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'Anti-social' message best for kids' health amid COVID-19 fears – Canada.com

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Sisters Mallory Hagg, 8, and Claudia Hagg, 11 have some fun with social distancing while they check out three snowmen in Meadowlark Park on 5 St SW in Calgary on Sunday, March 22, 2020. Jim Wells/Postmedia


Jim Wells/Postmedia

We want our kids to be social beings.

But amid the coronavirus pandemic, the word from health officials all over the world is quite the opposite.

The message is: ‘be anti-social.’

At least in person.

“Usually, we do tell our kids to visit and have fun and socialize,” said Calgary pediatrician Dr. Peter Nieman. “But the problem is this all calls for a different approach. And essentially what pediatricians are saying is, ‘Don’t have playmates over, stay separate as much as possible and don’t socialize.’

“Ideally, it’s about having minimal contract, so the headline here is: ‘Do whatever you can to try and minimize the risk of spreading this virus,’ ” said Nieman, adding that parents should direct themselves to the healthychildren.org

website. “The gurus recommend to keep your kids away from others or keep them at home.”

One of those in the know is Ellen Percival, the longtime publisher/editor-in-chief of Calgary’s Child magazine, who is quick to tell Calgarians to have children practise social distancing just as adults have been asked to do.

“Remind them and yourselves that you can keep yourself safe if you follow the rules,” Percival said. “Unfortunately, for now, that physical distance that we need . . . to keep each other safe precludes playdates.”

So playdates are out.

But playgrounds?

“We know that this virus can live on plastics and metals for up to three days,” Percival said. “We’re seeing Cochrane has already taken that step (to close playgrounds as of Saturday). Very likely we might see the same recommendations coming to us.”

Cochrane Playground

Meanwhile, Percival says, it’s best to err on the side of caution and follow the lead of other communities until we get direction from our chief medical officer.

That means staying away from playgrounds.

“Let’s paint a scenario,” said Nieman. “Take a beautiful day like (Sunday) at the playground and there’s no one else there, so there’s no other kid there to infect them. But, apparently, this virus can stick to surfaces, too, and that’s a problem.”

Percival says it’s best to gather yourself and the requisite information before sitting down to explain to your children the situation at hand.

“That will help kids feel a little bit more under control,” Percival said. “And it will help you as a parent to explain to kids that the playground is just not the right place to go right now.”

Instead, adds Percival, kids can talk on the phone with friends.

Or FaceTime with buddies.

The calgaryschild.com website also has plenty of innovative ideas to help kids stay busy in a safe manner inside or outside the house.

Or better yet, make the most of the situation by spending time with family in the home, while, of course, maintaining that social barrier.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade — spend time together, make good memories and laugh,” said Nieman. “And it’s good to go out and soak up the sun.

“But, yes . . . avoid contact. Unusual times call for unusual advice.”

So with that in mind, Nieman has guidance about what we should do to protect our kids during this pandemic.

“Feed your children healthy food to boost the immunity naturally,” Dr. Nieman said. “That’s usually food rich in colour, especially dark, dark berries. They have a lot of antioxidants and vitamins and nutrients. If there’s any time to focus on doing one’s best to get fruits and vegetables into our kids, certainly this has to be that time.”

Nieman lists a few go-to staples, such as apples, oranges, pears, mangoes, bananas and berries.

“Pulverize and disguise it and camouflage the taste — like with Greek yogurt — and get it into them,” Nieman said. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

And in these times, we should heed whatever advice that can help us keep our children healthy.

“Gurus and the people who should know about infectious diseases are saying, ‘Shucks, guys, we actually don’t know. We’re learning with you as we go along,’” Nieman added. “At first, it was the vulnerable people, but we’re seeing more and more those articles that indicate younger people are vulnerable.”

tsaelhof@postmedia.com | Twitter: @ToddSaelhofPM

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OnePlus to announce OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, April 14 – CNET

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The OnePlus 7 Pro from 2019.


Angela Lang/CNET

Chinese phone maker OnePlus will announce its latest flagship phones for the year, known as the OnePlus 8 and the 8 Pro, on April 14. Known for selling premium Android phones at hundreds of dollars less than its competitors like Samsung and Google, OnePlus will unveil the devices through a digital event.

As follow-ups to the OnePlus 7 and 7 Pro, the phones are confirmed to have 5G connectivity and 120Hz displays, a step up from 2019’s 90Hz screens. Because of these features, the phones are likely to be pricier than last year’s, something OnePlus CEO Pete Lau anticipated.

“We’ve always had a position in creating the best product possible at the best price point,” said Lau in a interview earlier this month. “The new technology does add costs so costs have risen in comparison to 4G products.”

Other rumors include a hole-punch screen for the front-facing camera, a Snapdragon 865 processor and a new teal color. A possible budget-minded variant called the OnePlus 8 Lite has been floated as well.

For more information, check back with CNET on April 14 as we will be covering the announcement and let us know if you’re planning to get a OnePlus 8 or 8 Pro.

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OnePlus confirms an April 2020 launch for the 8 series – Notebookcheck.net

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Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-03-30 (Update: 2020-03-30)

I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general.
This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.

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Microsoft says Skype users surge amid coronavirus outbreak – Financial Post

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Microsoft Corp said on Monday its video calling platform Skype saw a 70% jump in usage in March from a month earlier, as more people shift to working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The platform is being used by 40 million people, the company said in a blog post, adding that Skype-to-Skype calling minutes jumped 220% from a month earlier.

(Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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