Monday, May 18, 2020

Simply talking in confined spaces may be enough to spread the coronavirus, researchers say

The droplets from simply talking can be enough to spread the coronavirus, researchers say. By using lasers, scientists found that one minute of talking loudly can produce more than 1,000 virus-containing droplets that could linger in the air for more than eight minutes, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. As states gradually reopen, scientists fear that reopening too soon could worsen the virus outbreak. The study says that because droplets that exist in an asymptomatic person’s mouth can carry respiratory pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2, “there is a substantial probability that normal speaking causes airborne virus transmission in confined environments,” the authors wrote. A biology professor at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth said that the high-risk environments that could lead to COVID-19 infections. The list includes workplaces, public transport, social gatherings, restaurants and a person’s home, which account for 90% of the transmission events. (USA Today)


US seizes “highly toxic” lanyards, other bogus products marketed as COVID-19 protection

Federal authorities are attempting to stop a wave of bogus and potentially dangerous products marketed to Americans to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In recent months, U.S. customs officials have seized thousands of unapproved lanyards, tablets and herbal medicines, all part of a rush of supplies entering the U.S. market during the pandemic. Fraudulent and unapproved products have become a dangerous side effect of the effort to supply U.S. consumers with personal protective equipment and medical supplies. Scammers were quick to take advantage of a new market and scared consumers anxious for a cure, several federal officials said. Amid imports of counterfeit face masks and prohibited COVID-19 test kits, other unsafe items lacking the required Environmental Protection Agency or Food and Drug Administration approvals have also headed toward buyers. (CNN)


Cats with no symptoms spread virus to other cats in lab test

Cats can spread the new coronavirus to other cats without any of them ever having symptoms, a lab experiment suggests. Scientists who led the work say it shows the need for more research into whether the virus can spread from people to cats to people again. The American Veterinary Medical Association said in their statement that just because an animal can be deliberately infected in a lab “does not mean that it will easily be infected with that same virus under natural conditions.” Anyone concerned about that risk should use “common sense hygiene,” said virus experts. Don’t kiss your pets and keep surfaces clean to cut the chances of picking up any virus an animal might shed, they added. (American Veterinary Medical Association)


Florida man & woman arrested for shooting flare gun at two people that were serving legal papers

A man was arrested after he shot a flare gun multiple times at two people, who were trying to serve civil process/legal papers. A 75-year-old woman, was also arrested for resisting arrest along with 79-year-old according to Monroe County, Florida deputies. No injuries were reported. Deputies responded to a home in Monroe County, Florida about a shots fired call. Monroe County deputies said they arrived and found the woman yelling at a man who said he and another woman were trying to serve legal papers at the home. The woman said the 75-year-old woman became combative while she and her colleague were trying to serve papers. The man moved away back to his car when the 79-year-old man shot a flare gun at the man and woman from the balcony. The male process server got his legally concealed firearm and pointed it at the older man while telling him to stop shooting. Monroe County deputies said more flares were fired, which narrowly missed the man with one bouncing off the hood of the car. The man did not fire his weapon during the incident, but held the olderman at gunpoint until deputies arrived. Deputies said the home smelled like gunpowder and also found multiple empty flare casings. The older man was arrested for aggravated assault with a firearm and use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, Monroe County deputies said. The older woman was arrested for resisting arrest and battery. (WBBH)


Woman illegally enters Yellowstone, falls into hot spring while taking pictures

A woman who illegally entered Yellowstone National Park fell into a hot spring while taking pictures and suffered burns. The woman entered the national park that is closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, park officials confirmed. She was backing up to take photos when she fell into a hot spring or hole where hot gases emerge near the Old Faithful geyser. Despite her burns from the fall, she drove 50 miles until being pulled over by park rangers. She was taken by helicopter to a hospital in eastern Idaho for treatment. The park did not provide more details on her injury or treatment status. (NBC Montana)


84-year-old Massachusetts woman dances to celebrate recovery from coronavirus

An 84-year-old Massachusetts woman celebrated her victory over the coronavirus by cutting a rug. Patricia Joyce was able to return to her room at St. Joseph Manor in Brockton, Massachusetts recently after spending weeks in a designated COVID-19 unit. While she made her way back to the wing where she normally stays, she decided to dance to Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration.” “It’s just natural,” Joyce said of her dancing skills. She fell ill in April and ended up testing positive for COVID-19. She is thankful to be well and even shared the secret to her recovery. “I take my vitamins every day,” she said. “I never miss them. They’re very important.” (WCVB)


Is this the end of the SAT?

More colleges are temporarily waiving SAT and ACT requirements, as the pandemic forces cancellations of both standardized tests. Dozens of schools have suspended test score submissions, but the president of the University of California system has gone so far as to recommend completely phasing out of both exams. Standardized tests have long been accused of favoring the wealthy and privileged. The UC’s decision later this month will impact nine campuses in the Golden State and echo across the entire education industry. (US News)


Silicon Valley faces tech exodus

Silicon Valley workers are rethinking their sky-high rents and considering moving now that major tech companies won’t reopen their offices this year. Facebook and Google won’t bring back employees until 2021, while Twitter has given workers the option to work from home permanently. The looming exodus isn’t just happening in San Francisco — many people in crowded cities are eyeing moves to less densely populated areas amid the pandemic. A new Zillow-Harris Poll survey found 66% of people teleworking would consider moving if work-from-home flexibility continues. (Bloomberg News)


CDC lays out reopening guidelines

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has set out new guidelines for schools, restaurants and other workplaces looking to reopen safely in the pandemic era. The tools for business owners feature six “decision trees” to determine readiness to relaunch, including being in line with state and local orders and preparedness to protect staff who are more at risk from the virus. Firms should also limit shared staff spaces, while mass-transit operators should close every other row of seats to facilitate social distancing, among other recommendations. (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention)


Job losses are fueling inequality

The economic downturn caused by the pandemic is hitting lower-income Americans much harder than others, says a new report from the Federal Reserve. Nearly 40% of those with a household income below $40,000 lost work in March, according to the Economic Well-Being of US Households report. That compares to just 19% of those earning between $40,000 and $100,000 and 13% of households making over $100,000. Lower-income workers are more likely to be employed in sectors that are laying off or furloughing staff, such as food services. (The New York Times)


A New York hospital’s entire staff was surprised with free vacations in recognition of their efforts to combat coronavirus

Thousands of employees at a hospital in the epicenter of America’s fight against the coronavirus are being rewarded for their hard work. More than 4,000 hospital staff,  including doctors, physician assistants, nurses, and facilities and food service teams, at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst were surprised with a three-night complimentary vacation, Hyatt and American Airlines announced recently. The two companies collaborated to treat the frontline workers with free round trip flights on American Airlines to Hyatt hotels in select destinations across the US and Caribbean “to help them recharge and reconnect with their loved ones” once they are able to. “When they are able to take a break, we hope the time away will help them and their loved ones recharge and that they feel our deepest appreciation for their sacrifice and heroism.” (CNN)


California man with 1% chance of survival released from hospital after two-month COVID-19 battle

Gregg Garfield was in the hospital due to coronavirus for 64 days. For 31 of those days, he was on a ventilator. The 54-year-old was “patient zero” at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, about 10 miles north of Los Angeles. He had a 1% chance of survival. And he beat the odds, leaving the hospital recently. He became ill and was hospitalized after a February trip to northern Italy with a dozen of his friends. “The disease kicked off, and my immune system just ate me alive,” he said. An avid skier who considers himself an athletic person, he was on the verge of losing his fight with coronavirus. He suffered pneumonia, kidney failure, four different parts of his lungs collapsed, and he was unable to walk, but with the help of physicians and physical therapists, he was slowly able to regain his mobility and returned home with a walker. On the day of his release, the entire staff at Providence St. Joseph gathered for a round of applause to cheer on the man who survived coronavirus, after two months of hospitalization. He still has a long road to full recovery, but he hopes that people take the coronavirus pandemic seriously. (KCAL)


Sweden has seen a significant increase in mortality this year

Although it’s fared better than some of the hardest-hit nations in Europe, leading to mixed reactions to its decision not to enforce any form of lockdown. Since mid-March, Sweden has seen 27% more deaths than in a normal year, a major contrast from neighbors Norway and Finland, both of which enforced early restrictions and have not seen a marked increase in deaths. (The New York Times)


Monday Brings Forth It’s Offerings:

  • Buy A Musical Instrument Day
  • HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
  • I Love Reeses Day
  • International Museum Day
  • Mother Whistler Day
  • Supply Chain Professional Day (3rd Monday)
  • Victoria Day
  • Visit Your Relatives Day



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