What You Need to Know About the Recently Released COVID Vaccines: Part II

  Throughout the ordeal of living through a pandemic, we’ve placed our hope in the development of several vaccines at breakneck speed. Most people, however, have no idea how these vaccines actually work. In this portion of our latest blog series, we take a closer look so you can feel confident when it’s your turn to get the protection you need. Why the First COVID Vaccines Are Different COVID vaccines don’t look quite like the inoculations you’ve received in the past. Typically, viruses are inactivated or attenuated so that they’re less infectious. With several of the vaccines intended to fight…

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What You Need to Know About the Recently Released COVID Vaccines: Part 1

  After nearly a year of dealing with COVID in the United States, there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel. Multiple vaccines have been approved for emergency use and are in the early stages of being administered to health care workers and the nation’s most vulnerable residents. We hold great hope in the COVID vaccines, but will they really be the miracle cure that we desire? Are they as dangerous as the skeptics claim? We delve into the greatest concerns and opportunities in this three-part blog series. Which Vaccines Will Be Available in the United States? As of…

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What Are the Most Promising COVID Treatments in Development?

As we await the release of the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, we’re learning more about the top treatments for severe cases. Certain medications and therapies can dramatically improve outcomes for vulnerable patients who, even a few months ago, would have been unlikely to recover. These include the following: Remdesivir Although medical experts have tested a variety of antiviral drugs on patients actively battling COVID, only remdesivir has consistently shown promise. Previously used against dangerous viruses such as Ebola, the medication has emerged as one of the most effective solutions for severe COVID cases. A study recently published in the New England…

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Understanding the Differences Among Influenza, COVID, And the Common Cold

  Experts and ordinary individuals alike draw comparisons between COVID and the prominent form of influenza with which we’ve dealt with for generations. These are sometimes useful, as some of the strategies (such as masks and social distancing) used to mitigate the flu can also work for COVID. Still, it’s important to understand how these diseases differ, as we clarify below: Symptoms Both influenza and COVID-19 can prompt a variety of symptoms ranging from mild to life-threatening. People with both illnesses may suffer: Headache Shortness of breath Fatigue Fever Sore throat In some people, however, COVID goes beyond these symptoms…

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The Great Barrington Declaration And COVID: Part I

  The COVID pandemic has sparked contentious debates about the balance between reducing the spread of the disease and avoiding the unintended repercussions of lockdown. The original quarantine, although necessary for flattening the curve, created economic upheaval while also sparking significant mental health issues related to long-term isolation. In an effort to avoid these problems as we continue to navigate the pandemic, a variety of scientists and other influential individuals gathered at the American Institute for Economic Research in early October to sign the Great Barrington Declaration. How Would Pandemic Response Work Under the Proposed Great Barrington System? The approach…

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Mental Health Tips And Resources For Those Stressed During the COVID Era

  Mental health problems were common prior to the coronavirus pandemic, but they’re even more prevalent now that COVID has taken over. According to the Healthline Mental Health Index, 45 percent of the U.S. population currently lies outside of the “normal” range on a common depression and anxiety survey known as the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4). While this secondary epidemic may not be overcome until we find a cure for COVID, several measures can ease our anxiety during this difficult time, as highlighted below: Make the Most of Digital Resources Videoconferencing applications and other digital tools make even the strictest…

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Safety Tips for Reintroducing a Nanny Into Your Life After Quarantine

  As quarantine draws to a close, you may need to return to work or otherwise spend more time outside of the home — and away from your children. Now, you face a difficult decision: how to secure quality childcare while you’re away. In many cases, the best approach involves a trustworthy nanny. This option is by no means risk-free, but it can limit your children’s exposure to other youngsters. Implement these tips to keep your children and nanny safe. Consider a Live-In Nanny Live-in care may be expensive, but it also can dramatically reduce the risk of infection for…

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Doctors, Nurses, And Other Healthcare Workers: Could Their Pandemic Burnout Put Patients At Risk?

  Far too many healthcare professionals suffered burnout long before coronavirus entered the lexicon. Today, however, overwork is even more of a threat. While demands vary between departments and facilities, many doctors and nurses report considerable fatigue prompted by the pandemic. This represents a huge risk not only for medical workers, but also for the vulnerable patients they treat. The State of Burnout in Healthcare United States medical professionals entered the coronavirus pandemic with alarming rates of burnout. An article from the Harvard Medical School references the current situation as “stabbing a fresh wound.” Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers…

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Quarantine Era Surgery And Diagnostic Delays: What Dangers Do They Cause?

  In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, several quarantine initiatives placed a moratorium on elective surgeries and other healthcare procedures. Additionally, many patients replaced traditional in-person checkups with virtual appointments, which, while helpful, do not always provide a sufficient substitute. These strict measures are beginning to ease up, but many patients still struggle to determine whether greater risk lies in avoiding medical settings or seeking critical care. We offer insight into this difficult decision below: The Risk of Delayed Diagnosis While the dangers of delayed diagnosis vary considerably based on the condition in question, early detection is always…

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Highway Fatality Rates Increase Despite Less Drivers on the Road

  The National Safety Council has reported that, based on preliminary nationwide data from May, people traveling by roads had a higher risk of dying from a motor vehicle crash for the third month in a row. We previously wrote about this issue in May, and the trend of more dangerous driving has continued. The fatality rate is a measure of deaths due to collisions per 100 million vehicle miles. The fatality rate includes deaths of drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, etc., and is a good indicator of dangerous driving. The number of miles driven in May 2020 decreased by 25.5%…

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