Category Archives: Health affairs

What ethical principles do we need in the Covid-19 pandemic?

Back in February the World Health Organisation held a meeting in Geneva about the gathering coronavirus epidemic. Several bioethicists have summarised the discussions about ethical principles in an article in the journal Public Health Ethics. Amongst the five authors is Ezekiel Emanuel, a former Obama adviser whom President-elect Joe Biden has named to his Covid-19 task force.

The principles are not the four familiar ones taught in medical schools: respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Here are the main concerns which emerged from the meeting:

Solidarity, “the practice of standing up together and acting in common”. “Just as infection spreads through connection, our ethical response requires us to act together to ensure recognition of our common nature, needs and value.”

Equal Moral Respect. “There can be no room for disagreement regarding the equal moral respect that is owed to every individual. In short, equal moral respect serves as a fundamental precondition for fair and equitable treatment.”

Equity. “Treating people equitably means treating like cases alike, e.g. treating people in accordance with their unique needs.”

Autonomy. “An autonomous individual is able to control what happens to their bodies and lives. Autonomous people may also forego making choices.”

Vulnerability. “Its core ethical function is to mark out the need for additional ethical consideration—or, heightened ethical scrutiny in the context of research—towards the risks and threats faced by a person or group regarded as potentially vulnerable.”

Trust. “During public health emergencies, such as COVID-19, action is required to ensure the maintenance of trustworthiness in those given responsibility for the response.”

Interestingly, solidarity is the first cab off the rank, not autonomy, which has been the default principle in most contemporary ethical discourse. Does this reflect a growing feeling that – in the words of Craig Klugman — that

“Bioethics has pushed too far in the direction of the individual and needs to have a turn toward the importance of the community and the common good”?

Michael Cook – editor of BioEdge

2 Comments

Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Health affairs, Welfare matters

CoViD-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all walks of life

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all walks of life, with millions contracting the virus and an ever-rising death toll that approaches a staggering daily loss of life on the scale of 9/11. One thing is for certain, the United States government has failed to not only adequately address the rapid spread of disease and death in the nation, but to provide a social safety net for all Americans.

With just one $1,200 check arriving for Americans in early April, unemployment assistance running out in weeks, small business loan aid being greatly exploited by the wealthy, and a greedy bailout to airlines, all signs point toward a prioritization of stock growth over human life. Both parties are guilty of this.

It is the fault of all political leaders that no such subsequent stimulus relief has been passed, no rental assistance, direct payments, loan forgiveness, reauthorization of unemployment benefits: nothing. While Democrats had passed a bill in the House months ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel has refused to do anything but propose a hollow copy of the bill. Both parties are at fault for failing negotiations while hundreds of thousands have died, millions continue to be unemployed, and countless more teeter on the edge of financial insecurity.

Stimulus negotiations have begun again in the Senate with a bill backed by President-elect Joe Biden that would include a reauthorization of expanded unemployment payments up to $300 weekly, vaccine distribution funds, small business aid, and more, though it is still not currently drafted. Senator Bernie Sanders has recently announced his opposition to the effort, as the bill provides no direct payments and includes a “liability shield” for businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits. Senator Sanders makes an excellent point, and it is disappointing a half-hearted relief bill is progressing. But nearly 8 months into the pandemic, any relief is better than no relief.

> Read more: > Congress Needs to Pass a Substantive Economic Stimulus Package by Samuel Murray

Leave a comment

Filed under Headlines - News, Health affairs, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

To My Fellow Americans, From One of You

It is getting time more Americans come to their senses that when there shall be more deaths there shall not be much left over to take care of recovering economy.
It’s high time that Americans start realising they had one of the worst presidents America ever had and who did so much damage not only to the country, but also to the people, that the recovery or the making of America Great Again will take years if not decades in case they do not switch gear soon enough.

Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

Hey! 

You!

You of the red, white, and blue. Of the free and the brave. Of the purple mountain’s majesty.

Yes, you.

I’m just like you, born of Lady Liberty, weaned on a mother’s milk of revolution and independence, all tied up with a Fourth of July bow. I can’t run away from who and what I am, even if I wanted to.

And I don’t. 

Right now I may reside outside the confines of the Nifty Fifty, but I’m still one of you. American parts. American made. I still care—deeply—about what happens in yon Motherland. I yearn to see the rollout of USA: Full Potential…and I still believe it’s there, buried under all the rhetoric and White noise.

So what I’m about to say, know I say with love: Holy shitballs, America, you have got to get your act together.

There are a LOT of you I don’t agree with…

View original post 728 more words

Leave a comment

Filed under Being and Feeling, Economical affairs, Health affairs, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

The United States simply wasn’t prepared to tackle the Coronavirus

As the world grapples with the devastation of the coronavirus, one thing is clear: The United States simply wasn’t prepared. Despite repeated warnings from infectious disease experts over the years, the States lacked essential beds, equipment, and medication; public health advice was confusing; and their leadership offered no clear direction while sidelining credible health professionals and institutions. Infectious disease experts agree that it’s only a matter of time before the next pandemic hits, and that one could be even more deadly.

So how do we fix what COVID-19 has shown was broken?

In the Mother Jones series experts from a wide range of disciplines are asked one question:

What are the most important steps we can take to make sure we’re better prepared next time around?

Read more about divisions which are as solid as ever, and a pandemic which has shown us how deadly they can turn: > Why Bridging the Urban-Rural Divide Might Save Our Lives

… when the pandemic came along, and because of the way it hit the United States, primarily in urban centers first, many people were resistant to the shutdowns and to the advice of public health measures because they were perceiving that these were decisions that were being made to fit urban situations.

Leave a comment

Filed under Headlines - News, Health affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Cartoon of the day 2020 August 12

Leave a comment

Filed under Cartoon, Crimes & Atrocities, Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Headlines - News, Health affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

Corona part of much too many or not enough

There are people who consider that the last few years we had so many sorts of corona viruses because we are with too many and have are animals locked up with to many in one cage.

About the matter of keeping too many animals in a cage, there is a reality we have to face. That creates a lot of diseases we could avoid when we would give those animals much more space to move around.

We do not think we are living in an overcrowded world. There is still enough space if we are willing to use that space properly and ecologically right.

Thomas Mathus (born 1766), a mathematically-minded person, who was convinced that people multiplied at a much greater rate than food was produced. For him the outcome, unless former was controlled, would be starvation and misery.

‘Son of the manse’ Andrew James Chandler writes:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 033-2.jpgPart of Malthus’ solution was to discourage marriage and any other relationship which might result in childbirth. He also deemed it wise to encourage individuals and families to emigrate. He regarded the colonies as a receptacle for excess inhabitants, and had a formula to back up his ideas. There were also a number of schemes which were capable of translating his notions into practical terms.

The collection of reliable statistical information was only begun with the first decennial census in 1801, but this was a barely reliable source for contemporaries and historians alike until 1841. There were no reliable government figures relating to unemployment until 1921. {Poverty, Emigration & Empire, 1821-71: Atlantic Crossings & North American Settlement.}

Avoiding getting children is one idea several people used to have control abut their ‘people of the state’.  Many forgot that those living in poverty were more often creating kids in bad circumstances. Also wages could create a condition to have more or less children, and got families moving from the countryside to the cities.

Although industrial wages may have been a little better in the Midland towns than in the villages, living and working conditions were generally worse, so that it was not until the beginning of the last century that people were drawn in any significant numbers into cities like Coventry, Oxford and Birmingham from the surrounding countryside. Although Birmingham and the Black Country had become heavily industrialised by the mid-nineteenth century, it was only at the end of that century that Coventry became a city of many trades, with the decline of the traditional craft industries of ribbon weaving and watchmaking, and the birth of the cycle trade in the 1890s, to be followed gradually by motor-cycle and car manufacture, and the establishment of Courtauld’s works in 1905. {Part Three: 1861-1914: Poverty, Progress and Prosperity}

When people had to spend a lot of time in the factory they had less time to create new children. But when there were strikes or people had no work they had more frustrations and man got to work it out at their wives and made more kids.

The growing urbanisation of the country which many thought aggravated the problems of the poor, also made it easier to deal collectively with some of the worst injustices in the early years of the twentieth century. Towns provided an increasing range of free services, and local government expenditure almost doubled between 1900 and 1913.

008Free school meals and school medical inspections helped to improve health among children and better attention in hospitals which catered mainly for working-class patients in conditions that were generally much better than richer classes who still preferred to be treated in their own homes or in private nursing homes. Workmen’s trains, electric tramcars and cheap, second-hand bicycles enabled many wage earners to escape from the congested areas of towns to the suburbs, leaving more room for those remaining.

Better grocer shops, such as Sainsburys and Liptons, football matches and other sporting events on Saturday afternoons,  excursions by trains, music halls and then silent films, public houses with bright lighting, were all additional signs of an improvement in the quality of urban working-class life, and a departure from the past.  Working-class women benefited the most from these changes. There was a preference for smaller families, making their domestic lives easier, and the arrival of the typewriter and telephone were among the developments which provided more employment opportunities for girls.  There were also more scholarships, often to new secondary schools and technical colleges which gave bright young people of both sexes opportunities for further education and better jobs, encouraging greater social mobility than their parents had experienced. However, these changes were not as rapid as sometimes supposed. There may have been more women teachers, nurses, shop assistants, telephonists, typists and machine operators, but there was still a vast army of female domestic servants. There was little understanding of the home conditions of many of the domestic servants among those whom they served.

One child from a prosperous family, who had employed two maids before the Great War, later  admitted to the BBC that she had very little idea what poverty was. Her maids never complained of poverty. Neither did they complain of the hard physical work and sense of alienation that many of them endured in  service.

Alice Cairns, from Staffordshire, was placed as a maid in a big old rectory in the same county. It was still lit with oil lamps, not even by gas, and she had to clean the big range and get the fire going every morning before she could boil a kettle. After that she had to scrub the big kitchen, which had a floor like gravestones, scrub the tables and then take the cook a cup of tea before seven. …

It is doubtful whether British Society has ever been so beset with contradictions as it was on the eve of the First World War.  Old age pensions began to be paid by the state only at the beginning of 1909, and health and unemployment insurance at the beginning of 1913. However poverty was still alarmingly extensive in 1914, especially in the countryside. {The Fires of Perfect Liberty: Labouring Men and Women of England, 1851-1951: Part Three}

Who had enough food at that time and who had the children to have a lot of worries or to have no worries at all?

Today in the west the families are very small, two or max three children, or when it is a family with more than 5 children it is what they call a newly composed family.

Until now everything seemed to go alright, but since March 2020 lots of people have a totally opposite idea of the future. It is expected we shall get some population explosion by corona-kids. People having had enough time with their partner to enjoy themselves but also trying to forget the negative prospect of soon being without work and without pay.

For some it might look lie we are going to face some serious economic crisis after this health crisis. soon we might have again some more children, but with the temperatures rising, getting more dry and wet period endangering the food production, the matter or question:

Is theere going to be enough food?

is going to rise again. This in a time when the rich have become richer and the ordinary man poorer, and work prospects not so great.

1 Comment

Filed under Ecological affairs, Economical affairs, Health affairs, History, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

Coronavirus disinfectant use alarms scientists

Everywhere a lot of people want to use a lot of disinfectants, antibacterial products, Dettol, Alcohol, a.o..

Once people were confronted with the seriousness of the possible spread of the new 6th coronavirus they wanted to disinfect the surroundings. China, South Korea, France, Spain, and several other countries thought they best would be to spray copious amounts of disinfectant throughout densely populated urban areas. Fleets of trucks, drones, and even robots doused streets, parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor public spaces with virus-killing chemicals.

On television, we could see that in several countries government people even went into the houses spraying loads of chemicals.

China was the first country, in January 2020, to start sanitizing its cities — and as soon as it did, reports of poisoned animals started coming in. In February, an investigation by the Chongqing Forestry Bureau in Chongqing, a huge city in southwestern China, found that at least 135 animals across 17 species — including wild boars, Siberian weasels, and blackbirds — had died after exposure to disinfectants, according to Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Disinfectant ingredients, mostly sodium hypochlorite, chlorine, and bleach, are “acutely toxic to both terrestrial and aquatic animals,” says Dongming Li, professor of ecology at Hebei Normal University and co-author of the Environmental Research analysis, which was based solely on the Chongqing Forestry Bureau’s investigation. Li and his colleagues did not personally examine the dead animals to confirm what had killed them.

Even so, the animals’ deaths are concerning evidence, Li believes, that

“the overuse of disinfectants may contaminate the habitats of urban wildlife.” (Read more about how animals are moving into cities.)

Li’s team is now calling on world leaders to regulate the dispersal of disinfectants in urban areas, which they say is being done without input from the scientific community.

Furthermore, we also want to warn people antibacterial products are of no use against viruses, and an overdose of such products kills also the necessary and good bacteria we do need, whilst it makes the bad bacteria resistant. That will give a lot of problems in the treatment and prevention of bacterial infections.

Antibiotics have been used since ancient times, but the last few years there was such an increase that many bacteria managed to resist those articles. The World Health Organization has classified antimicrobial resistance as a widespread

“serious threat [that] is no longer a prediction for the future, it is happening right now in every region of the world and has the potential to affect anyone, of any age, in any country”. {Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance(PDF). The World Health Organization. April 2014. ISBN978-92-4-156474-8. Retrieved 13 June 2016.}

People should be fully aware that chemical disinfectants kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms by destroying their cell walls and damaging their proteins through oxidation. If inhaled or ingested by people or animals, these substances can irritate or corrode the mucous membranes of the respiratory and digestive tracts. In extreme cases, exposure can lead to death.

We also may not forget that using all those disinfectants, also by washing our hands with such products they all come into our water system. Christopher J. Schell, professor of urban ecology at the University of Washington, in Tacoma, ways:

“If you put toxicants into a system, they are going to travel through the food web,”

While sanitizing frequently touched surfaces can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, scientists now know that most people get the disease by breathing in droplets in the air from an infected person and not so much by coming into contact with a contaminated surface.

That’s why, in May, the World Health Organization advised against using disinfectants outdoors, both because streets and sidewalks

“are not considered as routes of infection for COVID-19”

and because spraying such chemicals

“can be noxious for people’s health and cause eye, respiratory or skin irritation or damage.”

The WHO didn’t mention the harm to wildlife as well, but many wildlife rangers and animal scientists warn people of the danger of those products contaminating the environment and endangering wildlife. Though with that knowledge there are still several countries which continue to spray disinfectants in public areas.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has caused public fear in many countries. Many health agencies around the world may spray more disinfectants to ensure the virus is fully killed and to alleviate their worries of viral infection,”

Li says.

Politicians who dare to take the right measures, demanding restrictions to where people go, are not risking their popularity and therefore ordered going on the streets with spraying trucks or spraying agents, or drones, and even robots dousing streets, parks, playgrounds, and other outdoor public spaces with virus-killing chemicals, is more visible for many, who then would think their government does it best. Though it would be much better and safer for the environment if people would be encouraged to stay home.

“Rather than indiscriminately spraying high volumes of disinfectants in biodiversity-rich areas such as urban parks, wetlands, and green spaces,”

Dongming Li says,

“it would be preferable to suspend human activities in such places.”

*

Please find also to read:

  1. Why antibodies may not be the key to beating coronavirus
  2. Why COVID-19 will end up harming the environment
  3. Antarctica is the last continent without COVID-19. Scientists want to keep it that way.
  4. How Wild Animals Are Hacking Life in the City

Leave a comment

Filed under Ecological affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Welfare matters, World affairs

What can each individual do to lessen the burden in times of pandemic

Ms. Sarah Ibershimi, a third year medical students, studying at ‘Universiteti i Mjekësisë Tiranë (UMT)’, in Albania. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting, for which she wrote an article about mental health in times of pandemic and what each individual can  do to lessen the burden.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has spread rapidly between and within countries and it has sickened more than 2.5 million people all over the world. Pandemics are not only health emergencies in which human life is threatened but they are also human dramas that cause psychological disturbances. Due to the emergency caused by the novel coronavirus, the governments put their countries on a lockdown, in order to break the chain of transmission. But, what are the consequences of social isolation on mental health and what can be done to mitigate these effects?

The coronavirus outbreak is clearly shaping our lives. Coping with unemployment, mobility restrictions, social distance and excessive fear in such a short time, is not easy at all. In terms of mental health, this emergency exceeds the capacity of the population to handle on the situation. Moreover, the psychological effects are more marked in vulnerable groups such as elderly people, children or even those who have a lack of resources and access to social and health services. Regarding this, there are a lot of effective initiatives that we can undertake to lessen the burden.

> Continue reading: Mental Health in times of pandemic: What can each individual do to lessen the burden?

++

Find also to read:

  1. Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past
  2. The unseen enemy
  3. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  4. From the Old Box: Coughs and sneezes spread diseases
  5. Remembering what happened in the previous influenza pandemic
  6. Staying at home saves lives
  7. A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
  8. Time to add value

1 Comment

Filed under Being and Feeling, Educational affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Mood Booster • Respirez!

Inspirez. Et expirez. En moyenne, on fait ça 12 fois par minute ou 17.000 fois par jour. Qui aurait cru qu’une activité qu’on répète autant de fois peut être compliquée. Le stress peut accélérer, sans qu’on le remarque, notre respiration. Vous vous sentez stressé ? Analysez votre respiration. Respirez calmement, votre corps s’apaisera et le stress diminuera.

Comment contrôler quelque chose qu’on fait en pilote automatique ?
La conscience est la première étape. Où se trouve votre respiration : dans la poitrine ou plus bas dans votre ventre ? Vous soulevez vos épaules en respirant ?

Comme un crocodile

Les nouveaux-nés sont donnent le meilleur exemple d’une bonne respiration. Les bébés respirent par l’abdomen. En raison de notre style de vie assis et du stress, beaucoup adoptent une respiration costale (thoracique). Retournons en enfance ! Il y a plusieurs manières d’apprendre à nouveau la respiration abdominale, dont la posture du crocodile :

  • Allongez-vous sur le ventre
  • Écartez vos jambes un peu plus large que vos épaules et détendez vos pieds. Le dessus de vos pieds touche le sol
  • Posez vos mains l’une sur l’autre
  • Mettez votre front sur vos mains
  • Inspirez et concentrez-vous sur votre ventre

Si vous respirez bien par le ventre, vous remarquerez que votre torse se lève un peu du sol.

1:2

Il n’est évidemment pas toujours possible de s’allonger par terre pour contrôler sa respiration. Si vous avez un peu de difficultés avec la respiration abdominale, vous pouvez aussi vous concentrer sur la vitesse de votre respiration. Un rapport 1:2 est idéal : inspirez et expirez deux fois plus longtemps.

Leave a comment

Filed under Français - French texts, Health affairs

A virus giving the world an opportunity to re-evaluate and change the way we live

For weeks now many people have found themselves bounded to just a few square metres of their living quarters.

In the lockdown many people found themselves obliged to find ways to keep themselves busy and not pulled down by isolation. In this world of exuberant consumerism and going out for relaxation and meeting people, we were bounded to the modern tools of the internet to have virtual contact with each other.

Everybody now got some weeks just for themselves, enabling each of us to reflect on their life, but also on the way our society goes on with her materialistic life.

It seems this virus is giving the world an opportunity to re-evaluate and change the way we live, work, produce, and distribute goods and services. Travel, work, food, and manufacturing may have to dramatically change.

By lockdown hearing nature to revive, hearing more the sound of singing birds and seeing more animals going around free in nature.

Let us think about new and better ways to continue our life in the future.

**

For thought

The key is how we respond to this new challenge. 


“All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting.
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way.
All over the world, people are waking up to a new reality.
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes, there is fear, but there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation, but there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic buying, but there does not have to be meanness.
Yes, there is sickness, but there does not have to be disease of the soul.
Yes, there is even death, but there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic.
The birds are singing again.
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul and sing.”

-from Richard Hendrick (Brother Richard) in Ireland, March 13th, 2020

 

1 Comment

Filed under Being and Feeling, Ecological affairs, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Nature, Positive thoughts, Quotations or Citations, Welfare matters