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Feng Shui

Easy Feng Shui Tips To Enhance Positive Energy In Your Home

With so many of us now stuck inside indefinitely, many have begun redecorating, renovating, and reorganizing their homes. Now that we’re stuck in these places, it only makes sense that we’d want them to look and feel the most comfortable and personal to us as possible. Many have been looking to the Chinese practice of Feng shui for inspiration, as well as the best ways to create balance between the natural world within our interior spaces. Feng shui also uses energy forces as a means of creating harmony between the individual and their home, so it makes sense that so many would want to bring that idea into their own spaces, especially during times of such global unrest. 

The most general rule to Feng Shui is maintaining a clutter-free space. Open spaces are not only more appealing to look at, but they’re also proven to promote mental clarity. Think about it, in the past when you would come home from a long day at work to a messy house, that work stress would then follow you into your off time. Coming home to a clean house, however, allows us to feel completely separated and calm, because there’s nothing out of place that needs cleaning. 

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Clutter also brings down our energy and holds us back from seeing good opportunities, according to Feng shui practices, so before you do anything else, make sure your home is clean. 

Feng shui also views the front door as one of the most important areas in the home when it comes to promoting good energy flow. It’s important to keep the space around your front door open and clear, this way positive energy has the ability to freely come into your home, and negative energy can easily be pushed out. 

Bringing the five elements into your home is also a very important aspect of Feng shui. The five elements include earth, wood, fire, metal, and water, and by incorporating these elements into decorative pieces in your home, you’re balancing the energy of the space while also creating an open path between the natural world and your home. 

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Bringing in these elements is also much easier than it may sound. Earth can be represented by a real house plant in your window while wood and metal can easily be accomplished through furniture choices. Water can be utilized either through a vase of flowers, or a small fish tank, which would also bring life into the space, literally. Fire may sound dangerous, but this can easily be implemented into your space through candles or a fireplace if you have one. 

Maximize natural lighting as much as possible in your home. Even if you only have one small window in your room, accentuate that space on the wall. Feng shui tells us that windows are like our front door, in the sense that it helps promote energy flow and brings in positivity and happiness. 

Besides living in a clutter-free space, one of the other most important aspects of Feng shui is balance, and making your home feel as though everything is in its proper place. When you bring in larger elements like a television, floor-length mirror or anything mounted on the walls, make sure you’re placing them in a way that seems intentional and fitted. 

Balancing the space will allow you to remove any aspects of the home that you deem to be negative, or bring in negative energy, because it’s easier to see what elements of a room don’t seem to fit with the way that you’ve organized the rest of it. 

No matter how strictly you adhere to the Feng shui guidelines, make sure you’re organizing your space for yourself and in a way that makes you happy. Our homes are meant to be safe spaces, which is something we all need in a time like this.

Jump Rope Workout at Home

Easy Exercises You Can Do At Home

Staying indoors has become the new normal for all of us as we endure the coronavirus pandemic. While remaining isolated is the best way to curve the spread of the virus, it’s still important to be doing things that will improve your physical and mental health, especially during times of global uncertainty. 

Exercise has long been one of the greatest things an individual can do to improve upon their physical and mental wellbeing. However, many are struggling to adjust their lifestyles to remain active and healthy while stuck inside during a public health crisis. Additionally, research shows that living an inactive life for an extended period of time can lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, and a decrease in physical health/motivation as well. 

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The main goal is simple, do something to keep your mind and body engaged for at least 30 minutes everyday. This means doing some sort of physical activity besides pacing around your house. Exercise is also an amazing way to keep your bodies systems running smoothly and efficiently, which is of the utmost importance especially during a pandemic. 

If you own an exercise ball, stairmaster or treadmill, maintaining a solid cardiovascular workout routine is easy. If not, you want to look for activities that are specifically meant to increase your heart rate; jumping jacks, sprints, climbing up and down the stairs, etc. Covid-19 aside, heart disease is normally the number one killer in the world, so these types of exercises are imperative for everyone, regardless of age or health status, to do.

Jumping rope and setting up a hopscotch course to run back and forth through are just a couple of other easy solutions for ways to get your blood pumping and heart rate going at home. YouTube is also an amazing free resource to use.

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There’s a multitude of actual fitness instructors who have accounts and upload full workout routines for their subscribers. For individuals with televisions that are WiFi compatible, you can easily pull up any of these videos on the screen so you’re not bending over the phone or computer to really see the instructor. 

If you’re more interested in developing mobility/flexibility and strengthening your muscles, you’re going to want to look for more resistance-based exercises. Typically in a gym setting these exercises would use weights and resistance bands to help your body work even harder, both of which can be found online. If you’re not looking to spend any money, push-ups against the wall, squats, lunges, and wall-sits are just a few easy at home exercises that will lead to successful results. 

Online cardio dance classes like Zumba are also available online for low prices, and you can find other hip hop choreography/exercise classes on YouTube as well. These types of classes are especially great for engaging your mind and motivating yourself to continue to exercise because it’s fun. Dancing along to popular music in sync with another person while also getting a full-body workout is just as enjoyable as it is effective. Plus, if you’re the type of person who gets shy about dancing in front of other people, this type of online exercise is perfect to do alone from the comfort of your own home. 

As the world continues to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we remember to take care of our physical and mental health. Make a routine, write out a weekly schedule, choose exercises that can be fun and impactful, and of course, keep health and safety as your number one priority.

Spain

Spain Welcomes Tourists As It Ends Coronavirus State Of Emergency

Spain officially ended its national state of emergency this past Sunday (June 21st) after spending the past three months in lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic. Spain’s 47 million citizens will now be able to freely travel throughout the entire country for the first time since Mid-March. The country is also allowing visitors from the 27 European countries that have also approved of visa-free travel without requiring them to quarantine for two weeks. 

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made a statement when he lifted the order, claiming that health, safety, and hygiene policies must still be enforced and followed, and he also warned that “the virus can return and it can hit us again in a second wave, and we have to do whatever we can to avoid that at all costs.” 

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According to Spain’s tourism industry, the country typically attracts 80 million tourists every year, which makes vacationers responsible for about 12% of Spain’s overall economy. The country has obviously not seen anywhere close to those numbers yet, and even with Spain reopening some of its larger airports, the country is still seeing a massive decline in travel, as is the rest of the world. 

Several local restaurants and bars within Spain have remained open throughout the past three months, however, many had outdoor seating and/or major social distancing policies enforced within them. In regards to other spanish speaking countries in the world, Spain has truly remained the least infected, however, the damage the virus inflicted on the country was still extremely devastating. 

According to Johns Hopkins University, which has been keeping extensive records of all Covid-19 cases throughout the world since this pandemic initially began, Spain’s death toll is more than 28,000, the third-highest in Europe, however, Spain is also one of the larger countries in Europe as well. 

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Other countries like Brazil, however, are dealing with nearly 50,000 new cases every single day! According to health officials in Brazil, President Jair Bolosonaro has been downplaying the risks of Covid-19 the same exact way that President Trump is here in the US; unsurprisingly, the US and Brazil currently occupy the top two sports for highest death tolls in the world. 

South Africa is reporting around 5,000 new cases everyday, and recorded 46 deaths this past weekend. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that they would also be loosening their lockdown restrictions, despite case numbers continuing to increase. In all of these countries the rush to reopen is driven by the desire to improve the economy. 

India began easing their lockdowns last month and it helped their economy recover slightly, however, it resulted in a massive spike in cases as well. Now, New Delhi is converting its train carriages to makeshift Covid-19 ICU beds. 

Here in the US, the virus is mainly spreading throughout the West and the South, specifically among the many states that began prematurely opening within the past month. States like Arizona, California, Florida, and South Carolina are all reporting record-breaking single-day spikes in cases as a direct result of those re-openings as well. 

While the desire to get back to a life of normalcy and rebuild the extensive damage done to the economy is strong, we have to remember that this pandemic is nowhere near finished. Case numbers are continuously rising, and haven’t stopped. Listen to your healthcare providers and wear a mask in public, continue to abide by social distancing policies, and stay home, we’re all in this together unless we aren’t.

Target Store

Target, Costco, And Other Major Retailers Gearing Up To Reopen To The Public

Stores and businesses that have been deemed as “essential” within the past few months are beginning to take steps to return to a life of normalcy. Customers are eager to return to some of their favorite establishments, however, some worker safety/labor groups are nervous that these companies are prematurely pulling back on health and safety measures while we’re still very much battling this deadly pandemic. 

More states and cities have begun loosening their stay-at-home orders, so it makes sense that businesses like Target, Walmart, Costco and Kroger are following suit. Last week New York City, which was previously an epicenter for the virus to spread, allowed retail stores to set up curbside pickup for their customers. California permitted all schools, gyms, movie theaters, and bars to reopen with modifications, and some states have opened nail salons, massage parlors, and bowling alleys. However, it’s these states that have decided to reopen that are now seeing massive spikes in case numbers. 

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More than 117,000 American citizens have died due to the Covid-19 virus; for comparison that’s more American lives lost than in World War 1. The economy has been heavily impacted with over 40 million individuals filing for unemployment within the past three months, and recently the stock market began to drop again due to fears of a second wave. 

“The safety measures retailers are rolling back are good practices for preventing both Covid-19 and future pandemics. We should keep simple prevention measures such as these in place as long as possible as we move towards reopening the economy to ensure a new wave of infections does not force us to again shelter in place,”  said Brandon Brown, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Riverside.

Currently there are no federal requirements for how or when these “essential” stores are able to reopen, it’s more so up to the state or local governments. Costco, specifically, is beginning to bring back their free samples in a number of stores nationwide. The CFO of Costco, Richard Galanti, claims that all the samples are pre-packaged and the company will likely put up a plexiglass barrier between the server, samples, and customer. 

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A spokesperson for Target recently announced that they would be reopening the Starbucks located within the store in some locations but they’re taking “a careful market-by-market approach, and in some cases store-by-store, to ensure [they] prioritize the health and safety of our team and guests.”

“There’s a collective and growing recognition that [retailers] are likely falling well below pre-pandemic profitability levels as a percentage of sales. They need more in-store sales across categories — not just grocery and not just online or click-and-collect. They want feet through the door,” said Doug Stephens, founder of consulting firm Retail Prophet.

Obviously there’s a strong desire to get everyone back to work and to return to a life of normalcy, however, prematurely loosening these restrictions could potentially further influence how bad of a second wave America will face in the fall. Labor groups are taking to social media to express their disapproval of the decision for these establishments to reopen. While most are emphasizing their new health and safety procedures, it still doesn’t seem like enough for some. 

Regardless, it’s important that everyone continues to listen to their healthcare providers and protect themselves as much as possible when out in public.

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Creative Home Projects to Personalize Your Space In Lockdown

With all of us enduring the coronavirus pandemic and remaining under lockdown until further notice, many of us are running out of things to do in our spare time to keep us entertained. Doing home improvement projects or switching up the interior design of some of the spaces in your home can be a great way to not only distract yourself from the world, but also revamp up the space you’ve been forced to stay in for the past few months. 

When we think of home improvement or interior design, we often imagine that growing list of things that needs fixing throughout our houses, however, what about projects that are more fun and don’t really have a beneficial purpose beyond just making you happy? Your home is yours, so it should reflect that! Here are home project ideas to make your space really feel like home:

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Create An Accent Wall: An accent wall is typically one specific wall in a room, often the bedroom or living room, that differs in color, pattern, texture, etc. from the other three walls in the space. Normally, people like to put a pattern on their accent wall to highlight either an entertainment center, art piece, or furniture item propped against said wall. However, there is no limit to the possibilities of things you can do for an accent wall. Use chalkboard paint so that you and your loved ones can keep changing the designs and sign each other’s names. Order various sized prints of either personal photos, pictures of people you admire, places you want to go, or whatever else you want to look at. Frame the prints and cover the wall! The possibilities are truly endless. 

Rearrange Your Bedroom or Living Room: This is one of the more basic “home improvement” options, however, if you aren’t looking to spend any money but still want a change, moving around the set up of these spaces can accomplish exactly that. I say the living room and bedroom specifically because in normal circumstances those are the spaces one spends the most time in, however, switch up all the rooms in your house if you want! Remember, there really are no rules when it comes to making your space yours (as long as you’re following your cities specific coding requirements for larger renovation projects). Keeping these areas of the home fresh and personal can help ease any anxieties you have relating to the state of the world, because at least you know you’re safe in your own personalized bubble. 

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Make a Gallery Wall: Similar to an accent wall, a gallery wall allows you to focus the attention of a space on unique art or photography pieces that either you’ve taken, or admire. This really is one of the most personal ways you can liven up your home because even if you choose art/pictures that don’t have you or your family in it, you’re still choosing pieces that resonate with you for a special reason. 

Repair and Refine Your Furniture: Things like large chairs and ottomans can be reupholstered so that you’re not losing the functionality of your pieces, but are still basically getting a whole new furniture item. Any wooden furniture that’s been scuffed, scratched, broken off, etc. can easily be sanded, re-polished, and repainted as well. 

Create a Meditative/Relaxation Space: Even if you’re not into meditation specifically as a means of unwinding, you should have a designated space in your home separated from your bedroom or living room that’s main purpose is just for you to sit back and relax. This could even be a simple garden chair and table in your side yard, the point of this place is to make you feel completely comfortable every time you enter it. Especially with the way the world looks now, it’s important that we all unplug and find time everyday to check in with ourselves, and what better way to do that then in your own meditation room? Decorate the space with stereotypical items that induce relaxation – candles, twinkly lights, blankets, soft lighting, etc. – and also with personal pieces that make you feel safe. 

Regardless of how you personalize your home, remember what it’s felt like to be stuck in that space for months at a time. The future in terms of the coronavirus pandemic is still unpredictable, so you might as well pass the time by creating spaces in your home that truly feel like yours and yours only.

Girl Watching Movie on Couch

Movie Series You Should Watch In Quarantine

Enduring the coronavirus pandemic and remaining indoors for an indefinite amount of time is truly like something we’ve never experienced before. Finding ways to pass the time has been the largest struggle for many of us, so it’s no surprise that binge-watching our favorite television shows and movies on the multitude of streaming platforms that exist now has been one of the most popular options. 

While it’s important to get up and move your body everyday, even being stuck inside, there’s nothing wrong with just vegging out on the couch and finally watching that movie series you’ve been putting off for years. I mean, generally speaking, there has quite literally never been a better time to watch every movie in a series. And with everything going on in the world, we all could use the distractions, so where should you start? 

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The Lord Of the Rings Trilogy: This binge-session is not for the faint of heart, and being a Sci-Fi/Hobbit fan, is a little bit of a requirement. If you’re looking for a really long marathon that can last over multiple days in quarantine you found your series. Each movie well exceeds three hours, but takes its time developing each character’s story arc, again, if this is your type of industry, this trilogy is for you. 

Mission Impossible: The super spy franchise consistently starring Tom Cruise gives the same type of extreme action movie energy as other films like the James Bond or Jason Bourne movies. The films give off that romanticized secret spy story line with many explosions, intense physical altercations, and of course, high-tech gadgets. 

Friday The 13th: If you’re a horror film fanatic and you haven’t seen all the original Friday the 13th movies then you may need to be stripped of your title. Not only are there well over 8 movies in this series (some by varying directors), but you can literally watch the progression of how horror  movies are created by starting with the original film from 1980, and finishing with the most recent installment starring Jared Padalecki, which was released in 2009. 

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The Dark Knight Trilogy: Christian Bale was arguably one of the best Batman’s and the Dark Knight trilogy is one of the best Batman installments to hit the superheroes film archive. If you’ve already seen these three movies, you already know that you’ll have no problem re-watching them because of how amazingly written and filmed the series was. If you want to scratch your DC itch but have already watched this trilogy recently, try deep diving into all the other Batman movie installments, starting with the original Batman film from 1989, starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson. 

The LEGO Movies: If you’re quarantined with your kids, teenagers, or even young-adult children, the LEGO movies really are enjoyable for all age groups. The colorful animation, classic jokes, and heartfelt storytelling gives it’s audiences some much needed light-hearted, wholesome entertainment. The best part is there’s four movies to choose from! And while you don’t necessarily have to watch them all in order, you definitely should. 

Back To The Future: Finally, we’re ending with one of the most classic trilogies to be birthed from the 1980’s (even though the last film was released in 1990). This trilogy follows iconic duo Marty McFly and Doc, his mad scientist best friend who finally was able to invent a time machine. Each movie has the same basis of going to the past, the future, and then back to one or the other, or both, however, each film has its own specific plots to make each one unique, the third installment takes on a more Western genre if you can believe it.

Statue of Liberty with Mask

Governor Cuomo Provides New Yorkers With Covid-19 Update

Governor Andrew Cuomo has been working non-stop to provide New Yorkers with constant Covid-19 updates and policy changes to ensure that we all can return to a life of normalcy as quickly and safely as possible.

Corona virus Testing

Wuhan, China To Continue Testing Residents For Covid-19 As Lockdown Lifts

Wuhan, China is where the coronavirus pandemic initially began. Now, China has begun to loosen their two-month lockdown policy as the virus has slowed down its spreading exponentially compared to where the country was even a couple of weeks ago. Even though China is seeing a decrease in positive cases for covid-19, they will continue to test residents vigorously to avoid any kind of resurgence in case numbers; their overall goal is to loosen the lockdown enough so that they can begin to rebuild their economy, while still enforcing distancing measures.

One of the biggest concerns among all healthcare professionals and government officials worldwide is being able to detect patients who are asymptomatic and may not even know that they’re carrying/spreading this virus. This is the number one issue when it comes to Wuhan loosening their policies, as they’re worried they’ll just end up right back where they were a few months ago. 

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Feng Jing is a Wuhan resident who lives in the Tanhualin neighborhood in the city. Jing has been running a group of community workers who have looked after the Tanhualin neighborhood and ensured that everyone was following the proper lockdown protocols and keeping themselves healthy and safe; sort of like a pandemic neighborhood watch group. 

“We carry out comprehensive health checks everyday and keep detailed records of [our residents] health conditions. Currently our neighbourhood is an epidemic-free community – it’s been 45 days so far, so we don’t have this situation. There is [also] no likelihood of asymptomatic cases in this community,” Jing Said. 

Jing’s neighborhood isn’t the only Wuhan territory that’s seeing improvement in terms of new coronavirus cases. Leaders in China recently reported that this past Thursday only 42 new cases appeared throughout the entire country, to compare on both Wednesday and Thursday 60+ new cases appeared. 

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As previously stated, China’s government’s main goal is to accelerate the country’s economic recovery, which they will do by loosening how many “non-essential” workers will be able to return to work in the coming weeks. It’s difficult, however, to make those types of decisions, as the government is also focusing on ways to ensure that infected individuals still aren’t able to come into China from other countries. So while there’s a huge focus on economic growth, there’s also an even larger focus on keeping the country healthy.

In general, the coronavirus has infected over 1.4 million people worldwide, and over 87,000 individuals have died, and while this virus may have originated in Wuhan, it’s unfair to blame one city for the world’s overall unpreparedness for a pandemic such as this. 

In Wuhan specifically, the city is looking to spend what equates to $28.4 million on upgrading the city’s 400+ farmers’ markets, where it’s believed the virus first appeared. Several of the earlier cases of Covid-19 were linked to seafood markets in Wuhan that sold exotic species of animals as well, leading many to believe cross-contamination was the culprit of it all.

“Once reopened, the farmers markets should ensure no trade in wild animals and no trade in live poultry. Infrastructure in the markets should also be improved and become more similar to supermarkets.” Hong Zhihua, vice director of Hubei’s Patriotic Health Campaign Committee Office, said.

Many Wuhan residents share Zhihua’s perspective, and so does the government. Hopefully within the coming weeks, we’ll all see China improve massively in terms of coronavirus recovery, and the rest of the world will follow suit. For now, it’s imperative that we all stay inside as much as possible to stop the spread.

Coronavirus Fight

Dr. Anthony Fauci Demanding The U.S. Enforce Stricter Policies To Combat The Coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci is a prominent member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force and has been managing the over 200,000 positive covid-19 cases that have been rapidly appearing all over the country.

Coronavirus Spreads around World

Texas Governor Issues Stricter Lockdown Policies In Response To COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the health and safety of our world, more and more necessary restrictive measures are being enforced by federal/local governments worldwide to protect its citizens. Here in the United States, a national state of emergency has been declared and all non-essential businesses have closed, along with most colleges and universities. Travel bans are beginning to appear more and more, especially in densely populated metropolitan areas such as New York City, which has the most number of cases in the US overall. 

Speaking of travel bans, however, the entire state of Texas is now expanding their quarantine requirements for out-of-state travelers. There’s been a call for more restrictions being placed on any individual who has traveled by plane within the past two months/near future. Even domestic flights within the US pose a major risk, so on Sunday (3/29), Texas Governor Greg Abbott targeted some of the states most populated spots and made it a requirement that any individual who traveled by air to/from California, Washington State, New York, and several other territories in the US, must self-quarantine for two weeks once they arrive back in Texas. 

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott 

This measure had already been put into place earlier in the month, however, it only covered travelers from three states, so he wanted to expand upon it to really be safe; the order now includes Louisiana, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami, all based on case data. 

Abbott is also directing state troopers to monitor bordering areas of these places, and to enforce the quarantine order for motorists driving into Texas as well from states such as Louisiana. When an individual is coming from one of these restricted states and into Texas, they should expect to be pulled over and questioned on where they plan to self-quarantine for 14 days. Unannounced visits without enough verification/compliance with these measures could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. While that may sound like a harsh punishment for simply driving into Texas, remember, these are peoples lives on the line. 

The Department of State Health Services in Texas has reported that they’ve endured 34 deaths from over 2,500 cases of covid-19. Governor Abbott claimed to be following the lead of Rhode Island, who’s government also enforced a specific travel ban on residents coming from New York when this pandemic first began; Rhode Island now expanded that policy to all 50 states. 

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Other states that have followed suit include Florida, which has gone after restricting travelers from New York and Louisiana, setting up checkpoints at certain borders to enforce these policies. There’s still a call to completely quarantine New York City as a whole to really prevent the amount of people who are moving around/to and from the five boroughs. President Trump, however, has not made any serious measures so far regarding travel restrictions within the US, leaving it to the states. 

“On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the ….Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC tonight. Thank you!” Trump tweeted.

For now, make sure you’re staying updated on your specific states measures/restrictions within the coming weeks. As we’ve seen, this virus has become a day-to-day battle, in the sense that every day we’re making new developments at combating the spread and reducing the amount of access to the public it has. So keep washing your hands, staying home as much as possible, and remaining socially distant from as many people as you can.