The ‘High Maintenance’ Creators Say The Show Can Go On With Or Without Them

Although The Guy (series co-creator Ben Sinclair) has been riding his bike around Brooklyn for four seasons (and a precursive webseries), High Maintenance Season 5 has yet to be announced. Fortunately, it seems like Sinclair wants to keep going — for now. "I think we need a break, but I don’t think it’s the last season," Sinclair told Pitchfork in late March. So while it will hopefully come back, fans may be in for a bit of a wait.

Sinclair’s co-creator and ex-wife, Katja Blichfeld, however, told Vulture that High Maintenance "could conceivably go on forever, be it with me and Ben at the helm or others." She continued, saying, "There are so many people in our tight-knit group that get the show in a really special way and have internalized its ethos … it does give me that feeling that it could go on for longer than maybe I would have thought a few years ago when we first made the move to television."

Blichfeld continued this sentiment in an interview with Elle, where she said that they’re never going to run out of ideas — even after so many episodes, each of which introduces new characters and plots. "There’s certainly no shortage of stories out there, and as the years have gone on, we’ve continued to bring on more collaborators to generate these stories, so it’s actually gotten a bit easier in that way," Blichfeld said. Although she and Sinclair wrote Season 1 themselves, they have since formed a writer’s room, per Elle, which helps with them generate ideas.

Indeed, High Maintenance has become famous for the anthology series’ empathetic storytelling. "This season, the mantra was back to basics, and our basics were creating snackable stories that you could just jump into at any point and not need to be following an entire arc," Sinclar told Entertainment Weekly. "So we were just trying to go back to telling stories of unusual people."

The only throughway between these "snackable stories" is Sinclair’s nameless weed dealer, who weaves in an out of his clients’ lives. "There are a lot of returning characters this season," Executive Producer Russell Gregory told EW in the same interview. "Going back to basics also meant we brought back a lot of our favorite and fan favorite characters."

In Season 4, highlights have included the recurring character Evan, who is an asexual magician. In Episode 2, he meets an intimacy coordinator named Kym (Abigail Bengson), who is helping supervise a Scandal-like show starring Nick Kroll. This season also depicts a sign language interpreter, an artist who supports himself as a singing telegram, and, of course, The Guy’s new one-eyed dog, FOMO. High Maintenance also has the occasional cameo, and Season 4 featured This American Life host Ira Glass playing himself.

But while the High Maintenance writers room may have a seemingly unlimited story supply, Sinclair seems a bit more worn out than his collaborators. "Is there a situation in which I want to be doing this show for 20 years, and for each of those 20 years it’s a ten-month-long job?" he wondered aloud during his Vulture interview. "I probably want a little more time to just go be a human being and live a life."

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WhatsApp has an awesome new feature, but some iPhones will miss out

WhatsApp has rolled out a new version of the popular chat app. But those hoping to take advantage of the latest features introduced by the Facebook-owned messenger will need to make sure their iPhone is updated. As for Android users – afraid there’s no new named features in that version of WhatsApp this time around.

The latest version of WhatsApp now takes advantage of the new Share Sheet feature introduced by Apple in iOS 13. When tapping the Share icon inside another app – like the Photos app, for example – you will now see individual contacts and group chats in the AI-powered suggestions in the top row. This feature was available in iOS 13 at launch for only for one-on-conversations and group chats in Apple’s own iMessage. Third-party developers have to update apps to support the feature.

The update, which ships in WhatsApp version 2.20.40, should make it much faster to quickly send an image, document, webpage, song, or any other content from an app on your smartphone with the almost-ubiquitous Share icon to someone you text frequently in WhatsApp. In the notes that accompany the update, WhatsApp states: “On iOS 13, your WhatsApp contacts will now appear as suggestions in the share sheet when you share content from another app.”

Until now, sending content to a specific contact within WhatsApp required iPhone owners to tap the Share icon, then hit the WhatsApp icon in the second row of the Share Sheet interface to load up a view of every ongoing chat taking place inside the app. Being kind, it was a little convoluted. Being unkind, it was downright arduous.

READ MORE 
WhatsApp update could be the most important ever in coronavirus pandemic

However, it’s good that WhatsApp has taken the time to implement the latest features in iOS into its code.

To take advantage of the new Share Sheet implementation, you’ll need to be able to see the redesigned Share Sheet – which means your iPhone has to be running a version of iOS 13. Unfortunately, that means anyone using WhatsApp on an iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, or iPhone 6 Plus will not be able to take advantage of the timesaving new upgrade.

READ MORE

  • Google tackles Houseparty with update to help during social distancing

The latest update, which started to roll out to the Apple App Store earlier this week, comes as a security expert issued a troubling warning about the Facebook-owned chat app.

According to the new warning, hackers can easily set-up WhatsApp on a new device and gain access to all of your previous conversations, photos, videos, and more. This is done by tricking users into handing over the all-important six-digit code used to restore your conversations on a new device.

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This Man Thought He Bought His Country A Vast Supply Of Coronavirus Masks. It Was A Scam.

A forged “license to operate” in Hungary, featuring an old logo of the US Food and Drug Administration.

The journalists at BuzzFeed News are proud to bring you trustworthy and relevant reporting about the coronavirus. To help keep this news free, become a member and sign up for our newsletter, Outbreak Today.

In February the Mongolian government issued a plea to the country’s private sector: help us find masks. Neighboring China had provided an early front row seat to how the spread of the coronavirus could leave healthcare workers desperately in need of personal protective equipment.

Zorig Tumensaan, who owns several clinics in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, stirred into action. He and a friend based in Europe found a website, agro-szabkft.com, promising the “best quality 3 ply surgical face mask for instant shipment.” They ordered 100,000 and, on March 4, sent a bank transfer for 12,000 euros ($13,109).

“We have masks coming,” Tumensaan recalled telling the Mongolian Ministry of Health. “When they arrive we will order one million more.”

They never arrived. The site is one of a proliferating number of scams preying on people around the world who are trying to meet the skyrocketing demand for masks and other gear. The scams have snookered people trying to donate to hospitals, and people trying to protect their workforce. Tumensaan appears to be the first known victim who was trying to help build a national stockpile.



Pictures of masks sent as part of the scam.

The people running agro-szabkft.com used forged certificates, as well as an obviously-fake “logistics company” which claimed to track the customer’s non-existent deliveries.

Agro-szabkft.com did not respond to repeated requests for comment sent through voicemail and email, nor did it answer repeated calls to several phone numbers provided on company “invoices.”

After the outbreak began the Mongolian government was forced to close down its border with China, shutting off a would-be source of masks — the country imports almost 80% of its vital resources from China. There are few face mask producers in Mongolia, so the government called on private donors to help the country’s hospitals stock up on protective equipment, including not just masks but also gowns and N95 respirators.

“I felt a social duty to help,” Tumensaan told BuzzFeed News. “I phoned and said I will fight to donate the masks.”

If you have a story to share about scams — or anything else coronavirus — we’d love to hear from you. Reach out at [email protected] via one of our tip line channels.

Tumensaan began emailing with a sales representative from agro-szabkft.com who identified himself as “Alex Lajos.” Lajos wrote that he had up to seven million face masks in stock, and promised “very prompt” delivery. “We hope to do long term business with your esteemed company,” he wrote.

Lajos sent copies of certificates claiming to be from the Hungarian “Department of Health,” and the International Organization for Standardization. The certificates claimed that the company had “complied with the rules and regulations” and was a certified wholesaler of medical goods. Lajos also sent dozens of pictures of warehouses filled with boxes of 3M face masks, and of men unloading boxes of respirators off the back of trucks. He even sent a video of the warehouse, telling Tumensaan that it showed workers there saying his name and the date.

This was enough to persuade Tumensaan. He sent the 12,000 euros on March 4, he said, and was promised delivery within just five days. He received an invoice with what appeared to be the company’s watermark.

The invoice.

To track the shipment he was directed to another website, goldwinglogistics.com, which claims to deliver “millions of parcels, documents and freight consignments with care and attention — because we understand how important each and every parcel is to you.” The company claims to be based out of Texas and have offices all over the world.

By March 10, Tumensaan was worried. “What is the update?” he wrote in a WhatsApp message to the person calling himself Alex Lajos. “We need to know the shipping details please this is urgent.”

Three days later, Tumensaan received an email from goldwinglogistics.com asking him to pay an extra 4,995 euros, “which has to be paid before we can proceed with the delivery of your goods.”

Goldwinglogistics.com is also a scam, part of an apparent network of websites for fake logistics companies. Photographs on the site claiming to show company “team members” are in fact stock images, pictures which appear on a dozen other websites offering similar services. The site claims to be based in Austin but does not appear on a search of Texas’s registry of businesses.

The site lists two phone numbers to contact the company. BuzzFeed News called both — none of the numbers worked apart from the Hungarian “office.” “Who is this?” the man at that number said, before quickly hanging up and blocking further phone calls.

After the goldwinglogistics.com email, Tumensaan was sure he had been scammed, and he started poring over the information he had received from agro-szabkft.com. The “certificates” claimed to be from the Hungarian government but included an old logo for the United States Food and Drug Administration. And the video he received to prove the company’s legitimacy contained no sound.

The part of the “certificate” with the old FDA logo.

On March 13, Tumensaan contacted the seller one final time. “Congratulations on the scam,” he said.

The site claimed to be based in Hungary, so Tumensaan reported the website to the Hungarian authorities. A spokesman for police in Hungary’s Baranya County, where the company claimed to have an address, told BuzzFeed News “the fraud case is being investigated” but “the perpetrator is yet unknown.”

Tumensaan is currently in hospital quarantine, after returning from a trip to Europe two weeks ago.

People spray disinfectant in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, in March.

From his room at the National Centre for Communicable Diseases — Mongolia’s central hospital for infectious disease — he has been trying to recoup his lost money, while searching for alternative ways to help his country stock up.

“I will continue to fight to find masks,” he said.

The Mongolian government did not respond to a request for comment. According to Mongolian press reports, the country has now secured several million masks through aid and donations.

Mongolia has 14 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and will soon be receiving equipment from the International Atomic Energy Agency to help ramp up testing.

More on this

  • This Website Has Been Scamming People Desperate For Coronavirus MasksRichard Holmes · March 25, 2020
  • Everyone Is Looking For Coronavirus Protective Masks. Some Are Looking To Get Rich.Ken Bensinger · March 25, 2020
  • A UK Website Was Selling Coronavirus Test Kits To British Consumers For Home Use. That’s Illegal.Joey D’Urso · March 27, 2020
  • Richard Holmes is an investigations reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

    Contact Richard Holmes at [email protected]

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

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European football chiefs admit for first time season may be AXED after Belgium becomes first league to pull the plug – The Sun

EUROPEAN football chiefs have admitted for the first time the season may have to be scrapped.

A joint letter to all leagues and clubs confirms that finishing the campaign despite the coronavirus crisis is the collective aim of European football.

That is a direct response to the decision by Belgian bosses to unilaterally end their domestic season, against Uefa’s wishes.

But the letter, co-written by Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin, Juventus President Andrea Agnelli in his role as head of the European Clubs Association and Lars Christer Olsson of the European League umbrella group, concedes that it may not be possible for the campaign to be played to a finish.

And that reality may dawn as soon as the middle of next month after Uefa’s working party assesses the state of non-play across the continent.

The letter, a signal of cooperation between the three bodies who have frequently been at odds, confirmed the priority is to complete domestic leagues before there is any thought of a resumption of European club competitions.

It promised: “Concrete plans are being drawn up.

“Work is now focusing on scenarios encompassing the months of July and August, including the possibility that the UEFA competitions restart after the completion of domestic leagues.”

The letter added: “ A joint management of calendars is strictly required as the conclusion of the current season must be coordinated with the start of the new one, which may be partly impacted because of the overstretch.

“Closely following the development of the current situation, we will indicate as soon as possible, and ideally by mid-May, which of the plans can be enacted for the completion of the season without leaving anyone behind.

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“Stopping competitions should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season.”

That last point represented the first official recognition by European football that completing the season may not be feasible.

But it also explains why Prem chiefs remain desperate to complete the campaign.

Belgian became the first European league to pull the plug when the final regular season match in the Jupiler Pro League and the end of season play-offs were cancelled on Thursday, with Club Bruges declared champions but no relegation.

It is understood that Uefa have told leagues that voiding the season would leave national associations unable to forward clubs for next season’s Champions League and Europa League IF other countries play out their campaigns.

The three-party letter, representing effectively the whole of European football, reiterates the demand that “effort had to be made in order to allow all domestic and European competitions to be concluded in compliance with their formats”.

It added: “It is of paramount importance that even a disruptive event like this epidemic does not prevent our competitions from being decided on the field, in accordance with their rules and that all sporting titles are awarded on the basis of results.

“As responsible leaders in our sport, this is what we must ensure, until the last possibility exists and whilst planning, operational and regulatory solutions are available.

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One in 10 workers tipped to be jobless at peak of crisis

More than one in 10 workers may be without a job at the peak of the economic contraction due to the coronavirus pandemic, which 15 top economists on average predict will push the budget to a record $140 billion deficit next financial year.

The most pessimistic forecast was for the deficit to blow out to $300 billion in 2020-21 and 20 per cent unemployment.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have introduced major stimulus packages to help limit the economic impacts of coronavirus.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age surveyed the economists for a special edition of the biannual Scope survey focused on how the virus and measures to slow the spread will affect jobs, economic growth and government spending.

The panel on average expects the budget to fall into deficit by $87 billion in 2019-20 and $140 billion the following year.

The worst budget deficit since modern records started 50 years ago was the 2009-10 shortfall of $54.5 billion, or 4.2 per cent of GDP. A $140 billion deficit would be about 8 per cent of GDP.

University of Kingston's Steve Keen expects by 2020-21 the deficit could be $300 billion, while Westpac's Bill Evans and AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver predict deficits of $210 billion and $200 billion respectively.

Industry Super's Stephen Anthony had the best-case scenario at $55 billion for next financial year, closely followed by University of Melbourne's Neville Norman and Victoria University's Janine Dixon, who tipped $60 billion.

GDP is tipped to be flat or to contract by up to 2.5 per cent in the March quarter. In the June quarter, the best result forecast was for the economy to shrink by 2.8 per cent but Dr Keen expects a 15 per cent contraction. That would be the worst quarterly result on record.

All of the economists are predicting a sharp increase in joblessness, with an average forecast of 11.5 per cent at the peak. The best-case scenario of a 7.8 per cent unemployment rate was forecast by Commonwealth Bank's Gareth Aird for the end of June. ANZ's David Plank made his prediction before the introduction of the JobKeeper package and expected a 13 per cent unemployment rate by the end of the financial year.

At the peak of unemployment, Dr Keen is tipping 20 per cent of people could be without work, which was the worst-case scenario out of the panel. Monash University's Jakob Madsen estimated a 17 per cent rate.

Mr Anthony was again the most optimistic, expecting 8.5 per cent at the peak, closely followed by HSBC's Paul Bloxham at 8.6 per cent.

The majority of the panel said the federal government's $130 billion JobKeeper scheme, which offers a wage subsidy to keep staff on-board at struggling businesses, would help kerb the damage to jobs.

Independent economist Saul Eslake, who expects an 8.2 per cent unemployment rate by June and a peak of 10.75 per cent, said before JobKeeper was announced he was forecasting 1.2 million to 1.5 million workers could lose work.

If this were the case and all those workers counted as actively looking for work, the jobless rate could have risen up to 15 per cent.

"After thinking about the government's wage subsidy scheme, I've cut my guesstimate of the number of job losses to about 765,000," he said.

Dr Norman said predictions made about the economy for 2020 had been "radically shattered" by the pandemic and forecasts were heavily dependent on the length of the shutdown and spread of infections.

"By June or July 2020, we should have some fiscal deficit numbers published that will terrify a majority of people hooked on classical or monetarist economics," Dr Norman said. "Roll on another year and then an even bigger fiscal effect, in my assessment, will arise from the erosion of tax revenues collected … from persons and businesses."

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ITV’s Top Executives Take 20% Pay Cut & Forgo Bonuses During Coronavirus Crisis

ITV’s board and senior management have announced that they intend to take a 20% pay cut and forgo their 2020 bonuses as the coronavirus crisis rocks the global entertainment industry.

In a statement to investors, ITV said top executives including CEO Carolyn McCall, chairman Peter Bazalgette and CFO Chris Kennedy asked to have their salary reduced for the duration of the government-imposed lockdown. Non-executive directors will also take a 20% pay cut.

ITV added that if the lockdown continues beyond June 30, the remuneration committee will review the matter again. “ITV’s priority is to protect its people, while striving to ensure that it continues to keep viewers informed and entertained through delivering the news and programmes its viewers value and love to watch,” the company said.

McCall’s base salary stood at £923,000 ($1.1M) last year, while she took home a bonus of £1.4M in cash and shares. Bazalgette earnt £450,000 in his role as chairman in 2019, while non-execs pocket between £70,000 and £95,000.

McCall is not the only UK broadcasting CEO sacrificing her pay during the coronavirus pandemic. Sky boss Jeremy Darroch is donating nine months of his salary to COVID-19 relief charities. “This is a time for everybody across the country to do their bit and make a difference where they can,” Darroch said.

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Iceland home deliveries – what time are slots released today? – The Sun

CORONAVIRUS is sweeping across the UK and supermarkets are doing their best to provide home deliveries, particularly to the most vulnerable shoppers.

But how do I get my shopping delivered from Iceland?

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

Do Iceland do home delivery?

Iceland are continuing to do home deliveries, with a minimum net spend of £35 required.

However, orders are limited to the over-65s and vulnerable shoppers.

Deliveries with Iceland are currently sold out to April 8.

What time are Iceland delivery slots released?

Iceland's delivery slots are updated daily but it is not known whether there is a specific time when they release more.

These slots with are available on the Iceland website up to six days in the future.

Iceland have stated: "We are working hard to add more availability and delivery slots and are reviewing this regularly, as to not disappoint our customers."

Home deliveries with Iceland can only be booked online and not over the phone or via email.

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Do Iceland have restrictions on any items ordered online?

Restrictions have been lifted on most items, but they remain in place on antibacterial soaps and wipes.

Iceland commented: "Many of our customers are not in a position to bulk 'panic buy' – they include older people and families whose budgets mean they are simply unable to do it.

"We have seen greater demand in some areas and as such have introduced a temporary cap on sales of several products online including some anti-bacterial soaps and wipes.

"We’re working hard with our suppliers to help meet demand. Please note there may be similar restrictions on some items in store."

 

What have Iceland said about their response to coronavirus?

Iceland boss Richard Walker used his March 27 blog post to condemn panic buying and focus on the cooperation currently occurring between supermarket chains.

He wrote: "Retailers who are normally the deadliest of competitors have started talking freely to each other, sharing information and ideas, and standing shoulder to shoulder in a combined effort to feed the nation.

"The Government has effectively nationalised the workforce and relaxed some of the normal industry competition rules. DEFRA and the British Retail Consortium are promoting industry co-ordination and co-operation as never seen before.

"The Coronavirus emergency really has brought out the worst, and the best, in people.

"One of the most critical issues all food retailers have had to address is panic buying.

"Of course, I can understand why people are fearful given the endless images we are confronted with, online and in the mainstream media, of desolate supermarket shelves and terror-stricken shoppers.

"But stockpiling is inherently socially divisive: it is only an option for those who can afford it, and stripping the supermarket shelves denies poorer and more vulnerable people of the chance to buy the things they need.

"'Shop responsibly' has been my key message over the last fortnight, which I think has been heeded by many but obviously not by all.

"Panic buying and stockpiling are also unnecessary because production has not dried up: although some factories are beginning to see the effects of staff going into self-isolation, ample quantities of food and toilet roll are still coming through.

"The current shortages will largely be resolved once people simply revert to their normal habits and shop for what they actually need – which I’m pleased to report is starting to happen."

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7.30am Man Utd news LIVE: Sancho latest, Pogba to be sold to fund dream move for Haaland, defender transfer exclusive – The Sun

MANCHESTER UNITED are making big plans to bring Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford and form a deadly trio with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

It's also been suggested that the Red Devils could offload Paul Pogba to Real Madrid to fund a move for teen sensation Erling Haaland.

And we have the latest updates on the financial situation at United and what the squad are doing during the coronavirus lockdown.

Follow all the latest gossip and news from Old Trafford below…

  • MORNING, RED DEVILS FANS

    Manchester United’s season may be coming to an end amid the coronavirus crisis.

    But that doesn’t mean Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn't already considering his ins and outs for the next campaign.

    SunSport can exclusively reveal United will no longer be looking for a new left-back due to the emergence of Brandon Williams.

    The youngster has been in superb form this season after coming in for the injured Luke Shaw.

    And it’s reckoned Williams’ form will save the club £50million in transfer fees.

    But there is little hope left over Paul Pogba’s future, with the Frenchman still keen to quit Old Trafford.

    It’s believed he is hell-bent on joining Real Madrid this summer in order to link up with idol Zinedine Zidane.

    And Real Madrid are equally keen to complete a deal as they look to shake up their squad.

    However, Pogba’s exit could help United fund a dream move for Erling Haaland.

    The Norwegian was strongly tipped to link up with Solskjaer in January before opting for Borussia Dortmund.

    However, he has a £63m release clause at his new club and could be tempted to move to England after already impressing in Germany.

  • THAT'S SAUL FOLKS

    Manchester United are set to miss out on Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez this summer, according to reports.

    The 25-year-old had been earmarked as a potential acquisition to bolster the Red Devils' midfield – particularly with Paul Pogba's likely departure.

    But according to AS, the Spanish side will demand that the 19-cap Spanish international's £132million release clause be paid in FULL if they are to let their academy graduate go.

    The figure was weaved into Saul's NINE-year contract when it was agreed upon back in 2017.

    This price-tag would smash the £89m club-record fee that United paid for Pogba, 27, back in 2016.

  • EXCLUSIVE BY DANIEL CUTTS

    Manchester United have called off their search for a new left-back after the emergence of Brandon Williams.

    An Old Trafford source told SunSport: “The manager has told Brandon to keep doing what he is doing and to keep his feet on the ground.

    “At the same time, Ole has stopped looking for a new left-back. Brandon has done enough.

    “There was an idea he could go out like Dean Henderson has, to another Premier League club or a team in the Championship.

    “Ole loves Brandon's attitude and he will be here next season. The bosses think he will save them £50m.”

  • TRUE GENT

    Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea have suffered a transfer blow with £20m Gent wonderkid Jonathan David reportedly preferring a move to Barcelona.

    According to Mundo Deportivo, the young midfielder would prefer a move to La Liga giants Barcelona. 

    He has been a long standing admirer of former Barcelona star Ronaldinho for his playing style and trademark smile.

    The Catalan giants need to replace Luis Suarez as he is set to miss most of the rest of the season – when it resumes – after he had surgery on a troublesome knee injury.

    David has been hailed as the most flexible forward in the Belgian top-flight, with the youngster capable of fitting in across the front-line.

  • GRIEZY PEASY

    Barcelona are considering part-exchanging Antoine Griezmann for Neymar, according to reports.

    Barca value Griezmann at £88million while Paris Saint-Germain want £135m for Neymar and the two could do a swap deal, according to Sky Sports News.

    Arsenal are among the teams believed to be looking at Griezmann.

    While Neymar has been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea in recent transfer windows.

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Woman, 49, with stage 4 cancer almost died from coronavirus

Mother, 49, with stage 4 cancer who almost died from coronavirus after being admitted to hospital barely able to breathe reveals she’s back running her spin studio three WEEKS later – and insists ‘I’m too young to die’

  • Spin studio owner Hilary Bentwood, 49, of London, has stage 4 cervical cancer 
  • Treatments included chemotherapy and an operation to remove her ovaries
  • Three weeks ago, after suffering a cough, Hilary tested positive for Coronavirus
  • Has now recovered from the virus and says even the most vulnerable can beat it 

A fitness entrepreneur with stage 4 cervical cancer revealed how she almost died from coronavirus after developing symptoms she initially thought were caused by chemotherapy.

Hilary Bentwood, 49, who runs spin studio CyClub, in north London, was admitted to hospital last month with fatigue, a high temperature and extreme shortness of breath.

As a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy, Hilary understood she was at in a high-risk category for COVID-19 but said she was ‘too ill to worry’. It was only after she recovered that her oncologist revealed to her that she had been in a life-threatening condition.  

However Hilary, a married mother of two, was determined to get back to work and within three weeks was back running the studio alongside her best friend and business partner Sharon Jaffe, 47. 

Hilary Bentwood, 49, (pictured) from North-West London, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer last year, revealed how she almost died from coronavirus last month

The spin studio owner and mother-of-two told how she has lost her hair as a result of chemotherapy. She now wears wigs when she is teaching spin classes 

‘I am too young to die,’ Hilary said, explaining how she remains upbeat. ‘I still have so much I need to do, that’s what keeps me positive. Stage 4 cancer aside – we have too much to do.’  

Hilary was diagnosed with stage 4 cervical cancer last year and underwent surgery to remove her ovaries and tumours in December.

She initially put her coronavirus symptoms down to exhaustion from a recent round of chemotherapy, but later decided her persistent cough and difficulty breathing combined with a very high fever must be caused by more than chemo.

She was taken to the hospital oncology unit where she was treated as if it could be neutropenic sepsis or coronavirus.

‘I was absolutely terrified,’ she said. ‘Being a chemo patient, if we get a temperature over 37.5C we are supposed to call into hospital or go to A&E as our immunity is compromised and we can become neutropenic [when someone has a low level of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell], which is life-threatening.’ 

She continued: ‘I was too ill to worry. Although I was reassured it wasn’t nutropeanea, I was put on an IV drip and oxygen and two days later my results from the oncology unit revealed I had tested positive for coronavirus.

‘My cough was terrible and uncontrollable – shallow breaths was all I could manage. 

‘My consultant was in touch with me regularly and I am truly grateful that he chose not to tell me of the risk to my life. He did not consider it appropriate to have that conversation with me whilst I was so unwell. For me, calmness is key, panic just causes more pain.

After being released from hospital, Hilary was determined to get back to work and within three weeks was back running the studio alongside her best friend and business partner Sharon Jaffe, 47. Pictured, Hilary and Sharon together

‘It was only a few days ago that he confirmed to me the life-threatening situation I had been in, once we knew I was out the woods. He shared with me that the stats were not good for chemo corona patients and that my life had been at severe risk.’

Once she was released from hospital, Hilary spent time in self-isolation but kept in constant communication with Sharon so they could keep their business running. 

Like many fitness business owners, the friends were forced to close CyClub as the coronavirus crisis worsened in the UK. However the partners quickly adapted to a remote model and launched ‘On Demand’ as an option for their 4,000 members.

Sharon said: ‘When Hilary got the cancer diagnosis, it felt like the bottom fell out of my world. I was already dealing with a mother and mother-in-law with cancer, but with Hilary it was just too much. She was my rock and I had to become her rock and when she got the coronavirus and everything happened so quickly I knew it was a lifeline for us both to keep our club up and running.

‘Running your own business is difficult at the best of times, never mind in this situation. Our spinning community is huge, we are like a family, so when the studio shut we discussed launching On Demand, worked through the logistics of renting out our bikes and how to deliver them – and boom ‘On Demand’ happened.

Hilary (pictured) revealed the belief that she’s ‘too young to die’ and still has much to do, keeps her positive 

‘I created a mini studio in my children’s playroom, purchased some equipment on Amazon and carried on recording, even with Instagram Live and IGTV, which I had never used before. 

‘There was so much encouragement as we had our own CyClub on Demand Whatsapp group with members enthusiastically embracing the classes. We have started off with members who are original CyClubbers but now we’re proud to say we have subscribers from Boston to Athens.’  

Hilary continued: ‘Now I have my brain and body back, Cyclub on demand is key to my existence – Sharon and I working as one again – in a virtual capacity – is wonderful.

‘As for my own health, always what pulls me through is my need to get up and move. I have a need to make myself stronger and to train. It’s been that way for many many years now. It has saved me before all this cancer and coronavirus stuff, and it’s still my guiding light now. I have things to do, classes to teach and a body to put on display.

Like many fitness business owners, the friends were forced to close CyClub as the coronavirus crisis worsened in the UK. However the partners quickly adapted to a remote model and launched ‘On Demand’ as an option for their 4,000 members. Pictured, one of the classes 

‘I am too young to die. I still have so much I need to do, that’s what keeps me positive. Stage 4 cancer aside – we have too much to do. I am not leaving my family –  Sharon included – friends or The CyClub. 

‘I am still coughing and have a bad cold but my immunity is a little knocked and am not allowed any vitamin pills throughout my chemo regime, so limited help with recovery.’

Hilary, who admitted her cancer diagnosis last year was a ‘bombshell’, is still on an intensive chemotherapy regime that has caused her to lose her hair.

She has been having treatment at LOC London oncology centre, during the government’s enforced lockdown.

She continued: ‘Seeing my blonde hair covering my black lycra as it fell out is more sickening than the nausea you get with chemo. The disgustingness of fallen hair on your coat as you remove it is truly devastating [sic]. And how could I have the masses look at me at CyClub without a head of hair?

‘I have so many looking at me as I teach. Looking good is part of the role, and bald is not the way to roll. I absolutely had to hold onto the looking good element. 

‘One day quietly on my own (with my husband’s clippers) I did the deed of shaving my head and honestly I have no words to describe how that feels. It’s still tear-jerking, but I accept now that I will never have long locks again and I am at peace with it.

Hilary revealed helping others through CyClub motivates her, as it’s not only about burning calories but guiding some to think more clearly. Pictured: CyClub spinning class

‘I have fabulous real hair wigs but they will never feel like my own hair. And training and spinning now and sweating with a wig on is a little extra challenge – but it is what it is, and as long as the wig stays in place then I’m all good.’

Hilary told how her family, friends and spin community had been a pillar of support. 

She added: ‘My diagnosis of cancer was a bombshell but the love and friendship with my members has kept me going. It makes me emotional just thinking about the continued support I have received from them over these past few months. 

‘Plus the love and support I have had from Sharon – I couldn’t have done it without her and my wonderful family and friends.’  

http://www.the-cyclub.com/ And on Instagram @the_cyclub

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Arsenal transfer target Jonathan David admits he would ‘love’ to play in Premier League despite Barcelona dream – The Sun

THE Premier League is calling for Jonathan David after the Arsenal and Barcelona target said he would "love" to play in the English top-flight.

Clubs are lining up for the Gent striker, 20, following his impressive form in Belgium.

A strong breakout season last year has been backed up by 23 goals already this campaign as David's side qualified from a tough group to reach the Europa League knockouts.

And while a move isn't on the Canada international's mind just yet, the Premier League is certainly a possibility when he feels a top club can guarantee him a starting role.

He told The Guardian: "I don’t really focus on that or think much about it.

"Right now I’m playing almost every minute of every game and that has really helped me get to the level that I need to be. I just need to take a good step where I can make sure I am getting enough time on the pitch to keep developing.

"I don’t want to go somewhere and just stay on the bench so it’s about taking the right step.

"I want to become one of the best strikers in the world. That’s my goal.

"The Premier League is the best in the world and most competitive so obviously that is somewhere I would love to play in the future."

Reports in Spain place Barcelona in the driving seat for a deal and English trio Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton are among those also named as keen, joining Napoli, RB Leipzig and Lyon.

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