All the free Xbox and PS4 games you can download in April revealed

XBOX and PS4 owners can bag two free games this month – if you meet the right criteria.

You'll need an Xbox Live membership or PS Plus subscription to qualify, which many players will already have.

Xbox Games with Gold – how to get FREE Xbox games

Games With Gold is Microsoft's answer to the free games you get with Sony's PlayStation Plus.

You can get the free games on Xbox if you subscribe to Xbox Live Gold – something that's required for online play.

Then, each month you receive four free games, two on the latest console and two for the previous generation.

These are yours to keep for as long as you have your Xbox Live Gold membership running.

  • Buy Xbox Gold one-month membership – £6.99 (UK) / $9.99 (US)

The headline freebie for April 2020 is Project Cars 2.

This motorsport racing simulator came out in September 2017, and was particularly well-reviewed.

The other free game is Fable Anniversary, a 2013 remake of the iconic 2004 game Fable.

A major graphical update featured, but the main components of the game were kept identical.

This action RPG follows a questing hero who can learn skills, make moral decisions, and interact with a semi-open world.

  • Buy Xbox Gold one-month membership – £6.99 (UK) / $9.99 (US)

PS Plus – how to get FREE PS4 games

PS Plus is a premium subscription service for PS4 gamers.

It gives you access to online multiplayer as well as exclusive discounts across the PlayStation Store.

But it also nets you two hand-picked PS4 games to download and play each month, which remain available as long as you're a member.

Many PS4 owners will subscribe to PS Plus for the multiplayer alone, so the free games are a pleasant bonus.

  • PS Plus at Sony PlayStation Official Store for £6.99 a month – buy here

The first PS4 freebie is incredibly popular game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

This critically acclaimed title came out in 2016, and was developed by Naughty Dog – who also made The Last of Us.

You play as Nathan Drake, a former treasure hunter who comes out of retirement to search for long-lost loot.

The second freebie is Dirt Rally 2.0, which is the 13th title in the legendary Colin McRae Rally series.

As the name suggests, it's a racer focused on rallying and rallycross.

You compete in timed events on tarmac and off-road, in locations around the world.

The game came out on February 26, 2019, so it's fairly new.

  • PS Plus at Sony PlayStation Official Store for £6.99 a month – buy here

All prices in this article were correct at the time of writing, but may have since changed. Always do your own research before making any purchase.

In other news, you check check your Xbox addiction over the past 10 years with the new 'My Decade on Xbox' tool.

Don't miss this cracking deal on the Xbox Game Pass.

And we've tracked down the cheapest Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch bundles.

Have you spotted any great gaming deals recently? If so, let us know in the comments!

Source: Read Full Article

The balance sheet banker: Why Peter King is best-placed to lead Westpac

COVID-19 sealed Peter King’s fate to take the permanent helm at Westpac. Firstly, it removed any chance the board would recruit from outside the bank and secondly, it rendered his extensive experience and understanding of the financials and risk as crucial.

Put simply King is the best-placed person to manage the impending credit event.

For the foreseeable future banks will be operating in near crisis mode. While they are well capitalised many of their customers are now in distress.

Peter King will manage the bank through an inevitable ‘credit event’.

Although the immediate task for the major banks has been to support struggling business customers with cheap loans and repayment deferrals and offer some retail customers interest-payment holidays, the real challenge will be in dealing with the aftermath – navigating the way through a shell-shocked economy.

This is not a job for a marketing person. It will be back to the basics of managing financial risks, mainly assessing which businesses will survive.

It appears clear that King will be working with a hands-on chairman in John McFarlane, who has worked through several financial shocks.

Looking out of the window from Westpac’s head office at a cruise ship anchored nearby, King said he was reminded that behaviours will change. "Who will be getting on a cruise ship soon?" he quipped.

King's first job is to deal with the "income shock" associated with businesses either closing or shrinking, and people losing their jobs overnight, he told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The federal government, the Reserve Bank and the big four have coordinated actions to deal with the immediate impacts.

"We have effectively said we will do everything we can to help the economy through the period where the social distancing impacts the economy. We have had about 100,000 consumer customers ask for some type of help in the deferral packages," King said.

"But then we need to be ready for a fast restart for the economy. It's not until that point we will be able to work out what the future looks like. So we are a few months away from knowing what happens but the best thing we can do is to get people focused on a fast restart."

King said it was too early to know how many people will go back to work and how quickly and how many businesses restart and how many don’t.

When the picture is clearer, "then we will know what this looks like from the bank's perspective", he said.

"If you look at the global financial crisis and 1992-93 recession it [the business environment] doesn’t go back to what it was. Consumers and businesses will change behaviour and there will be businesses that can adapt and businesses that can’t, so there will be a period after this where we will have to restructure the economy to get people back into employment."

How long King remains at the helm of Westpac will be a decision made after a conversation with McFarlane and the board. "I am 50 and have been at Westpac for 25 years, I want the bank to do well and I think I can add real value in the next couple of years," he said.

"It can be extended. To me the next period is about getting us through what's in front of us with COVID-19 then we will think about what’s best for the group in terms of leadership."

While King described this as a credit event he said banks spent the past decade building capital buffers and were heading into it well capitalised. "For me this is working the way it should – that was a very non-customer centric comment that was a bank balance sheet comment", he added quickly.

So why is King the right person to run Westpac during this difficult chapter?

"I saw the tail end of the 92-93 recession, I was in a senior role as we went through the GFC, I know the bank, I know the people and I’ve got a good feel for the questions to ask and the things to worry about."

Source: Read Full Article

The Worldwide Race for a Vaccine or Cure

London (CNN Business)The maker of Camel, Lucky Strike and Pall Mall cigarettes is trying its hand at a new product: a coronavirus vaccine.

British American Tobacco (BTAFF) said Wednesday that its biotech subsidiary, Kentucky BioProcessing, is working on a potential vaccine for the novel coronavirus that can be produced in lab-grown plants closely related to tobacco.
The biotech firm, which helped develop an experimental Ebola treatment in 2014, joins dozens of other companies racing to develop a vaccine for Covid-19, which has now infected over 880,000 people globally and claimed more than 44,000 lives.

    The development of vaccines typically takes years, but scientists and government authorities are hoping to fast-track the process to prevent a resurgence of the virus. Many experts say a vaccine is at least 18 months away, but others caution that even that timetable is optimistic.
    The timetable for a coronavirus vaccine is 18 months. Experts say that's risky
    British American Tobacco said that its potential vaccine is currently being tested on animals, and it is “exploring partnerships with government agencies” to bring the vaccine to clinical studies.

    “Vaccine development is challenging and complex work, but we believe we have made a significant break-through with our tobacco plant technology platform,” said David O’Reilly, director of scientific research at British American Tobacco.
    If clinical trials go ahead, the company said it hopes to produce up to 3 million doses of the vaccine per week beginning in June. Those doses will go to waste if the trials aren’t successful, but it’s “a price worth paying” to save time, O’Reilly said.
    In order to produce the potential vaccine, Kentucky BioProcessing cloned a portion of the novel coronavirus’ genetic sequence and injected that into the plants, which developed a potential antigen — a substance that induces an immune response in the body and is needed to fight viruses. That is now being tested on rodents.
    According to the World Health Organization, plant-derived vaccines can be produced cheaply in very high amounts and are less likely than traditionally developed vaccines to contain contaminants that are harmful.

      Efforts by a cigarette maker to address an urgent public health issue could raise eyebrows, however. “I would hope the politics of tobacco wouldn’t interfere here and that people will determine objectively whether our technology could be helpful or not,” O’Reilly told CNN Business.
      Kentucky BioProcessing was involved in the production of ZMapp in 2014, a treatment that was tested with some success on Ebola patients in the United States before it was abandoned in favor of more effective alternatives.
      Source: Read Full Article

      Hilarious The Sims filter on Instagram turns you into a video game character

      EVER wanted to find out what you'd really look like as a Sim? A new Instagram filter can let you live out this freaky fantasy.

      Gamers who love The Sims can now morph their face into a proper Sim – with the floating green diamond, to boot.

      The Sims turned 20 years old last month, and is one of the most iconic gaming franchises of all time.

      Part of its appeal is the eerily lifelike "Sims" – virtual humans that walk, talk and romp with each other on screen.

      In The Sims, you're tasked with creating your own digital characters, which can be made to look like you.

      But there's now an Instagram filter that takes this effect into the real world.

      You even get a green diamond hovering above your head, so it's impossible to tell you apart from a real Sim.

      The filter smooths out your face, adds CGI lips and bold, angular eyebrows – all hallmarks of a Sim.

      It's worth noting that this filter isn't an official The Sims product, and wasn't created by EA.

      Instead, it's a fan creation by someone who probably loves The Sims even more than you.

      How to find The Sims filter on Instagram

      First, launch Instagram and then go into the Stories camera viewfinder.

      Then scroll along the filters/lenses all the way to the right, until you hit then end.

      Tap on the Search function and then type "The Sims" into the text bar.

      Now scroll down until you see the following filter:

      Tap on it and voilà, you're a Sim!

      Alternatively, if you've seen a pal use this filter already, go into their Story and tap on the filter name at the top of the screen.

      This will load up the filter so you can give it a go yourself.

      In other news, a new Snapchat 'six-foot circle' filter helps you remember social-distancing during the coronavirus crisis.

      Instagram is testing self-destructing messages just like Snapchat.

      And find out how to watch Instagram clips in a video call with six pals.

      What's your favourite little-known Instagram filter? Let us know in the comments!

      Source: Read Full Article

      Zoom, Slack have seized the day and work life may never be the same again

      The coronavirus is changing the way we work. As more governments implement stricter shelter-in-place orders, corporations and their employees are scrambling to figure out how to conduct business operations in a work-at-home world. First, new hardware is required. Sales of monitors, webcams and laptops are soaring as people build out their home offices. But that's the easy part.

      UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson held a digital cabinet meeting on Zoom last week. Credit:Twitter/@BorisJohnson

      The bigger issue is how to enable similar levels of productivity without the many brief conversations and in-person meetings during a typical day at the office. To accomplish this, companies are increasingly turning to a handful upstarts in the aptly named workforce collaboration software category. These are the tools, initially designed for use in an office, which the world has now discovered work so well when trying to stay connected remotely, from video conferencing to electronic messaging platforms. And as they gain traction in the home workspace, it seems more and more likely they'll stick once we're all back in the office again, accelerating a trend toward greater usage that was happening anyway.

      Three tools that particularly stand out come from Zoom Video Communications, Slack Technologies and Smartsheet. What these companies have in common is they are upstarts, their products are arguably best-in-class for what they do and they've all seen their shares jump amid the widening coronavirus crisis.

      As recently as a couple months ago, the companies faced challenges in trying to raise awareness for their offerings. Microsoft and Cisco Systems, have much larger marketing budgets and deeper relationships with Fortune 500 tech buyers. Well that is less of a problem now. The need to just get work done has become a showcase opportunity for the best-of-breed software vendors to break through the noise and put some distance between their products and the tech-industry goliaths' less-capable offerings.

      Zoom is further along in the brand-awareness process. By now, everyone knows how the company is thriving as the video-conferencing pure play of choice. Earlier this month, Zoom CEO Eric Yuan said on a call, "Given this coronavirus, I think that overnight almost every business really understands they needed a tool like this. This will dramatically change the landscape."

      Last week, Bernstein's survey of 516 working adults revealed Zoom's momentum continues to rise. Based on an analysis of responses, the data implied Zoom's boost in usage among knowledge workers was more than double, versus any other vendor since the coronavirus crisis began. Zoom's success will have ramifications for when the crisis ends too. As businesses get acclimated to using inexpensive, high-quality video conferencing, executives may realise the prior level of travel spend simply isn't worth the cost.

      “Our growth is just not sustainable. We would have the whole world on it in a couple of months if we kept going.”: Slack founder Stewart Butterfield.Credit:Josh Robenstone

      Smartsheet is also flourishing in the moment. The company makes software that automates business processes and workflows without requiring technical programming skills. For example, it can replace the manual data entry into Excel spreadsheets by using automatically updated web-enabled forms, improving accuracy and productivity. Earlier this month, the company posted 58 per cent quarterly billings growth for its fiscal fourth quarter and said it wasn't seeing a negative impact from the coronavirus.

      And then there's Slack. The messaging platform has seen a surge in demand for its service, and as a hard-core user myself, I can vouch for how Slack has improved communications with colleagues inside and outside the office. Compared to email, it enables a faster form of iterative communication, similar to a back-and-forth real-life discussion with a co-worker, saving time and increasing understanding. Perhaps even more important, the software offers a searchable repository of conversations, documents and files that enables an efficient knowledge transfer to other team members.

      Many companies have started realising Slack's utility in recent weeks. Late Wednesday – in a now-epic tweet thread chronicling the explosion in demand for Slack and pressures on the company to meet it – CEO Butterfield revealed updated growth metrics for the current quarter, and they were jaw-dropping. In about two months, Slack had acquired 9000 new paid customers, a figure 80 per cent higher than the roughly 5000 in each of the prior two quarters. Average messages sent per day per user were also up 20 per cent.

      Slack shares rose 10 per cent as investors cheered the improving metrics, and have largely held that gain since.

      It's important to note that even after these gains, Slack is trading only a few dollars above its $US26-a-share initial direct-listing price in June 2019, and for much of its time as a public company has traded below that level. Moreover, there is no guarantee the rising usage will translate into a permanent customer base; there will be some users, perhaps, who drop the service when things are working more normally. And there may be major corporate layoffs and losses from economic shocks that could make larger enterprise deals more difficult to close. Butterfield himself is aware of this, saying Friday in an interview with Bloomberg Television that the company's current pace of growth "is just not sustainable … We would have the whole world on it in a couple of months if we kept going."

      But as workers form new ingrained habits using these tools, they will become that much harder to give up. This points to better sustainable results for Zoom, Slack and Smartsheet over time.

      Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.

      Bloomberg

      Source: Read Full Article

      The Cheesecake Factory won’t make April rent because of coronavirus restrictions

      One of America’s most popular restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory, reportedly cannot afford April’s rent at any of its nearly 300 locations due to the financial strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

      The Cheesecake Factory’s founder and CEO, David Overton, notified the company’s landlords of their inability to pay in a March 18 letter obtained by Eater.

      Overton said the company’s revenue took a hit as some restaurants were forced to close in accordance with government restrictions that have been imposed across the country to prevent the spread of the virus.

      Restaurants that have remained open are only able to provide delivery and takeout services, he said.

      “The severe decrease in restaurant traffic has severely decreased our cash flow and inflicted a tremendous financial blow to our business,” Overton wrote.

      He added: “Unfortunately, I must let you know that The Cheesecake Factory and its affiliated restaurant concepts will not make any of their rent payments for the month of April 2020.”

      The Cheesecake Factory operates 294 restaurants. It has locations in 39 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada, according to Eater.

      The company in 2019 acquired Fox Restaurants Concepts.

      Overton, in the letter, said the company hopes to resume rent payments “as soon as reasonably possible.”

      A company spokesperson told Eater, “We have very strong, longstanding relationships with our landlords. We are certain that with their partnership, we will be able to work together to weather this storm in the appropriate manner.”

      Source: Read Full Article

      The ritziest condos on Miami’s north shore are now open

      A new wave of condos is finally making land in Sunny Isles and Surfside, almost all of which first broke ground in 2016. Buyers can now move into developer Gil Dezer’s 56-story, 308-unit Residences by Armani/Casa.

      To celebrate, the building hosted a blowout earlier this month on its oceanfront terrace, where VIP guests enjoyed a presentation of the Giorgio Armani spring/summer 2020 collection, as well as a performance by Pitbull. Units at the Armani-branded tower are still available, asking $2.9 million to $17 million (for a five-bedroom, six-bathroom home with a rooftop terrace and a private pool).

      Nearby, the Ritz-Carlton Residences opened in February. Developers Edgardo
      Defortuna of Fortune International Group and the Château Group saw Miami’s Super Bowl helped the building score buyers, with four units sold during the month of January, including its largest $25.5 million penthouse. Remaining units are asking from $2.6 million to $6 million.

      A skip south in Surfside, Terra’s Eighty Seven Park welcomed residents in January. Starchitect Renzo Piano’s first residential building in the Western Hemisphere, the 18-story, 68-unit tower is now 90 percent sold (tennis star Novak Djokovic is among the lucky buyers). But apartments are still available from $2 million to $11.5 million.

      EIghty Seven ParkEIghty Seven Park 3EIghty Seven Park 4EIghty Seven Park2

      View Slideshow

      Source: Read Full Article

      New Round Of 24 Hour Plays ‘Viral Monologues’ Set For Tonight; Daveed Diggs, Michael Shannon & Clark Gregg Among Performers

      A new set of 24 “Viral Monologues” from The 24 Hour Plays will be available on Instagram tonight, with actors Daveed Diggs, Michael Shannon, Clark Gregg, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dylan Baker, Danny Pudi and Josh Hamilton, among others, performing monologues written by playwrights including Jonathan Marc Sherman, Eric Bogosian and Stephen Adly Guirgis.

      See the complete list of performers and writers below. The new round of monologues will begin at 6 pm/ET, with a new one posted every 15 minutes until midnight on Instagram and The 24 Hour Plays website (see links below).

      The first round of monologues hit Instagram last week, with actors including Patrick Wilson, Rachel Dratch and Hugh Dancy, among many others, performing works by such writers as Simon Rich, Jesse Eisenberg and Hillary Bettis.

      Since 1995, The 24 Hour Plays have staged “limited-time theater” events that bring together actors and playwrights to write and produce a short drama in 24 hours or less. Last week the project shifted to an online format in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      “We’ve always made work about the most challenging moments in our lives, from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy to the 2016 election, but writing and performing new plays in 24 hours without gathering was a singular challenge,” said artistic director Mark Armstrong. “We hope that this moment offers even more people the chance to learn about our small non-profit theater organization, so that we’ll be able to continue our unique artistic work for years to come.”

      Performers joining this week are: Daveed Diggs, Coral Peña, muMs, Kelly Aucoin, Nicholas Braun, Michael Shannon, Ashley Fink, Jessica St. Clair, Juliana Canfield, Anna Baryshnikov, Marylouise Burke, William Jackson Harper, Ryan Haddad, Clark Gregg, Daniel K. Isaac, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Ty Defoe, Dylan Baker, Becky Ann Baker, Noah Galvin, Damon Gupton, Danny Pudi, and Josh Hamilton.

      Writers joining this week are: David Lindsay-Abaire, Sofya Levitsky-Weitz, Jonathan Marc Sherman, Will Arbery, Dan O’Brien, Kristoffer Diaz, Eric Bogosian, Sarah Gancher, J. Holtham, Bekah Brunstetter, Clare Barron, Gracie Gardner, Charly Evon Simpson, Tracey Scott Wilson, Tim J. Lord, Elizabeth Irwin, Alena Smith, Stephen Adly Guirgis and Joseph Dougherty.

      The monologues can be viewed here and here.

       

      Source: Read Full Article

      The Fed's 'repo' operations explained

      Amid coronavirus, Fed raises repo lending to keep markets functioning

      The Federal Reserve boosts money it’s providing to banks in overnight repo lending to $175 billion to ensure smooth market functioning amid coronavirus.

      The Federal Reserve is the central bank of the United States, and its job is to get keep the country's money flowing, or "liquid," especially during times of crisis like the novel coronavirus pandemic.

      Continue Reading Below

      The Fed's "repo" operations, short for repurchase-agreement operations, have made headlines in recent weeks as the United States and global markets tumble in response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

      U.S. investors by Friday had faced their worst week of trading since the 2008 finanical crisis. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 913 points. It slipped below the 20,000 level, a loss of 4.5 percent. The S&P 500 also dropped more than 4 percent while the Nasdaq Composite shed 3.9 percent.

      Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, March 3, 2020, to discuss an announcement from the Federal Open Market Committee, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

      Simply put, repos are short-term loans. They act as a financial cushion for U.S. banks and other financial institutions when markets look like they're about to freeze.

      Repos often happen overnight or within 48 hours and allow banks to exchange cash for securities from financial firms to increase market liquidity upon the agreement that the transaction will be reversed in the future with interest called a "repo rate."

      WHEN IS IT TIME TO BUY INTO THE MARKET FREE FALL?

      In other words, repos provide banks with an overnight loan that they need to function.

      Personal finance company Brankrate.com gives this example: "Financial Services Inc., an investment bank, wants to raise some cash to cover its operations. It partners with Cash ‘n’ Capital Bank to purchase $1 million of U.S. Treasury bonds, with Cash ‘n’ Capital paying $900,000 and Financial Services Inc. receiving the $1 million in bonds. When the repo loan matures, Cash gets $1 million and interest, and Financial owns securities worth $1 million."

      Sal Suarino, center, works with fellow traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday, March 10, 2020.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

      In mid-March, the Fed said it would be offering $175 billion in overnight repos and $45 billion in two-week repos to ensure smooth market functioning.

      GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

      In September, the central bank injected $203 billion in repos into the overnight funding market after short-term rates spiked as high as 10 percent, which is four times more than the Fed's benchmark overnight lending rate.

      The episode stoked worries that the Fed was losing control over its main policy rate.

      CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

      Source: Read Full Article

      Coronavirus has not closed these businesses: Banks, telecom providers stay open

      Amazon hiring 100K workers

      Amazon is hiring 100,000 more workers to manage online shopping demands and delivery while other retailers are shutting down. FOX Business’ Susan Li with more.

      The coronavirus pandemic that has caused many businesses to temporarily close has not taken a complete toll on animal hospitals, banks and other establishments.

      Continue Reading Below

      In order to stem the tide of the virus, dine-in restaurants and many retail establishments have shuttered, but other businesses are making changes and carrying on.

      TRUMP TOUTS AUTOMAKERS FOR ASSISTING VENTILATOR PRODUCTION: LET'S 'SEE HOW GOOD YOU ARE'

      For example, mobile carrier AT&T announced Sunday that it is waiving domestic wireless plan overage charges for the next 60 days after closing many, but not all, of its locations.

      Sacramento City Utilities worker Henry Escudero, wash down a street after repairs were made to a water line in Sacramento, Calif., Friday. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

      Telecommunications

      AT&T's waiver will apply to residential or small business wireless customers who incur overages because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.

      Another company keeping people connected, internet and television provider Charter Communications/Spectrum, says it won't terminate service for individuals and small businesses facing hardship because of the pandemic. Spectrum is encouraging customers to stay away from its stores if they have any flu-like symptoms.

      Banks

      National and local banks are adapting to the coronavirus pandemic by asking patrons to make appointments, going drive-through only and even closing down locations as they continue to operate.

      iStock

      California and Illinois are currently under shelter-in-place orders calling for residents to stay indoors barring a specific, justifiable reason during extenuating circumstances. Shelter-in-place orders vary from place to place, and in California trips to the bank are not barred but are discouraged.

      Laundromats

      You might not be able to blame smelly clothes on the coronavirus pandemic as many states have deemed laundromats essential (meaning they'll be asked to stay open) while other establishments must close.

      Marijuana dispensaries

      Marijuana dispensaries, still illegal in some areas, have been deemed "essential" in Los Angeles County and other municipalities where it's sold as a health care product.

      California Gov. Gavin Newsom's "Safer at Home" order, imposed Thursday, allows such businesses to keep operating and as a result, many dispensaries are experiencing a boom.

      Animal hospitals

      Some veterinary hospitals also are remaining open. Many are taking extreme measures recommended by the American Veterinary Medical Association to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, such as curbside service, postponing elective surgeries and preserving medical supplies.

      For curbside service, pet owners remain inside their vehicles in the hospital parking lot while pets are brought inside by hospital staff. Communication is typically done by phone or through a cracked vehicle window. Some doctors, like Dr. Sara Starkey of Toledo's Shoreland Animal Hospital told ABC 13 that they will even do the exam in a pet owner's car.

      Veterinarians are postponing elective animal surgeries because of the coronavirus crisis. (Stock)

      "We always do car exams if there's something contagious the pet has like a kennel cough or the doggie flu, but now we are extending that out to people that don't even want to come in the building. We will do them in the parking lot, we'll take medication out to the parking lot, mainly so people aren't cross contaminating," Starkey said.

      Food banks

      Food banks across the country are also open for business as the need for food assistance continues to grow and many are being laid off from their jobs. Many are adding mobile or drive-through options wherever possible and are even considering teaming up with the National Guard to pack and deliver food to those who can’t leave their homes.

      DEMOCRATIC LEADERS CRITICIZE GOP’S CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL AS TOO PRO-BUSINESS

      In addition, food banks are working with meal programs to minimize the risk of spreading the disease by scheduling appointments and suggesting that only one member of the household visit the pantry or distribution site in order to decrease the number of people congregating in one place.

      Nonprofit Feeding America has also launched a national food and fund-raising effort using the COVID-19 Response Fund to support people facing hunger and the food banks who help them. This includes building an inventory of emergency food boxes and distributing them to member food banks across the country, as well as working to get incremental funding to support other anticipated costs.

      Food banks need donations now more than ever.

      "Our first priority is the millions of individuals, families and seniors who rely on food banks for help," said Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. "Our member food banks are always there to help throughout the year and in times of disaster. This fund will advance their ability to respond efficiently and effectively in their communities so that food is not added to the list of worries for families during this pandemic."

      "We cannot do it alone," Babineaux-Fontenot added.

      CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

      If you or someone you know has any leftover food or is interested in volunteering, you can donate to the fund or go on your local food bank's website.

      Source: Read Full Article