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Laugh it off. It might just be the best medicine to battle the coronavirus. – Houston Chronicle

Dusti Rhodes has wondered who decides when its OK to laugh at a bad situation.

The Houston comedian and high school teacher said people dont always know when theyre allowed to chuckle at something, especially a collective hardship like COVID-19.

On a conference call with her fellow teachers, Rhodes was surprised when one co-worker announced she let herself watch a comedy. Rhodes said people feel an invisible social obligation to not laugh during this time.

But thats silly.

When the city went on an effective lockdown, Rhodes braced herself for terrible and cheap jokes. They came in every format internet memes mostly and many were cringe-worthy.

But they did make her laugh. And laughing makes her feel better. She realized everybody decides for themselves when theyre comfortable making light of a situation, and it almost always helps to just laugh it out.

When you choose to start making jokes, its how you deal with it; youre able to dismiss the sad feelings you have about it and it makes it a little easier, said Rhodes, 38. Youre not dismissing the terribleness of that news. But you have to laugh.

And laughing has both short-term and long-term benefits for our mental and physical health, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Short-term effects can include the stimulation of organs, like your lungs, heart and core muscles. Laughter can also trigger an endorphin release, which can lead to relief in our stress responses, muscle relaxation and lowered tension.

Studies have shown daily laughter can lead to an improved immune system and overall pain relief. Giggles big and small can help alleviate varying levels of depression, according to the clinic.

Rhodes type of comedy is personal. Its usually about me and the awkwardness of my life, but its not self-deprecation, she said.

Her style is telling a relatable story, from awkward dates to weird sex to growing up ugly. Her goal is for every night on stage to end in mutual laughs.

When the world isnt in a pandemic, she runs Rudyards Open Mic Comedy Night every Monday and has a regular show at The Secret Group in East Downtown, a venue she calls her home club.

Rhodes had plans to record her first comedy album for Sure Thing Records in Austin this month. She postponed the recording date for one reason: she needs an audience to tell jokes.

The strange thing about comedy that is different from being a singer or a band in a music studio is that (for them), it doesnt matter if theres not an audience there, she said. Its awkward if a comedian is telling jokes and theres not an audience there to laugh.

Kevin Cotter will host his Laughter Workout class on Zoom every Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Zoom details:https://us04web.zoom.us/j/738801156

Meeting ID: 738 801 156

Rebecca Fiszer, 54, considers herself a pretty well-adjusted loner. She has an 11-year-old miniature schnauzer named Harley and enjoys quiet time after a days work at a Houston law firm.

But since Fiszer began working from home last month, she realized she misses the sound of one of her co-workers buoyant laughter. Every time he laughed in his office, Fiszer would overhear it and begin laughing herself. She misses it so much that she asked him to record it and send it to her, so she could listen from home.

This is a different level of being alone, Fiszer said. When you go to a store, youre still forced into social interaction. But in this situation, all that is being cut out. Im struggling, too. I need to see somebody.

Last week, Fiszer joined Kevin Cotters Laughter Workout class via Zoom.

Cotter teaches laughter as a form of mental and physical fitness; its akin to laughter yoga, an exercise in laughing developed by Dr. Madan Kataria in India. Kataria found that our bodies dont differentiate between genuine laughter and fake laughter, and our brains release feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine regardless.

Laughter exercises help oxygenate the body and brain due to deep breathing practices and spread contagious laughter and childlike playfulness, according to LaughterYoga.org. It also lowers the presence of cortisol, a hormone that causes stress in our bodies.

Cotter found laughter yoga early in his treatment for clinical depression six years ago. Knowing his background as a class clown, his therapist recommended he try it.

He began teaching in assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, and found that older people need an extra push to laugh again.

The class is broken down into a series of laughs, like the Yee-Haw and Santa Claus.

Were in Texas, so we dont say Aloha here; we say Yee-Haw. We say YEEEE-Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha, Cotter said as he starts tall and bends down to holler the ha-has.

For the Santa Claus laugh, Cotter put his hand on his stomach and bellowed out Ho-ho-ho-ho-ho, much faster than a typical Santa.

Once he teaches students how to perform the laughs, they laugh in rapid succession, switching from one to the other.

Even though the laughs start artificially, they quickly become real, he said. People feel ridiculous at first, but then they lose the self-consciousness and feel good.

Sound far-fetched? He thought so, too. But he cant argue with the results.

Fiszer said she felt lighter at the end of class, a feeling she had forgotten in the past few weeks.

Watching or hearing anything funny just does make you feel better. It takes your mind off things, she said. I do think its contagious.

julie.garcia@chron.com

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Laugh it off. It might just be the best medicine to battle the coronavirus. - Houston Chronicle

Meet the MEPs returning to medicine amid the coronavirus pandemic – Euronews

EU institutions are on lockdown and, while politics goes online, those with medical training are heading to the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm working again as a medical doctor in a private practice where I practised until the end of 2002 so it's quite a long time ago," German MEP Peter Liese told Euronews over Skype.

He gives a quick sweep of the room to show the medical equipment at the cabinet practice in Germany, where, he explains, he does the 'easy stuff', such as taking blood samples.

Another former doctor and MEP is Chrysoula Zacharopoulou from France. These days she is working at a military hospital near Paris. Seeing the crisis up close, gives her some perspective on the EU's response.

"In the face of such a huge sanitary crisis, it's normal that we didn't have the right answer at the start. But now, I think, the Commission, the institutions, using modern technology, have stepped up to the plate. I think that we do see European solidarity."

Having a medical background has helped these MEPs see what is needed to protect public health, across borders. Peter Liese says he had already encouraged the Commission to create a contact point where all hospitals that still have capacity could be registered when they are ready to accept patients from abroad.

Both doctors are reluctant to say when life can go back to normal. They acknowledge that lockdowns are difficult for everyone, but emphasise the need to stay put a little bit longer.

"Let's be humble and patient. Let's respect the instructions and stay and home - out of respect for care-givers, for ourselves and society," insists Zacharopoulou.

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Meet the MEPs returning to medicine amid the coronavirus pandemic - Euronews

INTERVIEW: Emergency Medicine Doc In NYC Talks COVID-19, How It’s Different Than The Flu, And What He’s Seeing On The Ground – The Daily Wire

On Wednesday, The Daily Wire spoke with Dr. Zachary Blankenship, DO, a fourth year Emergency Medicine resident physician working at St. Barnabas Hospital in The Bronx, New York City, the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

As of publication, New York City has just over 19% of total confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, and nearly 32% of deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) Global Cases map.

[NOTE: The observations/opinions expressed below are that of one doctor in one hospital, and while indicative of what this physician is seeing on the ground in the hospital in which he works, nothing in this interview should be taken as necessarily representative of the experiences of other doctors in other hospitals in New York City and throughout the nation.]

DW: What did you see before on a normal day versus a day during this pandemic?

BLANKENSHIP: The emergency room is always a grab bag. Our specialty consists of really anything and everything that could come through the door. You have a mix of the sickest people youve ever seen in your life, and sometimes you have people who are not so sick, or have more minor ailments, and our job is to figure out which is which, whos who, and where people need to go. Do they need to go to surgery? Do they need to be admitted to the hospital? Can they go home? So, it was just much more of a mix of highs and lows.

Now, what were seeing is everybody is sick. Our ER still has a small area thats dedicated to right now treating people who are coming for non-coronavirus related issues. That section may be a little bit more of business as usual, but thats a small fraction of the patients who are coming in.

What Im seeing now is people who are much, much, much sicker. And every once in a while, I have somebody who is well enough to go home and self-quarantine. Then of course, we give those people what we call return precautions, saying, If this happens, come back to the hospital, or If this happens, call911.

DW: When youre seeing COVID-19 cases on the floor now, what is that like? Whats the procedure when a suspected COVID case comes in?

BLANKENSHIP: Everybody who is suspected COVID is placed in our section for COVID patients because the test doesnt come back immediately, and we presume that they have it. One thing that were doing is were getting a chest X-ray on people as soon as they come in the door. These people all have viral pneumonia, and so were basically judging off of that chest X-ray.

The main thing in resuscitation, the first thing is always airway, breathing, circulation and pretty much all of these people have difficulty breathing. So then we have to decide how we are going to take care of that. Some people can use whats called a nasal cannula, which is the two prongs that go in your nose. Some people require a mask, which is called a non-rebreather. Its the clear mask that has a bag attached to it. Then the sickest of the sickest actually get intubated and put on a ventilator.

DW: Whats the intubation process like?

BLANKENSHIP: The intubation process involves a lot of setup, getting all your equipment ready all around the bedside doctors and nurses, a respiratory therapist, all of the bedside ready to go. You administer medication. Typically, youll do one medication for sedation and one medication for paralysis. Then you insert the endotracheal tube and confirm that with your physical exam and with a chest X-ray. Then you attach the ventilator to the endotracheal tube.

Weve been doing a lot of whats called video-assisted intubation. We have a machine where the blade that youre putting in someones mouth to look at their airway actually has a fiber optic camera attached to it so you can better visualize what youre doing.

DW: From a patient perspective, once one has been intubated, are you kept under after the process is completed?

BLANKENSHIP: You are kept sedated because the procedure can be pretty uncomfortable. On TV, they use the term medically-induced coma. So, youre giving people a combination of pain medication and sedating medication so that they are out of it, that theyre unaware of whats going on, and theyre not responsive to the interventions that youre doing. We dont say medically-induced coma, we just say the patient is sedated.

DW: What are you seeing as it pertains to intubated patients? Are a majority of your intubated patients recovering?

BLANKENSHIP: I would say the majority, as far as I can tell and keep in mind this is not epidemiologic data, these are the observations of one doctor at one hospital. What I have seen is typically the patients who are so sick that they require intubation dont end up doing well, and Ive had many patients die on the ventilator. It seems to me that the patients who are able to get by without being intubated are the ones who are going to make it. That being said, I just heard this morning on one of our conference calls that weve had five patients recently who were able to be extubated and discharged, which is good to hear.

DW: How is this different than the flu, and why should it be taken more seriously?

BLANKENSHIP: Whats frustrating about it is that the flu happens every year, it kills thousands of people, and nobody seems to take it seriously. We cant convince people to get flu shots. We cant convince people to self-medicate as far as getting rest and hydration, and taking Tylenol or Motrin for their fever.

This, though, is not the flu. The flus course is much more predictable. You get sick people over a much longer time period, so that the capacity for our hospitals, our resource limits, are not strained in the way that they are now.

The other thing about the flu is that even though it can affect people in different ways as far as having respiratory symptoms, as far as having GI symptoms, the severity is just not as bad. Whereas the patients that Ive been seeing here in the ER, I was really surprised at just how sick these patients are. And its not simply people with a little cough, a little fever. Its people who are really, critically ill.

These patients have respiratory failure requiring oxygen. Most of the flu patients I see do not require oxygen. Ive seen a lot of heart failure. Ive seen a lot of heart attacks. And I believe theres some evidence that the virus directly affects your heart rather than the heart failure being secondary to respiratory failure. All of my patients have deranged laboratory values, like abnormal electrolytes, kidney failure, liver failure.

There seems to be some effect on your bloods ability to clot and break down clots, which is at a constant balance. And so Ive seen a ton of people who have blood clots. Theyre getting blood clots in the brain, which we call a stroke, blood clots in the heart, or a heart attack. Ive seen people with blood clots in the leg, too. Ive also seen patients with bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, blood in the urine.

DW: And these are all COVID cases?

BLANKENSHIP: These are all COVID cases. So, these people are being affected almost from head to toe. Multiple organ systems are all being affected by COVID. And dont get me wrong, there are plenty of people who are getting it, staying at home for 14 days, theyre sick for a few days, and then they feel just fine and they do okay but the ones who are truly sick are much sicker than any flu patient Ive ever seen.

DW: Do you have enough PPE, or are you struggling with supplies?

BLANKENSHIP: Were good. Our hospital has taken good care of us. I think weve also received some private donations. Were not worried about that at all.

DW: Hows the situation with capacity, specifically as it pertains to ventilator access?

BLANKENSHIP: We did have an influx of ventilators. We were able to increase our supply, and we have used most of them. But capacity has been actually improving. This week I worked five nights in a row, and it definitely got better as I went on through the nights as far as number of patients.

DW: What is your stress level like? How has this impacted you as a physician?

BLANKENSHIP: It goes back and forth because as an emergency medicine physician, this is what we were trained for, and weve always seen the sickest of the sick. So there are times when Im in the middle of a shift and Im just working, working, working, I dont really have time to think about the bigger picture, and then maybe you get a little lull and you start to think, Wow, this is really crazy. Sometimes Im more negative and feeling extremely stressed, and then other times I feel more positive and think, At least Im doing something. And the camaraderie between staff has been very good, very high, really supporting each other. So, its good to know youve got other people, and that other people have your back.

DW: How is this impacting your colleagues? How do you see this impacting their behavior or their stress levels?

BLANKENSHIP: It varies from person to person. I think the stress level is definitely higher than baseline. Thats hard to say. I think well know when this is over really just how much people have been affected. But right now, its almost like we dont have time to be stressed because theres so much to be done.

DW: What would you say to those who are downplaying the impact of COVID?

BLANKENSHIP: Please dont. Please dont. That has been one of my big frustrations. Maybe this is some sort of denial. Maybe people are trying to protect themselves because they dont want to face that. Downplaying it doesnt just hurt you, it hurts everybody youve come into contact with. It hurts people who are older than you. It hurts people who are baseline sicker than you. I think its selfish.

DW: We just saw a predicted drop in deaths on the IHME model to approximately 60,400 on the low end, and ICU bed need down to 19,400 or so. Do you think we are effectively flattening the curve?

BLANKENSHIP: That is really hard to say. So much of that depends on where you are because I think there are places that still havent been fully impacted yet. Are we effectively flattening the curve? For starters, we definitely werent at the beginning of this, right? We had months to prepare for this, and we pretty much did nothing. We were told over and over again, Dont worry about it. So I think at the beginning, no, we did not effectively flatten the curve. However, our interventions, our social interventions, made a difference. Now, I think time will tell.

DW: To those who say that if the curve is flattening, its because COVID-19 wasnt a big deal to begin with, what would you say?

BLANKENSHIP: I would say youre wrong. The people who are going to say that are not the ones who have just lost a parent or lost a grandparent. Because for those people, it was as bad as we said it was going to be. With something like this, if you over-prepare and things do end up being not as bad as they said it was going to be, thats a good thing. Thats a good thing to take precautions and save lives. Whats not good is a sense of complacency or not doing anything, and then having the alternative happen, where far too many people die.

DW: Is there something that we havent touched on in this interview that you would want our readership to know about this whole situation?

BLANKENSHIP: I would just say to please think about others. Please think about how your individual actions are affecting others. Think about what you can do to make the situation better. And I know everyones heard it a million times, but please stay home, if you can limit the number of times you leave your home. Ive just seen and heard from far too many people who are still going everywhere they want to go and doing everything they want to do, and think of this whole situation as some big inconvenience to them personally. So, please stay home. And if you have to go out for any reason hopefully its a good reason take precautions. Do the things that you know youre supposed to do.

I dont want to be too negative, but I have just seen so many people die in the last week. Ive seen people who are so sick, and were doing everything we possibly can, and they still die. And so even though I know Im helping a lot of people, I still felt like I needed to do something else, which is why I made that video when I came home the other morning because my family back in Oklahoma, and my friends in Oklahoma, they just dont get it. I think that, I dont know, maybe the news somehow isnt real enough to people. So maybe if they see my face and hear my voice, then maybe itll become real for them.

[The above reference: Dr. Blankenship posted a video to his Facebook on April 7 in which he asked that people stay home, and explained what he is seeing in a daily basis in the emergency room as it relates to COVID-19.]

And I think that if it never really makes it out to certain places, or they end up having a much lower death toll than predicted, then thats wonderful. It means weve done something right. After the fact, they shouldnt then turn around and say, Oh look, this whole thing was some big hoax. Because for 1.4 million people, it has not been a hoax.

The Daily Wire would like to thank Dr. Blankenship for taking the time to speak about this important issue in this critical time. For information pertaining to the current COVID-19 numbers in the United States, as well as the rest of the world, check out the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) Global Cases map here.

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INTERVIEW: Emergency Medicine Doc In NYC Talks COVID-19, How It's Different Than The Flu, And What He's Seeing On The Ground - The Daily Wire

COVID-19 coping mechanism: Laughter is the best medicine! – Loop News Jamaica

BOSTON (AP) Neil Diamond posts a fireside rendition of Sweet Caroline with its familiar lyrics tweaked to say, Hands ... washing hands.

A news anchor asks when social distancing will end because my husband keeps trying to get into the house.

And a sign outside a neighbourhood church reads: Had not planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.

Are we allowed to chuckle yet? Wed better, psychologists and humourists say.

Laughter can be the best medicine, they argue, so long as its within the bounds of good taste.

And in a crisis, it can be a powerful coping mechanism.

Its more than just medicine, its survival, said Erica Rhodes, a Los Angeles comedian.

Even during the Holocaust, people told jokes, Rhodes said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.

Laughter is a symbol of hope, and it becomes one of our greatest needs of life, right up there with toilet paper.

Its a physical need people have. You cant underestimate how it heals people and gives them hope.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.

Those are scary words and scary prospects.

But, history has shown that its heaviest moments are often leavened by using humour and laughter as conscious choices ways to cope when other things arent working as expected.

Theres so much fear and horror out there. All the hand washing in the world isnt going to clear up your head, said Loretta LaRoche, a suburban Boston stress management consultant whos using humour to help people defuse the anxiety the pandemic has wrought.

Some people will say this is not a time for laughter. The bottom line is, there is always a time for laughter, LaRoche said.

We have 60,000 thoughts a day and many of them are very disturbing. Laughter helps the brain relax.

That explains why social media feeds are peppered with coronavirus-themed memes, cartoons and amusing personal anecdotes.HeresDiamond posting a videoof himself singing Sweet Caroline with the lyrics altered to say: Hands ... washing hands ... dont touch me ... I wont touch you.

TheresFox News anchor Julie Banderas tweeting: How long is this social distancing supposed to last? My husband keeps trying to get into the house.

Heres Austin restaurant El Arroyo, still smarting economically from the outbreak-induced postponement of the South by Southwest music festival,turning its outdoor message board into a mock dating app: Single man w/TP seeks single woman w/hand sanitizer for good clean fun.

And over here, see novelist Curtis Sittenfeld, sharinga photo of herself eating lunch in her wedding dressafter her kids asked her to wear it and I couldnt think of a reason not to.

Take a breather:

For centuries, laughter in tough times has been cathartic, said Wayne Maxwell, a Canadian psychologist who has done extensive research on gallows humour.

The term originated in medieval Britain, where hangings took place in parks near pubs and patrons told jokes at the victims expense.

Even in some of the writings of ancient Egypt, there are descriptions of military personnel returning from the front lines and using humour to cope, said Maxwell, of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

But, he warns, there exists a kind of comedy continuum: While humour can helpfully lighten things up, too much laughter and flippancy can signal a person is trying to escape from reality.

There are also questions of taste. No one wants to poke fun at medical misery or death.

Quarantining and social distancing, though, are fair game, and self-deprecating humour is almost always safe though LaRoche cautions that humour, like beauty, is always in the eye of the beholder.

It all depends on how your brain functions, she said.

Give yourself permission to find humour. Its almost like a spiritual practice, finding ways to laugh at yourself.

For those millions of parents struggling to work from home and teach their housebound children, shes preaching to the choir.

Witnessthis widely shared meme: a photo of an elderly, white-haired woman with the caption: Heres Sue. 31 years old, home schooling her kids for the last 5 days. Great job Sue. Keep it up.

Michael Knight, a 29-year-old musician and a caseworker for people with mental disabilities, has been breaking the tension by posting memes like: They said a mask and gloves were enough to go to the grocery store. They lied. Everyone else had clothes on.

It helps me decompress, said Knight, of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

It kind of offsets the paralyzing effects of the boogeyman that is the pandemic.

Rhodes, whos out more than $30,000 after three festivals and her first taped special were cancelled, is trying to see the humour in her own predicament.

She recently posted an iPhone video of herselfpretending to work a non-existent crowdon an outdoor stage she happened upon during a walk. Hows everyone not doing? she cracks.

The best material comes from a place thats very truthful and somewhat dark, Rhodes added.

Her prediction: When life eventually edges back to normal, Saturday Night Live and the latest Netflix stand-up specials will be powered by quarantine humour.

Just a month ago, who would have appreciated being given a roll of toilet paper? she said. I mean, the whole world is upside down.

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COVID-19 coping mechanism: Laughter is the best medicine! - Loop News Jamaica

Scientists uncover a 60000-year-old forest underwater and think its preserved trees may help pioneer new medicines – CNN

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CNN's u003ca href="/profiles/jeanne-moos-profile" target="_blank">Jeanne Moosu003c/a> has the best of them."},{"title":"How Jim Gaffigan and his wife bring joy to NY hospitals","duration":"01:20","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/04/07/jim-gaffigan-giving-back-coronavirus-pandemic-eg-orig.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/04/07/jim-gaffigan-giving-back-coronavirus-pandemic-eg-orig.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200406214150-jim-gaffigan-jeannie-gaffigan-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/04/07/jim-gaffigan-giving-back-coronavirus-pandemic-eg-orig.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"Comedian Jim Gaffigan and his wife Jeannie share the unique ways they are giving back to the health workers during the coronavirus pandemic.","descriptionText":"Comedian Jim Gaffigan and his wife Jeannie share the unique ways they are giving back to the health workers during the coronavirus pandemic."},{"title":"Scientists find massive 'silly string' creature in deep sea","duration":"00:56","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"http://www.cnn.com","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/world/2020/04/07/siphonophore-silly-string-sea-creature-discovery-ns-orig.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"world/2020/04/07/siphonophore-silly-string-sea-creature-discovery-ns-orig.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200407111835-siphonophone-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/world/2020/04/07/siphonophore-silly-string-sea-creature-discovery-ns-orig.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"Scientists at the Schmidt Ocean Institute captured footage of a massive siphonophore in the Indian Ocean.","descriptionText":"Scientists at the Schmidt Ocean Institute captured footage of a massive siphonophore in the Indian Ocean."},{"title":"'Tiger King' zoo owner says the show is coming back","duration":"00:56","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/04/06/jeff-lowe-says-tiger-king-coming-back-netflix-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/04/06/jeff-lowe-says-tiger-king-coming-back-netflix-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200406095836-jeff-lowe-says-tiger-king-coming-back-netflix-mxp-vpx-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/04/06/jeff-lowe-says-tiger-king-coming-back-netflix-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"Jeff Lowe of the Netflix series "Tiger King" was seen in a Twitter video announcing an additional episode of the series set to air "next week." Netflix has not confirmed the episode.","descriptionText":"Jeff Lowe of the Netflix series "Tiger King" was seen in a Twitter video announcing an additional episode of the series set to air "next week." Netflix has not confirmed the episode."},{"title":"Music stars perform from home for 'ACM Presents: Our Country'","duration":"01:47","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/04/06/acm-presents-our-country-special-knowles-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/04/06/acm-presents-our-country-special-knowles-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200406085957-acm-presents-our-country-special-knowles-mxp-vpx-00000630-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/04/06/acm-presents-our-country-special-knowles-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"The Academy of Country Music Awards are delayed until September due to the coronavirus pandemic, but music stars still came together for fans online for the "ACM Presents: Our Country" special. ","descriptionText":"The Academy of Country Music Awards are delayed until September due to the coronavirus pandemic, but music stars still came together for fans online for the "ACM Presents: Our Country" special. "},{"title":"See boy learn he's getting new heart after years of waiting","duration":"01:45","sourceName":"CNN","sourceLink":"","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/04/06/boy-gets-new-heart-after-years-on-transplant-list-jk-orig.cnn/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/04/06/boy-gets-new-heart-after-years-on-transplant-list-jk-orig.cnn","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200406132739-01-six-year-old-heart-transplant-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/04/06/boy-gets-new-heart-after-years-on-transplant-list-jk-orig.cnn/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"6-year-old Carlos Rolon got a new heart after four years of waiting on the transplant list. He was born with an abnormality in his heart called unbalanced atrioventricular canal defect.","descriptionText":"6-year-old Carlos Rolon got a new heart after four years of waiting on the transplant list. He was born with an abnormality in his heart called unbalanced atrioventricular canal defect."},{"title":"Jay-Z and Meek Mill donate masks to correctional facilities","duration":"00:34","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/04/06/jay-z-meek-mill-donate-face-masks-correctional-facilities-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/04/06/jay-z-meek-mill-donate-face-masks-correctional-facilities-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200406084154-jay-z-meek-mill-donate-face-masks-correctional-facilities-mxp-vpx-00000000-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/04/06/jay-z-meek-mill-donate-face-masks-correctional-facilities-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"Jay-Z and Meek Mill's criminal justice reform organization 'The Reform Alliance' is sending 100,000 masks to correctional facilities across the country.","descriptionText":"Jay-Z and Meek Mill's criminal justice reform organization 'The Reform Alliance' is sending 100,000 masks to correctional facilities across the country."},{"title":"Lonely 4-year-old sings 'All By Myself' in quarantine","duration":"00:35","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/us/2020/04/06/4-year-old-boy-all-by-myself-quarantine-lonely-covid-19-coronavirus-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"us/2020/04/06/4-year-old-boy-all-by-myself-quarantine-lonely-covid-19-coronavirus-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200406094441-all-by-myself-4-year-old-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/us/2020/04/06/4-year-old-boy-all-by-myself-quarantine-lonely-covid-19-coronavirus-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"The coronavirus quarantine is getting to 4-year-old Bryson and his mom caught a video of him singing "All By Myself" while he made a sandwich.","descriptionText":"The coronavirus quarantine is getting to 4-year-old Bryson and his mom caught a video of him singing "All By Myself" while he made a sandwich."},{"title":"Lin Manuel meets 9-year-old fan over Zoom call","duration":"01:26","sourceName":"HLN","sourceLink":"https://www.cnn.com/specials/videos/hln","videoCMSUrl":"/video/data/3.0/video/entertainment/2020/04/06/john-krasinski-emily-blunt-lin-manuel-miranda-hamilton-surprise-girl-mxp-vpx.hln/index.xml","videoId":"entertainment/2020/04/06/john-krasinski-emily-blunt-lin-manuel-miranda-hamilton-surprise-girl-mxp-vpx.hln","videoImage":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/200406074515-hamilton-fan-suprise-large-169.jpg","videoUrl":"/videos/entertainment/2020/04/06/john-krasinski-emily-blunt-lin-manuel-miranda-hamilton-surprise-girl-mxp-vpx.hln/video/playlists/atv-trending-videos/","description":"John Krasinski and Emily Blunt surprise a 9-year-old girl who had tickets to see "Hamilton" before it was canceled with Lin-Manuel Miranda and had the cast sing her favorite song on a Zoom call. ","descriptionText":"John Krasinski and Emily Blunt surprise a 9-year-old girl who had tickets to see "Hamilton" before it was canceled with Lin-Manuel Miranda and had the cast sing her favorite song on a Zoom call. "}],'js-video_headline-featured-21x040v','',"js-video_source-featured-21x040v",true,true,'atv-trending-videos');if (typeof configObj.context !== 'string' || configObj.context.length

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Scientists uncover a 60000-year-old forest underwater and think its preserved trees may help pioneer new medicines - CNN

Mayo expert: ‘The landscape of medicine will change as a result of the pandemic’ – PostBulletin.com

You might say telemedicine was made for this moment.

Long a form of medicine that was relegated to the sidelines, Telemedicine is about to get into the game in ways that will permanently change health care delivery, experts say.

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a surge in demand for telemedicine, experts say, as patients stay at home under shelter-in-place orders and consult with doctors and nurses remotely.

And many of these changes will remain, even when the pandemic ends, said Dr. Steve Ommen, associate dean of the Mayo Clinic Center for Connected Care, who talked with the PB about the new world of medicine being created.

PB: How is telemedicine helping during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ommen: Traditional telemedicine is helping a lot, because we're using video, phone and monitoring devices so people can get their care in their homes. They don't have to go out into the public or into facilities where other potential infected patients are.

We're also using some of our tools in new ways. Even in the hospitals, for patients who are super high risk for being COVID positive, we're using telemedicine activities so the care team can take care of the patient without a whole bunch of people going into the same room.

PB: Are you seeing a surge in demand for telemedicine during this time of social distancing? Are you staffing up for it?

Ommen: Both. We're seeing a big uptick in demand. The clinic got rid of all unnecessary face-to-face visits so only if you had urgent health care needs (could see a doctor face-to-face). Now we're in the process of converting those practices into virtual practice.

Now (we're cross-training) support staff and individuals who are used to a more traditional in-person (patient setting). They're learning about the skills you need to do it virtually. So the workforce capacities have definitely ramped up.

PB: Do you think the pandemic will transform telemedicine?

Ommen: I think the landscape of medicine will change as a result of this. There's two reasons why that is going to happen. One is that the government removed a bunch of the barriers to the implementation of telemedicine, one, by removing some of the state-by-state licensure requirements and, two, by improving financial coverage for telemedicine patients.

Those might roll back to some degree after the pandemic is over, but I think the value of it will be such that it won't roll back to what it was in 2019.

The other thing that will drive that change will be the fact that the doctors, nurses, care teams will recognize the value of it, and patients will recognize the convenience of getting care when it is appropriate remotely.

PB: What were the biggest regulatory barriers to telemedicine?

Ommen: Prior to this, the physician always needed to be licensed in the state where the patient was during the time of interaction. Just think where we are. We have some patients who live in Wisconsin who get their care from doctors in Rochester. And now, they're being told to shelter-in-place in Wisconsin. Previously, their doctors couldn't have done this.

But with the federal and state governments both relaxing that requirement, they are making sure their patients have access to care.

PB: So you are convinced we're in a paradigm shift in health care?

Ommen: When you are the customer and in health care the customer is the patient they are the ones who are going to say, 'Why can''t I get my care remotely? It worked so well back in April and May.' We're going to see this momentum continue following the pandemic.

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Mayo expert: 'The landscape of medicine will change as a result of the pandemic' - PostBulletin.com

Laughter is a medicine we need right now – The Providence Journal

Did you hear the one about the employer who at some date in the future looked at a job applicants resume and said, Theres a gap in your CV. What were you doing in 2020?

I was washing my hands, the job applicant replied.

Or maybe you saw the TikTok meme of a toilet next to a roll of toilet paper that is bigger than the wheel of a car.

Or the Facebook video Coronavirus Rhapsody, set to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody, Queens signature song. The lyrics begin: Is this a fever? Is this just allergies? Caught in a lockdown. No escape from the family.

Maybe you saw the tweet that said, Due to quarantining, Im only telling inside jokes.

Or another tweet based on a classic joke:

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: SOCIAL DISTANCING. STAY AT LEAST 6 FT FROM THE OTHER CHICKENS!

Those last two appeared on a thread started by Megan L. Ranney, an emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital and associate professor of health services, policy and practice, and emergency medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Ranney is more than busy these days, but she deems a moment or two of levity essential.

Should we laugh, or cry? is how Ranney began on Friday. Today I feel like we need the former. So I'm starting a thread of #COVID19 jokes, inspired by @jbauerme and my own kids. Please add on. Q: Why doesn't anyone in Antarctica have COVID19? A: Because they're ice-o-lated.

The thread took off, just as dark humor has across the internet and elsewhere during the coronavirus pandemic.

Which is little surprise. During these dark times, as in dark times before (albeit never so dark as now), laughter can prove to be, well, good medicine.

In the midst of this pandemic, we're surrounded by dire forecasts of the future, Ranney told The Journal. We're worrying about our kids and our parents and even ourselves. Although it's important to acknowledge our fears, sometimes it's also useful to distract ourselves! We're in a marathon, not a sprint and finding little moments of humor and distraction can help us keep going. Comedy is perhaps MORE valuable in times of fear, than in times of plenty.

Whether through social media or informal group text chats that coworkers have newly created, we are finding something funny about toilet paper shortages, work-from-home attire and a parade of conference calls, Michelle P. Taylor, director of outpatient, HIV services and the Opioid Center of Excellence at the Woonsocket-based Community Care Alliance, told The Journal.

Laughter creates a sense of social connectedness, making us feel less alone. The release of endorphins calms the spirit, mind and body, reducing stress and warding off anxiety and depression. Even better, laughter bolsters the immune system, a real advantage in the face of COVID-19. Gallows humor is an effective way of coping with a really difficult situation and demonstrates positive thinking, creativity and resilience.

Brandon Gaudiano, a clinical psychologist at Butler Hospital and associate professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School, said: Laughter might not technically be the best medicine to fight the coronavirus, but it certainly will make the social isolation and cabin fever stemming from this pandemic a lot more bearable.

Research shows that laughter can lower the body's stress reactions and lift your mood, at least temporarily. The coronavirus can't keep us from having fun, because we can still laugh and joke with friends and family while social distancing. Laughter's biggest benefit is that it helps foster social bonds, by allowing us to see the humor in our shared experiences, even the negative ones. That can help us all to stay connected even in times like this.

Why humor during COVID-19? Why not is more like it, said Jamie Lehane, president and CEO of Newport Mental Health. Laughter relaxes us, relieves stress and tension and releases endorphins that just makes us feel better for up to 45 minutes after a good laugh. Laughter decreases stress hormones like cortisol and boosts your immune system.

Another critical benefit of laughter we need right now is that it is an effective way to defuse anger. Being cooped up with family members where there are sometimes tumultuous relationships under normal circumstances is exacerbated when we are forced together for hours, days and weeks. Humor is a way to release some of the anger and reduce interpersonal conflict. Most importantly, it is a way to connect with others and feel bonded with each other.

We sure need this in such trying times.

How badly?

The answer might be found in Coronavirus Rhapsody, with lyrics by comedian Dana Jay Bein.

The video posted on Tuesday, March 24.

As of this writing, it had more than 5.2 million views, and climbing.

Freaked out by coronavirus? Heres some expert advice on how to lower the stress.

Questions and Answers about coronavirus.

TO OUR READERS: This content is being provided for free as a public service during the coronavirus outbreak. Sign up for our daily or breaking newsletters to stay informed. Please support local journalism by subscribing to The Providence Journal.

gwmiller@providencejournal.com

(401) 277-7380

On Twitter: @gwaynemiller

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Laughter is a medicine we need right now - The Providence Journal

Not how medicine should work: CNN expert outraged that the rich get better coronavirus treatment – Raw Story

On CNN Monday, Dr. Seema Yasmin said that if President Donald Trumps administration is knowingly favoring Florida for shipments of the drug hydroxychloroquine due to his relationship with the governor, it sets a terrible standard for government action on public health.

Florida Governor Ron Desantis says shipments of the drug will be sent to some Florida hospitals, and he was able to get access to it because hes friends with the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, who put him in contact with a pharmaceutical company that makes it, said anchor Jake Tapper. So, look, Im sure Floridians are overjoyed that Governor DeSantis did this, and hes looking out for the people in his state. People in other states might wonder if its fair and who knows if hydroxychloroquine will even work, but whether or not its fair that his connection, his personal relationship with a member of the Trump administration, allows him to get this. What are your thoughts on that?

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Not how medicine should work: CNN expert outraged that the rich get better coronavirus treatment - Raw Story

Homecoming: Hannah Farmer’s passion for medicine comes alive in Ruleville – Enterprise-Tocsin

Hannah (Schlatter) Farmer has a passion for medicine, and she also has a love for her home.

One of the newest additions to the North Sunflower Medical Center staff, the 2007 Indianola Academy graduate has been combining those two loves in her new position as a nurse practitioner in Ruleville.

I wanted to live here, where I was born and raised, Farmer told The E-T in a recent interview.

Farmer was always community-minded growing up.

She was raised on the baseball and soccer fields of Indianola, coached for the most part by her father, Ron Schlatter, who helped found the IA soccer program and coached the program to multiple state championships.

The daughter of Ron and Lynn Schlatter, she is one of five siblings.

I was always at the baseball field or at the soccer field, she said.

Farmer was part of one of the IA state championship teams during her sophomore year.

When her father suffered a stroke two years ago, Farmer stepped up and helped coach the IA girls soccer team during the fall of 2018.

Shes also worked with other community leaders to help revive and maintain the youth soccer program in Indianola.

As a child, she was exposed to the medical field, through her father, who ran the lab at South Sunflower County Hospital for three decades, she said.

During her high school years, she worked summers at the hospital in medical records.

After graduating, she went to Mississippi Delta Community College, where she studied to become a registered nurse.

She moved on to the Mississippi University for Women where she earned a bachelors degree in nursing.

Farmer followed those studies up by attending the University of Mississippi Medical Centers program to become a nurse practitioner.

Farmer studied family medicine at UMMC, but when she applied for and got the job as a nurse practitioner at NSMC, it did not take long for her to find her calling.

She has spent the last couple of months at the Sunflower Diagnostic Center, focusing on womens health.

It didnt really cross my mind, going into womens health (in school), and when I got over here, they needed somebody, and I went over there, Farmer said. Ive only been there since January, but I have loved it.

Farmer said it has been rewarding coming home and serving the people of her home county, particularly women through things like mammograms, bone density scans and pap smears.

Its definitely a big need for womens health, making sure every woman has their mammogram, has their pap smears, she said. Those are things that are very easy we can do to catch cervical cancer and breast cancer.

Farmer said serving the people of Sunflower County and the Delta drives her to do the best job possible for her patients.

She recommends that people get their annual checkups, as well as diagnostic screenings.

Farmer said it is also important for patients to follow up with doctors after they are diagnosed with conditions or if something is suspected.

Its a way we can get things under control and manage issues, Farmer said.

Here are a few things to know about the Sunflower Diagnostic Center

Sunflower Diagnostic Center offers Mammograms, Sonograms, Ultrasound, Bone Density & yearly gynecological screenings, as well as, removal of skin lesions including moles, skin tags, skin cancers and scar treatment. Sunflower Diagnostic Center accepts Medicare, Medicaid, Health Insurance, Private Pay and participates in the BCCP (Breast & Cervical Cancer Program). Have your provider call (662) 756-4000 today to schedule your appointment.

3D Mammography

Sunflower Diagnostic Center provides the latest diagnostic technology available through 3D digital mammography. Sunflower Diagnostic Center is the first center in the delta to feature the 3D state-of-the-art system, Selenia 3D digital mammography from Hologic, offering the state-of-the-art Tomosynthesis imaging.

Sunflower Diagnostic Center is proud to be able to offer the newest technology for breast cancer detection. 3D Digital mammography is different from conventional mammography in how the image of the breast is acquired and, more importantly, viewed. Our radiologist can magnify the images, increase or decrease the contrast and invert the black and white values while reading the images. These features allow our radiologist to evaluate microcalcifications and focus on areas of concern.

North Sunflower Medical Center is a healthcare organization that is proud to offer the services of Sunflower Diagnostic Center, whose primary mission is offering high quality, acute health care and preventative medical care in a caring and compassionate manner to the Mississippi Delta.

Over half of the U.S. News and World Report top 20 hospitals offer Hologic 3D Mammography technology. More than five million women to date in the United States have already been screened with this life-changing technology, which is now available in 50 states and in over 50 countries.

Bone Density Scans are recommended for:

Postmenopausal women

Depo Shot for birth control

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Type 1 Diabetes

Chronic Liver Disease

Using Steroids or Glucocorticoid for 3 months

Women age 65 and older

Men age 70 and older

Height loss of inch or more within one year

Total height loss of 1 inches from your original height

Call today to set up your appointment: (662) 756-4000

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Homecoming: Hannah Farmer's passion for medicine comes alive in Ruleville - Enterprise-Tocsin

UA College of Medicine to hold graduation early in light of COVID-19 pandemic – Arizona Daily Wildcat

It's always better to be safe than sorry.

This week, the University of Arizona College of Medicine Tucson announced it will allow its fourth-year students to graduate early in order to increase the number of physicians able to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on a volunteer basis.

To date, Arizona has about 920 confirmed cases of COVID-19 along with 18 deaths. As a whole, the U.S. has nearly 140,000 confirmed cases and 2,300 deaths. Nearly two weeks ago, on March 16, the U.S. had 4,400 confirmed cases, meaning there has been an increase in nearly 136,000 cases in just 13 days.

"Some of our students are matching all over the country, so it's not just about residencies here, it's about residency programs in other parts of the country that may need more assistance more rapidly," said Dr. Kevin Moynahan, deputy dean for education at UA College of Medicine Tucson. "At this point in time, we haven't peaked. ... We don't really know what that peak is going to look like and so we would rather be agile if we need to be."

The majority of the fourth-year medical students around the country have already fulfilled their graduation requirements and so this would enable them to graduate at least a month in advance.

Normally, July 1 is the date when newly-graduated physicians begin their first year of residency. This year, given the circumstances, the UA College of Medicine will hold its graduation in April and the students who are volunteering to help fight the pandemic can begin the process earlier.

"We'd rather be prepared than look back and say, 'Oh boy, I wish we had done that,' because it can't be done very rapidly," Moynahan said. "These residency interns will have to be on-boarded by their programs, become employed and get insurance. It's not something that can be done on a dime."

Other medical schools around the country have done the same. Recently, the Grossman School of Medicine at New York University became the first school to announce this change, as New York City is currently the hardest-hit place in the nation.

In addition, the UA College of Medicine Phoenix announced in an email that it will allow its fourth-year students to graduate early, as well.

As the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to grow around the country, physicians and other healthcare workers on the front lines are becoming all the more necessary. Estimates are projecting that millions of people will become infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and so a shortage of physicians should be the least of the country's worries.

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UA College of Medicine to hold graduation early in light of COVID-19 pandemic - Arizona Daily Wildcat

The balance between medicine and economics – The Interpreter

The evolving policy response to Covid-19 reflects a vexed debate between epidemiologists and economists, moderated by the public-relations experts. Are we getting the right balance?

Initially, some economists thought that the doctors were exaggerating the seriousness of the epidemic, by quoting frightening figures of exponential growth. Were the doctors calling for an excessive degree of containment because they didnt understand the cost of locking down large parts of the economy? A gentler strategy would protect the economy by sequential staged measures, responding to the actual progress of the epidemic. A scaling-up approach might allow us to get by with less damage to the economy.

The experience of Italy, however, has put an end to that argument. No democratic government can maintain a light-touch containment/mitigation strategy in the face of the sort of daily death rates that Italy experienced last week, with deaths rising from 400, to 600 then 800 over three days. Its clear that this high toll was a direct result of an overwhelmed hospital system, with insufficient intensive-care facilities.

The idea of flattening the peak was already widely accepted, but the triage experience of Italy sharpens the idea. The peak that needs flattening is not the total number of cases, but the number of cases needing IC facilities.

The elderly, the immunity-compromised and the infirm are the ones most likely to need IC care if they contract the disease one credible estimate is that 10% of cases in this vulnerable group will need an ICU. This cohort must be protected, not just for their own good, but to avoid an all-out comprehensive lockdown, with the enormous economic damage this would cause. This vulnerable group must be subjected to a rigorous, full-isolating lockdown, much tougher than at present.

Of course the rest of the population will still have to practice stringent social distancing, handwashing and maybe even compulsory mask-wearing (when we have enough of them). Super-spreaders should be understood to be events and environments, not individuals. So no more football, concerts, or religious services with physical meetings. Comprehensive testing (when we have enough facilities) will be needed to identify cases and isolate clusters in the general population. Experts need to decide whether schools and hairdressers can operate. What to do with public transport?

These containment decisions need a greater degree of granularity than current measures. But the objective here is clearer than at present: the bulk of the economy needs to get back to work ASAP. Essential retail trade, factories, construction, and education via remote linkages. All this can return to some kind of normality, with close monitoring for new outbreaks, provided the most vulnerable are protected.

The OECDs forecast of global GDP produced early this month foresaw growth of 2.4% this year, or a worst case of 1.4%. In just a few weeks, this kind of thinking has been entirely overtaken by events. Decimate is the word that springs to mind, in its original meaning of eliminating one in ten. The first quarter of the crisis will see GDP fall by 10% or so, simply reflecting the closing down of a large part of the service economy airlines, restaurants and non-essential retail trade. Unemployment will top 10%, probably substantially.

A successful flattening strategy would entail keeping GDP down, as the strategy spreads out the peak over time. Easing off on containment produces a second wave -- already seen in those Asian countries which succeeded in containing the initial onslaught. So low for long will not only apply to interest rates, but to GDP as well. There is no V-shaped recovery in sight.

If this dramatic scenario is scary enough to get the policy-makers to agree to a more targeted containment strategy, the next task is to sell this unpopular idea to a reluctant public, that only a week ago was basking, cheek-to-cheek, on Bondi beach. To separate grannies from their little-darlings is uncivilised. What is the strategy to sell such an unpalatable message? A bevy of masked-and-gowned ICU surgeons pleading with us to stay at home clearly isnt enough.

Perhaps we need a good cop, bad cop approach. The Prime Minister could go on assuring us that our ANZAC spirit will see us through and well soon be back at the footy with a virus-free pie in our hand. Who for the bad-cop role? Who better than Peter Dutton? Flanked by a couple of black-clad grim-faced members of his border force, he could issue a stern injunction: any elderly person found chatting face-to-face with their grandchildren, or slipping into a convenience store for a loaf of bread, will be disciplined. Their names will be taken down and later, when they are waiting in the queue for the scarce ventilators at an over-stretched hospital, they will be placed last-in-line.

Stephen Grenville is a Nonresident Fellow at the Lowy Institute, former deputy governor at the Reserve Bank, and certified elderly by any definition.

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The balance between medicine and economics - The Interpreter

"One of the Greatest Events in the History of Medicine": The Defeat of Polio – WTTW News

A major part of modern human history has been the fight to defeat disease, from tuberculosis to measles to waterborne illnesses like cholera. One of humankinds greatest triumphs in that never-ending battle came only some 65 years ago, when Jonas E. Salk developed a vaccine against polio. Within six years, incidences of the deadly disease were down by 90 percent in the United States; within twenty-five it was eliminated from the country. Today, it has been mostly extinguished across the globe.

But, in the middle of the last century, poliomyelitis, also known as infantile paralysis, was a terrifying scourge. While the disease had been documented as far back as the time of ancient Egypt, it evolved into an ever-more pressing problem around the 1920s. Over the following decades, epidemics continually devastated America, hitting especially hard in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Each summer, polio would wrack the population, especially children, sickening thousands, paralyzing a large portion, and killing many. In the five years leading up to 1955, there were an average of 25,000 cases a year in the United States. In 1952, the worst year on record, more than 3,000 of 58,000 cases died; in Chicago alone, 82 of 1,203 reported cases died.

President Roosevelt in his wheelchair on the porch at Top Cottage in Hyde Park, NY with Ruthie Bie and Fala. February 1941. Photo: Margaret "Daisy" Suckley.; FDR Presidential Library and Museum Polio first manifested in flu-like symptoms, then led to paralysis of the limbs. Survivors described waking up from sleep unable to move. Severe cases led to treatment in an artificial respirator called an iron lung. A patients whole body from the neck down was enclosed in the forbidding-looking contraption, which created a vacuum that drew the lungs up and down, helping people lacking muscle power to breathe.

While the disease primarily struck children, no one was completely safe: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, perhaps polios most famous victim, contracted it when he was 39, and was left partially paralyzed. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had polio as a two-year-old and was unable to walk until he was five; Chicagos one-time cardinal Francis George had permanent damage to his legs from the disease.

To combat polio, in 1938 FDR created the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, later called the March of Dimes due to its fundraising request to send in a dime. Scientists sought to develop a vaccine for the disease, most working with a live version of the virus. But the young Jonas Salk, a garment workers son who had studied the influenza virus and worked on commercial flu vaccines during the war with the respected Dr. Thomas Francis of the University of Michigan, went against conventional wisdom and devoted his attention to a killed virus vaccine.

I guess I felt the unreasonableness of life in so many ways, he later told the New Yorker about why he went into research. Research was one way to get at reasonableness and logic.

He conducted a small trial in 1952 near Pittsburgh with a group that he told the New Yorker helped us look into the future. Another limited trial followed in 1953, then, in 1954, the March of Dimes pushed for a large-scale field trialthe largest experiment of its kind in history. More than a million people took part, with 440,000 inoculated with Salks vaccine and the others with a placebo. Illinoiss DuPage County, outside Chicago, was involved, with 8,000 children given the vaccine at their schools, their teachers lauding them for being polio pioneers.

After a year of observation by an independent team led by Salks old mentor Dr. Francis, a press conference was held to announce the results of the trial. Nobody could recall a medical press conference quite like this one, wrote the New York Times in a review of a biography of Salk. [F]amilies huddled around radios, as if listening to the World Series or a championship fight. Crowds watched on television sets lining department store windows.

An opinion poll ranked Jonas Salk roughly between Churchill and Gandhi as a revered figure of modern history Photo: Wikimedia Commons/SAS Scandinavian AirlinesOn April 12, 1955the tenth anniversary of FDRs deathFrancis announced that the vaccine was 80-90 percent effective. The chairman of the American Medical Association called it one of the greatest events in the history of medicine. President Eisenhower called Salk a benefactor of mankind. According to the New York Times obituary for Salk, who died in 1995, an opinion poll ranked him roughly between Churchill and Gandhi as a revered figure of modern history. In 1999, Salk appeared in an illustration on the cover of Time magazines 100 Greatest Minds of the 20th Century issue alongside Freud and Einstein.

The success of the vaccine was astounding. Widespread vaccination was launched in the United States in 1955. As Salk himself boasted to the New Yorker, In the late nineteen-forties and early nineteen-fifties there were close to three thousand cases of polio per week during several consecutive weeks in most of those years and in 1960 there were just over three thousand cases the entire year. The last reported case of polio in the United States was in 1979. Globally, cases were reduced from around 350,000 in 1988 to 1,000 in 2003, and the disease has been all but wiped out.

The live virus vaccine developed by Salks rival Albert Sabinfirst licensed in 1961 eventually overtook Salks killed virus vaccine in popularity since it was cheaper to produce and easier to administer (it is an oral vaccine). But Sabins vaccine could occasionally cause someone to contract the disease, and around the turn of the millennium the United States went back to a killed virus vaccine.

In 1963, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies opened outside San Diego with financial support from the March of Dimes. It is now a revered institution that has produced numerous Nobel laureatesa recognition that eluded Salk. Only in his late 30s when he developed the polio vaccine, Salk struggled to find another success to match his first.

The development of the polio vaccine presaged later victories in creating effective preventatives against other infectious diseases such as influenza, measles, and mumps, unfounded contemporary skepticism against vaccines notwithstanding. (2019 saw one of the worst measles outbreaks in the United States in decades, with the majority of cases among people who were not vaccinated.)

In 1981, WTTWs John Callaway spoke with Salk about his career and the development of the polio vaccine. Discussing the public response to a successful vaccine, Salk said, it is always the lifting of fear that they appreciate so.

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"One of the Greatest Events in the History of Medicine": The Defeat of Polio - WTTW News

New WHO Guide to help countries expand access to essential medicines – World Health Organization

WHOs new user guide for countries, Selection of medicines at country level, is based on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines. It sets out the key actions countries should undertake to develop and update their own national essential medicines lists based on the treatment needs of their populations and their capacity to reimburse payments for medicines.

The document also aims to support countries in progressing towards universal health coverage. Today, approximately half of the worlds population is unable to access essential medicines. The large majority of these people live in poorer countries, but rising prices of new medicines are also becoming a challenge for health systems in wealthy countries.

A careful selection of essential medicines is the first step in ensuring a population can obtain the quality-assured medicines it needs at an affordable price. Countries need to do more to ensure that all people and communities can access highly effective medicines. WHOs new manual is a resource to do just that.

The document, intended for policy makers in charge of national medicines and reimbursement lists, aims to increase transparency on how essential medicines are selected. Most national lists of essential medicines have several differences when compared with WHOs model list, which lists only medicines of proven safety and efficacy. Some national lists include medicines that bring little extra benefit to patients. Decision-makers should refer to the WHO global list to gauge the public health value of listing certain medicines for their populations.

Essential medicines are:

The essential medicines concept is global and forward-looking. It incorporates the need to regularly update medicines selections to reflect new therapeutic options and changing therapeutic needs; the need to ensure drug quality; and the need for continued development of better medicines, medicines for emerging diseases and medicines to meet changing resistance patterns.

Achieving universal health coverage and equity in public health depends on access to essential, high-quality and affordable health related technologies for all. To achieve access for all by 2030, at least two billion more people will need to have access to essential health services by 2030.

In an effort to make the Model List of Essential Medicines more readily accessible, WHO recently developed an electronic version of the list, bringing the traditional EML to computer screens, tablets and smartphones in a freely accessible, downloadable, online database.

Link to manual: Selection of essential medicines at country level

Link to e-EML:Model List of Essential Medicines

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New WHO Guide to help countries expand access to essential medicines - World Health Organization

How private medicine is dealing with coronavirus restrictions – Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

When most people think of health care right now, theyre thinking about the hospitals and critical care units that are scrambling to care for COVID-19 patients. But a large swath of the private health care sector is scrambling, too, looking for ways to treat illnesses and injuries that have nothing to do with the new coronavirus.

Louisianas stay-at-home order has prohibited all non-urgent medical services, delivering a big financial hit to the thousands of private doctors in the Baton Rouge area who can no longer see most of their patients.

Our goal is we want to keep people from having to go to the ER or an urgent care, so they dont get exposed or overwhelm the health care centers, says Dr. Linsey Hall of the Dermatology Clinic in Baton Rouge.

The clinic is currently seeing only about 15% of the amount of its regular patient base, she says. That drop stands to have a significant effect on the clinic.

Our livelihood is seeing patients, Hall says.

The clinic is continuing to pay its more than 60 employees while working with only a small, rotating crew of essential personnel and following social distancing protocols, she says.

Medical offices still operating are implementing the recommended screenings for the patients that do come through their doors, checking for any COVID-19 symptoms, practicing social distancing and using protective equipment.

Our hospital partners are counting on us to help provide care and catch the patients who may have otherwise gone directly to the ER, NeuroMedical Center CEO Ben Boudreaux says.

For patients with intractable pain, neurological conditions like MS, Parkinsons, Alzheimers, or epilepsy, it is crucial that they receive a continuation of medical services, he says.

We do not want their conditions to deteriorate throughout this period, nor do we want them to experience any undue pain, Boudreaux says.

Dr. John Brantley at Calais Dermatology Associates says despite a loss in business, he has no plans to shut down. Hes looking to small business grant programs in the new federal stimulus package to help him get staff back to work more quickly when restrictions lift.

BR Orthopedics General Manager Trey Williamson says they see about 10% to 15% of their normal surgical caseload and just 20% to 25% of their in-clinic visits.

Really in our world, a lot of what we do is elective, Williamson says. So they have to postpone cases for 30 days while they wait on new guidance from the department of health.

For the cases that cant wait, the group created a sub-specialty committee to review each case to determine if it should go forward.

While theyve considered layoffs and furloughs, BR Orthopedics has retained all full-time staff and is still generating some delayed revenue as insurance payments come closer to the 30-day mark from last months appointments, he says.

The Dermatology Clinic, NeruoMedical, Calais and BR Orthopedic have all turned to telemedicine to keep patientsand incomeflowing. That could signal a permanent shift in how health care is provided in the long term. But telemedicine, too, takes manpower, Hall says.

While the clinic has talked about using telemedicine before, this is the first time its been implemented at the Dermatology Clinic, Hall says.

The NeuroMedical Center Clinic launched comprehensive telemed services this week, already reporting patient counts near 200. Brantley, too, launched his telemedicine platform just yesterday through an expedited program. BR Orthopedics had used telemed before, but expanded it this week at a much higher level, Williamson says.

As people start to talk about recovery, questions have arisen about when these private doctors will be able to return to work.

Certainly there are discussions about when we can get back to work where it wont be a huge burden on public health, or the safety of patients, or the safety of the community in general, Williamson says.

Yet, with such a new virus and no vaccine, older people are really afraid of this problem and rightfully so, Brantley says, adding that could have lingering effects.

When next years Mardi Gras rolls around, he says, you wont see a Mardi Gras like people are used to seeing.

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How private medicine is dealing with coronavirus restrictions - Greater Baton Rouge Business Report

The National Library of Medicine expands access to coronavirus literature through PubMed Central – National Institutes of Health

News Release

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health, is working on multiple fronts to aid in the COVID-19 response through new initiatives with the global publishing community and artificial intelligence researchers. NLM is expanding access to scientific papers on coronavirus for researchers, care providers, and the public, and for text-mining research. This work makes use of NLMs PubMed Central (PMC), a digital archive of peer-reviewed biomedical and life sciences literature. PMC currently provides access to nearly 6 million full-text journal articles.

Following on a statement issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and science policy leaders from almost a dozen other nations, NLM has stepped up its collaboration with publishers and scholarly societies to increase the number of coronavirus-related journal articles in PMC, along with available data supporting them. Submitted publications will be made available in PMC as quickly as possible after publication, in formats and with needed permissions to support text mining.

To support this initiative, NLM is adapting its standard procedures for depositing articles into PMC to provide greater flexibility that will ensure coronavirus research is readily available. NLM is also engaging with journals and publishers that do not currently participate in PMC but are in-scope for the NLM Collection. Interested publishers should contact pmc-phe@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov for information on participating in this initiative. Additional information, including a list of participating publishers and journals, is available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/covid-19.

By making this collection of coronavirus articles more readily available in machine-readable formats, NLM aims to enable artificial intelligence researchers to develop and apply novel approaches to text mining to help answer questions about coronavirus. NLM has already made more than 10,000 full-text scholarly articles from PMC related to the coronavirus available through the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). The CORD-19 dataset, the result of a request by OSTP, represents the most extensive machine-readable coronavirus literature collection available for text mining to date.

NLM will continue to aid COVID-19 response efforts by adding articles to its text-mining collection as they are published and submitted. It will also aim to bring this collection to the attention of the artificial intelligence and machine learning research communities.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a leader in research in biomedical informatics and data science and the worlds largest biomedical library. NLM conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information. NLM creates resources and tools that are used billions of times each year by millions of people to access and analyze molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services information. Additional information is available athttps://www.nlm.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

NIHTurning Discovery Into Health

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The National Library of Medicine expands access to coronavirus literature through PubMed Central - National Institutes of Health

Jeremy Renner new EP, The Medicine, is the balm for our tired spirits – LaineyGossip

Just last Friday, Lainey wondered if Jeremy Renner would release a new song since hes claiming in court the corona crash is affecting his ability to make child support payments. WELL GUESS WHAT? Jeremy Renner has, indeed, released a new song; in fact, he has released a whole new EP called The Medicine. The lead single is also called The Medicine, and other songs on the EP include Never Sorry, Ghost and Roses,Every Woman, Best Part of Me,and December Days.Now we know how Jeremy Renner has been spending his self-quarantine: he has been preparing the healing salve of his music for the world. This is not about his never-ending and nasty custody fight, this is about soothing the masses! Did you know that we all need to feed our sins with the medicine? We do! Amidst our troubles, our uncertainty, our fear, Jeremy Renner is here with a balm for our tired spirits. Feed our sins with the medicine and we will be okay!

Feed our sins with the medicine is nonsense, of course, as no one has ever described feeding anyone or anything medicine. Taking medicine, yes, swallowing, perhaps, but I assume that wouldnt work in the scansion of the song. You could just write a different song that doesnt rely on nonsense for the hook, but what I do know? Ive only won poetry prizes. I love the dad rock Renner is putting out into the world. Its so mediocre. I will never, ever understand people who are genuinely good at one thing but insist on being mediocre at something else. I get that he loves music, and he has the money to fund his hobbybut not pay his kids bills?but alsoremember when Jeremy Renner was just a good actor? It was better, right? It was certainly simpler. Now we have to contend with his acting career AND the steady diet of unflattering stories re: the custody battle AND his singing career. Dont we have enough going on in our lives right now? Do we really have time for new music from Jeremy Renner?

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Jeremy Renner new EP, The Medicine, is the balm for our tired spirits - LaineyGossip

Yale Medicine researchers discover way to clean, reuse N95 masks – Waterbury Republican American

A worker sews face masks at SugarHouse Industries Thursday, March 26, 2020, in Midvale, Utah. SugarHouse Industries, a Utah company that usually manufactures boat tops and covers, has reconfigured its operation amid the spread of the coronavirus to produce face shields and masks. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Researchers at Yale Medicine said Friday they have discovered a way to clean and reuse N95 masks, now in critical supply throughout the country.

The study comes as shortages of the N95 masks, which protect health care workers from the coronavirus, have forced hospitals to improvise, using less-ideal surgical masks.

Some drive-thru testing centers have had to curb their hours because of mask shortages.

Reusing the N95 masks could give health care workers some respite amid the growing demand.

The study found that using aerosolized hydrogen peroxide the agent used to fumigate the hospital rooms of patients with the C. Diff hospital infection was successful in cleaning the masks 100% of the time.

Using this process, researchers say, they were able to reuse the masks up to five times.

Dr. Patrick Kenney, medical director of the corporate supply chain for Yale Medicine and Yale New Haven Health, said prior research found that the N95 mask retained good protection 50 times after the technique was used but that you cannot use them clinically that many times. The wear and tear of the mask would not stand up.

Although Yales research paper has yet to be peer-reviewed, researchers have reproduced the results three times and expect to implement the technique when supply of N95s becomes dangerously low.

Researchers decided to make their findings available to physicians now for the public health benefit.

Already, on Thursday, Duke Health announced it would begin decontaminating and reusing the specialized mask using aerosolized hydrogen peroxide at its three hospitals in Durham and Raleigh. In a statement, Duke Health explained that the technique permeates the masks to kill germs, including viruses, without harming the material.

Kenney said Yale New Haven Hospital has begun to reprocess the N95 masks but is waiting for an independent lab to determine whether the masks are still able to provide necessary filtration.

The N95 masks are one type of personal protective equipment that hospitals are trying desperately to stockpile as the COVID-19 outbreak intensifies. Also known as the N95 respirator, the mask offers more protection than a standard surgical mask. It gets its name because it prevents at least 95% of airborne particles from entering the wearers mouth and nose, if worn properly.

The shortage of N95 masks has left many hospitals scrambling for ways to protect its health workers. The Centers for Disease Control also relaxed its guidelines, allowing health care providers to use less-effective surgical mask.

Although Kenney said many hospitals have the aerosolized hydrogen peroxide equipment, neither Saint Marys, Waterbury or Charlotte Hungerford hospitals responded to inquiries asking whether they did.

Yales Kenney said Yale-New Haven has an adequate supply of N95s but that were quite concerned about availability. He emphasized that this technique is a back up plan to be implemented only if the supply of N95s becomes dangerously low. Its not the only aspect of our emergency plan, he said.

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Yale Medicine researchers discover way to clean, reuse N95 masks - Waterbury Republican American

Dairies demand doorstep delivery of vet medicines – The Tribune

Harshraj Singh

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30

After the supply of fodder for cattle has been normalised, dairy owners in city are now waiting for medicines for the treatment of sick cattle and are concerned as medicines are not available.

Since curfew has been imposed, veterinary medicine shops are closed and there is no service available to deliver medicine at dairy complexes, said the dairy owners on Tajpur Road.

Earlier, Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu met fodder suppliers of Baranala and requested them to ensure the supply of fodder for cattle in the district. Now, dairy owners want from the concerned authorities to allow delivery of veterinary medicines at doorsteps.

The president of Tajpur Road Dairy Complex Association, DS Oberoi, said: The supply of dry fodder for cattle has been resumed. We want that medicines and feed for the cattle should also be delivered at dairy complexes. There are some veterinary medicine shops at Tajpur Road, but are closed owing to the curfew. The government should either open veterinary medicine shops or provide the shop owners with curfew passes to start delivery of required medicines at dairy complexes. If the required feed is not available, production of milk may also get affected.

Though dry fodder is being made available but the suppliers say they are unable to weigh the fodder as the stores where weighing scales are available, are closed. We request the authorities to resolve our issues so that supply of milk can be ensured, said a dairy owner.

Mayor Balkar Singh Sandhu said: After we met some farmers, they have started the supply of fodder to dairy complexes. We will take the required measures so that the delivery of veterinary medicines can also be ensured at the earliest.

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Dairies demand doorstep delivery of vet medicines - The Tribune

More US Students Match to Family Medicine in Record Year – AAFP News

In the first entirely unified match for allopathic and osteopathic medical students, the total number of U.S. students and graduates matching into the specialty increased by 103 compared to last year's combined totals from the NRMP and the American Osteopathic Association's Intern/Resident Registration Program.

"Everything is getting overshadowed by the pandemic, but we hope that doesn't diminish the sense of accomplishment students should feel," said Clif Knight, the AAFP's senior vice president for education. "It's important to recognize this critical milestone in students' journey of transformation into physicians. We're certainly celebrating every new member of the family medicine workforce. This is a big deal, and we congratulate our new family medicine residents."

U.S. seniors from allopathic medical schools accounted for 1,557 positions (60 fewer than a year ago) filled in family medicine, while U.S. seniors from osteopathic medical schools accounted for 1,399 positions (410 more than last year's NRMP total and 104 more than last year's combined NRMP and AOA total).

Knight praised the osteopathic pipeline, which matched nine U.S. seniors into family medicine for every 10 allopathic U.S. seniors who matched into the specialty. Knight said that was "astonishing" considering that osteopathic schools have roughly one-third the number of overall U.S. graduates. Only 8.6% of U.S. allopathic seniors matched to family medicine residencies, compared to 23.4% of osteopathic seniors.

Importantly, the international medical school pipeline contributed strongly to the family medicine workforce again this year, with 25.5% of family medicine residency positions filling with 1,193 students and graduates of international medical schools, 78 more than last year.

Knight said that although there have been positive changes encouraging students to pursue family medicine, including the launch of new residency programs this year, he called on U.S. allopathic medical schools to do more to spur the growth of family medicine.

"We need every sector of the undergraduate medical education pipeline to recruit, support, expose, prepare and graduate students into those family medicine residencies," he said. "It is shameful and unacceptable that the sector of this undergraduate pipeline that is the largest, receives the most public funding and includes some of the most elite medical training institutions in the country graduates the smallest rate of students into family medicine."

In 2018, the AAFP set an ambitious goal of ensuring that by 2030, 25% of U.S. medical students pursue family medicine as their specialty. The percentage of U.S. seniors and graduates entering family medicine remained stable at 12.6% with the rise in osteopathic students offsetting the reduction in allopathic students.

"I'm excited by the Match numbers, but we want to see that percentage go up," said AAFP President Gary LeRoy, M.D., of Dayton, Ohio. "We're only halfway there as we start a new decade, but we're going to keep pushing."

Overall, a whopping 4,335 students and graduates -- 487 more than a year ago -- matched into family medicine. It was the 11th straight Match Day with year-over-year increases for the specialty and the ninth consecutive year that a record number of people matched into family medicine.

Family medicine's final total of new residents likely will be significantly higher because the results released March 20 did not include students who matched through the post-Match Supplemental Offer and Acceptance Program (SOAP). The specialty had 350 unfilled slots -- 70 more than a year ago -- due in part to the fact that nine family medicine residency programs received Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accreditation in January and likely recruited during the SOAP process.

There also are expected to be more than 100 medical students who matched to family medicine in the December 2019 military match, but those results were not available.

"Despite that growth, we need to grow even more to meet the needs of our communities," Knight said. "The pandemic highlights the need for access to primary care. People are relying on frontline physicians -- family physicians -- across the country."

Knight said even more family medicine training slots are needed to meet the nation's demand for access to care, and one way to do that would be to provide stable, increased funding for primary care programs, including the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education program. That program has been extended by short-term funding patches multiple times, but without congressional action the program, along with community health centers and the National Health Service Corps, will expire May 22.

The Academy included workforce programs among the priority issues it asked congressional leaders to support in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a March 19 letter.(4 page PDF) The AAFP also is urging members to contact their members of Congress in support of teaching health centers via the Speak Out tool.(www.votervoice.net)

LeRoy said the pandemic has given the Academy more opportunities to communicate with the administration and federal agencies about the need to support primary care programs, including those facing a May expiration date. It also has given family physicians opportunities to talk with the media about what is happening in their communities as COVID-19 spreads.

"I'll be very interested to see how the Match looks for family medicine in 2021," LeRoy said, "after the nation and the world see how our specialty was the essential ingredient necessary to get us through this crisis."

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More US Students Match to Family Medicine in Record Year - AAFP News

Navy preventive medicine teams embark ships in 7th Fleet – navy.mil

SOUTH CHINA SEA - Members of Navy Forward-Deployed Preventive Medicine Units (FDPMU) and Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) embarked several 7th Fleet ships March 14 to help combat the risk of and provide laboratory batch testing for COVID-19 aboard the ships.

Teams are embarked on the amphibious assault ship USS America (LHA 6), the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), the U.S. 7th Fleet flagship USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) and have the ability to batch test Sailors onboard who present with influenza-like illness symptoms, instead of only sending samples to be tested ashore.

This capability provides early-warning surveillance for the medical teams to be able to identify if a COVID-19 case is onboard a ship, but does not individually diagnose Sailors. If a batch were to test positive for COVID-19, the medical teams would take additional measures, such as isolating the Sailors whose samples were in the batch, and depending on the Sailors symptoms, potentially medically evacuating them off the ship to a shore facility for testing.

To date, no cases of COVID-19 have been diagnosed aboard any U.S. 7th Fleet Navy vessel.

The team here in 7th Fleet has taken COVID-19 seriously from the beginning and has many public health measures already in place, said Capt. Christine Sears, U.S. 7th Fleet surgeon. The FDPMU and NMRC augmentation teams provide additional depth in our ability to combat this virus.

Teams embarked the ships to provide at-sea testing and to ensure the U.S. 7th Fleet operating forces are ready to combat a possible outbreak while maintaining mission readiness. The teams provide additional capabilities in addition to the U.S. 7th Fleets isolation procedures.

The teams are comprised of a variety of specialized Navy Medicine personnel to ensure force health protection of the fleet, and may include: a microbiologist, medical laboratory technician, preventive medicine officer, preventive medicine technician.

As a medical service corps microbiology officer, this embark gives us the chance to demonstrate some of our skillsets to the fleet, and what we bring to the fight, said Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Pavlicek, Blue Ridge COVID-19 testing team lead. This capability allows us, the Navy, to protect mission readiness and protection of our Sailors.

To ensuring force health protection of the fleet, other medical specialties or logistical components can be scaled up or down to meet mission specific requirements in the mitigation, health surveillance, and casualty prevention.

This is the most advanced laboratory capability that Navy Medicine has placed forward deployed, said Lt. Cmdr. Danett Bishop, leader and microbiologist for the preventative medicine team aboard America. We can make force health decisions in real time, enhancing the health of the crew while minimizing any potential outbreak of COVID-19.

The FDPMU teams aboard the USS America and the USS Blue Ridge are from Navy Environmental Preventative Medicine Unit 6 based out of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and work to facilitate and educate using preventive medicine practices and provide additional laboratory capabilities. The team embarked with USS Theodore Roosevelt is assigned to the Naval Medical Research Center based in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Currently, the teams are only authorized to perform surveillance testing and not individual testing. This means that the results cannot be linked to a particular patient for diagnostics, but would enable the team to detect COVID-19s presence on the ship based off of the results.

Since we are performing surveillance testing, the results of COVID-19 present, or not present can help inform the force health protection posture and provide valuable insight for the senior medical officer and outbreak response team, said Pavlicek.

The teams are equipped with two testing capabilities, including the BioFire Film Array and the Step One RT-PCR System. The BioFire Film Array will test for a dozen different respiratory diseases, while the Step One RT-PCR System allow for complex COVID-19 tests at sea, if necessary.

As the U.S. Navy's largest forward-deployed fleet, 7th Fleet operates roughly 50-70 ships and submarines and 140 aircraft with approximately 20,000 Sailors.

More here:

Navy preventive medicine teams embark ships in 7th Fleet - navy.mil


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