By Dana Malcolm
#USA, December 31, 2021 – The US has broken its record for most daily coronavirus cases with a massive 267,000 cases recorded on Tuesday. The information was courtesy of data prepared by the New York Times about infection rates.
The Omicron variant now accounts for more than half of the cases in the country.
Information the Times released said, “The country is averaging more than 260,000 new cases a day, surpassing the peak levels from last winter. Infection rates are especially high in parts of the Northeast and Midwest. Though breakthrough infections are common with Omicron, scientists say vaccinated people, especially those who have received booster shots, have protection against severe cases and death.”
Despite the steep increase there is a silver lining. The same data that shows the increase also shows that hospitalizations and deaths remain at a steady rate and that rate is much lower than variants like Delta.
Amidst the drastic increase the Centers for Disease Control has slashed its recommendations for quarantine days in half, after which a COVID patient may leave quarantine without testing. There has been much controversy surrounding the issue with accusations of capitalism being slung toward the entity.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended the decision saying, “What we do know is about 85 percent to 90 percent of viral transmission happens in those first five days, which is why we really want people to stay home during that period of time.”
She said masks should be worn for five days after quarantine to prevent the final 10 per cent to 15 per cent of possible transmission.
Walensky did not explain the efficiency of a 10 quarantine vs the new five day quarantine or say if this was expected to lead to an uptick in cases.
Major Shortage; White House says hunt is on for Baby Food
By Dana Malcolm
#USA, May 14, 2022 – An Infant formula shortage in the U.S. exacerbated by the formula recall by Abbott Nutrition is threatening the lives of babies and worrying parents.
Last week 40 percent of formulas were out of stock in the U.S. White House Press Secretary Jen Pesaki says the FDA is working hard to address the issue.
“What the FDA is doing includes working with major infant formula manufacturers to ensure they’re increasing production, because part of this issue is, of course, making sure there is stock on the shelves and working with the industry right now to optimize their supply lines, product sizes to increase capacity, and prioritizing product lines that are of greatest needs.”
Meanwhile Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which provides formula and other goods to low income mothers is warning against trying to make formula at home saying too much could go wrong.
“Your baby could suffer long-term harm if they do not get the right blend of nutrition. Even a short period of poor nutrition can be harmful. Do not try to make more formula by adding extra water. Adding extra water to formula is dangerous and can lead to very serious health problems.”
The Guardian reports that parents who are now traveling over state lines and using Facebook and EBay to secure formula, describe the situation as a ‘nightmare.’
Earth Day Immersion at Graceway Communities Marketplace
By Sherrica Thompson
#TurksandCaicos, May 12, 2022 – The second staging of Graceway IGA’s Earth Day celebration was a success. It was hosted by the Graceway Communities (the philanthropic arm of Graceway Supermarkets) in association with the National Trust, Graceway Supermarkets, Department of Environment and Coastal Resources (DECR) and Department of Agriculture.
The Market was designed to educate people about the environment, promote conservation, and encourage them to get involved and invest in the planet, act boldly, innovate and implement.
The event was supported by the community and others who came out in their numbers to buy fruits, seedlings, trees, plants, and other earth-friendly items, like ocean-friendly products that were being sold.
The winners of the Graceway Supermarkets Earth Day Art Competition 2022 were also announced. In first place was Chanel Missick from the Mills Institute, second place was Enarij Dickenson from Eliza Simmons Primary, and third place was Mavalicia Mullings from the Mills Institute.
Minister of Environment, Maritime and Disaster Management Josephine Connelly was also present at the celebration.
In giving her address at the event on April 22, Connelly said climate change is real and the Turks and Caicos Islands are low lying areas. As such, “we are susceptible to flood and high seas.” Therefore “the necessary mechanisms must be put in place to cope with what’s going on in our country.”
The Minister noted that the Charter launched at the Climate Change Summit is a guideline to mitigate what is happening in the TCI. She further mentioned that the TCI will be collaborating with all stakeholders and international organizations to unite as one where climate change is concerned.
She also encouraged everyone to play their part in Climate Change, stating that the easiest thing to do is to plant a tree.
Travel Designer at Luxury Experiences Turks, and Caicos, Val Kalliecharan, was also present at the Earth Day celebration. He said the initiative was impressive, and Graceway Supermarkets should “keep up the good job.”
The Turks and Caicos National Trust were the charity participant in the Earth Day celebrations.
The Trust expressed its gratitude to the Graceway Supermarkets for partnering with the organization’s mission to protect our environment.
“We are honoured for this recognition and most charitable donations that will help us to continue our important works, entrusted to us by our communities, we implore you to visit our website and become members of TCNT. More importantly, please contact us and find out how you can help us to preserve and protect our Wetlands, our environment and our beautiful by nature TCI,” said the Turks and Caicos National Trust.
Liver Disease Spreading in UK & US; Worrisome
By Dana Malcolm
#April 22, 2022 – In an extremely worrying trend cases of unexplainable liver disease in healthy children have spread to the EU and the US.
They tested negative for the viruses that cause infectious hepatitis. Doctors have no concrete explanation for what is causing the damage so far 74 children in Britain have fallen ill and now children in the US and Europe are following suit with children in Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain.
“mild hepatitis is very common in children for following a range viral infections but what is being seen at the moment is quite different.”
The expert said he was not convinced COVID was behind the infection because of the relatively small number of infections. British health officials say none of the infected children were vaccinated ruling out any link to vaccines.
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