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What a coronavirus pandemic looks like when you don’t have internet

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How Covid-19 misinformation is still spreading online

They told him a deadly virus “like whooping cough” that gripped the country and even hit the nearby city of Maicao. But he doubted it was very close to home. “I don’t know if this is true,” said Montiel, 38, who is part of the country’s largest indigenous group, Wayuu.

When the Colombian government issued a national lockdown at the end of April, she and her husband were advised to stay home with their three children, keep their distance from others, wash their hands and wear masks to avoid the virus, which has killed more than 365,000 people worldwide.

But for Montiels, the order to stay home is a type of death sentence itself.

Before locking, Angela occasionally refills the SIM card to use WhatsApp, but hasn’t been able to recharge since locking. Without an internet connection, there is no way to “work remotely”. Angela knits Wayuu’s traditional mochila bags but she cannot sell them on the street under current limits.

For now, his family survived an emergency cash payment from the non-governmental organization Mercy Corps. It is not possible for her children to continue their education from home without access to school material online. As for updates, they are waiting for phone calls from friends or family, who might bring news. Otherwise they are in the dark.

“Seeing that we don’t have TV, internet or anything, we don’t know whether that is still happening or whether it will continue, so obviously we can’t go or move,” Montiel said. “We are desperate.”

Based on UN estimates, nearly half of the global population – 46% – is still not connected to the internet. For them, lockdown means losing direct access to vital public health information, remote employment opportunities, online learning, telemedicine appointments, digital food delivery, live-streamed religious services – weddings, and even funerals – as well as many other ways we increasingly live our lives online.

Governments around the world have committed to provide universal access by 2020, but the digital divide is still running in and expanding the gap offline as well.

People in poorer areas are less likely to connect, as are women, the elderly and those who live in remote or rural areas. And in many cases, connectivity can be tenuous – the closure of offices, schools or public spaces, such as libraries and cafes, has severed access for many people.

“We always say that there are around 3.5 billion people who are not connected, but we know that there are more now, because quite a lot of people who used to be connected in their workplaces and other public spaces no longer have that access,” Eleanor Sarpong said, deputy director at Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI).

“Covid-19 has shown that there is a huge gap, and it is really shocking for some governments. When they ask their employees to go to work from home … many of them can’t.”

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Sarpong hopes the crisis will penetrate long-standing barriers to internet access – from lack of political will to regulatory hurdles and data affordability – to make more of the world connected.

A4AI, a World Wide Web Foundation initiative, founded by Tim Berners-Lee, recently shared a series of policy recommendations, urging governments, companies and civil society to take urgent action to bring as many people online as possible during the pandemic. Among their direct recommendations are: remove consumer tax on internet services; cut data costs for public websites; provide affordable data packages; expanding broadband benefits; and launch a free public wifi infrastructure. Some have already taken these steps.

“The government needs to see internet access, not as a luxury, but to see it as an enabler that can change their economy … I think that’s a call for them,” Sarpong said.

Digital gender gap

Digital technology has rapidly revolutionized life as we know it. But not everyone gets the same benefits, and many are left behind due to lack of infrastructure, literacy and training.

In the most developed countries in the world, it’s fair 19% of people are online. Men are 21% more likely than women to be connected – and that the gender gap is only widening.

In India, an aggressive approach to digitalization has moved most of the benefits of online government – from rations to pensions. Even before the pandemic, the poorest country in the country relied on digital, even though half of the population was offline.

The pandemic only magnifies the irony of the situation.

When the crisis hit and 1.3 billion Indians were locked up, the country’s informal economy came to a halt. So when the government announced it would send cash transfers directly to vulnerable women, widows, senior citizens and disabled people for three months starting April 1, that was good news. But, stuck at home without a smartphone, many cannot access 500 to 1,000 rupees ($ 6 to $ 13) in assistance.
People wait outside the bank when locked in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, on April 9.

Lal Bai, a 65-year-old widow living in a remote village in Rajasthan, cannot travel five miles to the nearest town to withdraw government cash, and has no means to access government funds online, so she soon finds herself without food left at home.

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Confused, Bai ended up at the door of Ombati Prajapati, who manages a digital service shop in her village. “He’s the only one who will help me.”

Prajapati is among 10,000 “soochnapreneurs,” or digital entrepreneurs, who have been trained and supported by Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), an NGO based in New Delhi, in a rural area of ​​the country. In the midst of locking up, they help provide important digital services, including remote banking, which allows people like Bai to withdraw cash using cellular biometric ATMs. And they even help fight misinformation.

“Only because of the internet can I see what is happening and tell others that they must regularly wash their hands with soap, use cleanser, wear masks,” Prajapati said, 27. “I will not be able to help one of these people [if I had not learned how to use the internet]. I can’t even help myself. “

Osama Manzar, a social entrepreneur and founder of DEF, said that their job training like Prajapati has shown how important it is to have digital infrastructure available up to the last mile – especially during disasters.

“Connectivity and access to the internet must be part of human rights. That must be considered, in times of pandemics and disasters, just as you provide access to food or water, there must be a way to provide access to data,” Manzar said.

Problems for rich countries too

The digital divide has long been considered a development problem. But the pandemic highlights that rich countries also suffer from digital shortages.

More than four out of 10 low-income households in America do not have access to broadband services, according to research by Pew. And in the UK, 1.9 million households do not have access to the internet, while tens of millions of others rely on pay-as-you-go services to get online.

“Sometimes people talk about Covid-19 as a great leveler. But actually, the way people experience locking is not at all the same,” said Helen Milner, chief executive Good Things Foundation, a British charity that works with the government to get more people online.
The breeding ground surprised America for inequality: the Internet

“Digital exclusion, for many, is only an extension of the social exclusion they face, and poverty is clearly part of it.”

The British Government has recently launched a number of initiatives to help try and overcome digital exceptions. Among the schemes is a new campaign, DevicesDotNow, which asks businesses to donate devices, sims and mobile hotspots. The Good Things Foundation helps provide tools to those in need, and helps with training. So far, they have distributed nearly 2,000 tablets
Among the recipients was Annette Addison, who lives alone in a flat in Birmingham, central England and uses a wheelchair to get around. Before locking, he will go to the local community center to access the internet and get help with disability payments. But without a smartphone, he said he felt isolated and in the dark about its beneficial status.

“I didn’t overcome it at all. I was very lonely and depressed when the lockdown first started, but because I had taken a tablet … when I felt lonely, I could talk to my grandchildren or my daughter. I always connected with them, because they always online. “

Why rural Americans have difficulty working from home

On May 1, Addison was 60 years old. He celebrates with his grandchildren via video chat on his new iPad – the same iPad that he now uses to check his support portal. And he recently signed up for a dating site. “I feel like a teenager,” he said.

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But when the government tries to launch digital services to the most needy, the question remains: Who gets the device and who doesn’t?

Hafsha Shaikh, founder SmartLyte, the digital skills center that distributes devices to Addison, said it was a question that haunted him.

“The device is not only about direct support for Covid, but it is about opening gates, for parents and families, for aspirations and opportunities,” Shaikh said. There are currently 1,500 on the waiting list.

“The biggest challenge is, who should I choose?”

Swati Gupta and Jack Guy from CNN contributed to this report.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets Ptix.bm For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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CRISTANO RONALDO CAN MAKE UP A GIANT IN CARIOCA AND PORTUGUESE TECHNICIAN SAYS ‘There will be room’

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CRISTANO RONALDO CAN MAKE UP A GIANT IN CARIOCA AND PORTUGUESE TECHNICIAN SAYS 'There will be room'

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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