Boles joins real estate firm - Mount Airy News

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Boles joins real estate firm - Mount Airy NewsBoles joins real estate firm - Mount Airy NewsPosted: 16 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTBolesLori Boles recently joined Yadkin Valley Real Estate Inc. and Farms Land & Country Homes as a professional sales broker.As a new Yadkin Valley Real Estate Broker, she will be assisting buyers and sellers with their residential and commercial real estate needs in the Mount Airy and surrounding areas. Under the Farms Land and Country homes banner, she'll be assisting buyers and sellers of rural properties in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Yadkin Valley appellation. Boles is a member of the National, State and nearby Winston Salem Regional Association of Realtors.Boles began her real estate career in 2017 and has been a top producing real estate broker every year. Before that, she owned and operated a successful hair salon for 24 years.She lives in Pilot Mountain with her husband Richard and their two twin children. She has an older marri…

“Lockdown homeschooling: The parents who have forgotten what they learned at school - BBC News” plus 2 more

“Lockdown homeschooling: The parents who have forgotten what they learned at school - BBC News” plus 2 more


Lockdown homeschooling: The parents who have forgotten what they learned at school - BBC News

Posted: 30 Apr 2020 05:04 PM PDT

Image caption When Mum and Dad have google, it's all going to be fine...

What is the mean and how is it different from the median? How did World War One start? What's an adverb? Where does photosynthesis take place?

If you've googled any of these questions over the past few weeks, you're not alone.

Every weekday morning, parents are looking for quick refreshers to help them teach their children at home - and we've checked the fastest-growing question-based searches in Google Trends.

So what have parents forgotten since they themselves went to school? Read on and find out the answers - along with links to the BBC's Bitesize lockdown home-schooling resources.

Image copyright Google

English

What is an adverb?

It's a type of word that describes how a thing is done - "slowly", say, or "grumpily" or "reluctantly". It doesn't always end in 'ly' - "well" is an adverb.

BBC Bitesize: What is an adverb?

What is a relative clause?

It's a part of a sentence that gives information about a noun (naming word). The sentence would still be able to stand without the relative clause. For instance: "We went out for a half-hour walk, which was nowhere near long enough for the amount of energy the children had today."

BBC Bitesize: What are relative clauses?

What is alliteration?

It's a literary technique when words close to each other start with the same sound. Like: "A long, lazy lockdown morning."

BBC Bitesize: What is alliteration?

Image caption Haddy Folivi with children Temi and Emmanuel

Haddy Folivi , a mum-of-two in Essex, says her best subject at school was English, but since working in PR she has been able to rely on proof-readers, and homeschooling as a single parent has taught her how much she has forgotten.

"I've realised I'm actually quite dumb," she says. "Google is my friend right now."

Haddy is flexible about when her six-year-old and her 11-year-old do their studying.

"I'm not a teacher. I'm here to facilitate," she says.

"I'm more concerned about their emotional wellbeing - I would rather come out of this with sane children than with academically stretched, miserable children."

Maths

What is the mean?

It's a way of calculating an average by adding numbers together and dividing by the number of numbers - if Emmanuel studies for three hours a day, Temi studies for four hours a day, and Haddy works for eight hours a day, a mean of five hours' work a day is being done in the Folivi household.

BBC Bitesize: Averages

How to add fractions

If the numbers on the bottom - the denominators - are the same, just add the numbers along the top. Easy. Otherwise, you need to make an equivalent fraction, which is slightly more complicated but just requires you to know your times tables.

BBC Bitesize: Adding and subtracting fractions

What is a prime number?

It's a number that can only be divided by itself and 1.

BBC Bitesize: What are prime numbers?

It might not surprise you that searches for help with maths rise every day, much more so than other subjects.

Image caption Hard at work: Homeschooling can be a family affair

Douglas Lloyd , a dad-of-three in North London, says: "Adults these days use Excel and calculators. Even if you're numerate, you aren't forced to do these calculations."

He and his wife Estelle say they know from their work on the educational app Azoomee that parents are worried about their children falling behind, and about their children's mental health.

He says: "Parents at the moment are out of their depth and feel unqualified to be teaching.

"The patience and love teachers have is incredible."

Science

Where does photosynthesis take place?

The incredible process by which plants turn sunlight into energy mainly happens in their leaves.

BBC Bitesize: Photosynthesis

Where is DNA found?

It's in the nucleus of cells - the middle bit. It contains the genetic information for life to grow and everything living has it - from a lettuce leaf to an elephant.

BBC Bitesize: What is DNA?

Where is amylase produced?

Amylase, the digestive enzyme that breaks starch down into sugars, is made in the salivary glands and in the pancreas.

Image caption Homeschooling with the help of a tablet

BBC Bitesize: Digestive enzymes

Joel Lawson , a dad-of-four in Belfast, sits down with the whole family to learn together, as neither he nor his wife can work at the moment. Although he has three science A-levels to his name, before Easter he found himself checking online how to find the atomic number of an element.

"A quick Google and it all came back," he says. "It was quite amazing trying to remember things I knew that I knew but I never used."

His 11-year-old, Sam, is at the age when he could be doing the AQE transfer test for entry into second-level schooling, but between the pandemic and the homeschooling situation he has become so stressed out that his parents have stopped him doing practice tests and have stopped mentioning it altogether.

"The kids will suffer educationally and more importantly socially," Joel says, but "this is an interim thing - we are never going to replace the teachers".


Sniffing out COVID-19 with Google Search Trends. - Mia Husić - Elemental

Posted: 15 Apr 2020 12:00 AM PDT

"Nothing awakens reminiscence like an aroma," wrote Victor Hugo, but for many individuals affected by the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the opposite will be true.

Anosmia, or the loss of smell, is one and sometimes the only symptom many infected with COVID-19 are experiencing. This is according to a recent statement by ENT UK, an ear, nose, and throat speciality group associated with the Royal College of Surgeons of England. Anosmia is a primary symptom in a significant fraction of all mild COVID-19 cases in South Korea, and the same is true in other countries across the world. Outside of respiratory infections, loss of smell is relatively rare, making this observation particularly notable for the medical community.

Medical professionals only recently started highlighting anosmia as an indicator of COVID-19 infection — yet the symptom was there from the start. So if it's quite common, could we use it to track disease incidence?

Before we get to that, let us first ask another question.

What is one of the first things we commonly do when we notice something is a bit off about how we are feeling? We google it. About 35% of people have looked up their symptoms online, according to a summary of 32 studies on web use by patients, published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Another study, in the Western Journal of Emergency Medicine, found that up to a quarter of all emergency department patients tried some form of online search of their condition prior to visiting the hospital.

Google has made use of our search habits in the past with Google Flu Trends, a service that looked at searches for flu symptoms in order to predict the infection rate of a particular city or region. This was accomplished by looking at search trends for symptoms and terms such as fever, headache, flu, and so on. Taking a similar approach using the unique symptom of anosmia, rather than general flu-like symptoms, may be a promising avenue for predicting the global spread of COVID-19.

Our team did just that — we retrospectively looked at whether an increase in anosmia search terms correlated to an increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases soon after.

Spoiler alert: It did. In all six countries we looked at.

Looking at Google search trends from early February to late March, we noticed a dramatic worldwide spike in Google searches on terms related to "loss of smell," in various languages. In the following graph, the right vertical axis and the orange lines indicate the total number of confirmed new daily cases of COVID-19 infection between February 10th and March 23rd. The left vertical axis and the blue lines indicate Google searches related to loss of smell in the USA, Canada, France, Iran, Italy, and Spain, as reported by Google Trends (trends.google.com).

Data from https://data.humdata.org. Keywords we looked at for each country are indicated, together with the date of first publication linking COVID-19 and anosmia in corresponding language (black triangles).

As the graphs show, the increase in anosmia-related searches correlates well with the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases over time in each of these countries. The trend is especially true in countries where COVID-19 has spread earlier, such as Italy and Iran.

So, there is a clear relationship between the number of COVID-19 infections and people searching anosmia-related terms in a given country — but are they doing this because they have the symptom, or just because they see it mentioned in the news?

To answer this question, our team looked at anosmia-related Google search trends in the US before the English-language news started frequently reporting about it, around March 21st. In the map below, the darker the red, the more searches for "loss of smell" there are in a given state (normalized for each state's population).

New York. New Jersey. Michigan. Even before the phenomenon became a focal point in the news, we can see that people in the most affected areas are also the ones who were searching "loss of smell" the most. Information about anosmia as a symptom became available at the same time across the whole country, yet anosmia-related Google searches are more common in very specific states.

Michigan is particularly interesting. On March 20th it was 6th in the country, with only 549 cases, yet it is now 4th, just behind California, with growth in cases outstripping all states outside New York and New Jersey. Thus, the search trends suggest that Michigan's March 20th diagnostic numbers likely show an under-detection of cases at the time.

To look at the precise date on when anosmia-related Google searches became more frequent, we can apply a statistical model (Bayesian Changepoint Detection). We can then compare this to the dates on which media and news in various countries began publishing articles that focused heavily on loss of smell as a COVID-19 symptom. Below is a timeline of these:

Google search trends for loss of smell began rising as early as February in Iran, and early March for other countries like Italy. Yet the earliest articles we were able to find in Persian and Italian on the loss of smell were published on March 9th and 13th, respectively. In the US, search trends began rising on March 15th, but it was not until March 21st that English language media started pointing to this relation. The earliest French article appears to have also been published on March 21st, yet search trends in France increase starting March 14th. Spanish media addressed anosmia as a symptom on March 19th, well after their Google search trends started increasing. This seems to indicate that Google search habits provide an accurate picture of what COVID-19 patients are experiencing anywhere between one to two weeks before we were able to detect such trends from a public health perspective. In a pandemic, this is a lot of time.

The data we acquired from Iran is particularly interesting. In most countries, the search trend follows the growth in the number of daily cases; however, in Iran, the opposite occurs. While we were able to detect a trend when the total number of cases surpassed 2500–4500 in the other countries, Iran had only 245 reported cases when the trend first appeared. This likely means the actual number of cases in Iran was significantly higher at that time.

While Googling symptoms is far from a novel concept, harnessing the technology around us and the way it reflects human behaviour can help us uncover key patterns related to our health. How our online search trends correlate with disease incidence can reveal telltale symptoms that may otherwise take time to identify if doctors rely only on patient anecdotes and media outreach. In the case of a pandemic, this information can help us determine who is at risk, as well as where and when an outbreak is occurring.

There are diverse implications to this, but a particularly important one is detecting where resources are needed. If Google searches of distinct symptoms, such as anosmia, can reliably reflect a surge in disease incidence, we can use this information to identify regions where outbreaks are emerging, and prioritize test supplies accordingly. We can also detect regions that are under-testing. Through this, we can determine where more resources should be mobilized, and which parts of the world may benefit from increased containment measures or supplies for hospital staff.

This is especially true if we need to be prepared for a second wave of COVID-19. Once social distancing measures are relaxed in a particular area, a resurgence of disease may occur. Detecting this second wave and re-implementing targeted testing and containment measures as soon as possible will be critical in controlling the spread of the disease, and minimizing its global impact.

Now more than ever, Google permeates our lives. We use it for everything from looking up how to make pasta sauce, to checking what it means when we can no longer smell it. Hopefully we can also use it to even track the spread of a pandemic and the symptoms that define it. All it takes is a little searching.

How Normalcy Went From Misnomer to Safe Word - The Atlantic

Posted: 13 Apr 2020 07:18 AM PDT

We're all waiting, with varying degrees of patience, for things to get back to normal—even if everyday life will never be quite the same as it was before the coronavirus pandemic. Looking ahead to that future time, many have grasped for an uneasy word from the past: normalcy.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Sunday said he saw "normalcy" on the horizon for his state, assuming that widespread testing can be put in place: "I think you see the return to normalcy when we have an approved rapid testing program that can be brought to scale." At the White House press briefing the next day, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked about "gradual steps towards restoring normalcy." "Remember, when you say 'normalcy'—I mean, we could get back normally, economically and otherwise, without necessarily saying we're going to forget about the virus," he said.

It's ironic that this word gesturing toward a hoped-for restoration of the normal state of affairs feels somehow not quite … normal. Since the beginning of March, Google Trends, which measures the popularity of search terms, has shown a big spike of attention for normalcy. But many of those searching for the word online may be seeking guidance for proper usage. Among the related questions displayed on Google's search-results page for the word are "Is 'normalcy' a real word?" and "Which is correct, 'normalcy' or 'normality'?"

The question of whether normalcy is a real word that is an acceptable alternative to normality goes back a century, to the 1920 presidential campaign of Warren G. Harding, who made "The return to normalcy" his central slogan. As a Republican senator from Ohio not known for his eloquence, Harding found himself roundly criticized for using the word, even as the sentiment it encapsulated swept him into the White House.

Early on in his campaign, Harding seemed to be testing out the word as he created a message that would appeal to those weary from the upheavals of World War I and—mirroring our own time—a deadly influenza pandemic. Speaking in Brooklyn in February 1920, Harding said, "It is time to hark back to sanity and normality." But a few sentences later, he spoke of the nation finding its way back to "the new normalcy."

While "sanity and normality" has a nice ring to it, Harding ended up favoring "normalcy," despite the fact that it was far less common than normality at the time. His most famous use of the word came on May 14 of that year, when he delivered an address to the Home Market Club of Boston, stating alliteratively, "America's present need is not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration."

Audio from Harding re-creating that speech survives, and it allows us to hear him incorporate the word into his less-than-thrilling rhetoric. (H. L. Mencken once said that Harding's attempts at oratory reminded him of "a string of wet sponges"and "tattered washing on the line.") Yet not all newspapers reproduced his turn of phrase faithfully. The Boston Globe transcribed the line as "not nostrums but normality"—correcting the candidate's speech for him.

Normalcy was unusual enough that many commentators assumed that Harding had simply made it up—a misconception that gets repeated to this day. In fact, the word had been in use since at least 1855, albeit in a technical way, when it appeared in a mathematical dictionary. Five years later, a reviewer in the magazine The New Englander, surveying the latest dictionaries from Webster and Worcester, included normalcy among the newish words that neither dictionary had yet captured (along with other items like bisexuality, orgiastic, and slackjaw). G. & C. Merriam, the publisher of Webster's dictionaries, found room for normalcy in its American Dictionary of the English Language of 1864, though marking it "rare." That "rare" label would stick around in subsequent editions of Webster's dictionaries, as well as in the Century Dictionary, published in 1889–91. By that point, normalcy had at least moved past its mathematical origins and could be found in theological discussions, ones that Harding, a devout Baptist, may have absorbed.

Despite the word's sporadic track record before 1920, Harding was frequently quizzed about his supposed coinage. After securing the Republican nomination in July and invoking "normalcy" again in his homecoming speech back in Ohio, Harding was pressed on his use of the word by an assemblage of reporters. "I have noticed that word caused considerable newspaper editors to change it to 'normality,'" he responded defensively. "I have looked for 'normality' in my dictionary and I do not find it there. 'Normalcy,' however, I find, and it is a good word." (Harding may have been referring to an old version of Webster's unabridged dictionary, which indeed included normalcy and not normality. But if he had consulted the latest edition of Webster's, or any other major dictionary of the day, he would have had no trouble finding normality.)

Harding's apologia for normalcy was met with jeers by critics. "The friends of Senator Harding are defending his language now by saying that 'normalcy' is a perfectly good word," a columnist in the New Orleans States wrote that August. "Well, so is 'jackasstical,' when applied to fantastic verbiage." The Daily Mail of Charleston, West Virginia, was more supportive, appealing to the dictionary definition, "the state or fact of being normal": "This is what Senator Harding means when he employs a word little used but expressive of the idea which he wishes to convey."

Regardless of the linguistic sniping, enough voters agreed with Harding's call for "normalcy" to elect him by a comfortable margin. In his inaugural address he returned to the theme, saying, "We must strive for normalcy to reach stability." Harding's scandal-prone administration perhaps never achieved that promised normalcy, but he at least managed to popularize a once-unusual word so that it achieved its own state of normalcy in our shared lexicon.

Writing in 1940, the political scientist Harold J. Laski observed that "'normalcy' is always certain to be popular after crises." This is true of both the word and the idea that it labels. Two weeks after 9/11, The Guardian's Washington correspondent Matthew Engel assessed the country's mood: "You could hardly call it normality, especially in a country that prefers the inelegant word 'normalcy.' But it is at least a sense of equilibrium. And it might, perhaps, for a while, be 'the new normalcy.'"

Now normalcy has come to the fore again, with Joe Biden hailed as the "normalcy" candidate, like Harding before him. Even before the pandemic began, a Harding-esque "return to normalcy" seemed to be "the main idea of Biden's campaign," as the Politico founding editor John Harris put it. With COVID-19 dominating the public imagination, that idea has only grown. "Especially now with the coronavirus, with everybody terrified that President Trump is lying every minute of the day and they just need some normalcy and safety in their life, Biden is that loyal, comfortable politician," Nebraska Democratic Party Chair Jane Kleeb told The Hill.

So there is something comforting about the word normalcy, even as it chafes a bit, seeming slightly off-kilter. In common American parlance, it has found a place that the more sterile-sounding normality (a companion of abnormality) never could. And the fact that it is linked to a bygone political moment may in fact work in the word's favor, providing a patina of nostalgia. By recalling an imagined past that was simpler and less chaotic, normalcy may be as much of an artifice as it was a century ago in Harding's day. But when everyone's life has been so severely disrupted, the old-fashioned awkwardness of normalcy carries with it a retro appeal that is downright soothing.

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