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Previously named the St. Petersburg Times through 2011, The Tampa Bay Times is the leading daily in western Florida, along the Gulf of Mexico. It has won 12 Pulitzer Prizes since 1964, including two in 2009.
Black and white photo showing someone looking by the widow
Laura Valentina Cortés Sierra

Why The COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis Is Hitting Teenage Girls The Hardest

A growing number of studies around the world show that COVID and lockdown restrictions have prompted a disproportionate increase in mental health illness and suicide attempts among adolescent females.

Catherine Zorn had struggled through her youth with mental health until discovering a passion for dance that helped suicidal thoughts and panic attacks largely disappear. “Then the pandemic ripped away her lifeline. In March 2020, her dance school shut down.” So begins an article by Rose Wong and Kailyn Rhone for the Tampa Bay Times, about how COVID-19 has brought a rise in teen suicide attempts, particularly among girls, in Florida, and elsewhere in the United States.

It is a situation mirrored in other countries around the world, two years since the pandemic sparked lockdowns and school closures, taking away the normal means of socialization for millions of young people at a formative age of their development. And evidence points to a disproportionate impact on teenage girls.

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Florida Woman Busted As Fake Plastic Surgeon After Awful Nose Job
Cassidy Slockett

Florida Woman Busted As Fake Plastic Surgeon After Awful Nose Job

In our digital era, having a pretty face is more important than ever. We spend our workdays staring at ourselves on Zoom cameras, and our off-time watching TikTok and Instagram videos.

Applying online face filters for slimming noses, tucking cheeks, perfecting skin is always an option. Of course, there are also more, well, permanent effects available on the market. Please, just be careful ...

As first reported by the Miami Herald, Alcalira Jimenez De Rodriguez, 56, was arrested for posing as a plastic surgeon after a patient's nose job went awry.

The charges against the woman from the town of Doral, west of Miami, include practicing medicine without a license and resisting arrest. The first charge was later elevated to a second-degree felony because of the disfigurement of the patient's nose.

Vincenzo Zurlo began getting Botox treatments a few months ago. On the recommendation of a friend, he had visited Millennium Anti-Aging and Surgery Center for the anti-aging procedure multiple times before finally undergoing a more drastic procedure: rhinoplasty.

An undercover detective posed as a patient.

In February 2020, Zurlo paid $2,800 for a nose job, and as with most medical procedures, was prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.

A few weeks later, frustrated with an exceptionally slow healing process and what appeared to be an ugly nose under all the gauze, he called his doctor, who agreed to fix his nose. In May 2020, Zurlo again paid another $2,800 to go back under the knife.

While it's not particularly rare to be disappointed with the results of a nose job, the resulting excruciating pain was a sign that something was amiss. Upon a closer look at his prescriptions, Zurlo saw that they were not written in Rodriguez's name, the Miami Herald reports.

Zurlo called the police after Rodriguez refused to share her medical practitioner number. The Florida Health Department sent in an undercover detective, posing as a client interested in plastic surgery, who caught Rodriguez mid-surgery and had her arrested on the spot. No word on how that last amateur nip or tuck turned out.

The streets of Vilnius on May 10
food / travel
Kat Bohmbach

Dining In The Street: COVID-19 Could Replace Cars With Tables

As the new pandemic reality requires radical rethinking about how we live our lives, one hint of where we may be going could appear this summer in a neighborhood near you. The re-opening of bars and restaurants coinciding with warm weather is pushing city officials to reallocate the space that diners and motorists can occupy. It remains to be seen if this is the beginning of deeper post-COVID-19 shift in urban planning in favor of pedestrians over cars and drivers. In the meantime, here are three examples of a new look for the summer:

  • In France, where outdoor cafés and restaurants are typically crowded with tourists and locals alike sharing apéros and conversation, we may begin to see a gradual reopening this month of les terrasses, yet no formal plans have yet been made. But according tot he Le Parisiendaily, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo will be making some major changes to the city's layout, for locals and commuters alike, that could include the closure of at least 30 roads from cars and traffic, including Rue de Rivoli near the Louvre, and a few other tourist-heavy areas, to open up more through-ways for pedestrians and cyclists. As far as for restaurants, cafés and bars? The mayor is also making space for them in some major ways, such as letting them spill out into the street and parking spaces so that they can still serve while respecting sanitary conditions. According to Hidalgo, "Entire streets could be reserved for them free of charge."

Paris' Rue de Rivoli on May 9 — Photo: Xinhua/ZUMA

  • In Lithuania, public spaces are turning into open-air markets and restaurants in an attempt to help small and local businesses stay-afloat during the pandemic. In the capital city of Vilnius, in the winding streets of the historical center, there are currently 18 businesses spilling out onto sidewalks and streets in an effort to respect the designated 2-meter space between tables. Le Mondereports that there are more than 160 restaurants already looking for a space of their own to open shop back up after the most restrictive lockdown measures are lifted on May 11th. According to Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius, "this measure will help small establishments survive and keep jobs, while the tourist season, which is increasingly important for the city's revenue, is slow to start." To give an additional boost to the restaurant and hotel sectors, new events have been created to get more people back to work, like open-air concerts and even converting the tarmac of the Vilnius airport into a massive drive-in movie theater.

  • In the United States, restaurants and stores in Tampa, Florida, are now allowed to take up more space and spread out to meet social distancing requirements and safety measures. As a part of the city's new economic package elegantly referred to as the "Lift Up Local Economic Recovery Plan," restaurants and stores can now expand onto sidewalks, streets, and even into parking lots and spaces. "Our small businesses are the backbone of our economy," Mayor Jane Castor told the Tampa Bay Times. "We need their help to safely and successfully re-open our city and get back to all the things we love — one step at a time." These "cafe and retail zones' will be opening up across the city and will face strict regulations to prevent overcrowding, such as all restaurants are to be reservation-only, police will be on duty, and an old pre-coronavirus concept takes on new meaning: No loitering.

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