Amid disaster in India, coronavirus restrictions easing in US, Europe

Americans help India cope with its crushing COVID crisis

Mount Sinai medical system’s Dr. Ash Tewari and his team send ventilators and oxygen equipment to save lives

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Air travel in the U.S. hit its highest mark since COVID-19 took hold more than 13 months ago, while European Union officials are proposing to ease restrictions on visitors to the continent as the vaccine sends new cases and deaths tumbling in more affluent countries.

The improving picture in many places contrasts with the worsening disaster in India.

In the U.S., the average number of new cases per day fell below 50,000 for the first time since October. And nearly 1.67 million people were screened at U.S. airport checkpoints on Sunday, according to the Transportation Security Administration, the highest number since mid-March of last year.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation giving him sweeping powers to invalidate local emergency measures put in place during the outbreak. While the law doesn’t go into effect until July, the Republican governor said he will issue an executive order to more quickly get rid of local mask mandates.

“I think this creates a structure that’s going to be a little bit more respectful, I think, of people’s businesses, jobs, schools and personal freedom,” he said.

May 3, 2021: Relatives of a person who died of COVID-19 mourn outside a field hospital in Mumbai, India.
((AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool))

Las Vegas is bustling again after casino capacity limits were raised Saturday to 80% and person-to-person distancing was dropped to 3 feet (0.9 meters). New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that New York City’s subways will begin running all night again and capacity restrictions on most businesses will end statewide in mid-May. And Los Angeles County reported no coronavirus deaths on Sunday and Monday, some of which may be attributable to a lag in reporting but was nevertheless a hopeful sign that could move the county to allow an increase in capacity at events and venues, and indoor-service at bars.

EU officials also announced a proposal Monday to relax restrictions on travel to the 27-nation bloc this summer, though the final decision is up to its member countries.

“Time to revive EU tourism industry and for cross-border friendships to rekindle — safely,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. “We propose to welcome again vaccinated visitors and those from countries with a good health situation.”

In Greece, restaurants and cafes reopened their terraces on Monday after six months of shutdown, with customers flocking to soak up the sunshine. In France, high schools reopened and a ban on domestic travel was lifted.

The once hard-hit Czech Republic, where cases are now declining, announced it will allow people to remove face coverings at all outdoor spaces starting next Monday if they keep their distance from others.

But with more-contagious variants taking hold, efforts are underway to boost vaccination efforts, which have begun to lag. The average number of doses given per day fell 27% from a high of 3.26 million on April 11 to 2.37 million last Tuesday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Detroit, teams from the city’s health department have knocked on nearly 5,000 doors since the weekend to persuade people to get immunized. And Massachusetts’ governor announced plans to close four of seven mass vaccination sites by the end of June in favor of a more targeted approach.

“My plea to everyone: Get vaccinated now, please,” President Joe Biden said in Norfolk, Virginia. He stressed that he has worked hard to make sure there are more than 600 million doses of vaccine — enough for all Americans to get both doses.

April 24, 2021: Las Vegas is bustling again after casino capacity limits were raised Saturday, May 1, to 80% and person-to-person distancing dropped to 3 feet (0.9 meters). 
(AP Photo/John Locher)

“We’re going to increase that number across the board as well so we can also be helping other nations once we take care of all Americans,” the president said.

Brazil, once the epicenter of the pandemic, has been overtaken by a surge in India that has overrun crematoriums and made it clear the p andemic is far from over.

As the U.S. and other countries rushed in aid, India reported nearly 370,000 new cases and more than 3,400 deaths Monday — numbers that experts believe are vast undercounts because of a widespread lack of testing and incomplete reporting.

In Germany, Bavarian officials canceled Oktoberfest for a second year in a row because of the safety risks. The beer-drinking festivities typically attract about 6 million visitors from around the world.

And in Italy, medical experts and politicians expressed concern about a possible spike in infections after tens of thousands of jubilant soccer fans converged on Milan’s main square Sunday to celebrate Inter Milan’s league title.

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Iran enforces 10-day lockdown amid fourth wave of pandemic

Iran enforces 10-day lockdown amid fourth wave of pandemic

Iran on Saturday began a 10-day lockdown amid a fourth wave of coronavirus infections, state TV reported, a worrisome trend after more than a year of the country battling the Middle East’s worst outbreak.

Iran’s coronavirus task force, charged with determining virus restrictions, ordered most shops closed and offices restricted to one-third capacity in cities declared as “red-zones.”

The capital Tehran and 250 other cities and towns across the country have been declared red zones. They have the highest virus positivity rates and the most severe restrictions in place. Over 85% of the country now has either a red or orange infection status, authorities said.

The severe surge in infections follows a two-week public holiday for Nowruz, the Persian New Year. Millions traveled to the Caspian coast and other popular vacation spots, packed markets to shop for new clothes and toys and congregated in homes for parties in defiance of government health guidelines.

The new lockdown also affects all parks, restaurants, bakeries, beauty salons, malls and bookstores.

There appeared to be no respite in sight to the virus’s spread as Iran’s vaccine rollout lagged. Only some 200,000 doses have been administered in the country of 84 million, according to the World Health Organization.

COVAX, an international collaboration to deliver the vaccine equitably across the world, delivered its first shipment to Iran on Monday from the Netherlands containing 700,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses.

The Health Ministry said there were more than 19,600 new infections on Saturday, including 193 deaths. The confirmed death toll since the beginning of the outbreak stood at more than 64,200.

Hadi Minaie, a shop owner at Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, said mismanagement was the reason for the new surge and the government should have prevented people’s movements during Nowruz—not at a time when people need to earn a living.

“Nobody can say the lockdown should not have been imposed. But better management would have been enforcing it during Nowruz holiday when everywhere was already closed not now that everyone wants to work and earn a living,” he said.

“Lockdowns are only effective to some extent but for how long should the people be paying the price,” said Alireza Ghadirian, a carpet seller at the bazaar. He said the government needed to do more to provide vaccines.

Authorities have done little to enforce lockdown restrictions and originally resisted a nationwide lockdown to salvage an economy already devastated by tough U.S. sanctions. A year into the pandemic, public fatigue and intransigence has deepened.

Saeed Valizadeh, a motorcyclist who earns his living transporting passengers and light packages from the bazaar, said if the government paid a stipend to low-income citizens, then they could afford to stay at home.

“Those who are wealthy have no problem staying home but we can’t,” he said.

President Hassan Rouhani said several factors played a role in the rising number of cases but the prime culprit was the U.K. variant of the virus that entered Iran from Iraq.

Earlier this year, the country kicked off its coronavirus inoculation campaign, administering a limited number of Russian Sputnik V vaccine doses to medical workers.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Iraq, authorities introduced new measures to bolster vaccinations among citizens including restrictions on air travel.

The health ministry said it requested airlines to not sell tickets to travelers unless they show proof they were vaccinated. Workers at hospitals, restaurants, malls and shops would require a vaccination card as well.

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Toronto schools shutdown amid third wave of infections

Toronto schools shutdown amid third wave of infections

Schools in Canada’s largest city will shut down Wednesday and move to online learning because of a third surge of coronavirus infections fueled by more-contagious virus variants.

Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa said in a statement stronger measures are needed to reverse the surge.

Ontario has seen seeing more than 3,000 new infections a day in recent days and record intensive care numbers.

The move follows a similar move by the neighboring Peel Region. The closures will be reevaluated later this month. Toronto has one of the largest school districts in North America.

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Ellie Goulding: Princess Eugenie, Katy Perry Are 'Great' Pals Amid Pregnancy

Getting by with the help of her friends! Ellie Goulding revealed that Princess Eugenie and Katy Perry have been two of her biggest supporters amid her first pregnancy.

Celebs’ 2021 Pregnancy Announcements

“I’ve been so surprised about how happy everyone has been for me, it’s been incredible to have all this positivity,” Goulding, 34, told The Telegraph on Saturday, March 27, about announcing her pregnancy last month. “I do feel part of a bigger community and over the past few months I’ve realized why pregnant women want to talk to other pregnant women, because it’s all the little tips, worries and stages you want to hear about.”

The “Love Me Like You Do” singer has turned to Eugenie, 31, who welcomed her first child, son August, with husband Jack Brooksbank, last month, for guidance on pregnancy ups and downs.

“She’s been a great friend throughout this,” Goulding said of the princess. “We’ve talked a lot about pregnancy, and she’s been inspirational because she just takes everything in her stride.”

The British singer noted that Perry, 36, who shares 7-month-old daughter Daisy with Orlando Bloom, has “been great too” throughout the whole process.

Celebs Who Hid Baby Bumps Amid Quarantine: Halsey and More

“And my manager has gone through her pregnancy with me, along with both our families and friends from home who have had babies,” Goulding, who is married to art dealer Caspar Jopling, added. “It just brings everyone closer together.”

The “Hate Me” singer revealed that she plans to bring her baby on tour with her in October, saying, “Women make it work, I’m sure I can make it work. The team around me is all female which massively helps.”

Goulding also explained her reasoning behind announcing her pregnancy last month, at the 30-week mark, saying, “I needed time to get my head around it. I needed that space to process what was happening.”

The “Close to Me” singer, who learned she is expecting baby No. 1 with Jopling, 29, in August 2020, admitted she was able to keep the news under wraps amid the coronavirus pandemic lockdown by wearing her husband’s big coats.

Cutest Celebrity Gender Reveal Announcements

Once the couple moved into a new house, she said, “It felt like we had these proper roots, and it was the right moment to say something.”

Goulding announced that she was having her first child on February 23, telling Vogue, “The thought of getting pregnant didn’t seem like it could be a reality. Becoming pregnant kind of made me feel human. I want a better word than womanly, [but] I have curves I’ve never had before. I’m enjoying it. My husband’s enjoying it.”

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Ashley Tisdale Shares Maternity Shoot Amid 'Uncomfortable' Body Changes

Pregnancy pride. Ashley Tisdale detailed her evolving relationship with her body while carrying her first child.

See Pregnant Ashley Tisdale’s Baby Bump Album Ahead of 1st Child

“I have to be honest, I haven’t gotten the whole warm and fuzzy feeling about my pregnant body being beautiful,” the actress, 35, wrote in a Friday, March 19, Frenshe post. “Don’t get me wrong, I am so proud of my body and I’m so grateful to be able to create a home and grow my little one. However, seeing my body look so different is still a little startling to me. It’s like I don’t fully recognize myself and almost like an out-of-body experience.”

The former Disney Channel star went on to write that she “popped early in pregnancy” and many people made “invasive” comments about the size of her stomach.

Henry Golding’s Wife Liv Lo, More Stars’ Gorgeous Maternity Shoots

“I brushed those comments off as I do with any type of criticism. I think change can be hard, but I continue each day saying ‘I love you’ to my body because it’s doing so much, and it’s creating is a beautiful miracle,” the New Jersey native added. “I have to let the ego-mind go and appreciate that my body can even do this. It’s letting go of my own needs because the needs of my baby are more important.”

The expectant star is preparing to let her body “heal” after giving birth and “give it time” to heal. Tisdale added that she chose to share her complicated feelings about her bump to show that “everyone has a different experience with pregnancy,” noting that other women have “felt ashamed that they [were] uncomfortable” too.

Tisdale shared multiple maternity shoot pics in the post. The singer rocked lacy lingerie and a sheer top, among other looks, in the photos.

“Ready when you are, little one,” the Masked Dancer judge captioned one of the shots on Instagram. “This pregnant mama feel[s] sparkly again.”

The mom-to-be announced in September 2020 that she and husband Christopher French are expecting their first child, six years after their California wedding.

Princess Diaries’ Erik von Detten and More Stars Welcome Babies in 2021

Earlier this month, Tisdale exclusively told Us Weekly that the “physical exhaustion” of pregnancy has been her hardest adjustment. “I think this time right now [with] the [coronavirus] pandemic, I don’t feel comfortable going to chiropractors or an acupuncturist where they would normally help you through this moment,” she explained. “But we’re getting through it. We’re almost there.”

The “He Said She Said” singer, who has been craving steak and orange juice, told Us that she doesn’t plan to show her daughter High School Musial in the future.

“I want her to be really grounded and hopefully live somewhat of a normal life,” Tisdale said.

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Celebs Who Hid Baby Bumps Amid Quarantine: Halsey and More

Under wraps! Pregnant celebrities, from Nicki Minaj to Lily Rabe, have hidden their baby bumps in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The rapper hinted that she was pregnant with her and husband Kenneth Petty’s first child in May 2020 when she tweeted, “Lmao. No throwing up. But nausea and peeing non stop. Omg what do u think this means guys???? Lmaooooooooooo.”

The Grammy nominee added that she would share a photo of her budding belly “in a couple months,” explaining, “The world ain’t ready yet.”

True to her word, the “Good Form” rapper debuted her baby bump two months later. “#Preggers,” Minaj wrote via Instagram in July. “Love. Marriage. Baby carriage. Overflowing with excitement & gratitude. Thank you all for the well wishes.”

In the maternity shoot pictures, the Queen Radio host cradled her bare stomach. Later that same month, she showed her pregnancy progress while dancing to “Move Ya Hips” in an Instagram video.

Prior to her reveal, Minaj was vocal about her plans to become a mother. “[My biggest fear] is that I’ll become so consumed with work that I’ll forget to live my personal life to the fullest,” she told Complex in 2014. “If I’m done with my fifth album and I don’t have a child by then, no matter how much money I have, I would be disappointed, as a woman, because I feel like I was put here to be a mother. … I definitely will be married before I have my baby. I want to make sure I do it in that order. I’ve always felt like that since I was young; my mother always put that in my head.”

As for Rabe, the American Horror Story alum secretly welcomed her second child with boyfriend Hamish Linklater in June 2020 after keeping her pregnancy under wraps. The actress showed her baby bump in a throwback photo in August, writing via Instagram: “Looking back at a day in May. #wearamask.”

The New York native and Linklater have yet to share their little one’s name, in addition to their eldest daughter’s moniker. As for the Newsroom alum’s daughter with his ex-wife, Jessica Goldberg, the teenager’s name is Lucinda.

Keep scrolling to see how more celebrity parents kept their pregnancy news hidden during the COVID-19 spread, from How to Get Away With Murder’s Karla Souza to Ed Sheeran’s wife, Cherry Seaborn.

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Amid COVID and Racial Unrest, Black Churches Put Faith in Mental Health Care

Wilma Mayfield used to visit a senior center in Durham, North Carolina, four days a week and attend Lincoln Memorial Baptist Church on Sundays, a ritual she’s maintained for nearly half a century. But over the past 10 months, she’s seen only the inside of her home, the grocery store and the pharmacy. Most of her days are spent worrying about COVID-19 and watching TV.

It’s isolating, but she doesn’t talk about it much.

When Mayfield’s church invited a psychologist to give a virtual presentation on mental health during the pandemic, she decided to tune in.

The hourlong discussion covered COVID’s disproportionate toll on communities of color, rising rates of depression and anxiety, and the trauma caused by police killings of Black Americans. What stuck with Mayfield were the tools to improve her own mental health.

“They said to get up and get out,” she said. “So I did.”

The next morning, Mayfield, 67, got into her car and drove around town, listening to 103.9 gospel radio and noting new businesses that had opened and old ones that had closed. She felt so energized that she bought chicken, squash and greens, and began her Thanksgiving cooking early.

“It was wonderful,” she said. “The stuff that lady talked about [in the presentation], it opened up doors for me.”

As Black people face an onslaught of grief, stress and isolation triggered by a devastating pandemic and repeated instances of racial injustice, churches play a crucial role in addressing the mental health of their members and the greater community. Religious institutions have long been havens for emotional support. But faith leaders say the challenges of this year have catapulted mental health efforts to the forefront of their mission.

Some are preaching about mental health from the pulpit for the first time. Others are inviting mental health professionals to speak to their congregations, undergoing mental health training themselves or adding more therapists to the church staff.

“COVID undoubtedly has escalated this conversation in great ways,” said Keon Gerow, senior pastor at Catalyst Church in West Philadelphia. “It has forced Black churches — some of which have been older, traditional and did not want to have this conversation — to actually now have this conversation in a very real way.”

At Lincoln Memorial Baptist, leaders who organized the virtual presentation with the psychologist knew that people like Mayfield were struggling but might be reluctant to seek help. They thought members might be more open to sensitive discussions if they took place in a safe, comfortable setting like church.

It’s a trend that psychologist Alfiee Breland-Noble, who gave the presentation, has noticed for years.

Through her nonprofit organization, the AAKOMA Project, Breland-Noble and her colleagues often speak to church groups about depression, recognizing it as one of the best ways to reach a diverse segment of the Black community and raise mental health awareness.

This year, the AAKOMA Project has received clergy requests that are increasingly urgent, asking to focus on coping skills and tools people can use immediately, Breland-Noble said.

“After George Floyd’s death, it became: ‘Please talk to us about exposure to racial trauma and how we can help congregations deal with this,’” she said. “‘Because this is a lot.’”

Across the country, mental health needs are soaring. And Black Americans are experiencing significant strain: A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this summer found 15% of non-Hispanic Black adults had seriously considered suicide in the past 30 days and 18% had started or increased their use of substances to cope with pandemic-related stress.

Yet national data shows Blacks are less likely to receive mental health treatment than the overall population. A memo released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration this spring lists engaging faith leaders as one way to close this gap.

Two congregants expressed suicidal thoughts to Carl Lucas, pastor at God First Church in northern St. Louis County. “The pandemic has definitely put us in a place where we’re looking for answers and looking for other avenues to help our members,” he says. (Evelyn Lucas)

The Potter’s House in Dallas has been trying to do that for years. A megachurch with more than 30,000 members, it runs a counseling center with eight licensed clinicians, open to congregants and the local community to receive counseling at no cost, though donations are accepted.

Since the pandemic began, the center has seen a 30% increase in monthly appointments compared with previous years, said center director Natasha Stewart. During the summer, when protests over race and policing were at their height, more Black men came to therapy for the first time, she said.

Recently, there’s been a surge in families seeking services. Staying home together has brought up conflicts previously ignored, Stewart said.

“Before, people had ways to escape,” she said, referring to work or school. “With some of those escapes not available anymore, counseling has become a more viable option.”

To meet the growing demand, Stewart is adding a new counselor position for the first time in eight years.

At smaller churches, where funding a counseling center is unrealistic, clergy are instead turning to members of the congregation to address growing mental health needs.

At Catalyst Church, a member with a background in crisis management has begun leading monthly COVID conversations online. A deacon has been sharing his own experience getting therapy to encourage others to do the same. And Gerow, the senior pastor, talks openly about mental health.

Recognizing his power as a pastor, Gerow hopes his words on Sunday morning and in one-on-one conversations will help congregants seek the help they need. Doing so could reduce substance use and gun violence in the community, he said. Perhaps it would even lower the number of mental health crises that lead to police involvement, like the October death of Walter Wallace Jr., whose family said he was struggling with mental health issues when Philadelphia police shot him.

“If folks had the proper tools, they’d be able to deal with their grief and stress in different ways,” Gerow said. “Prayer alone is not always enough.”

Laverne Williams got worried when she heard pastors tell people they could pray away mental illness. She created a multimedia presentation to educate faith leaders about mental health ― to show that faith and mental health can coexist. (Laverne Williams)

Laverne Williams recognized that back in the ’90s. She believed prayer was powerful, but as an employee of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey, she knew there was a need for treatment too.

When she heard pastors tell people they could pray away mental illness or use blessed oil to cure what seemed like symptoms of schizophrenia, she worried. And she knew many people of color were not seeing professionals, often due to barriers of cost, transportation, stigma and distrust of the medical system.

To address this disconnect, Williams created a video and PowerPoint presentation and tried to educate faith leaders.

At first, many clergy turned her away. People thought seeking mental health treatment meant your faith wasn’t strong enough, Williams said.

But over time, some members of the clergy have come to realize the two can coexist, said Williams, adding that being a deacon herself has helped her gain their trust. This year alone, she’s trained 20 faith leaders in mental health topics.

A program run by the Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis is taking a similar approach. The Bridges to Care and Recovery program trains faith leaders in “mental health first aid,” suicide prevention, substance use and more, through a 20-hour course.

The training builds on the work faith leaders are already doing to support their communities, said senior program manager Rose Jackson-Beavers. In addition to the tools of faith and prayer, clergy can now offer resources, education and awareness, and refer people to professional therapists in the network.

Since 2015, the program has trained 261 people from 78 churches, Jackson-Beavers said.

Among them is Carl Lucas, pastor of God First Church in northern St. Louis County who graduated this July — just in time, by his account.

Since the start of the pandemic, he has encountered two congregants who expressed suicidal thoughts. In one case, church leaders referred the person to counseling and followed up to ensure they attended therapy sessions. In the other, the root concern was isolation, so the person was paired with church members who could touch base regularly, Lucas said.

“The pandemic has definitely put us in a place where we’re looking for answers and looking for other avenues to help our members,” he said. “It has opened our eyes to the reality of mental health needs.”

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Christina Anstead Fires Back at Claims She's an 'Absent Mother' Amid Divorce

Clapping back! Christina Anstead defended her parenting amid her divorce from Ant Anstead.

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“Despite what you see on Instagram, most people are struggling,” the Flip or Flop alum, 37, captioned a Thursday, November 5, mirror selfie via Instagram. “When I get told, ‘You must be an absent mother because you are not with your kids’ — smh wake up people. I hardly post anymore … and I def do not want to post my kids every freaking day to make it a contest of who’s a better parent. F that.”

The Christina on the Coast star shares daughter Taylor, 10, and son Brayden, 5, with her ex-husband, Tarek El Moussa, as well as son Hudson, 14 months, with Ant, 41. She clarified that she is “with them” and “present,” concluding, “Stop parent shaming people, stop choosing sides when there is no side to choose. My point being when you see stuff on here, take it all with a grain of salt.”

Tarek El Moussa, Christina Anstead’s Quotes About Divorce and Coparenting

The California native’s social media upload about her “isolating” year came one day after she filed for divorce from the Wheeler Dealers host.

She and the English star announced their split in September. “Ant and I have made the difficult decision to separate,” the Flip Your Life author captioned an Instagram post at the time. “We are grateful for each other and as always, our children will remain our priority. We appreciate your support and ask for privacy for us and our family as we navigate the future.”

Ant revealed his exit from his Discovery show earlier this month, and joked on Wednesday, November 4, about not being able to “hold onto” his wives or his job. (He was previously married to Louise Anstead, and they share daughter Amelie and son Archie.)

His and Christina’s friends were “shocked” by news of their breakup, a source exclusively told Us Weekly in September. “They seemed happy together publicly and while in front of others,” the insider explained at the time.

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That same month, Ant wrote via Instagram that he and the Wellness Remodel author are “fine” and hope to “remain good friends.”

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Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler Reunite With Kids for Halloween Amid Divorce

Family of five! Kristin Cavallari and her estranged husband, Jay Cutler, reunited for a fun Halloween celebration with their three children amid their divorce.

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The Very Cavallari alum, 33, shared a family photo via Instagram on Sunday, November 1, which featured the group wearing their costumes. Cavallari sported a unicorn onesie while Cutler, 37, wore a black-and-white striped jumpsuit. The pair’s children — Camden, 8, Jaxon, 6, and Saylor, 4 — were also dressed for the occasion. One of Cavallari’s sons wore a Marshmello costume while her daughter was a princess.

“Halloween 2020,” the reality star captioned the post.

Cavallari also posted photos and video from their celebration via her Instagram Story, including more shots of her unicorn costume and a photo of her sons having a candy swap.

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The Laguna Beach alum and Cutler announced their separation in April after nearly seven years of marriage. Despite their split, the pair have continued to work together to coparent their children. The Hills alum told Us Weekly on Wednesday, October 28, that she and the former NFL player will also reunite to celebrate Thanksgiving with their family.

“I’m actually gonna be spending it just with my kids and [my estranged husband] Jay Cutler as a family. So, I’m looking forward to that,” she said. “Jay and I were discussing the menu together yesterday, and he’ll be on meat duty. I think he’s gonna fry a turkey and smoke a lamb leg, and then I’m gonna do everything else.”

She added, “I’m happy that we’re able to spend it together and have these conversations even though we’re in the middle of getting a divorce. So, I’m thankful for where we’re currently at.”

Cavallari told Us that she is dedicated to working on her coparenting relationship with Cutler in the wake of their split.

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler’s Ups and Downs Through the Years

“I’m so hesitant to give advice [on coparenting] because I think everybody’s situation is so different. I think Jay and I are navigating this the best way we know how,” she said. “Obviously, this is new for both of us and we’re just trying to do what’s best for the kids. I know that the kids are our No. 1 priority. So, spending the first Thanksgiving together [after our split] is important because it’s what’s best for the kids and we’re able to do that. We’re in a solid enough place that we’re able to do that, and I’m really thankful for that.”

Cavallari has since moved on with comedian Jeff Dye. In October, the duo were spotted kissing on a date night in Chicago. A source told Us at the time that the pair are “totally a thing.”

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Number of NYC residents getting flu shots skyrockets amid pandemic

Concerns rise as coronavirus, flu season overlap

For some, it may be hard to recognize which symptoms go with each illness

The number of New York City adults and kids getting flu shots has skyrocketed this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data released Wednesday.

Adults who received the flu vaccine surged 37 percent from July 1 through Oct. 24 this year compared to the same period last year, the city Health Department reports.

That’s a total of 706,693 adults who’ve been vaccinated – an increase of 189,017 residents from last year.

Meanwhile, the number of children age 6 months to 18 who’ve been vaccinated jumped 27 percent.


That’s an increase of 105,881 children who’ve been vaccinated — from 397,626 last season to 503,507 this season.

City health officials emphasize it’s especially important for adults 50 years and older, pregnant people, children 6 months to 5 years old, and people with underlying conditions to get vaccinated.

Like COVID-19, the flu can be deadly, officials said.

Recent national statistics show that the number of flu fatalities has plummeted, but the reason is not something to cheer – possibly because the elderly and others with serious underlying medical conditions had died from COVID-19.

The city Health Department has waged a public and media awareness campaign to boost flu vaccination rates during the pandemic.

“This promising progress is only possible because New Yorkers are looking out for one another and doing the right thing by getting their flu vaccines,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi.

“This year could be the most important flu vaccine you ever get. Now is the perfect time to get the vaccine if you haven’t yet. Our friends, families and neighbors are counting on all of us to help keep each other safe.”


Flu-like symptoms are similar to COVID-19 and include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people, especially children, may have vomiting and diarrhea.

People may also be infected with flu and have respiratory symptoms without a fever.

“The steps New Yorkers take to prevent COVID-19 are also applicable to the flu. Face coverings, frequent hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available, distancing and staying home if ill can prevent the spread of flu,” the department said in a release.

The flu vaccine is widely available at little or no cost, covered by most health insurance plans without a co-pay.

It can be obtained from a primary care doctor, community health centers, hospital clinics and pharmacies.

New Yorkers can use the Health Department’s NYC Health Map, call 311, or text FLU to 877-877 to find a flu vaccination location. There are over 870 sites listed on Health Map. The Health Department also provides a list of community flu vaccination events at


Flu season usually starts in the late fall and lasts throughout the spring.

A flu vaccine is necessary each year because it provides protection for only one season. This year’s flu vaccine contains four virus strains, three of which are new this year.

“As the COVID pandemic continues, it’s important for New Yorkers to remember to also protect themselves from other communicable diseases like the flu,” said Richard Gottfried, chairman of the state Assembly Health Committee.

“It’s encouraging that this year’s city Health Department data shows that more New Yorkers are getting their seasonal flu shots earlier, as I did myself,” he said.

Manufacturers are still fine-tuning a vaccine for COVID-19. If history is any guide, there could be early resistance to getting vaccinated.

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