Category Archives: pandemic

Key Immune System Genes Identified to Explain High COVID Deaths and Spread in Northern Italy Versus Fewer Cases and Deaths in the South

One of my biggest problems in dealing with Covid-19 has been sorting out the information that we are deluged with on a daily basis. I thought this explanation from the Sbarro Health Research Organization was a help.

Not long after the Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak in China, Italy was hard-hit by the infection and rapidly became one of the countries with the highest mortality rate. The disease was first detected on February 20 in Lombardy, a region in the Northern area, and rapidly spread throughout the country. The Southern regions and the Islands, however, registered much lower infection rates even though a massive migration from the affected regions to the South was recorded before the national lockdown.

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What spared the South of Italy from such a heavy disease burden? Various reasons have been proposed including that milder climate conditions in the South could have helped to prevent viral spreading, but none so far convincingly explained the different incidence rates throughout the country.

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Best material for homemade face masks may be combination of two fabrics

If, like me, you have had a problem finding a good face mask for the pandemic times, this info  may solve your problem.

Researchers from the American Chemical Society report that a combination of cotton with natural silk or chiffon can effectively filter out aerosol particles — if the fit is good.

white ceramic sculpture with black face mask

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks in public. Because N95 and surgical masks are scarce and should be reserved for health care workers, many people are making their own coverings. Now, researchers report in ACS Nano that a combination of cotton with natural silk or chiffon can effectively filter out aerosol particles — if the fit is good. Continue reading

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‘Unprecedented’ levels of COVID-19 pandemic trauma studied

The COVID-19 pandemic could inflict long-lasting emotional trauma on an unprecedented global scale, leaving millions grappling with debilitating psychological disorders, according to a new study commissioned by an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University.

An illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), depicts the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

“There are some valid concerns that this coronavirus pandemic could cause emotional trauma and PTSD at a level we’ve never seen before,” said Megan Holmes, an associate professor of social work and the founding director of the Center on Trauma and Adversity at the university’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Continue reading

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Depression, anxiety may be side effects of COVID-19

Millions of Americans are being impacted by the psychological fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic aftermath, and large numbers may experience emotional distress and be at increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, according to a new article published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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The Perspective article, co-authored by Carol North, M.D., a UT Southwestern crisis psychiatrist who has studied survivors of disasters including the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina, calls on already stretched health care providers to monitor the psychosocial needs of their patients as well as themselves and fellow health care workers during this time. Continue reading

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Weekend funnies …

It’s Friday already. Have you driven your car lately? Sorry for all the pandemic themed ones. They just seem to breed like rabbits ….

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I hope you have a safe and  healthy weekend!

Tony

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Do’s and don’ts of interaction during a pandemic – AHA

Across the nation, Americans find themselves in varying degrees of social isolation as part of a coordinated effort to try to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Some cities are in full lockdown. Others are asking people to simply remain socially distant.

But navigating this new world of social limitations can be confusing. What should – and shouldn’t – people be doing?

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That depends on your level of isolation, said Arthur Caplan, director of the Division of Medical Ethics at New York University Grossman School of Medicine.

The most restrictive level, said Caplan, is quarantine – when a person is ill or known to have been exposed to the virus and must be completely separated from others with no social interactions outside the home. Continue reading

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Hopes for pandemic respite this spring may depend upon what happens indoors

hello spring handwritten paper

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The cold, dry air of winter clearly helps SARS-CoV2 — the virus that causes COVID-19 — spread among people, Yale research has shown. But as humidity increases during spring and summer, the risk of transmission of the virus through airborne particles decreases both outside and indoors in places such as offices.

While viruses can still be transmitted through direct contact or through contaminated surfaces as humidity rises, researchers suggest that, in addition to social distancing and hand washing, the seasonal moderation of relative humidity – the difference between outside humidity and temperatures and indoor humidity – could be an ally in slowing rates of viral transmission.

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How to handle social media coronavirus stress – AHA

Pandemic. Politics. An upending of life at a level that few Americans have ever experienced. And all of it amplified by social media.

The ever-shifting news has some people constantly checking their phones for updates – and others saying they’re ready to walk away from their feeds entirely.

photo of a woman thinking

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“It’s really the perfect recipe for anxiety and panic,” said licensed clinical psychologist Debra Kissen of Chicago. And stress, it should be noted, may be a factor in heart disease.

But Kissen, CEO of Light on Anxiety CBT (cognitive behavioral technology) Treatment Center, and others say anxiety can be managed – and social media, used properly, doesn’t have to send you on a mental-health spiral. It also can help you find balance. Continue reading

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A Covid-19 Share

I didn’t write the following, nor am I a doctor, but in the plethora of information on the Covid-19 virus circulating right now, I thought it seemed exceedingly straightforward and helpful. I hope you do, too.

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Tony

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