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Prisoner(s) of coronavirus lockdown

The New Indian Express looks at some of the stranger news stories from across the world, as everyone come to grips with COVID-19.

Published: 03rd April 2020 07:53 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd April 2020 07:53 AM   |  A+A-

Jack Black's “Quarantine Dance”

Express News Service

Jack’s Back (and Front)

We get it. You’re going stir crazy stuck indoors, but know that you’re not alone. People around the world are finding ways to keep themselves occupied while their city, state, country stays under lockdown. From civilians to celebrities, everyone is needing to decompress. Among the latter is actor and musician Jack Black, who catered to the former by uploading an impromptu “music video” on TikTok, which has since
gone viral. The Shallow Hal actor and Tenacious D frontman choreographed and performed his own “Quarantine Dance”, while shirtless and with his traditional chutzpah. Dressed in nothing but a cowboy hat and boots, along with a pair of gym shorts, the 50-year-old posted the 30-second video, which was
seemingly recorded in his backyard and shows him heave around his substantial bulk in a series of dubious high-kicks, squats, pirouettes, and jumps.

The Boy Who Lived

Author JK Rowling recently said “Parents, teachers and carers working to keep children amused and interested while we’re on lockdown might need a bit of magic.” And if there’s anyone who can provide that during these trying times, it’s the creator of the Harry Potter universe; which is just what she was doing. Rowling said the above as she launched an online Potter resource hub to keep kids entertained as well as educated as they remain at home to fight the spread of COVID-19. The portal, “Harry Potter at Home”, brings together all kinds of media and resources from within the universe, including free access to the audiobook version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone courtesy Audible, making it available in several different languages for free, without requiring a subscription to the audiobook app owned by Amazon. Other features of Harry Potter at Home include articles, puzzles and videos, all geared to unlocking kids’ imagination, without even having to say Alohomora!

Finding the Cure

Times of crisis certainly make for strange bedfellows. Even as the government and private medical companies race to find a legit vaccine for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, help has come from an unexpected source. British American Tobacco, the cigarette conglomerate that owns Camel, Lucky Strike, and Pall Mall among other legacy brands of cancer sticks, said that its subsidiary, biotech firm Kentucky BioProcessing is working on creating a vaccine from lab-grown plants similar to tobacco. David
O’Reilly, Director of scientific research at British American Tobacco, told news agencies that, “Vaccine development is challenging and complex work, but we believe we have made a  significant break-through with our tobacco plant technology platform.” While the idea of a cigarette company finding the cure to a
deadly pandemic sounds more like an April Fool’s joke, British American Tobacco is (deadly) serious about this.

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