The World Health Organization on Sunday reported more than 164,830 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across 146 countries.
But, due to limited testing, that number is likely much higher.
And while some folks are social distancing or even self isolating, others are actively bragging about packing bars, clubs, and restaurants.
If expert researchers and government officials can’t convince people to stay home, though, maybe a German software engineer can.
Florian Reifschneider last week launched a website with a simple message: Stay the fuck home.
The page—available in 17 different languages (plus SFW English)—contains a 12-point “Self-Quarantine Manifesto” encouraging best practices like regularly washing your hands, cancelling social gatherings, and avoiding public transportation.
“With no well-studied treatment and no viable vaccine available for at least another year, the only effective way to keep the coronavirus pandemic at bay is to give the virus fewer changes of spreading,” according to the site.
“Please keep in mind there is no right or wrong amount of actions to take. Only take the actions that you feel comfortable with and that do not endanger your livelihood,” Reifschneider said. “However, keep in mind that every action helps.”
More than 2 million people have visited the viral site, which spent Sunday morning atop Twitter’s list of trending topics.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC has updated its guidance regarding large group gatherings in the United States, recommending that for the next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events consisting of 50 or more people.
That includes conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, and weddings.
“Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing,” the agency said. “When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.”
The guidance does not apply to day-to-day operation of schools, universities, or businesses.
In response to travel disruptions caused by COVID-19, online rental service Airbnb has extended its policy to allow hosts and guests in every country and region* to cancel reservations with no charge or penalty.
The change applies to bookings made on or before March 14, 2020, with check-in dates between March 14 and April 14.
“We understand that this announcement will impact hosts around the world, many of whom depend on the economics they generate on Airbnb,” according to a platform announcement. “We will be working in the days and weeks ahead to identify tools and initiatives to support our hosts during these very challenging times.”
*With the exception of domestic travel to mainland China, which is scheduled to return to normal rules on April 1.
Part of social distancing is learning to live without certain creature comforts—like that daily Starbucks pick-me-up.
Fear not, caffeine addicts: The coffee chain has adopted a “to go” model in the US and Canada for at least two weeks.
Customers can still order in person, through the mobile app, or via the drive thru. Just don’t expect to sit down for a spot of work or a catch-up with friends. And you may see modified condiment bars and “order ahead” handoff areas.
Plus, stores located in high social-gathering locations (malls, university campuses) or in communities with high clusters of COVID-19 cases will be temporarily closed.
Unlikely news source Instagram is distributing coronavirus prevention information through a new call-out at the top of users’ feeds featuring a link to the World Health Organization.
The notice is rolling out to countries that have seen “significant impact” from the virus, a company spokesperson told TechCrunch.
AMC and Regal, two of the nation’s largest movie theater chains, are selling only 50 percent of seats for any given screening in hopes of keeping guests from having to sit too close to each other.
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