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Man Scales Hospital Wall to Be With His Mother During Her Last Dying Breaths From COVID-19

A man in Palestine who has been scaling the wall of a hospital every night to spend time with his mother during her last dying breaths.

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(TMU) – A man in Palestine who has been scaling the wall of a hospital every night to spend time with his mother during her last dying breaths due to a COVID-19 infection has been widely shared across worldwide social media, striking a chord among internet users and prompting messages of condolences.

For most healthy human beings around the world, there can never be a love more profound than that between a mother and her son.

And with COVID-19 continuing to rage across the world, many are reconsidering what’s important to them while appreciating their families more and more as they realize that mortality has become tragically more likely during the pandemic than at any other time in our lives.

For Jihad Al-Suwaiti of Beit Awwa in the southern West Bank region of Hebron, tragedy struck when his 73-year-old mother Rasmi Suwaiti contracted the coronavirus.

Pour accompagner sa mère atteinte du COVID-19, Jihad Al-Suwaiti grimpait le mur de l’hôpital de Hébron en Cisjordanie…

Posted by AJ+ français on Sunday, July 19, 2020

Rasmi had already been struggling with leukemia when she tested positive for COVID-19, which has been raging across the Palestinian region amid the impoverishment and poor health conditions caused by the Israeli occupation.

For several days, Al-Suwaiti was separated from his mother who was isolated in a hospital room as she underwent treatment for the deadly disease.

Realizing that he may not have another chance to say goodbye to his mother, the 30-year-old man began to scale the wall of the hospital and sit just outside the glass window of the ICU room where his mother stayed to ensure that she didn’t spend her final moments all alone. She tragically succumbed to her illness and passed away on July 16.

“The son of a Palestinian woman who was infected with COVID-19 climbed up to her hospital room to sit and see his mother every night until she passed away,” he wrote.

The touching photo of the man went viral after it was shared on Twitter by United Nations representative Mohamed Safa. The photo was also shared alongside an illustration depicting the same scene, only with an angel who appears to be his mother caressing her son’s head.

“I sat helplessly in the window of the intensive care room watching her last moments,” Al-Suwaiti told Arabic Post.

“She was always afraid and we warned her, but unfortunately she was infected with the virus,” he tearfully continued. “She began showing symptoms of a slight flu … but the symptoms began to gradually intensify, so I brought her to the hospital.”

Continuing, he explained that after about five days in the hospital – where his brother also worked as a nurse in the COVID-19 department – he decided to accompany his mother by scaling the hospital’s walls and sitting “outside the outer glass until she breathed her last breath.”

“I felt the utmost inability to do anything to save her, then she died and left me,” he added.

يا وجع القلب..صورة الشب وهو قاعد ع الشباك من برا، انتشرت بقوة مبارح. وبعد ما سألنا عن سرها، حكولنا انه بالمستشفى براقب…

Posted by ‎الصحفي سامر خويرة‎ on Thursday, July 16, 2020

For Al-Suwaiti, the coronavirus didn’t seem so serious until his mother contracted it and eventually died from it. Like too many Palestinians – and people in general – he largely shrugged the pandemic off until it hit home.

However, now he is saying that any Palestinians who deny the existence of the pandemic should visit the COVID-19 department of the Hebron Hospital to see the huge and growing number of patients who are in a horrific state, if only to understand the deadly threat that their own mothers, fathers, and grandparents face.

Jihad Al-Suwaiti’s story has now gone viral across the world and has been reported in dozens of languages, sparking expressions of sympathy and even emotional cartoons about his devotion to his mother. The tragic tale not only inspires hope, but also is a stark warning about the lethality of the deadly pandemic, which remains far from under control.

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Health

Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People

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The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.

Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.

Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.

Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.

Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.

“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”

However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.

In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”

“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”

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Environment

Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say

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With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.

According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.

The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.

The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.

While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.

Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.

“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.

“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.

Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced

However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.

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Health

Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact

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Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.

And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.

Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.

Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.

Death Toll, by Percent of Population

In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.

Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.

The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.

Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.

History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning

While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.

In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.

What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?

Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics

Republished from ZH with permission.

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