Do You Socially Distance? Your Income Might Matter

By Cara Murez

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Jan. 19, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Do you you keep 6 feet apart from others to help stop coronavirus spread? New research shows that the wealthier you were at the start of the pandemic, the more likely it is you’ll maintain social distance.

The new study looked at social distancing and mask wearing, and determined a link between those behaviors and income.

“We need to understand these differences because we can wring our hands, and we can blame and shame, but in a way it doesn’t matter,” said study author Nick Papageorge, the Broadus Mitchell Associate Professor of Economics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“Policymakers just need to recognize who is going to socially distance, for how long, why and under what circumstances to give us accurate predictions of how the disease will spread and help us establish policies that will be useful,” he said in a Hopkins news release.

The research was part of a six-country survey. In the United States, 1,000 people from Texas, Florida, California and New York were asked questions last April about demographic information and their behavior as COVID-19 cases were spiking.

People with the highest incomes made the most changes. They were 32% more likely to increase social distancing, 30% more likely to increase hand-washing and mask wearing and 13% more likely to change behaviors.

The ability to work from home and having access to outdoor space made a significant difference.

People with higher incomes were more likely to be able to work from home, which made them 24% more likely to keep social distance. Lower-income people experienced increased chances of losing their job because of the pandemic, and they also had limited access to remote work, the study found.

“The whole messaging of this pandemic is you’re stuck at home teleworking, that must be really tough so here are some recipes for sourdough starter, and here’s what you should catch up on Netflix,” Papageorge said. “But what about the people who aren’t teleworking? What are they going to do?”


People with access to the outdoors at home were 20% more likely to maintain social distance.

“It’s not shocking that if you don’t live in a comfortable house you’re going to be leaving your house more often,” Papageorge said. “But the point we want to push is that if I’m a policymaker maybe I really need to think about opening city parks in a dense neighborhood during a pandemic. Maybe that’s something that’s worth the risk. This is why we want to understand these details — they can eventually suggest policies.”

The study also found that women were 23% more likely than men to social distance. There was not a meaningful difference in social distancing behavior because of preexisting health conditions.

The research was published Jan. 14 in the Journal of Population Economics.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information on protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins University, news release, Jan. 14, 2021

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Technology UK

You might never lose your keys again thanks to handy new Samsung phone feature

Samsung has launched a new gadget that could stop you ever losing your keys again.

It has today confirmed rumours of its hotly-anticipated ‘Galaxy SmartTags’.

The GPS tags priced at £29 can be attached to your most valuable items – like your house keys or a pet with a habit of running away – and tracked using your phone’s bluetooth.

Samsung fans have been eagerly awaiting the tags, which are also designed to use other people’s smartphones nearby to trace lost items once activated.

So if you were to, say, lose your bag on a bus – SmartTags would use other people’s phones with the app SmartThings Find downloaded to track the tag as it speeds away out of your phone’s range.

The brand unveiled the bluetooth tags today by showing how it could be used to track a missing dog.

What would you use SmartTags to track? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

Galaxy SmartTags can even be attached to your dog

Pet owners can clip the tag to their pet’s collar – and if little Fido goes missing, his location can be pinpointed using Samsung’s existing app SmartThings.

The brand is marketing the tags as a way to track your most treasured possessions, and syncing the items’ locations to Samsung phones.

The tags come in a range of colours to match the new Samsung S21, S21+ and Ultra smartphone line unveiled today.

The colour themes includes Phantom white, violet, grey and pink.

And the SmartTags also come in black too.

So far, Samsung UK is offering black and oatmeal SmartTags on its site only.

A smartphone user uses an app in their home to find a lost item attached to a Galaxy SmartTag devices
Samsung’s new Galaxy SmartTag tracker uses your phone’s bluetooth to find your lost keys

The brand is marketing the tags to track everyday items – like your laptop, bag, or keys.

But expect to see some light-hearted shenanigans once they are launched -and some questions around privacy too.

How long do you think it will take before users will test out track their spouses, or kids?

Samsung launched the new product on Thursday as it showed off its new Galaxy S21 phone and latest ear buds, the Galaxy Buds Pro, at its first Unpacked event of 2021.

It is the first major smartphone launch since rival Apple launched the iPhone 12 range late last year.

The SmartTags release sees Samsung pip Apple in the race to produce an everyday bluetooth-operated tracker.

Apple’s AirTags are said to have been in the works for years, but the product has not yet dropped.

GalaxyTags come hot on the heels of the success of Tiles – which some of you may already be familiar with.

Samsung presents a visual of four colours of its new Galaxy SmartTag tracking devices
The SmartTags come in a range of colours

Tile’s bluetooth accessories clip to other items so they can be tracked down if your phone is in range.

Users who have lost their device can search for the Tile using their smartphone, triggering the tag to play a loud tune.

If its out of range, it calls on an anonymised network of Tile users’ phones to help track the missing item.

So if someone with the Tile app goes past your missing item with the tracker attached, it will ping back their location to your phone so you can get hot on the trail.

The new Samsung Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra
The new Samsung range features Galaxy Ear Bud Pro too

The latest tech is very much in the vein of Apple’s now vintage Find my iPhone service, that allowed users to login and track lost and stolen devices.

But the tags, which Samsung will be hoping prove popular with the forgetful Average Joe smartphone user, expands on the idea by allowing tags to be attached to any item the owner holds dear.

So what would you attach yours to?

  • Read more and pre-order the new Samsung Galaxy SmartTag retailing at £29 here.

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‘Microbiomes’ Might Influence COVID-19 Severity

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The bacteria in your gut may play a role in the severity of COVID-19 infection and the strength of your immune system response, a new study suggests.

Not only that, imbalances in the microbiome may cause continued inflammatory symptoms, often called “long-haul” COVID, the researchers added.

“Imbalance in the microbiome contributes to the severity of COVID-19, and if it persists after viral clearance, could contribute to persistent symptoms and multi-system inflammation syndromes like long COVID syndrome,” said lead researcher Dr. Siew Ng, a professor from the Institute of Digestive Disease at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“Restoration of the missing beneficial bacteria might boost our immunity against SARS-CoV2 virus and hasten recovery from the disease,” she said. “Managing COVID-19 should not only aim at clearing the virus, but also restoring the gut microbiota.”

The study, however, can’t prove that imbalances in the microbiome cause COVID-19 to be more severe, only that there appears to be an association between the virus and bacteria in the gut, Ng said.

But evidence is growing that gut bacteria are linked to inflammatory diseases, she noted.

For the study, the researchers studied blood and stool samples from 100 patients with COVID-19 and from 78 people without the infection who were part of a microbiome study before the pandemic began.

They found that in 274 stool samples the gut microbiome differed significantly between patients with and without COVID-19, regardless if they had been given drugs, including antibiotics.

For example, those with COVID-19 had fewer types of bacteria that can affect the immune system response than those without the infection. The reduced number of these bacteria was linked to the severity of the infection.

Moreover, the number of these bacteria remained low up to 30 days after infected patients had cleared the virus, the researchers found.

COVID-19 triggers the immune system to make inflammatory cytokines, and in some cases, this response can be excessive, causing widespread tissue damage, septic shock and organ failure.

Analysis of the blood samples found that the microbial imbalance in the COVID-19 patients was linked with high levels of inflammatory cytokines and blood markers of tissue damage, such as C-reactive protein.

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10 Churches You Might Want to Avoid

Churches come in all shapes, sizes, and sometimes even beliefs.

In Revelation 2-3, the Bible gives us some descriptions of a church that might have lost its way. Although, the Bible also mentions positive things that these very same churches were doing, so they weren’t all bad. This is an important idea to remember, because no church is going to be one hundred percent perfect; after all, they are run by humans.

Be wise and be aware, but before you leave any church, take some time to evaluate your own motives. Any problems that you see might be a result of your own perception and not really issues at all. Your inclination to avoid a particular church may be valid, but it could also be your own pride thinking you deserve better. Always check yourself and your motives.

Still, certain characteristics may be a good reason to go elsewhere:

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/belchonock

Headline USA

Why might 14 million taxpayers experience a delay in the delivery of their stimulus check by the IRS? | The State

Directly deposited payments ended up in temporary or canceled bank accounts.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

The second stimulus check could be delayed for some taxpayers according to a warning by the Internal rents service (IRS) and by major tax preparation software companies.

The problem is that the directly deposited payments ended up in temporary or alternative bank accounts used to receive the first round of stimulus payments that the companies had closed. These include refund transfer services used with tax preparation software and prepaid debit cards.

The delay in depositing the second stimulus check could affect up to 14 million people who could have a lower income and be among the people who might need the stimulus money the most, a banking industry source confirmed to NBC News.

After the new legislation was passed, the second round of stimulus check payments began the distribution of $ 600 dollars from the night of December 29 through direct deposit by the IRS.

When some of the recipients started tracking their stimulus check through the tool Get My Payment They were surprised to see a different bank account number listed as their own, however there was no deposit money in their bank account.

A similar problem arose during the delivery of the first stimulus check in April. Some of the taxpayers used the Refund Transfer services that allow them to pay their Tax Preparer with the refund itself, an option that is attractive to some filers who also reported late payments due to a clerical error.

For the refund transfer to work, the tax preparer create a temporary bank account to receive the refund, then take your share and then pass the rest of the money to the declarant and close the account. But IRS used the closed bank account in the archive leaving some of the funds in limbo.

Depending on the situation, some of these contributors will continue to receive their funds deposited directly into their bank account or onto a reloadable prepaid debit card. However, others may face further delays in receiving a paper check or receiving your credit when filing your 2020 taxes.

In some of the cases, the money was sent to a different account than the first stimulus payment, according to the tax preparation company. H&R Block.

Related: How to track your second stimulus check and other shipments through the USPS app?

He IRS reported that if the tracking site reflects a direct deposit date or partial account information “then your payment will be deposited there.” The site indicates that the payment date can take up to four weeks. In case the message “Payment Status # 2 – Not Available” appears in the tracking tool, then the only option to claim your payment will be through a tax credit claimcompleting line 30 of the 2020 form 1040 0 1040-SR.

The place Get My Payment it could display an account number that is difficult to recognize. This deposit will be transferred in the form of a direct deposit, paper check or Debit.

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UAE weather: It might rain in Abu Dhabi, while partly cloudy in Dubai and Sharjah

Going out? Always carry an umbrella as there is a chance of rain in parts of Abu Dhabi. Motorists are advised to drive slowly and carefully as the roads will be slippery when wet. 

Today’s weather condition, according to the National Centre of Meteorology, will be partly cloudy to cloudy at times over some Western areas, sea and the island by noon with a chance of light rain in some areas of Abu Dhabi.

It is going to be humid by night and Saturday morning over internal areas, especially Westward.

We can expect some moderate Northeasterly to Northwesterly winds in general, freshening at times causing blowing dust with a speed of 15 – 25 km/h, reaching 35 km/h.

The sea is predicted to be slight to moderate in the Arabian Gulf and in Oman Sea.

Current temperature in Dubai is 26 °C.

The maximum temperature in the country is expected to be between 22 and 26 °C. And, the lowest will be between 9 and 13 °C.

Headline USA

Why might paper second payment stimulus checks experience delays in delivery? | The State

During the first round of stimulus check payments, the IRS began shipping a week later.

Thomas Cain / Getty Images

Starting Tuesday night the Internal rents service (IRS) began sending direct deposits and on Wednesday morning the paper checks of the second stimulus check.

During the first round of payments the IRS began sending the stimulus checks a week later that they processed the money for the people they had in their database.

The Treasury Department may process 5-7 million paper stimulus checks per weekas well as checks for other federal programs, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office it filed in June. This time the IRS began mailing stimulus checks starting this Wednesday, December 30.

The stimulus bill establishes as a limit the January 15 for the IRS to send payments. So anyone who doesn’t get theirs by that date will have to claim early 2021 during tax filing season.

The key is how soon taxes will be filed for 2020 and how quickly the IRS could process your tax return.

These two scenarios are important due to several factors. People who file in February will likely receive their stimulus check money through a Recovery Refund Credit, months before people who will wait until the April 15 deadline or file an extension.

During the first round of stimulus checks there were people who received a payment after June, even some families did not receive their full payment or did not know what they needed to complete an additional procedure, which resulted in more than 12 million eligible people they had not received their payment until November 2020.

It is not clear what could happen if there was a problem during the process or with the Recovery Refund Credit, which would further delay the delivery of the checks.

The IRS will most likely set a different deadline to address clerical errors such as a possible lack of money from the stimulus check.

Related: Three Ways A New IRS Stimulus Check Payment Could Come To Your Home.

Some experts have warned that the delivery of stimulus checks during the first month of the year is not an ideal time to increase the burden on the IRS since it is traditionally the month of preparation for the next tax filing season and because there is less staff than usual due to the end of the year holidays.

The only way the IRS will deliver the second stimulus check in a timely manner will be at the expense of the start of the tax filing season, Chad Hooper, executive director of the Association of Professional Managers that advocates for more than 30,000 workers, told CNN. that they are not unionized before the ISR.

You may be interested:

Entertainment UK

LadBaby might equal The Beatles and Spice Girls’ record with 3rd Christmas No 1

LadBaby could be on track to land his third Christmas No1 in a row, matching an achievement that only The Beatles and the Spice Girls have attained before.

The 33-year-old YouTube sensation – whose real name is Mark Ian Hoyle – has already raised thousands for The Trussell Trust and shot to fame when he landed the Christmas No1 spot in 2018 and 2019.

This year, LadBaby released his tune Don’t Stop Me Eatin – and the track is already set to top the charts this festive season yet again.

It comes after LadBaby’s first Christmas No 1 We Built This City… On Sausage Rolls in 2018 as well as his 2019 hit I Love Sausage Rolls.

Should LadBaby achieved the coveted spot, they will join a hall of fame reserved only by The Beatles who got a Number 1 in 1963, 1964 and 1965 as well as The Spice Girls who achieved the title in 1996, 1997 and 1998.

LadBaby is vying for a third Christmas Number 1

Like in previous years, LadBaby has centred his latest tune upon the theme sausage rolls and the performers even slipped into some impressive sausage roll inspired Christmas outfits for the music clip.

With the help of their two sons, LadBaby and his partner LadBabyMum Roxanne have created an incredible music video that also makes a special nod to 2020.

In what LadBaby has dubbed his “most important year yet,” the performer has admitted it would be an “honour” to be referenced alongside the likes of The Beatles and The Spice Girls.

However, the artist also maintained that they simply want to get a number one in order to raise awareness of The Trussell Trust.

The stars have released a string of songs dedicated to sausage rolls

Speaking to the BBC, Mark said: “The Beatles and the Spice Girls… people talk about us having three as well. You know, it’s an honour to be mentioned with such musical greats. But our passion is to raise the name of this charity.”

He also said he was uncertain whether they could match The Beatle’s record of four Christmas Number 1’s – after they also achieved the top spot in 1967.

LadBaby added: “What we don’t want to do is do something where people start to boycott what we do as a song because then it could reflect on the charity as well. So as much as we love doing it, we need to know when is right to not do it.”

LadBaby could join the hall of fame alongside The Beatles and The Spice Girls

LadBaby is trying to raise money for charity with the tune

While many are confident that LadBaby is on track to be this year’s Christmas No 1, the family face stiff competition from stars such as Gemma Collins and Darren Day.

Another single called ” Boris Johnson is a F***ing C***” is also vying for the coveted title and peaked at No 2 in the UK iTunes, but currently sits in fourth place.

Donations for the Trussell Trust can be made by downloading LadBaby’s Christmas tune or through the charity’s website.

Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us direct 0207 29 33033

Technology US

If your Cyberpunk 2077 save file becomes too big, it might get corrupted

I can barely go anywhere on the internet without seeing yet another wild, hilarious, or downright odd bug from Cyberpunk 2077. It’s a buggy game, and developer CD Projekt Red has already released two hotfixes to try and shore up some of the problems. One issue that’s starting to pop up, though, isn’t funny at all: some players are reporting that their Cyberpunk 2077 save files are becoming corrupted if they exceed a certain file size (via Eurogamer).

If your Cyberpunk 2077 save is corrupted, you’ll apparently see this prompt when you try and load up the game: “saved data is damaged and cannot be loaded.” Here’s what it looks like:

The prompt shown for corrupted saves in Cyberpunk 2077.
Image: support document

While it’s not clear what might be causing save files to be corrupted, it seems it can happen when the saves reach 8MB in size. Crossing that 8MB threshold is when the save file corrupted for one Redditor, in their testing. There are also multiple people on CD Projekt Red’s forums reporting that their 8MB+ save files are corrupted.

In a support document about the corrupted saves prompt, CD Projekt Red says that “unfortunately the save is damaged and can’t be recovered.” To avoid seeing the prompt, the company recommends using an older save and to “keep a lower amount of items and crafting materials.”

Theoretically, if your Cyberpunk 2077 save file is larger than 8MB, you’ve invested dozens of hours into the game and collected a lot of items. If I had a corrupted save in part because I picked up too much stuff (in a game that’s littered with stuff to pick up), I know I’d be extremely disappointed.

CD Projekt Red says in the save file size limit “might be increased in one of the future patches” in the support document. But even if that increase happens, the save files that are currently corrupted will remain so, the document says. If you are experiencing corrupted saves, a moderator on CD Projekt Red’s official Cyberpunk 2077 forums has offered some suggestions on how to load backup saves that you can try.

The studio has promised to release two large patches for Cyberpunk 2077 next year: one in January and one in February. Perhaps the company will make changes in those patches to help prevent files from becoming corrupted. CD Projekt Red didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from The Verge.

Sports UK

Pep Guardiola admits Man City might have to forget about catching Liverpool

Pep Guardiola fears his Manchester City side may have to forget about catching Liverpool while their striker crisis continues.

Raheem Sterling netted to sink Southampton. But with Sergio Aguero an unused sub and Gabriel Jesus not available due to a “condition with his teeth”, Guardiola fielded a side without a recognised striker.

Asked whether his men could land a blow on Jurgen Klopp’s Reds, he said: “Right now I don’t know.

“Our momentum up front is not good. We cannot expect in this situation to play much better than the team in third.

“When we created chances we couldn’t score. When that happens always you are going to suffer.

Pep Guardiola fears his Manchester City side may have to forget about catching Liverpool

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“That’s why I’m not able to say how our season will be. The important thing is game by game – now we go to London, play Arsenal and after that three games against Newcastle, Everton and Chelsea.

“It’s not a lack of rhythm – it’s a lack of momentum to score goals. They make good situations, it’s not rhythm, it’s momentum. Goals are something special, it’s a touch and a flow and now we don’t have it. At the same time we will get closer to it by winning games and that’s why today was so important.

“It’s not a lack of rhythm to be without our strikers. It’s a lack of momentum to score goals. They make good situations, it’s not rhythm, it’s momentum.

Gabriel Jesus was unavailable against Southampton due to a “condition with his teeth”

“Goals is something special, it’s a touch and a flow and now we don’t have it. At the same time we will get closer to it by winning games and that’s why today was so important.”

Asked about Jesus, Guardiola added: “I don’t think it’s serious. He trained on Friday and didn’t feel good about his teeth and he said no. He couldn’t come.”

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