>Dictionary records virus impact
With terms such as WFH (work from home), social distancing and self-isolation now in common parlance, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has made an extraordinary update to include COVID-19 and words related to the pandemic in its definitive record of the English language.
The OED's analysis of more than 8 billion words of online news stories found that coronavirus and COVID-19 are now dominating global discourse.
"In January, the words mainly relate to naming and describing the virus: coronavirus, SARS, virus, human-to-human, respiratory, flu-like," said the OED in an analysis.
“By March, the keywords reflect the social impact of the virus, and issues surrounding the medical response: social distancing, self-isolation and self-quarantine, lockdown, non-essential (as in non-essential travel), and postpone are all especially frequent, as are PPE (personal protective equipment) and ventilator."
>Astronauts land back on Earth
Two NASA astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut on Friday made a safe return from the International Space Station (ISS) to find the planet transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Andrew Morgan, Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka touched down in central Kazakhstan at 0516 GMT in the first returning mission since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March.
Unusually, NASA and Roscosmos did not show live footage of the trio parachuting down in their Soyuz landing capsule.
This was scrapped "due to technical limitations associated with the epidemiological situation," Roscosmos said.
Subsequent footage from the landing site showed recovery crews wearing face masks and rubber gloves as they hauled the crew members out of the Soyuz MS-15 capsule.
"Please keep your distance," one ground crew member could be heard telling another. The crew will not be flying back home via Kazakhstan's Karaganda airport as usual because it has been shut down, like so many other airports across the world.
Instead, Skripochka will fly from the Baikonur cosmodrome used to launch missions to the ISS while the NASA duo will take off in a plane from the steppe city of Kyzlorda after a drive of several hours.
>Alcohol should be restricted
As millions of people move indoors to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that governments should restrict access to alcohol during lockdowns.
Drinking alcohol can compromise peoples' immune systems and make them more vulnerable to the adverse health effects of COVID-19, according to WHO.
Alcohol use is also associated with diseases and mental health disorders that can make a person more likely to contract COVID-19.
Excessive drinking can also cause alcohol poisoning and increase the risk of violence among intimate partners.
>'Tom and Jerry' director died
Gene Deitch, an American Oscar-winning illustrator, animator, film director and producer known for his direction of "Tom and Jerry" and some of the "Popeye the Sailor" series, died in Prague. He was 95.
The news was revealed by his publisher, Petr Himmel, who said Deitch died unexpectedly in his apartment on April 16. No further details were released. Deitch directed 13 episodes of Tom and Jerry, which accompanied a generation of Chinese viewers throughout their childhood.
Fans of the iconic cat and mouse duo mourned the passing of the director on China's social media, where many thanked Deitch for the happiness he brought to viewers' lives.
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