(UK) social distancing to last until 2021 + French hypocrisy + Guns & child care (US)

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UK will need social distancing until at least end of year, says Whitty

INTRO: Social distancing will be needed until at least the end of the year to prevent fresh outbreaks of coronavirus even though the UK has reached the peak of the current epidemic, the government’s chief medical officer has said. Prof Chris Whitty, the UK’s most senior medic, said it was important to be realistic that “highly disruptive” social distancing would need to be in place for “really quite a long period of time”.

He said there was only an “incredibly small” chance of a vaccine or treatments being ready for use this year, and social distancing would have to stay in place to suppress outbreaks until then. His stark assessment dampened hopes that the lockdown would be largely removed when it is reviewed in just over a fortnight.

“We have to be very realistic,” he said. “If people are hoping it’s suddenly going to move from where we are in lockdown to where suddenly into everything is gone, that is a wholly unrealistic expectation. We are going to have to do a lot of things for really quite a long period of time, the question is what is the best package and this is what we’re trying to work out. If you release more on one area, you have to keep on board more of another area so there’s a proper trade-off and this is what ministers are having to consider.” (MORE)

French hypocrisy: Fines Google for being soft on privacy; now angry that google won't let it spy on users

INTRO: We keep trying to explain to people that privacy is always about trade-offs, and arguing for privacy laws that protect "privacy" as if it's a constant thing, will run into trouble. Most of that trouble is in the form of locking in big companies, but sometimes, the trouble is in showing you why understanding trade-offs matters so much.

France has been among the most vocal critics of "big internet companies" and demanding various regulatory pressures be used to punish them. Last year it fined Google $57 million for breaching privacy laws, and appears to be angling for even larger fines.

So it's difficult not to burst out in laughter after finding out that the French government is really, really mad that Google and Apple are protecting people's privacy, when suddenly the French government wants to use those companies to engage in contact tracing. Indeed, it's literally demanding both companies ease their privacy protections to help France track people who might have COVID-19... (MORE)

Majority of U.S. States and Territories Do Not Require Day Care Providers to Inform Parents of Firearms on Premises

EXCERPT: Home- and center-based child care providers are not required by most states or U.S. territories to inform parents when guns are stored on the premises, according to a new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The researchers found that a majority of U.S. states and territories—47 out of 56—do not require either centers or homes that provide child care to disclose to clients that they keep firearms on-site. Less than two-thirds of U.S. states and territories outright prohibit center-based child care operators from having firearms on the premises and only a handful—7 of 56—outright prohibit home-based child care operators from having firearms on the premises.

The study also found that nearly one-quarter of U.S. states and territories (13) had no regulations governing firearms in child care centers, and one-sixth (9) had no regulations governing firearms in family child care homes. The findings were published online April 22 in JAMA Network Open.

[...] While regulations were more likely to outright prohibit firearms in child care centers, family child care homes generally face restrictions on storage procedures only. For example, 46 U.S. states or territories require firearms present in home-based child care settings to be kept under lock and key; 29 require the ammunition to be stored separately; and 23 require the firearms to be unloaded.

There are more than 20 million children age 5 and under in the U.S., and almost two-thirds of them spend a substantial amount of time in center-based or home-based early care and education settings. [...] That lack of prohibition on guns in home-based child care settings may stem from legislators’ concerns that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects homeowners’ rights to keep firearms, Benjamin-Neelon says. She notes that there is an ongoing legal challenge against an Illinois law banning guns from homes that serve as child care facilities... (MORE - details)

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