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Grim Reality in US Emerges: Quarantines, Emergencies, Lockdowns, Deaths

A total of 17 U.S. states have now declared states of emergency or made disaster declarations.

Emma Fiala

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Grim Reality COVID-19

(TMU) — According to the map of global CoViD-19 cases provided by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU), the total number of confirmed cases in the United States is 808 while the total cases worldwide has climbed to 118,101. The map indicates that there are 4,262 deaths worldwide with 29 occurring in the U.S.

The map uses data from WHOCDCECDCNHC, DXY, and local media reports. The map is only as accurate as the data coming from these organizations and local media. It is important to remember that only those patients who are tested can be confirmed and thus accounted for in the data.

At least 17 U.S. states have now declared states of emergency or made disaster declarations including New Jersey, Oregon, California, New York, Washington, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Indiana.

The CDC is warning that people over 60 in addition to those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease, take precautions including reducing travel and stocking up on food and medications.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has finally said that the coronavirus is starting to look like a “real pandemic.” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that WHO is “encouraged” by Italy’s quarantine.

Please continue to check TMU for important updates and follow along with the very latest news on Telegram.

Lack of Testing in US Still a Major Concern

The state of Colorado has thus far tested 184 people for CoViD-29, with 12 cases identified.

Despite recent announcements from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during a Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House on Monday in which he said “testing is now available in all state labs in every state in the country” and that more than “a million tests have been distributed,” the Kirkland Life Care Center just outside of Seattle remains unable to test its workers.

The nursing home said on Monday that it had no kits to test its employees that are showing symptoms, more than a third of the nursing home’s 180 employees.

Spokesman Tim Killian said, “We would like more kits to test employees.” Adding, “We’ve been asking the various government agencies that have been supplying us with test kits.”

A first responder has told CNN that none of the Life Care Center’s 200 employees have been tested despite 65 of them showing symptoms and that test kits from first responders have been held up so long at a overwhelmed lab that they have now expired.

During the briefing at the White House, Pence revealed that he has not yet been tested for CoViD-19 despite recently attending a conference with a person who has had a positive test. Pence also indicated he did not know whether or not U.S. President Donald Trump had been tested.

Global COVID-19 Cases to Multiply by 10 Every 19 Days

According to a study out of China, global CoViD-19 cases “will increase tenfold every 19 days if no drastic measures are taken to contain its spread.” The researchers said, “The situation is dangerous … we call on the world to take strong actions on public health, using experiences learned from China and Singapore.”

Another Chinese study has found that the novel coronavirus can travel twice as far as the “safe distance” previously advised by world health authorities. According to the study, the virus can travel nearly 15 feet and can linger in the air for 30 minutes. They also found that the virus can last for days on surfaces where respirator droplets have landed. According to the study, it can last for two to three days on surfaces like glass, metal, plastic, paper, and fabric at around 98ºF.

However, the South China Morning Post now notes that the study was retracted by the journal Practical Preventative Medicine without explanation in what is a perfect example of the confusing, conflicting, and constantly changing news and research surrounding both the novel coronavirus and CoViD-19.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Monday during a news conference, “China describes this as being highly contagious, and there essentially is no immunity against this virus in the population because it’s a new virus,” indicating that the virus does indeed warrant a two-week quarantine.

Messonnier also said, “It’s fair to say that as the trajectory of the outbreak continues, many people in the United States either this year or next year will be exposed to this. And there is a good chance many will become sick.”

But even a 14-day quarantine may not suffice in some cases. According to the Baltimore Sun, There will be people who develop symptoms and remain contagious after being released from the 14-day quarantine.” And that number may be around 101 people for every 10,000 cases.

Dr. Dean Sidelinger, a public health officer with the Oregon Health Authority said at a press conference on Monday:

We do think that even though we are reporting 14 cases, that this disease is much more widespread in our community. Many of these cases were identified as potential community transmission—meaning that we can’t trace it back to an individual or to a situation where they were put at risk.”

Authorities in Oregon expect the number of cases to increase as testing becomes more widely available. 

Canada has reported the country’s first death has their total infected rises to 79.

COVID-19 Spreads Rapidly in Contained Environments

It has become apparent that the coronavirus spreads easily and rapidly in contained environments, from conferences to nursing homes to cruise ships.

As of Monday, eight cases of CoViD-19 have been confirmed in the state of Iowa. Seven of the eight cases are located in Johnson County and are all seven of those individuals traveled on the same cruise in Egypt, known as both the NS River Anuket or Asara, according to authorities. A disaster proclamation has been declared in the state, as the results of 11 tests remain pending. 67 people are being monitored by health officials.

A Taiwanese-American tourist who was a passenger on the cruise was the first to be confirmed positive after returning to Taiwan.

It was reported on March 5 that the Grand Princess cruise ship had 3,533 people on board including 2,422 passengers and 1,111 crew members. On March 6, Vice President Pence reported that 46 tests were run which revealed 19 crew members and 2 passengers to be positive. On March 7, a critically ill passenger and a passenger traveling with that person were airlifted off the ship.

The Grand Princess docked in Oakland, California on Monday after being held off the coast of California for days. Filmmaker and area resident Robbie Martin visited the docking as news helicopters filmed the scene from above. 

Additional passengers are disembarking today, Tuesday, March 10.

Martin got as close to ship as possible and was surprised to find no visible U.S. government officials or significant activity outside of what was happening immediately next to the ship. No Oakland City Council members or representatives were present and there appeared to be no plans for a press conference or briefing from government officials dealing with the disembarking of passengers. Martin indicated that the area was surprisingly unsecure.

A third Princess cruise ship is now being kept at sea, according to the Independent. The Caribbean Princess was schedule to dock on Monday in Grand Cayman but passengers and crew will first be required to undergo testing before disembarking. Two crew members on the Caribbean Princess transferred from the Grand Princess, sparking concern that the novel coronavirus may now be spreading throughout the ship.

The number of positive cases of CoViD-19 associated with the Biogen conference that was held in Boston in February continues to increase. More than two dozen people from around the country who attended the conference have now tested positive.

Grim Reality in US: From Preparations to Spread

Martin Makary, a renowned Johns Hopkins surgeon, researcher and policy expert, told CNBC on Tuesday, “What happened in Wuhan could happen here. Why do we think otherwise?” Makary pointed out that the immune system of the average American is “not stronger than the Chinese immune system.”

Two years ago, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the shutdown of the White House National Security Council’s global health security unit. The president has struggled to justify this decision amidst the coronavirus pandemic. 

And in 2018, Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense at the National Security Council starting in April 2017, was responsible for leading pandemic preparedness and response efforts but abruptly left the position. Following his departure, the team he oversaw was disbanded by then national security adviser John Bolton, as TMU previously reported.

Regardless of what actions have been taken since the emergence of the novel coronavirus, it is becoming quite clear the the United States was already ill-prepared for dealing with anything of this nature.

According to the Independent, U.S. health officials are suggesting that hospitals in the U.S. need to at least double their available beds in order to deal with the expected surge of patients who will need in patient care. Health officials report that there are fewer than 100,000 intensive care beds available in the U.S. while the American Hospital Associate puts that number at 45,000. 

It is estimated that upwards of 865,000 people will require hospitalization if the outbreak proves to be moderate while 9.9 million will require hospitalization in the event it is severe.

UC San Francisco Medical Center is preparing by setting up two outdoor tents to care for patients with respiratory symptoms, according to the SF Gate.

The tents will be used for triage to make sure that people who come in with respiratory illnesses of any kind don’t spread them to others in our emergency department.”

New Jersey’s first coronavirus case is speaking out about his experience that he says “happened so quick.” The 32-year-old has been hospitalized since Tuesday after first going to urgent care. James Cai says he has experienced “Dirarrhea, watery eyes, shortness of breath, chest pain, you name it. High fever,” he said. “Every day is getting worse.”

Cai’s doctor believes he contracted the virus while attending a medical conference in New York City’s Times Square.

The nursing home at the center of Washington state’s outbreak is reporting grim news of the virus’ effect on some patients who have died.

Tim Killian, the Life Care Center’s press liaison claims, “some residents go from no symptoms to death in just a matter of a few hours.” 

It was surprising and shocking to us that we have seen that level of escalation from symptoms to death.” 

In an attempt to find a vaccine, UK researchers are looking for volunteers willing to be infected with the virus. They will be offered £3,500 for their trouble.

Quarantines, Lockdowns, Emergencies Declared Everywhere

The entire country of Italy is now under lockdown as the country struggles to contain the outbreak. There are now more than 10,000 confirmed cases and 631 deaths.

As a result, the movement of more than 60 million people has been restricted. The decree bans all public events, closes cinemas, theaters, gyms, clubs, bars, funerals, weddings, and all sporting events, including Series A matches. All schools and universities will remain closed until April 3.

Tuesday morning Mongolia announced the barring of anyone from entering of leaving its cities for six days after also announcing the country’s very first case. Mongolia had already sealed its border with China and banned flights from South Korea. Despite those efforts, an employee of a French energy company who flew in from Moscow was confirmed to be infected.  

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested a citywide quarantine akin to what happened in northern Italy may be appropriate for the city.

It’s a possibility but I think people are getting a little ahead of ourselves and we should be careful,” he said Monday on CNN.

In a Monday press conference the governor of New York said that the state will begin making 100,000 gallons of hand sanitizer a week that will be given to schools, prisons, government agencies, and the MTA. Prisoners will make the hand sanitizer.

The New York National Guard was deployed on Tuesday to a health department command post in New Rochelle.

The governor of Washington said on Tuesday that the entire state of more than 7.5 million people may need to be quarantined due to the outbreak. Governor Jay Inslee said that cases may increase to 64,000 in less than two months if action isn’t taken. The quarantine would include mandatory restrictions on travel, according to KOMO. The state would expand unemployment benefits to assist those unable to work.

Israel is requiring that anyone arriving in the country self-quarantine for 14 days. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a tweet, “All those coming to Israel from abroad will be placed in isolation for 14 days.” Interior Minister Aryeh Deri reports that the measure is effective immediately.

Moscow is now on “high alert” and is threatening 5 years of jail time for people who fail to self-isolate for two weeks after visiting countries experiencing outbreaks including China, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

Officials in the U.S. state of Georgia have designated a state park as a potential location for isolating and monitoring people who have been exposed to coronavirus. And the largest county in Georgia has cancelled school after an employee tested positive. 

What to Expect During a Global Pandemic

Images and viral videos of empty planes are popping up across social media as the novel coronavirus continues to impact the travel industry.

An epidemiologist in Washington is warning, “It is likely that people you know will die from CoViD-19.”

The U.S. Military has cancelled military exercises and is quarantining ships as the virus spreads. The Pentagon has reportedly been planning how to continue operations in the event CoViD-19 spreads amongst its employees.

U.S. officials are reportedly worried about the drug supply chain as China continues to suffer the effects of the pandemic. “Basically we’ve outsourced our entire industry to China,” retired Brig. Gen. John Adams told NBC.

Author Rosemary Gibson, who wrote a book on this very subject, explained, “If China shut the door on exports of medicines and their key ingredients and raw material, U.S. hospitals and military hospitals and clinics would cease to function within months, if not days.”

New York, San Francisco, and Seattle are all showing lower weekend traffic than average in the midst of the global pandemic.

Pearl Jam has cancelled their upcoming scheduled tour due to the CoViD-19 outbreak in Seattle.

The band said, Having no examples of our national health department’s ability to get ahead of this, we have no reason to believe that it will be under control in the coming weeks ahead.”

Princeton has told students to stay home after spring break as classes go virtual and Harvard has told students to move out of their dorms by Sunday at 5 pm.

The campaigns of Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden said on Monday that they were consulting with health experts about the risk posed by the virus. In response to the question of holding rallies in the midst of a pandemic, Sanders said, “We do not hold a rally without first conferring with local public health officials,” and Biden said, “I’m looking to the CDC for advice on that.” Trump reportedly has no plans to cancel rallies.

On Tuesday, the Sanders campaign cancelled and upcoming rally in Cleveland, Ohio, saying they would evaluate all future events on a case by case basis.

The Irish government has cancelled Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

The death toll in Iran surges as reports indicate medical staff is unable to get the equipment needed. A nurse told the Independent, “we do not have the most basic personal and disinfectant protection.” Iran is currently under sanctions from the U.S. government.

And in a positive development, South Korea’s infection rate is falling despite not implementing massive lockdowns. The fall is being attributed to widespread and easily accessible testing and the use of advanced technology.

At the same time China is offering to send Italy lung ventilators, face masks, protective suits, and test kits to assist in their fight against the novel coronavirus.

Our previous updates:
COVID-19 Update: March 4th

COVID-19 Update: March 5th

COVID-19 Update: March 6th

COVID-19 Update: March 9th

Please continue to check TMU for important updates and follow along with the very latest news on Telegram.

By Emma Fiala | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Health

Humans May Have Found a Way To Not Only Stop Aging – But To Reverse It as Well

Elias Marat

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Humans have long to reverse the effects of aging and prolong their lives. Whether this was due to a love of power, a love of wealth or simple human anxiety about the loss of youth, tales about immortality can be found in the folk tales of countless cultures.

And while aging is a wholly natural process, humans have always struggled to fight against it – be it through science and medicine or through the search for supposed cures such as the mythical Fountain of Youth.

And now, Israeli scientists have claimed to have figured out a solution not only to the process of biological aging – but to reverse it as well, simply by administering pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber.

In a study published Nov. 18 in the peer-reviewed journal Aging, the scientists claim to have showed how aging could be reversed in two key biological clocks in humans related to aging and illness by administering high-pressure oxygen in a pressurized chamber.

When humans grow olders and their cells divide, the sequences of DNA at the end of chromosomes – known as telomeres – grow shorter with time. After the telomeres become too short, the cell is unable to replicate and eventually dies.

While telomere shortening can keep rogue cancerous cells from multiplying rapidly, this also results in genetic aging. As a result, geriatric cells that aren’t able to divide –  also known as senescent cells – accumulate throughout our lives, and are one of the key causes of aging.

In the clinical study, 35 people aged 64 or older were given hyperbaric oxygen treatments (HBOT) for 90 minutes a day, five times a week over the course of three months. Blood samples were collected from subjects prior to the treatment, after after the first and second months of the trial, and two weeks after the trial ended.

The patients didn’t have any lifestyle, diet, or medication changes during the study. However, their blood revealed major increases in the telomere length of their cells and a decrease in the number of their senescent cells.

For the researchers, the results of the study offered proof that the process of aging is reversible.

“Researchers around the world are trying to develop pharmacological and environmental interventions that enable telomere elongation,” Prof. Shai Efrati of Tel Aviv University told the Jerusalem Post. “Our HBOT protocol was able to achieve this, proving that the aging process can in fact be reversed at the basic cellular-molecular level.”

The groundbreak study, he added, “gives hope and opens the door for a lot of young scientists to target aging as a reversible disease.”

The oxygen treatment also improved subjects’ attention, ability to process information, as well as subjects’ executive functions, the researchers said.

While attempts to halt aging through modifying one’s lifestyle or intensively exercising can provide “some inhibiting effect on telomere shortening”, the hyperbaric oxygen treatment is more effective, said Efrati’s partner at the Shamir Medical Center, Chief Medical Research Officer Amir Hadanny.

“In our study, only three months of HBOT were able to elongate telomeres at rates far beyond any currently available interventions or lifestyle modifications,” Hadanny said.

The study could open the door to a radical new approach to medical problems and medicine in general.

“Today telomere shortening is considered the ‘Holy Grail’ of the biology of aging,” Prof. Shai Efrati of Tel Aviv University told the Jerusalem Post. “We are not [just] slowing the decline – we are going backwards in time.”

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‘We Are Going To Have Famines of Biblical Proportions in 2021,’ UN Food Agency Warns

Elias Marat

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The head of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has delivered a stark message to the world: huge populations across the globe are facing severe “famines of biblical proportions” in the near future due to the coronavirus pandemic.

WFP head David Beasley has warned for the past several months that due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and accompanying lockdowns, nations in the developing world are faced with devastating famine and mass starvation unless action is finally taken.

However, with countries in the developed Global North facing their own budget crises and sharp economic downturns due to the ongoing health emergency, funding for the WFP that was previously available to help alleviate hunger and avert global famine won’t be available in 2021.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Beasley noted that his agency’s staffers regularly risk their lives feeding millions of hungry people in refugee camps, conflict zones, and the sites of natural disasters, but the current global crisis makes it important for him  to send “a message to the world that it’s getting worse out there … (and) that our hardest work is yet to come.”

In April, Beasley delivered a similarly urgent message to the U.N. Security Council, where he remarked that despite the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic, the world also stood  “on the brink of a hunger pandemic” that could see “multiple famines of biblical proportions” within months if critical action wasn’t taken.

And with the Nobel Peace Prize for 2020 being awarded to the World Food Program last month for its vital work providing alleviating mass hunger and boosting food security in conflict zones, Beasley has been struggling to use the win to break through the news cycle and remind people of “the travesty that we’re facing around the world.”

“We were able to avert [famine] in 2020,” Beasley said, adding that the WFP needs further funding or “we are going to have famines of biblical proportions in 2021.” 

The agency is currently hoping that it can get an additional $15 billion for the next year to deal with the growing scope of the crisis.

“If I could get that coupled with our normal money, then we avert famine around the world,” he said. 

World leaders must be prepared for the looming disaster as well as the critical role the WFP plays. As the organization says: “Until the day we have a medical vaccine, food is the best vaccine against chaos.”

In April, Beasley warned that about 135 million people faced “crisis levels of hunger or worse” in 2020 and that the number could rise by 130 million may be pushed to the brink of starvation by next year. However, on Wednesday he told AP that the number of people facing severe, crisis-level hunger had already risen to 270 million.

He added that three dozen countries could experience critical levels of hunger or famine if the WFP isn’t given the funding it requires.

According to a joint analysis by WFP and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, these countries include Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Lebanon, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Somali, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and Yemen.

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Researchers: Microbots Will Soon Enter Human Colons to Deliver Medical Payloads

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Calling it “rough terrain,” a team of researchers at Purdue University is exploring the insides of a living colon like never before, using microscopic robots the width of a few follicles of hair. Perhaps most incredibly, the anal bots require no batteries and are powered via an external electromagnetic field.

Scientists have long believed the use of microbots (and perhaps someday even nanotechnology) inside the human body could bring about a revolution in medical diagnostic abilities and drug delivery. Mechanical engineers at Purdue believe they have passed a critical first test in this journey by creating tiny robots that are controlled remotely and can efficiently deliver a payload without inflaming any tissue reactions in the notoriously sensitive colonic region.

Biomeedical engineer Luis Solorio described one of the challenges the team faced:

“Moving a robot around the colon is like using the people-walker at an airport to get to a terminal faster. Not only is the floor moving, but also the people around you. In the colon, you have all these fluids and materials that are following along the path, but the robot is moving in the opposite direction. It’s just not an easy voyage.”

Mechanical engineer David Cappelleri, also from Purdue, says the tiny robot is controlled magnetically while being monitored through ultrasound imaging.

“When we apply a rotating external magnetic field to these robots, they rotate just like a car tire would to go over rough terrain. The magnetic field also safely penetrates different types of mediums, which is important for using these robots in the human body.”

So far, the team has experimented only on live anesthetized mice and pig colons. Scaling up could be a challenge, says associate professor Craig Goergen, who points out that while the colon is a good entry point for this type of microscopic robotic research, the terrain can present some tough sledding.

“Moving up to large animals or humans may require dozens of robots, but that also means you can target multiple sites with multiple drug payloads.”

As outlined in the team’s paper, which was published in Micromachines, tests on payload delivery involved the microbots being marked with fluorescein dye in a saline vial; they imitated drug delivery mechanisms by steadily dispatching the dye over a period of time. These tests were conducted outside of the mice and pig colons.

The researchers say the tiny robots are expelled from the body via regular waste elimination. While the research is promising, scientists say coordinating multiple microbots for use inside a human body is still years off. However, the implications for such a procedure are huge.

“From a diagnostic perspective, these microrobots might prevent the need for minimally invasive colonoscopies by helping to collect tissue,” adds Goergen. “Or they could deliver payloads without having to do the prep work that’s needed for traditional colonoscopies.”

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