," she told the BBC. "There has been a promise to get that in hopefully early next week. "But at the moment GPs are left in this position of trying to do things themselves but they need guidance on how to manage this." The Telegraph has learned that GPs were written to by NHS England on March 5 updating doctors on the Covid-19 situation. In the four-page letter, it stated 400 general use aprons, 300 pairs of examination gloves and 300 face masks, will be issued early next week to all practices. An NHS spokesman said: "In the first of a series of regular updates, the NHS has written to all GP practices across the country informing them that hundreds of protective kits would be sent to them from this week, with larger surgeries receiving repeat deliveries to ensure they are well stocked. "Anyone with concerns about coronavirus can use the NHS 111 online service, and while the 111 phone line is understandably busy, and people may have to wait longer than usual, all enquiries are being responded to thanks to hard working NHS staff."
Hormone replacement therapy could help to ward off heart disease in middle aged women, a new study has shown. Scientists say that starting oestrogen steroid therapy within six years of the onset of menopause could help prevent clogged arteries and reduce cholesterol. Researchers in the US found the hormone oestradiol helped avoid atherosclerosis - a potentially serious condition where arteries become clogged with fatty substances called plaques. Oestradiol is a female sex hormone and a form of oestrogen often prescribed to treat the symptoms of menopause and to prevent osteoporosis. Women who took the hormone showed healthier arteries and were less at risk of cardiovascular problems. Study lead author Dr Roksana Karim from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles said: "Atherosclerosis is a major cause of heart disease, and cholesterol accumulation in the arterial wall is the predominant characteristic of atherosclerosis. "Our results show that oestradiol initiated earlier in menopause reduces atherosclerosis and appears to do so by directly reducing cholesterol accumulation in the arterial wall."
Former Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq today urged schools to promote the achievements of female scientists to encourage more girls to follow careers in engineering, science and technology.Ms Huq, the longest-serving female presenter of the BBC show, was set for a career in science before she broke into television.
Giorgio Armani is holding his Milan Fashion Week runway show behind closed doors on Sunday due to concerns raised by the coronavirus, and instead stream the event from inside the empty showroom. The fashion house said in a statement early Sunday that ''the decision was taken to safeguard the well-being of all his invited guests by not having them attend crowded spaces". A dozen towns in northern Italy have gone on effective lockdown after the deaths of two people infected with the new virus from China. Milan is the capital of Italy's Lombardy region, which reported 54 confirmed cases. The rest of Milan's runway shows scheduled for Sunday are to go ahead as planned, fashion officials confirmed. The Italian National Fashion Chamber said in a statement there were no indications from health officials that changes were necessary. It said it was up to individual brands to decide if they would go ahead. Armani announced overnight that as a precaution, his runway show on Sunday would be conducted in an empty showroom and streamed for the fashion public on the internet. It was the first time the 45-year-old Milan fashion house has taken such a step out of public health concerns.
Women who have been subjected to domestic abuse are 44 per cent more likely to die from any cause than the wider population, a new study has found.Researchers at the University of Warwick and Birmingham discovered domestic abuse survivors are at increased risk of developing cardiometabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
A soft robotic heart which would end the need for donor transplants, could be available within a decade, after scientists set out plans to build a hybrid organ from stem cells and biotech.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued its strongest warning to date about e-cigarettes, claiming they increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders.
The biggest ever study into touch will find out whether millennials want less physical contact than previous generations, following modern movements like MeToo.
Buckingham Palace is reportedly reconsidering the royal title of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex because the punctuation is the same as in the titles of women who have divorced royal men.After announcing Prince Harry and Meghan would be stepping away from the front lines of the royal family, palace insiders were left scrambling to decide how to balance the couple’s titles against their desire for a more private life.
Chinese New Year is fast approaching – and with it comes a host of superstitions that will apparently dictate how the next 12 months will play out for each of us.