Covid-19 🦠 Newsbites
Berlin tourism ad flips the bird to mask refuseniks
It's the kind of mask-wearing advert you'd expect to see: a sweet older woman in what appears to be a homemade floral mask, showing what is expected of us.

Berlin Tourism Ad
But where Berlin's new campaign image takes a different turn is in what she's doing: giving the camera the bird.

"Up yours to those who don't wear a mask -- we obey the corona rules," reads the advert, which was launched in September and has now gone viral, causing a stir amongst the notoriously direct citizens of the capital of Germany.

The advertisement is part of a campaign the city will run for six months, until March 2021, starting with ads on public transport.

Some of the advertisements, like this, are image-based; others are entirely textual. One reads: "Liberté. Egalité. Charité?," riffing on the French national motto of "Liberty, equality and fraternity" -- only swapping the latter for Charité, the name of one of Berlin's best known hospitals.

But it's the image of the woman flicking the vs that has caught the public's attention.

Christian Tänzler, spokesperson for Visit Berlin, which is behind the advertisement, told CNN that the aim of the image was to shock people into paying attention.

"Most people in Berlin are respecting the rules, but there is a minority who don't, and they're risking the lives of others -- of older people and at-risk communities. We wanted to give attention to this problem," he said.

Berliners are known for being direct, he said -- and that's what they were aiming for.

Arizona family lost their business -- and eight family members -- to Covid-19
The Aguirre family was living the American dream. Then came the coronavirus nightmare.

Over a course of 10 years, the Arizona family built up its business. They went from selling tamales from the back of a minivan to running a popular food truck and a successful catering business in Phoenix -- Tamales y Tacos Puebla -- with a long list of corporate and wedding clients.

The trouble began when Arizona -- like other states -- began putting restrictions on businesses and asking people to stay home in an effort to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Almost overnight, Ricardo Aguirre said, business dried up in March.

Then, despite all precautions against the virus, a family member got sick. Then another and another and another. Now, seven months after the shutdown, seven people in Ricardo Aguirre's extended family and his father, Jesús, 67, have died of Covid-19 complications.

People with blood type O may have lower risk of Covid-19 infection and severe illness, two new studies suggest
People with blood type O may be less vulnerable to Covid-19 and have a reduced likelihood of getting severely ill, according to two studies published Wednesday. Experts say more research is needed.

The research provides further evidence that blood type (also known as blood group) may play a role in a person's susceptibility to infection and their chance of having a severe bout of the disease. The reasons for this link aren't clear and more research is needed to say what implications, if any, it has for patients.

El Paso man arrested and charged with felony for giving fraudulent Covid-19 treatments
An El Paso man was arrested last week and charged with practicing medicine without a medical license for selling and administering fraudulent Covid-19 treatments, according to the Texas Department of Public Service.

Hugo Chico, 39, was arrested on October 5 by the DPS Criminal Investigations Division Special Agents and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) during an undercover operation, Texas DPS confirmed in an email to CNN.

Investigators, who were tipped off in July through an anonymous Crime Stoppers tip, found that he was giving medical treatments to try and prevent the virus and was charging patients hundreds of dollars, according to the DPS.

Chico was charged with a 3rd degree felony of practicing without a medical license and booked into El Paso County Jail. Records show he bonded out on October 6.

France extends virus rules to the entire country as new cases threaten to overwhelm hospitals.
Prime Minister Jean Castex of France on Thursday extended to the entire country health restrictions that had so far been imposed only in areas hard-hit by the virus.

... Starting Saturday, all restaurants will have to follow a strict health protocol that includes keeping registers of customers for contact-tracing and keeping seating to no more than six per table. Private parties will be forbidden in public spaces, and rules to encourage social distancing, such as limiting the number of spectators or visitors in cultural venues or customers in shopping centers, will be enforced throughout the country.

The rules are part of the renewed state of emergency announced by President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday. Other measures include a nightly curfew around Paris and eight other major cities, for at least four weeks.

Residents of affected areas will be barred from leaving their homes between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and will have to carry a form explaining the reasons for travel during that time slot, Mr. Castex said. Permitted outings include work, dog-walking, trips for health reasons, and travel to and from train stations and airports.

Some 12,000 police officers will be deployed throughout the country to enforce the curfew, said Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

... The French government has been harshly criticized for its handling of the first wave of the virus, from March to May, which resulted in about 30,000 deaths. A critical shortage of masks and testing kits led to the virus’s rapid spread and prompted France to impose one of the world’s strictest nationwide lockdowns.

How Biden's coronavirus plan compares to Trump's actions, in one point-by-point chart
  • The coronavirus is center stage in the race between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
  • Both candidates agree that a vaccine should be free to the American public, but they've clashed over their approaches to masks, vaccine distribution, and school reopenings.
  • Here's how Biden's proposed coronavirus strategy compares to Trump's actions, point by point.
COVID-19 Response

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was hospitalized for COVID-19, said he was 'wrong' not to wear a mask at the White House
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he was "wrong" not to wear a mask to the White House Rose Garden event for the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.
  • Christie along with a number of other attendees and other White House officials later tested positive for COVID-19.
  • In an interview with The New York Times, Christie detailed his experience since his COVID-19 diagnosis, saying he hopes his experience shows others that "you should follow CDC guidelines in public no matter where you are and wear a mask to protect yourself and others."
  • Christie tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month and was hospitalized for a week as he was at high risk to develop severe symptoms given his weight and asthma. He has since been released from the hospital and was cleared for regular contact.
  • "I believed when I entered the White House grounds, that I had entered a safe zone, due to the testing that I and many others underwent every day," Christie told The Times.
  • "I was wrong," he continued. "I was wrong not to wear a mask at the Amy Coney Barrett announcement, and I was wrong not to wear a mask at my multiple debate prep sessions with the president and the rest of the team."