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Found 9 results

  1. I have a meeting every Monday morning. In that meeting, we discuss SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and specifically news and our response to the virus. Today the following information was released by our medical director, based on a huge sample study of folks who had been previously infected Concerning reinfection: To date, we have proof that five of thirty-eight million people have been reinfected by SARS-CoV-2. This means once someone gets the virus and recovers, then they're functionally immune, and reinfection is anomalous. That's amazing news that I really needed. I wanted to share it, in case it can help someone else out there.
  2. Last Tuesday I woke up w. an ear ache from sinus congestion and a slightly elevated temp; went into Urgent Care on Wed and -- based on my history of sinus infections and a lack of more serious symptoms -- got some antibiotics. Those haven't worked. My normal body temp is at the low end of normal (low to mid 97's; occasionally high 96's. Hit hit 99.8F yesterday. Shortness of breath is getting worse, lethargy has been present the last few days, and this morning the "digestive upset" portion of CoVID-19 symptoms kicked in. I'll need to call the Health Dept. tomorrow and set up an appointment but even if I get in then it could be Friday before I get a result. Because of my asthma I do have a blood-oxygen reader at home and it's till 97%, so that's good. Worried about SP -- either he's positive and asymptomatic, or negative and at risk. I've not been many places, and have always worn my mask. Wish us luck. I'll probably be doing some meditating this afternoon -- if I can get my mind into that state.
  3. Terrence McNally was survived by his husband, Tom Kirdahy (VT Civil Partnership 12/20/2003, DC marriage 4/6/2010, NY legal Marriage 6/26/2015). He had survived lung cancer, but died from complications of COVID-19. PBS’ American Masters presented Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life – I was able to see it at the Castro Theatre during Frameline42 (about a year before PBS showed it).
  4. Okay, so approximately two and half months ago my part of the world shut down. Public transport became empty, restaurants shut down, doctor offices closed, and life as we knew it came to a standstill. My job also closed but I was lucky, the pay kept rolling in. Then a month and a half in the company furloughed all part-timers and 20% of the full timers. However, once again I was lucky and the pay keeps coming in. They decided last week to reopen. We are paid for 36 hours and any hours we actually work we get an addition $2 an hour for. I am not complaining. After three years of health issues, I have been blessed not to catch this. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean everything has been great. Back in November my dad began to complain about his sense of smell. He was going to see his doctor and a lung specialist. He had been put on a nebulizer and figure that might be the issue. February rolls around and he heads to see the vein doctor and again is having issues and mentions it. The vein doctor suggests dad go see a nose, throat, and ear specialist. Enter Covid 19 and the close down. The second to last week of May, dad wakes me at one am. He is in deep pain, in his eyes. I call his eye doctor, who calls back before two am and has us meet her at her office. She states dad has an infection in his eyes, prescribes meds, is grateful that we listened and didn't take a chance to expose dad to covid by going to the hospital. Woman is a saint of a doctor. We feel things are looking up. The last week of May he finally gets to see the doctor for the nose. He finds my dad's nose has a lot of growths and has basically sealed the left nostril and part of the right. He doesn't do that surgery any more. He sends Dad for tests and an associate who works 30 minutes away, towards the city. The second Doctor sees the growths but also believes he spots a tumor and wants us to see a brain surgeon and go for better testing. The test was last Wednesday. There is a tumor growing behind the nasal passage, warping the bone between the nasal passage and the eye socket. However the brain surgeon is in Great Neck, minutes from NYC and has my dad panicked. He wrote the first doctor back begging him to do the surgery. He stated he doesn't handle that. He agreed to find him another doctor to handle the growths, not the tumor, and he is going to have them removed this Thursday. He wants to cancel the consultation with the brain surgeon on Friday. Meanwhile I am now stressed out, eating things I should not, and trying hard to just keep myself going. I was lucky to have two beautiful people help with a story I'd written for the Anthology but never managed to get fixed in time. I'll get it up when I can. Just didn't want things to crash and burn but they did. Wish me luck. At 81 my Dad is stubborn and a trip into NYC probably isn't going to happen.
  5. Many libraries offer much more than just physical items to check out. Especially larger library systems offer a wide selection of downloadable or streaming services. Check your local library's website to see what they offer. Typical services offer ebooks, magazines, newspapers, music, and movies. But some libraries offer even more with San Francisco offering comic books! And check similar services to see if one offers something interesting that the other(s) doesn’t. If you have more than one library card, check to see if the selection is different – even if they use the same service, they might have made different choices that mean the offerings differ. As an example, my little city library system (for some reason it’s not part of the larger county library system like the wealthy communities) offers OverDrive (ebooks & audio books), Libby (ebooks), Enki (ebooks), the NY Times, and online research links. The Oakland library site mentions that any California resident can get a card, but doesn’t say if they offer temporary cards during the pandemic. The Berkeley library also offers cards to any California resident and they do offer temporary cards. They offer a much larger selection of resources online than my little local library. PCWorld has an article that goes into more details.
  6. Researchers in the UK believe that dogs can be trained to detect COVID-19 even before someone is showing symptoms. Scientists at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine claim the illness gives off a distinct smell in humans, which can be picked up by a trained dog. They are already being used to detect cancers and can detect malaria with greater accuracy than the tests approved by the World Health Organization. We've all seen these excitable little mutts sniffing around our ankles and bags at airports. There may be a lot more of them by the end of the year. These dogs could prove to be the most effective weapon so far in the battle against the pandemic, and the benefits are obvious. One dog will be able to test thousands of people a day without any inconvenience to the general public, and the results will be instantaneous. You won't even know you're being tested. The ability to immediately detect and isolate a person who is infected with the virus at such an early stage will undoubtedly be a massive game-changer. Imagine what a difference it would have made to have had these sniffers at airports in February and March instead of handing out flyers advising people travelling from China to self-isolate. That really worked, didn't it? Everything is easier with hindsight, but as a dog lover, I've always believed our canine friend's abilities are criminally underused. Humans often place more trust in religious doctrine and old wives' tales than the supposed dumb animals that share our planet. While my dog sometimes makes me laugh when he barks at the coffee machine, no human can compete with his extraordinary sense of smell, so why not get them to help. It's possible that the eventual lifting of the current quarantine restrictions could coincide with the introduction of these hyper-sensitive COVID sniffers at airports and border crossings. If successful, they could become common features at entrances to sporting event, conventions, train stations, even shopping malls wherever people gather en-masse. The cost of saving the human race; other than the training and the dog handlers, amounts to nothing more than a few treats and some well-deserved love and affection.
  7. So, i have been home since March 16, 2020. I think working from home, really brought home to me really how serious this virus is. Yes, i'd read about it and all the deaths in China. Read about people trying to get back to Canada and people stuck on cruise ships. But the Bank doing this huge about face and letting us work from home, really made it real. The first few weeks i really struggled. i felt lost and afraid. i could feel it in my back and shoulders, in my chest. It felt like someone was standing on it. I became borderline obsessive reading the online news over and over. i would read stories of people who had suffered through this and told their stories. Stories of surviving it, of losing people who had been young and healthy. i was absolutely terrified. Michael knew of course, and did His best to calm me. He protects me the best that He can. Friends did the same. I began, at a friend's urging, to try yoga. I have issues with my joints so i found a short yoga program designed for seniors. No kneeling, and it was short; 7 minutes. Frankly i am amazed at just how much doing that short routine has helped me. I feel calmer, and more centered. I no longer feel trapped. If you are feeling alone and afraid, do something. Here is the link to the little yoga program i do. I also like this place. https://www.yogajournal.com/videos/joint-freeing-series I am no yoga master and i do not think i ever will be, but these short times i spend on myself right now are huge, even with the small investment of time. It somehow makes me aware of myself and the inner strength i truly do have. Spend a bit of time on you, try it, allow it. I think you will feel better. Hang in there. We can get through this ... reach out and talk. You are welcome to join us in the Drop in Centre anytime.
  8. Wayne Gray

    Playing God

    I never thought I'd be playing God. I manage twelve small clinical labs, including the staff that go along with them. I plotted out minimum staffing levels to run each. I asked for volunteers to go on unemployment while our business contracted, and patients stopped coming in for routine visits. The idea, so beautifully expressed on paper, was to have those "extra" staff waiting - out of the line of fire, and hopefully staying healthy away from the front lines of this epidemic. One of those front-line staff has been hovering on the edge of sick for a week. Yesterday, it was worse, and her temp climbed past the cut-off. We sent her home, and she has been tested. We're now waiting on results. Her relief is a mother of two small children who has asthma. I called her this morning. "Hey. Good morning. I need you at the clinic on 10th." "Good morning, Wayne. Okay." She says something to someone in the room, then comes back to the phone. "I'll be a little late, I just need to get the baby set up for my husband." "No problem. Take your time. I'll let the site administrator know the lab will open a little late." I pause, debating. How bad would it be if that lab stayed closed? This particular clinic is right on the plaza area in town. It's a place where homeless and the worst off in the county congregate, even now ... since they don't have anywhere else to go. I'd essentially take medical services from them if we closed this lab. To keep it open, I'm asking her to risk her health ... considering her condition, potentially her life. I clear my throat. "Hey. Thanks for working." I listen as she takes a breath. "It's what we do, right?" "Yeah. Be safe. Let me know if you run low on masks, I'll steal from other sites if I have to get them to you." "Thanks, Wayne. I'll be online soon. See you then." She hung up. I don't like playing God.
  9. I thought about putting this in the Pit, but it's health issue, not a political or sensitive topic for debate (Please do not turn this into a political topic, I just want to raise health awareness). Probably it's a good idea to start a topic here in the lounge to clear the air and give people good guidance without overreaction. In the last couple weeks, I've noticed that in Boston at least, it seems so much quieter. The weather has been unseasonably nice for New England (we hit 60's last weekend), there's no major holidays, and still a few normally busy establishments are dead. I've read up on the history of HIV/AIDS' affect and one of the things I remember most from my reading was that there was too much fear with conspiracy theories, veiled hatred, and lies that were spread from word of mouth, which took decades to end like the fear of LGBT blood donors for instance. So here's my attempt at a little myth busting and hopefully alleviation of fear: 1. Don't let fear of "potential" infected in your area cause you to panic and buy all the cold/flu medication from your pharmacy/drug store. The majority of the infected Coronavirus population is isolated in China under a province wide quarantine. In total, 82,166 people have been infected and 32,812 people have already recovered. This is not the "Black Death" with high mortality rates. 2. The best way to prevent infection is: a. Wash your hands with soap and water as much as you can b. Try not to congregate closely with people, who appear sick. 3. A face mask is not going to ensure 100% protection from this virus. There's been many notable cases of medical professional with advanced face masks treating patient, who have been infected as well due to careless exposure, like scratching an itch under your mask after contacting an infected person. Most face mask are not tight enough to protect your nose or mouth from tiny droplets from sneezes, either. .John Hopkins has few more facts on their website in addition the ones above: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact
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