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KY_EnviroGuy

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Name: Pet Rock
Gender: Male
Hometown: TN, KY
Home country: USA
Current location: KY
Member since: Thu Jul 6, 2017, 06:43 PM
Number of posts: 12,124

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Red Cross urging people to give blood amid coronavirus concerns

Red Cross urging people to give blood amid coronavirus concerns
The cold and flu season is already challenging the country's blood supply, and as the number of COVID-19 cases grows in the U.S, the shortage could get worse.
Author: Senait Gebregiorgis (WHAS 11)
Published: 6:38 PM EDT March 10, 2020

Found at (local): https://www.whas11.com/article/news/local/red-cross-urging-people-to-give-blood-amid-coronavirus-concerns/417-011c1be6-5b96-442b-84e1-87e3a751aad7

Article:
The American Red Cross is urging anyone who is eligible to give blood in the midst of the growing coronavirus cases in order to prevent shortages. "The only blood that patients in the hospitals receive is through a voluntary donation," account manager and donor recruiter, Pam Greer-Ullrich with River Valley Region's American Red Cross said.

The cold and flu season is already challenging the country's blood supply. "Patients who are in accidents, who have burns, who are ill with cancer and other diseases that require a blood transfusion continue to still need that blood," Greer-Ullrich said.

According to Greer-Ullrich, there's been over 50 blood drives organized by hosts that have been cancelled in the United States. Organizers expect to see that number grow in the midst of the coronavirus scare. "As donors enter a blood drive area we're asking them to use hand sanitizer, but we continue to use our protocols for wiping down donor-touched areas," Greer-Ullrich said.

The Red Cross is closely working with health officials to monitor the outbreak, but nevertheless, the need continues. "When you donate a unit of blood, that unit of blood has the potential to save up to three lives," Greer-Ullrich said.

According to The Red Cross there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by blood transfusion. "Donors should not be afraid to donate blood or receive blood – it is a safe process," Greer-Ullrich said.

The Red Cross said there are no reported cases of transmissions for any respiratory virus including the coronavirus, but out of an abundance of caution, the organization is asking eligible individuals to hold off on donating for 28 days if:

*They traveled to China, and its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau, as well as Iran, Italy and South Korea.
*They were diagnosed with COVID-19.
*They were in contact with a person diagnosed of COVID-19 or in contact with a person suspected to have it.

"We supply 40 percent of the blood across the country and it's vital that we continue to supply the blood to the hospitals so that patients continue to receive the care they need," Greer-Ullrich said.

(cross-posted in GD)

KY.........

Australia seems to have some good ideas for limiting coronavirus.

(cross-posted from GD)

From The Guardian's live rolling coverage site:
The Australian health minister, Greg Hunt, acknowledged that some comments he made on Sunday — reported without context — sparked confusion about the need for everyone in Australia with cold and/or flu like symptoms to get tested for coronavirus.

Hunt: So it’s a message to all of us to make sure that we’re reporting carefully and fully, but equally for us, we’ve already begun our communications in terms of what we’re providing online and the advice.

Hunt said more than 20,000 people have been tested in Australia so far.

So to recap on the substance of that funding announcement in Australia this morning:

$615m for primary care health networks, to cover costs of treatment, diagnosis and testing
A new Medicare telehealth item, so people in home isolation can be treated via telehealth. Health minister Greg Hunt said that will also mean that particularly vulnerable groups, like people with compromised immunity, do not have to come into hospital or a GP.
$200m to establish 100 respiratory clinics across the country.
$100m for workforce support for aged care.
$30m for research into vaccines, anti-virals, immunotherapy, or respiratory treatments
$1m in funding for the national medical stockpiling and national coordination.


Article: Australia to unveil $2.4bn coronavirus health package including pop-up fever clinics
The Morrison government is set to announce bulk-billing for telehealth consultations and a $30m ad campaign


Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/australia-to-unveil-24bn-coronavirus-health-package-including-pop-up-fever-clinics

Notable excerpts:
A key part of the package will be $205m for up to 100 new pop-up fever clinics that will be located in areas of need, and which will test people who are concerned they may have the virus. The aim is to divert people with mild or moderate symptoms away from hospital emergency departments and GP clinics to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Severe cases will still present at hospitals.

Each of the slated clinics, to be staffed by GPs and nurses, will be able to see up to 75 patients a day over six months, with the potential of testing up to a million individuals within the next six months. Some of the new clinics will be established in existing practices, while others will be set up as standalone pop-up centres, with existing clinics to receive an initial $150,000 to set up and to help offset losses from normal business.
++++
While the government has indicated a pandemic is likely, efforts have so far been aimed at slowing the spread of the virus to allow the health system to cope with an expected surge in demand. Authorities are warning the spread of the disease could peak as early as May, ahead of the normal winter flu season.

Today’s package will also include a new Medicare item to allow doctors to charge for phone or video consultations for people with coronavirus symptoms who remain at home in self-isolation and quarantine, costing $100m for the next six months.

The service, which will start on Friday, is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to others in the community and will be fully bulk billed. It will be made available to people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner or the guidance of the chief medical officer, and those who meet the “protocol criteria” for suspected infection based on advice from coronavirus hotline numbers or other trained staff.

Vulnerable groups, including those aged over 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50, those with chronic health conditions, parents with new babies and people who are pregnant, will also be able to use the service. Any doctor forced into home isolation or quarantine will be able to continue providing services to their patients via telehealth, “as long as they have the capacity to provide services safely and in accordance with normal professional standards from home or other isolation area”.

The funding boost will be accompanied by a national $30m communications campaign, expected to start within days, that will have information to “prevent and mitigate the impacts of coronavirus”.

Morrison said the package, which also includes a $500m hospital funding package already announced for the states, would ensure Australia was as well prepared “as any country in the world” to respond to the virus threat.

I'm always skeptical with anything coming our of Australia's right-wing Murdoch-driven government, but they do seem to have some good concepts. Time will tell if they follow through.

KY..........

Australia seems to have some good ideas for limiting coronavirus.

From The Guardian's live rolling coverage site:
The Australian health minister, Greg Hunt, acknowledged that some comments he made on Sunday — reported without context — sparked confusion about the need for everyone in Australia with cold and/or flu like symptoms to get tested for coronavirus.

Hunt: So it’s a message to all of us to make sure that we’re reporting carefully and fully, but equally for us, we’ve already begun our communications in terms of what we’re providing online and the advice.

Hunt said more than 20,000 people have been tested in Australia so far.

So to recap on the substance of that funding announcement in Australia this morning:

$615m for primary care health networks, to cover costs of treatment, diagnosis and testing
A new Medicare telehealth item, so people in home isolation can be treated via telehealth. Health minister Greg Hunt said that will also mean that particularly vulnerable groups, like people with compromised immunity, do not have to come into hospital or a GP.
$200m to establish 100 respiratory clinics across the country.
$100m for workforce support for aged care.
$30m for research into vaccines, anti-virals, immunotherapy, or respiratory treatments
$1m in funding for the national medical stockpiling and national coordination.


Article: Australia to unveil $2.4bn coronavirus health package including pop-up fever clinics
The Morrison government is set to announce bulk-billing for telehealth consultations and a $30m ad campaign


Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/australia-to-unveil-24bn-coronavirus-health-package-including-pop-up-fever-clinics

Notable excerpts:
A key part of the package will be $205m for up to 100 new pop-up fever clinics that will be located in areas of need, and which will test people who are concerned they may have the virus. The aim is to divert people with mild or moderate symptoms away from hospital emergency departments and GP clinics to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Severe cases will still present at hospitals.

Each of the slated clinics, to be staffed by GPs and nurses, will be able to see up to 75 patients a day over six months, with the potential of testing up to a million individuals within the next six months. Some of the new clinics will be established in existing practices, while others will be set up as standalone pop-up centres, with existing clinics to receive an initial $150,000 to set up and to help offset losses from normal business.
++++
While the government has indicated a pandemic is likely, efforts have so far been aimed at slowing the spread of the virus to allow the health system to cope with an expected surge in demand. Authorities are warning the spread of the disease could peak as early as May, ahead of the normal winter flu season.

Today’s package will also include a new Medicare item to allow doctors to charge for phone or video consultations for people with coronavirus symptoms who remain at home in self-isolation and quarantine, costing $100m for the next six months.

The service, which will start on Friday, is aimed at reducing the risk of exposure to others in the community and will be fully bulk billed. It will be made available to people isolating themselves at home on the advice of a medical practitioner or the guidance of the chief medical officer, and those who meet the “protocol criteria” for suspected infection based on advice from coronavirus hotline numbers or other trained staff.

Vulnerable groups, including those aged over 70, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged over 50, those with chronic health conditions, parents with new babies and people who are pregnant, will also be able to use the service. Any doctor forced into home isolation or quarantine will be able to continue providing services to their patients via telehealth, “as long as they have the capacity to provide services safely and in accordance with normal professional standards from home or other isolation area”.

The funding boost will be accompanied by a national $30m communications campaign, expected to start within days, that will have information to “prevent and mitigate the impacts of coronavirus”.

Morrison said the package, which also includes a $500m hospital funding package already announced for the states, would ensure Australia was as well prepared “as any country in the world” to respond to the virus threat.

I'm always skeptical with anything coming our of Australia's right-wing Murdoch-driven government, but they do seem to have some good concepts. Time will tell if they follow through.

KY..........

It's time to say thank you to the many who are the most vulnerable and exposed.

I was thinking that during this moment when we're all dealing with our individual fears relating to this public health crisis, it's time to express gratitude to those who must carry on every day just to help maintain our basic existence.

All public service people are vulnerable now. My thoughts go out to all those who serve.

Just thinking of a few.....

* Doctors, nurses, therapists, lab techs, healthcare facility cleaning/delivery/maintenance folks, office receptionists and in-home care providers.
* Police and commercial/government facility security personnel including TSA.
* Firefighters, EMS and medivac people.
* Teachers and administrators in our schools, colleges and universities.
* Volunteers in hospitals, schools and nursing homes.
* Workers in public health maintenance facilities such as rehab and dialysis centers and even fitness gyms.
* Public transportation employees on buses, trains, cabs and aircraft, including cleaning and maintenance personnel.
* Public delivery services: USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc. Our mail delivery guys will still be touching surfaces in millions of homes each day.
* Public service and maintenance workers: Cleaning, HVAC and other repair/installation people.
* Retail store clerks, managers and those who stock and maintain our retail spaces.
* Restaurant and fast food workers, especially waiters and order/pickup window personnel.
* People who work in homeless shelters, recovery and treatment centers.
* Clergy and employees of churches, mosques and synagogues.

Never hurts to just say "thank you for your service" to any of those folks.

All of these people have increased risks to exposure to infection compared to those of us who have the choice to stay home.

Let's also remember that organizations depending on voluntary contributions may become financially strapped and might have to close down if we all don't pony up a bit more to help due to reduced attendance. For example, I thought of the thousands of AA and NA meetings and volunteer organizations around the nation that must pay monthly rent.

KY..........

Parents: Read this to check your kid's disease safety at school.

(cross-post from GD)
This article is written by health professionals at Harvard with excellent credentials. This is good reference info for taking to your local schools to check how well they're doing on coronavirus, flu and measles safety:

To Prepare for Coronavirus, Simple Measures Are Often Most Effective
Public health experts and educators emphasize clear benefits of handwashing habits and well-stocked restrooms in schools
By: Emily Boudreau
Posted: March 8, 2020

Read it here: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/20/03/prepare-coronavirus-simple-measures-are-often-most-effective

(snips)
“Frequent handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds is a proven way to reduce disease transmission,” said Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It is one of the simplest and most effective things we can do to prevent ourselves and our loved ones from getting infected.”

And yet well-stocked school restrooms and healthy handwashing habits are not always the norm. A recent investigation by the Boston Globe revealed that public health inspectors had found problems in 89 of 111 Boston Public Schools bathrooms. In Detroit, students filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Education noting nonworking sinks and lack of basic supplies such as toilet paper. The issues extend beyond infrastructure. “New York City teachers have described elementary schools that refuse to allow students to use bathroom sinks because washing hands ‘wastes time’ and ‘causes incidents (such as water fights),’” says Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Meira Levinson.

“This is a good time to turn these approaches around. By investing in bathroom maintenance and improvements and by changing the culture around handwashing, schools have an opportunity to show students both that their health and wellbeing are critically important and that they can be part of a public health solution that will help others.”
++++++++

Schools should build disease-prevention practices into daily schedules.
Add 5 minutes to lunch and recess periods to ensure students have time to wash their hands.
Build in the practice of handwashing throughout the day, during transition times.
Provide hand sanitizer at school entrances.
Set up hand-sanitizer stations in each classroom, so that each time children return to the classroom, they get a squirt. Students should be taught to spread the sanitizer evenly and entirely over both hands and to allow their hands to air-dry. (Note that public health guidance says that washing hands with soap and water is most effective, but hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol are a sound alternative when soap and water are unavailable.)
Post handwashing reminders around the school that reinforce proper handwashing techniques.
Make it a classroom habit to regularly clean or wipe surfaces that everyone touches often. Appoint students to a “clean squad,”and make it as special as being appointed line leader or any other classroom perk.

Schools should ensure that all restrooms are always well stocked with soap and paper towels. Sinks should all have hot and cold running water. Washrooms should be accessible — all students should be able to reach the sink. Clean public washrooms frequently.

Schools can mobilize PTO and parent volunteers to equip schools and classrooms with cleaning supplies, as needed.
Smooth out processes to accept parent donations of soap, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.
Take advantage of classroom representatives, if they exist at your school. These classroom-based parent volunteers can coordinate preparedness at a hyper-local level. These preparations can be fun and customized to each classroom.


.........and much more good info including links to other pro articles and the CDC, WHO, etc.

With this knowledge, parents and teachers can approach school administers on how to correct deficiences. Let's all remember schools usually have deficiencies due to severe budget cuts or troubled kids, so we need to be compassionate with our approach.

KY...........

If you love clean studio pickers, this might make your day....

Dean Parks (acoustic) and Tim Pierce (electric) sit down and play the guitar parts from Clapton's Change The World. Dean played on the original LA sessions.

Tim Pierce Guitar
Eric Clapton | Change The World | Dean Parks | Tim Pierce | Performance | Talk

163,183 views
Mar 1, 2018



Here's the original Clapton song for reference:

Eric Clapton - Change The World



KY..........

Throwing this idea out for discussion regarding community coronavirus prevention.

What if communities provided one-page leaflets to pass out to our communities in stores, airports and bus stations, entertainment venues, schools and businesses?

I'm thinking a simple review of the disease, how to prevent becoming infected, what to do if you think you may have it, contact phone numbers and local/federal web sites.......and written in layman's language.

The sheets could be passed out at say, grocery store entrances or placed in racks for self-service at checkouts, passed out to kids in school and placed in the mailboxes of employees or emailed in a PDF file.

I feel too many people are relying on bogus and unprofessional info floating around social media and some public media.

I'm thinking of proposing this idea to my local metro council members.

KY............ (no-germ hug, just electrons).....

Parents: Read this to check your kid's disease safety at school.

This article is written by health professionals at Harvard with excellent credentials. This is good reference info for taking to your local schools to check how well they're doing on coronavirus, flu and measles safety:

To Prepare for Coronavirus, Simple Measures Are Often Most Effective
Public health experts and educators emphasize clear benefits of handwashing habits and well-stocked restrooms in schools
By: Emily Boudreau
Posted: March 8, 2020

Read it here: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/20/03/prepare-coronavirus-simple-measures-are-often-most-effective

(snip)
“Frequent handwashing with soap and hot water for 20 seconds is a proven way to reduce disease transmission,” said Marc Lipsitch, Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It is one of the simplest and most effective things we can do to prevent ourselves and our loved ones from getting infected.”

And yet well-stocked school restrooms and healthy handwashing habits are not always the norm. A recent investigation by the Boston Globe revealed that public health inspectors had found problems in 89 of 111 Boston Public Schools bathrooms. In Detroit, students filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Education noting nonworking sinks and lack of basic supplies such as toilet paper. The issues extend beyond infrastructure. “New York City teachers have described elementary schools that refuse to allow students to use bathroom sinks because washing hands ‘wastes time’ and ‘causes incidents (such as water fights),’” says Harvard Graduate School of Education Professor Meira Levinson. “This is a good time to turn these approaches around. By investing in bathroom maintenance and improvements and by changing the culture around handwashing, schools have an opportunity to show students both that their health and wellbeing are critically important and that they can be part of a public health solution that will help others.”
++++++++
Schools should build disease-prevention practices into daily schedules.
Add 5 minutes to lunch and recess periods to ensure students have time to wash their hands.
Build in the practice of handwashing throughout the day, during transition times.
Provide hand sanitizer at school entrances.
Set up hand-sanitizer stations in each classroom, so that each time children return to the classroom, they get a squirt. Students should be taught to spread the sanitizer evenly and entirely over both hands and to allow their hands to air-dry. (Note that public health guidance says that washing hands with soap and water is most effective, but hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol are a sound alternative when soap and water are unavailable.)
Post handwashing reminders around the school that reinforce proper handwashing techniques.
Make it a classroom habit to regularly clean or wipe surfaces that everyone touches often. Appoint students to a “clean squad,”and make it as special as being appointed line leader or any other classroom perk.

Schools should ensure that all restrooms are always well stocked with soap and paper towels. Sinks should all have hot and cold running water. Washrooms should be accessible — all students should be able to reach the sink. Clean public washrooms frequently.

Schools can mobilize PTO and parent volunteers to equip schools and classrooms with cleaning supplies, as needed.
Smooth out processes to accept parent donations of soap, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies.
Take advantage of classroom representatives, if they exist at your school. These classroom-based parent volunteers can coordinate preparedness at a hyper-local level. These preparations can be fun and customized to each classroom.

.........and much more good info including links to other pro articles and the CDC, WHO, etc.

With this knowledge, parents and teachers can approach school administers on how to correct deficiences. Let's all remember schools usually have deficiencies due to severe budget cuts or troubled kids, so we need to be compassionate with our approach.

KY...........
Posted by KY_EnviroGuy | Mon Mar 9, 2020, 04:48 AM (5 replies)

Experts make a sobering point about virus prevention in our schools...

Former FDA chief & Harvard professor: Take smart steps to slow spread of the coronavirus
Small steps like hand-washing and covering coughs can not only reduce our risks of infection but also have a big impact on the scope of an epidemic.
Scott Gottlieb and Marc Lipsitch
March 6, 2020

Link to article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2020/03/06/former-fda-chief-gottlieb-actions-needed-fight-coronavirus-covid-19-column/4967137002/

(snip)
What institutions should focus on

These small steps can reduce your individual risk of becoming infected, but practiced on a wide scale, they can have a big impact on the scope of an outbreak or epidemic. We can make all of these measures easier for ourselves and others through our actions at the workplace and in schools. Every workplace, school, and other public areas should have adequate facilities for hand-washing, including hot water and soap, as well as alcohol-based sanitizer. In our personal experience, schools in particular often have cold water only in the bathrooms, and no soap. This has long been a problem, but COVID-19 raises it to a critical public health issue.

Should parents be pressing schools to provide at least some bar soap or perhaps foaming liquid soap, along with training for the kids?

Scott Gottlieb is the former commissioner of the Food & Drug Administration. Marc Lipsitch is a professor of epidemiology at Harvard University. Follow them on Twitter: @ScottGottliebMD and @mlipsitch


KY.........
Posted by KY_EnviroGuy | Sun Mar 8, 2020, 07:35 PM (8 replies)

Best article I've seen so far on hand cleansing to remove and destroy viruses....

with what appears to be scientific credibility.

Deadly viruses are no match for plain, old soap — here’s the science behind it
Published: March 8, 2020 at 10:42 a.m. ET
By Palli Thordarson
Soap works better than alcohol and disinfectants at destroying the structure of viruses

Read it here: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/deadly-viruses-are-no-match-for-plain-old-soap-heres-the-science-behind-it-2020-03-08?mod=home-page

(snips)
Why does soap work so well on the new coronavirus and, indeed, most viruses? Because it is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer.

That sounds scientific. Let me explain.

Soap dissolves the fat membrane, and the virus falls apart like a house of cards and “dies,” or rather, it becomes inactive as viruses aren’t really alive. Viruses can be active outside the body for hours, even days.

Disinfectants, or liquids, wipes, gels and creams containing alcohol (and soap) have a similar effect but are not as good as regular soap. Apart from alcohol and soap, antibacterial agents in those products don’t affect the virus structure much. Consequently, many antibacterial products are basically just an expensive version of soap in how they act on viruses. Soap is the best, but alcohol wipes are good when soap is not practical or handy, for example in office reception areas.


KY.................
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