Pandemic

WHO chief: Herd immunity strategy ‘unethical’ for tackling pandemic

  • The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that trying to reach herd immunity by allowing COVID-19 to spread is “scientifically and ethically problematic.”
  • “Allowing a dangerous virus that we don’t fully understand to run free is simply unethical,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
  • His comments, at a press conference on Monday, came days before it emerged the White House was warming to a herd immunity strategy.
  • The WHO estimates that less than 10% of the global population has been exposed to the virus, meaning that the vast majority of people are at risk.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that allowing COVID-19 to spread freely in the hope of achieving herd immunity is “simply unethical.”

WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that herd immunity — where a large portion of a community becomes immune to a virus, limiting its spread — must come through a vaccination, and cannot be achieved by allowing people to become infected. 

His comments, made at a press briefing on Monday, came days before senior US officials said the White House was warming to the herd immunity strategy.

Tedros said that “herd immunity is achieved by protecting people from a virus, not by exposing them to it.”

“Never in the history of public health has herd immunity been used as a strategy for responding to an outbreak, let alone a pandemic. It is scientifically and ethically problematic.”

Too little is known about COVID-19 immunity to be sure if herd immunity can even be achieved, he said, referring to documented cases where people have been infected with the virus for a second time.

The most recent example of a reinfection came on Tuesday, when a man from Nevada tested positive for COVID-19 twice.

Upcoming home improvement show at Expo Center to meet spike in projects during pandemic

ROYAL PALM BEACH — Taking advantage of this prolonged stretch at home to make some changes to your surroundings? 



a group of people standing in front of a store: The Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds, seen here during an Antiques Festival in 2009, will play host to the Home Improvement and More Show on Oct. 23-25.


© Palm Beach Post File Photo
The Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds, seen here during an Antiques Festival in 2009, will play host to the Home Improvement and More Show on Oct. 23-25.

You’re not alone, and the staff of the South Florida Fair wants to help.

The Home Improvement and More Show is Oct. 23-25 at the fairgrounds’ Expo Center, 9067 Southern Blvd. The event features more than 60 vendors across 35 categories related to home improvement, said Tim Pachis, corporate sales manager for the South Florida Fair.

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The show will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23 and Saturday, Oct. 24 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25. Admission and parking are free. 

The expo comes as recent surveys show a spike in home improvement projects in the U.S. since the country essentially shut down in late March because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. 

A Porch.com study released in July found that nearly 80% of homeowners in the U.S. plan to launch a home improvement project in the next year.

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Most home shows since the pandemic were canceled, Pachis said, making the Home Improvement and More Show a rare standout.

While keeping an eye on the increase of demand for home improvement services and products, organizers have the coronavirus in mind for other reasons.

Attendees are required to wear masks, and social distancing is encouraged in the Expo Center, said Vicki Chouris, president and CEO of the South Florida Fair and Palm Beach County

Home Improvement Market Sees Surge During Pandemic

Financialnewsmedia.com Market Commentary

PALM BEACH,  Fla., Oct. 13, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Analysts expect home improvement spending to reach $439.9 billion in 2020 – In the time of a global pandemic, there is indeed no place like home. As millions of Americans practice social distancing while working and learning remotely, the home has become the focal point of our lives. The desire to make residences safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable has led to a home improvement boom.   Mentioned in today’s commentary includes:  NeoVolta (OTCQB: NEOV), Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW).

The Home Improvement Research Institute predicts Americans will spend $439.9 billion on home improvement products in 2020. The online home remodeling platform Houzz reports that demand for kitchen and bath remodeling was up 40% year over date in June 2020, while home additions increased 52% and fencing projects jumped 166%. Pool and hot tub installations are seeing a wave of strong demand across the country. 

Home renewable energy is also seeing a surge as storage batteries are being installed in more households. According to the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, the energy storage industry saw record-breaking deployments during the second quarter of 2020, and rapid expansion is expected to continue. A total of 168 MW and 288 MWh of energy storage was deployed in the quarter, second only to Q4 2019 as the highest on record, according to the joint report by Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association.

With Americans nesting like never before, four of the companies active in-home improvement are: NeoVolta (NEOV), Tesla (TSLA), Home Depot (HD) and Lowe’s (LOW).

NeoVolta (OTCQB: NEOV) – San Diego based NeoVolta, whose stock is trading around $4 per share, is the only pure-play energy storage company on this list. Recently NeoVolta announced

Community garden provides refugees with support and comfort through pandemic

A community garden in Seattle, Washington is providing a place for immigrants and refugees to come together and find community while growing food from their home countries.

Once a neglected parking lot, the garden, known as Paradise Parking Plots, is now a place for people to gather and tend to their plants.

Community members bond while growing their own food in the garden. (Hannah Letinich)
Community members bond while growing their own food in the garden. (Hannah Letinich)

“We have de-paved over 50,000 square feet of asphalt and put in garden beds,” said Tahmina Martelly, a program manager for World Relief Seattle, which founded the garden. “We have 44 in-ground beds and six handicap access beds. We have people from 23 countries growing culturally appropriate foods and making friends with each other.”

Martelly, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh and has worked in refugee resettlement for more than two decades, said that the space has only become more important amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Signs show the different regions that plants and their growers come from. (Adam Kaufman)
Signs show the different regions that plants and their growers come from. (Adam Kaufman)

“We see gardeners in this garden who are coming in the middle of a pandemic and growing their food,” Martelly said. “Often, I’ll have gardeners tell me, ‘My plants don’t know there’s a pandemic. We expect to have food, because we put the work in.’ Having the power to grow your own food, a virus can’t take that away.”

Gardeners include Prem Adhikari, a Bhutanese refugee who grows mustard greens and long sod beans and has been working in the garden for over three years.

“It’s very difficult to go to market and buy the vegetable … (but) we have a garden, like a life to meet other people,” Adhikari said. “… It’s a lot of fresh, green, without chemical vegetables.”

Immigrants and refugees grow foods from their home countries that might be unavailable in the United States. (Hannah Letinich)
Immigrants and refugees grow foods from their home countries that might be unavailable

Durham Fire Department notes increase in kitchen fires during COVID-19 pandemic

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) — The aftermath of a fire can be shocking.

“It’s more than just you burn up your favorite pan and have to throw it in the trash. And it can happen really, really quickly,” said Elaine Towner, Durham Fire Department life safety educator.

That’s why every October, the Durham Fire Department tries educate residents about fire safety before it’s too late.

This year is all about safety in the kitchen. Durham firefighters said they have seen an increase in kitchen fires during the pandemic.

“There are a lot of distractions going on in people’s’ homes because that’s where they are all the time and it’s really easy to lose track of what’s going on in your kitchen,” Towner said.

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Towner says the number one way to prevent a kitchen fire-don’t leave your stove unattended if you’re cooking and don’t leave anything on the counter that could catch on fire. If you’re cooking with grease, keep a pot lid nearby.

“If it flares up, put the lid on it and turn the stove off,” Towner said.

During fire prevention month, firefighters usually spend a lot of time talking to school groups to spread their safety messages, but the pandemic put those presentations on pause. For now, they’ve gone virtual by creating educational videos on their Durham Fire and Life Safety Facebook page.

Towner said firefighters are still answering calls for help.

“It does take a little bit longer to get all that PPE on and get into the home but they’re still coming. We’re still running calls,” Towner said.

If you would like to share those educational videos with your family, click here.

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Durham Fire Department said teachers