A high-risk Florida teen who died from COVID-19 attended a huge church party, then was given hydroxychloroquine by her parents, report says – Anchorage Daily News

A high-risk Florida teen who died from COVID-19 attended a huge church party, then was given hydroxychloroquine by her parents, report says – Anchorage Daily News

If it’s not willful abuse, it certainly still is both immoral and neglect.

Trump campaign postpones Pence events in Florida and Arizona

The Trump campaign has postponed Vice President Mike Pence’s campaign events in Florida and Arizona next week.

The decision to postpone these political stops come as both states and the country experience a surge in coronavirus cases and as the Trump administration’s own public health experts continue to warn against large public gatherings. 

Trump campaign postpones Pence events in Florida and Arizona – CNNPolitics

none o fmy buiness

Coronavirus at Smithfield pork plant: The untold story of America’s biggest outbreak – BBC News

When running at full capacity, it processes 19,500 freshly-slaughtered hogs per day, slicing, grinding and smoking them into millions of pounds of bacon, hot dogs and spiral-cut hams. With 3,700 workers, it is also the fourth-largest employer in the city.

…”There had been [rumors] there were cases even before that,” she recalled. “I heard about people getting [hospitalized] from Smithfield specifically. They only know from word of mouth.”

…Her parents, two long-time Smithfield employees with whom she is especially close, told her what was happening at the factory that day. 

…”My parents don’t know English. They can’t advocate for themselves,” said Julia. “Someone has to talk for them.”

…Her mother and father continued to report to a factory they knew could be contaminated, to jobs they could not afford to lose. They stood side-by-side less than a foot away from their colleagues on production lines, they passed in and out of crowded locker rooms, walkways and cafeterias.

During that time, the number of confirmed cases among Smithfield employees slowly mounted, from 80 to 190 to 238.

By 15 April, when Smithfield finally closed under pressure from the South Dakota governor’s office, the plant had become the number one hotspot in the US, with a cluster of 644 confirmed cases among Smithfield employees and people who contracted it from them.

…The Smithfield pork plant, located in a Republican-led state that is one of five in the US that has not issued any kind of shelter-in-place order, has become a microcosm illustrating the socioeconomic disparities laid bare by the global pandemic. While many white-collar workers around the country are sheltering in place and working from home, food industry workers like the employees at Smithfield are deemed “essential” and must remain on the front lines.

…They allege early requests for personal protective equipment were ignored, that sick workers were [incentivized] to continue working, and that information regarding the spread of the virus was kept from them, even when they were at risk of exposing family and the broader public.

…Multiple workers said – and photos sent to the BBC seem to confirm – that personal protective equipment came in the form of beard nets to wear over their faces, which do not protect from airborne particles like a surgical or N95 mask would.

“I haven’t read anything from the CDC that says a hair net over your face will do much good,” said Caraway.

…If employees like Kaleb were to quit, they would be ineligible for unemployment. Advocates are hearing from visa-holders who fret that even if they were to apply for unemployment, they might be considered “public charges” which could render them ineligible for permanent residency under a new rule enacted by the Trump administration last year. …The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Cares) Act excludes anyone living in a mixed-status household with an undocumented family member.

…Mayor TenHaken formally requested that Governor Noem issue a shelter-in-place order for Sioux Falls’ surrounding counties as well as an isolation centre. She denied both requests. Despite the steep increase in cases, Noem also continued to decline to issue a shelter-in-place order in South Dakota, specifically saying that such an order would not have prevented the Smithfield outbreak.

Coronavirus at Smithfield pork plant: The untold story of America’s biggest outbreak – BBC News

atlantic cover crying uncle sam

An Astronaut’s Tips for Living in Close Quarters

One thing astronauts have to be good at: living in confined spaces for long periods of time. Here are some tips for all who find yourself in a similar scenario.

…NASA astronauts and psychologists have examined what human behaviors create a healthy culture for living and working remotely in small groups. They narrowed it to five general skills and defined the associated behaviors for each skill. NASA astronauts call it “Expeditionary Behavior.”

Skill 1, Communication

Definition: Communication means to talk so you are clearly understood. To listen, and question to understand. Actively listen, pick up on non-verbal cues. Identify, discuss, then work to resolve conflict.

To practice good Communication EB, share information and feelings freely. Talk about your intentions before taking action. Use proper terminology. Discuss when your or others’ actions were not as expected. Take time to debrief after success or conflict. Listen, then restate messages to ensure they are understood. Admit when you are wrong.

Skill 2, Leadership/Followership

Definition: How well a team adapts to changed situations. A leader enhances the group’s ability to execute its purpose through positive influence. A follower (aka a subordinate leader) actively contributes to the leader’s direction. Establish an environment of trust.

To practice good Leadership/Followership EB, accept responsibility. Adjust your style to your environment. Assign tasks and set goals. Lead by example. Give direction, information, feedback, coaching and encouragement. Ensure your teammates have resources. Talk when something isn’t right. Ask questions. Offer solutions, not just problems.

Skill 3, Self-Care

Definition: Self-Care means keeping track of how healthy you are on psychological and physical levels. It includes hygiene, managing your time and your stuff, getting sleep, and maintaining your mood. Through self-care, you demonstrate your ability to be proactive to stay healthy.

To practice good Self-Care EB, realistically assess your own strengths and weaknesses, and their influence on the group. Learn from mistakes. Identify personal tendencies and their influence on your success or failure. Be open about your weaknesses and feelings. Take action to mitigate your own stress or negativity (don’t pass it on to the group). Be social. Seek feedback. Balance work, rest, and personal time. Be organized.

Skill 4, Team Care

Definition: Team Care is how healthy the group is on psychological, physical and logistical levels. Recognize that this can be influenced by stress, fatigue, sickness, supplies, resources, workload, etc. Nurture optimal team performance despite challenges.

To practice good Team Care EB, demonstrate patience and respect. Encourage others. Monitor your team for signs of stress or fatigue. Encourage participation in team activities. Develop positive relationships. Volunteer for the unpleasant tasks. Offer and accept help. Share credit; take the blame.

Skill 5, Group Living

Definition: Group Living skills are how people cooperate and become a team to achieve a goal. Identify and manage different opinions, cultures, perceptions, skills and personalities. Demonstrate resilience in the face of difficulty.

To practice good Group Living EB, cooperate rather than compete. Actively cultivate group culture (use each individual’s culture to build the whole). Respect roles, responsibilities and workload. Take accountability; give praise freely. Then work to ensure a positive team attitude. Keep calm in conflict.

You can be successful in confinement if you are intentional about your actions and deliberate about caring for your team.

An Astronaut’s Tips for Living in Close Quarters | NASA

n/t

Florida scientist fired for refusing to ‘manipulate’ COVID-19 data

The scientist who created Florida’s COVID-19 data portal was fired on Monday by the Department of Health, she said, for refusing to manipulate data.

Her objective was to create a way for Floridians and researchers to see what the COVID-19 situation was in real time. …She confirmed, as reported by CBS-12 in West Palm Beach that she was fired because she was ordered to censor some data, but refused to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.”

…They are making a lot of changes. I would advise being diligent in your respective uses of this data,” she wrote.  

Florida scientist fired for refusing to ‘manipulate’ COVID-19 data

Jeezus.

Moon’s mysterious disappearance 900 years ago finally gets an explanation

According to one scribe in medieval England, A.D. 1110  was a “disastrous year.” Torrential rainfall damaged crops, famine stalked the land — and, as if that wasn’t bad enough, on one fateful night in May, the moon simply vanished from the sky.

“On the fifth night in the month of May appeared the moon shining bright in the evening, and afterwards by little and little its light diminished,” the unnamed scribe wrote in the Anglo-Saxon manuscript known as the Peterborough Chronicle. “As soon as night came, it was so completely extinguished withal, that neither light, nor orb, nor anything at all of it was seen. And so it continued nearly until day, and then appeared shining full and bright.”

…Careful evaluation of ice core records points to the occurrence of several closely spaced volcanic eruptions,” which may have occurred in Europe or Asia between A.D. 1108 and A.D. 1110.

Those volcanic events, which the researchers call a “forgotten cluster” of eruptions because they were sparsely documented by historians at the time, may have released towering clouds of ash that traveled far around the world for years on end. 

Moon’s mysterious disappearance 900 years ago finally gets an explanation | Live Science

wild

The hidden links between mental disorders

In 2018, psychiatrist Oleguer Plana-Ripoll was wrestling with a puzzling fact about mental disorders. He knew that many individuals have multiple conditions — anxiety and depression, say, or schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He wanted to know how common it was to have more than one diagnosis, so he got his hands on a database containing the medical details of around 5.9 million Danish citizens.

He was taken aback by what he found. Every single mental disorder predisposed the patient to every other mental disorder — no matter how distinct the symptoms. “We knew that comorbidity was important, but we didn’t expect to find associations for all pairs,” says Plana-Ripoll, who is based at Aarhus University in Denmark.

…The idea that mental illness can be classified into distinct, discrete categories such as ‘anxiety’ or ‘psychosis’ has been disproved to a large extent. Instead, disorders shade into each other, and there are no hard dividing lines — as Plana-Ripoll’s study so clearly demonstrated.

…The most immediate challenge is working out how to diagnose people. Since the 1950s, psychiatrists have used an exhaustive volume called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, currently in its fifth edition. It lists all the recognized disorders, from autism and obsessive–compulsive disorder to depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. Each is defined by symptoms. The inherent assumption is that each disorder is distinct, and arises for different reasons.

…Few patients fit into each neat set of criteria. Instead, people often have a mix of symptoms from different disorders.

…This implies that the way clinicians have partitioned mental disorders is wrong. Psychiatrists have tried to solve this by splitting disorders into ever-finer subtypes. …But the problem persists — the subtypes are still a poor reflection of the clusters of symptoms that many patients have.

…Clinically, the evidence that symptoms cut across disorders — or that people frequently have more than one disorder — has only grown stronger. For this reason, although individual symptoms such as mood alterations or impairments in reasoning can be diagnosed reliably, assigning patients to an overall diagnosis such as ‘bipolar disorder’ is difficult.

Even seemingly separate disorders are linked.

…A 2018 study examined people who had been diagnosed with either major depression, panic disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The volunteers were assessed on the basis of their symptoms, cognitive performance and brain activity. The researchers found that the participants fell into six groups, characterized by distinct moods such as ‘tension’ and ‘melancholia’. The groups cut across the three diagnostic categories as if they were not there.

…In the early 2010s, there was a push to eliminate disorder categories from the DSM-5 in [favor] of a ‘dimensional’ approach based on individual symptoms. However, this attempt failed — partly because health-care funding and patient care has been built up around the DSM’s categories.

…Most scientists agree that what is needed is more data, and many remain unconvinced by such simple explanations. “I’m a little less certain that that’s how it’s going to play out,” says Neale. At the genetic level at least, he says, there are many disorders, such as PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder, that remain poorly understood.

All such sweeping hypotheses are premature, says Hyman. “I think it’s a time for much more empirical research rather than grand theorization.”

The hidden links between mental disorders

hmmm