Pink Reveals She Tested Positive For Coronavirus

Pink took to Instagram to share that she tested positive for coronavirus but has since recovered

As the novel coronavirus continues its spread, more and more famous names are coming out with the news that it’s touched their lives too. The latest is Pink, who just revealed on Instagram that she tested positive for the virus two weeks ago but has since tested negative.

“Two weeks ago my three-year old son, Jameson, and I are were showing symptoms of COVID-19. Fortunately, our primary care physician had access to tests and I tested positive,” she writes. “My family was already sheltering at home and we continued to do so for the last two weeks following the instruction of our doctor. Just a few days ago we were re-tested and are now thankfully negative.”

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Two weeks ago my three-year old son, Jameson, and I are were showing symptoms of COVID-19. Fortunately, our primary care physician had access to tests and I tested positive. My family was already sheltering at home and we continued to do so for the last two weeks following the instruction of our doctor. Just a few days ago we were re-tested and are now thankfully negative. It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible. This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities. In an effort to support the healthcare professionals who are battling on the frontlines every day, I am donating $500,000 to the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in Philadelphia in honor of my mother, Judy Moore, who worked there for 18 years in the Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center. Additionally, I am donating $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund. THANK YOU to all of our healthcare professionals and everyone in the world who are working so hard to protect our loved ones. You are our heroes! These next two weeks are crucial: please stay home. Please. Stay. Home.❤

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The pop star then acknowledges her privilege in being tested as soon as she fell ill — and stressed that it needs to be that easily available to everyone. “It is an absolute travesty and failure of our government to not make testing more widely accessible,” she says. “This illness is serious and real. People need to know that the illness affects the young and old, healthy and unhealthy, rich and poor, and we must make testing free and more widely accessible to protect our children, our families, our friends and our communities.”

After being effected personally by the virus, Pink wanted to give back. “In an effort to support the healthcare professionals who are battling on the frontlines every day, I am donating $500,000 to the Temple University Hospital Emergency Fund in Philadelphia in honor of my mother, Judy Moore, who worked there for 18 years in the Cardiomyopathy and Heart Transplant Center. Additionally, I am donating $500,000 to the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Emergency COVID-19 Crisis Fund,” she shares.

She wrapped up her post by expressing gratitude for healthcare providers and pleading for the rest of us to continue social distancing. “THANK YOU to all of our healthcare professionals and everyone in the world who are working so hard to protect our loved ones. You are our heroes! These next two weeks are crucial: please stay home. Please. Stay. Home.”

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Taking A Hot Bath May Be The Workout You Need Right Now

I am often tempted to fill the tub and take a long, hot soak. But then my kids scream and remind me how naïve I am to think I can enjoy such pleasures. Taking a bubble bath with kids around is about as relaxing as trying to do anything with kids around. Even if they are asleep or out of the house, I feel guilty about wasting water in an attempt to take time for myself while sitting in my own stew. Science is helping me reframe the way I view hot baths, however. If I call it “passive heating” I can call it a supplement to healthy living. That’s right, friends: sitting in a tub of hot water offers the benefits of a gentle workout.

There is no arguing that exercise is good for us; it provides both mental and physical health benefits. Boosting our mood while reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, some cancers, and diabetes seems like a no-brainer. However, not everyone can exercise. Chronic pain and physical limitations make it difficult for some folks to move in ways that would provide the boosts they need to their brain and body. Researchers are examining the benefits of passive heating: raising the body’s core temperature through sedentary acts like soaking in a hot bath, hot tub, or sauna. The findings are cool.

A study done at Loughborough University measured and compared the body’s blood sugar control and energy expended after both an hour long soak in a hot tub or an hour long bike ride. The cycling burned more calories, but the overall blood sugar response was nearly the same. After eating, however, the peak blood sugar measurements were ten percent lower in folks who were in the hot bath vs. the folks who biked. While I am not suggesting a bath is better than a bike ride, evidence in this case is suggesting that it is better in some ways. Do what you will with that information.

Another benefit of exercise is inflammation reduction, which seems counter-intuitive. Movement actually creates inflammation, but then our body’s anti-inflammatory system kicks in. For those who don’t have a strong anti-inflammatory system, though, chronic inflammation settles in and leads to pain, arthritis, obesity, and diabetes. If exercise causes pain which contributes to more pain, I don’t think I would want to move my body much either. But folks can force their temperatures to increase with outside forces and still get some of the anti-inflammatory benefits.

Research has shown that hot water immersion treatments raise the levels of the inflammatory chemical called interleukin. Nitric oxide in the blood increased too. This improves blood flow and the movement of glucose through the body; the body’s tissues’ ability to take up glucose improves as well, which is vital for people with type 2 diabetes. Inflammation and type 2 diabetes are closely linked. People with type 2 diabetes have elevated levels of cytokine inside fat tissue which causes inflammation and reduces the body’s ability to appropriately regulate insulin. When the body becomes resistant to insulin, inflammation results and the dangerous cycle continues. While passive heating can’t cure diabetes or replace anti-inflammatory diet and exercise, it can help.

Anyone else as fascinated as I am? I am drawing a hot bath right now.

The nitric acid I mentioned earlier that causes blood vessels to dilate and blood pressure to drop is why pregnant folks are supposed to avoid hot tubs; if the body gets too hot a person can experience hyperthermia. This increases the pregnant person’s already high risk of dizziness, dehydration, and low blood pressure. But for a person at risk for high blood pressure, passive heating can improve cardiovascular health. One study compared the effects of passive heating on a body to what happens when our temperature rises while running on a treadmill; results showed that heart rate peaked at a lower rate during water immersion but femoral artery rate was higher than after treadmill use. Both signaled beneficial cardiovascular effects.

An interesting fact about hypertension in what the study called “young people” was that while exercise is a primary treatment for high blood pressure, it doesn’t have much or any effect on this population. However, studies found that heat therapy is capable of lowering blood pressure in “young, normotensive individuals” and can “prove more powerful than exercise alone as a treatment for hypertension.”

A hot bath may be just what your body needs right now. Perhaps you are too tired or sore to exercise; you don’t have the physical or emotional strength to do more than sit. That is totally okay. Passive heating shouldn’t replace that workout, walk, or bike ride all of the time, but it offers many benefits when we can’t get ourselves to move. Also, hot baths help us sleep better, relieve joint, muscle, and headache pain. Labor pain is reduced using water immersion. A bath can help us balance our hormones and improve our urinary tract and gastrointestinal health.

Put the kids in front of a movie, grab a book, some bubble bath or essential oils if that’s your thing, and enjoy the benefits of passive heating in the privacy of your bathroom. If you have a hot tub, get your money’s worth. I don’t have one, but I can call it an investment in my health if I purchase one, right? We can all benefit from lower blood pressure, improved health, and better sleep right now. Happy soaking, friends.

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If You Have No Energy Or Motivation Right Now, You’re Not Alone

Like the rest of the country, my family and I have been under social distancing lockdown for more than two and a half weeks now. When the news came down that everything was cancelled, our once-packed schedule suddenly looked a hell of a lot more empty. Basketball games were removed from the calendar, as was running around town to various baseball practices. Errands were deemed impossible (or at least completely unnecessary). Spring break travel plans vanished, which meant we had a week at home with pretty much nothing to do.

For a fleeting moment, it sounded like an introvert’s dream. I could hunker down at home with my favorite people. I wouldn’t have to run around town from one activity to the next. We could sleep a little later because school was canceled and work could be done from home. Maybe I could finally reorganize the basement or finish the book that had been sitting on my nightstand for a month.

But what I quickly realized was that all that so-called “free time” social distancing seemed to create was now jam-packed with fretting, worrying, and debilitating anxiety.

Sure, I could read a book – if I could only stop thinking about COVID-19 for ten damn minutes. Which is apparently impossible.

I no longer have to be up at the ass-crack of dawn to get my teenager out the door, but I’m still up at dawn in a sweat thinking about the latest news developments. I’m no longer running from one kids’ activity to the next; instead I’m clicking from one news article to the next. Instead of feeling overwhelmed with activities and obligations, I’m overwhelmed by an anxiety-ridden paralysis.

I’m a constant daze. I’m confused and exhausted. I have no idea what day it is, let alone what I should be doing.

I say all of this with full acknowledgement of the privilege that I have. I live in a safe home with family I love. We are healthy. My extended family is also safe and healthy. Our careers aren’t in jeopardy. And I’m an introvert who genuinely enjoys being at home.

The internet is filled with people telling me that I should be grateful. And I am. But there’s also oodles of advice on how we should be living our lives during this strange time. We should be organizing our closets. We should be FaceTiming old friends. What a great time to take up painting or learn how to play the keyboard.

But what these well-intentioned nuggets of advice forget to take into account is that some of us are struggling with debilitating anxiety. Some of us aren’t sleeping, and even if we are, we’re physically and emotionally exhausted. Some of us — especially the empaths among us — are literally in tears about the anguish that others are facing even though it is not directly impacting our own. We know we should stop watching the news incessantly and need to get off social media, but we just can’t. 

These suggestions about how to use this time more “wisely” just adds to our guilt and anxiety and sadness. Advice to “make the most of it” and “be grateful we don’t have it worse,” while well-intentioned and true (because many of us are incredibly privileged) don’t acknowledge the realities of human emotions.

There are no Struggle Olympics. Someone’s sadness, anxiety, or disappointment isn’t invalidated because someone has it worse. And it is possible to be both incredibly grateful for your situation and to also feel lost, confused, and heartbroken about what is happening. Both. And.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bemoaning the “look on the bright side” mentality. If you’re one of those people who are seizing the “silver linings” that mandated social distancing brings, that’s fabulous. If you’re checking things off your list, great.

But if you’re just making it through the day, that’s also okay. These are weird and scary times. So let’s be kind — including to ourselves.

Give yourself permission to cry once a day (or more), if you need to. For no reason at all. The current upheaval of life as we had known it is enough.

Give yourself permission to spend a day sleeping or staring out the window. Let go of the pressure to be productive, and be satisfied with making it to the end of the day without losing your shit.

We’re being asked to face things we’ve never had to face before, and it’s terrifying. Some of us are trying to homeschool kids while holding down a job. Some of us are struggling with an underlying anxiety condition that has been kicked into high gear by current events. Some of us need a little more time than others to adjust to a “new normal.”

That is okay. One more time: that is okay.

There is no “right” way to deal with a global pandemic. (Other than staying at home and following the advice of medical experts, of course). So be gentle with yourself. Go easy. If you’re lacking in motivation or energy, you aren’t alone.

One way or another, we will make it through this.

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Mother-Daughter Time Helped Me Reconnect With My Teen

On the shores of the Mediterranean, I tossed my shoes and got as close to the sea as I could for a good photo. When the waves crashed, I couldn’t move. My feet were stuck in the muck of the wet sand and the sea pushed me back on my bum. I had a wet dress and dripping backside. It was a small marina in Barcelona where my teen daughter and I were strolling the shore headed to dinner while taking a break from the group of her eighth grade school trip. She was trying to help me up and we were both laughing. I would just have to eat in a damp dress. This is just one of the memories the two of us have of that trip. Despite the awkward teen years and the changes they bring, connecting with your teen can be accomplished and enjoyed.

Teenagers can be a real pill, or at least require you to need one. They can be loving and fun Friday night then surly, mean, and incorrigible Saturday morning. This transition from child to adult, as miraculous and metamorphic as it is, requires love and guidance, and an incredible amount of patience.

From the research I’ve read and other parenting stories, my 15-year-old daughter is a typical teen. She has a circle of friends, good grades, school activities, and even listens to me at times. She is dramatic, emotional, and will sequester herself in her room all night listening to music and Snapchatting with her friends. To keep communication open between us, I’ll ask her to join me for “girl time,” whether shopping, visiting friends, walking the dog, or a slip into Starbucks. One such outing, however, led her sharing news from school and friends more candidly with me, even revealing a few things I’m not sure I wanted to know. It was during a one-night mother-daughter trip that I learned more about her insecurities and some real worries that she had been carrying around. Because there were no distractions from the day-to-day tasks, she was open and receptive to sharing.

Mother and daughter
Courtesy of Elizabeth Dardes

I told her a few things that had happened to me when I was her age. She could relate to the friend I thought I could trust, the group of mean girls from my high school, and the jealous girl who tried to sabotage a tryout I had. I told her that I was always available for her and that she could tell me anything. The mini-trip really brought us closer together.

According to Harvard Medical School, a mother-daughter trip taken once a year can help relieve stress, improve immune responses, and decrease the chances of heart disease for mother and daughter. Spending time together outside of your routine day can make it easier to laugh, talk, and engage. Just as important as change in general, trips improve health and increase longevity. A new, exciting adventure challenges the mind to navigate the unknown, leading to healthy new brain activity. Schedule changes, transportation, new scenery, and simply the anticipation and preparation for a trip all lead to vigorous brain function and personal growth.

Our trip was to a nearby city where we stayed just one night and acted like tourists for two days. We made our own itinerary, walked for miles each day, explored, took photos, and spent every minute together, not only learning about the city, but learning about each other. We budgeted, discussed the agenda and our interests, got tired, grumpy, and annoyed sometimes, but relied on one another because we had to.

Mother and daughter
Courtesy of Elizabeth Dardes

Stepping away from the daily routine of home, work, and school granted us discovery and excitement and ability to share these immediately with each other. Traveling replaces the ordinary and the predictable, and reveals character traits that may not be present at home. When something goes awry, which it usually does, mothers and daughters discover one another’s resilience and resourcefulness. Traveling instills independence and encourages self-confidence, and ideally for young people, it presents the array of career choices the world has to offer. teens, when exploring and traveling, step away from social media, engage with others, learn flexibility, make decisions and observe the rand scale of experiences and opportunities available in the world. No other experience offers so much for your teen.

Tiny toes of toddlers and babies with little bald heads getting pushed in strollers and being held on shoulders are for whole family trips to Disney, camping, and the beach. Those early vacation years are for unifying and solidifying the family. When my second son was born, I regularly made ice cream or bookstore dates with my first son who was four. I would make mention of the “date” to him throughout the week so he would know how excited I was for this upcoming one-on-one time with just him. Perhaps this recent little city trip, this one-on-one was similar. The anticipation made it exciting, even if it was only an overnight trip. Whether a new state or country or a nearby city, the trip offers adventure and a refresh for what can often by trying times during the teen years. The two of us alone in an unfamiliar place made us both a bit vulnerable, and what I believe, was a comfortable setting for talking and sharing. Perhaps this idea will become a lifelong tradition for the two of us. I hope so. In the the meantime, we’ve got many places near and far to explore, and I’ve got more stories to tell, before she finally flies on her own.

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The New Wendy’s Baconator Breakfast Sandwich Is The Best Way To Break Your Fast

I’ve always loved breakfast sandwiches. It’s my go-to when I want to splurge and I’ve tried every fast food, convenience store, and homemade variety out there. I prefer sausage over bacon (ever so slightly because they are both necessary in my life) and am well aware you can add bacon to a sausage sandwich, but I’ve always been a bit self conscious about doing that.

I mean, it’s one thing to ask for extra cheese or guac, and quite another to request meat on meat, you know what I’m saying?

But now, you don’t have to choose because there’s a new way to consume pork with a side of pork for breakfast at Wendy’s. And if your palate is anything like mine, it’s going to make your life better. 

I love the Baconator burger from Wendy’s. I had my first one while I was pregnant with my third child on a Thursday afternoon and was back by Saturday for another one. Go with a shit ton of bacon or go home, right?

So, when I saw the commercial for the new Baconator breakfast sandwich I knew I’d like it. There’s bacon, there’s sausage, there’s egg, there’s cheese, and it’s all snuggled inside a shiny bun. (I love shiny things because it means they’ve been polished, buffed, or buttered.)

I tend to do my best work in the AM and I sped out the door extra early on Saturday morning so my three teenagers would still be asleep when I left and I wouldn’t have to share I’d have a clear head and could report back to you without leaving out any details. 

I was starving and as soon I opened the package I was kind of sad it wasn’t as big as my head, but also pleased it was the perfect size as not to induce the meat sweats. You can always get seconds anyway.

Courtesy of Katie Smith

Right there in front of my eyes was a full-bodied meal. And oh, was the bun glistening just like in the commercial. It wasn’t greasy or soggy, just sparkling with flavor. This sandwich was thick and loaded with bacon. Good, sturdy bacon which was cooked perfectly. It’s not the kind of pale brown meat that turns to ash as soon as you touch it. These strips had the perfect hiding spots to catch the melted cheese.

You taste everything at first bite. The sausage patty is hardy and the same size as the bun which is good because who likes having to search for the sausage? 

The egg was fluffy with lots of white and a large, well done (but not quite over-done) yolk, which is perfect according to me since I’m not a fan of runny eggs. 

But the best thing about this sandwich was the thin layer Swiss cheese sauce on the top bun. Now, if you are like me you don’t like Swiss cheese and perhaps you just threw up in your mouth a little bit and want to break up with this breakfast before even trying it, hold the phone: Had I even known it came with the sauce, I would have asked for it without, but everything happens for a reason. I was meant to taste that cheese so I could open my mind and spread the good news.

Courtesy of Katie Smith

I’m here to tell you, that magical Swiss sauce was what made my taste buds alert the rest of my body dreams really do come true. It didn’t have a sharp taste like Swiss does. It was a thin, creamy layer that didn’t overpower. Its job was to accentuate the taste of the egg and the meat, which it did beautifully. 

Who knew fast food could be so complex. I really should be a food critic. 

I thought about saving some for my son– he loves sausage and bacon– but before I knew it, I put the last bite of meat and shiny bun in my mouth and figured bringing my kids back to try it would be a good excuse for me to get another one. 

After I ate it, I went to the grocery store, cleaned my house, took a shower, and dragged my three kids around to do errands. My point is, I didn’t go into a food coma and want to take to the sofa the way I do sometimes when I’ve overdone it with pig meats and carbs. There was one night I ate three bacon dogs and it didn’t end well, but this was nothing like that. 

But even if it was, I’d sacrifice myself to taste how wonderfully the meats, cheese, and sauce played together. So, if you’re looking for a new reason to get up in the morning, you now have it. 

You are welcome. 

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CDC Now Recommends That Americans Wear Cloth Face Masks In Public

CDC publishes guidelines on wearing cloth face masks in public

After a lot of hemming and hawing on the topic of wearing face masks in public, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has officially recommended that all Americans wear non-medical face masks in public. The CDC, in tandem with the federal government, announced on Friday, April 3, 2020, that we should all be wearing cloth face masks in public, and especially in spaces where it’s difficult to maintain six feet of distance, like the grocery store.

According to the CDC, the reason for the recommendation is that “recent studies [show] that a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (‘pre-symptomatic’) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.” This means that many people with coronavirus will not have any symptoms, so they continue to move about society, unknowingly spreading the disease. Wearing a mask isn’t to protect you from catching the virus, but rather, to prevent you from spreading it to someone else, but if we all do our part and wear a mask, we can work to flatten the curve.

The CDC made it clear that the masks they are referring to are non-medical cloth masks. Do not stockpile surgical masks or N-95 respirators — assuming you can find any — as those are “critical supplies that must continue to be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders,” according to the CDC.

“It is critical to emphasize that maintaining 6-feet social distancing remains important to slowing the spread of the virus,” the CDC stated. “CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure.”

Despite the fact that the federal government is now recommending Americans wear face coverings in public, Trump also stated that the CDC’s guidelines are voluntary and that he probably wouldn’t partake.

“I don’t think I’m going to be doing it,” Trump said on Friday (via CNN). “Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens — I just don’t see it.”

Despite the new guidelines, it’s not that easy to acquire a mask right now. Most Etsy and Amazon retailers won’t ship their masks until mid-April, and not everyone knows how to sew their own. However, there are options. Despite Trump’s refusal to wear a mask of his own, he suggested wearing a scarf or a bandana around your mouth, which appears to be cosigned by the CDC. There are also some no-sew mask hacks that have gone viral online.

The biggest takeaway here is that we all continue to practice social distancing. Wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can drop the six feet rule. Continue isolating at home except for necessary excursions, wash your hands regularly, and don’t touch your face. Stay safe out there.

Information about COVID-19 is rapidly changing, and Scary Mommy is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. With news being updated so frequently, some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For this reason, we are encouraging readers to use online resources from local public health departments, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization to remain as informed as possible.

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Bus Driver Dies Of Coronavirus After Posting Video About Passenger’s Cough

Two weeks after posting a video about a passenger coughing on his bus, driver Jason Hargrove died of COVID-19 complications

On March 21, a Detroit-based bus driver named Jason Hargrove posted a concerning video to Facebook. In the video, the 50-year-old public service worker described a woman on his bus who coughed without covering her mouth (like you’re supposed to even if you aren’t sick). In the video, Hargrove says, “This coronavirus shit is for real and we out here as public workers, doing our job trying to make an honest living to take care of our families. But for you to get on the bus… and cough several times without covering up your mouth and you know that we in the middle of a pandemic; that lets me know that some folks don’t care.”

On April 2, about two weeks after the incident, Hargrove passed away from COVID-19 complications. According to a tweet from Amalgamated Transit Union, he leaves behind his wife, Desha Johnson-Hargrove.

“There’s folks dying out here because of this shit. Listen, I’m mad right about now, because that shit was uncalled for and I’m trying to be the professional that they want me to be, and I kept my mouth closed,” Hargrove said in his video, addressing the fact that he did not confront the coughing passenger. According to Hargrove, there were at least eight or nine other passengers on the bus at the time.

The video has gone viral and can serve as a plea to others about the importance of taking precautions if they’re showing symptoms. People like Hargrove are putting themselves at risk to continue doing their jobs and it’s important that others are as safe as they can be when it comes to staying home if they’re symptomatic. Of course, it can’t be known whether or not Hargrove contracted the virus from that passenger in particular. Per the Guardian, the president of the local transit union stated that Hargrove started to feel symptoms “just a few days after he posted the video.”

On March 23, Hargrove posted an update to Facebook, in which he wrote, “If you don’t think this is real I’ve been self quarantine for 14 days due to exposure to the virus!! People stay home.” People have been flocking to Hargrove’s Facebook with condolences to his family.

In a press conference, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan stated, “Everybody in Detroit and everybody in America should watch [his video]. He knew his life was being put in jeopardy, even though he was going to work for the citizens of Detroit every day, by somebody who just didn’t care — somebody didn’t take this seriously — and how he’s gone.”

On April 2, Hargrove’s wife posted an update to Facebook, sharing screenshots of the texts she was trying to send her husband. “All I wanted was a text back. This is so UNFAIR & I WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN!!,” she wrote.

The moral of this devastating story is to Stay. The eff. At home. Stay home if you’re feeling fine (unless it’s absolutely essential that you leave the house — and do so carefully), and definitely stay home if you’re experiencing any kind of symptoms. COVID-19 is proving to possibly be more contagious than initially thought with researchers believing it may even pass through breathing and talking, not just sneezes and coughs, and even if we do take proper precautions like washing our hands, there’s still a potential risk.

While the Hargrove family has not asked for donations or help with resources, Hargrove’s wife Desha owns an accessories website, where you can buy jewelry. If you feel like personally supporting Desha during this incredibly hard time, you could check out her store and purchase something.

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What You Need To Know About Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Here is everything you need to know about coronavirus impact payments, courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service

With the unemployment rate skyrocketing and the economy suffering due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, many people in the United States are relying on the Federal government for financial reprieve. On March 27, President Donald Trump signed the historic $2 trillion stimulus package in order to help the economy and the American people survive the financial impact of the health crisis. In addition to helping out businesses, a huge part of the plan involves the distribution of funds to individuals who qualify. If you happen to fall into that category — or if you aren’t sure if you do — you likely have a lot of questions, including when and how you will receive the funds and whether you need to do anything to get them. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service has answered many of them.

In a March 30 release, the IRS explained that the distribution of economic impact payments will begin in the next three weeks, “automatically, with no action required for most people,” they explained. “However, some taxpayers who typically do not file returns will need to submit a simple tax return to receive the economic impact payment.”

But first of all, who is even eligible for the economic impact payment? According to the IRS, tax filers with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 for individuals and up to $150,000 for married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment. In case you are curious, adjusted gross income is defined as “gross income minus adjustments to income.” For example, it includes your wages, dividends, capital gains, business income, retirement distributions with adjustment including such items as Educator expenses, Student loan interest, Alimony payments, or contributions to a retirement account.

For filers who earn over those amounts, the payment amount will be reduced by $5 for each $100 above the $75,000/$150,000 thresholds. As for single filers with income over $99,000 and $198,000 for joint filers with no children, they will not be eligible. Additionally, “Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a tax return are also eligible and will not be required to file a return.”

If you are an eligible taxpayer who filed tax returns for either 2019 or 2018, you will automatically receive an economic impact payment of up to $1,200 for individuals or $2,400 for married couples, as well as up to $500 for each qualifying child.

They reiterate: “The vast majority of people do not need to take any action. The IRS will calculate and automatically send the economic impact payment to those eligible.” If you have already filed your 2019 tax return, that will be used to calculate your payment. If not, they will use the information from your 2018 return.

How will you get the money? The IRS explains that they money will be deposited directly into the same banking account reflected on the return filed. If the bank doesn’t have your direct deposit information, sit tight. “In the coming weeks, Treasury plans to develop a web-based portal for individuals to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so that individuals can receive payments immediately as opposed to checks in the mail,” they continue.

Okay, so you are not typically required to file a tax return. You can still get your payment. “The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments to recipients of benefits reflected in the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 who are not required to file a tax return and did not file a return for 2018 or 2019,” they explain. “This includes senior citizens, Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are not otherwise required to file a tax return.”

Also for those who have a tax filing obligation but have not filed their tax return for 2018 or 2019, they too can get a check. “The IRS urges anyone with a tax filing obligation who has not yet filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019 to file as soon as they can to receive an economic impact payment,” they explain, “Taxpayers should include direct deposit banking information on the return.”

One more important piece of information, is that if you still need to file a return in order to get a check, you have the rest of 2020 to do so.

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HBO Is Making A Ton Of Programming Free To Non-Subscribers

The free programming is part of HBO’s #StayHomeBoxOffice initiative

In advance of launching the new streaming service, HBO Max, HBO is doing their part to ease us into our new quarantine life by making 500 hours of programming available for free for a limited time. The promotion kicks off today, April 3, so you’ve already got your weekend plans all set.

Even if you’re currently a non-subscriber, you can stream series like Veep, The Wire, Succession, Barry, Silicon Valley, Ballers, and even some old-school hits like The Sopranos and Six Feet Under.

The promotion also includes an assortment of popular HBO documentaries and Warner Bros. movies — so there’s plenty for the whole family, too: Pokemon Detective Pikachu, Happy Feet 2, Smallfoot, and The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part will give your children something to do other than beat each other up and ask you for their 500th snack of the day.

While we’re all strictly abiding by our stay-at-home directives (if you’re not, shame on you), television streaming has been, obviously, a hugely popular way to kill some time. HBO, owned by WarnerMedia, is just one of the many companies hopping on board to make some of its programming available at no cost to non-customers. Amazon and Broadway HD are also giving us a break with some quality, free programming to get us through our quarantine blues and distract us from, oh, I don’t know *gestures widely at everything.*

The Verge reports that the television industry as a whole saw a 20 percent increase last week compared to the month before, and that HBO Now alone saw the highest usage on its platform since summer. The percentage of people binge-viewing series has increased 65 percent, while movie watching is up 70 percent on HBO Now.

Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, told CNN that Netflix has seen a surge in streams. Third-party companies have reported seeing massive increases in usage and subscription signups for streaming platforms like Disney Plus. YouTube Gaming saw a 15 percent growth in viewership now that everyone is at home — and parents are working from home. We do not have childcare, so streaming is now kind of that.

Prior to the official launch of HBOMax in May, this is a pretty smart move for the company. It’s showing non-subscribers what they can get if they sign up for it, which will cost $14.99 per month.

Starting today, the all-access offer runs for the month of April. Enjoy your old favorites and some new ones while we’re all safe at home for the next four weeks/months/years.

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Ryan Reynolds Says Life At Home With 3 Daughters Includes ‘Mostly Drinking’

Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively have also donated significant portions of money to coronavirus relief efforts

During an appearance on the at-home edition of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert this week, Ryan Reynolds hilariously opened up about what life is like at home with Blake Lively and their three daughters while we’re all quarantining.

Reynolds and Lively have three little girls: James, 5, Inez, 3, and a yet-to-be-pubicly-named baby, 8 months. As many of us are finding out, three kids under five at home 24/7 is… a lot. He says his girls currently all love hot pink and wearing dresses “all day.” So, how’s the Deadpool star coping?

Well for one thing, he loves the company of all girls. “I do not miss masculine company at all. Really, most men tend to be the architects of someone’s demise,” he said. “So, it’s fine. I like just being here with the girls. I like doing the girl stuff.”

Even better, Reynolds lets the girls embrace their own interests. “I try not to push gender-normative ideas on my kids as they’re born, but each one when they came out that shoot, they wanted to make dresses, they wanted to dress in hot pink all day. So, that’s what I do. This morning I made dresses out of tissue paper, which was fun for them. Not bad at all.”

As for homeschooling, well he and Lively are giving it about as much of a “go” as we all are. “We’re lucky enough to have a little tiny garden,” he added. “So, we’re learning a little bit about gardening. We’re trying to make this an educational experience, but I’m mostly drinking.”

Aside from just trying to keep their kids entertained, he and Lively have put their money where their mouth is in terms of giving to coronavirus relief efforts. The couple donated $1 million that was split between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.

They also donated $100,000 to each of the following four hospitals in New York: Elmhurst, NYU Hospital, Mount Sinai and Northern Westchester. They’re also donating 30 percent of the proceeds from Reynolds’ Aviation American Gin bottle sales to bartenders until May 1. If that wasn’t enough, Reynolds’ wireless carrier company, Mint Mobile, is providing customers with free unlimited data until May 14.

And since even celebrities are without access to their hairstylists for the time being, Reynolds has that problem covered: Blake Lively will be handling his next haircut. And honestly, the way he describes it is comedy gold.

“She’s done this once before,” he says. “It took two and a half hours. And then, at the end, it looked like she’d done the whole thing using only a lighter. Or, you know those gloves that are made of sandpaper? It would have been a little faster if she had just worn it down, like she had just rubbed my head until my hair disappeared.”

LOL. Can we quarantine with these two, please and thanks?

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