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UC Berkeley enforcing COVID lockdowns with officers monitoring dorms, outdoor exercise ban

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UC Berkeley enforcing COVID lockdowns with officers monitoring dorms, outdoor exercise ban

Students at the University of California, Berkeley have been told to sequester in their rooms for an additional week as security officers monitor residence buildings and outdoor exercise is banned due to coronavirus concerns.

“Due to the 14-day incubation period of this virus, it is too early to be sure we have contained this current surge,” UC Berkeley told students in an email, according to the Daily Californian. “We understand this extension is frustrating, but please understand this will help us mitigate further spread while protecting our community.”

The self-sequester period was set to end Monday, but UC Berkeley recently extended it to Feb. 15.

“You may NOT leave your room for solo outdoor exercise, which is a change from previous self-sequestering guidelines,” UC Berkeley’s campus housing webpage reads. “We are working with the City of Berkeley to determine whether outdoor exercise may be permitted, and we will provide more information on this in the near future.”

More than 200 students, faculty and staff have tested positive for coronavirus since Jan. 31, according to UC Berkeley’s website. UC Berkeley implemented the sequestration around Feb. 1 due to the coronavirus surge.

Students are only allowed to leave their rooms to seek medical care or coronavirus testing, use the bathroom and pick up meals from a dining kiosk. The outdoor exercise ban is new, the Daily Californian reported.

“We understand that students certainly wish to enjoy exercise and getting outside, and we hope this will be possible in the near future,” UC Berkeley told Fox News in a statement. “It likely should be after self-sequestration directives are lifted. We ask for their patience while we continue to consult with public health officials.”

UC Berkeley also advised students that there may be an increase in “community security officers” monitoring residence buildings, according to The Daily Californian.

The university’s campus housing page encourages students to report any violations of coronavirus rules.

“If you witness a violation of the self-sequester protocols or the Residential Code of Conduct … Residential Life staff will then submit a conduct report on your behalf,” the webpage says. “Reporting what you witness will help protect your fellow students and our community. We are all in this together.”

Students who decide to leave campus housing permanently cannot cancel housing contracts until March 1, according to the Daily Californian. Students may receive partial refunds but must also pay a $300 cancellation fee.

This post has been updated with comment from UC Berkeley.

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Man spent entire pandemic alone in five-star NYC hotel

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Man spent entire pandemic alone in five-star NYC hotel

Isolated in the lap of luxury, he watched the skyline go dark.

When New York City went into its COVID-19-induced lockdown in March 2020, the fire department announced properties were required to keep one person on-site in case of trouble. For Midtown’s five-star Chatwal hotel, that person became Robert Mallia, Crain’s reported.

Mallia was not the 76-room-hotel owner’s first choice, but when multiple other people passed on the gig out of fear or to prioritize their family, Mallia — a 36-year-old childless bachelor — volunteered.

“Having the chance to live in a building that you worked on is cool,” said Mallia, an architectural designer for the Dream Hotel Group, which owns a portfolio of Manhattan hotels including the Chatwal. “My apartment is quite modest compared to a five-star luxury hotel.”

In the 14 months he’s been living in Room 307, the space has at least become familiar.

“When weeks became months, I got used to my room, like in ‘Shawshank Redemption,’ ” he said. “I’m content in my cell now.”

Initially, though, it was quite the adjustment from his Long Island City apartment, which he still makes frequent visits to.

“At first, it was strange,” he said. “It was perfectly silent.”

With all 59 members of the hotel’s staff gone, Mallia has been responsible for cleaning up after himself. For food, he has mostly relied on takeout. 

“It’s nothing too glamorous, I’m afraid,” he said.

His daily schedule involves waking up at 5:30 a.m. and doing a variety of housekeeping: sorting mail, looking for leaks and other maintenance problems. Once a week, he flushes every toilet in the building; twice a month, he turns on all the showers and sinks for 10 minutes.

His only companions are a rotation of security guards and the building’s chief engineer, who makes weekly visits to confirm fire code compliance.

The owner’s other hotels have begun reopening this month, and the Chatwal will likely follow suit soon — good news for Mallia.

“I miss being at home,” he said. 

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At Miss Universe pageant, Myanmar’s contestant pleads “our people are dying”

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Ma Thuzar Wint Lwin, Miss Universe Myanmar, holds up the "Pray for Myanmar" sign during Miss Universe pageant's national costume show, in Hollywood, Florida May 13, 2021

Myanmar’s Miss Universe contestant, Thuzar Wint Lwin, used the pageant on Sunday to urge the world to speak out against the military junta, whose security forces have killed hundreds of opponents since it seized power in a Feb. 1 coup.

“Our people are dying and being shot by the military every day,” she said in a video message for the competition, where she was appearing in the finals at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

“I would like to urge everyone to speak about Myanmar. As Miss Universe Myanmar since the coup, I have been speaking out as much as I can,” she said.

Myanmar’s junta spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment.

Thuzar Wint Lwin is among dozens of Myanmar celebrities, actors, social media influencers and sports people who have voiced opposition to the coup, in which elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi was overthrown and detained.

At least 790 people have been killed by security forces since the coup, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners activist group. It says over 5,000 people have been arrested, with some 4,000 still detained – including several celebrities.

Thuzar Wint Lwin did not make it to the last round of the Miss Universe competition, but she won the award for Best National Costume, which was based on the ethnic costume of her Chin people from northwestern Myanmar, where fighting has raged in recent days between the army and anti-junta militia fighters.

As she paraded with her national costume, she held up a placard that said “Pray for Myanmar”.

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Save time searching your purse with this mini purse light

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Save time searching your purse with this mini purse light

We women all know the struggle. Unless you’re Mary Poppins, we’ve all experienced the endless searching for a particular item in your handbag and pulling out everything except the actual thing you need. Let’s put a stop to the rifling around and start using a purse light. This 3-pack of innovative LED lights turns on automatically as soon as your hand approaches it so you can easily see all of the contents in your handbag. It’s a unique and practical way to save time from rummaging around, so you can get on with your day!

The SOI Purse Light with Automatic Sensor gives off a white translucent glow and has a polished finish. It has a convenient auto-shut-off feature that turns off ten seconds after you’re done searching your bag. Its elegant, circular design is nice and compact so that it will fit perfectly in most handbags.

You can also use this LED purse light in your suitcase, backpack, camping tent, and other dimly lit areas where you need a little light. Since you get three in each order, you can place them in multiple bags for the ultimate convenience. Its battery capacity lasts through approximately 6,000 cycles (1.5 to 2 years), so it’s something you can use for a long time!

This purse light scored an impressive 4.3-star rating on Amazon. One happy customer says, “I love being able to dig in my bag and find something. I love that the light is oval, not a cumbersome ball. I’m completely satisfied.”

Add some more light into your life and get this automatic round light for your handbag while it’s on sale today for only $24.99. You’ll love how much easier you’ll be able to find anything and everything inside that seemingly bottomless bag of yours.

Prices subject to change.

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