Two children, and 8-month-old boy and an 11-year-old girl, died in a fire that tore through a home in New Jersey late Wednesday.
- The Telegraph
If you’re hoping to travel (either abroad or domestically) this summer, you may be pondering the best way to actually get to your holiday destination of choice. Transport safety has always been a big question, but since the pandemic, a new element has been added to this – what risk of infection do you expose yourself to aboard each one? While there hasn’t been a definitive answer to the question, it is possible to look into the main forms – cars, planes, trains, coaches and cruise ships – and weigh the pros and cons of each, which we have done below. Planes Evidence suggests that the airborne spread of Covid is a greater danger than surface contact (or fomite transmission). The virus is thought to most often spread through small droplets, called aerosols, being sprayed into the air, and many of the rules brought in around transport have been in response to this, the most obvious being mask wearing. This is a major point in favour of the safety of aeroplanes, where high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are used to clear and replace the air onboard regularly, removing over 99.97 per cent of bacteria and viruses. A study published last October by the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health’s Aviation Public Health Initiative said the resulting air was cleaner than in offices or shopping centres. “Contaminants released in such events [coughing or sneezing] are fully flushed from the cabin in as little as two to five minutes, as opposed to some six hours in a commercial or retail space,” said the report. An over-reliance on these filters can be an issue, however. The study also called for the reduction of passenger numbers onboard, and while many airlines initially started blocking middle seats at the start of the pandemic, few are continuing to do so, instead relying on HEPA filters and masks to keep passengers safe from potentially infected neighbours. A study last year from Dr. Arnold Barnett, professor of statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that “the risk of contracting Covid-19 from a nearby passenger is about 1 in 4,300,” on US jet aircraft – this fell to one in 7,700 if middle seats were blocked. It is thought that infected people send viral particles into the air at a faster rate than plane systems flush them out, so if you are sat close to someone infected, you still risk catching the virus from them. Despite this, most experts agree flying itself isn’t very dangerous – a study by the US Transportation Command last October found that with just filters and mask-wearing in place, the risk of exposure to Covid is “very low” and cited that at that time, only “44 documented cases of suspected Covid transmission” had happened onboard an aircraft, and “virtually all of them were in the early months of the pandemic before masks and revised safety protocols came into existence.” It’s what happens when the plane isn’t in the air that poses the most risk. The same Harvard study strongly recommended strict distancing during boarding and disembarkation, due to the risk of infection. Thankfully, most airlines have heeded this, implementing staggered systems. The airport is also a risk factor. “Air travel requires spending time in security lines and airport terminals,” states the CDC website, which “can bring you in close contact with other people and frequently touched surfaces”. Airports have implemented enhanced cleaning procedures in response to this and made hand sanitiser widely available, but in the case of the latter you are relying on other people making use of this. How to stay safe while flying Use hand sanitiser regularly Avoid high-touch or high-traffic areas Maintain social distance while queuing, for instance during boarding and disembarkation Wear a mask Cars Ask what form of transport you’re least likely to catch Covid in, and surely a car would spring to most people’s minds – it is a travelling isolation unit after all. This is true in a sense; travelling by car allows you to control exactly who you travel with. However, unless you are travelling solo, it is very much possible to catch Covid in a car. A few risks are associated with car travel. The first is other passengers. To avoid catching Covid from an infected person, you need to maintain a distance of six feet, something impossible to do in a car – if a member of your travel party starts coughing, you won’t be able to move to a different carriage. The amount of independence driving allows is another factor. Forms of mass transport are rigorously and regularly disinfected by trained employees, while drivers may be slightly more lax in their standards. For reference, the steering wheel and nearby controls, gearstick, handbrake, door handles, radio controls, elbow rests, seat position controls, door frames and exterior door handles should all be disinfected after use. If you’re in a rental car, thoughts of the other drivers who’ve gone before you may also be a concern. Major companies, such as Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz, have all been adhering to enhanced cleaning and social distancing guidelines upon check-in during the pandemic. The absence of an eagle-eyed conductor or air steward may also make passengers more comfortable taking off their masks while inside your car, though wearing one may not stop you catching the virus: an early NEJM study in March 2020 reported on a Thai taxi driver who fell ill and tested positive for the coronavirus after driving some tourists who had been coughing, but also wearing masks. Stops are the final major risk factor associated with cars. On a train, coach or flight, you aren’t responsible for refuelling. Yet if you run low on petrol while driving, you’ll have to pull into a service station, pick up a petrol pump that has potentially been handled by thousands before you, and possibly head into an enclosed building (in which there will other people) to pay. The risk of this proved so high that last September the UK Government started issuing warnings to motorists, advising them to avoid the viral hotspots. How to stay safe while driving Keep the windows open Make sure the car air system is set to take in outside air instead of recycling it Wear face masks Disinfect the car – particularly high-touch areas – regularly Avoid petrol or service stations Only travel with the same group of people (for instance, not your old school chums one week, then your granny and her knitting circle the next) Coaches Not as much research has been done on the statistical risk of Covid transmission on coaches, but many companies have conducted risk assessment and made changes in order to keep passengers safe. National Express, for instance, has introduced pre-boarding temperature screenings, enhanced cleaning, ‘fogging’ (aerosol-based disinfection with an antiviral solution), reduced passenger numbers by half and requires mask-wearing from passengers while at stations and while onboard. Many coaches also have HVAC (heating, ventilating and air-conditioning) systems similar to those on trains, and are also able to open their windows to enhance ventilation. A study of a bus in China found that a Covid-carrying passenger was able to infect many other passengers, but those seated near windows and doors were at far less risk of transmission. Passengers onboard also weren’t wearing masks – all coaches now require this, and many have blocked non-window seats to passengers. Filters that remove viruses from the air and can be retrofitted onto air conditioning units are also available – National Express is one such company who uses these. Shorter journeys – especially those under 15 minutes – decrease the risk of transmission, which is something else to consider if travelling by road (both by coach or car), which can be slower. The drive from London to Manchester, for instance, is roughly two hours longer than going by train. How to stay safe on coaches: Reduce journey time Wear a mask Choose a window seat, or a seat close to a door Check if an antiviral filter has been installed Trains There are conflicting reports around the safety of trains during a pandemic. Research published in BMC Infectious Diseases in 2011 found that those using public transport during flu outbreaks were up to six times more likely to pick up an acute respiratory infection. Despite this, many reports have found public transport (including trains) to not be responsible for Covid outbreaks. A Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) study carried out in August last year found that the risk of Covid-19 infection at the time was less than 0.01 per cent on an average train journey. Analysis, done in response to concerns that the public might be assuming roads were safer than rail, showed the risk of contracting Covid-19 while travelling by train was about 1 in 11,000 journeys. This was based on an hour-long train journey in a carriage with no social distancing or face coverings. The report also showed that this risk was more than halved if passengers wore a face covering, which has been mandatory on trains since last July, apart from people who are exempt. A survey of transportation agencies conducted by The New York Times last August found that in countries where the pandemic had ebbed, train and tube travel had rebounded in large numbers with “no notable superspreader events” occurring as a result. In Tokyo, no infection clusters last year were found to be linked to the city’s rail lines, despite diligent contact tracing. This was also the case in Paris, after a tracing was done on 386 viral clusters between early May and mid-July. A study of Austria’s coronavirus clusters in April and May similarly came back unrelated to public transport. Measures put in place by rail authorities were named as the reason behind this, with fewer rail users, mask-wearing, and good ventilation all now largely enforced on trains. Limiting passengers is particularly key in reducing the risk of catching Covid on board. Research conducted by the University of Southampton last year found that train users could be infected if sitting within 2.5 metres of someone carrying Covid on a two-hour journey. Journey time affected this: a journey time of one hour only required a one metre distance to avoid infection. The analysis covered the spread of the virus between December 19 and March 6, 2020 and found that an average of 0.32 per cent of passengers sitting within three seats across and five in front or behind an infected person caught the disease. Passengers travelling in seats adjacent to a sufferer had the highest chance of being infected, at 3.5 per cent. The transmission rate for those on the same row was 1.5 per cent. How to stay safe on the train Limit journey times Try to keep one metre between yourself and other passengers Wear a mask Keep windows open Cruises Cruises garnered a terrible reputation at the beginning of the pandemic, when in February 2020 an outbreak on the Diamond Princess made cruising a poster child for catching Covid. Since then, cruise ships have been grounded, and the stance of the CDC throughout the majority of last year was that cruise ships were a greater risk for Covid-19 transmission than other settings, stating that “cruise ship conditions amplify an already highly transmissible disease”. Some ocean cruise ships hold thousands of passengers. They use shared facilities like public toilets (outside of those in their cabins), restaurants, casinos and entertainment areas. As such, the risk of passing on an infectious disease isn’t inconsiderable. As the CDC puts it, “high population density onboard ships, which are typically more densely populated than cities or most other living situations,” is a huge contributing factor to fast viral spread. Reducing passenger numbers doesn’t often help either, due to the frequent need for crew members to live and work in close quarters. On the flip side, this means that cruise ships are generally well-prepared for such instances, with far more comprehensive medical facilities than you would find in a hotel or on a ferry, for instance. Ships also have to maintain a medical crew able to diagnose, care for and evacuate sick patients, if necessary. And outbreak prevention and response protocols have been standard practice on cruise ships far longer than Covid has been around. This doesn’t change the perception of the risk involved in cruise travel, sadly, and many large cruise ships are still out of operation. Generally, smaller cruise ships in areas where Covid rates are very low have been less problematic. Last year, Germany and Italy allowed cruising to slowly return as Covid cases fell: for instance, MSC Cruises resumed sailing in Europe in August, with solely European guests, and no outbreaks occurred. The company screened passengers with health questionnaires, temperature screens and a pre-boarding Covid-19 swab test, with no one allowed to board until they cleared all three tests. Guests were only allowed out at ports with an MSC guide on a pre-approved excursion, and if anyone broke the rules while out, they were not allowed back onboard. How to stay safe on a cruise Choose a smaller ship Travel in an area with a low-Covid rate Choose a company with rigorous passenger screening As for what the public thinks, in a recent survey by Telegraph Travel, the majority of respondents felt planes were the safest mode of transport, compared to trains, coaches and cruises. Trains came second, cruises third, and coaches, perhaps unfairly, last.
- Best Life
Queen Elizabeth was "shocked and saddened" by Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's response last week to her official statement about her decision to strip the Sussexes of their ceremonial titles and patronages. But there is one member of the Royal Family who was and still is "absolutely furious" over it. A royal source told Best Life that Prince William was "seething with anger" over what he perceived to be "absolute disrespect of Her Majesty in a very public way." Harry and Meghan's stinging words came shortly after their announcement that they would be sitting down with Oprah Winfrey for a Mar. 7 tell-all interview on CBS, which the insider said is "the final straw" in the brothers' already fractured relationship. The Sussexes' decision to do the interview is drawing comparisons to Princess Diana's explosive 1995 sitdown with Martin Bashir that proved disastrous for both the princess and the royals. It was a choice she came to regret. Nearly three decades later, William simply cannot fathom why any member of the Royal Family would open themselves up to that kind of scrutiny and drag the rest of the family into it, knowing how devastating it could be for all parties involved.No one had been told Diana was doing that infamous BBC interview, including William and Harry. The headmaster at Eton College, where William was studying at the time, arranged for the prince to watch it alone in his office. When Diana arrived to talk to her son the day after the premiere of the interview—during which she questioned Prince Charles' suitability to be king and talked of his affair with Camilla Parker Bowles—William refused to see his mother. "He loved his mother very much," said an insider. "But at the time, he thought the interview was a stunning betrayal. He could not understand why Diana would publicly say the things she did about his father and the monarchy."The source continued, "Harry choosing to do a no-holds-barred interview with the most famous interviewer and personality in the world has resurrected all those memories for William." According to the insider, Harry's decision has pushed the brothers' once-strong bond "into the abyss." "If there is going to be any kind of reconciliation between the brothers, it will be very far down the line now, if ever," the source said.Read on for the stunning reasons behind what could be an irreparable break between the brothers, and for more on the latest with the House of Windsor, check out Prince Harry Is Preparing to Rush to Prince Philip's Side, Say Insiders. William has always been wary of the media, while Harry has seemingly started to embrace it. Diana's death fostered a deep mistrust and dislike of the media in William, so much so that the Palace had to, at his request, negotiate an agreement with the press that the prince be left alone during his time at St. Andrews University on the condition he would make himself available for periodic press calls, which he reportedly hated. When he and Kate graduated and his then-girlfriend was being hounded by photographers, he filed a formal complaint with the Press Commission. Today, the prince still keeps the press at arm's length, but he has learned to give the media just enough access to his own family and the royals so as to protect them while satisfying his duty as heir.Harry has filed numerous lawsuits against the media for what he considers harassing and untrue stories written about Meghan and their relationship. He also told Tom Bradby in the now infamous ITV interview that every time he sees a wall of flashbulbs, it brings him back to his mother's tragic death. But now living in America, Harry has seemingly adopted more of a celebrity's mindset towards the press.William spoke about the media for the very first time in the 2017 documentary Diana, Our Mother: Her Life and Legacy. His poignant remarks may hint at why he reportedly feels angry and confused over Harry's decision to do the interview with Oprah. “Harry and I lived through [the media's obsession with Diana and its fatal consequence], and one lesson I’ve learned is you never let [the media] in too far, because it’s very difficult to get them back out again," he said. "You’ve got to maintain a barrier and a boundary, because if both sides cross it, a lot of pain can come from it." And for more on the tragedy of the People's Princess, check out The 6 Biggest Unanswered Questions Surrounding Princess Diana's Death. Tensions between William and Harry started long before Meghan came along. In the fall, royal historian Robert Lacey told Best Life that the toxic combination of William and Harry's traumatic upbringing due to their parents' "loveless, arranged" marriage and their mother's shocking death caused some long-simmering feelings of resentment that culminated in a rift so deep, it imperils the very future of the monarchy."Most everyone thought the dual traumas of their parents' marriage and their mother's tragic death were in the past," Lacey told Best Life in Oct. 2020. But that proved not to be the case. "They are the legacy of all that heartache," he added. And for more on what Lacey thinks Diana would've done about their divide, check out Diana Would Have Healed William and Harry's Rift, Says Royal Biographer. Harry reportedly took William's early concern about his relationship with Meghan as an insult and sign of disrespect. When Harry began to date Meghan in 2016, William reportedly reminded his brother of the advice their mother had once given them. A royal insider told Best Life in Mar. 2020, "Both William and Harry knew how deeply unhappy their mother was over her disastrous marriage to Charles. She wanted that to be a cautionary tale for them. Diana and Charles were alone together a little over a dozen times before they were married. They both had second thoughts, but felt a duty to go through with it. Diana told William and Harry to make absolutely sure the woman they wanted to marry was 'the one' and not to rush or be forced into anything."William reportedly reminded Harry of their mother's warning, according to Daily Mail, asking his brother: "Are you sure you're doing the right thing?" My sources confirmed that Harry was deeply hurt and offended by William's question. "Harry felt that William was dismissive of his relationship with Meghan from the start," my source said. "That never changed, things only got worse." And for more royal news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter. William and Harry seemingly interpreted Princess Diana's life advice very differently. William and Harry seemingly internalized Diana's advice to take time to find the right person and marry for love very differently. William and Kate Middleton started dating at university and were together for eight years before getting engaged; Harry and Meghan were in their 30s when they met and dated for two years before they married. "Harry set out to marry for love at any cost, while William took his mother's words quite seriously and took his time to make sure royal life would suit Catherine and she would be a good fit within the family," said a royal insider. "As the future king, both love and duty figured equally in his mind." And for more on William's future as king, check out Can the Monarchy Survive Without Queen Elizabeth? Any glimmer of hope of a reconciliation between William and Harry has now been dashed. Lacey—whose book Battle of Brothers: William&Harry—The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult chronicles their complicated relationship—told Best Life in October that there were hopes that the one-year review of the Sandringham Summit, which had originally been scheduled for next month, "might produce some sort of reconciliation." But instead, according to another royal source, the Sussexes' early decision to finalize their split from the Royal Family in such a public way and their plans to air what is expected to be an interview full of bombshell revelations to a worldwide audience has made that "impossible anytime in the foreseeable future." And for more facts about their mother, check out Here's the Truth Behind the Biggest Myths About Princess Diana.Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.
- The Telegraph
It sounds crackers. It might even take the biscuit. But for the best part of a decade, BBC Radio 1’s main rival as Britain’s toppermost, poppermost station was a DIY set-up broadcasting to a handful of biscuit factories. In the late 1960s, the BBC still had a monopoly on radio broadcasting in Britain, except for such offshore pirate stations as Radio Caroline (“Love, peace and good music”) and Wonderful Radio London (“Big L”). At the time, Hector Laing, managing director of United Biscuits (and grandson of the Digestive’s inventor), was seeking to reduce the company’s staff turnover and, inspired by the popularity of pirate radio, had a maverick idea. Traditionally, factories had sought to avoid extraneous sound, preferring only to hum with activity. During the Second World War, though, psychologists found that light background music could in fact increase productivity. Post-war, as production lines became automated and jobs more monotonous, piped “muzak” became less effective. Workers grew restless. Staff turnover rose. Instead, Laing decided to launch his own radio station to keep his 20,000-strong workforce happy as they knocked out Ginger Nuts and Jaffa Cakes. Biscuit factories are relatively quiet – full of ovens and conveyor belts but little by way of noisy machinery – so broadcasts would be audible across the floor. Laing advertised for DJs in music weekly Melody Maker, bought the best equipment and set up his own closed-circuit station, United Biscuits Network, at the company’s HQ in Osterley, west London (where Sky TV is based today). He hired a veteran broadcaster, Neil Spence – aka former Radio London DJ Dave Dennis, “the Double D” – as controller to train up the young bucks.
- The Telegraph
Nobody knows for certain why Henry Channon was called “Chips”. One theory is that as a young man he shared lodgings with a friend whose nickname was “Fish” – which is rather nice, as it’s hard to think of anyone less likely to have set foot in an ordinary fish and chip shop. For Chips Channon, the ultimate aristocrat manqué, was born with a reasonably sized silver spoon in his mouth, and thereafter worked hard on converting it into a soup tureen of solid gold. A social climber and networker on a massive scale, Channon knew everyone in English high society in the interwar period, plus an assortment of European royalty and nobility. And, as an MP from 1935, he hobnobbed with all the key politicians, witnessing much business behind the scenes. It’s not surprising that the version of his diary printed in 1967 became essential reading for historians. Yet those were mere fragments, censored and partly rewritten. Only now, with the publication of the complete text (this huge volume will be followed by two more) can we get the full measure of this extraordinary man. The book is strangely addictive – just as well, given its length – and one’s feelings about Channon change all the time, in ways that are hard to classify. My attempt here is modelled on the well-known five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Reading Chips Channon, the five stages – though it isn’t just a sequence, as elements persist through the book – are Puzzlement, Delight, Exasperation, Repulsion and Fascination. First, Puzzlement. The diary begins in Paris in January 1918; Chips is working for the American Red Cross (he was born in Chicago), and is 20 years old. He goes to tea with a countess, talks to a duchess and a prince, and then dines with another countess. And so it continues, as he moves effortlessly through the aristocratic world of Proust – indeed, getting to know Proust himself. You wonder: how on earth does he do it, barely out of his teens, and in a foreign country? Good looks, certainly; perfect manners, and a fair amount of money; but also, you have to conclude, copious oodles of charm.
- Women's Health
Look at them grow.
Start filling your closet with two of Fall 2021's biggest trends.
The collection exuded languid sensuality and worked for both men and women.
- Marie Claire
Here's Blue Ivy Carter, Looking Like a Top Model, in Her Official Icy Park Campaign Photos for Beyoncé
Beyoncé's daughter is only 9 and already is modeling and getting Grammy nominations for her music.
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The Windsors are known for passing down their clothes.From Redbook
- Marie Claire
Jonas posted the snap on Instagram.
- Conde Nast Traveler
Spread between the historic Garden District to the bustling French Quarter, there’s an Airbnb for everyone.Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
- Marie Claire
Something to tell us, J.Lo?!
Their perks came with plenty of strings attached. From Redbook
- Harper's Bazaar
Shoulder pads, power suits, and beyond.From Harper's BAZAAR
- Town & Country
The Queen also noted that the jab "was very quick."
- Conde Nast Traveler
Something to look forward to. Originally Appeared on Condé Nast Traveler
- Country Living
You know the drill: Set an alarm!
A new toy set is hitting shelves in fall 2021.
undefinedOriginally Appeared on Vogue