'It’s possible to be infected with both viruses at the same time,' said Dr Daniel Solomon, an infectious diseases expert. (Photo: iStock)

For starters, it’s impossible to tell without a test. But, the flu and COVID-19 have such similar symptoms, you may need to get tested to know what’s making you miserable. Body aches, sore throat, fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches are symptoms shared by the two. One difference? People with the flu typically feel sickest during the first week of illness. With COVID-19, people may feel the worst during the second or third week, and they may be sicker for a longer period. Another difference: COVID-19 is more likely than the flu to cause a loss of taste or smell. But not everyone experiences that symptom, so it’s not a reliable way to tell the viruses apart. That leaves testing, which will become more important as flu season ramps up this fall in the Northern Hemisphere. Doctors will need to know test results to determine the best treatment. It’s also possible to be infected with both viruses at the same time, said Dr Daniel Solomon, an infectious diseases expert at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. Whether you get tested for one or both viruses may depend on how available tests are and which viruses are circulating where you live, he said. ‘Right now we are not seeing community transmission of influenza, so widespread testing for the flu is not yet recommended,’ Solomon said. Both the flu and coronavirus spread through droplets from the nose and mouth. Both can spread before people know they are sick. The flu has a shorter incubation period — meaning after infection it can take one to four days to feel sick — compared to the coronavirus, which can take two to 14 days from infection to symptoms. On average, COVID-19 is more contagious than flu. But many people with COVID-19 don’t spread the virus to anyone, while a few people spread it to many others. These ‘superspreader events’ are more common with COVID-19 than flu, Solomon said. Preventing the flu starts with an annual flu shot tailored to the strains of the flu virus that are circulating. Health officials would like to see record numbers of people get flu shots this year so hospitals aren’t overwhelmed with two epidemics at once. There’s no vaccine yet for COVID-19, although several candidates are in the final testing stages. Precautions against COVID-19 — masks, social distancing, hand-washing — also slow the spread of the flu, so health officials hope continued vigilance could lessen the severity of this year’s flu season.

French chef Pierre Troisgros (c) applauds as the coffin of late French chef Paul Bocuse leaves the Saint-Jean Cathedral, in Lyon, central France. French media say Troisgros, one of France’s top chefs who helped reinvent the country’s traditional cuisine, has died. He was 92. (Philippe Desmazes/Pool Photo via AP, file)

Pierre Troisgros, one of France’s top chefs who helped reinvent the country’s traditional cuisine, died Wednesday just weeks after his 92nd birthday. With the deaths in 2018 of Paul Bocuse and Joël Robuchon, France has now lost three monumental chefs in just under three years. ‘He was a giant, equal to Paul Bocuse, with whom he revolutionized cuisine,’ tweeted the Guide Michelin, which makes and breaks the reputations of chefs, handing out three stars to the best. Troisgros, known for his mustache and broad smile, died at his home in Le Coteau, near Roanne in the Loire region where his restaurant was long located, the French press quoted the head of the Troisgros establishment, Patrice Laurent, as saying. Born September 3, 1928, in Chalon-sur-Saone, Troisgros learned his craft at his family’s hotel-restaurant in Roanne before heading for Paris where he refined his skills under Lucas Carton. Along with Bocuse, Troisgros was later acclaimed as the kings of traditional French cuisine. The two chefs had an enduring friendship. Troisgros returned to his home in the 1950s and took on the family hotel-restaurant with his brother Jean, earning his first Michelin star in 1955. The restaurant was renamed Les Freres Troisgros, and the cuisine changed along with the name, simple but creatively mixing flavours and often light, unlike traditional French gastronomy. The culinary offering proved to be a precursor to Nouvelle Cuisine – a new approach to cooking and food presentation in French cuisine. The restaurant earned its first three-star rating in 1968. Troisgros’ son Michel joined his father in the kitchen with the death of his uncle Jean in 1983. Michel, helped by his own son, eventually took over the house, which moved to a countryside location outside Roanne, in Ouches. ‘The team has a heavy heart tonight’ after learning of the death of Troisgros, the Paul Bocuse restaurant outside Lyon tweeted. ‘Everyone knows that we were close friends, with parallel destinies,’ Troisgros told the regional paper Le Progres in 2018. ‘Troisgros-Bocuse, Bocuse-Troisgros, it’s part of a legend.’


Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23) drives against Denver Nuggets' Jerami Grant during the second half of an NBA conference final playoff basketball game Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill).

LeBron James is going to a 10th NBA Finals — and for the first time in a decade, so are the Los Angeles Lakers. James punctuated his 27th postseason triple-double with a big fourth quarter, powering the Lakers to a 117-107 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night to win the Western Conference finals in five games. James finished with 38 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists to become the fourth player to reach 10 NBA Finals. It took him two seasons to make it with the Lakers, after falling short of the playoffs in an injury-plagued first season following eight consecutive trips with Miami and Cleveland. The Lakers will face either Miami Heat or Boston Celtics in their 32nd NBA Finals appearance, most in league history. They haven't played for the title since beating the Celtics in 2010 for the last of their 16 titles. Anthony Davis added 27 points and will end his first season with Los Angeles by playing in his first NBA Finals. Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant each scored 20 points for the Nuggets, who had fought off elimination six times before the Lakers finally put them away. Jamal Murray added 19 points and eight assists but the star guard struggled with some leg or foot pain and lacked his usual explosiveness. The Nuggets had come back from 3-1 down in the first two rounds before being finally ousted a month since they would have departed the bubble had they lost the first time they faced elimination, in Game 5 against Utah on August25.

In this Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 file photo, women's 7.5K sprint silver medalist Olga Vilukhina of Russia smiles with her medal during the medals ceremony at the 2014 Winter Olympics, in Sochi, Russia. Two-time Olympic biathlon champion Olga Zaitseva lost her appeal Thursday Sept. 24, 2020, against disqualification from the 2014 Sochi Olympics for her part in Russia’s state-backed doping program. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File).

Russia has been given five more months to fix a “seriously deficient” plan to combat doping in track and field, World Athletics said Saturday. Track's world governing body said Russia's deadline was moved from September30 to March 1. A World Athletics task force reported the Russian track federation, known as RusAF, had so few experienced staff that it couldn't compose an adequate road map for lifting a doping suspension which has been in place nearly five years. “Although the draft plan was better than what has come before (in particular, in acknowledging the doping culture in Russian athletics, and in identifying some of the systemic issues that have to be addressed to change that culture), it is nevertheless seriously deficient and does not meet most of the requirements,” the task force said in a statement. The task force "could not possibly provide feedback that would facilitate turning this product into an acceptable plan by the end of September unless we took on the job of rewriting it ourselves, when our job is supposed to be only the provision of advice and feedback on what they come up with based on their own analysis of the situation." World Athletics had previously said RusAF could be expelled from membership if it didn't compose an anti-doping plan. RusAF handed in a draft plan last month and was meant to modify it by September30 to include changes required by World Athletics. The task force said a “void” of experience in senior management hampered the work. The then-president Dmitry Shlyakhtin was among five RusAF employees or board members who were suspended last year over allegations of providing forged documents to give an athlete an alibi for being unavailable for doping testing. Long-running financial problems have made it hard for RusAF to attract and retain staff. RusAF is due to elect a new president in November. Businessman Yevgeny Yurchenko took over in February but resigned in July after the federation missed a deadline to pay a fine to World Athletics. Yurchenko is now back as acting president after the Russian Sports Ministry provided money to pay the fine. The five-month delay won’t stop Russians competing in any major competitions. The Diamond League season has finished for 2020 and the world indoor championships — rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic — start on March 19. RusAF general secretary Andrei Konokotin said the plan had been “generally well received” by World Athletics despite the criticism from the task force. World Athletics has allowed some Russians to compete internationally as neutral athletes if they pass vetting of their drug-testing history. However, it suspended that program earlier this year. “We are counting on a decision being taken at the WA council meeting in December to resume the process of awarding our athletes neutral status, and we are doing everything we can for this,” Konokotin added in a statement on the RusAF website.


Patricia Affonso Dass, President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Assocciation.

The president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) welcomed the focus of World Tourism Day this year on the important, but often overlooked, linkages between tourism and rural development. Applauding the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) celebration of tourism’s essential role in providing opportunities beyond major urban centers, Patricia Affonso-Dass noted that many of the Caribbean’s rural areas have benefited from tourism’s development and are now challenged with working together to revitaliSe tourism, as their communities have been particularly hard hit by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. “The Caribbean is replete with examples of how tourism has been key to the development of rural communities. Many of our hotels in rural areas are major generators for other economic activity in their communities beyond the creation of jobs at the resorts,” said Affonso-Dass. “These hotels have spawned a range of businesses and jobs which otherwise would not exist without tourism, including new attractions, ground transportation services, restaurants, musicians and entertainment providers, fishermen, farmers, and other support services for hotels. "As tourism-generated dollars circulate from visitor spending and employee earnings, they in turn support the grocery stores, petrol stations, banks, insurance companies, and public services that help to build and maintain roads, utilities, sanitation facilities, health clinics, police and fire securities, and other infrastructure which is so essential to rural development,” she added. The tourism leader optimistically reflected that the slowdown of visitor arrivals to the Caribbean due to the pandemic was a golden opportunity for the region to invest in showcasing the beauty, diversity and productivity of rural areas through the development of more agricultural tourism offerings, which help to preserve and promote history and culture. “The beauty of our coasts, beaches, reefs, and seas is well known but we should support and highlight the potential of our inland farming communities to feed and sustain not only our residents, but also the formal tourism sector, and encourage visitors to experience the simple joys of Caribbean country life through agritourism,” Affonso-Dass urged. The CHTA leader believes the economic benefit to territories and countries is another strong argument for supporting the rural environs: “While we have made real headway in recent years integrating local produce into hotel and restaurant menus, we need to continue and streamline this effort by working with farmers to strengthen critical supply chain challenges and implementing virtual clearing houses that would allow farmers to know what products are needed in what quantities, at what standard and in what timeframes so that they can maximiSe the value from their production. This way we all benefit and our visitors can enjoy a real taste of our distinctive regional flavors while giving our farmers, large and small, more sustainable livelihoods. UNWTO has reported that young people have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, with youth in rural communities three times more likely to be unemployed than older adults, making rural tourism an important social adhesive. “Supporting tourism recovery and strengthening its linkages to the rural areas would allow our young people to remain and earn a sustainable living in their beloved lands rather than migrating within their home countries or abroad,” observed Affonso-Dass. Indeed, she pointed to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ statement that for rural communities, indigenous peoples and many other historically marginalized populations, tourism has been a vehicle for integration, empowerment and income generation. The CHTA president emphasiSed that rural communities were typically much less prepared to deal with the short- and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. “This is due to several factors, such as ageing populations, the difficulty in sustaining durable livelihoods and the difficulty and cost of developing and maintaining efficient and reliable communication so they can quickly identify the food needs of consumers. And, we totally agree with the UNWTO that tourism offers a solution to all of these challenges,” she said. World Tourism Day 2020 will be celebrated by UNWTO’s member states on September 27, 2020, as well as by cities and other destinations and private sector organizations and individual travelers. It comes as the world continues to struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Neil Walters, Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation. Photo courtesy CTO

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the region’s tourism development agency, is moving ahead wiith its plan to help develop community-based tourism. In his World Tourism Day message, Neil Walters, Acting Secretary General of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation said theyneed to help those businesses which are often away from the coast and beaches, in our rural areas, as the tourism industry restarts. "To this end, the organisation has forged ahead in its collaboration with the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) which will be funding community-based tourism projects in some rural areas in Caribbean countries. The lessons learnt can be used as a blueprint to encourage similar projects across the region and be a catalyst for income generation and development in our rural communities," he said. The theme of World Tourism Day is "Tourism and Rural Development”. "Some of the characteristics of rural communities such as population demographics, lower income levels and relatively limited access to technology and infrastructure lead to an increased vulnerability in such areas, to the impacts of crises like the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism can work hand in hand with other economic sectors in the Caribbean such as agriculture, transportation and culture to empower rural communities," said Walters in a press release. "Bringing people together in such an environment of solidarity and trust, advances the cooperation and collaboration needed to help us move beyond the pandemic. By providing a lifeline to the vulnerable in our societies, we reduce the tug on social services and further enhance the capacity of Caribbean people to play a leading role in their own development. Since the greatest resource in the Caribbean is our people, any investment will result in benefits for generations to come." He urgedCaribbean people to join the world tourism community in rebuilding this sector and ensuring that starting now, the benefits of tourism consistently spread beyond the traditional coastal and urban bailiwick to areas of our countries often overlooked, but which can be positioned to sustainably diversify the already rich treasures awaiting visitors to our shores. World Tourism Day is on September 27.