Tuesday, March 31, 2020

'No One Mentions the People Who Clean It Up': What It's Like to Clean Professionally During the COVID-19 Outbreak


Jamie Ducharme
,Time•March 31, 2020


“It’s kind of terrifying,” says Vanessa, who TIME is identifying by first name only for professional protection. Her supervisors told her to clean the rooms just as she would for a flu patient, but she says she’s treating them like she would for more serious illnesses—throwing out nearly everything disposable, mopping the walls and scrubbing every inch—to be safe. “No one knows exactly how to clean it. We don’t know how contagious this is.”


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'No One Mentions the People Who Clean It Up': What It's Like to Clean Professionally During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Jamie Ducharme
,Time•March 31, 2020
'No One Mentions the People Who Clean It Up': What It's Like to Clean Professionally During the COVID-19 Outbreak

When Vanessa is asked to clean up after patients who have the seasonal flu or measles or MRSA in the Pennsylvania hospital where she works in environmental services, she knows what to do. She knows how to disinfect surfaces, what needs to be thrown away and what she should wear to protect herself. But when she’s asked to clean rooms occupied by COVID-19 patients, she’s flying blind.

“It’s kind of terrifying,” says Vanessa, who TIME is identifying by first name only for professional protection. Her supervisors told her to clean the rooms just as she would for a flu patient, but she says she’s treating them like she would for more serious illnesses—throwing out nearly everything disposable, mopping the walls and scrubbing every inch—to be safe. “No one knows exactly how to clean it. We don’t know how contagious this is.”

At a time when cleaning supplies are invaluable and hand-washing is a national activity, people who clean professionally, like Vanessa, have watched their jobs take on new meaning—and considerable new risks. But what has remained the same, they say, is a lack of respect and, often, inadequate compensation.

Vanessa, for example, makes only about $11 an hour for the unenviable job of disinfecting hospital rooms, often without proper protective gear for herself. The fresh N-95 masks still available in her hospital, she says, are mostly going to doctors and nurses; she and her housekeeping colleagues often have to reuse the ones they have. She says she might have stopped showing up at work if she didn’t need the money, especially since she has underlying health conditions that put her at extra risk of getting COVID-19.

“Because I’m working there,” Vanessa says, “I’m too afraid to go see my family right now.” She lives with her best friend, and is staying away from her parents’ home for now.

Workers across industries are struggling to get the protective equipment they need. Omar, who drives a garbage truck in California, says his company has not even provided hand sanitizer for its workers, even though “we’re dealing with everybody’s trash [and] we don’t know what’s in there.”

When Omar and his coworkers asked for sanitizer, they were given all-purpose cleaner and told to use it on their hands, he says. To stay safe, he’s resorted to asking friends who work in retail to help him find his own sanitizing supplies.


The risks cleaning professionals assume might be easier to stomach, Vanessa says, if they were recognized publicly.

“Us housekeepers, we have families, we have health issues, we have people and animals we go home to that we could be giving this to,” Vanessa says. “The doctors and nurses have that too, but they get recognized. No one ever mentions the people who clean it up after they’re gone.”


Researchers record 1st-ever heat wave in East Antarctica


Taylor Watson
,The Week•March 31, 2020

This January, East Antarctica — an area that previously seemed to be spared from climate warming — experienced its first recorded heat wave.

The heat wave was recorded at the Casey Research Station between Jan. 23 and 26, marking the area's highest temperature ever at 48.6 degrees Fahrenheit, while minimum temperatures stayed above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, according to research in Global Change Biology.

A rarity in Antarctica, heat waves are known as "three consecutive days with both extreme maximum and minimum temperatures," according to the research.


Stabbing of Asian-American 2-Year-Old and Her Family Was a Virus-Fueled Hate Crime: Feds

The 1918 flu started in the U.S., in the state of Georgia. Does that mean we should call it the American flu, or Georgia flu?


Pilar Melendez
,The Daily Beast•March 31, 2020

The vicious stabbing of an Asian-American family, including a 2-year-old girl, at a Sam’s Club in Texas earlier this month has been deemed a hate crime by the feds, as authorities continue to raise alarm bells about a potential surge in racially motivated crimes amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Jose L. Gomez, 19, confessed to authorities that he attempted to murder three Asian-American family members, including the toddler and a 6-year-old, on March 14 at the Midland, Texas store, according to the Midland Police Department. Gomez, who stabbed the individuals and a Sam’s Club employee, is now facing several charges, including three counts of attempted capital murder and one count of aggravated assault. He is being held on several bonds totaling $1 million.

“The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with coronavirus,” according to an FBI analysis report obtained by ABC News.

The Texas incident was used in the report as one example of a recent surge in hate crimes and racially fueled violence targeting Asian-Americans as the coronavirus pandemic continues to sweep the United States.


the teenager was finally subdued by Border Patrol Agent Bernie Ramiez, who was off-duty and just leaving the store after shopping for groceries, the affidavit states.


several political and media commentators, including President Donald Trump, have adopted the practice of calling the pandemic the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus.”

“It did come from China,” Trump said at a March 19 White House briefing. “It is a very accurate term.”

Many experts and political figures believe that officials using racial terms for the virus has contributed to discrimination against members of the Asian-American community.


Since the surge, even Trump tried to backtrack on his language, tweeting on March 23, “It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States, and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the Virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form. They are working closely with us to get rid of it. WE WILL PREVAIL TOGETHER!”


The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.


Published March 29, 2020
Updated March 31, 2020, 6:29 a.m. ET

Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators.

The breathing-assistance machines tended to be bulky, expensive and limited in number. The plan was to build a large fleet of inexpensive portable devices to deploy in a flu pandemic or another crisis.

Money was budgeted. A federal contract was signed. Work got underway.

And then things suddenly veered off course. A multibillion-dollar maker of medical devices bought the small California company that had been hired to design the new machines. The project ultimately produced zero ventilators.

That failure delayed the development of an affordable ventilator by at least half a decade, depriving hospitals, states and the federal government of the ability to stock up. The federal government started over with another company in 2014, whose ventilator was approved only last year and whose products have not yet been delivered.


Companies submitted bids for the Project Aura job. The research agency opted not to go with a large, established device maker. Instead it chose Newport Medical Instruments, a small outfit in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Newport, which was owned by a Japanese medical device company, only made ventilators. Being a small, nimble company, Newport executives said, would help it efficiently fulfill the government’s needs.

Ventilators at the time typically went for about $10,000 each, and getting the price down to $3,000 would be tough. But Newport’s executives bet they would be able to make up for any losses by selling the ventilators around the world.

“It would be very prestigious to be recognized as a supplier to the federal government,” said Richard Crawford, who was Newport’s head of research and development at the time. “We thought the international market would be strong, and there is where Newport would have a good profit on the product.”


Every three months, officials with the biomedical research agency would visit Newport’s headquarters. Mr. Crawford submitted monthly reports detailing the company’s spending and progress.

The federal officials “would check everything,” he said. “If we said we were buying equipment, they would want to know what it was used for. There were scheduled visits, scheduled requirements and deliverables each month.”

In 2011, Newport shipped three working prototypes from the company’s California plant to Washington for federal officials to review.

Dr. Frieden, who ran the C.D.C. at the time, got a demonstration in a small conference room attached to his office. “I got all excited,” he said. “It was a multiyear effort that had resulted in something that was going to be really useful.”


In May 2012, Covidien, a large medical device manufacturer, agreed to buy Newport for just over $100 million.

Covidien — a publicly traded company with sales of $12 billion that year — already sold traditional ventilators, but that was only a small part of its multifaceted businesses. In 2012 alone, Covidien bought five other medical device companies, in addition to Newport.

Newport executives and government officials working on the ventilator contract said they immediately noticed a change when Covidien took over. Developing inexpensive portable ventilators no longer seemed like a top priority.

Newport applied in June 2012 for clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to market the device, but two former federal officials said Covidien had demanded additional funding and a higher sales price for the ventilators. The government gave the company an additional $1.4 million, a drop in the bucket for a company Covidien’s size.

Government officials and executives at rival ventilator companies said they suspected that Covidien had acquired Newport to prevent it from building a cheaper product that would undermine Covidien’s profits from its existing ventilator business.


In 2015, Covidien was sold for $50 billion to another huge medical device company, Medtronic. Charles J. Dockendorff, Covidien’s former chief financial officer, said he did not know why the contract had fallen apart.
[Who was the CEO?]


How Non-English Speakers Learn This Crazy Grammar Rule You Know But Never Heard Of

One of the examples isn't actually right.
"As size comes before colour, green great dragons can't exist".

If there is a variety of dragon called "great dragons", which can come in different colours, you would say "green great dragons".

Cassie Werber


That quote comes from a book called The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase. Adjectives, writes the author, professional stickler Mark Forsyth, “absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”


Philadelphia Hospital to Stay Closed After Owner Requests Nearly $1 Million a Month



By Maria Cramer
Published March 27, 2020
Updated March 29, 2020

A hospital with room for nearly 500 beds has been closed for months in the center of Philadelphia, a city bracing for the spread of the coronavirus and a crush of sick patients.

But the facility will remain empty, city officials said, because they cannot accept the owner’s offer: buy the hospital or lease it for almost $1 million a month, including utilities and other costs.

“We don’t have the need to own it nor the resources to buy it. So we are done and we are moving on,” Mayor Jim Kenney told reporters on Thursday during the city’s daily briefing.

The next day, he said that Temple University would let the city use a music and sports venue for free. The city would no longer pursue the closed facility, Hahnemann University Hospital.


The owner of the hospital, Joel Freedman of Broad Street Healthcare Properties, a real estate company, said he had offered to sell the facility to the city well below market price, or to lease it for $60 a bed a day, far less than what two other hospitals in California agreed to charge to lease their facilities.


Since last fall, the hospital has sat empty and fallen into disrepair, Mayor Kenney said on Thursday. “It has no beds and would require extensive work to make it usable again,” he said.

Mr. Kenney said the city had offered to lease the hospital for a “nominal” amount and pay for its maintenance and expenses, a deal that would have meant “hundreds of thousands of dollars a month” for Mr. Freedman and made the property more marketable in the future.


COVID-19 Consumer Warnings and Safety Tips


As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to impact the United States, phone scammers have seized the opportunity to prey on consumers.

The FCC has received reports of scam and hoax text message campaigns and scam robocalls offering free home testing kits, promoting bogus cures, selling health insurance, and preying on virus-related fears.

A text message scam may falsely advertise a cure or an offer to be tested for coronavirus. Do not click on links in texts related to the virus, and check cdc.gov/coronavirus for the most current information.

Text message hoaxes may claim that the government will order a mandatory national two-week quarantine, or instruct you to go out and stock up on supplies. The messages can appear to be from a "next door neighbor." The National Security Council tweeted that these are fake.

A text message scam impersonating the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services informs recipients that they must take a “mandatory online COVID-19 test” with a link, warns the BBB.

Scammers are also using robocalls to target consumers during this national emergency.


[See link above for more]

Monday, March 30, 2020

Bruno Mars donates $1 million to MGM employees displaced by COVID-19


By Megan Stone
March 27, 2020, 10:26 AM

MGM employees who are temporarily out of work because of the coronavirus pandemic are thanking Bruno Mars, who stepped up and donated $1 million of his own money to help those struggling to make ends meet.


Why life can get better as we age -- study


News Release 26-Mar-2020
Flinders University

People say life gets better with age. Now research suggests this may be because older people have the wisdom and time to use mindfulness as a means to improve wellbeing.


Mindfulness refers to the natural human ability to be aware of one's experiences and to pay attention to the present moment in a purposeful, receptive, and non-judgmental way. Using mindful techniques can be instrumental in reducing stress and promoting positive psychological outcomes.

From middle age to old age, the Flinders University survey highlights the tendency to focus on the present-moment and adopt a non-judgmental orientation may become especially important for well-being with advancing age.


A lifesaving reason to have more women on boards: ensuring consumer safety


News Release 27-Mar-2020
Lehigh University

In a study published online yesterday focused on the medical products industry - which includes medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biologics - a group of researchers found that, compared to firms with all-male boards, firms with female directors announced high-severity product recalls 28 days sooner. This is a 35% reduction in the time between when a firm was first made aware of the defect and when the firm decided to recall the defective product.


A plant-based diet helps to prevent and manage asthma, according to new review


News Release 27-Mar-2020
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

A plant-based diet can help prevent and manage asthma, while dairy products and high-fat foods raise the risk, according to a new review published in Nutrition Reviews.


The review authors highlight a study finding that when compared to a control group, asthma patients who consumed a plant-based diet for eight weeks experienced a greater reduction in use of asthma medication and less severe, less frequent symptoms. In another study, asthma patients adopted a plant-based diet for a year and saw improvements in vital capacity--a measure of the volume of air patients can expel--and other measures.

The authors suggest that a plant-based diet is beneficial because it has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation, which can exacerbate asthma. Plant-based diets are also high in fiber, which has been positively associated with improvements in lung function. The researchers also highlight the antioxidants and flavonoids found in plant foods, which may have a protective effect.

The review also finds that dairy consumption can raise the risk for asthma and worsen symptoms. One 2015 study found that children who consumed the most dairy had higher odds of developing asthma, compared with the children consuming the least. In another study, children with asthma were placed in either a control group, where they made no dietary changes, or in an experimental group where they eliminated dairy and eggs for eight weeks. After eliminating dairy, the experimental group experienced a 22% improvement in peak expiratory flow rate--a measure of how fast the children were able to exhale--while children in the control group experienced a 0.6% decrease.

High fat intake, consumption of saturated fat, and low fiber intake were also associated with airway inflammation and worsened lung function in asthma patients.


Lessons from the Spanish flu: Early restrictions lowered disease, mortality rates


News Release 27-Mar-2020
Loyola University Health System


Stefan E. Pambuccian, MD, a Loyola Medicine cytologist, surgical pathologist and professor and vice chair of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, has reviewed published data and research from three papers dating back to the 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic, which infected one-fifth to one-third of the world's population and killed 50 million people.

According to the data and analysis, cities that adopted early, broad isolation and prevention measures--closing of schools and churches, banning of mass gatherings, mandated mask wearing, case isolation and disinfection/hygiene measures--had lower disease and mortality rates. These cities included San Francisco, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Kansas City, which collectively had 30% to 50% lower disease and mortality rates than cities that enacted fewer and later restrictions. One analysis showed that these cities also had greater delays in reaching peak mortality, and the duration of these measures correlated with a reduced total mortality burden.


COVID-19 linked to cardiac injury, worse outcomes for patients with heart conditions


News Release 27-Mar-2020
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

COVID-19 can have fatal consequences for people with underlying cardiovascular disease and cause cardiac injury even in patients without underlying heart conditions, according to a review published today in JAMA Cardiology by experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).


"Overall, injury to heart muscle can happen in any patient with or without heart disease, but the risk is higher in those who already have heart disease."


Sunday, March 29, 2020

Those living in rural areas, uninsured or on Medicaid less likely to receive recommended lung cancer treatment


News Release 25-Mar-2020
University of Southern California - Health Sciences

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-associated deaths in the United States. Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), a group of lung cancers named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer, constitutes more than 80% of all lung cancer cases.


In a Keck Medicine of USC retrospective study of the National Cancer Database published in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery, of almost 15,000 patients who underwent resection for pN1 disease, only slightly more than half (54.1%) received any chemotherapy. Patients were less likely to receive chemotherapy if they lived in rural areas or were on Medicaid or uninsured.


The study also revealed that the benefit of receiving chemotherapy in this patient population is higher than generally thought. Previous research has shown that patients with pN1 disease treated with both surgery and chemotherapy increase their five-year cancer survival rate by 5.4% over those who receive only surgery. David and her colleagues found that the survival rate actually increases by 14% - almost triple the accepted number.


Mother/infant skin-to-skin touch boosts baby's brain development and function


News Release 25-Mar-2020
Florida Atlantic University

As the world prioritizes social distancing to stop or slow down the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), a new study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University demonstrates that mother-infant touch and contact are essential for optimal neurodevelopmental regulation in early infancy. Kangaroo Care, a skin-to-skin, chest-to-chest method of caring for a baby, especially one who is premature, has been associated with promoting neurophysiological development. This method of caring emphasizes the importance of holding the naked or partially dressed baby against the bare skin of a parent, typically the mother. New research is showing that extended use of Kangaroo Care can positively benefit full-term infants and their mothers during the post-partum period.


Findings showed that the infants' left frontal area of the brain (implicated in higher-order cognitive and emotional regulatory skills) appears to be stimulated from the Kangaroo Care method. In addition, mother/infant dyads showed increased oxytocin along with decreases in stress reactivity, suggesting regulatory abilities are prompted by experiences with positive caregiving in infancy.

Results from the study indicate that Kangaroo Care training and level of use by caregivers during infancy can favorably influence both neurodevelopmental trajectories and infant neurobiological functioning.


Too much salt weakens the immune system


News Release 25-Mar-2020
University of Bonn

A high-salt diet is not only bad for one's blood pressure, but also for the immune system. This is the conclusion of a current study under the leadership of the University Hospital Bonn. Mice fed a high-salt diet were found to suffer from much more severe bacterial infections. Human volunteers who consumed an additional six grams of salt per day also showed pronounced immune deficiencies. This amount corresponds to the salt content of two fast food meals. The results are published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Five grams a day, no more: This is the maximum amount of salt that adults should consume according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). It corresponds approximately to one level teaspoon. In reality, however, many Germans exceed this limit considerably: Figures from the Robert Koch Institute suggest that on average men consume ten, women more than eight grams a day.


How Being Bullied Affects Your Adulthood



Kate Baggaley

In American schools, bullying is like the dark cousin to prom, student elections, or football practice: Maybe you weren’t involved, but you knew that someone, somewhere was. Five years ago, President Obama spoke against this inevitability at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention. “With big ears and the name that I have, I wasn’t immune. I didn’t emerge unscathed,” he said. “But because it’s something that happens a lot, and it’s something that’s always been around, sometimes we’ve turned a blind eye to the problem.”

We know that we shouldn’t turn a blind eye: Research shows that bullying is corrosive to children’s mental health and well-being, with consequences ranging from trouble sleeping and skipping school to psychiatric problems, such as depression or psychosis, self-harm, and suicide.


Years after being mistreated, people with adult post-bullying syndrome commonly struggle with trust and self-esteem, and develop psychiatric problems, deLara’s research found. Some become people-pleasers, or rely on food, alcohol, or drugs to cope.


Years after being mistreated, people with adult post-bullying syndrome commonly struggle with trust and self-esteem, and develop psychiatric problems, deLara’s research found. Some become people-pleasers, or rely on food, alcohol, or drugs to cope.


Of course, the damage wrought by bullying handily outweighs any benefits. “Because people can make lemonade out of lemons, it doesn’t mean that bullying is a good thing,” deLara says. Even those who are able to see the positive side of having been bullied often had other negative ramifications.


New Orleans mayor says she would have canceled Mardi Gras if Trump administration had warned about coronavirus dangers


By Jason Silverstein
March 27, 2020 / 4:54 PM / CBS News

The mayor of New Orleans said Thursday that she would have canceled the city's famous Mardi Gras celebrations last month if the federal government had been clearer about the dangers posed by coronavirus. Orleans Parish is now one of America's hardest-hit regions during the pandemic — with the nation's highest per capita death rate from the virus.


In Negotiations, Givers Are Smarter Than Takers


By Adam Grant
March 27, 2020


In one of my favorite studies, researchers tested people’s intelligence with a series of quantitative, verbal and analytical reasoning problems. Then they sent them off to negotiate. Intelligence paid off — but not in the way you might expect. The smarter people were, the better their counterparts did in the negotiation. They used their brainpower to expand the pie, finding ways to help the other side that cost them nothing.

This isn’t an isolated result. In a comprehensive analysis of 28 studies, the most successful negotiators cared as much about the other party’s success as their own. They refused to see negotiations as win-lose or the world as zero-sum. They understood that before you could claim value, you needed to create value. They didn’t declare victory until they could help everyone win.

This isn’t limited to negotiation. Economists find that the higher that Americans score on intelligence tests, the more they give to charity — even after adjusting for their wealth, income, education, age and health. Psychologists demonstrate that the smarter people are, the less likely they are to take resources for themselves — and the more likely they are to give to a group. I’ve discovered in my own research that when success is a sprint, givers may well finish last. But if it’s a marathon, the takers tend to fall behind and the givers often finish first.


Believing in a fixed pie is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When we expect the worst in others, we bring out the worst in others. When we recognize that everyone feels the impulse to help (unless they’re a sociopath) we have a chance to bring out what Lincoln called the better angels of their nature.


'Officers are scared out there': Coronavirus hits US police


,Associated Press•March 29, 2020

More than a fifth of Detroit's police force is quarantined; two officers have died from coronavirus and at least 39 have tested positive, including the chief of police.

For the 2,200-person department, that has meant officers working doubles and swapping between units to fill patrols. And everyone has their temperature checked before they start work.


“I don’t think it’s too far to say that officers are scared out there,” said Sgt. Manny Ramirez, president of Fort Worth Police Officers Association.

Nearly 690 officers and civilian employees at police departments and sheriff’s offices around the country have tested positive for COVID-19, according to an Associated Press survey this week of over 40 law enforcement agencies, mostly in major cities. The number of those in isolation as they await test results is far higher in many places.


This week, groups representing American police and fire chiefs, sheriffs, mayors and county leaders asked President Donald Trump in a letter to use the Korean War-era Defense Production Act to ensure they have enough protective gear.


While the pandemic has so far hit American cities hardest, rural law enforcement agencies with few staff are in some ways most vulnerable.

In the tiny West Texas community of Marfa, Police Chief Estevan Marquez instructed his four officers not to pull over cars for minor traffic infractions, especially if they're passing through from areas already hit by the virus.

He can't afford for anyone to get sick.

The Netherlands has recalled 600,000 coronavirus face masks it imported from China after discovering they were faulty


Adam Payne,Sinéad Baker,Ruqayyah Moynihan
,Business Insider•March 29, 2020

The Dutch government has recalled over half a million face masks it imported from China after discovering that they were faulty.

The Netherlands said on Saturday that it had asked its hospitals to return around 600,000 face masks which health professionals are using to treat patients of the coronavirus.

The NOS reported that the faulty masks fail to meet safety requirements because they did not fit on the faces of doctors and nurses and were failing to prevent particles of the COVID-19 virus passing through.

One hospital worker quoted by the NOS said: "When they were delivered to our hospital, I immediately rejected those masks... If those masks do not close properly, the virus particles can simply pass. We do not use them.


It is not the only European country to report receiving faulty equipment from China.

Microbiology experts in Spain this week said that rapid coronavirus tests that the country bought from the Chinese state are not consistently detecting positive cases.

Studies on these tests found that they had only 30% sensitivity, meaning they correctly identified people with the virus only 30% of the time, according to the Spanish newspaper El País.

Medical professionals in the Czech Republic have also said that rapid tests from China were not working properly.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Signs you might have the coronavirus if you have few symptoms

I suggest reading the whole article at the following link. A lot of misunderstanding out their. On Facebook, someone told me that a runny nose is not a symptom of Covid-19, which is not true.


Don Reisinger
,Business Insider•March 27, 2020

Coronavirus infections produce a variety of common symptoms, including a dry cough, fever, and, especially in moderate to severe cases, shortness of breath. But doctors who have treated COVID-19 patients have seen a slew of other symptoms that haven't typically been associated with other coronavirus infections.

"Additional symptoms people experience include loss of smell and taste, stomach aches, body aches, and nausea," said Dr. Edo Paz, the vice president of medical at the telemedicine company K Health.


But Dr. Rishi Desai, the chief medical officer at Osmosis, believes the symptoms and outcomes may directly correlate to the way the coronavirus moves through each infected person's body.

"Each person has a unique immune system, and as a result, some people will react very aggressively to COVID-19, and others won't," Desai said. "Symptoms generally correspond to where the virus is located in the body."


Friday, March 27, 2020

Texas Roadhouse CEO giving up salary, bonus to pay workers during coronavirus outbreak


By Aris Folley - 03/26/20 05:51 PM EDT

Texas Roadhouse CEO giving up salary, bonus to pay workers during coronavirus outbreak
© Texas Roadhouse

W. Kent Taylor, the co-founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse Inc., will be giving up his bonus and base salary this year to pay his chain’s workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed reports to The Hill on Thursday that Taylor will be redirecting his bonus and the base salary he would have received from March 18 to Jan. 7, 2021 to the pockets of his chain’s frontline workers instead.

“Kent Taylor has always said that Texas Roadhouse is a People-company that just happens to serve great steaks. His donation of his salary and bonus to help employees is the embodiment of that saying,” the spokesperson said. “We are blessed to have his leadership.”

He added that the donation from Taylor's base salary will amount to just under $525,000 and his bonus is $525,000 as well. “On a prorated basis, the forgone salary and bonus would be just under a $1 million donation to employees,” he said.


The spokesperson also told The Hill that Taylor recently donated $5 million to Andy’s Outreach, which he described as charitable fund that help support the company’s employees during “times of need.” The fund was named after Andy Armadillo, which is the chain’s mascot.


Federal student loan payments to be suspended for six months


By Tal Axelrod - 03/27/20 04:44 PM EDT

A measure that will suspend federal student loan payments for six months is part of the sweeping coronavirus stimulus package that President Trump signed into law Friday afternoon.

As part of the legislation intended to blunt the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the measure mandates that lenders cease all payments on the loans through the end of September.

Interest will not accrue and non-payment will not impact credit scores in the interim period.

The law also requires lenders to alert borrowers that the payments have been suspended within 15 days of the bill’s signing and resume alerts on Aug. 1 that the payments will resume.

People still can choose to pay down the principal on their loans over the next six months.

Private student loans, which account for roughly 12 percent of all education loans in 2018-2019, according to the College Board, are not impacted by the law.


Trump Campaign Threatens TV Stations That Air Ad Critical Of President

I have heard Trump's public briefings, and he did say this stuff.


By David Moye
Mar. 27, 2020

Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has sent a cease-and-desist letter to TV stations that air an ad critical of the way the president has handled the coronavirus crisis.

The ad, “Exponential Threat,” features audio clips of Trump downplaying the virus at different moments while the onscreen graphic shows the rising number of cases.

“This is their new hoax,” Trump can be heard saying in the ad, which was funded by Priorities USA, a pro-Joe Biden PAC.

That quote came from a Trump rally in North Charleston, South Carolina where the president also said “Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus” before describing various Democratic “hoaxes” and assuring the crowd that “our country is doing so great.”

Other Trump quotes that appear in the ad: “We have it totally under control,” “It’s one person coming in from China,” “One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” “When you have 15 people, and within a couple of days it’s gonna be down to close to zero.”

At first, attorneys for America First Action, Trump’s official super PAC, were the ones who demanded that TV stations in key battleground states stop airing the anti-Trump commercial, claiming it was deceptive.

However, TV stations refused to pull the ad and Priorities USA pointed out that America First Action didn’t even have standing to make the demand, RawStory reported.

So attorneys for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign sent their own cease-and-desist letter, one that suggested that not removing the ad “could put your station’s license in jeopardy” with the Federal Communications Commission.


What the World Needs Now

The link below includes the video.
Beautiful and moving.


March 24, 20207:08 PM ET
Elizabeth Blair

If there's a sliver of a silver lining in these uncertain times, it's music — from free virtual concerts to suggested playlists. One of the most inspiring efforts we've seen this week comes from a virtual performance of Burt Bacharach and Hal David's "What the World Needs Now Is Love" by students from Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Berklee College of Music.


The video has even reached Burt Bacharach, who told us via email that he felt "very proud and honored to see and hear my song performed by these extremely talented students from the Berklee School of Music. It's great seeing them find ways to be creative and stay connected to each other while maintaining social distance."

Thursday, March 26, 2020

North Korea is secretly asking for coronavirus aid from other countries while publicly denying that it has any cases


Bill Bostock)
,Business Insider•March 26, 2020


North Korea has been quietly soliciting coronavirus aid from other countries even though it has publicly denied the existence of any cases on home soil, according to a new report.


In a rare admission of weakness, Kim acknowledged on March 18 that his country did not have enough modern medical facilities and called for improvements, the Associated Press reported, citing the state-controlled Korea Central News Agency (KCNA).

On the orders of Kim, construction began on the new Pyongyang General Hospital on Wednesday, according to KCNA.

New York City hospitals are running out of room in their morgues, but the flow of coronavirus bodies is just starting to ramp up


Dave Mosher
,Business Insider•March 25, 2020

New York City is running out of room to store the bodies of those who've died from COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus that emerged less than 3 months ago.


As increasing numbers of people die from the illness, relatively small hospital morgues around the area are filling up. That's according to a licensed funeral director, embalmer, and body removal expert who works for a company handling transport of most COVID-19 bodies in the city.

"On Sunday the morgues already seemed full," said the mortuary professional, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of their work, adding that there are typically only one or two corpses on Sundays. (Business Insider confirmed the person's identity.)

"You have to wait for the tests to come back before making the removal for our safety," they said, and due to a sometimes days-long lag in that testing "the death toll from COVID currently is much higher than it is in the news."


A spokesperson for FEMA independently confirmed the information with Business Insider.

"FEMA's National Response Coordination Center (NRCC) has received requests for HHS Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORT) from the States of Hawaii, New York, and North Carolina," the spokesperson said in an email. "These requests are currently in the review and approval process."


Ruled by Fear

Song by a friend

A Georgia healthcare worker was found dead in her home, and a posthumous test found she was infected with the new coronavirus


Sarah Al-Arshani
,Business Insider•March 26, 2020


Diedre Wilkes' was a mammogram technician at Piedmont Newnan Hospital. She died in her home last week and a posthumous coronavirus test came back positive, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Wilkes was 42 years old. She appears to have died 12 to 16 hours before her body was found in her home. Her four-year-old child was near her body when police found her.


Some people the world doesn't need.

Mar. 26, 2020

Those dummies who are doing stupid stunts to get publicity because they don't think Covid-19 is serious should be sentenced to work in an intensive care hospital ward. Also, they should have to undergo oxygen deprivation for awhile, to see how horrible it is. One young person is mad because Covid-19 is getting more attention than she is. I'm not giving details because it would just give these useless things the publicity they want. Ditto to those politicians and media people who claim they would be willing to die to preserve jobs. I haven't seen any of them actually putting themselves at risk.

The US now has the world's biggest coronavirus outbreak — its case total just surpassed China's

And China has more than 4 times as many people as the U.S., and has done more testing.


Jeremy Berke and Morgan McFall-Johnsen
Mar. 26, 2020

Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the US have topped the totals in China and Italy, making the US the center of the global outbreak.

In the US, confirmed cases hit 82,404 on Thursday evening, surpassing China's 81,782 and Italy's 80,589. The total number of confirmed cases globally is 526,044, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Since the US reported its first coronavirus case on January 20, more than 1,100 people in the country have died from the disease. The death tolls in Italy and China are higher.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that the aggressive social-distancing measures put in place in the state were starting to slow the virus' spread. New York is the center of the US outbreak, with nearly half the country's cases.

More Than 750,000 Masks Auctioned for Huge Markup While Hospitals Run Out

republicans and libertarians will approve of this example of unregulated capitalism


By Polly Mosendz
and William Turton
March 24, 2020, 7:20 PM EDT

At a time when shortages of protective gear are putting health-care workers at risk, more than 750,000 medical-grade masks went up for online auction in Texas.

Bottles of Purell sold for over $40. A box of 16 masks went for $170. They could be had retail for $3 each before the coronavirus.

The week-long bidding that ended Tuesday was hosted by the website Auctions Unlimited. The health-related products pulled in $154,000 in sales, according to Houston-based website owner Tim Worstell. He estimated that he personally made as much as $40,000 on the sales.

Worstell would not publicly divulge the names of the buyers, and he identified the sellers only as “large companies.” He said the companies commissioned his website to sell masks, disinfectant wipes, cleaning solutions and hand sanitizer, all items in high demand as coronavirus spreads. Because the Texas attorney general issued a cease-and-desist order on March 20 to block the sales during a state of emergency, which was declared March 16 by Governor Greg Abbott, Worstell said the transactions couldn’t be completed without approval from law enforcement.


Senate Passes $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

It's a safe be that Trump will take credit for this.


Mar. 25, 2020

The Senate voted unanimously on Wednesday to approve a sweeping, $2 trillion fiscal measure to shore up the United States economy as it weathers the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic, advancing the largest fiscal stimulus package in modern American history.

The House was expected to quickly take up the bill on Friday and pass it, sending it to President Trump for his signature.

The legislation would send direct payments of $1,200 to Americans earning up to $75,000 — which would gradually phase out for higher earners and end for those with incomes more than $99,000 — and an additional $500 per child. It would substantially expand jobless aid, providing an additional 13 weeks and a four-month enhancement of benefits, extending them for the first time to freelancers and gig workers and adding $600 per week on top of the usual payment.


The bill was the product of intense bipartisan negotiations among Republicans, Democrats and the White House. Three senators were absent from the late-night roll call because of the novel coronavirus. Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, has contracted Covid-19, while two Utah Republicans, Senators Mitt Romney and Mike Lee, were in self-isolation out of an abundance of caution after spending time with Mr. Paul. Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the second-ranking Republican, also missed the vote because he wasn’t feeling well and had left Washington to return home out of an abundance of caution, a spokesman said.

Jeff Bezos, world’s richest man, asks public to donate to Amazon Coronavirus relief fund


Danielle Zoellner
,The Independent•March 24, 2020

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos faces backlash after publicising a relief fund the public can donate to for his contract employees working during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Amazon Relief Fund was created with $25m from the e-commerce company to assist its “employees and partners”, specifically those who are responsible for the necessary task of delivering all the products consumers order across the US.


Besides the company contributing $25m to the fund, it also allows the public to donate if they deem it important. “While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to do so,” Amazon wrote on its fund’s website.


FDA will allow doctors to treat critically ill coronavirus patients with blood from survivors


Mike Hixenbaugh
,NBC News•March 24, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration will allow doctors across the country to begin using plasma donated by coronavirus survivors to treat patients who are critically ill with the virus under new emergency protocols approved Tuesday.

The FDA's decision comes a day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state's health department planned to begin treating the sickest coronavirus patients with antibody-rich plasma extracted from the blood of those who've recovered.


Under the emergency protocols approved by the FDA, doctors can request permission to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients on a case-by-case basis. For now, the experimental treatment will be reserved for patients who are in dire condition and at risk of death. The FDA will respond to most requests within four to eight hours, the agency said. For patients who require treatment faster, doctors can call the FDA's Office of Emergency Operations to get approval over the phone.

If the treatment is proven safe and effective, experts said it would likely work best if given to patients before symptoms become too severe. And past studies indicate that proactive infusions of convalescent plasma might also be effective in protecting front line health care workers from becoming seriously ill.

The FDA cautioned that plasma has not been proven effective for COVID-19 and that researchers wishing to test it more broadly should apply for permission to begin a trial.


First known US youth coronavirus death: Minor dies after testing positive in Los Angeles County


Joel Shannon and Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY
,USA TODAY•March 24, 2020

A youth under the age of 18 has become the first minor in the U.S. to die in the COVID-19 pandemic, Los Angeles County health officials reported Tuesday.


In Los Angeles County, there have been 256 new cases in past 48 hours, with 662 cases in the county total. Eleven people have died in the county to date.

People between 18 and 40 years old make up 42% of positive cases, Ferrer said.

The large percentage of younger people testing positive for the virus is even more stark than a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released last week which found that 1 in 5 U.S. cases were among people ages 20 to 44.

A glimmer of hope on the coronavirus front: Experts who have been tracking the virus' spread have concluded that it mutates at a slower rate than other respiratory viruses like the flu. This slow mutation rate has two implications — both positive. It means the virus (whose official name is SARS-CoV-2) is stable in its current form, and therefore unlikely to get even more dangerous as it continues to spread. That also means that a vaccine could be effective in the long-run; it'd act more like a measles or chickenpox vaccine than a seasonal flu shot.

Sounds hopeful. Time will tell


Aylin Woodward)
,Business Insider•March 25, 2020

A glimmer of hope on the coronavirus front: Experts who have been tracking the virus' spread have concluded that it mutates at a slower rate than other respiratory viruses like the flu.

This slow mutation rate has two implications — both positive. It means the virus (whose official name is SARS-CoV-2) is stable in its current form, and therefore unlikely to get even more dangerous as it continues to spread. That also means that a vaccine could be effective in the long-run; it'd act more like a measles or chickenpox vaccine than a seasonal flu shot.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A 36-year-old New York City principal is the first known public school staff member to die from the new coronavirus


salarshani@businessinsider.com (Sarah Al-Arshani)
,INSIDER•March 24, 2020

A New York City principal died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, local news outlets reported on Monday.

Dezann Romain, principal of Brownsville's Brooklyn Democracy Academy, was 36 years old and is the first known public school staff member to die from the new coronavirus, Chalkbeat reported.


Does alcohol weaken the immune system? Yes, if you drink too much


Madeleine Burry)
,INSIDER•March 23, 2020


According to Mayo Clinic, drinking too much alcohol weakens the immune system and makes you more prone to getting sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines excessive drinking as:

Heavy drinking: eight or more drinks a week for women, and 15 or more drinks a week for men

Binge drinking: four or more drinks in two to three hours for women; five or more drinks in that same time time period for men

Drinking while pregnant or younger than the legal drinking age of 21






Rep. Ben McAdams hospitalized with 'severe shortness of breath' after testing positive for coronavirus


Brendan Morrow
,The Week•March 23, 2020

Rep. Ben McAdams (D-Utah) has been hospitalized after testing positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

McAdams last week became the second member of Congress to announce they had tested positive for the novel coronavirus after Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), saying he had cold-like symptoms. On Sunday, McAdams announced he had been hospitalized after he "experienced severe shortness of breath" on Friday.

"I was admitted and have been receiving oxygen as I struggled to maintain my blood oxygen at appropriate levels," McAdams said. "I am now off oxygen and feeling relatively better and expect to be released as soon as the doctor determines it is appropriate."

Since McAdams and Diaz-Balart announced they had the novel coronavirus last week, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Sunday became the first senator to test positive.


"This is not overblown, this is very serious — I'm 45, I'm in good health, and it has knocked me down," he said. "And so we need to follow these guidelines to slow the spread of this. This is going to be bad."

Ohio stops daily reporting of new unemployment claims at request of Trump administration

The governor of Ohio is republican.


By Rick Rouan
The Columbus Dispatch
Posted Mar 24, 2020 at 12:12 PM

Ohio will no longer release its growing unemployment claim numbers on a daily basis as the economy slumps through the COVID-19 outbreak after the Trump administration told states to hold the statistics for weekly reports.

Last week, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services reported that claims for unemployment filed between Sunday and Thursday had reached nearly 140,000, up from fewer than 5,000 during the same period a week earlier.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hobby Lobby tells workers no paid sick leave during national crisis


By ArLuther Lee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Mar. 24, 2020

Hobby Lobby, one of the few chain retailers to remain open in states where the coronavirus outbreak has not closed non-essential business, is refusing paid sick leave for its employees amid the national economic crisis, according to Business Insider, citing an internal memo issued by the company’s executive front office.

The communication to staff came days after the arts-and-crafts company’s founder David Green sent a letter to reassure employees, saying God “will guide us through this storm.”

Randy Betts, the vice president of store operations for Hobby Lobby, wrote March 23 that the company “is going to make every effort to continue working the employees,” Business Insider reported. Betts stated in the memo that sick workers would either need to exhaust all paid time off and vacation time, or take an “unpaid leave of absence until further notice,” according to Business Insider.


The company’s website assures customers that it is safe to keep shopping, and that it’s taking measures such as “enhanced cleaning” to prevent any spread of the virus at its stores.


The Business Insider report quoted one of the store’s district managers, who said in an email that he felt “very anxious about this whole situation.”

“Our management has doubled down on the work stance, and the district manager has said that our stores will remain open until the National Guard comes in and physically shuts the buildings down,” the employee wrote on condition of anonymity, Business Insider reported.


CBS News reported the chain had closed some locations around the country to adhere to legally required closures, but many remain open for business.

Green’s letter to employees dated March 19 said his wife, Barbara, had received a message from God telling the chain to stay open.


Let's do our part

From a nurse on Facebook

Mar. 24, 2020

Tonight is the last night that I’ll hug my kids goodnight or kiss my husband until god knows when.

Community spread is now confirmed in my area and being an ER nurse means that the odds of being exposed over and over again are now a 100% guarantee. So I just wanted to talk to everyone stuck at home with your family, bored out of your mind and itching to get out. A little perspective is sometimes all you need to feel grateful for the things you have that others don’t.

Starting with my shift tomorrow, I’ll come home from work through my laundry room door that leads to the outside. I’ll strip naked including shoes and put everything straight into the washing machine on sanitize mode. Ill use a Clorox wipe to clean anything I touched in the process. I’ll then take the towel that my husband has left for me and use it to walk to my master bedroom covered up. In there, a room that nobody else is allowed to enter after today, I’ll shower on hot. After my shower I’ll sanitize everything I touched again, then hand sanitize and get dressed.

When I’m done with this process I’ll be able to sit in the family room 6 feet away from everyone I love, but not touch anyone- I’ll know I’ve been exposed. I’ll have been using the same single disposable face mask for minimum of an entire shift and I can’t be sure that the moisture from my breath didn’t render the mask ineffective. So I must treat myself as though I have it and am contagious.

I’ll get to talk to my husband and kids from a safe distance, but I won’t get to touch anyone I love. I’m not a hugger, but I anticipate that the next few weeks are likely to bring days where I could really use a hug. I won’t be able to have one. It’s the only way I can protect them.

If I’m hungry I’ll have someone fix me something on disposable dinnerware so that the worry of improperly sterilizing my utensils isn’t an issue. I’ll probably-scratch that, definitely- have wine out of a red solo cup as I answer a barrage of questions from my kids and try to ignore the look on my husbands face. I’ll probably have to assure my youngest for the millionth time, that mommy will stay safe. When that’s done, I’ll give the kids air hugs and wish them goodnight. When the kids go to bed I’ll be able to unload a little less censured to my husband- but the truth is, depending how bad it gets, I’ll probably lie a little. When exhaustion hits I’ll go to bed.....alone. In a room that nobody else can enter.

This will be my life, every day. Even my days off (until those are no more) because I could be contagious before showing symptoms. So until this thing is gone, my reality will look a lot different. I’ll probably hug my co-workers because they are just as dirty as me, but at a time of heaviness, I won’t be able to receive the human touch of love from the people who love me most. For weeks, for months, who knows- that part is in the hands of the American public.

So my ask of you is this, as you sit at home with your children on your laps snuggled up watching a movie- please end this thing quickly by not going out unless absolutely necessary. My arms stay empty every day that you don’t. I go to bed alone every day that community spread is still a thing. Stay home. Hug your children, sleep with your spouse, eat on porcelain plates, sip wine from a long stemmed glass and give thanks for the things that you can still do that some of us can’t. I’m doing my part. Please do yours.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Republican Stimulus Plan Gives Less Money to Poor Households


Jonathan Chait
Mar. 20, 2020


Republicans not only phased out the payments at the top, they phased them in at the bottom. The poorest families, who have no taxable income, would only get $600. The maximum $1,200 benefit wouldn’t kick in until an individual hits $23,500 or a married couple’s income reaches about $47,000. Roughly 64 million of the poorest households would fail to get the full benefit, according to Kyle Pomerleau of the American Enterprise Institute.


Fortunately, Republicans need half a dozen Democratic votes to pass anything through the Senate. There is absolutely no reason for Democrats to let this outrage pass the upper chamber.

republican Senate Covid-19 "relief" bill


Linette Lopez
Mar. 23, 2020


This is a case where the consequences (and possibility) of overspending are basically negligible, while the consequences of underspending could push the entire global economy into a longer, deeper recession.

And yet this weekend the Senate was unable to pass aid legislation. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell raged and blamed Democrats, while Democrats fumed over the legislation's $500 billion, opaque Treasury slush fund to be handed out to corporations at Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's discretion. Treasury wouldn't have to report which corporations got that money for half a year, whereas during the financial crisis companies that received funds were made public within 60 days.

Democrats also rejected the bill over a lack of labor protections that would only mandate corporations keep employees "to the extent possible." They want more limits on executive compensation and share buybacks, and they want more money for healthcare workers. They accuse Republicans of being cheap, and writing a deal that favors corporations over average Americans.


The only proposal that comes close to being generous enough for individuals comes from Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib. It would give a prepaid card with $2,000 to every American. That card would then be recharged with $1,000 monthly until one year after the end of the coronavirus crisis. This is the kind of plan that will make Americans believe the government has their back, not just the backs of big corporations.


Nigeria records chloroquine poisoning after Trump endorses it for coronavirus treatment


By Stephanie Busari and Bukola Adebayo, CNN
Updated 5:02 PM ET, Mon March 23, 2020

Health officials in Nigeria have issued a warning over chloroquine after they said three people in the country overdosed on the drug, in the wake of President Trump's comments about using it to treat coronavirus.
A Lagos state official told CNN that three people were hospitalized in the city after taking the drug. Officials later issued a statement cautioning against using chloroquine for Covid-19 treatment.



Posted: 2:19 PM, Mar 23, 2020
Updated: 8:31 PM, Mar 23, 2020
By: abc15.com staff, ABC News staff

PHOENIX — Banner Health experts are warning the public against using "inappropriate medications" after a Valley man died and his wife was hospitalized after taking chemicals they believed could help protect against coronavirus.


On Sunday, the man and his wife, both in their 60s, took chloroquine phosphate, an additive commonly used to clean fish tanks, and within 30 minutes experienced effects that required admittance to a nearby Banner Health facility. The man died and his wife remains under critical care, according to a hospital spokesperson.


Wanda, who was able to throw up the chemicals, is likely going to survive, said the spokesperson.

Wanda also reportedly told hospital staffers that she and her husband ingested the product after reading a "fake" article online and saw symptoms shortly after taking it.


Retired astronaut who spent 665 days in space gives advice on pandemic isolation: Remember "bigger purpose"


By Nicole Brown CBS News March 23, 2020, 1:46 PM

Retired NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who spent 665 days on the International Space Station, advised people feeling isolated while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic to remember the "bigger purpose" everyone shares. By social distancing and quarantining, people are "saving lives," she said.


Whitson also advised working on communicating with the people you're living with.

"That is the most important thing you have to be able to do," she said. "We always have these ideas that we think we're communicating and we have to make sure that that's actually our intent that's hidden in our head is actually being communicated."


Antarctic glacier retreated 3 miles in 22 years, threatening global sea-level rise


Doyle Rice
Mar. 23, 2020

As the global climate heats up, some of the great ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica are melting, a few of them rapidly. One, East Antarctica’s Denman glacier, has retreated nearly 3 miles in just the past 22 years, according to a new study.

Researchers are concerned that the shape of the ground surface under the ice sheet could make it even more susceptible to a climate-driven collapse. "If fully thawed, the ice in Denman would cause sea levels worldwide to rise almost 5 feet," the University of California-Irvine said in a statement.

“East Antarctica has long been thought to be less threatened (than West Antarctica), but as glaciers such as Denman have come under closer scrutiny by the cryosphere science community, we are now beginning to see evidence of potential marine ice sheet instability in this region,” said study co-author Eric Rignot, a scientist at the University of California-Irvine.


Sea-level rise is one of the main effects of human-caused climate change. It's important here in the United States because almost 40% of the U.S. population lives in relatively high population-density coastal areas, where sea level plays a role in flooding, shoreline erosion and hazards from storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

And globally, eight of the world’s 10 largest cities are near a coast, the United Nations' Atlas of the Oceans reports.

Overall, NOAA said global sea levels have risen about 8 to 9 inches since 1880, and about a third of that is coming in just the last 2½ decades. Most of that rise is because of meltwater from glaciers and ice sheets and the expansion of seawater as it warms.


The study was published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal Geophysical Research Letters, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

Microsoft discloses new Windows vulnerability that’s being actively exploited


By Jay Peters Mar 23, 2020, 5:59pm EDT

Microsoft disclosed a new remote code execution vulnerability today that can be found in all supported versions of Windows and is currently being exploited in “limited targeted attacks” (via TechCrunch). If a hacker successfully pulled off an attack, they could theoretically remotely run code or malware on the victim’s device.


Microsoft offers instructions for a few temporary workarounds in its advisory, such as disabling the Preview Pane and Details Pane in Windows Explorer.

Why Mitch McConnell wants to give money to big business w/o strings.


Center for Responsive Politics

Rank: 8th in the Senate

with an estimated net worth of $26,678,035 in 2016.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

The Benefits of Playing Music Help Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity


John Rampton


Science has shown that musical training can change brain structure and function for the better. It can also improve long-term memory and lead to better brain development for those who start at a young age.

Furthermore, musicians tend to be more mentally alert, according to new research from a University of Montreal study.

"The more we know about the impact of music on really basic sensory processes, the more we can apply musical training to individuals who might have slower reaction times," said lead researcher Simon Landry.


Initially, these studies couldn't determine if these differences were caused by musical training or if anatomical differences predispose some to become musicians. Ultimately, longitudinal studies showed that children who do 14 months of musical training displayed more powerful structural and functional brain changes.

These studies prove that learning a musical instrument increases gray matter volume in various brain regions, It also strengthens the long-range connections between them. Additional research shows that musical training can enhance verbal memory, spatial reasoning, and literacy skills.


Brain-scanning studies have found that the anatomical change in musicians' brains is related to the age when training began. It shouldn't be surprising, but learning at a younger age causes the most drastic changes.

Interestingly, even brief periods of musical training can have long-lasting benefits. A 2013 study found that even those with moderate musical training preserved sharp processing of speech sounds. It was also able to increase resilience to any age-related decline in hearing.

Researchers also believe that playing music helps speech processing and learning in children with dyslexia. Furthermore, learning to play an instrument as a child can protect the brain against dementia.


Journalistic ethics

March 22, 2020

I have heard some journalists trying to get government health officials to say something that contradicts Trump, which would open them to revenge by Trump. Those journalists are unprofessional jerks.

Doctors and nurses in Spain are taping garbage bags to their bodies for protection against the novel coronavirus as supplies dwindle


Rachel Askinasi
,INSIDER•March 21, 2020

Doctors and nurses at hospitals in Spain are taping garbage bags to their arms in hopes of protecting themselves against contracting the novel coronavirus, Bloomberg reported.

As more people around the world are being admitted into hospitals, medical workers are being forced to ration their protective gear.

Marcia Santini, a registered nurse at an emergency room in California, told Business Insider, "We need to keep our healthcare workers healthy, and if they get sick, that would collapse the healthcare system." But that's proving hard to do with limited protective equipment.


Children more at risk for abuse and neglect amid coronavirus pandemic, experts say


Suzanne Hirt, Andrea Ball and Katie Wedell, USA TODAY NETWORK
,USA TODAY•March 22, 2020

Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable U.S. children could face a heightened risk of abuse and neglect as coronavirus-related school closures keep them at home and away from the nation’s biggest group of hotline tipsters: educators.

Teachers, administrators, school counselors and other educational professionals report one in every five child-mistreatment claims in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other major sources include law enforcement and social workers.

Those reports could plummet, experts predict, as children’s social circles contract to just family members, which collectively represent just 12% of hotline calls.

Even kids in otherwise functional families could face peril as parents unaccustomed to providing round-the-clock care and stressed by the collapsing economy are pushed to the edge.

Some experts, like Sophie Phillips, chief executive officer of TexProtects, a Texas-based child abuse prevention advocacy group, fear that parents still required to work outside the home may leave children on their own.

Meanwhile, state agencies tasked with investigating complaints and keeping kids safe have scaled back services to slow the spread of the pandemic. In Florida, some child protection groups have turned to virtual home visits instead of in-person check-ins.


Risk factors for child abuse and neglect – including parental stress, economic instability and housing insecurity – increase in situations like this, according to Dr. Melissa Merrick, president and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America.

“School and workplace closings greatly increase stress in parents’ lives,” Merrick said, adding that children with existing behavioral problems are prone to act out as their parents’ tension levels rise.


Medical professionals and child advocates offered several stress-relief tips for families stuck at home.


tags: child abuse

Lack of sleep can make you sick


Yes, lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you're under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don't get enough sleep.

So, your body needs sleep to fight infectious diseases. Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.


Federal law enforcement document reveals white supremacists discussed using coronavirus as a bioweapon


Hunter Walker and Jana Winter
,Yahoo News•March 21, 2020

White supremacists discussed plans to weaponize coronavirus via “saliva,” a “spray bottle” or “laced items,” according to a weekly intelligence brief distributed by a federal law enforcement division on Feb. 17.

Federal investigators appeared to be monitoring the white nationalists’ communications on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app that has become popular with neo-Nazis. In the conversations, the white supremacists suggested targeting law enforcement agents and “nonwhite” people with attacks designed to infect them with the coronavirus.

“Violent extremists continue to make bioterrorism a popular topic among themselves,” reads the intelligence brief written by the Federal Protective Service, which covered the week of Feb. 17-24. “White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists have recently commented on the coronavirus stating that it is an ‘OBLIGATION’ to spread it should any of them contract the virus.”


Water is an under-used weapon in climate change fight, UN says


Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation
March 21, 2020 / 8:01 PM

Using water more efficiently in everything from daily life to agriculture and industry would help reduce planet-warming emissions and curb climate change - a potential benefit that has yet to be widely recognised, the United Nations said on Sunday.

In a report issued on World Water Day, U.N. agencies said global warming would “affect the availability, quality and quantity of water for basic human needs”, threatening the right to water and sanitation for “potentially billions of people”.

But as well as using limited supplies more wisely and fairly, policymakers and businesses should also seek to manage water resources better to economise on the electricity and fuel needed to pump, clean and deliver water, the report said.

“If you save water, you’re saving energy and reducing the greenhouse gases to produce that energy to bring the water,” said Richard Connor, the report’s editor.

Using less energy cuts down further on the water needed to produce electricity, creating a virtuous circle, he said.

Even more water can be saved by switching to less-thirsty clean power sources like wind instead of fossil fuels, he added.

Water use has increased six-fold over the past century and is rising by about 1% a year, said the United Nations World Water Development Report 2020.


Smoke from Australia's bushfires killed far more people than the fires did, study says


John Pickrell
Fri 20 Mar 2020 15.00 EDT
Last modified on Fri 20 Mar 2020 15.02 EDT

Smoke pollution that blanketed Australia’s south-east for many months during the bushfire crisis may have killed more than 400 people, according to the first published estimate of the scale of health impacts – more than 10 times the number killed by the fires themselves.

The figures, published in the Medical Journal of Australia, are “definitely alarming”, according to Chris Migliaccio, who studies the long-term effects of wildfire smoke at the University of Montana in Missoula and was not involved in the research.

Lead author Fay Johnston, an epidemiologist at the University of Tasmania in Hobart, estimates 80% of Australia’s population of about 25 million was blanketed by smoke this summer.


“When you’re affecting millions of people in a small way, there are going to be enough people at high enough risk that you’re going to see really measurable rises in these health effects,” Johnston said.


Many of the deaths and hospitalisations are likely to have been older patients with heart disease or lung problems, such as chronic bronchitis or emphysema – but severe asthma attacks will likely have resulted in deaths in younger people too, Johnston said.

In patients with pre-existing cardiorespiratory issues, smoke exposure promotes inflammation, stresses the body and makes blood more likely to clot, increasing the risk of a heart attack. “In someone at high risk, subtle changes due to stress … can be the precipitating factor for a very serious or terminal event,” she said.


Amazon Prime Video to slow streaming to fight broadband overload

I think this might be happening in the U.S., because the internet seems better today than it has been recently, even just yesterday.


Mark Sweney
Fri 20 Mar 2020 08.44 EDT

Amazon’s Prime Video, the world’s second-largest streaming service, is set to join YouTube and Netflix in reducing the speed of its streams across Europe to make sure broadband networks can handle the surge in usage as millions are confined to their homes.

It is understood that the BBC is discussing whether to implement similar temporary measures for the iPlayer, which has the largest UK audience of any streaming service, along with Disney+, which launches across most of western Europe and the UK next week.


'We were on borrowed time': coronavirus could strike final blow to local newspapers


Abené Clayton in Oakland
Fri 20 Mar 2020 06.00 EDT

Several local newspapers on the west coast announced this week that the coronavirus crisis is forcing them to suspend publication, perhaps indefinitely.

Jeff vonKanael, the president of the Sacramento, Chico and Reno News & Reviews, three small alternative weekly newspapers in California and Nevada, on Tuesday announced the economic impact of the corona pandemic “could be the end” for the organizations. Almost all of the staff will be temporarily laid off, and the print editions will cease to be published for now.

VonKanael said in a statement that the drastic move came because of a steep drop in ad revenue from local events and businesses, after many California cities closed “non-essential” businesses including movie theaters, concert venues and art galleries to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The Chico News & Review reported losing 50% of its ad revenue in less than a week.


News of the recent closures and layoffs are a stark reminder of the precarious financial positioning of some local news organizations, and it comes exactly at a time when local outlets are a potentially lifesaving, trusted source of information for readers in communities across the US.

“The possibility of newspapers closing is incredibly worrisome right now, especially because the information we need around the coronavirus are things at the local and municipal level,” said Mike Rispoli, director of News Voices, a not-for-profit local news advocacy group.

Rispoli said the closure of local newspapers would leave many readers to seek information from major national news sources. Those sources have larger and more diverse revenue streams, wider circulations and bigger audiences, but they often lack the specific local information that people need to navigate their daily lives, he noted.


Saturday, March 21, 2020

US faces blood shortage as donation sites shutter


Victoria Bekiempis
Sat 21 Mar 2020 04.00 EDT
Last modified on Sat 21 Mar 2020 04.02 EDT

As the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the US, a dangerous blood shortage threatens to create another public health crisis – with one medical director warning: “This could kill our patients.”

Coronavirus control methods mandate social distancing that has ranged from banning in-person seating in restaurants to closing schools to issuing shelter-in-place orders. Many places where blood donation might take place – such as campuses and libraries – are presently shuttered.

The result has been a disaster for blood donation as the medical sector finds its blood supplies running out.

The American Red Cross said that as of 19 March, more than 5,000 of its blood drives were canceled across the US over coronavirus concerns – resulting in approximately 170,000 fewer donations. More than 80% of donated blood collected from the Red Cross is from drives at places closed for social distancing: workplaces, schools, and college campuses.


At least 4 U.S. senators sold stock after getting coronavirus threat briefings in January


By David Kocieniewski
and Bloomberg
March 20, 2020 4:54 AM EST

Four U.S. senators sold stock after receiving sensitive briefings in late January about the emerging threat of the coronavirus, sparking concerns that they put safeguarding their private finances before their duty to protect public health.

Senator Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, and Kelly Loeffler, a Republican from Georgia, both completed their sales at a time when the Trump administration and GOP leaders were downplaying the potential damage the virus might cause in the U.S. and before drastic stock-market plunges set off by the pandemic.

Burr is chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which receives frequent briefings about threats facing the country, and has experience responding to public-health crises. Loeffler – who was appointed to her seat in December after Senator Johnny Isakson announced that he was resigning because of health problems – is married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, Jeffrey Sprecher.

Two other members of the Intelligence Committee, Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, and Senator James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican, also sold stock after the briefings, according to financial records.


Intelligence officials were warning Trump about a pandemic as early as January, but they 'couldn't get him to do anything about it'


Sonam Sheth
Mar 20, 2020, 9:27 PM

United States intelligence agencies were warning President Donald Trump about an impending pandemic as early as January, The Washington Post reported.

Officials were giving Trump classified briefings on the matter at the same time that the president was publicly downplaying the risk of the novel coronavirus and insisting the US was well prepared to handle the outbreak.

The Post reported that intelligence documents closely tracked the virus' spread in Wuhan, China, where it originated and as it later progressed through mainland China, but they did not specify when the disease would make it to the US.

"The system was blinking red," one US official with access to the intelligence told The Post. Agencies "have been warning on this since January."

"Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn't get him to do anything about it," the official added.