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EDITORIAL: Who or What caused COVID-19 and when are we gonna catch them?

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A general view shows some of 35 coffins of deceased people stored in a warehouse in Ponte San Pietro, near Bergamo, Lombardy, on March 26, 2020 prior to be transported in another region to be cremated, during the country's lockdown following the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)

#Caribbean – April 17, 2020 — Someone needs to answer for the Coronavirus which has infected over two million people around the globe, killed over 145,000 of those infected and collapsed dreams, industries and economies. 

In under four months, the contagion has wiped out decades of dedicated work to building a more interlinked and interlocked global community and deflated the expectation for a buoyant beginning to a new decade.

The 2020 we all imagined is forever tarnished, and while there is optimism that this season will pass, it is startling that country leaders – save for maybe one – lack vigor when it comes to finding the culprit.

Wuhan, China – file

At an agonizingly slow pace, truths are emerging including that China under reported deaths related to the novel coronavirus by 40 percent and other, more controversial charges allege that the disease is not at all derived from a bat bought and eaten in Wuhan through its blacklisted wet market, but more dastardly, that it was created in a laboratory in that capital city of China’s Hubei province.

It is a peculiar thing to many mourners, onlookers and victims that this crime against humanity, as it appears to be, has no obvious investigator trying to hunt down the perpetrator.

Usually, in events when people are hurt or killed, there is unrelenting, headlining, focus on catching a suspect; apprehending a possible killer.  Not only in an effort to ensure someone is held responsible for the injustice, but to ensure that the tragedy never, ever repeats itself.

Not so or less so in this case.

The world’s health police has reported no such investigation and the world’s leaders who pay them on behalf of the 7.5 billion people on the planet, including the 145,000 who have died and the 195 million projected to be thrust into unemployment are virtually ‘mum’ on the matter.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Except for the vociferous Donald Trump, President of the United States of America – who was scolded  for announcing that the US would halt funding to the United Nations’ health arm, aka the World Health Organization – there is no mainstream report of someone demanding better service by the WHO and prominently pursuing  who caused this mess.

As expected, since U.S. President Trump made his announcement, there are finally media reports probing and pressing for pertinent answers on who is responsible for the virus which has precipitated such a dismal level of causalities and a world recession of unprecedented proportions, as announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this week.

It is unacceptable that people who have scraped and scrounged, people who have dug deep and plowed hard to build their families and countries had to die alone; locked in a room, forced to make death declarations to four walls, or strangers all while gasping for air, when they ordinarily enjoyed a rich relationship with their loved ones.

It is unacceptable, that millions of people, who were poised to have their best year ever financially, have had to accept letters of termination or closed the doors of businesses they have built from scratch. 

It is unacceptable that we can no longer shake each other’s hands or give a greeting by kiss or hug; that we are now afraid to speak face to face due to fear that a sliver of saliva may reach our mouths or eyes and infect us with this respiratory attacker.

It is unacceptable that people who have labored in the valued medical profession are being sickened, are terrified of going to their own homes, being with their own families and some of them catching COVID-19 and dying from it.

It is unacceptable that we cannot visit our aged -parents and grand-parents because they have superannuated and are most susceptible to death from this disease.  Generations unfairly unhinged by this public health crisis.

Caribbean Country Leaders in CARICOM meeting this week. Photo from The Bahamas Office of the Prime Minister

And it is unacceptable that our governments, who in most of our small island countries were already struggling to make ends meet for the people dependent upon them, are now scampering to find solutions. We have watched these administrators labour for ways to ease the pain, fill the voids and pledge what they cannot afford, which means our indebted countries are plunged further into debt. 

Deandrea Hamilton
Magnetic Media CEO

If my commentary sounds angry about what Coronavirus has done to the world; you are not mistaken.  I am angry and I am brokenhearted every time I consider the pain and suffering this is causing to my fellow human beings.

We all hear the rumors and reports, so conveniently labelled ‘fake news’ about the possible motivation for this allegedly man-made contagion.  Greed and Pride and Folly; among the most shallow characteristics have probably birthed this beast.

I am a believer in Jesus Christ and Almighty God and so I know there is purpose and there is embedded within humankind an indomitable spirit which will cause us to prevail and to emerge enriched by this experience. 

Still, my faith in this truth does not extinguish the fire for answers and explanations on behalf of mankind.

The culprit or culprits cannot and must not go undetected or unpunished and 2020 must be the year when global organisations which pledge to uphold marvelous mandates on behalf of humanity, will recommit to doing their jobs or else face being terminated by the people of this planet.

It is time to find the cause of this killer of our loved ones, our livelihoods, our ways of life and our economies; it is time to for the narrative to shift from coping with COVID-19 to catching whomever is culpable.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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USA BECOMING THE HOME OF THE COWARDS; WIPING OUT UNARMED AND UNSUSPECTING CIVILIANS IN HEARTBREAKING SHOOTINGS

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By Deandrea HamiltonMagnetic Media
#USA, May 24, 2022 – Do you see this stuff playing out in TEXAS in the US?  Another mass shooting, 14 children, one teacher even the grandmother of the gunman, gone at the hands of the 18 y.o. shooter.Just last night, an NBC news report revealed a concerning violent crime increase in the US; the vicious trend starting in 2021.Under the guise and protection of the right to bear arms – a so called constitutional right – there is increasing manipulation to exact the most painful wrongs, by willful, evil selection.  What kind of minds are roaming free in these States that demand of us (and rightly so) such high standards when catering to their people with safety when they journey abroad.It was right for Ambassador Wendell Jones, Bahamian diplomat to the US based in Washington DC to issue a warning. Telling his compatriots to watch themselves and know their surroundings no matter where they travel ‘Stateside’.  It’s precarious times in the United States, he warned.Last week the headlines reeked of the sickening targeting of black people in a Buffalo community when a different 18 y.o. went manic there, killing 10 shoppers in a grocery store.  It was labeled “racist” and “domestic terrorism” by Joe Biden, US President.
Not sure what hate label you slap on this new, gut-wrenching situation but it continues to demonstrate, greater is the value on the right to bear arms, than the right to life!America, you’re not looking great, brave or free.What does it take for changes to come?

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Health

Ministry of Health Provides an Update on Monkeypox

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#TurksandCaicos, May 23, 2022 – The Ministry of Health and Human Services has been carefully monitoring reports of monkeypox which have been increasing and are being reported in multiple countries across Europe (Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Sweden), the US, Canada and Australia.  12 countries which are not endemic for monkeypox, so far have reported at least 92 confirmed cases with 28 pending investigations.  More cases are likely to be reported as surveillance expands.

Although no cases have been reported in the Caribbean, it is important that persons are aware of the situation as it continues to evolve.

Monkeypox is a viral illness and is found in a number of countries in Central and West Africa.  The more recent news of spread to countries without known endemic disease is unusual.  Cases may occur in persons who have travelled from Nigeria or who have been in contact with persons with the confirmed illness.  Cases which have been reported since May 14 2022, have largely had no history of travel.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has announced that the total number of monkeypox cases confirmed in England since 6 May is 20.  The UKHSA initially identified one case of monkeypox on 7th May 2022 in an individual with a history of recent travel to Nigeria.  Subsequently, additional infections have been identified, some of which have been linked and others which have been unrelated.  This spread as well as the occurrence of cases in Europe and other countries has suggested the possibility of community spread.   Active investigations are ongoing in countries which have identified cases including contact tracing, testing isolation etc. in order to prevent further spread.

The World Health Organization (WHO), held an emergency meeting on Friday 20th May 2022 to discuss the monkeypox outbreak.  WHO is working with affected countries in order to expand disease surveillance to find and support people who may be affected, and to provide guidance on how to manage the disease.

It is expected that more cases will be identified through surveillance with the possibility of additional countries being affected.

TCI residents returning from, or going to, countries where cases have been identified, are urged to be aware of the signs of infection and to seek medical help if they think they may be at risk.

 How the virus spreads

Monkeypox does not spread easily between people.  The virus spreads through close contact with an infected animal (rodents are believed to be the primary animal reservoir for transmission to humans), humans, or materials contaminated with the virus.  Human-to-human transmission occurs through large respiratory droplets and by direct contact with body fluids or lesion material.  Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged face-to-face contact is required.

The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

Person-to-person spread is uncommon, but may occur through:

  • contact with clothing or linens (such as bedding or towels) used by an infected person
  • direct contact with monkeypox skin lesions or scabs
  • coughing or sneezing of an individual with a monkeypox rash

Animal-to-human transmission may occur through a bite or scratch, preparation of wild game (in areas where the virus is present in animals such as Central and West Africa), and direct or indirect contact with body fluids or lesion material.

Individuals, particularly those who are gay, bisexual or MSM, are urged to be alert to any unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, and to contact a health services if they have concerns.

Monkeypox has not previously been described as a sexually transmitted infection, though it can be passed on by direct contact during sex. It can also be passed on through other close contact with a person who has monkeypox or contact with clothing or linens used by a person who has monkeypox.

 Symptoms

The incubation period is the duration/time between contact with the infected person and the time that the first symptoms appear. The incubation period for monkeypox is between 5 and 21 days.

Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

Within 1 to 2 days a rash can develop, often beginning on the face, then spreading to other parts of the body including the genitals.

The rash changes and goes through different stages – it can look like chickenpox or syphilis, before finally forming a scab which later falls off.

The illness tends to be mild and self-limiting within 2-4 weeks, however it can in some cases be severe particularly in persons with weakened immune systems and children. In some cases, affected persons may die.

 Treatment

Treatment for monkeypox is mainly supportive. The illness is usually mild and most of those infected will recover within a few weeks without treatment.

There is no specific vaccine for monkeypox, however, vaccines used against smallpox can be used for both pre and post exposure and is up to 85% effective in preventing monkeypox. People vaccinated against smallpox in childhood may experience a milder disease.

Anyone with unusual rashes or lesions on any part of their body, especially their genitalia, is advised to visit their health care provider, particularly anyone who; 1) traveled to countries where monkeypox cases have been reported 2) reports contact with a person who has a similar rash or received a diagnosis of confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or 3) is a man who has had close or intimate in-person contact with other men in the past month.

As the virus does not usually spread easily between people and the risk to the general public is expected to be low, however the public is advised to monitor the situation as it develops and obtain information from credible sources. The MOH should be notified of any suspected cases.

The Ministry of Health will continue to monitor developments and provide updates accordingly.

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Health

[Excerpt] from an Mental Health & Well Being Open Consultation; United Kingdom

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May 19, 2022 – “Approximately 1 in 6 people aged 16 and over in England were identified as having a common mental health condition in 2014, according to survey data.  In 2020 to 2021, there were around half a million people with more severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. We have seen worrying trends for children and young people, with rates of probable mental health disorders in 6 to 16-year-olds rising from 11.6% in 2017 to 17.4% in 2021. More people than ever are receiving support for a mental health crisis and, tragically, the numbers of those ending their life through suicide have broadly increased over the past decade. We know that two-thirds of people who end their life by suicide are not in contact with NHS mental health services.

For many of us, the experience of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – and its wide-ranging impacts on individuals, families, society and the economy – have brought these issues into sharper focus. Around 1 in 5 adults in Britain experienced some form of depression in the first 3 months of 2021, over double pre-pandemic figures.

These problems aren’t felt equally by all of us. We know there is an uneven distribution of mental ill-health across society. People facing social and economic disadvantage are at a much higher risk of developing mental health conditions. They are also more likely to receive care and support much later as their conditions escalate to crisis point. In 2020 to 2021, people living in the most deprived areas of England were twice as likely to be in contact with mental health services than those living in the least deprived areas.

There are also disparities by ethnicity, age, sexuality, and sex, and for people with learning disabilities, neurodiversity, and long-term physical health conditions. Risks of mental ill-health are also higher for people who are unemployed, people in problem debt, people who have experienced displacement, including refugees and asylum seekers, people who have experienced trauma as the result of violence or abuse, children in care and care leavers, people in contact with the criminal justice system (both victims and offenders), people who sleep rough or are homeless, people with substance misuse or gambling problems, people who live alone, and unpaid carers. People may belong to several disadvantaged groups at once, which is likely to compound the risk of experiencing mental ill-health. Addressing these disparities is critical to deliver the government’s ambition to level up the country and tackle disparities in health. We will set out more detail on our plans to reduce the gap in health outcomes between different places and communities across the country in our forthcoming health disparities white paper. See Annex A below on mental health disparities for more detail, which can be used as a point of reference when responding to our questions.

The impacts of mental ill-health on individuals, communities, society and the economy are substantial. Children and young people’s mental health conditions incur annual short-term costs estimated at £1.58 billion and annual long-term costs estimated at £2.35 billion.

Around 50% of mental health conditions are established by the time a child reaches the age of 14, and 75% by age 24.

Adults with mental health conditions are much more likely to be out of work, to have lower incomes, increased problems with their physical health, and increased involvement in the criminal justice system, both as victims and perpetrators.

The total annual cost of mental ill-health in the workplace to government has been estimated at between £24 billion and £27 billion. The overall annual loss to the economy has been estimated at between £70 billion and £100 billion. Losses are greater in places and among groups that experience mental health disparities.

Health is essential to a stable and functioning economy.

Our strong economic foundation going into the pandemic and the support provided throughout means we have made good economic progress.

However, we must continue to build back better as we begin to rebuild the economy. By improving mental health across the country, we can improve lives and livelihoods whilst reducing the demand on the NHS and pressure on other public services, and at the same time supporting economic growth.

A healthier and happier population is also more likely to access employment opportunities, which will reduce inactivity and improve productivity.

Reducing disparities in mental health between local areas is therefore critical to ensuring more equal access to opportunities and supporting the government’s Levelling Up agenda.”

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