DAILY MAIL
The UKs second best selling newspaper, the Daily Mail provides over 1.3 million English speakers with middle-market news each day in tabloid format — reaching millions more online. In 1896 its original London headquarters published its first broadsheet. More than a century later it is unique for its majority female and largely young readership.
Society
Emma Flacard

Holy Incense And Baby Whales: How We've Measured Social Distance

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a part of our daily lives for more than a year now, including through a range of rules and restrictions to follow to avoid contracting (or disseminating) the virus. It's a scary time, but also a convenient excuse for a moderate dose of silliness. One shot of silly that has spread around the world is the attempt to find new ways to make sense of the social distance guidelines, often with local references to make it more tangible for residents.

Our favorite recent example is a Polish church that used the range of a swinging incense burner to demarcate the appropriate distance we must keep. Here's a banner in front of a Warsaw church to show (well, sort of) the range one must keep.

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A banner reminding Polish worshipper to respect social distancing. — Photo: Tomasz Dostatni/Facebook

The pious Polish reference sent us on a quest to gather other local examples around the world of how best to visualize the proper distance (approx 1.5-meters) for social distancing:

• FRANCE: Make sure to keep one dozen medium oysters between you and your friend, informs local French newspaper Sud Ouest. In the Arcachon Bay, oysters are more than a symbol, they're a culinary pride and a key tourist attraction.

• AUSTRALIA: Keep one kangaroo or at least three adult koalas apart. The two iconic animals have been used as visual reminders to respect the 1.5 meter social distancing rule. Signs have been displayed throughout the country by the Australian government, as The Daily Mail explains.

• BELGIUM: In this food-and-drink-loving nation, residents have been told to make sure there's always either ten cones of fries, eight Brussels waffles or three Jupiler beer crates between themselves and others.

Social distancing explained in Belgium. — Photo: r/belgium

• UK: Stay at least one cow apart from your neighbor, warn the islands of Guernsey with a very realistic and funny message to locals.

• CANADA: In the northern part of Quebec, all sorts of domestic animals have also been turned into wacky converting measures. In the Côte-Nord region, the local tourism agency has imagined ways to both sensitize residents and put a smile on their face, daily newspaper Le Quotidien reports. Eight puffins, one moose, eight crabs … the rich Canadian fauna turns out to be a valuable resource for health guidelines.

Geopolitics
Olivia Han and Natalie Malek

Europe On Brexit: Pick Your Metaphor

-Analysis-

"It's almost like Shakespeare: Brexit or no Brexit? That was the question." German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle resorted to a passing twist on Hamlet after the British Parliament delivered what may be the final defeat Tuesday night in Prime Minister Theresa May's attempt to lead the UK to an orderly divorce from the European Union.

Though real-life consequences are at stake on the continent, European publications were mostly left trying to understand what was happening across the Channel. And yes, Shakespeare was there to help. Italian journalist Enrico Franceschini cited The Tempest: "Hell is empty and all the devils are here," began his article in Rome-based La Repubblica. "You need to look to the Bard after yet another day in which the British parliament, and the nation it represents, are tossed about by Brexit like a ship at the mercy of the proverbial Shakespearean storm."


Beppe Severgini reached for a different British trope in his commentary for Corriere della Sera: "Brexit defies any logic, and logic is the shiniest jewel in the crown of the British mind."


The pro-Brexit, pro-May paper The Daily Mail did not shy away from laying blame on Parliament, which voted 391 to 242 to reject (apparently once and for all) the proposed accord negotiated with the EU. "They vowed to deliver the Brexit Britain voted for — and had it in their grasp. But last night contemptuous MPs chose instead to plunge our despairing nation into chaos."

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Source: Libération front page

French daily Le Monde may have best summarized the current state of play: "The Brexit deal laboriously negotiated with Brussels for two years is dead, and Theresa May, who backed it, is politically hardly in better condition."


What's next? There is of course the prospect of a "no-deal" Brexit, with a vote on that option scheduled Wednesday night, which could force the UK to negotiate all terms of trade, travel and otherwise with each EU country individually. Otherwise, the UK can appeal to the EU for an extension of the original March 29 deadline for a comprehensive deal. The front page of France's Libération "back to square one" begs the question of just how far "back" all will be forced to go.


As for the future, Die Welt echoed a sentiment across the continent: "No one knows." The only way out, writes Stefanie Bolzen, could be "a self-imposed pause for thought, just as the EU likes to do when it's at its wits' end." But back inside the UK, she concludes: "Brexit has polarized the country too much for that. The train keeps on running. And nobody knows where."


In a video commentary for Spanish daily El Pais, veteran award-winning journalist Iñaki Gabilondo doubts it'll be an orderly divorce at all, comparing Brexit to a marriage turned sour: The UK and Europe "have reached a place where, like in so many troubled marriages, things have boiled over to the point that the fight is more intense than the original reasons for the dispute."


While the metaphors keep coming, it looks like Brexit has turned Shakespeare into a second-rate soap opera.

Society
Benjamin Witte

The 'Alzheimer Village' Treatment Model Starts To Take Root

Like an elaborate film set, everything about the place may look real — like a typical 1950s town square, for example, or a medieval "bastide" (fortified village). And there are certainly some real aspects to it. The cinema really does show films. The coffee shop really does serve hot drinks.

But it's also a carefully crafted illusion, designed specifically for people who (like Jim Carrey's character in the popular 1998 film The Truman Show) may not be able to tell the difference. That's because the residents suffer from Alzheimer's and others forms of dementia. And the faux "towns' they inhabit are actually treatment centers, designed as an alternative to the more institutional, hospital-like facilities typically used to treat such patients.

These "dementia villages," as they're known, are still few and far between, but the treatment model is catching on, with new projects opening or in the planning stages in a number of different countries. In Dax, a city in southwestern France, a 120-patient village is set to open in late 2019, the French daily Le Monde reports. The facility is expected to cost some 28 million euros to build, plus an additional 7 million euros per year to operate. It is the first such project in France, and will include a supermarket, hair salon, brewery, restaurant and libraries, all around a medieval-style central square.

Landscaping and architectural design plans for Dax village — Photo: NORD Architects Copenhagen via Instagram

The idea, says Professor Jean-Francois Dartiges, neurologist and epidemiologist at CHU Pellegrin in Bordeaux, is that residents will be able to go about their daily activities as normally as possible. "They can continue participating in their social lives," he says.

The Dax "village" takes its inspiration from a similar treatment center in Weesp, Holland, just outside of Amsterdam. The De Hogeweyk home, as it's known, opened in late 2009 and has approximately 152 residents. "People suffering from senile dementia are capable of "operating" quite normally when they are in a normal environment," De Hogeweyk's manager, Jannette Spiering, told Le Monde back in 2013.

It uses tangible prompts from people's pasts.

Unlike the Dutch center, the French facility will also include a research center. By living amongst its residents, researchers will use a comparative approach to measure the impact this kind of treatment model has on dementia patients.

A dementia village in Wiedlisbach, in the Swiss canton of Bern, also followed the De Hogeweyk model, as did a recently opened facility in County Limerick, in Ireland, the Irish Examiner reports. Plans are underway to build a similar center in British Columbia, according to the Canadian daily National Post. And in San Diego, California, a 1950s-themed dementia facility — complete with a 1959 Ford Thunderbird — opened its doors just this past April. Glenner Town Square, as it's known, was built in a warehouse and, unlike its European counterparts, is only open during the day.

"It's very therapeutic for people with dementia," Lisa Tyburski, the facility's director of business development, told the Daily Mail. "Basically what it does is it uses tangible prompts from people's past to bring out memories that are still in there."