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A care home in the Netherlands has found an innovative way to bring people together during the lockdown.
The BBC’s Anna Holligan speaks to a family whose relative is a resident.
Video produced by Kate Vandy and Xavier Vanpevenaege.
Microsoft is acting on its guarantee to assist you keep tabs on your kids’ digital routines as well as their location. The software application giant has launched its Family Safety app in preview for Android and iOS. You can filter the material available through Microsoft Edge or the Microsoft Shop, too.
Microsoft announced its new Family Safety app back in March, and you can now sign up for a limited preview of the app on iOS or Android. The idea behind the app is to give parents a glimpse at how their kids are spending time on their devices, so they can make adjustments as needed. The app also allows family members to more easily share their locations and stay connected.
If you want to take it out for a spin, you can download the app right now from Google Play or the App Store. You’ll also have to sign up for the limited preview on Microsoft’s website and wait for an approval. If you make it into the official preview, you’ll be able to do a ton of stuff:
One cool thing about Family Safety is that it monitors activity across multiple devices. That means you’re not only able to see how your child is using their smartphone or tablet, but also see what they’ve been up to on their computer (or Xbox).
As a parent, you’ll be able to see your child’s overall screen time as well as their top websites visited and what they’re searching for online. You can check their activity within the app or sign up for a weekly email summary of what your kid has been doing—likely Minecraft. It’s always Minecraft.
With the screen limits feature in Microsoft’s Family Safety app, you’re able to set limits on specific types of activities. For instance, you might limit the amount of time your child can spend on a gaming site they enjoy, but offer unlimited access to the portal they use for schoolwork. (They’ll love that one.)
If your child runs out of the time you’ve allotted, they can place a request with you for more time. Whether you grant that request is up to you—and how well they mowed the lawn that day.
The app also allows you to block apps, games, and sites your child will be able to access (the latter, if they’re using Microsoft’s Edge browser). You’ll also receive a notification if your child tries to download an app that’s more mature than what you’ve allowed them to access. Sorry, seven-year-old fans of Doom Eternal.
Similar to other location-sharing apps, Family Safety also allows you to know where your family members are at any given time—or, at least, their devices.
You can also save frequently visited places like work and school on the map so you can determine where someone is at a quick glance.
If you’re fortunate enough to have an older person in your life—whether it’s a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or even a family friend—know that you basically have access to a living part of history. As a child, you may not have been interested in hearing their stories from the past, but as an adult, it’s much easier to see the value on learning from their experiences. Perhaps you’ve even talked about sitting down and recording them telling their stories or answering questions about what their life was like growing up. Well, we’re all stuck at home for the foreseeable future, so now is that time.
Usually, the biggest impediment to having these conversations with family members is finding the time. That’s why you should take advantage of everyone being at home right now. Of course you’re busy (and they may be too) but it’ll at least be easier to schedule a time to talk. That’s the first step: Give the person a call and set up a time for a conversation.
You might be better off using the term “conversation” as opposed to “interview” because some people may feel under pressure in an “interview,” or may not even agree to one in the first place. But regardless of terminology, definitely let the person know that you’ll be recording your conversation, and the point of doing so is to preserve and possibly transcribe their piece of family history for future generations. Make sure you both block off enough time for the call so you’re not rushed, but you don’t necessarily have to tell the person that they have two or three hours to talk because that will probably seem daunting.
Asking a broad question like “Could you tell me about your life?” doesn’t always the best approach, as you’re likely to get a relatively brief answer. Instead, come prepared with a set of specific questions to help get the ball rolling. Storycorps has a wonderful list of questions.
Additionally, if this person happens to be the unofficial Keeper of Family History, you’re going to want to ask them about your family history and lore as well. That way these stories won’t disappear when this person is no longer around. In both instances (asking about their own life and other family history), the person may start out saying that they don’t remember much, but usually once they start talking, one memory prompts another, and so on.
Most families have a drawer or shoebox (or even album) full of old unmarked family photos, where you think the guy in the hat is your Uncle Jerry, but you’re not 100 percent sure and would need to check. Now is your time to check. If you’re doing a video call with the person, have a few photos that you have questions about ready to go. Show them the photo and ask who the people are, where and when it was taken, and what else they can tell you about it. If they have the photos on their end, ask them to bring some to the video call to discuss. Even if it’s an old family portrait that has hung on the wall since the mid-1970s and you’ve walked by it a million times, there may be specific stories behind the picture that you’ve never heard before.
Unless you’re currently quarantined with the person you’d like to interview, the conversation will take place over the phone or via video call. Now that everyone’s on Zoom, that’s a great option for this type of discussion, since you can record both video and audio. Skype has a similar recording feature. You can also record video through Google Meet, or audio through Google Voice. You could also put your phone on speaker and use a good old-fashioned recorder (or someone else’s phone) to capture the audio of the call. Or try Otter, which allows you to record through their website (again, you’d need to be on speaker) and provides a free AI transcription of the call. (It’s far from perfect, but a good start if you’re interested in transcribing.)
This may seem obvious, but listening is important during these conversations. Put on your reporter’s hat (sure, it can be a fedora—it’s imaginary), and ask follow-up questions. You may want to take notes during the call so you know which topics you’d like to circle back to and revisit.
Also, pay attention to if/when the person starts to get tired. Some people are more than happy to talk about themselves for hours, but for others, this is an entirely new experience, and could be exhausting—especially reliving old memories they may not have thought about in years. If you notice the person is slowing down, ask them if they’d like to stop for the day and pick up the conversation at another time. If that’s the case, schedule the next call immediately so it’s on the books. Make a note at where you’ve left off in the conversation. You may also want to ask the person to make a note of any interesting stories or tidbits they think of after the call is over that they might want to discuss next time. Finally, make sure to thank them for their time—they really are giving you a gift.
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BEIRUT (Reuters) – Ahmad al-Mostafa can’t afford milk for his baby daughter. A Syrian refugee, he has barely been able to feed his family since Lebanon sank into economic crisis last year. But now, a coronavirus lockdown has made things even worse.
“Nobody will hire us anymore,” said the 28-year-old, who lost his restaurant job a few months ago. He racked up hundreds of dollars in debt at the local minimarket getting food before the owner said he could borrow no more.
“We’re afraid of tomorrow,” he said. “We don’t know what will happen to us.”
His plight echoes that facing many of the 5.6 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, who had scraped by on meagre daily wages but now find even that is denied them as the coronavirus pandemic forces their host countries into shutdown.
Many Lebanese have themselves been hit by a financial crisis that has evaporated jobs and sent prices soaring, and have become less tolerant of the Syrians who have boosted the population by around 1.5 million to some 6 million.
“Every time I go looking for work, they tell me they don’t hire Syrians,” said Mostafa, who fled into north Lebanon in 2014. “I’m sitting indoors – and everything is expensive.”
He can no longer afford diapers, which have doubled in price, and he relies on a charitable neighbour who gets milk for his one-year-old daughter.
More refugees say they are worried about starving than about the virus, said Mireille Girard, representative of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR in Lebanon.
In a survey last month, UNHCR found 70% were going hungry, while many could not buy soap. Since Syria’s war erupted nine years ago, many have languished in crowded camps where aid workers fear any COVID-19 outbreak would be rapid and lethal.
Syrian refugee girls carry stacks of bread on their heads, as Lebanon extends a lockdown to combat the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a Syrian refugee camp in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Ali Hashisho
In Jordan, the Zaatari camp, home to 80,000 Syrian refugees, has been closed off by the authorities during a two-month lockdown, meaning those who used to go out to work on farms every day can no longer do so.
Jordan hosts some 900,000 refugees in all, most of whom live outside the camps.
Abdullah Aba Zaid, who used to get work picking tomatoes, has had no income for two months.
“For the last 10 days, I haven’t had a single penny in the house even to pay for bread. I am borrowing from here and there,” he said. “Everyone is waiting for God’s mercy … hoping things will improve.”
But even as businesses return to work after the government eased curbs this week, job losses are on the rise, making more Syrians dependent on already strained aid efforts.
UNHCR is getting more calls for help from refugee families who had been largely self-reliant, said Dominik Bartsch, its Jordan representative.
Some Syrians said their accumulating debts had forced them to sell U.N. food coupons to pay for rent and basic goods.
Since Turkey’s economy tipped into a brief recession two years ago, the public mood towards Syrians has soured, with some saying they have driven down wages and taken jobs from locals.
Many of the three and a half million Syrian refugees work as day labourers in construction and manufacturing, especially textile factories – sectors that have been hard hit by the pandemic curbs.
Unlike millions of Turkish workers who lost their wages, Syrians do not benefit from government aid packages but can apply for food aid from local municipalities. Still, many have no basic protection against the virus.
One in five does not have access to clean water, said Omar Kadkoy of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV). “This brings the issue to an alarming level and the government should be acting to contain (it).”
In a camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa valley, which authorities have sealed off during the lockdown, Younes Hamdou cannot find bread. Clean water is also scarce, illness rife and social distancing nearly impossible.
“We are prisoners … We have no immunity because of the lack of food,” he said. “Lebanese people have gone hungry, Syrians have gone hungry. Everyone is hungry.”
Writing by Ellen Francis; additional reporting by Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman, Imad Creidi in Lebanon and Dominic Evans in Istanbul; Editing by Tom Perry and Kevin Liffey
The #PlayApartTogether project has just recently been promoted by the World Health Company (WHO) to encourage individuals to remain socially connected from home. Regardless of having actually just recently categorized unmanageable gaming as a condition, the WHO could be beginning to see the advantages of online gaming.
Considering that the pandemic began, free-to-play games such as Fortnite, Peak Legends and Call of Task: Warzone have actually been even more popular. The video game platform Steam recorded a record of 20 million simultaneous users.
As people strive to stay social throughout a time of physical distancing, online gaming is seeing a boom in users. With a user base growing each day, and people wanting to not only pass the time, but stay social, what better way exists to remain in touch with loved ones throughout a duration of seclusion than computer game?
While board video games stay popular with the increase of board game cafés, we are sadly unable to get together with one another at these cafés. When video games ended up being multiplayer, they were– and numerous still stay– localized, “ sofa co-op” video games.
And now thanks to online services such as Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, Nintendo Switch Online, Steam, to name a few, we are now connected to countless games but also millions of individuals. During this pandemic, the closure of cinema, the stoppage of expert sports and the general state of quarantine indicates that leisure and socialization is limited to what is discovered in the house and online.
Online socializing: Advantages and disadvantages
Video game analytics specialist Nick Yee states there are three significant reasons why people play computer game, among which is the social component. Chatting with others, making buddies and developing long-term relationships are some the social activities that take place in online video gaming.
Socializing online is what scientists Constance Steinkuehler and Dmitri Williams call an “ online third place” Popularized by American sociologist Ray Oldenburg in 1999, the third place concept explains a setting where people can collect and socialize beyond house and work such as coffeehouse and bars.
The qualities of a 3rd location– conversation, ease of access, playful mood, house away from home and more– use to enormously multiplayer online (MMO) games such as Wow(WoW). Online third places are a place where people from worldwide can gather and interact socially.
But online gaming is not without its concerns: homophobia, racism and sexism prevail challenges. Some online video gaming neighborhoods have developed a hazardous behaviour: one that includes cyber-bullying and basic game interruption.
You require only look at personal stories from within the gaming community to see that mingling through video games can make for strong and significant connection. Research to date has revealed the capabilities that video games have for developing online relationships
Here are some ways to stay linked via video games during this time of isolation:
Dip into house as a household
If you’re wishing to have a household game night with those in the house or further away, look no further than JackBox Games With 6 different celebration loads featuring a variety of various video games, all you need to play is a cellular phone and eight of your many enjoyable relatives.
Jackbox Games has actually even provided a convenient guide of how to play through videoconferencing apps like Zoom or Google Hangouts
Make brand-new pals
If you’re wanting to make brand-new friends or connect to millions of strangers, attempt playing an MMO game like Wow While a regular monthly service fee and a decent computer are required to play, the collaborative aspect of questing and battling monsters in MMO video games is the best in WoW For more affordable options try The Elder Scrolls Online or a number of free-to-play MMO’s like Bless Unleashed and Neverwinter
It is a family-friendly game that motivates creativity, teamwork, problem fixing and much more. Minecraft is likewise using an edition of the video game with lessons available in mathematics, science, language arts, history and visual arts.
Video game on, granny and grandfather
Finally, it is necessary to highlight the most vulnerable population, the older grownups. About 53 per cent of the population older than 65 have access to a mobile phone. Rather than a gaming console, try a mobile-based game like Words with Buddies or Candy Crush, which are both addictive and social.
It is necessary to remain socially linked at a time of physical distancing. Online video games offer us a chance to stay linked as we physically separate.
Joe Todd, PhD Student in Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo
This article is republished from The Discussion under a Creative Commons license. Read the original post
Where to purchase recyclable face masks for the whole household
All items included here are separately selected by our editors and writers.If you purchase something through links on our website, Mashable might earn an affiliate commission.
By Joseph Green Mashable Shopping
TL; DR: Etsy is still stocking thousands of handmade deal with masks, with alternatives offered for under ₤ 1.
We’re not stating Etsy is the best location to purchase multiple-use face masks, but it’s certainly somewhere to think about if you’re aiming to stockpile on materials for the entire household.
Etsy has literally thousands of listings for handcrafted face masks in every pattern and style. There truly are choices for everyone in your family, with Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars develops on offer. It deserves taking a while to effectively browse all your choices before buying, but Etsy may be the best website when it concerns variety and option.
The masks offered on Etsy are basically face coverings (not medical grade masks), which implies they play a part in slowing the spread of coronavirus without impacting necessary materials to the frontline (per official UK government guidance). If you are contaminated however do not yet have symptoms, for circumstances, a face covering may help to stop you contaminating others.
Discover something for everyone on Etsy