Entertainment

J Balvin Offers Up A Message To Fans About The Real Dangers Of Covid-19

Updated August, 17, 2020.

J Balvin is the latest celebrity to come forward with a Covid-19 diagnosis. He is part of a running list of Latino celebrities who are warning fans about the virus.

J Balvin has a message for all of his fans about the seriousness and dangers of Covid-19.

“At the moment, I’m just getting better,” J Balvin said in a recorded messages for the Premios Juventud. “These have been very difficult days, very complicated. Sometimes we won’t think that we’ll get it, but I got it and I got it bad.”

He added: “My message to those that follow me, young fans and people in general is to take care. This isn’t a joke. The virus is real and it’s dangerous”

Updated August 13, 2020.

Covid-19 is not done and we are seeing the proof everywhere we turn. Months after the pandemic, more and more people continue to fall ill with the virus and Antonio Banderas joins the pack.

Antonio Banderas shared the news on social media that he tested positive on his 60th birthday.

The iconic Spanish actor had recently celebrated his girlfriend’s 39th birthday before testing positive. Europe is currently dealing with a second wave from Covid-19 and officials are becoming concerned by the spread.

In his post, Banderas talked to his fans about the illness and how he didn’t feel sick, just more tired than normal. Yet, Banderas added: “I will take advantage of this isolation to read, write and rest, continue making plans to begin to give meaning to my newly released 60 years to which came loaded with desire and illusion. Big hugs to everyone.”

Banderas did not explain how he contracted the infectious disease, that as of 13 August 2020, has seen over 20.6 million cases reported across 188 countries. So far, the disease has killed more than 749,000 people.

Last year, Banderas (who is known for his roles in The Mask Of Zorro and The Spy Kids franchise) was nominated for an Oscar for his film “Pain and Glory.”

Original: As beaches, restaurants, and even bars and clubs started to reopen, it was easy to forget that we are still in the midst of a global health crisis – one that continues to hit the Latino community, in particular, very hard. And stars, they really are just like us. Celebrities are also at risk of contracting Covid-19 and over the last few days, we’ve learned that several of Latin music’s biggest stars have in fact been infected with the virus.

The news comes just as states like Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas set new records with sky-high infection rates. It’s an important reminder that nobody is immune to this pandemic and that we all need to do our part to keep our communities safe.

Several major Latin music stars have recently announced they’ve tested positive for Covid-19.

As if a reminder that stars, they’re just like us, several of Latin music’s biggest celebrities have announced that they’ve tested positive for Covid-19. Karol G, Prince Royce, and Chiquita Rivera have all shared their positive diagnosis for the virus and are urging fans to stay home and use masks when they have to go out.

Karol G took to Instagram Live to share the news of her infection with her fans.

During an Instagram live watched by more than 100,000, the “Tusa” singer said that she tested positive two or three weeks ago but had not made it public so her parents wouldn’t worry. “First of all, thank you to all the people that have reached out to me. I hadn’t said anything because my parents are far away and I didn’t want them to worry about me,” she says.

“Because my new single was coming out, I didn’t want coronavirus to be the news. Now that the news is out, my parents are very nervous and if it was under any other circumstance, they’d be here by my side.”

Karol G went on to say that she is feeling well compared to others who have been diagnosed positive. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 a few weeks ago with her friend and sister, and decided to isolate away from Anuel, who she confirmed tested negative. “I feel well. Today, I got another test and hoping this one will be negative.”

Chiquita Rivera also announced that her and her husband have also tested positive for the virus.

Just last week, Mexican-American singer Chiquis Rivera, the daughter of the late Jenni Rivera, revealed she and her husband Lorenzo Méndez tested positive for COVID-19. Also in an Instagram video, Rivera said “We’re contagious so we have to be responsible and we are going to quarantine.”

And Dominican Prince Royce announced he too had contracted Covid-19.

Prince Royce was one of the first celebrities to reveal his diagnosis. he shared he had tested positive for the virus shortly before the 4th of July holiday weekend and urged people to take precautions and be safe – for themselves and others.

In an Instagram video, he shared that he had gone out to restaurants since things had started to open up. He added: “Well, Florida hasn’t been so bad, and New York is the one with the problem. I fell for that and I think many people can fall for that and will fall for that. Don’t be selfish and make the same mistakes that I probably did.”

He urged his fans to do the responsible thing and stay at home.

“I was diagnosed with COVID-19 and I am on day number 12 since my symptoms began,” he wrote on Instagram. “My case has been mild and I am feeling well. I share this with you today to ask you please not let down your guard — this virus is very real and we can have it and spread it without even knowing. I didn’t think I had it as I didn’t feel that bad and had I not gotten tested I would be spreading it to others.”

His caption also added, “For younger people, this is more than just about taking care of ourselves, it is about taking care of others, older people and those with compromised immune systems. Please let’s take this seriously and act responsibly and with compassion. Let’s all take care of each other.”

Their infections come as the virus is raging out of control across the country.

New records are being set everyday across the United States, as severe all states see the virus rage out of control. For the first time ever in the U.S., Florida saw more than 15,000 new cases in just one day. Meanwhile, in Arizona – the per capita infection rate is higher than it was at the peak of New York’s battle against the virus.

As of July 15, the U.S. has 3.48 million confirmed cases and almost 140,000 deaths due to Covid-19 infection. Those numbers are expected to continue to climb as many Americans refuse to follow simple preventive measures, including wearing a mask and staying at home.

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Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Culture

Peru’s Indigenous Are Turning To Ancestral Medicines To Fight The Coronavirus

Joao Laet / Getty Images

With news headlines like “How Covid-19 could destroy indigenous communities”, it’s hard to understate the affect that the Coronavirus has had on Indigenous communities across the world.

Even before the pandemic hit, native populations were already at increased risk of health complications, poor access to medical care, lack of proper education, and even premature death. The pandemic has only exacerbated these issues as government programs and NGOs who delivered aid to far flung communities have grind to a halt.

However, many communities have started taking the matter into their own hands by creating their own impromptu healthcare systems based on ancestral techniques and others have barricaded off their villages from the outside world in an effort to stem the flow of the virus.

In Peru, many Indigenous communities are turning to centuries-old medicines to fight back against the Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on Peru – the country with the world’s highest per capita Covid-19 mortality rate. At particular risk is the nation’s large Indigenous community, who often lack proper access to education efforts and medical care. This has forced many Indigenous groups to find their own remedies.

In the Ucayali region, government rapid response teams deployed to a handful of Indigenous communities have found infection rates as high as 80% through antibody testing. Food and medicine donations have reached only a fraction of the population. Many say the only state presence they have seen is from a group responsible for collecting bodies of the dead.

At least one community, the Indigenous Shipibo from Peru’s Amazon region, have decided to rely on the wisdom of their ancestors. With hospitals far away, doctors stretch too thin and a lack of beds, many have accepted the alternative medicine.

In a report by the Associated Press, one villager, Mery Fasabi, speaks about gathering herbs, steeping them in boiling water and instructing her loved ones to breathe in the vapors. She also makes syrups of onion and ginger to help clear congested airways.

“We had knowledge about these plants, but we didn’t know if they’d really help treat COVID,” the teacher told the AP. “With the pandemic we are discovering new things.”

One of the plants the Shipibo are using is known locally as ‘matico.’ The plant has green leaves and brightly colored flowers. And although Fasabi admits that these ancestral remedies are by no means a cure, the holistic approach is proving successful. She says that “We are giving tranquility to our patients,” through words of encouragement and physical touch.

Even before the Coronavirus, Indigenous communities were at a greater risk for infectious diseases.

Indigenous peoples around the globe tend to be at higher risk from emerging infectious diseases compared to other populations. During the H1N1 pandemic in Canada in 2009, for example, aboriginal Canadians made up 16% of admissions to hospital, despite making up 3.4% of the population.

Covid-19 is no exception. In the US, one in every 2,300 indigenous Americans has died, compared to one in 3,600 white Americans.

Indigenous groups are particularly vulnerable to dying from Covid-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help. As of July 28, the disease had killed 1,108 indigenous people and there had been 27,517 recorded cases, with the majority in Brazil, according to data published by Red Eclesial Panamazonia (Repam).

Some communities are turning inward to survive COVID-19, barricading villages and growing their own food.

Despite the immense threat they face, Indigenous communities are fighting back.

“I am amazed to see the ways that indigenous peoples are stepping up to provide support where governments have not,” Tauli-Corpuz, a teacher at Mexico’s UNAM, told The Conversation. “They are providing PPE and sanitation, making their own masks, and ensuring that information on Covid-19 is available in local languages, and are distributing food and other necessities.”

They are also choosing to isolate. In Ecuador’s Siekopai nation, about 45 Indigenous elders, adults and children traveled deep into the forest to their ancestral heartland of Lagartococha to escape exposure to the Coronavirus, says the nation’s president Justino Piaguaje.

Despite their best efforts, many experts are extremely concerned for the survival of many Indigenous communities.

Credit: Ginebra Peña / Amazonian Alliance

They are already facing the ‘tipping point’ of ecological collapse due to increased threats of deforestation, fires, industrial extraction, agribusiness expansion and climate change,” Amazon Watch executive director Leila Salazar-Lopez told UNESCO of Amazonian Indigenous groups.

“Now, the pandemic has created one more crisis, and as each day passes, the risk of ethnocide becomes more real.”

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Cuba Locks Down Havana To Stop Covid-19 As Cubans Struggle To Afford Everyday Items

Things That Matter

Cuba Locks Down Havana To Stop Covid-19 As Cubans Struggle To Afford Everyday Items

Ivan Bor / Getty Images

Cuba has been one of the hemisphere’s coronavirus success stories — but a sudden outbreak in its capital has brought on a strict, two-week Havana lockdown. Residents of the capital city will be forced to stay-at-home for 15-days, while people from other parts of the island ill be prohibited from visiting – essentially sealing off the city from the outside world.

Meanwhile, the Coronavirus pandemic has pummeled the island’s economy and has left many everyday items out of reach for many Cubans. Some are being forced to turn to ‘dollar stores,’ where the U.S. dollar is once again accepted as hard currency – something now allowed since 1993.

Officials have ordered a strict 15-day lockdown of Havana in an effort to stamp out the spread of Coronavirus in the capital.

Aggressive anti-virus measures, including closing down air travel, have virtually eliminated COVID-19 in Cuba with the exception of Havana, where cases have surged from a handful a day to dozens daily over the last month. 

A daily curfew from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. was instituted Tuesday. Most stores are barred from selling to shoppers from outside the immediate neighborhood in order to discourage people from moving around the city. 

Some Havana residents complained that the measures were complicating the already difficult task of buying food in a city hit by constant shortages and endless lines for a limited supply of basic goods. Some provinces that saw no new cases for weeks have begun detecting them in recent days, often linked to travelers from Havana.

The start of in-person classes for students was also indefinitely delayed in Havana, while schools opened normally in the rest of Cuba.

To enforce the lockdown, police stationed on every road leaving Havana are supposed to stop anyone who doesn’t have a special travel permit, which is meant to be issued only in extraordinary circumstances.

Under the strict new lockdown measures, anyone who is found in violation of the stay-at-home orders face fines of up to $125 per violation, more than triple the average monthly wage.

The island nation had seemed to manage the pandemic well – with fewer cases than many of its Caribbean neighbors.

Credit: Ivan Bor / Getty Images

The island of 11 million people has reported slightly more than 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, with fewer than 100 deaths, one of the lowest rates in the region.

The government made face masks obligatory in the early stages of its pandemic response, and in the first months of the crisis police aggressively fined and even jailed people for violations. 

That vigilance slackened somewhat as Havana moved out of the first, strictest phase of lockdown in July, when public transportation restarted and people returned to work. The number of coronavirus cases then began to climb again.

Meanwhile, the Cuban economy has tanked and residents are struggling to make ends meet now more than ever before.

Credit: Yamil Lage / Getty Images

The pandemic has hit the island’s economy particularly hard. Much of the island relies on agricultural and tourism – two sectors that have been decimated by Coronavirus.

As a result, many Cubans are struggling to afford everyday items. Rice – which used to sell for about $13 Cuban pesos per kilo is now going for triple that.

In an effort to allow Cubans better access to goods, the government has began recognizing the U.S. dollar as official currency. This is extraordinary as mere possession of U.S. dollars was long considered a criminal offense. However, the measure draws a line between the haves and have-nots, one that runs even deeper than it did before the pandemic.

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