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Easy News: Coronavirus

Easy News is the first news magazine designed to be accessible for people with learning disabilities. This issue is all about the Coronavirus pandemic…

Easy News: Coronavirus

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  1. 1: Covid-19 starts in China

    1. A very contagious new disease called Covid-19 started making people very sick in China in December 2019. Something is contagious when it can be easily spread from one person to another.

    2. Covid-19 is part of a group of viruses called coronavirus. This group includes viruses such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which killed 774 people between 2002 and 2004.

    3. The new Covid-19 virus is quickly spread by infected droplets in the air caused by people coughing and sneezing. This means people can easily breathe in or swallow the virus.

    4. The main symptoms of the virus are a fever, a continuous dry cough and difficulty breathing. A fever is when a person’s temperature is above 38 degrees celcius.

    5. Anyone can catch the virus but certain people can get particularly sick and die if infected. These include people over 70, pregnant women and people with conditions like asthma.

    6. The virus started in Wuhan, China, but quickly spread to over 185 countries in less than 3 months. By late April 2020, the virus had killed nearly 200,000 people.

    7. Spain and Italy quickly became very badly affected with thousands dying from the virus in each country in less than 2 months. By 27th April, the UK had recorded over 20,000 deaths in hospital. Many more 1000s of elderly or disabled people have died in care homes.

    8. Countries right across the world are incredibly worried about the virus and how many people it is killing. Their leaders and Governments created rules to help it stop spreading.

  2. 2: Impact on society

    1. Boris Johnson and his UK Government have talked to medical experts and agreed on some rules for everyone to follow to help keep people safe from coronavirus.

    2. On 16th March, they asked everyone over 70 and people with certain health conditions to self-isolate for at least 12 weeks. This means staying at home and not seeing anyone who does not live with you, even friends and family.

    3. They have also asked everyone to start social distancing. This means trying to stay 2 metres away from people and only leaving the house to buy food, go to work (if they cannot work from home), for medical reasons or to exercise.

    4. The Government hopes that if everyone follows these rules, fewer people will get seriously ill from the virus at the same time. This means hospitals will have enough beds and equipment to treat everyone who gets sick.

    5. Many people were worried that they would be stuck at home for a long time and started panic buying. This means buying a lot more food and supplies than you need before it runs out.

    6. Supermarkets tried to help people buy what they need by employing more staff, doing more home deliveries and stopping people from buying lots of the same essential items, like toilet roll, pasta and hand wash.

    7. Some shops are also opening at certain times just for older or vulnerable people and NHS workers.

    8. The Government also closed all UK schools to help slow down the spread of the virus. Children whose parents have important jobs which help the country cope with the outbreak are still being allowed to go to school.

  3. 3: Impact on social care

    1. Many people working in social care are worried that there is not enough staff, equipment or money to keep vulnerable people safe from the virus. The social care sector supports many people, such as older people, vulnerable children and those with disabilities.

    2. The Government says it will help the social care sector more to keep people safe during the outbreak. They have made a new temporary emergency law called the Coronavirus Bill.

    3. The Bill changes how care staff are trained, making it easier and quicker for companies to find extra workers to replace ones who are sick or not allowed to come into work.

    4. It also means that workers can still be paid even if they have to stay home because they have coronavirus symptoms or live with someone who does. This is important because if workers are worried they will not get paid, they might still come to work and spread the virus even more.

    5. Part of the Bill also changes the rules in the Mental Capacity Act 1983. This hopes to make it easier for doctors to look after coronavirus patients with mental health needs who don’t understand the virus and why they need to go to hospital or self-isolate.

    6. There are also changes to the way local authorities decide who needs help the quickest and what help they can be given. This is because there may not be enough workers to support everyone.

    7. As well as the new Bill, the Government has also given councils £1.6 billion to help more vulnerable people stay safe. They also said that frontline NHS workers who should have gone back to their home country before 1st October can stay an extra year.

    8. Some of the new funding will help to buy personal protective equipment (PPE). PPE helps keep NHS and care staff safe when they look after sick people. It includes face masks, aprons and gloves, which are often thrown away after being used.

  4. 4: Impact on the economy

    1. One way the coronavirus is affecting lots of people is through its impact on the global economy. The economy is the system in place to manage money, trade and industry.

    2. Lots of businesses have been forced to close by governments all over the world to stop the virus from spreading. Many companies are struggling as people are not going out and spending money.

    3. Because these businesses are not making as much money as normal, many of them are telling their staff that they can’t work anymore. This is called redundancy.

    4. Lots of redundancies and unemployment are bad for the economy because people cannot spend money that they do not have.

    5. The UK Government is trying to help by offering to pay 80% of the wages of people who have been furloughed. This is when people do not work for a while but are still employed by the company instead of losing their job.

    6. Some industries have been affected more than others by the coronavirus and its impact, such as travel and tourism and the hospitality sector. This includes hotels, bars and restaurants.

    7. Even though coronavirus has been bad for the economy, some industries have done well because of it. This includes the technology industry because people have to stay home and also supermarkets because people have been buying lots more food.

    8. But overall, these are very bad times for the economy because there could be millions of jobs lost and nobody knows when things will go back to normal. Lots of people who are self-employed may lose their businesses and more people may need Government benefits to buy food and pay their bill.

  5. 5: Impact around the world

    1. In March 2020, the World Health Organisation announced that coronavirus is a global pandemic. A pandemic is when a disease has spread to a lot of places and infected a lot of people.

    2. By the end of April 2020, only a small number of countries had not reported any cases. These are mainly small isolated islands.

    3. They could still have cases of the virus or disease but it might be that the people haven’t been tested, or that the results have not been reported.

    4. Strict rules have been put in place to stop the spread. The rules differ slightly from country to country, but most countries have made it hard for people to travel from one country to another.

    5. This might include closing ports and airports, as well as stopping people who are from or have visited particular countries. Many have said that people arriving in the country must quarantine for 14 days.

    6. Quarantine is similar to isolation. Isolation separates unwell people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who could have been exposed to a disease and do not know it, or they may have the disease but do not show symptoms.

    7. As well as travel restrictions, many countries have their own way of dealing with the virus. This is one reason why some countries have had more cases and deaths than others. Stopping the virus from spreading is the main focus for everyone.

    8. By early April, over one third of the people in the world had been affected by restrictions of some kind. This is over 2.6 billion people.

  6. 6: Impact on sport

    1. The spread of coronavirus has also had a big impact on sport in the UK and across the world. It affects playing and watching sport.

    2. This is mainly because people who play sport are in very close contact with other sportspeople when they play or are in training. It means the virus could easily spread between them.

    3. Some sportspeople and staff from clubs and teams have already caught coronavirus. This meant they had to self-isolate and all training was stopped.

    4. But the virus is also a very big problem in sport because of fans and supporters who go to watch matches or events in large venues, such as stadiums.

    5. As big crowds of people sit or stand next to each other for a long time when watching live sport, someone coughing or sneezing on someone nearby would pass on the virus if they had it.

    6. To stop this from happening, organisers of professional sport have cancelled all top-level matches and events until further notice. These would have attracted big crowds and easily spread the virus.

    7. This includes local football and rugby matches, but also major international competitions such as Wimbledon tennis, the 2020 Olympics and the Euro 2020 football tournament.

    8. Having no sport means that clubs and organisations do not get as much money as they would normally. Some are worried about running out of money completely as people are not paying to watch their team or sport.

  7. 7: How to keep safe from coronavirus

    1. The best medical scientists from all over the world are working together to find a cure for the coronavirus.

    2. For now, the Government has asked everyone in the country to do certain things to keep themselves and others safe and slow down the spread of the virus:

    3. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap or antibacterial hand-wash and water before touching food or eating, after going to the toilet and after sneezing or blowing your nose.

    4. Try not to touch your face, as this is one way the virus can get into our bodies and make us unwell. This includes not biting your nails or putting your hands in your mouth.

    5. Do not shake hands or high-five your friends or people you meet.

    6. If you get a new, dry cough that will not go away, or have a fever of 38 degrees celcius or higher, you should self-isolate for at least 7 days, or longer if you still have symptoms.

    7. If anyone you live with gets a new, dry cough or a fever of 38 degrees or higher, you should self-isolate for the next 14 days. This is because you may have the virus without having any symptoms and unknowingly spread it to others.

    8. You should also self-isolate if you are 70 or older, or have certain health conditions.

  8. 8: Prime Minister recovers from coronavirus

    1. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on 27th March that he had coronavirus. After he did not get better he went to hospital on April 5th, and was moved into intensive care. This is where people who are the most ill are looked after.

    2. On 12th April, Boris came out of hospital but needed time to rest before starting to work again. Dominic Raab was chosen to replace him until 27th April, when he felt better. Boris said that the NHS saved his life.

  9. 9: 99-year-old fundraises for NHS

    1. A 99-year-old former soldier has raised over £29 million in less than 2 weeks for the NHS by walking in his garden in Bedfordshire.

    2. Captain Tom Moore started out hoping to raise £1,000 by walking 100 lengths of his garden before he turns 100 at the end of April, but he quickly raised lots more after he appeared on TV and on the internet.

  10. 10: Oldest victim of coronavirus gets better

    1. A 106 year old woman has left hospital after recovering from coronavirus in Birmingham.

    2. People think that Connie Titchen is the oldest person in the UK to recover from it. The staff at the hospital clapped as she left.

  11. 11: Footballers team up against coronavirus

    1. More than 150 professional football players from the Premier League have started a group to help provide money to fight coronavirus. It is called #PlayersTogether

    2. Before the group was made, a lot of people had said that professional footballers should take a pay cut instead of asking for Government money to pay other staff who are furloughed.

  12. 12: Public support for key workers

    1. 2 campaigns that were set up to show support for key workers working during the coronavirus pandemic have been happening across the UK. A key worker is someone whose job is too important to stop.

    2. Lots of drawings of rainbows - mostly by children - have been appearing in people’s windows across the country. They are seen as a sign of hope and show support for the NHS.

    3. The clap for our carers movement involves people clapping from outside their house or from their windows to show support for key workers at 8pm on Thursdays. Similar applause has also happened in other countries.

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