Gretchen Whitmer Mandates Implicit Bias Training for Health Professionals in Michigan

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs on Tuesday announced health care workers will be required to complete implicit bias training in an effort to curb racial disparities in the medical community.

Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist announced the implicit bias training requirement, which is set to go into effect on June 1, 2022. The move make racial awareness training part of the knowledge and skills necessary to remain licensed to practice health care anywhere in the state of Michigan.

“Today’s new training guidelines will help us mitigate the impacts of implicit bias and ensure every patient in Michigan receives the best possible care,” Whitmer said in a Tuesday statement. “These rules will save lives and improve health outcomes for generations of Michiganders, especially those who have been historically and systemically discriminated against. They will make Michigan safer, healthier, and more just.”

New health care licensees must complete two hours of implicit bias training and the 400,000 current state health care professionals must complete at least one hour of implicit bias training to remain licensed. The governor’s office said the training itself will include a variety of topics that look to reduce racial disparities and will include a self-assessment of one’s racial bias awareness at the end.

The implicit training courses aren’t set to go into effect for one year in an effort to give trainers time to develop courses best suited for health care professionals.

“Implicit, unconscious bias exists within each of us, and as public servants we have a duty to understand and address how our biases can impact the lives of others,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist said at Tuesday’s announcement. “The health disparities highlighted during the pandemic made it clear that there is more work to do to ensure that bias does not prevent people of color from experiencing the same access to quality, equitable of health care as everyone else.”

Last June, less than one week after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Michigan Senate unanimously approved S.B. 945, a requirement for incoming law enforcement officers to complete training on implicit bias. The bill also required training aimed at de-escalation techniques and mental health screening.

Despite the Democratic governor’s push, Republican state lawmakers are still pushing forward with their effort to recall Whitmer. On Tuesday, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers are set to consider a petition to recall her from office over COVID-19 small business concerns from over the past 15 months.

Newsweek reached out to Whitmer’s Lansing offices Tuesday afternoon for any additional remarks about the new implicit bias requirement.

Gretchen Whitmer

This content was originally published here.

Fall Food And Fun With Invisalign Treatment | Fun Money Mom

This post was sponsored by the Invisalign® brand and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Getting ready for fall is always fun, especially when Invisalign® treatment lets you eat all the candy corn and caramel apples you want!

Since we moved to Florida, I love fall a lot more than I used to! Before it meant that chilly weather was right around the corner but now, we can enjoy our favorite fall activities without ever having to put on a sweater!

Fall Decor

First, we have to decorate though! Bring on the scarecrows and pumpkins! Because our old scarecrows didn’t survive our recent move, we had an excuse to go shopping for some fun fall decor.

We totally stocked up and made it home with bags full of fall foliage, pumpkins, scarecrows and more. It was time for some fall fun!  

Ashling suggested we decorate the stairs by putting fall flowers around the bannister. It was super simple and cheap since nothing we bought was more than a dollar.

We finished with a couple more flowers and raffia. I’m not sure the raffia will survive the season though…our cats have totally had their eye on it! 

All we needed was a scarecrow display.

Now we’re officially ready for fall!

Fall Food

Next it was time for another fall tradition, candy corn! I’d bought to make Halloween treats and “Boo” our neighbors but of course we saved a little for ourselves too.

Ashling’s Invisalign treatment makes it easy to eat what she wants, including fall treats like caramel apples and candy corn. This wasn’t the case when she had braces and she had to be careful about everything she ate. Certain foods would get caught in her braces or worse, damage them.Invisalign aligners

Now Ashling can just pop her aligners out, eat her favorite foods, brush her teeth, and pop them back in when she’s done. With Invisalign treatment, she can correct her smile without having to give up foods she loves.

It’s just another reason why I feel good about choosing Invisalign® treatment to correct Ashling’s smile. Invisalign aligners are not only the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, they fit better, are more comfortable and provide more predictable tooth movement because they’re made with SmartTrack® material*.  (*compared to aligners made from off-the-shelf, single layer .030in material).

We had so much fun getting ready for fall and can’t wait to hit the pumpkin patches next! What are some of your favorite fall activities?

Learn more about Invisalign treatment here or use the Doctor Locator to find a doctor near you.

This content was originally published here.

Timeline: How top health experts colluded to bury the COVID-19 lab-leak theory

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and his colleagues both within the federal government and in the broader scientific community appear to have coordinated their response to public reporting of the hypothesis that the SARS-CoV-2 virus did not originate naturally, discrediting the suggestion that it was engineered in a laboratory and accidentally leaked.

An examination of over 3,200 pages of Dr. Fauci’s emails,
made public by a Freedom of Information Act request from BuzzFeed News, shows how on the weekend of Jan. 31, 2020, Fauci and his associates engaged in discussions on the scientific evidence related to the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and on reports that the virus was possibly leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China.

In the months following these discussions, Fauci, other public officials, members of the scientific community, and their media echo chamber would strongly push back against the lab-leak hypothesis, and would successfully prevail upon major media outlets and social media companies to silence anyone who asked questions about the hypothesis.

Perhaps most troubling about this episode is that there is no obvious, science-based reason for any of the people involved in the coordinated messaging effort to shut down public discussion of the lab leak theory. Public discussion of the lab leak theory, after all, would have had no scientific bearing on how the pandemic should be treated or managed from a public health perspective. Even if the lab leak theory was completely wrong or contrary to the best scientific evidence, what scientific, non-nefarious reason could there possibly have been to prevent public discussion of the theory? None springs readily to mind.

The consensus narrative that emerged was that
scientific evidence supported an alternative theory — that the virus began in bats and evolved naturally to be transmissible among humans. Researchers traced the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic to a so-called “wet market” in Wuhan, China, where live wild animals were sold for human consumption. From there, they said, the virus spread globally, infecting more than 172,903,158 people and leading to as many as 3,717,197 deaths worldwide.

There were those
who questioned the prevailing narrative, who wondered if it was more than coincidence this novel coronavirus emerged in a city located near the Wuhan Institute of Virology. That premier research institution is one of only three laboratories in the world that performs “gain-of-function” research — altering virus strains to be more transmissible to humans in order to study how they may evolve naturally and create more effective vaccines — on bat-related coronaviruses.

Many virologists, including Dr. Fauci and several of his colleagues, believe such research is necessary to understand how viral pandemics could strike and needed to develop preventative countermeasures to mitigate the loss of human life. Others say the work to make viruses deadlier is dangerous and, if an accident happens, could cause a pandemic not unlike the ongoing one.

What if, some wondered, Chinese scientists in a lab
known to have security issues had fiddled with a bat coronavirus, made it transmissible to humans, and accidentally released it upon an unsuspecting world?

But the people asking such questions were viciously attacked. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), for instance, was denigrated as a conspiracy theorist. As were countless others. For more than a year, the mainstream media left the authoritative consensus view unchallenged, defending it against all dissent. The expert opinions of Fauci, WIV lead researcher and “bat woman” Shi Zhengli, zoologist and EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, and others in government and respected positions of academia were accepted as scientific law by social media companies, which proceeded to deplatform dissenting voices in the name of combatting “misinformation.”

But now the “fringe” lab-leak theory is
getting a second look. Those that insist SARS-CoV-2 is a naturally occurring virus have failed to produce a bat or other animal that carries a virus with a matching genetic signature. Fauci and others involved in last year’s discussions are walking back their assurances that SARS-CoV-2 was not engineered in a lab and somehow released. The White House’s top health adviser now says he’s keeping an “open mind” about the lab-leak theory and that a “fair, open investigation” is needed to determine the source of the pandemic.

In the interest of a “fair, open” inquiry, it is worth reviewing media reports, public statements by prominent scientists, and private email communications disclosed by records requests made in the course of the last year that raise questions about the campaign against the lab-leak hypothesis and the possible motivations interested parties had in protecting “gain-of-function” research from public outrage by stamping out discussions linking it to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key figures

Dr. Anthony Fauci: a NIAID bureaucrat approaching 40 years of service who was the federal government’s most visible spokesman for all things coronavirus-related throughout last year. His agency is responsible for approving research grants to EcoHealth Alliance, a New York-based nonprofit research organization, as well as virtually every similar organization in the United States.

Peter Daszak: a fierce opponent of the lab-leak theory and president of EcoHealth Alliance. Between 2014 and 2019, his organization funneled $3.4 million in National Institutes of Health grants provided by Fauci’s subagency to the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study bat coronaviruses. He was also the only American on a 10-member team that the World Health Organization sent to China last winter to investigate the origins of the virus. At least one major virologist has claimed that Daszack’s nonprofit helped fund risky “gain-of-function” research.

Dr. Ralph S. Baric: the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of North Carolina. He is a world leader in the study of the coronaviruses. He has conducted gain-of-function research at his institution and in 2015 he began collaborating with Shi Zhengli, the lead Chinese researcher at WIV, nicknamed China’s “bat woman.” Shi is a virologist who has identified dozens of deadly coronaviruses by exploring bat caves and collecting samples. Her coronavirus research is funded in part by the NIH grants provided by EcoHealth Alliance.

Timeline of events

  • Feb. 1, 2020 8:19 AM: Fauci emailed the 2015 study to NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak with the subject line “IMPORTANT.” “Here it is,” Fauci wrote.
  • Feb. 1, 2020 10:34 AM: Farrar sent an email blast announcing a 2 p.m. conference call. In bold lettering, his email declared “information and discussion is shared in total confidence and not to be shared until agreement on next steps.” The email also included an agenda for the call, with Farrar presenting “Introduction, focus and desired outcomes”, Andersen giving a “summary,” “comments” from Edward Holmes, an evolutionary biologist and virologist at the University of Sydney, a “Q&A” session for everyone, and “summary and next steps” presented by Farrar again to conclude the call. There were 13 people, including Fauci and Andersen, listed on the agenda.
  • Feb. 1, 2020 2:00 PM: The conference call organized by Farrar is presumably held on time. Emails recapping what was discussed are redacted, including notes from Ron Fouchier, the Dutch scientist who in 2011 authored the controversial gain-of-function study that inspired a campaign to ban that research. But following this discussion, the public campaign against the lab-leak theory intensified.
  • March 6, 2020: Andersen writes an email to Fauci, Farrar, and Collins announcing that a paper he authored on the origins of SARS-CoV-2 was just accepted by the journal Nature Medicine and would be published shortly. He encourages Fauci and the others to provide comments or suggestions about the paper or its press release if they have them. Two days later, Fauci replies, “Nice job on the paper.”
  • March 15, 2020: Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, reaches out to Fauci about the possibility of collaborating with Fauci regarding what constitutes “authoritative information” about COVID-19. Part of this communication remains redacted.
  • May 5, 2020: Fauci receives a forwarded email from Ian W. Lipkin, a virologist at Columbia University and one of the five co-authors of Andersen’s “proximal origin” paper. Lipkin shared an email communication he had with former Chinese minister of health Chen Zhu about COVID-19’s origins. The redacted message reads in part, “Uncertainty about the origin of COVID-19 pandemic is causing friction worldwide, particularly between China and the United States. There is agreement that the causative agent, SARS-CoV-2 originated in a bat. There is also a high level of confidence that the virus was not deliberately modified in any laboratory.”

    Lipkin tells Fauci, “We deeply appreciate your efforts in steering and messaging.”

There are
several fascinating articles detailing how after America’s top health experts spent the last year discrediting the lab-leak hypothesis, their failure to produce a sufficient explanation for COVID-19’s natural origins has brought alternative views back into the mainstream. But what is astounding is that after repeated assurances that there was nothing worth investigating, after a year of messaging to the contrary, Fauci and other proponents of the natural-origin theory are now hedging their bets.
The question should be asked, were those discrediting the lab-leak hypothesis working to find the truth about COVID-19’s origins in order to best inform and protect the public? Or were they defending millions of dollars of funding for experimental research, lifetimes of work, their jobs, and their credibility against a hypothesis that put it all at risk?

This content was originally published here.

UK: Over Half of Pakistani Women in Cousin Marriages, Damaging Health

A majority of marriages in Britain’s Pakistani community being between first cousins is wreaking a terrible toll on public health, with stillbirths, birth defects, and disabilities far higher than they would otherwise be.

In an article published by the Daily Mail, journalist Sue Reid described how an estimated 55 per cent of Pakistani-heritage couples are first cousins in so-called consanguineous marriages.

Not coincidentally, British Pakistanis account for an astonishing 33 per cent of birth defects in the country — far, far in excess of the proportion of births they account for overall, according to Reid.

Indeed, places in England with very large South Asian heritage populations, such as multicultural Bradford, appear to be paying a heavy price for the practice, with doctors in one study identifying some 140 different gene disorders among local youngsters, against only 20-30 among the general population.

Reid also highlighted the fact that stillbirths and infant deaths in the city are approaching double the national average, and many case studies of people with debilitating — and presumably costly, for Britain’s taxpayer-funded National Health Service — illnesses resulting from their parentage.

Breitbart London reported back in 2017 that in Redbridge, a multicultural borough in Britain’s hyper-diverse capital, almost one-in-five child deaths since 2008 were attributable to their parents being close relatives, with “chromosomal, genetic or congenital abnormalities” being a leading cause of death.

Saaba Mahmood Spared Jail Despite Claiming £100,000 in Welfare for Relatives in Pakistan

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 23, 2020

“The first duty of a Government is to protect its citizens from harm. There is a strong argument, down the road, for it to consider whether first-cousin unions should be outlawed in the same way as incest is,” suggested Nazir Afzal, a prosecutor turned pundit who the media has often turned to for comment on the topic of now-rarely covered majority-Muslim rape gangs in the past.

“We are tired of burying our babies,” suggested Afzal, whose own parents hail from Pakistan, adding that it is time “to follow the science and act to save lives” — although in truth it appears as though the problem is one of the Pakistani community’s own making, with the British government only culpable insofar as it has done nothing to prevent the Pakistani community from indulging its collective penchant for first cousin marriages, which are in modern times well outside the norm for the native population and socially discouraged.

Afzal, a practising Muslim, said that in his view the popularity of first cousin marriages among Pakistanis in Britain is down to greed, not religion.

‘They are arranged for material reasons, not because of religion. Families don’t want to risk their gold by allowing their child to marry an outsider,” he said.

“Some brothers betroth their boy or girl at birth to each other. Where is the choice of partner for their adult child?” he demanded.

UK: Huge Crowds Ignore Lockdowns to Celebrate Pakistan Independence Day, Attack Police

— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 17, 2020

Follow Jack Montgomery on Twitter: @JackBMontgomery

This content was originally published here.

Celebrating The Holidays With Invisalign® Treatment

This post was sponsored by the Invisalign® brand and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

The holidays are here and looking back, it’s been a year of big changes for our family! Find out how Invisalign® treatment played a part in making this a great year for our tween.

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already here. We are really big on Christmas and look forward to celebrating every year. As soon as Halloween is over, I start pulling out all my favorite Christmas decorations!

It’s also a time to look back and reminisce. 2019 was an exciting year for our family! We moved into a new house and the girls started new schools. It was an even bigger change for Ashling since she started middle school (both scary and exciting at the same time). Plus, she just turned 12, which means it’s her last year of being a “tween” before she officially becomes a teenager!

This was also the year she started Invisalign® treatment. It was a big deal for her because she’d already had braces in the past. Orthodontists have found that it’s easier to correct issues if they start early so that when it’s time for treatment the second time around, treatment is often finished more quickly and with fewer complications.

Like most kids, she had counted down the days until her braces were removed. When she found out she’d be getting Invisalign aligners this time, she was excited. I like them because they’re the most advanced clear aligner system in the world, but her favorite feature is that they’re practically invisible. 

If you’ve been considering orthodontic treatment, the New Year is a great time to start. Take the smile assessment to see if Invisalign® treatment is right for your child. Once you decide to move forward, it’s easy to find a doctor near you.

Getting started with her aligners was easy and made her feel more confident with the transition to middle school. We’re fortunate that hers is a simple case but these aligners work for complex orthodontic cases too, which they’ve proven with over 20 years of innovations and 7 million+ smiles.

She’s been wearing her aligners since June and though there’s still about a year and a half to go, we’ve already seen a lot of progress.

I’m excited to see the final results, though the outcome simulator did give us a sneak peek at how her teeth would look when she finished treatment.

Now that the holidays are here, Ashling’s appreciating her aligners even more. For starters, she gets to eat all the fun holiday food she wants. Whether she’s eating popcorn at a Christmas movie or munching on Christmas cookies, she doesn’t have to change a thing. Plus, we always love snacking on fun Christmas food after we set up our Christmas village.

We also take a ton of pictures this time of year. There’s our visit to Santa, photos of us celebrating with family and friends, and plenty of shots of the girls opening presents on Christmas morning. Now Ashling doesn’t mind smiling for all my Christmas pictures, which is a win/win for both of us.

Whether she’s helping put up the Christmas village or wrapping presents, the only thing Ashling has to think about for Christmas is having fun. 2019 been a really great year for her and we’re excited to see what 2020 has in store!

Check out the Parent Page to learn more about Invisalign® treatment and how it can give your own tween more confidence in their smile.

The post Celebrating The Holidays With Invisalign® Treatment appeared first on Fun Money Mom.

This content was originally published here.

Bruce Arthur: Ontario is replacing Dr. David Williams, its chief medical officer of health. Meet Dr. Kieran Moore

More than 15 months into the pandemic, Ontario is getting a new chief medical officer of health, the Star has learned.

According to multiple sources with knowledge of the move, but who are not authorized to speak publicly, Dr. Kieran Moore, the much-respected medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, will replace the much-criticized Dr. David Williams, who has been Ontario’s top doctor since 2016.

The move is expected to be announced Monday, with Moore not expected to officially take the job full-time for several weeks. Williams, who was appointed by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government, was due to retire in February, but the Ford government extended that term to September during the second wave of COVID-19.

Neither Moore nor the Ministry of Health responded to requests for comment. The move comes as the pandemic has finally started to recede in earnest, and after the province unveiled a reopening plan which was praised as responsible by prominent medical figures.

The appointment of the medical officer of health is made by the premier.

Moore has been one of Ontario’s most celebrated public health officials during the pandemic. He serves on the province’s vaccine task force, and was part of a panel that recently issued recommendations to the federal government on a more robust border control system.

And Kingston has been a notable COVID-19 success story. As reported by the Star’s Omar Mosleh earlier this year, in the first wave Moore was quick to co-ordinate a plan with local health partners, including long-term care homes; he restricted visitors and closed non-essential services a week before the province’s first lockdown on March 24; he made masks in workplaces mandatory on June 26, more than three months before the province did. And all along, he has used his public health authority to close a high number of local businesses where the virus had been traced.

There are 19 Ontario health units with smaller populations than Kingston, and as of Friday, the region of more than 208,000 had the second-lowest rate of new cases in the entire province. Of Ontario’s 34 public health units, only Algoma, North Bay Parry Sound, and Renfrew have recorded a lower peak weekly rate than Kingston’s, and over the entire pandemic, Kingston’s total case rate is the sixth-best in the province.

Williams has attracted criticism for his unclear style of communication, and his endorsement of some controversial aspects of the province’s strategy. When it was announced in late November that Williams’s contract would be extended, Premier Doug Ford said, “He’s brought us all the way through this, along with Dr. (Barbara) Yaffe and their whole team, so I want to thank all of them. I don’t ever believe in changing a dance partner in the middle of a dance, especially when he’s an incredible dancer, like Dr. Williams. He’s a great doctor.”

“This is nothing to brag about, because we’re in a serious situation. But when I compare this spread that’s going on across our country and to the exclusion of the small Maritime provinces, we have the lowest cases. Then I look at the United States. Again, outside of a few small states, we have lower cases per hundred thousand than any other jurisdiction.”

Ontario would eventually go on to record some of the highest case rates in North America in its third wave, along with Alberta.

Williams was previously the medical officer of health for Thunder Bay from 1991 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2015, worked in the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care from 2005 to 2011. He also served as Ontario’s acting CMOH from 2007 to 2009 and again from 2015 to 2016.

Bruce Arthur is a Toronto-based columnist for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @bruce_arthur

This content was originally published here.

Bellerin turned to drink during Arsenal injury nightmare as defender admits to mental health issues |

Hector Bellerin has admitted to experiencing mental health issues during his time stuck on the sidelines at Arsenal, with an injury nightmare in north London seeing the Spaniard turn to drink.

The 26-year-old right-back spent much of 2019 nursing various ailments, with knee ligament damage followed by niggling hamstring problems.

He was, having burst onto the scene as a teenager, unaccustomed to facing such torment and concedes that there were dark days in which he struggled to cope with being denied the opportunity to do his day job.

What has been said?

Bellerin, who is seeing a summer move away from Arsenal mooted, has told the Timbsy YouTube channel of the demons he encountered during fitness setbacks: “It was the first time that I had got injured like that, and I had friends and teammates that had gone through it before, I had my family next to me, but I didn’t know exactly what was going to happen to me.

“I talk about an experience when I came back and I wasn’t really training, and I started going out a lot, I started drinking and all this stuff and you know for a footballer that’s not what you’re supposed to say but it’s the truth.

“We have our issues, we have our mental health problems. And when football, which is basically your identity, gets taken out of you, we find it difficult.

“Obviously London is a town that offers a lot of distractions and it’s really easy when you don’t feel you have a responsibility – obviously I knew I had to recover, but I didn’t have to train or play – my mind kind of just went elsewhere.”

He added: “I was lucky enough to have players and coaches who knew what I was doing, and they said ‘look Hector, that’s not the right way to do it’, and I felt so lucky about that.

“But also I’m not ashamed of it, I feel like it’s what happened to me and it’s just the way I was feeling and for me that was the best way of coping with my feelings, which is obviously not the best anyway, you don’t help anything, you just delay it.

“But that’s how I felt like doing then, and I thought I could get away with it and I learned so much from it. Now the last thing I do when I have an injury is drink because I know how bad that is. Sometimes you just don’t care or it’s difficult.”

The bigger picture

Bellerin took in only 19 appearances in 2018-19, having ruptured knee ligaments on January 9 of that campaign, and saw just 23 outings the following season.

He has returned to full fitness in 2020-21, but is no longer guaranteed a place in Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Article continues below

Calum Chambers has been used in a right-back berth on a regular basis, with Bellerin seeing 24 starts in the Premier League.

He is tied to a contract with the Gunners through to 2023, but it remains to be seen whether that agreement will be honoured as various landing spots on speculated on for the next transfer window.

This content was originally published here.

Brave Woman Ends Abusive Relationship and Reclaims Her Health

Alyssa, a 23-year-old who lost 150 pounds after ending an abusive relationship, is inspiring thousands of women on the Internet. She shows people that no matter how far they have to climb, taking that first step will get them there. Being in a toxic relationship can definitely hold you back from your goals. Once you remove them from your life, you can start to heal and reclaim your power.

“I started my weight loss journey in January 2019 after leaving an abusive relationship. I finally decided to take my weight loss seriously.”

Alyssa said, “I started with a ‘calories in, calories out’ kind of diet. I focused on eating foods that were lower in calories. Later on in my journey, I kind of learned how to eat those foods in moderation and still lose weight.”

When you’re just starting on a weight loss journey, tracking calories is important. It helps you learn proper portions and keep tabs on how much you eat. However, as you start memorizing the calories in your meals and snacks, you can give yourself more slack.

Alyssa lost all the weight completely naturally, going from 375 lbs to her current weight of 201 lbs. Actually, she lost 174 pounds total so far! She’s made huge strides toward better health, but it certainly wasn’t a piece of cake to get there.

“It was really hard, in the beginning, to fight those cravings because I was so used to eating sweets and eating out. But after the first 30 days, I saw about 30 pounds lost, and I was really motivated to continue going.”

In addition to eating healthier, Alyssa began working out as well. She says she does whatever exercise she’s in the mood for that day. Her favorites are the elliptical, strength training, and swimming. However, she switches it up often to keep things interesting.

How exercise can help rebuild your life after an abusive relationship

When you leave an abusive relationship, you often don’t remember who you are. You’ve lost your identity because of months or even years of trauma. As a result, you may not even know the first step to take when you’re single again.

However, exercise is a great outlet and a way to release pent-up stress or tension. It also can help you rebuild your confidence and perhaps make new connections at your local gym. Not to mention, working out doesn’t just increase your physical strength. It also makes you more mentally and emotionally resilient.

Exercise releases tons of endorphins, which will help boost your brain health and promote happiness. Sure, working out won’t erase the abusive relationship from your memory, but it can certainly help you move on. Many women find that having an outlet such as exercise helps them stay productive. It’s a positive way to release anger and will give you something to look forward to each day.

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One woman found that after leaving an emotionally abusive relationship, group classes helped her heal. She went to a spin class with a friend at her local gym, and she became hooked in just one session. She loved the choreography, the beats from the music, and the instructor’s uplifting personality.

The group setting helped as well because she made friends with a few cyclists after a while. She even opened up to some of them about her abusive relationship, and they, in turn, shared their struggles. She found it very therapeutic, and it also provided her a way to stay fit. Plus, it cost $32 a class, so she wanted to get her money’s worth.

Her friends helped her stay accountable as well since they would know if she missed a class. If you’re just getting out of an abusive relationship, consider group classes at your gym or yoga studio! It’s a great way to meet people and stay healthy at the same time.

How losing weight helped Alyssa become a new person

Alyssa struggled just like anyone trying to lose weight, but she stayed persistent. Following others on the same journey on social media helped her stick to it. Plus, she kept her eye on the prize, dreaming about how much better she’d feel at a lower weight.

“Throughout this journey, what kept me motivated is watching other Instagrammers who’ve lost a lot of weight. After losing weight, there are so many things that changed. Being able to fit in a rollercoaster, ride on a plane and not buy two seats, being able to hike, to be way more active than I ever was before.”

We’ll leave you with some motivating words and advice from Alyssa herself.

“I didn’t think that life was this enjoyable at all before I lost weight, and I’m still not done yet. You don’t have to wait for a new year, Monday, a new month. If you mess up, if you have one bad meal or a bad snack, it’s not the end of the world, and you can hop back on there,” Alyssa said.

“There’s been countless times where I have messed up and eaten out, but I still stay consistent, and that’s what helped me the most. I feel like when I first started, I had no idea what I was capable of. I’m just so proud of the person that I was, that I stepped forward and made that change, and you can be that proud too.”

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Final thoughts about a woman who lost 150 pounds after leaving an abusive relationship

Abusive relationships take their toll, especially if you’ve been in one for years. They can leave you with lasting emotional, mental and physical trauma, and it can take a long time to heal. However, once you finally say enough’s enough and put an end to the abuse, you can get your life back.

Many women find that therapy helps give them the support and understanding they need. Some people, like Alyssa, have discovered that exercise is a positive outlet for them. No matter what, never stay in a relationship where you’re not valued or loved. If you need support but want to stay anonymous, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 800-799-SAFE.

The post Brave Woman Ends Abusive Relationship and Reclaims Her Health appeared first on Power of Positivity: Positive Thinking & Attitude.

This content was originally published here.

Invisalign vs. braces: A comprehensive guide | AZ Big Media

Today, orthodontic patients enjoy more freedom than ever when it comes to tooth-straightening treatments. Kids and adults alike are no longer bound to the clunky, attention-grabbing braces of yesteryear. In this guide, we’ll look at two of the most popular tooth-straightening methods — Invisalign vs. braces — so that you can determine which product is right for you.

Whether you’re looking to straighten your teeth or those of your child, there’s a lot that goes into making the decision of which product to get. Against this backdrop, this guide will examine the selling points of both traditional braces and Invisalign and will review other factors such as cost to help you make your decision. Keep reading to find out more about your options!

Whether clear or metallic in nature, braces are fashioned from colored metal or resin and adhere directly to the teeth. The material works day and night to realign teeth into their optimal position. Today, braces can be bought in both standard metal and clear varieties.

Invisalign offers consumers a more hands-on way of fixing their own teeth. The product is generated by a computer, which maps out the dimensions of the mouth and crafts clear, removable molds that are designed to bring the teeth into their rightful positions. The product gets its name from its near-invisible nature and its ability to draw teeth closer together for a more aesthetically-pleasing smile.

Braces: Pros

With this being said, let’s take an in-depth look at the pros of wearing braces:

Fashioned from strong metal, traditional braces, no matter the color, are great long-term options for their incredible durability. Patients with braces are able to brush their teeth, eat most foods (though super hard or sticky foods are to be avoided), and can generally function normally—all while the strong metal slowly pulls their teeth into a more natural alignment.

Don’t Affect Speech

Another distinct advantage to wearing braces is its ability to get the job done without affecting speech. For children, especially, this proves a popular selling point: at the core of the issue, it’s critical that patients are able to straighten their teeth without hindering their speech development. Working adults will also appreciate the ability to communicate naturally in the workplace (and in their personal lives).

Contrary to popular knowledge, today’s braces are widely customizable. Gone are the days of clunky gray wires and metal smiles. Today, braces are thin, sleek, and come in the color of your choice. Clear braces are an increasingly popular item for children who want to maintain the grace of their smile while improving the quality of their bite. Braces also come in other colors, such as green, for a more artsy and colorful effect.

Braces: Cons

With all this being said, however, there are some downsides to braces that you’ll want to know about. Let’s take a look:

Forget about the candy, the peanut butter, and the hard foods: braces all but dictate a diet based on softer foods—especially in the beginning. Anything too hard could damage the wires and spokes of your braces, while chewy or gelatinous foods will get stuck in the brackets and cause you all sorts of trouble.


There’s no way around it: braces are a high-maintenance option that requires frequent dental checkups to make sure the teeth in question are moving in the right direction. Without these checkups, the quality of work done by the braces could be severely diminished.

Most patients report some type of discomfort with braces—especially in the beginning. That’s because the device literally pulls your teeth and jaw into a more proper alignment. While the level of discomfort will decrease with prolonged wear, you’ll want to keep in mind the initial acclimation period so that you know what you (or your child) is getting into.

Braces are covered by a majority of dental insurance plans and typically range from $2,000-$6,000, depending on the severity of tooth misalignment.

Invisalign: Pros

How does Invisalign stack up to traditional braces? Let’s start our investigation by examining some of the major pros to the increasingly-popular product:

Once braces are on, they can only be removed by a trained orthodontist. Invisalign, on the other hand, can be removed at any time by the wearer for issues of comfort and convenience. That’s because Invisalign works through translucent trays that can be inserted or removed at will to help mold a more perfect smile.

Not Painful

Looking for an option that won’t keep you up at night? Invisalign customers marvel at the level of comfort Invisalign offers and praise the product’s ability to align teeth without the pain generally associated with braces. As for the dentists, Invisalign is recommended by many credible dentists because of the low levels of discomfort.

Clear Aesthetics

The number one reason behind Invisalign purchases, however, is the aesthetic advantage it offers. Indeed, it can be hard to notice Invisalign, even when looking closely. This makes the product a popular option for celebrities and other high-profile individuals looking to mold that perfect smile. If having strips of metal built onto your teeth makes you uncomfortable, Invisalign offers a nondescript way of straightening your teeth.

Invisalign: Cons

Still, Invisalign comes with its own set of cons that you’ll want to examine before buying. Specifically, the product:

Could Change Speech

Because Invisalign works by requiring consumers to place plastic molds over their teeth, it makes it harder for some customers to maintain natural speech. Lisps and other issues are common with Invisalign—at least at first—and learning how to talk around the molds could take some time.

Requires More Personal Responsibility

Even more important, Invisalign requires a great deal of personal responsibility. The product’s removable nature facilitates a lack of wear in some patients, which reduces the quality of the straightening being performed. For children, especially, Invisalign proves problematic because it can so easily be removed and even discarded.

On top of all this, Invisalign remains more expensive than traditional braces. Part of this is simply the mechanics of the device. From computer mapping to mold-making, the Invisalign process is specialized and custom-done to fit individual customers. The result is a price increase that may turn off more budget-oriented consumers.

So just how much can one expect to pay for Invisalign? Like braces, it will depend on the severity of tooth misalignment at the beginning of treatment, which will affect the number of molds needed during the tooth-straightening process. Still, average prices for Invisalign range from $3,500–$8,000, making the product more expensive than braces at both extremes.

Fortunately, Invisalign is covered by most dental insurance plans, making it a safe option for those individuals who are willing to shell out a bit of extra cash.

The Bottom Line

Both traditional braces and Invisalign remain popular tooth-straightening methods, with each having distinct advantages over the other. If you’re looking to get your teeth (or your child’s teeth) straightened in the near future, make sure to use this guide to find out which product is right for you. As you can see, there are a number of reasons to choose either product, though braces still remain the go-to option for children and young adults. For those looking for a more comfortable way to get their teeth fixed, however, Invisalign proves a quality (albeit pricey) alternative. Ultimately, the choice between braces and Invisalign boils down to budget, aesthetics, necessity, and personal responsibility.

Still on the fence? Reference the information above to make your purchase with confidence and know-how!

This content was originally published here.

Suicide Among Black Girls Is a Hidden Mental Health Crisis | Time

When Dionne Monsanto was pregnant, she decided that she wanted to find a name that means “blessing” for her daughter. Though Monsanto—a Black American—has no specific ties to South Africa, she chose the name Siwe, an adaptation of the Zulu name Busisiwe.

Siwe grew to be a talented artist. “She was brilliant. She was beautiful. She was a writer. She was a guitar player. She was a dancer,” her mother says. Siwe was such a gifted dancer that, at age 10, she received a scholarship to the extracurricular program at the prestigious Ailey School in her hometown of New York City. But Siwe was also often troubled. From early on, Siwe “was very emotional, and would tend to cry a lot,” Monsanto says in the quiet of the Harlem studio where she used to teach yoga and West African dance before the studio closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Siwe was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at the age of 9. Schoolwork worsened her anxiety. But, Monsanto says, most adults and peers in her daughter’s life didn’t have much awareness of mental-health issues, and were ill-equipped to help.

“What I would get from doctors was like, ‘Well, she’s a girl, you know, her period is starting’—dismiss,” says Monsanto. But she knew there had to be something more going on. “I couldn’t identify it,” Monsanto says, “but I felt it.” Then, in the summer of 2011, at the age of 15, Siwe took her own life.

Dionne Monsanto holds a portrait of her daughter, Siwe, in the girl’s bedroom in New York City, on Sept. 9, 2020. Siwe, 15, died by suicide in 2011.
Elias Williams for TIME

In the 10 years since Siwe died, stories like hers have become all too common. Across the board, suicide rates among young Americans have risen; from 2007 to 2018, suicide rates for Americans ages 10 to 24 rose by 57%, and the increase was particularly significant among young girls, contributing to a narrowing of the persistent suicide gender gap. Rates plateaued from 2018 to 2019—the most recent year with available federal data—but they stood far higher than those of decades past. A multinational study published in the Lancet Psychiatry in April found that U.S. suicide rates actually decreased somewhat during the early months of the pandemic, compared to the year before it—but given spiking anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic, which studies suggest took a particularly harsh toll on young people, there’s good reason for continuing concern.

Girls of color are increasingly accounting for this trend. According to one 2019 Pediatrics study, the number of white children attempting suicide in the U.S. decreased from 1991 to 2017, while the number of Black children attempting suicide went up. All told, about 15% of Black female high school students attempted suicide in the year leading up to the CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, compared to about 9% of white female students and about 12% of Hispanic female students. Actual suicide death rates for Black American girls ages 13 to 19 increased by 182% from 2001 to 2017, according to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Community Health.

“Black youths are two times more likely to die by suicide compared to their white counterparts,” says Arielle Sheftall, a researcher at the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and one of the authors of the 2019 Pediatrics study. Now, she says, “we’re trying to figure this out.” There’s rarely a single thing that drives someone to attempt suicide, and similarly there are many factors—from bullying to stigma to childhood trauma and racism—but no one cause that could help to explain the increase in suicides among Black youth. “We want to intervene, but we don’t know what the best intervention is yet,” Sheftall says. “It’s going to take a village, to be honest, to uncover what” could help reverse the trend, particularly when no two suicide deaths are exactly alike.

In Siwe’s case, there may have been a devastating trigger. When she was 11, she was sexually assaulted by her father, from whom Monsanto had separated eight years earlier but was co-parenting with at the time. Monsanto says she learned about the incident directly through Siwe’s father; he was arrested shortly after for his crimes and ended up being incarcerated for five years. The impact on Siwe was cataclysmic. “A piece of my daughter died that day,” she said in a 2019 talk for Dadasphere, an organization that aims at giving a voice and a platform to women of color, primarily from Africa, but also around the world. Sexual violence often has a long-term effect on victims. They are more prone to depression and having suicidal thoughts than the general population; a 2014 Bureau of Justice Statistics study found that 75% of victims of sexual assault experience “socioemotional problems,” a number that is higher than for almost every other crime. “It was the trigger that took her over the edge,” says Monsanto. Indeed, Siwe attempted suicide for the first time when she was 12 years old.

Over the next three years, Siwe continued to struggle, feeling pressure to succeed at school, in her extracurricular life and socially. On June 29, 2011, Monsanto woke her daughter before leaving their home, but Siwe crawled back under the covers in protest. Monsanto left for an appointment with the heads of Robert Louis Stevenson School, which she was considering as a possible transfer destination for Siwe; her daughter’s mental health had been declining, and she thought a change of environment could help. In the middle of the meeting, Monsanto’s Blackberry started ringing. She ignored it. The phone rang again. Her neighbor was trying to reach her. She ignored the call a second time, but the third time it rang, Monsanto picked up.

“It’s Siwe,” her neighbor said.

A small portrait of Siwe in her mother’s home.
Elias Williams for TIME

Monsanto ran out to the street, and hailed a taxi to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. When she arrived, she was stopped at the front desk, where she was told that a child without identification had been admitted for attempted suicide. Monsanto was led to a back room, where she showed pictures of Siwe and herself to a detective and a social worker to verify her relationship with her daughter. They led her through what seemed like endless hallways and turns. As she neared Siwe’s room, Monsanto saw a doctor standing outside the door who seemed visibly distressed.

“We’re too late. She’s already dead,” she murmured to herself. She was right.

It’s not clear whether Black girls are dying by suicide in larger proportions than they were in the past, or if those deaths are simply more likely to be counted now. Indeed, a general lack of data is one of the key reasons why so much remains unknown: people of color, women and adolescents are all underrepresented in many types of medical research, with Black girls at the center of that Venn diagram.

For a long time, Rheeda Walker says she assumed, “like a lot of other African Americans do, that Black people don’t kill themselves.” Growing up in the 1980s and ’90s, she rarely heard suicide discussed, not in the classroom and certainly not socially. It was only when she started a graduate program in clinical psychology at Florida State University in 1995 that she learned what she had been overlooking. At that time, Walker says, the suicide rate among Black boys was rising concerningly fast. The rate was trending back downward again by the time she graduated in 2002, but her earlier discovery was enough to make Walker realize that her long-held assumptions about Black suicide weren’t true—and to pique her academic interests when Black youth suicide rates began to rise again through the mid-2000s.

Now, Walker researches African-American mental health and suicide trends at the University of Houston. Some of her most recent research confirms that racial discrimination can increase a person of color’s risk for suicide, but finds that if the individual can find a way to mentally reframe experiences of racism—viewing them as something that can be overcome, rather than ruminated upon—it can help protect their mental health. That doesn’t mean people should accept racism, Walker says, but it does suggest that the way painful events are internalized matters. “The alternative is to hope racism goes away,” Walker says. “That would be perfect and wonderful, but I try to deal with the reality.”

Given that reality, and the mental-health problems it breeds, many researchers are joining Walker in grappling with why suicide attempts among Black people, and in particular Black girls, are increasing at such concerning frequency. One potential factor that keeps coming up, Walker says, is that fears of being seen as “weak” or “crazy” can keep Black Americans from seeking help, even though they’re precisely the people who need it most. “People who feel marginalized, who don’t feel like their lives are of value, who don’t feel like they are connected in the ways others are connected, are going to be more at risk of suicide,” she says. “It seems to me, inherently, that when you’re a member of a racial minority group you will, almost, by default, end up in those groups.” Add the many stresses of being a teenage girl, from social media to sexism, and you get a potent mixture of risk factors for self-harm.

Siwe attended Midtown West Elementary School in Manhattan, where she experienced bullying. About 15% of Black female high school students in the U.S. attempted suicide in the year leading up to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey.
Elias Williams for TIME

Stormiyah Denson-Jackson dreamed of becoming a model when, at 12 years old, she was found unconscious in her dormitory room at the SEED School of Washington, D.C., in January 2018. William J. Lightfoot, her mother’s attorney, says Stormiyah had reported being bullied to teachers and administrators, but no one listened. Her parents filed a lawsuit against the SEED charter school, charging that the school did nothing to prevent the constant bullying. Lightfoot says his client is happy with the settlement agreement reached in December 2020, though would not comment any further on the case. (The SEED School of Washington, D.C., did not respond to TIME’s multiple requests for comment.)

Other experts in the field, however, say that bullying seems to be one of the causes of the increase in suicide attempts among Black youths. “Being bullied can definitely have an adverse impact on depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation and attempt,” says Amanda Nickerson, the director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention at the University at Buffalo. And in the case of Black youths, that bullying is often racist. Meanwhile, a 2020 study published in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology found a strong correlation between experiences of racial discrimination and signs of depression among Black teens. According to the study, Black teenagers face an average of five racially discriminatory experiences every day.

The research also suggests that most of the discriminatory incidents occur online. That’s especially problematic during the pandemic, when many people—particularly young people—are effectively living their lives behind screens, with little reprieve available for those facing cyberbullying. Research has shown that girls are more susceptible than boys to mental-health issues related to social media use and cyberbullying, and for children of color, the Internet can be a particularly traumatic place. Online, images of lynching and the use of slurs are posted frequently. Videos of Black people being brutalized have been widespread in the last decade.

Nickerson says that authority figures like parents and teachers are less likely to notice cyberbullying than offline bullying. That, in turn, could foster more systematic bullying. All of that combines to make policing social media platforms and ensuring safety for the young Black people on them even more critical. “App and social media administrators have an ethical and moral obligation to explicitly practice antiracism, to not tolerate racist rhetoric to be on their platforms,” says Devin English, one of the authors of the 2020 Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology study. “When they don’t address racism, they are implicitly validating and accepting its expression.”

Experts agree that suicide can be avoided, through a combination of regular social, emotional and psychological support. But preventing suicide among Black women and girls necessitates a better understanding of the risk factors that precede it. Some research suggests that teaching kids skills like resilience and emotional regulation—equipping them with the tools required to understand, vocalize and manage their feelings—could help promote healthy coping strategies for life. And many experts say schools should play a primary role in not only monitoring a child’s mental health but teaching them these sorts of skills. In some parts of the U.S., these tactics are being tested in the real world. Since 2012, the South Capitol Street Memorial Amendment Act in Washington, D.C., requires teachers to undertake behavioral health training through Kognito, an online platform designed to prepare teachers to identify signs of distress among students and direct them to appropriate support if needed. Other states, like New York, New Mexico and Maine, require mental-health instruction to be given to children in all grade levels.

But for Stormiyah Denson-Jackson, that training came too late. Personnel at her D.C. public charter school had their first mental-health training in July 2018, over five months after her death, says Lightfoot, the family’s lawyer. He also says the school should be held accountable for failing to correctly assess Stormiyah’s mental health prior to her death. She was marked as low risk for ​suicide in a December 2017 school assessment. A month later, Stormiyah was gone.

A guitar amongst trophies and books on a shelf in Siwe’s bedroom. “She was brilliant,” her mother said. “She was beautiful. She was a writer. She was a guitar player. She was a dancer.”
Elias Williams for TIME

Lillian Polanco-Roman, an assistant professor of psychology at the New School for Social Research in New York City, says there’s a fundamental lack of data about the risk factors for youth suicide. Clinicians know the signs to look for in adults—but many children never exhibit these same red flags before attempting suicide, Polanco-Roman says. Among Black youth, depression can manifest as interpersonal or behavioral problems, low self-esteem or pessimism, rather than the low mood and lethargy typically associated with adult depression. “If these kids are not being flagged for depression,” and are instead punished or marked as “problem” children, Polanco-Roman says, “they’re overlooked.”

The entrenched consequences of systemic racism mean Black children also are more likely to experience “adverse childhood events” at disproportionate rates, says Polanco-Roman. These could include traumas like the death or incarceration of a parent, poverty, community violence or neglect. If these issues aren’t rightfully treated as potential precursors to a mental-health issue, kids may slip through the cracks.

One way to address this is to hold schools accountable for combatting bullying and harassment against minorities—and one of the best approaches to do that is to ensure they are teaching tolerance, says Nickerson. Schools need to make certain students “learn about the injustices that have been done in the past and that will continue to happen,” she says, if they want to prevent ethnic-based harassment. Discussion and dialogue about historical events such as the civil rights movement or the Holocaust is key; so is making a greater effort to present minority figures as role models and giving positive examples of diversity. “When you encounter someone who is different than you, it’s a pretty normal reaction to have stereotypical thoughts,” Nickerson says. “But how can you consciously think about that and get to know people as individuals and recognize their strengths?”

The majority of U.S. primary-school teachers in the country are white and female, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, and this lack of diversity presents a barrier to preventing bullying directed toward minorities, says Francis Huang, an associate professor of educational, school and counseling psychology at the University of Missouri. For these teachers, understanding the challenges minorities are faced with may be difficult as they are outsiders to that community, says Huang. Further, these teachers don’t have access to the resources they need to better understand the challenges of their students of color, because there is no national antibullying organization that focuses on children of color, Nickerson notes.

Another significant challenge is the stigmatization of mental health in Black communities, says Sheftall, which leads to a crucial lack of information regarding mental illness or emotional distress. Many Black children struggle to find adults in their lives who are willing to take their mental-health concerns seriously. “There’s stigma in the generation they’re supposed to be getting help from,” Walker says. “Adults are asleep at the wheel, and I think adults are asleep at the wheel because of [their own] undiagnosed depression and anxiety.” That makes it difficult to know when a child is at risk. “Because of that, we’re reaching out to kids when it’s too late,” says Sheftall, when they “already are in a really unsafe space.” Helping Black youth may require untangling generations-old ideas of what it means to seek mental-health care, and what it can do for the person who seeks it.

Dionne Monsanto holds a bracelet that Siwe made. “With a name like Busisiwe Ayo Monsanto…she could never buy anything pre-made with her name. So it was a big deal that there was a place that she could do that,” Monsanto says.
Elias Williams for TIME

There are reasonable explanations for the existence of these stigmas, given the fraught history Black Americans have with the U.S. health care system. Perhaps the most well-known example is the Tuskegee syphilis study, a series of experiments conducted on Black American men by the U.S. Public Health Service between 1932 and 1972. Hundreds of men with syphilis infections were told they had “bad blood” and were promised medical care. It was a lie.

Mistrust in the health care system remains an ongoing concern in the Black community. A 2020 study conducted by The Undefeated and the Kaiser Family Foundation, for example, found that 70% of Black adults surveyed agreed that the U.S. health care system treats people differently based on their race or ethnicity. Maternal mortality is one particularly glaring example. A Black woman in the U.S. is more than three times more likely than a white woman to die from pregnancy-related causes, according to CDC data. All told, about a fifth of Black U.S. adults are in fair or poor health, in part because of strained relationships with the health care system. “They might not be willing to actually go and see a physician, or see a psychologist, or see a therapist, because they don’t feel like they’re going to get the help that they need,” says Sheftall. Compounding that issue, Sheftall says, is the lack of diversity among psychiatrists and psychologists, particularly in rural areas.

Because some Black Americans turn away from specialized mental-health centers, they may be more likely to seek help at community gathering places like churches or barbershops, says Dr. William Lawson, the former head of psychiatry at Howard University and a board member of the Health Ministry at Zion Baptist Church in Washington. Sheftall says this could be a good thing. “If we are able to do some prevention in places where people feel safe, it would make it more palatable,” says Sheftall. Barbershops and salons, Sheftall notes, could open up “gatekeeper training” to their clients—educating them on how to recognize the signs of mental-health distress and what puts individuals at risk, and offering practical solutions in case a child needs help.

Social support is a well-established predictor of mental well-being. One 2010 study published in the Social Service Review even found that support from one’s community could sometimes moderate the negative effects of trauma. For people of color, community identity may be particularly important: Studies dating back decades have shown that people who view their racial or ethnic identity positively also tend to have higher self-esteem and better mental health.

Community-based mental-health programs could help, but such initiatives are scarce, because they rely on personal initiative from members of the community. Most nationwide mental-health organizations do not create programs specifically targeted to children of color. Some parents affected by their children’s mental-health issues have tried to fill in those gaps. Dionne Monsanto, for example, started volunteering at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) even before her daughter’s death. Today, Monsanto is one of the board members of AFSP’s Chapter Leadership Council, which oversees all chapters across the country.

The day Siwe died is still fresh in her memory, and Monsanto replays it regularly, in search of answers. On her first Christmas without Siwe, Monsanto posted a video to a Facebook page memorializing her daughter. In it, Siwe sits on a couch, her eyes focused on a tablet she holds on her lap, reading the lyrics to “Santa Baby.” She’s singing along merrily. Across the page, Monsanto writes “#loveNEVERdies.”

With reporting by Leslie Dickstein, Jamie Ducharme, and Julia Zorthian

If you or someone you know may be contemplating suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line. In emergencies, call 911, or seek care from a local hospital or mental health provider.

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How Naomi Osaka Is Destigmatizing Mental Health in Sports | Time

After Michael Phelps heard on Monday that Naomi Osaka had pulled out of the French Open, and he read her Instagram message explaining why—Osaka cited “feeling vulnerable and anxious” in Paris, and revealed that she has suffered from “long bouts” of depression since defeating Serena Williams at the 2018 U.S. Open—a bunch of thoughts rushed into his head. Phelps is the greatest swimmer of all-time, winner of 23 Olympic gold medals. But no amount of winning staved off his depression and contemplation of suicide.

Phelps, who has gone public with his struggles and emerged as one of the foremost mental health advocates in sports, could sense that Osaka’s revelations, and decision to forgo a shot at another Grand Slam title to take a mental health break, were a big deal. Osaka is a certified global superstar, the highest-paid female athlete on the planet with a huge social media imprint and endorsements from brands like Nike, Nissan and Louis Vuitton. “I felt very happy after reading her message because she’s showing that vulnerability, she’s showing a side of her that we haven’t seen before, and that’s so powerful,” Phelps tells TIME. “It’s definitely going to be a game-changer in mental health moving forward.”

Former U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, pictured in in January 2020, has gone public with his struggles and emerged as one of the foremost mental health advocates in sports.
Olivier Douliery–AFP/Getty Images

He read some of backlash against Osaka, who had announced she was declining to participate in post-match press conferences at Roland Garros, mentioning the potential mental harm of these exchanges with reporters. “I was almost shocked in a way,” says Phelps, “especially with everything I feel like the world has learned about mental health over the last year.” But the next day, Phelps started seeing more articles sympathetic to Osaka. “That does bring a smile to my face,” he says. “Because yes, then we are understanding that this is something that, it doesn’t matter if you’re number one in the world or the average Joe, anybody can go through this. It is real. I hope this is the breaking point of really being able to open up and save more lives.”

That hope isn’t all that outlandish. In recent years, professional athletes like Phelps have helped de-stigmatize conversations surrounding mental health, having shared their struggles with the public and defying shopworn sports conventions to show no signs of vulnerability, to just power through. Phelps was an executive producer on 2020 HBO documentary, Weight of Gold, which explored the mental health struggles that often befall Olympic athletes after the Games. In the NBA, Kevin Love revealed he suffered a panic attack during a game; DeMar DeRozan, another NBA All-Star, shared his battles with depression. In baseball, Zack Greinke spoke up about his social anxiety; NHL player Robin Lehner opened up about his bipolar disorder; gymnast Aly Raisman has been candid about her anxiety.

Through the size of her platform, however, and her decision to choose well-being over pursuit of a Grand Slam title, Osaka offers the promise of bringing mental health awareness—both inside and outside of sports—to an entirely new level. “It’s groundbreaking,” says Lisa Bonta Sumii, a therapist with Galea Health, a company that connects athletes with mental health providers. “She has prioritized mental health, and has said so. And that’s a great example.”

Osaka’s move also marks the latest step in her stunning personal evolution. Few could have imagined that in less than three years, the shy then-20-year-old who apologized to Serena Williams, through tears, after beating her at the 2018 U.S. Open, would find her voice as both a social activist—at last year’s U.S. Open, which she won, Osaka wore masks honoring seven Black Americans killed in recent years—and proponent of mental health. “It goes to show that you don’t have to be this charismatic really extroverted person to be an advocate,” says Bonta Sumii. “She’s said minimal things here. It’s the act. Our behavior can be a form of advocacy.”

‘We’re human beings’

Many experts say that when Osaka announced she would not participate in French Open press conferences, she was by no means being “petulant” or a “diva,” as some critics chirped. “To me, this looked like a woman who was setting a boundary and saying I’m not going to put myself in those situations where I’m likely to experience increased risk of harm for my mental health,” says Katherine Tamminen, associate professor of sport psychology at the University of Toronto. In taking this stance, Osaka offers a valuable lesson for anyone experiencing anxiety. “For all of us, it’s important to take a look at these different things going on in our lives and say, you know, here are the things I’m willing to work with, and here’s where I’m not,” says Tamminen.

A common reaction to stories of athlete mental health struggles is puzzlement. How can someone with a career most people envy possible be so stressed? But athlete anxiety is more common than many people realize. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the reported prevalence of mental health symptoms and disorders in elite male athletes in team sports varies from 5% for burnout and alcohol use to 45% for anxiety and depression. Alexi Pappas grew up in the United States and ran for Greece in the 2016 Rio Olympics, setting a national record in the 10K. After achieving her Olympic dream, she fell into a debilitating funk. “I felt that the way the world saw me didn’t match the way that I felt,” says Pappas. “And that’s the most scary feeling in the world.”

Anxiety caused Mardy Fish, a former top-10 U.S. tennis player, to drop out of a U.S. Open match against Roger Federer in 2012. “It’s incredibly naive to think that that someone that just makes a lot of money or is very successful at their career, doesn’t have stress,” says Fish. “Everyone is entitled to their own stresses.”

Phelps, who has had more success than nearly any athlete in history, says winning cannot erase your emotions. “We might be number one in the world and we might be one of the greatest of all time, but we’re human beings,” he says. “We deal and we feel with emotions just like you do. And we go through depression or anxiety or struggle with other things, just like everybody else does. Just because we’re number one in the world doesn’t make us invincible.”

Pappas, who is now partnering with the online therapist directory Monarch, sees Osaka as someone who can help us move away from the win-at-all-costs ethos in sports. “This could be epiphanal,” says Pappas. “It takes a certain type of person, a certain type of energy to be like ‘Oh wow, let’s never go back.’ And we’ve seen that in other things over time, when we’ve never gone back to this, we’ve never gone back to that. And perhaps this is one of those turning points where we only go forward and forgive ourselves.”

Phelps is retired from the pool. But as the Tokyo Olympics approach, with Osaka still the face of the Games for the host country, he’ll be watching from a new perspective. He predicts that Osaka, having spoken her truth, will feel a great sense of relief. And she’ll help others find their truths too. “I know how I struggled, for years, of not wanting to dive into the stuff I was holding onto,” says Phelps. “When I opened up and really started talking about it, I felt freer. This will 100% save somebody’s life. That’s something that’s bigger than we can ever imagine.”

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This content was originally published here.

Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist by Age 7

By Guest Blogger Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg

As a mom, you’re probably already aware of how important regular dental visits are for maintaining a happy smile. But did you know that along with regular cleanings and check-ups, orthodontic evaluations can play a key role in your child’s oral health?

Since many people associate orthodontics with teens in braces, you may not even be aware that these early exams are an option. As orthodontists, we actually see patients of all ages, including younger children. We’re here to tell you that it’s never too early to take an interest in the health of your child’s smile!

As a matter of fact, the American Association of Orthodontists recommends that all children have their first orthodontic evaluation around the age of seven. This gives orthodontists the chance to evaluate a child’s mouth while it’s still developing and diagnose any potential issues before they become more serious. In doing so, we’re able to take a “watch and wait” approach or explore age-appropriate treatment if necessary.

With this kind of preventive care, there are several issues an orthodontist will be checking for during an orthodontic evaluation. Let’s look at some of the most common ones!

Noticeable crowding or excessive spacing—Spacing problems can show up when a tooth is lost prematurely, where one has never developed, or with teeth that are too small or spaced apart. When crowding is the issue, it can often be corrected with treatment like expanding the arches or removing certain teeth.

Unusual tooth loss patterns—Because the primary teeth tend to fall out in a fairly specific order, any significant deviation from this pattern could signify a developmental issue that requires further attention from an expert orthodontist.

Missing or extra teeth—Most children will have at least four permanent molars and up to four permanent incisors by the time they’re seven years old. Any more or less than this could indicate a problem with missing, crowding, or extra teeth.

Misaligned teeth or jaws—Crooked teeth can be difficult to brush and floss effectively. They’re also more susceptible to uneven wear and tear. Over a long enough period of time, this can affect both the shape and position of the surrounding gum tissue. Aligning teeth when children are younger can help prevent some of that excessive wear and tear, giving them a head start on a healthy smile!

Early orthodontic evaluations are one of the easiest ways to help your child achieve a healthy, confident smile! If issues are left untreated over a long enough period of time, there is a significant risk for growth asymmetries, periodontal and bone issues, impacted teeth, premature wear or fracture of teeth, and more. A simple consultation with Dr. Davis or Dr. Goldberg can save time, discomfort, and money by confirming no issue exists or correcting issues early before they can become problematic.

This kind of preventive care can reduce the need for extensive orthodontic treatment as an adult, as well. If further treatment does become necessary at a later date, it often takes less time and is more efficient.

Davis & Goldberg Orthodontics does not require a dental referral and we offer FREE consultations for all new patients. We make it simple and easy for you and your child to get all the information you need for an early orthodontic evaluation! Call today at 336-887-3168 to contact our High Point office or 336-292-6265 for our Greensboro location. You can also schedule a consultation by visiting our website at . Make sure to follow us on Facebook at

  • Sponsored by Davis & Goldberg Orthodontics

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The post Why Your Child Should See An Orthodontist by Age 7 appeared first on Triad Moms on Main.

This content was originally published here.

Paul McCartney is Helping People Grow Their Own Fruits and Vegetables in the UK for Better Health and Wellbeing

After a year in lockdown, growing fruits and vegetables at home has officially taken root—with more than half of adults cultivating their own produce during the past 12 months.

The trend is particularly popular among younger adults, with six in ten 18-to-34 year-olds growing their own—and now a former Beatle and his family are spearheading an effort to increase the number even more, on behalf of the late Linda McCartney.

Saving money (32 percent), helping the environment (23 percent), being more sustainable (28 percent), and eating more fruit and veg (15 percent) are some of the reasons people are picking up trowels.

The poll, by Linda McCartney Foods, found 70 percent of adults want to grow even more produce at home but are unable to do so.

The biggest barrier is lack of space said 27 percent of those surveyed, with half of adults—including 66 percent of 18-to-34 year-olds—wishing they had a bigger garden area.

Another 13 percent simply wish they had a garden.

In order to help people like these, the vegetarian food company has announced its ‘Grow Your Own with Linda’s’ initiative.

The initiative is building ‘growing spaces’ in urban areas throughout Britain, the company told SWNS news, while a Grow Your Own Guide will soon be available on their website.

The wife of Beatle Paul McCartney for 29 years, until her death from cancer, Linda was a vegetarian and started Linda McCartney Foods almost three decades ago.

Paul said, “We’re so pleased to bring this initiative to people across the UK and continue the legacy of kindness that Linda set out with for her veggie food company 30 years ago.

“Linda aimed to show that being kind didn’t mean having to compromise on eating delicious food.

“Through this project, we hope we can empower more people across the UK to try growing, and eating their own. Dig in and have fun.”

Two thirds of survey participants enjoy growing so much that they would happily live off their own home-grown foods if they could.

Home growers already enjoy an average of three meals a week containing produce they’ve cultivated themselves.

It also emerged 72 percent believe growing your own food produce is good for mental health, and 68 percent agree it also encourages you to have a better diet.

Other benefits to home-grown food include giving you a reason to get outside (52 percent) and being more ethical than some mass-produced foods (29 percent).

And notably, 48 percent think home-grown tastes better than items purchased from shops.

However, the survey, carried out through OnePoll, found two thirds (66 percent) would like to have greater knowledge about growing the crops—with those aged 18 to 34 especially keen (77 percent).

Grower and gardener, Diarmuid Gavin, who is offering his expertise on the project, said, “This has been such a great initiative to be involved with especially at a moment when the outdoors and nature has become even more precious in lockdown.

“I hope the Grow Your Own Guide can be an inspiration for people in flats, tower blocks, and without much outdoor space to see just how much they can grow with their own hands and a few recycled containers.”


1. Tomatoes
2. Herbs
3. Strawberries
4. Carrots
5. Runner beans
6. Onions
7. Apples
8. Green beans
9. Raspberries
10. Cucumbers

WATCH their video teasing their new initiative…

PLANT Some Beatles in Your Pals’ Social Media Gardens—Share This Story…

This content was originally published here.

Dentistry professor sues UC for alleged retaliation following Title IX testimony

A professor of dentistry filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the University of California for allegedly retaliating against his testimony in a Title IX investigation. 

Kang Eric Ting, a professor in the School of Dentistry, claimed he faced retaliatory abuse after he testified against Sotirios Tetradis, a senior associate dean of the School of Dentistry, in a Title IX sexual harassment proceeding against Tetradis in 2018. Ting said the testimony resulted in his removal as the chair of the Section of Orthodontics.

Ting said he first faced harassment and discrimination from department faculty after he requested a leave of absence to care for his ailing father in Taiwan at the end of 2017, according to the complaint filed with the court.

UCLA, Tetradis, School of Dentistry Dean Paul Krebsbach and four professors who served as interim replacements for Ting are also listed as defendants in the lawsuit.

Justine Tanjaya, a doctoral student in the School of Dentistry and Ting’s mentee, filed a sexual harassment complaint against Tetradis in June 2018 and sued Tetradis and the UC in federal court in April 2019.

In Tanjaya’s lawsuit, Tanjaya also claimed Tetradis urged her to file a false Title IX complaint against Ting, which she declined. Tetradis still made false sexual harassment allegations against Ting on Tanjaya’s behalf, according to court documents.

Ting said Tetradis’ allegations delayed his leave of absence by six weeks.

The complaint said Tetradis’ and Krebsbach’s hostility caused Ting to develop insomnia, anxiety, depression, a stomach ulcer and gastrointestinal issues, the last of which required a gastrointestinal tract procedure. Ting also alleged the university failed to accommodate for his health issues by questioning his medical leaves.

Ting also filed multiple grievances with the university in 2018, including a Title IX complaint for discrimination against his health conditions. The Title IX Office and the Academic Senate denied Ting’s grievances and closed the complaints.

California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing issued Ting a right to sue letter in December 2019 after he filed his second DFEH complaint. Ting first reported the retaliation allegations to DFEH in August 2018. 

Douglas Mirell, Ting’s attorney, said the complaint speaks for itself but declined to comment further.

A spokesperson for UCLA declined to comment. 

This content was originally published here.

The director of Prince Harry’s mental-health series says she feels protective of the royal after seeing the ‘mean-spirited’ criticism he’s faced

Summary List Placement

Prince Harry and Oprah’s mental-health docuseries, “The Me You Can’t See,” was directed and executive produced by award-winning filmmaker and mental-health advocate Dawn Porter.

Porter worked closely with Harry, Oprah, co-director Asif Kapadia, and a team of mental health professionals to bring to life the experiences of people who are exploring their own mental health. 

She spoke to Insider about working with Harry on the series, and what it was like to witness the “mean-spirited” criticism he has faced after speaking about his struggles.

The criticism didn’t affect Prince Harry’s determination to open up about his own mental health, according to Porter

The five-part series, which premiered on Apple TV+ on May 21, aims to encourage viewers to be able to speak about mental health.

Prince Harry was filmed receiving EMDR trauma therapy, which is designed to help patients work through traumatic memories associated with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as to help those who have experienced anxiety orders.

Harry has made mental health a priority during his recent engagements, and spoke about the subject on Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast on May 13 ahead of the docuseries premiere.

Harry told Shepard that he wanted to “break the cycle” of pain and suffering that both himself and his parents experienced.

The interview received criticism from some of the British press, with the Daily Mail and The Sun publishing headlines which suggested the royal may have received “too much therapy.”

“It’s hard for Americans to understand the vitriol that’s directed at him and Meghan,” Porter told Insider.

“So just getting a little taste of it, I guess, in some ways I feel protective of him because I didn’t really see that coming. I thought, ‘Who could be unhappy with somebody saying, here’s help if you need it?'” she said. “It does seem really mean-spirited, but, you know, I guess some people will do anything to sell papers.”

Porter said seeing the criticism makes her “admire” Harry even more, “because he certainly understands how he’s going to be treated in some parts of the public.”

“And knowing that was an eventuality — not just a possibility — he still really opened up,” Porter said of Harry’s involvement in the series. “He still worked really hard, and I think what he’s done is really brave and he’s going to help a lot of people.”

Representatives for the Duke of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Porter said Harry helped to ease her nerves during their first meeting

Porter met the Duke of Sussex for the first time during what she described as a “long, intense meeting” at Oprah’s house in 2019, where they spoke about their personal experiences.

“I was nervous,” Porter said. “Oprah has us all over to her place, and he was already there when I arrived. And I was thinking, ‘I don’t want to be this ugly American who doesn’t quite know what to do.'”

“He had clearly been in this position before, because before I could even start to stutter or say anything wrong, he just put his hand out and said, ‘Harry. Nice to meet you,’ which I really appreciated because I was like, ‘What do I call him? What do I say?” she added.

Porter said she is “heartened” by the viewers’ emotional responses to the series, saying: “I’ve had so many people saying how meaningful it is for them.”

“I think some of my favorite things have been people who are watching with their families, parents saying they didn’t understand what depression was like for their kid — so people who weren’t able to talk about mental-health issues before are really having a good experience,” she added.

Join the conversation about this story »

This content was originally published here.

Biden admin diverts over $2B from health initiatives to illegal migrants

WASHINGTON, DC – The Biden administration has reportedly diverted over $2 billion that was originally intended for various health initiatives to behoove American citizens over to helping unaccompanied migrant children that have managed to cross into the country.

The Department of Health and Human Services has diverted more than $2 billion meant for other health initiatives toward covering the cost of caring for unaccompanied immigrant children

The rerouting of funds came via the Department of Health and Human Services, which is a move acting under the authority of the Biden administration that is trying to navigate the crisis impacting the southern border.

According to a report from Politico, $850 million that Congress had originally earmarked to restore the country’s Strategic National Stockpile is among some of the polled funding being redirected toward unaccompanied migrant children.

Said Strategic National Stockpile was the emergency medical reserve that was grievously strained in the response to the pandemic back in 2020.

Another $850 million that was originally allocated for a fund meant to expand coronavirus testing was also redirected to address the issues related to unaccompanied migrant children coming into the country.

Biden has taken $2 billion from Americans’ healthcare programs to help deliver migrant youths and children to their illegal-migrant parents throughout the United States, press reports say.

— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) May 17, 2021

From what Politico reports, an additional $436 million have been pulled “from a range of existing health initiatives across the Department.”

The Department of Health and Human Services had been issuing notices to congressional appropriators over the last couple of months that detailed this swapping of dedicated funds.

The fact that these measures are being taken helps illustrate the severity of the financial impact that the administration is forced to address after having intercepted over 20,000 unaccompanied children so far in 2021.

Mark Greenberg, who led HHS’s Administration for Children and Families between 2013 and 2015 and now serves as a senior fellow at the Migration Policy Institute, mentioned the following about the matter:

“They’ve been in a situation of needing to very rapidly expand capacity, and emergency capacity is much more expensive. You can’t just say there’s going to be a waiting list or we’re going to shut off intake. There’s literally not a choice.”

A spokesperson for HHS, Mark Weber, stated that the department is actively collaborating with the Office of Management and Budget to make sure that operations meant to tend to unaccompanied minor migrants is adequately funded while this crisis is ongoing:

“All options are on the table… This program has relied, year after year, on the transfer of funds.”

Yet the troubling element tying this all together is that while HHS has pulled money from the Strategic National Stockpile and funds set aside for COVID-19 testing to put toward caring for unaccompanied minor migrants, the department has also been seeking additional funding to address the pandemic.

As recent as May 12th, Health Secretary Xavier Becerra testified before a House panel defending a budget request seeking the allocation of $905 million for the Strategic National Stockpile:

“The fight against Covid-19 is not yet over. Even as HHS works to beat this pandemic, we are also preparing for the next public health crisis.”

Ironically, the Trump administration faced some pretty intense scrutiny back in 2018 after diverting millions of dollars that was intended for the likes of HIV and AIDS services and biomedical research to cover the expenses associated with the issues revolving around unaccompanied migrants that HHS had to tend to at the time – which didn’t even quite reach 14,000 that year.

NEW: We’ve only been here about an hour and already a large group of 46 migrants just crossed the Rio and presented themselves to local deputies here in Del Rio, TX. Several of the migrants I asked said they are coming from Venezuela, just like yesterday. @FoxNews

— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) May 9, 2021

The executive director of the Coalition for Health Funding, Erin Morton, noted that it is “concerning” whenever any sort of funding has to be pulled from its original intent to be redirected toward something unrelated:

“It is concerning any time funds need to be diverted from their originally intended purpose because of limited resources.”

“We have consistently asked our public health system to do more with less and we have underfunded essential programs that today are critical to addressing the multitude of challenges facing the country.”

And the monetary issues are just beginning, as a recent report from the New York Times alleged that the “administration estimated that it would need another $4 billion before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30,” according to a leaked document obtained by the outlet.

In other recent reports regarding issues impacting the southern border, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report about Texas Governor Greg Abbott addressing the other part of the border crisis: the flow of fentanyl into the country. 

Here’s that previous report. 

TEXAS – During a recent appearance on “Fox & Friends”, Texas Governor Greg Abbott claimed that there has been nearly an “800% increase April over April,” with respect to the amount of fentanyl that has been caught at the southern border by authorities.

To illustrate the severity of the amount of fentanyl apprehended along the southern border, the Texas governor stated that there has been enough fentanyl seized by authorities “to kill every single person in the state of New York.”

This drug is coming at us and really doing damage.

— The Hoffman’s (@goldrushtodd) May 14, 2021

During the May 14th broadcast of “Fox & Friends”, Governor Abbott first levied criticism toward DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the Biden administration for either being woefully inept regarding the crisis at the southern border – or they are simply gaslighting Americans into believing things aren’t that big of a deal:

“I don’t know if Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration either don’t have a clue what’s going on or they are purposefully misleading their fellow Americans because here are the numbers.”

“On the national level with regard to the Border Patrol, they apprehended last month—in the month of April, more than 170,000 people. That is a tenfold increase over the prior April where they apprehended about 17,000 people.”

Tx Governor Abbott.. Amount of Deady Drug Fentanyl Caught at Border Increase Nearly 800% April over April__ Enough To Kill ‘Everyone’ In New York State… DoG

— Dog (@u2biker) May 15, 2021

Governor Abbott then shifted focus from the issues pertaining to unlawful entries into the country to that of another matter transpiring in tandem, which is the fentanyl that authorities have encountered and seized at the border as well:

“But I gotta tell you there’s a new dynamic about what’s going on at the border that Americans need to know about and that is increased apprehension of fentanyl coming across the border. Yes, there may be people coming across but there are dangerous drugs coming across the border.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, fentanyl is one of the most potent synthetic opioids, which also has given the drug the reputation of becoming one of the most associated with overdose deaths:

“Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a prescription drug that is also made and used illegally.”

“Synthetic opioids, including fentanyl, are now the most common drugs involved in drug overdose deaths in the United States. In 2017, 59.8 percent of opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl compared to 14.3 percent in 2010.”

According to Governor Abbott, the Department of Public Safety have intercepted enough fentanyl along the southern border to kill every single person in New York by way of an overdose:

“We had almost an 800% increase April over April of the amount of fentanyl that has been apprehended by the Texas Department of Public Safety. We have obtained enough fentanyl coming across the border to kill every single person in the state of New York.”

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Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

This content was originally published here.

Less Fear And More Fun At Kids Care Dental And Orthodontics

This is a sponsored conversation in collaboration with Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics. All opinions are mine.

Kids_care_dental_and_orthodonticsWe all know how important good oral hygiene is for our overall health & well-being. I’m always reminding our teen to brush and floss his teeth. We make sure to schedule appointments to get his teeth cleaned twice a year. He also has visits to the orthodontist, and those can be quite stressful. Kids Care Dental and Orthodontics wants to take the stress out of dental appointments, and replace it with fun. Sounds good to me!


Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s like pulling teeth?” The phrase describes something that’s difficult to do, requires a lot of effort, or is unpleasant. Something that is “like pulling teeth” is usually exhausting and frustrating. You know what shouldn’t be “like pulling teeth?” A visit to see your child’s dentist!

Our entire family has dealt with various “dental issues.” As a result, we’ve spent many hours in the dentist’s chair. Let me tell you, getting our son into that chair is sometimes just like pulling teeth! 

That’s why I’m so excited that Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics is opening new offices near us in February, including locations in San Jose, Livermore, and Sunnyvale. 

Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics is in the business of creating smiles, and now they are currently accepting new patients in their brand new, state-of-the art practices!

Here are the addresses: 

  • San Jose: 5253 Prospect Rd, San Jose CA 95129
  • Sunnyvale: 300 West Washington Ave, Sunnyvale CA 94086
  • Livermore: 3000 W. Jack London Blvd, Space A-1, Livermore CA 94551

Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics is known for their patient-focused doctors and kid-friendly staff, creating a fun, fear-free atmosphere for their patients. Their offices are equipped with video games, kid’s movies, and their staff works hard to put little ones at ease. 

Kids who have fun at the dentist’s office, are more likely to want to return for more visits! That’s a good thing, because prevention is key to having a great smile, and healthy teeth & gums. But wait, it gets better.

We currently have to make several appointments for dental care. There’s the dentist, the orthodontist, and the oral surgeon. Three different appointments, in three separate locations, all around town. Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics takes care of ALL your dental needs, in one convenient location. WHAT?!

That’s right, from X-rays, to teeth cleaning, fillings, check-ups, orthodontics, and oral surgery – Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics handles it all! Their state of the art facilities have all the latest & greatest in modern technology. They are Covid-safe, so be sure to bring your face masks, wash your hands, and social distance! 

I’m excited to check out Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics. I know our son is going to feel less nervous about his dental visits, and that puts a smile on my face! 

If you’re looking for kid-friendly dental care, in San Jose, Sunnyvale, or Livermore, give Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics a try. 

Replace your child’s dental fears with fun, at Kids Care Dental & Orthodontics! Go to to learn more. 

The post appeared first on Mixed Blessings Blog.

This content was originally published here.

UAB School of Dentistry awarded $22.4M to continue national research leadership efforts – Alabama NewsCenter

The University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry has been awarded a seven-year, $22.4 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, part of the National Institutes of Health, to continue a national dental practice-based research network designed to improve the nation’s oral health.

Since 2012, UAB has served as the National Administrative and Resource Center by NIDCR, leading the National Dental Practice-Based Research Network. The network is a consortium of participating practices and dental organizations committed to advancing knowledge of dental practice and “practical science,” advancing ways to improve it, and further benefiting real-world, everyday clinical practice.

In this role, UAB leads and oversees six smaller regional research centers in Birmingham; Rochester, New York; Gainesville, Florida; Minneapolis; San Antonio; and Portland, Oregon.

“The dental practice-based research network is a unique investigative union of real-world practicing clinicians and academic clinical scientists that aims to improve the nation’s oral health by expanding the knowledge base for clinical decision-making and moving the latest evidence into routine care,” said Gregg Gilbert, DDS, MBA, distinguished professor and chair of the Department of Clinical and Community Sciences, grant principal investigator and national network director. “The network is a precious national resource for our profession and our patients, and we are fortunate that NIDCR has invested in the future of our profession.”

Gilbert said an important aspect of this network is the participation of community practitioners at every step of the process, including serving as authors in peer-reviewed journals and as presenters at national meetings. Furthermore, the network presents a different paradigm for conducting clinical research by making a point of tapping into the practical clinical wisdom that exists in the dental community at large.

“We are thrilled that UAB’s School of Dentistry has been selected to lead this important national research effort,” said Michelle Robinson, DMD, M.A., interim dean of the School of Dentistry. “This network gives the everyday clinician a key voice in the science behind patient care. Including this most-recent grant, Dr. Gilbert’s network has brought more than $117 million in NIH funding to UAB since 2005.”

In addition to Gilbert, Sonia Makhija, DDS, MPH, associate professor in the Department of Clinical and Community Sciences, will serve as the national director of Communications & Dissemination, ensuring that research information reaches practices and is implemented.

This story originally appeared on the UAB News website.

This content was originally published here.

Former Google Employee Develops Technology for Drivers With Health Issues

A personal health challenge motivated Megan Gray to develop health technology, instead of rendering her helpless. Gray founded the company, Moment AI, after doctors said that she would never drive again at 23 years old, after an epilepsy diagnosis. Since 2019, Moment AI has evolved into a company focused on using deep tech to solve the toughest driver’s problems. The technology leverages physiological data with traffic data to form the safest software for drivers, according to its website.

“There was no technology that would allow her to drive safely again. So she decided to build her own,” reads the website. “Megan believes that no one should be inhibited in travel due to any health or environmental event. No one’s life should be at the risk of someone having a stressful day behind the wheels. The more people who can drive and live independent lives—like going to work, the more people can contribute to society.”

AfroTech reported that Moment AI is a respected name in the (artificial intelligence) AI startup world. Gray’s team includes her co-founder, Jacob Sutton, scientists, and engineers.

“Gray and the Moment AI team are on a mission to integrate health monitoring into the driving experience so that drivers can be alerted to potential deadly health episodes even before they begin to feel ill,”  AfroTech reported.

On Instagram, womenh2h said that Gray is driven to use technology to better others’ lives.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by WomenH2H 💞 (@womenh2h)

‘Megan started her company, Moment AI, using poker winnings to create a solution to a problem afflicting more than 3 million people in the United States, Epilepsy. Megan was motivated to develop an AI software solution that uses facial recognition to monitor driver safety because of her epilepsy. Her goal was to be allowed to drive herself to work,” womenh2h posted.

Additionally, the Instagram post mentioned that Gray is currently focused on growing Moment AI and continuing to develop products and services for autonomous vehicles.

Gray’s LinkedIn page stated that she worked as a Product Manager for Google and interned for other IT and technology-focused companies. In the summer of 2019, Gray was reportedly part of accelerators and women founders events for Moment AI. According to additional information on Gray’s LinkedIn, Gray has built technology that minimizes bias in AI and has multiple AI software patents pending.

This content was originally published here.

California Democrats Lobby to Give Health Insurance to All Illegal Aliens

Democrats in California are lobbying Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to expand the state’s health insurance program to all illegal alien residents.

Newsom introduced as part of his budget plan an expansion of the state’s health insurance program that would allow elderly illegal aliens 60 or older to become eligible for coverage. The cost to taxpayers is estimated at nearly $860 million.

Democrats, though, said Newsom’s plan does not go far enough and that the state should make all illegal alien residents eligible for coverage. California is home to at least three million illegal aliens.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

“Our ultimate goal is everyone,” state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) said of pushing for more coverage. “I think we are in the best position than we have ever been to make more significant process than we ever have. We are going to keep on pushing to include more uninsured.” [Emphasis added]

California’s Medi-Cal system already covers young immigrants until they turn 26. The state first offered Medi-Cal coverage to children living in the country illegally through the age of 18 in 2016. Last year, young adults were eligible for coverage after California expanded the age cut-off so that it mirrored that of the Affordable Care Act, which allows a person to remain on a parent’s health insurance plan until turning 26. At the time, Newsom called the expanded eligibility the “right thing to do.” [Emphasis added]

“Everyone has been talking for the past year or more about how certain communities were disproportionally impacted by the pandemic, such as undocumented and low-income Californians,” said Sarah Dar, the director of health and public benefits policy at the California Immigrant Policy Center. “Now, with the $75 billion, we have to fix those structural issues and ensure the safety net programs help all communities. Now is the time to do as much as we can.” [Emphasis added]

Earlier this month, State Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D) introduced legislation to effectively drive healthcare migration to the state of California with a plan that would allow adults to add their elderly illegal alien parents as dependents to their health insurance coverage.

The California Health Benefits Review Program admitted that the plan would likely ensure that foreign nationals in Mexico and Central America with health problems would migrate to California to secure coverage.

“Although there are administrative hurdles relating to receiving care in the United States for a dependent parent residing in Mexico or Canada, the opportunity to receive care in the United States would be very attractive, especially for those with high-risk conditions,” the analysis notes.

Today, Americans are forced to subsidize about $18.5 billion of yearly medical costs for illegal aliens living in the U.S., according to estimates by Chris Conover, formerly of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at Follow him on Twitter here.

This content was originally published here.

Great Dentistry from our Friend in the Philippines – Morning Side Fit

The longest extended vacation that my hubby and I spent abroad was almost four months. Even though our business venture did not turn out as productive as hoped, we still had a good time and managed to avoid a really cold long and brutal winter while my hubby has gotten his dental issues mostly resolved. He had a large number of teeth go bad in the past couple of years and really needed a lot of dental work. The last tooth he had pulled here in the US cost us $230 and it was an easy job because it was right in front.

Many years ago, he got his teeth cleaned and the dental technician used a hard grinding tool to removed the plaque from the bases of most of his teeth. He knew at that time that something was wrong because he could feel the increase sensitivity immediately. All these years later, his worst suspicions were realized when his teeth started getting cavities all around the bases where the technician had ground on his teeth. He has another friend who said the same thing happened to him and when he mentioned it to a technician here in the US, she was appalled to hear what they had done to him back then and said they did not do that kind of cleaning anymore.

He has also been taking a lot of prescription medication recently and wonders if that hasn’t contributed to the rapid deterioration that he experienced in just a few years. He had checked out the possibility of getting dental implants here in the US but the cost would have been at least $20,000-$30,000 so that was out of the question.

There in the Philippines, he managed to get multiple fillings, seven teeth pull, upper and lower plates made, all for under $1000. He figured that it would have cost us at least ten times that much to get all that work done here in the US. The only problem that he has had has been his own fault because he was not able to allow enough time for his jaws and gums to heal to get a really good fitting on the plates while we were still there. I guess we will just have to use that as an excuse to spend another winter back in the Philippines.

This content was originally published here.

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult? – Women Fitness Magazine

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult?
Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult?

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult? A bright and healthy smile is a key part of a good impression, and a good first impression can make all the difference in the modern world. We make or break out futures off of first impressions, after all.

You might want to fix your smile but worry that doing so as an adult might be not worth the trouble. A nice smile is great, but is it worth months of braces? Some adults decide to go with clear Invisalign to mitigate this worry.

But is Invisalign worth it as an adult, or is it too late to fix your oral issues? Read on and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.

How Does Invisalign Work, Anyway?

As an adult, it can be too big of a decision to commit to traditional braces.

Whether we like it or not, we tend to associate metal braces with that middle school era of existence. We worry, perhaps not unnecessarily, that having traditional braces as an adult might impact the perception of ourselves in the workplace, or in the social sphere.

Enter Invisalign, the solution for adults who are a bit worried about going the traditional braces route. There are a lot of differences between Invisalign and traditional braces. It’s important for you to find out more about the differences so that you can decide if Invisalign is for you.

How does the treatment actually work?

Invisalign works by utilizing BPA-free plastic aligners. These plastic aligners are modeled and personalized to fit the mold of your teeth exactly. They are then slipped over your teeth in much the same way a mouthguard would. The aligners are made in such a way that they can both fit your teeth snug and also push them into the proper position.

Incrementally, over time your teeth will move to the proper and prescribed positions in your mouth. When treatment is over, you’ll have that brand new smile that you dreamed of.

Benefits of Invisalign as an Adult

Why go with Invisalign to resolve your oral problems? There’s a lot of benefits, to be quite honest.

The biggest plus for most adults is that Invisalign is a lot less noticeable than most forms of traditional braces. The plastic that Invisalign aligners is made out of is totally clear and see-through. That means that in most cases, other people won’t even be able to tell that you’re wearing anything on your teeth.

They’ll have to look awfully close to be able to spot the aligners on your teeth. This means you don’t have to worry about feeling self-conscious about braces in your adult life and in adult circles.

Many adults also find these plastic aligners to be a lot more comfortable than other forms of oral straightening. They are non-intrusive and mostly very comfortable. Traditional braces might have excess metal that pokes at the mouth or irritates the gum. This is not the case with comfortable plastic aligners.

They are also removable, which means you can take them off in necessary situations. You shouldn’t remove them during your prescribed time, but in a worst-case scenario, it can be necessary. If you have a big presentation coming up, for example, and want to keep them off for half an hour?

You’ll be able to. You certainly couldn’t say that about traditional braces.

Traditional braces often cause strange coloring issues with teeth as well. Areas underneath the metal connections may end up being a different color than the exposed areas for some time. With Invisalign, this isn’t a concern. You can brush your teeth and use whitening strips as normal while your teeth are aligned.

Is Invisalign Worth It as an Adult?

If this the golden question, our answer would be leaning towards yes. However, whether Invisalign is worth it or not to you at your current age will vary depending on how badly you want a better smile. How much are you willing to put in to get a bright smile and better oral health?

Invisalign aligners do cost a decent amount of money, and you’ll need to budget a fair amount for the procedure. In most cases, they are more expensive than traditional braces. This is because of the many benefits that they provide. So if the cost is a big concern, that may be one reason that Invisalign might not be worth it to you.

A great smile can be worth any price, however! Not only are you improving the aesthetics of your appearance, but you’re also bettering your health as well. Clean, straight teeth are easier to maintain and keep clean.

That means you’ll be ridding yourself of the high risk of infection or oral issues down the line. These kinds of problems can be quite expensive to handle, so preventive action is your best bet at keeping costs down over the full run of your life.

Oral health is also intrinsically linked to your overall health! By keeping your smile straight, you’ll be actually benefiting your health as a whole. That’s a hard benefit to beat, and definitely might indicate that Invisalign is worth it as an adult.

Try Invisalign as an Adult

Is Invisalign worth it during your adult years?

It’s a question many moving through their twenties and thirties ask. The short answer is: yes! It certainly can be, and the above benefits can help indicate why.

Have more health and beauty questions? Check out our blog for much more information.

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New York State Could Finally Get Single-Payer Health Care

If you’re reading Jacobin, you’re probably impatient to pass Medicare for All — and rightly so. But Medicare for All can’t pass the current Congress. Even if Bernie Sanders had been elected president last year, he wouldn’t have had the votes, certainly not in his first term.

It’s one of many reasons we urgently need more socialists in Congress, especially in that undemocratic cesspit of reaction that is the US Senate. But that’s no reason to give up on the dream of enacting socialized medicine for millions of Americans this year.

In New York, it won’t be easy, but with enough organizing, we now have a shot at single-payer health care. The New York Health Act, which would create a single-payer system, was first introduced by Democratic Assembly member Richard Gottfried in 1992. Today, Gottfried, chair of the Assembly’s Health Committee, may finally have a chance to see his bill succeed.

That’s because, for the first time in its history, the New York Health Act has the votes to pass — at least on paper. In fact, the legislation’s cosponsors exceed (by one) the number of votes it needs. And the bill’s supporters are confident that, with a Democratic supermajority in the legislature, there are more lawmakers who could be persuaded to support it.

But that doesn’t mean the New York Health Act is a done deal — far from it.

It was safe for liberal legislators to support this overwhelmingly popular measure when it didn’t have the votes. They could get moral credit from progressives without having to face the political consequences of enacting genuinely redistributive policy. Now that it has a fighting chance, will the Senate and Assembly leadership actually introduce the bill?

Of course, many legislators may fear the inevitable ferocious backlash from the insurance and hospital industries, and from wealthy New Yorkers who don’t want to pay more in capital gains taxes (a key aspect of the bill’s proposed financing). Amplifying the uncertainty, some union members are vulnerable to scaremongering about losing their relatively decent health insurance, while their unions, which have whole benefits departments that are essentially health insurance companies, fear disruption and job loss to those operations.

Large municipal unions like DC 37 and the United Federation of Teachers have been especially slow to get on board. Fortunately, many unions do support the New York Health Act. It was the New York State Nurses Association that originally convinced Gottfried single-payer was needed. Now, New York State AFL-CIO, 1199SEIU, 32BJ SEIU, United Auto Workers Region 9 and Region 9A (my own union), and many others have also endorsed it.

The New York Health Act can pass, but our state leaders — especially Senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly majority leader Carl Heastie — will need popular pressure to get it done.

NYC-DSA (New York City Democratic Socialists of America) and its Campaign for New York Health partners are launching a campaign to do just that, starting by pressuring the leadership to introduce the bill. Coming off New York City’s successful “Tax the Rich” campaign (which we wrote about a couple weeks ago), NYC-DSA’s campaign for single-payer health care will follow a similar model (in fact, the “Tax the Rich” field organizers will be training the health care campaigners): mobilize people to knock on doors, make phone calls, and hang flyers to call their legislators and create politically significant pressure. Meanwhile, the socialist elected officials will work to persuade their colleagues and negotiate, making sure the bill remains a good one.

The campaign is reaching across the state, as DSA chapters in Buffalo and Rochester, as well as in New York City, have been working to pressure their representatives. There’s room for the campaign to grow in rural areas upstate, where the for-profit system has left many without access to hospitals or even ambulance service.

We surely do need it. Surveys show that 50 percent of New Yorkers avoid or put off seeking needed care because of the cost (whether because they lack health insurance or because their insurance might not cover care they need). Single-payer health care would vastly reduce our economic stresses and leave us healthier and happier.

In Canada, single-payer began as a provincial program. This happened not in French-speaking Quebec, and nowhere near cosmopolitan Toronto, but in Saskatchewan, where in 1944 the first socialist-led government anywhere in North America was elected, led by the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). (My Jacobin colleague Luke Savage wrote about this history last year.)

In 1962, it was a CCF-led government that enacted socialized health care in the province, despite bruising resistance from private health care interests, which used all the same talking points and red-baiting falsehoods that Medicare for All opponents deploy in the United States to this day. Four years later, federal legislation laid the foundation for the single-payer program that Canadians continue to enjoy today.

As in Saskatchewan almost sixty years ago, if the New York Health Act passes this year, socialists will deserve credit. The six socialists in the state legislature all campaigned on the bill and bring new momentum and commitment to the fight. Their supporters in NYC-DSA, if they can mobilize, can bring the public pressure.

In an online town hall meeting on the bill late last year, with newly elected socialist legislators Phara Souffrant Forrest and Jabari Brisport, Gottfried thanked everyone who had supported the socialists’ election campaigns, pointing out that it was only because of such efforts that the New York Health Act was finally on the horizon of real possibility. If the New York Health Act passes, he said, addressing Forrest’s and Brisport’s voters and volunteers, “It will be because of you.”

This content was originally published here.

Big Sean And His Mother Release Mental Health Digital Series

Rapper Big Sean teamed up with the woman who knows him best to release a free and low-cost digital series honoring Mental Health Awareness Month.

The Detroit native and his mother Myra Anderson developed a wellness video series as part of the rapper’s Sean Anderson Foundation, Page Six reports. The series will release a new episode every Saturday during Mental Health Awareness Month offering insight on sleep, meditation, diet, exercise, and a practice called “the emotional freedom technique.”

“Sean and I wanted to share some of the no- or low-cost techniques that we have used over the years to help us attain and maintain emotional balance,” Anderson said in a statement. “In the future, we may do a deeper dive into some of these techniques and other tools that we use.”

The “Bounce Back” rapper praised his mom for teaching him about the importance of mental health early on.  “I feel that Mental Health Awareness Month is the perfect time to talk with my mom about some of the things I have learned from her that have helped me along the way, and I hope will help others,” he said.

Big Sean
Big Sean (Image: Instagram)

Each episode runs for about 10 to 15 minutes with the mother-and-son duo helping their audience to “attain and maintain emotional balance,” AfroTech reports.

In the past, Big Sean has opened up about his struggle with depression and how it led him to cancel his 2018 tour with Playboi Carti, Complex reports. “I never really took the time out to nurture myself, to take care of myself. It took me a lot of depression [and] having a lot of anxiety to realize something was off,” he told Billboard at the time.

Sean’s most recent philanthropic endeavors include a mental health awareness panel his foundation hosted and COVID-19 fundraisers to aid in relief efforts. Alongside his mother, Sean and Anderson launched their Mogul Prep educational program that guides students in obtaining careers in music and other industries.

This content was originally published here.

Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry – Ann Arbor, Michigan – Atlas Obscura

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Australian government considering sending oxygen, ventilators to help India as its health system is overwhelemed by second wave – ABC News

The federal government is considering rushing ventilators stockpiled at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to India, as the country grapples with consecutive days of record-breaking COVID-19 infections.

Key points:

The Indian health system is at breaking point from the country’s second wave, with hospitals running out of oxygen supplies and beds.

For the fifth straight day, India set a global record for a rise in daily coronavirus cases — with 352,991 cases in the last 24 hours.

The number of people who have died also jumped by an all-time high of 2,812, reaching a total of 195,123.

So far, more than 17 million people in India have contracted the virus.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government was in the process of considering what it could send to help.

“And while we can assist with the national medical stockpile, their particular request is for assistance with regards to the physical supply of oxygen.”

Mr Hunt said the government would reach out to the states to see if any of the oxygen supplies could be donated.

But he said the government could donate non-invasive ventilators that are currently in the national stockpile.

The Commonwealth ramped up purchases of ventilators in preparation for a worst-case COVID-19 scenario last year, and they are now sitting unused across the country.

“We are in a strong position on that front because we don’t need them at this point in time,” Mr Hunt said.

“We will still keep a reserve.”

The National Security Committee of Cabinet is meeting tomorrow to discuss any assistance for India, as well as any extra steps that may need to be taken to minimise the risk of infections spreading to Australia.

COVID fears making life a ‘nightmare’

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Last week, National Cabinet announced there would be a 30 per cent reduction in flights from India — both commercial and government-organised repatriation flights — after a spike in cases in returned travellers.

Mr Hunt would not pre-empt whether NSC would make recommendations for further travel restrictions, saying it would make decisions based on medical advice.

“We’ve made the heartrending decision to have to reduce flights, at the same time we want to bring Australians home,” he said.

“If we [cut flights further], we will do it with a heavy heart – but without hesitation.”

Joh Gwynn, who runs a Facebook group for Australians in India with some 17,000 members, said life in the capital was a “nightmare”.

“We’re hearing that COVID is more or less in in every household we hear our members are too fearful to leave their houses even to get food and essential items because of fear of getting COVID,” she said.

“And then if they do get COVID they can’t get on a flight even if they are lucky enough to have a ticket.”

An elderly man in a turban receives oxygen support in the back of a car

Reuters: Danish Siddiqui

Several countries have already pledged assistance to India.

The United States has promised to allow more raw ingredients to be exported to India to help it ramp up COVID-19 vaccine production.

The United Kingdom, Germany and France have also promised to send desperately needed medical equipment to India, including ventilators and oxygen concentrators.

One federal government source told the ABC that India was facing “truly daunting” challenges and Australia faced a “difficult balancing act” as it weighed both diplomatic and public health imperatives.

The Indian Government is already bracing for new flight restrictions as cases continue to climb, with several European nations announcing new bans and quarantine measures for travellers coming from India.

Hunt defends hotel quarantine

The Health Minister was also asked about recent criticism of the hotel quarantine model.

WA president of the Australian Medical Association, Andrew Miller, today described it as “an abuse of human rights” and that “it doesn’t work”.

“We’ve infected innocent people, we’ve infected a pregnant woman and her four-year-old child in there, and we’ve got a lockdown in the community despite the governments — both governments — having been warned for some time this is an airborne disease,” he said.

Read more about Australia’s vaccine rollout:

He said alternatives, like using old workers and mining camps, should be considered.

Mr Hunt said that while the system would never be perfect, it had proved successful the majority of the time.

“My view is we have the best quarantine system, or at the very least the equal of the best, of any in the world,” he said.

“This has been the front-line in our protection and half a million Australians have come home since mid-March of last year when the restrictions were put in place. 

“Unless you were to absolutely cut Australia off from the rest of the world — no medical returns, no compassionate returns, no trade in or out … then you cannot prevent contact.”

He pointed to a recent case of a border worker in New Zealand who, despite being fully vaccinated and wearing PPE, still contracted the virus.

Mr Hunt said other options were still be considered but that hotel quarantine was working well as Australia’s “first ring of containment” to stop the virus entering the community.

This content was originally published here.

Benefits of Invisalign: Invisalign Benefits and Disadvantages

Misaligned or crooked teeth look unsightly and even restrict the cleaning process. Eventually, improper cleaning can lead to periodontal disease. It damages the bone and gum, which can cause the loss of teeth as well. You can choose to wear braces on your teeth to create proper alignment. But, the selection of braces matters a lot.

Any traditional brace can give pain while wearing and feel uncomfortable. This is why people choose a better alternative known as Invisalign. They are more effective braces for many reasons, which is why more people look for Invisalign Treatment Sydney to acquire all the benefits of braces without any issues.

Table of Contents

In the presence of the best invisalign Sydney, you can expect the following benefits of of Invisalign:

Better appearance

Many people, especially adults worry about the appearance of unattractive metal braces. Conventional braces tend to look strange and awkward, which is why people don’t prefer them. But, that is not a problem with Invisalign, as it becomes barely noticeable once adjusted into the mouth of a person. The clarity of these teeth aligners allows a person to have a natural-looking smile without feeling embarrassed or awkward. This makes Invisalign way better-looking braces than other traditional choices.

Easily removable

The metal braces become fixed in the location once placed by a specialist. It requires a specialist to remove them when the right time comes. This causes problems when a wearer really needs to remove his or her braces. Thankfully, Invisalign braces are easily removable. A wearer can choose to take them out for a few minutes, for eating or drinking. Then, the wearer can place the braces back in the position comfortably.

Exceptional teeth and gum safety

The metal bits in traditional braces increase the chances of scratching or puncturing gums or teeth. But Invisalign braces provide comfort and smoothness without any risks of damage. There are no sharp edges, bits or protruding edges to worry about. Unlike traditional braces, these don’t put extreme force on your teeth. Plus, they reduce the chances of cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Faster teeth alignment

Traditional metal braces can take up to 5 years in many cases to complete the alignment process. On the contrary, Invisalign requires about a year or so to straighten and align your teeth. This is one of the primary benefits, why people ask about Invisalign when consulting Sydney Dental Surgeons. People want to be done with the treatment as quickly as possible. And this modern-age solution does exactly that. After every two weeks, the wearer receives a small adjustment, which allows the setup to work faster and align your teeth to give a perfectly healthy smile.

Assurance of quality in the results

In the presence of the Best Orthodontist Sydney, you can obtain completely computerized treatment involving Invisalign. The inclusion of technology has allowed the procedure to become accurate in terms of results. You will be receiving the expected results, which isn’t the case with many metal braces. Traditional braces create the scenario of trial and error, so, the patient doesn’t know what to expect from the upcoming result.

Proper teeth cleaning

The removable nature of Invisalign makes it suitable for teeth care during the alignment period. You can simply remove them and clean every area in your mouth properly. On the other hand, traditional braces have special structures that provide small pockets. These pockets don’t allow the wearer to use a toothbrush or floss properly. As a result, more food debris keeps on accumulating, which can cause bad breath, cavity, tooth decay, and other problems.

Invisalign comes out of your mouth, so you can go about your everyday oral health routine. As a result, you don’t have to worry about other diseases after getting your teeth aligned. You will get well-aligned, shiny white teeth with healthy gums at the end of the alignment period.

Easy adjustments

The use of Invisalign involves 3D scanning of your teeth to decide the customization of aligners. Hence, dental adjustments don’t take too many visits to the doctor. While you have to consult your dentist, the frequency of visits doesn’t have to be too quick.

So, are you ready to leverage every advantage of using Invisalign over traditional braces?!

This content was originally published here.

Cori Bush Pushes Back After Using Gender-Inclusive Language During Powerful Testimony On Black Maternal Health

100 Women For 100 Women Rally

Source: Paul Morigi / Getty

Rep. Cori Bush is not here for your racism or transphobia. The Missouri legislator pushed back on false outrage at her use of gender-inclusive language in a Capitol Hill testimony about her birthing experiences.

Bush pointed out that people were more hyped up over gender-inclusive language than her account of near-death experience and mistreatment during childbirth.

Bush testified Thursday before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Birthing While Black: Examining America’s Black Maternal Health Crisis. Occurring a few weeks after Black Maternal Health Week, the hearing brought forth testimony about the maternal mortality and morbidity crisis.

By using the phrase “Black birthing people,” Bush followed an emerging norm within birth justice spaces. Black Women Birthing Justice defines birth justice as part of the broader movement to dismantle reproductive oppression. The organization also recognizes the varying experiences and needs of various groups, including queer and transfolks.

Recently named vice-chair on Children, Families, and Communities for the Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity for the 117th Congress, Bush recalled her experience as an unhoused mother of two.

“It is our duty as representatives in Congress to do the most for everyone we represent, beginning with those who have the least,” Bush said in a statement. “Poverty is a policy choice, and together we will fight for a future where our families and children have what they need to live a good and joyous life.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley, who also testified alongside her colleague, used the phrase in a tweet announcing the reintroduction of the MOMMIES Act with Sen. Cory Booker.

Hearing co-chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s opening statement also contained gender-inclusive language. Dr. Joia Crear-Perry also used the phrase Black birthing people in her testimony.

As an OB-GYN and founder of the National Birth Equity Collaborative, Crear-Perry laid out the stark realities of Black maternal health. She also pointed to issues that can increase birthing complications, including police violence and climate change. One example was Black birthing people having greater exposure to extreme heat than their white counterparts, increasing the likelihood of hospitalization in the third trimester.

Crear, along with Monica R. McLemore Ph.D., and Jamie Hart, Ph.D., MPH, wrote an op-ed challenging the White House to adopt a reproductive justice approach to healthcare. President Biden announced the creation of the White House Gender Policy Council in early March. Crear, McLemore, and Hart want Biden to establish the White House Office of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Wellbeing under the Domestic Policy Council.

“By reframing policy design to start with sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing, we can integrate health equity and the social supports that ensure good public health, such as housing, employment, and educational attainment,” wrote the trio. “Reproductive Justice is the foundation of wellbeing in all aspects of individuals’ lives.”

The Office of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Wellbeing would provide the infrastructure to promote and ensure fair health services for all.

By her testimony and adjusting for inclusive language, Bush showed her continued commitment to ensuring children and families get the help they need and deserve. Better to upset social media trolls than continue to disregard all those who give birth.


Movement To Expel Marjorie Taylor Greene From Congress Gains Steam As Rep. Cori Bush Moves Her Office Farther Away

Cori Bush To Rely On Her Powerful ‘Lived Experiences’ After Being Nominated To House Judiciary Committee

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This content was originally published here.

Crown Hill dentistry burglar arrested, police search for second suspect – My Ballard

Police have arrested a burglary suspect and are searching for the second after a break-in at Seattle Crown Hill Dental (1421 NW 85th St) on Sunday night.  According to the SPD Blotter, the burglary…

This content was originally published here.

Washington state vaccine provider denies white people access. The state health department says it’s for equity.

A health provider in Washington state is denying white people access to the coronavirus vaccine and the state’s health department is reportedly allowing it to happen.

What are the details?

The African American Reach and Teach Health Ministry is currently prioritizing only “Black, Indigenous & People of Color” for vaccination appointments at four sites across King County, Washington, an area which includes the state’s most populous city, Seattle.

On its website, AARTH states that “the COVID-19 vaccine is available to all people 16 years and older who live or work in Washington state.” However, white people are not eligible to receive the vaccine through the provider, but instead are encouraged to join a waiting list.

Individuals interested in receiving a vaccination through the provider are required to fill out an online form specifying whether or not they identify as BIPOC. If not, they are prompted to join the “standby list” with the promise that they will be contacted should appointments become available.

On a separate webpage for the standby list, AARTH states, “We will notify you if we have vaccine surplus available for a clinic regardless of our focus or your eligibility.”

AARTH — a nonprofit group that describes itself as a “non-religious … faith-based” organization that aims to respond to major health issues affecting people of African descent” — did not deny its race-exclusionary program when questioned by Jason Rantz of KTTH-AM.

“Part of the reason we ask that is because of the funding that we receive,” AARTH consultant Twanda Hill told Rantz. “We have funding because we are able to reach people of color. Federal funding, state funding, county funding. They want to know who are we serving.”

What else?

Rantz also reportedly reached out to the Washington Department of Health regarding “whether or not vaccine providers may discriminate on the basis of race.” But in response, the health department reportedly dodged the question with various explanations regarding equity.

One department spokesperson, Kristen Maki, explained the “prioritization is designed to address current inequities and barriers to accessing vaccine, and get the people who are at highest risk vaccinated first while federal vaccine supply remains limited.”

Another spokesperson, Franji Mayes, said that the department is coordinating with communities of color because of “systemic inequities” in health care. She added that “dealing with racism is a stressor that is bad for health and life expectancy.”

Anything else?

On AARTH’s website, the group points out that the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately affected the black community in America. And that trauma, it says, has only been further exacerbated by police brutality.

“The deaths of Brenna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony Mcdade and countless other murders demonstrates multiple examples of the sad truth: that America is far from that shinning city on a hill that offers liberty and justice for all,” the group states. “Their murders at the hands of police officers represents endemic social injustice, deep seeded hatred and hardness of hearts. This truth has been laid bare for the world to see.”

This content was originally published here.

BZ Orthodontics named Lansdale Business of the Month

LANSDALE — The latest winner of Lansdale’s Business of the Month award is one that has breathed new life into a multi-generation family business. 

Councilman Steve Malagari gave the monthly award to BZ Orthodontics and owner Brian Zebrick for continuing a long legacy of being part of the community.

“They want to use their position in the community, and their access to hundreds of families, to encourage everybody to give back, and continue to help Lansdale be a better place,” Malagari said.

Located at 456 E. Hancock Street, BZ Orthodontics was originally established in 1961 by Leon Strohecker as Strohecker Orthodontics, and was operated by that family until 2017, when they retired and turned the practice over to Zebrick. The owner himself was unable to attend council’s Oct. 18 meeting to accept the award in person, and several employees who attended said the owner was away on his honeymoon and thanked council on his behalf.

Since that shift, Malagari told council Wednesday night, Zebrick has continued to provide high quality service, along with their expert orthodontics.

“As an orthodontic specialist, Dr. Zebrick offers Invisalign clear aligners, clear braces, and traditional metal braces, for patients of all ages,” Malagari said, while showing slides of customers showing off their new smiles.

Zebrick himself is originally from Montgomery County, lived in Florida as a teen, then completed dental school at the University of Maryland and an orthodontic residency at Temple University, Malagari said. Since taking over the practice in March 2017, the company and its employees have worked to keep providing high quality dental care as conveniently as possible. 

“I asked them, ‘How do you like doing business in the borough of Lansdale?’ And their response was, ‘It’s very gratifying to be part of the community as a whole, and the small business community in Lansdale. It’s very rewarding to see our patients out in the community, and the change we can make in their lives,'” Malagari said.

Malagari said he first took note of the business when walking along Hancock Street, to and from the nearby SEPTA station, and saw an array of solar panels set up to the rear of the office. When he asked about the solar system, Malagari said, he was told it’s just one way the company tries to be as green as possible.

“The response was, ‘We always try to reduce our footprint on the environment as much as possible. We use solar energy, the plastic bags we give our patients are biodegradable,'” he said, and adult patients are given reusable tote bags they can use for shopping elsewhere.

BZ employees also take part in borough events, and organize donation drives each month for different local charities: in August and September they contributed to the North Penn School District’s “Build a Bag” campaign to assemble backpacks for kids in need, and in October are partnering with Laurel House to raise awareness of domestic violence, and working with Home at Last Dog Rescue to find new forever homes for pets.

Next month, Malagari said, BZ will collect food to donate to Manna on Main Street, and in December they’ll organize a “Toys for Tots” drive to help needy families give gifts for the holidays.

“They pride themselves on giving all of their patients the best experience, by treating them like family, and making their orthodontic experience as fun, and as comfortable, as possible,” Malagari said.

“Their larger goal is to have a greater impact in the community than just producing beautiful smiles,” he said.

For more information on BZ Orthodontics, call 215-855-7717, visit or search for “BZ Orthodontics” on Facebook.

This content was originally published here.

Public Health Experts Have Lost the Benefit of the Doubt

Public health bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have brought Johnson & Johnson’s vaccination efforts to a screeching halt pending an investigation into six confirmed cases of blood clotting among the nearly 7 million people to become inoculated. This decision will inadvertently get people killed, but if you dare to question it, you will be branded an enemy of science by the “trust the experts” mafia.

Make no mistake, the pause represents lethal risk aversion. There is no real question that many, many more people will contract COVID-19 because they did not receive a vaccine quickly enough—suffering hospitalization or even death as a result—than will have an adverse health outcome from the vaccine.

“This decision was made by the CDC and FDA,” said Jeff Zients, a White House coronavirus response coordinator. “We’re ruled by the science, not any other consideration.”

Since the decision to pause the J&J vaccine cannot be defended on any sort of basic life-saving calculus—oral contraceptives carry a greater risk of blood clotting, and the FDA hasn’t prohibited them—government health experts and their media mouthpieces are instead arguing that the pause is necessary to stave off a surge in vaccine hesitancy. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, opined that the pause would reassure vaccine skeptics that the government takes their concerns seriously and has made safety the top priority.

“One of the most important reasons why people have hesitancy is they’re concerned about the safety,” said Fauci. “The very fact you have two organizations—the CDC and the FDA—looking so carefully at this, making safety the primary concern, in my mind confirms or underscores the situation that we take safety very seriously. I would think at the end of the day it could actually diminish hesitancy by saying, ‘Boy those people there are looking at that very carefully and when they say something is safe you can believe it’s safe.'”

Fauci has no idea what he’s talking about. In fact, there’s good evidence that governments damage public confidence in vaccines when they do things like this. The European Union’s dubious decision to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine at a time when the pandemic was raging across Europe (and many countries had pitifully low vaccination rates) substantially undermined public trust in the vaccine.

And even if halting the J&J vaccine did result in some slight gain in terms of public approval, this would need to be weighed against the fact that any delay in vaccination causes death. (Several friends of mine were slated to receive the J&J vaccine yesterday; they showed up to their appointments only to discover that they could no longer get vaccinated.)

Yet anyone who dares criticize Fauci, the CDC, the FDA, or the experts more generally, has been warned to stay in their lane. The best recent example of this is when statistician Nate Silver, a polling guru and editor of FiveThirtyEight, took to Twitter to lambast the vaccine halt on many of the same grounds I laid out here. Silver pointed out that even if the FDA did want to tackle the blood-clotting issue, it did not need to order to a full stop: The agency could have quietly investigated the matter first, or it could have even ordered a pause just for women under the age of 49 (the group affected by the blood clots).

“Even if blood clot deaths were 10-fold higher than observed so far, which is certainly possible, it wouldn’t be a close decision,” said Silver. “And that’s before considering the knock-off (sic) effects on contributing to vaccine hesitancy.”

For raising these issues, Silver was sharply criticized by public health experts and those who apparently believe we should never question them.

With all due respect to @NateSilver538, he is not an expert on the psychology of vaccine confidence. He is a poll aggregator and political pundit. He is not an infectious disease specialist, epidemiologist, vaccinologist, virologist, immunologist, or behavioral scientist.

— Céline Gounder, MD, ScM, FIDSA (@celinegounder) April 14, 2021

Hi, my name is Nate Silver. I’ve been fucking up with my usual game of political polling, so I’ve decided to assert my great flawless mind into the world of infectious disease, because the pandemic needs another loud voice contradicting experts and condemning each move they make.

— Ethan Embry (@EmbryEthan) April 14, 2021

Nate Silver is what happens when white men

— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) April 14, 2021

The key problem with @NateSilver538 tweets about J&J withdrawal is that it ignores the requirements of clinical trials and the potential impact of ignoring them, and instead relies on raw statistical analysis. The consequences of doing so could prove disastrous to the entire…1

— Kurt “Masks Save Lives” Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) April 14, 2021

It is Gounder’s perspective that really encapsulates the entire view of Team Trust the Experts. In their thinking, whatever the CDC says must be accurate, because it represents the collective wisdom of people in the know. And the only people in the know are epidemiologists.

Note that this stay-in-your-lane mentality runs in only one direction. Public health officials had no problem staking out strong positions on, say, the prevalence of racism in society and which activist strategies might be necessary in order to counteract it. They don’t seem to understand that a data and polling expert like Silver might have more expertise than Fauci on what sort of advocacy messages could move the needle on public opinion. Indeed, several non-epidemiologists whose pandemic-related predictions were the most accurate—Zeynep Tufekci and Alex Tabarrok come to mind—were unafraid of contradicting CDC’s guidance, and have been proven right time and time again.

Experts are not infallible. The judgment of the CDC should never be beyond questioning. The FDA’s very existence has largely proven a barrier to getting people the medicine they need to prevent thousands of deaths: For all of the government’s stated concerns about vaccine hesitancy, no entity has done more to prevent people from receiving the shot than the government’s own health authorities. If there’s one lesson to take away from this pandemic, it’s that we should sometimes Listen to the Experts—but also ignore them when they’re full of it.

This content was originally published here.

Ex-dentistry professor sues USC over termination | Daily Trojan

Former professor Jucheng Chen from the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry filed a civil case lawsuit against the University Jan. 16 for alleged age discrimination, employer retaliation and wrongful discharge in lieu of public policy, according to a lawsuit obtained by the Daily Trojan.

In the lawsuit, Chen named USC, dentistry school Executive Associate Dean for Academic, Faculty and Student Affairs Mahvash Navazesh and Chair of Periodontology, Diagnostic Science and Dental Hygiene Casey Chen as the defendants of the case. Chen is suing the defendants for monetary damages and punitive action regarding his termination.

“We all hope USC would be better, more transparent,” Chen said.

Chen was employed by the University for 20 years and was appointed to the USC Provost’s “Task Force on Teaching Excellence” in March 2016, a year prior to his termination.

Chen alleged that his termination was sparked by an incident in 2017 after he noticed his students’ grades were changed without his approval. His primary role at the time was as a teacher’s assistant, and he was responsible for the grades of 16 freshmen.

“[Chen] believed a hacking mishap was more likely than not since, to his knowledge, his freshman grades had never been changed before and were based off USC’s own grading criteria and procedures,” the lawsuit read.

According to the lawsuit, Chen reported the situation on April 10 to the Office of Academic Affairs as a breach in the University servers, but he was soon notified by the University’s technical department that the course grades had been altered without his own approval.

“[Chen] received startling news from the IT department the next day” the lawsuit read.  “IT confirmed … that the changing of Plaintiff’s grades was intentional and was done at the direction and behest of Associate Dean, Defendant [Mahvash] Navazesh.”

In response to the situation, Chen complained to other faculty and reported the incident, citing a cause of fraud. However, no action was taken thereafter.

Ten days after the complaint was filed, Chen received a termination letter, which he claims was the University’s retaliation to his protected complaint of academic violation.

Navazesh and Chen have denied all accusations, according to the lawsuit.

“When Plaintiff pressed for an explanation regarding the alteration, Defendants Navazeh and Chen could not and/or refused to provide one and wished him well in his future endeavors,” the lawsuit read.

The Daily Trojan reached out to Navazesh and Dr. Casey Chen for comment but was directed to University Media Relations.

“At the request of a number of students, an internal review was conducted of the grades assigned to that portion of the course,” the University wrote in statement to the Daily Trojan. “Based on that review, adjustments were made by a course co-director in a manner that was judged to be a more accurate reflection of the students’ work.”

Though the University maintains that student grades were changed after careful evaluation of the course, Chen alleged that he was wrongfully terminated after reporting the incident.  

“Both Dr. Chen and I care about the integrity of the school … I think it’s very important that when speech of this nature occurs, the victim has the right to tell his narrative and to see justice,” said Chen’s lawyer Kevin Chiang, an alumnus from the Gould School of Law. “Our hope at the end of the day is that Dr. Chen is able to tell his story, let the facts speak for themselves and ultimately to let the judicial system adjudicate this matter in accordance with the law.

The Los Angeles Superior Court has set a jury trial for the case at Stanley Mosk Courthouse. At the time of publication, no trial date had been set. According to University Media Relations, USC is currently not represented by legal counsel.

Chiang said the trial is expected to take anywhere from six months to two years.

“[We] are prepared to litigate the case for however long the process requires,” Chiang said in an email to the Daily Trojan.

This content was originally published here.

Cannabis ‘gravest threat’ to mental health of young people

Cannabis is the “gravest threat” to the mental health of young people in Ireland, a psychiatrists’ group has warned, with an estimated 45,000 15-34 year olds now meeting the criteria for cannabis dependence.

A combination of increasingly potent strains of the drug and a “widespread conception” among the public that it is generally harmless has had “devastating effects”, the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland said.

While calling on the Government to conduct an urgent review of cannabis use and related harms, the college has begun its own information campaign amid concerns that psychiatric services could be “overrun” by a surge in young people needing treatment of mental issues linked to the drug.

The college says there were 877 admissions in 2019 to medical hospitals in Ireland with a cannabis-related diagnosis, four times the figure for 2005.

‘Perfect storm’

“When you consider how potent the drug has become in recent years, it is obvious we are facing a perfect storm which has the potential to overrun our psychiatric services.”

The average age at which children start to try cannabis is 12-14, with many going on to “almost daily” use, and those requiring referral to mental health services aged 15-16 on average, Dr McCarney said.

However, some children as young as seven to eight were “dabbling” in the drug, he added, while 11 year olds have required treatment.

Psychosis and depression

“The earlier you start, the greater the potential risk,” he said. “This is a critical phase of young people’s lives, a time of learning and the opening of career opportunities. You don’t get that time back again if it’s lost to cannabis misuse.”

Mental health issues associated with cannabis use include psychosis, depression, anxiety disorders and suicidal behaviour. These have been exacerbated by rising levels of THC, the psychoactive part of the drug, in cannabis in recent years.

College president Dr William Flannery said cannabis use was increasing but “there is still a general feeling among the public that the drug is mostly harmless”.

“This conception needs to be challenged at every turn because psychiatric services are under huge pressure due to this problem.”

The college is the professional and training body for psychiatrists in Ireland and represents 1,000 specialists and trainees across the country. 

This content was originally published here.

Texas Cops Kill Black Man ‘Not Armed With A Gun Or Deadly Weapon’ During Mental Health Crisis: Lawyer

Ashton Pinke

Ashton Pinke | Source: Dallas County Sheriff’s Department

Police in Texas shot and killed a Black man early Monday morning while responding to a 911 call intended to seek a mental health wellness check for the victim, according to the lawyer representing his family.

Ashton Pinke, 27, was shot by two officers with the Mesquite Police Department after they arrived to a home from where a 911 call was made before the caller hung up as it was answered by authorities, according to local law enforcement. The call was linked to an address at an apartment complex, where the officers found Pinke and claimed he “charged” at them while “armed with a knife and a club,” prompting them both to open fire, the Mesquite Police Department said on Facebook. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police said they were able to locate the address because they had been previously been contacted from the same phone number. It was not immediately clear when and how many times. Police also said they were able to identify a “victim,” presumably the person who placed the 911 call.

However, that police narrative has been challenged by the lawyer retained by Pinke’s family. Attorney Justin Moore said that eyewitnesses gave him a different account of the police encounter. NBC Dallas-Fort Worth reported that Moore described the situation as an “alleged domestic disturbance” that “should have been a mental health welfare check.”

Moore continued: “Unfortunately, the lack of a proper response by the Mesquite Police department ended in Asthon being shot and killed. By all accounts, Ashton was not armed with a gun or deadly weapon to justify the use of lethal force by officers on the scene.”

An eyewitness told local news outlet WFAA that they saw Pinke with a walking stick that he typically uses moments before he was shot. It was unclear if that walking stick is what police referred to as a “club.”

Moore called for full police transparency.

The Mesquite Police Department said the officers involved were wearing bodycams and that the footage was under review and would be “released to the public later this week.”

Police said the officers who killed Pinke were identified as a 25-year-old woman and a 21-year-old man. They have been placed on administrative leave with pay.

The shooting in Mesquite came amid heightened scrutiny over police shootings of Black people, a trend that has shown no signs of letting up in the immediate aftermath of a former cop being found guilty of murdering George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, in Minneapolis just two weeks ago.

On the same day Derek Chauvin was convicted, a police officer in Columbus, Ohio, gunned down a 16-year-old accused of holding a knife in a stabbing motion. The case, along with too many other police killings, has renewed calls for law enforcement to reexamine how quickly they resort to using lethal force.

Monday was far from the first time the police have ever shot and killed a Black person following a 911 call during a mental health crisis. In Texas last September, Damian Daniels, a military veteran, was shot twice in the chest in front of his newly purchased home after cops were dispatched there to perform a wellness check.

Pinke is now among those on a growing list of Black men suffering from mental illness and killed by police who failed to employ de-escalation techniques.


Derek Chauvin Juror Defends Attending March On Washington After Conservatives Argue Grounds For An Appeal

Andrew Brown Jr.’s Funeral Held As Questions Go Unanswered In North Carolina Police Shooting

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This content was originally published here.

Ashford Orthodontics applies 3D printing, expedites dental production by 24 hours

Five years after its initial experimentation Ashford Orthodontics, a UK based laboratory, has shown great success with its 3D printed dental equipment.

According to CEO and founder, Sean Thompson, “Digital orthodontics was something we knew we had to get into. We couldn’t afford not to do it if we really wanted to be a leading player within orthodontics.”

Clear aligners and retainers produced by thermoforming. Photo via Formlabs.

Adopting digital workflow

Founded in 2001, Ashford Orthodontics was formed in response to an increasing demand for laboratories capable of specialist orthodontic technical services. Additionally, Ashford Orthodontics wanted to offer orthodontists and dentists a fair, cost effective price list.

To keep up with the growing number of digital customers, the lab adopted a digital workflow. Unfortunately, the cost and complexity of operating large-scale 3D printers made it difficult to justify using digital workflow in its business. However, by using twelve Form 2 stereolithography 3D printers, Ashford managed to produce high-quality clear aligners, while remaining profitable, allowing it to attract new customers.

Benefits of 3D printed orthodontics

When Ashford first got into digital orthodontics, it accounted for 2% of its business, but after further integration, that number has risen to 15%. Similar success has been seen in other orthodontic companies, such as Align Technology, which has used its iTero 3D Scanning system to produces 8 million orthodontics per year.

Every day at Ashford Orthodontics, the lab has a cutoff time at 3 PM, after which technicians review new scans sent in by clients. They then plan out treatments and set the necessary parts to be 3D printed overnight. In the morning, technicians clean and dry the 3D printed parts, and later thermoform the clear aligners on the finished models.

In comparison to traditional methods, 3D printing has reduced lead time on products by 24 hours. Additionally, if an order needs to be made quickly, a model can easily be spread along several different 3D printers and completed in a few hours. It also allows for technicians to make quick edits to alliengers/retainers.

Thompson comments, “It shouldn’t cost you any more to provide your services to your clients and patients via the digital route than via the traditional impression route. So what we’ve done is quite simply that we swapped the cost of the plaster models—which aren’t needed anymore—with the cost of the resin model,

“Therefore, your lab bill is exactly the same, whether it’s done via the traditional route or the digital route, except you can have things back 24 hours sooner.”

Form 2 stereolithography 3D printers. Photo via Formlabs.

3D printing in orthodontics and dentistry

As other companies search for new, faster, cost-effective production in dentistry/orthodontics, several have turned to additive manufacturing. In 2016, 3D printer manufacturer, EnvisionTEC, received FDA approval for its 3D printed dental products. Similarly, the Tokyo Dental College has been developing a 3D printing lab for designing and producing inexpensive patient-specific dental models.

Thompson concludes: “When [customers] realize that what we’re providing here is very good quality, they trust us to send us the more complex appliances,”

“At the moment, it’s traditional techniques with a little bit of digital, but in a matter of two or three years, it’s going to be digital techniques with a little bit of traditional. And that’s going to be the driving force for our department moving forward.”

For more of the latest 3D printing news sign up to the 3D Printing Industry newsletter, Also, follow us onTwitter, and like us onFacebook.

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Featured image shows appliances being hand finished by technicians. Photo via Formlab.

This content was originally published here.

New Approaches to Equine Dentistry – The Horse

“Horses tend to be stoic, frequently hiding even severe dental pain,” said Chris Pearce, MRCVS, specialist dental veterinarian and director of The Equine Dental Clinic, in Witchampton, U.K., who paper “Recent developments in equine dentistry” was published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal. “Further, they have the ability to alter their mastication (chewing) patterns to avoid painful regions of the mouth, making it extremely difficult for owners to recognize the often subtle signs of dental disease.

“Considering horses are living longer than ever, diagnosing dental conditions and intervening as early as possible will help maintain optimal dentition as long as possible,” he added.

In place of outdated perfunctory examinations to assess hooks and points and remove wolf teeth, veterinary dentists now perform routine (preferably twice a year) examinations with specialized equipment. Such equipment includes small diagnostic mirrors, bright headlights, quality specula to hold the mouth open, head stands or slings to position the head for optimal viewing, sedation, and portable oroscopes—cameras similar to those used by human dentists to examine the teeth close-up.

“Having this equipment permits a full examination, which is in my opinion the most important part of any routine dental visit,” Pearce said.

Periodontal Disease: An Important Condition

One of the most important conditions affecting the oral cavity of horses is periodontal disease—infection and inflammation of the gum, bone, and other tissues that support the teeth. It develops when food or other foreign material become lodged between adjacent teeth and cause the periodontal tissues to decay. As a result, food becomes packed deeper and deeper into the periodontium, causing additional damage.

“The population of bacteria in those regions changes, with more damaging types of bacteria causing infection and ‘biofilm’ production—complex families of bacteria that become firmly attached to the teeth and are often highly resistant to even strong antibiotics,” Pearce explained.

Veterinarians must remove the food material from affected horses’ periodontal spaces and pockets. They can use techniques that either slightly widen the spaces between the teeth or fill them in with special material to prevent additional buildup.

Diseased Teeth: Spare or Extract Them?

In addition to feed impaction in the periodontal spaces, other dental disorders can contribute to painful dental diseases. Examples include caries (cavities/defects from decay in the tooth structure), infections, fractures, abnormally placed or positioned teeth, and even cancer. In some cases the affected teeth must be extracted—a process called exodontia.

Horse tooth extractions have traditionally been challenging, with high rates of complications after. Thanks to the widespread availability of modern, lightweight, portable dental equipment and revised techniques, veterinarians can now extract nearly any tooth in the standing, sedated horse rather than lying them down under full general anesthesia.

“When this equipment is married with an experienced equine veterinary dentist, even the most challenging cases can be extracted through the oral cavity in a relatively short time,” said Pearce. “Further, the complications associated with general anesthesia and more invasive surgical approaches can be avoided.”

Some cases, however, require a more specialist approach that involves removing the tooth through a small keyhole-type incision in the horse’s cheek. For this approach, veterinarians use an oral camera to visualize the diseased tooth while passing instruments through the keyhole in the cheek to loosen and then extract the tooth via a specialized screw system. This is known as “transbuccal surgical extraction.”

When teeth are damaged but not beyond repair, veterinarians might consider saving the tooth using restorative or endodontic (root canal) techniques.

“If the tooth is not too badly diseased, saving the tooth will allow the horse to be able to chew better long-term and is far preferable to extraction,” explained Pearce.

Tooth-sparing techniques include filling cavities in the cheek teeth and performing root canals. Cheek teeth cavity fillings result in very successful long-term outcomes, he said. Root canals can extend the tooth’s life span, but owners must understand the tooth might need to be extracted in the long run.

This content was originally published here.

SOS messages, panic as virus breaks India’s health system

NEW DELHI (AP) — Dr. Gautam Singh dreads the daily advent of the ventilator beeps, signaling that oxygen levels are critically low, and hearing his critically ill patients start gasping for air in the New Delhi emergency ward where he works.

Like other doctors across the country, which on Monday set another record for new coronavirus infections for a fifth day in a row at more than 350,000, the cardiologist has taken to begging and borrowing cylinders of oxygen just to keep his most critical patients alive for one more day.

On Sunday evening, when the oxygen supplies of other nearby hospitals were also near empty, the desperate 43-year-old took to social media, posting an impassioned video plea on Twitter.

“Please send oxygen to us,” he said with folded hands and a choked voice. “My patients are dying.”

India was initially seen as a success story in weathering the pandemic, but the virus is now racing through its massive population of nearly 1.4 billion, and systems are beginning to collapse.

SOS messages like the one Singh sent reveal the extent of panic in a country where infections are hitting new peaks daily.

In addition to oxygen supplies running out, intensive care units are operating at full capacity and nearly all ventilators are in use. As the death toll mounts, the night skies in some Indian cities glow from the funeral pyres, as crematoria are overwhelmed and bodies are burned outside in the open air.

On Monday, the country reported another 2,812 deaths, with roughly 117 Indians succumbing to the disease every hour — and experts say even those figures are likely an undercount. The new infections brought India’s total to more than 17.3 million, behind only the United States.

Doctors like Singh are on the front lines, trying to get the supplies they need to keep their patients alive.

Singh received 20 oxygen cylinders on Monday, only enough to limp the hospital through the day until the ventilators start sending out their warning beeps again.

“I feel helpless because my patients are surviving hour to hour,” Singh said in a telephone interview. “I will beg again and hope someone sends oxygen that will keep my patients alive for just another day.”

As bad as the situation is, experts warn it is likely to get worse.

Krishna Udayakumar, founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center at Duke University, said it would be impossible for the country to keep up with needs over the coming days as things stand.

“The situation in India is tragic and likely to get worse for some weeks to months,” he said, adding that a “concerted, global effort to help India at this time of crisis” is desperately needed.

The White House said the U.S. is “working around the clock” to deploy testing kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment, and it would seek to provide oxygen supplies as well. It said it would also make available sources of raw material urgently needed to manufacture Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” President Joe Biden said in a tweet.

Help and support were also offered from archrival Pakistan, which said it could provide relief including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, protective equipment and related items.

Germany’s Health Ministry said it was “urgently working to put together an aid package” for India consisting of ventilators, monoclonal antibodies, the drug Remdesivir, as well as surgical and N95 protective masks.

Stung by criticism of its lack of preparation ahead of the wave of infections, the federal government has asked industrialists to increase the production of oxygen and life-saving drugs in short supply.

But many say it is too late — the breakdown a stark failure for a country that boasted of being a model for other developing nations.

Only three months ago, the country’s leaders were boisterous, delivering messages that the worse was over.

In January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory over the coronavirus, telling the virtual gathering of the World Economic Forum that India’s success couldn’t be compared with anywhere else.

A little less than a month later, his Bharatiya Janata Party passed a resolution hailing Modi as a “visionary leader” who had already “defeated” the virus.

By the second week of March, India’s health minister declared that the country was “in the endgame” of the pandemic.

At the same time, the patients arriving at India’s hospitals were far sicker and younger than previously seen, prompting warnings by health experts that India was sitting on a ticking timebomb, which went either unnoticed or ignored.

Millions of Hindu devotees celebrated the festival of Holi across the country at the end of March, foregoing social distancing guidelines and masks. Politicians, including Modi, spearheaded mammoth election rallies where tens of thousands participated without masks. And millions more gathered by the Ganges River for special Hindu prayers as recently as last week.

Now it’s suspected all these events might have accelerated the unprecedented surge India is seeing now.

“Many people across India are paying with their lives for that shameful behavior by political leaders,” Udayakumar said.

In a radio address on Sunday, Modi sought to deflect the criticism and said the “storm” of infections had left the country “shaken.”

“It is true that many people are getting infected with corona,” he said. “But the number of people recovering from corona is equally high.”

India’s government said last week it would expand its vaccination program to make all adults eligible, something long urged by health experts.

But vaccinations take time to show their effect on the numbers of new infections, and there are questions of whether manufacturers will be able to keep up with the demand. The pace of vaccination across the country also appears to be struggling.

Meantime, ordinary citizens are taking matters into their own hands, doing what they say the government should have done a long time ago.

Volunteers, from students to technology professionals, non-profit organizations and journalists, are rallying to circulate information on the availability of hospital beds, critical drugs and oxygen cylinders.

Like Dr. Singh, many have taken to social media, particularly Twitter, to crowdsource lists of plasma donors and oxygen cylinder supplies.

The system’s imperfect, but some are getting badly needed help.

Rashmi Kumar, a New Delhi homemaker, spent her Sunday scouring Twitter, posting desperate pleas for an oxygen cylinder for her critically ill father.

At the same time, she made countless calls to hospitals and government helpline numbers, to no avail.

By evening her 63-year-old father was gasping for breath.

“I was prepared for the worst,” Kumar said.

But out of nowhere, a fellow Twitter user reported an available oxygen cylinder some 60 kilometers (37 miles) away. Kumar drove to the person’s house where she was handed over the oxygen cylinder by a man.

“I was helped by a stranger when my own government continues to fail thousands like me,” she said. “Unfortunately, everyone is on their own now.”

This content was originally published here.

SOS messages, panic as virus breaks India’s health system

NEW DELHI (AP) — Dr. Gautam Singh dreads the daily advent of the ventilator beeps, signaling that oxygen levels are critically low, and hearing his desperately ill patients start gasping for air in the New Delhi emergency ward where he works.

Like other doctors across India, which on Monday set another record for new coronavirus infections for a fifth day in a row at more than 350,000, the cardiologist has taken to begging and borrowing cylinders of oxygen just to keep patients alive for one more day.

On Sunday evening, when the oxygen supplies of other nearby hospitals were also near empty, the desperate 43-year-old took to social media, posting an impassioned video plea on Twitter.

“Please send oxygen to us,” he said in a choked voice. “My patients are dying.”

India was initially seen as a success story in weathering the pandemic, but the virus is now racing through its population of nearly 1.4 billion, and systems are beginning to collapse.

SOS messages like the one Singh sent reveal the extent of the panic.

In addition to oxygen running out, intensive care units are operating at full capacity and nearly all ventilators are in use. As the death toll mounts, the night skies in some Indian cities glow from the funeral pyres, as crematories are overwhelmed and bodies are burned in the open air.

On Monday, the country reported 2,812 more deaths, with roughly 117 Indians succumbing to the disease every hour — and experts say even those figures are probably an undercount. The new infections brought India’s total to more than 17.3 million, behind only the United States.

The deepening crisis stands in contrast to the improving picture in wealthier nations like the U.S., Britain and Israel, which have vaccinated relatively large shares of their population and have seen deaths and infections plummet since winter. India has four times the population of the U.S. but on Monday had 11 times as many new infections.

Doctors like Singh are on the front lines, trying to get the supplies they need to keep their patients alive.

Singh received 20 oxygen cylinders on Monday, only enough to enable the hospital to limp through the day until the ventilators start sending out their warning beeps again.

“I feel helpless because my patients are surviving hour to hour,” Singh said in a telephone interview. “I will beg again and hope someone sends oxygen that will keep my patients alive for just another day.”

As bad as the situation is, experts warn it is likely to get worse.

Krishna Udayakumar, founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center at Duke University, said it would be impossible for the country to keep up over the coming days as things stand.

“The situation in India is tragic and likely to get worse for some weeks to months,” he said, adding that a “concerted, global effort to help India at this time of crisis” is desperately needed.

The U.S. said Monday that is working to relieve the suffering in India by supplying oxygen, diagnostic tests, treatments, ventilators and protective gear.

The White House has also said it would make available sources of raw materials urgently needed for India to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” President Joe Biden tweeted on Sunday.

Help and support were also offered from archrival Pakistan, which said it could provide relief including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, protective equipment and related items.

Germany’s Health Ministry said it is urgently working to put together an aid package for India consisting of ventilators, monoclonal antibodies, the drug remdesivir, as well as surgical and N95 protective masks.

But many say the aid is too late — the breakdown a stark failure for a country that boasted of being a model for other developing nations.

Only three months ago, India’s leaders were boisterous, delivering messages that the worst was over.

In January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory over the coronavirus, telling a virtual gathering of the World Economic Forum that India’s success couldn’t be compared with that of anywhere else.

A little less than a month later, his Bharatiya Janata Party passed a resolution hailing Modi as a “visionary leader” who had already “defeated” the virus.

By the second week of March, India’s health minister declared that the country was “in the endgame” of the pandemic.

At the same time, the patients arriving at India’s hospitals were far sicker and younger than previously seen, prompting warnings by health experts that India was sitting on a ticking time bomb.

Millions of Hindu devotees celebrated the festival of Holi across the country at the end of March, disregarding social distancing guidelines and masks. Modi and other politicians spearheaded mammoth election rallies where tens of thousands participated without masks. And millions more gathered by the Ganges River for special Hindu prayers as recently as last week.

Now it’s suspected all these events might have accelerated the unprecedented surge India is seeing now.

“Many people across India are paying with their lives for that shameful behavior by political leaders,” Udayakumar said.

In a radio address on Sunday, Modi sought to deflect the criticism over what he called a “storm” of infections that had left the country “shaken.”

“It is true that many people are getting infected with corona,” he said. “But the number of people recovering from corona is equally high.”

India’s government said last week it would expand its vaccination program to make all adults eligible, something long urged by health experts.

But vaccinations take time to show their effect on the numbers of new infections, and there are questions of whether manufacturers will be able to keep up with the demand. The pace of vaccination across the country also appears to be struggling.

Ordinary citizens are taking matters into their own hands, doing what they say the government should have done a long time ago.

Volunteers, from students to technology professionals, nonprofit organizations and journalists, are circulating information on the availability of hospital beds, critical drugs and oxygen cylinders.

Like Dr. Singh, many have taken to social media, particularly Twitter, to crowdsource lists of plasma donors and oxygen supplies.

The system is imperfect, but some are getting badly needed help.

Rashmi Kumar, a New Delhi homemaker, spent her Sunday scouring Twitter, posting desperate pleas for an oxygen cylinder for her critically ill father. At the same time, she made countless calls to hospitals and government help line numbers, to no avail.

By evening her 63-year-old father was gasping for breath.

“I was prepared for the worst,” Kumar said.

But out of nowhere, a fellow Twitter user reported an available oxygen cylinder some 60 kilometers (37 miles) away. Kumar drove to the person’s house, where a man handed over the cylinder.

“I was helped by a stranger when my own government continues to fail thousands like me,” she said. “Unfortunately, everyone is on their own now.”

This content was originally published here.

What Is TMJ and Will Invisalign Fix TMJ?

Do you sometimes feel pain or tenderness in your jaw or around your ear, or have trouble chewing and opening and closing your mouth? If so, you may have a TMJ disorder (TMD).

People suffering from TMD may also hear a clicking or popping sound in the jaw or their jaw may even lock up. Some people may even experience a ringing in the ears.

What is TMJ?

TMJ stands for the temporomandibular joint which according to the Mayo Clinic “acts like a sliding hinge, connecting your jawbone to your skull”. You have a TMJ on both sides of your jaw.

Typically TMJ Disorders are caused by arthritis or a jaw injury or a problem with jaw alignment. Sometimes if you clench or grind your teeth a lot, that can exacerbate problems with your TMJ too.

Women, especially during their childbearing years, are at higher risk for TMJ disorders because of magnesium deficiency.

The Cleveland Clinic reports that “treatments range from simple self-care practices and conservative treatments to injections and open surgery”.

Their experts added, “Self care measures include eating soft foods, using moist heat and cold packs, and using mouth splints. Surgical options include flushing out the joint with fluids, removing inflamed tissue and realigning parts of the jaw joint.”

Medications can also sometimes help including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. Some people also get relief from corticosteroid injections that can reduce pain and inflammation.

Another option is undergoing arthrocentesis, a procedure where small needle are inserted into the joint to irrigate the joint and get rid of any inflammation.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms along with jaw pain, then get evaluated by a doctor or dentist as soon as possible. They will do a physical evaluation, pressing on areas around the jaw to see if there is any tenderness or soreness. They might also request a dental x-ray or a CT scan or MRI to get a closer look at what is really going on.

Will Invisalign Fix TMJ?

While there has been a lot of research done on Invisalign’s effect on TMD, the evidence remains inconclusive. However, as long as there is no pathology present in the TMJ, the aligners have been found to good at relieving some of the symptoms of TMD.

Because you are wearing the clear, plastic aligners 20 to 22 hours a day, the aligners help protect your teeth from grinding at night which is referred to sleep bruxism and can inflame the TMJ. Invisalign aligners also realign your upper and lower jaws so you can open and close your mouth to chew and speak properly which also can relieve TMD symptoms.

Invisalign treatment can help with the following orthodontic issues: crooked teeth, an overbite, crossbite (when some of the upper teeth sit inside the lower teeth), gaps in teeth as long as they are not too big, open bite (when upper and lower teeth don’t meet) and crowded teeth. There are some complex problems that Invisalign can’t help with though.

Invisalign has also been linked with causing TMJ problems. In certain cases, wearing Invisalign can either exacerbate a previous TMJ issue or cause a patient to develop a problem with their TMJ.

Will Invisalign fix TMJ? No matter how you choose to solve your TMJ, it is important to do your research and to consult with a few orthodontists before making any final decisions. Factors like cost, length of treatment and number of restrictions can all play a role.

Just make sure you don’t put off treatment until your condition is a lot more severe. Beside the TMJ getting worse, you will also be at greater risk of cavities and gum disease because it will be more difficult to practice good oral hygiene when you are in a lot of pain.

If you choose to go with Invisalign, remember when choosing an orthodontist their Invisalign designation matters. It is a given that when you do something day in and day out that you will become skilled at it. The same applies with orthodontic work. Those orthodontists who provide Invisalign treatment to their patients on a daily basis are going to have a leg up on their colleagues who may mostly work with metal braces.

Invisalign offers four designations for its providers, Preferred, Premier, Premier Elite and Diamond Plus based on how many patients they have treated with Invisalign. Choosing an orthodontist with Preferred status will give you the confidence that your orthodontist is very experienced with this type of treatment. For top level experience though you should choose a provider with the distinction of being a Diamond Plus Provider.

While an Invisalign provider’s designation is important, it is just one aspect of the orthodontist practice that you should be considering when make a choice for where to go. How they treat their patients, cost of their services and how comfortable you feel in your surroundings all also should play a role in your decision.

As an Invisalign Diamond Plus provider, Orthodontics Limited is one of the top orthodontists in the Philadelphia area. When looking for Invisalign in Philadelphia and Invisalign in Center City, they are the smart choice. Orthodontics Limited also has proven success in other types of treatments as well. Give them a call today to schedule your free initial consultation.

If a straighter, healthier smile has been on your wish list for a while, but…

This content was originally published here.

SOS messages, panic as virus breaks India’s health system

NEW DELHI (AP) — Dr. Gautam Singh dreads the daily advent of the ventilator beeps, signaling that oxygen levels are critically low, and hearing his critically ill patients start gasping for air in the New Delhi emergency ward where he works.

Like other doctors across the country, which on Monday set another record for new coronavirus infections for a fifth day in a row at more than 350,000, the cardiologist has taken to begging and borrowing cylinders of oxygen just to keep his most critical patients alive for one more day.

On Sunday evening, when the oxygen supplies of other nearby hospitals were also near empty, the desperate 43-year-old took to social media, posting an impassioned video plea on Twitter.

“Please send oxygen to us,” he said with folded hands and a choked voice. “My patients are dying.”

India was initially seen as a success story in weathering the pandemic, but the virus is now racing through its massive population of nearly 1.4 billion, and systems are beginning to collapse.

SOS messages like the one Singh sent reveal the extent of panic in a country where infections are hitting new peaks daily.

In addition to oxygen supplies running out, intensive care units are operating at full capacity and nearly all ventilators are in use. As the death toll mounts, the night skies in some Indian cities glow from the funeral pyres, as crematoria are overwhelmed and bodies are burned outside in the open air.

On Monday, the country reported another 2,812 deaths, with roughly 117 Indians succumbing to the disease every hour — and experts say even those figures are likely an undercount. The new infections brought India’s total to more than 17.3 million, behind only the United States.

Doctors like Singh are on the front lines, trying to get the supplies they need to keep their patients alive.

Singh received 20 oxygen cylinders on Monday, only enough to limp the hospital through the day until the ventilators start sending out their warning beeps again.

“I feel helpless because my patients are surviving hour to hour,” Singh said in a telephone interview. “I will beg again and hope someone sends oxygen that will keep my patients alive for just another day.”

As bad as the situation is, experts warn it is likely to get worse.

Krishna Udayakumar, founding director of the Duke Global Health Innovation Center at Duke University, said it would be impossible for the country to keep up with needs over the coming days as things stand.

“The situation in India is tragic and likely to get worse for some weeks to months,” he said, adding that a “concerted, global effort to help India at this time of crisis” is desperately needed.

The White House said the U.S. is “working around the clock” to deploy testing kits, ventilators and personal protective equipment, and it would seek to provide oxygen supplies as well. It said it would also make available sources of raw material urgently needed to manufacture Covishield, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India.

“Just as India sent assistance to the United States as our hospitals were strained early in the pandemic, we are determined to help India in its time of need,” President Joe Biden said in a tweet.

Help and support were also offered from archrival Pakistan, which said it could provide relief including ventilators, oxygen supply kits, digital X-ray machines, protective equipment and related items.

Germany’s Health Ministry said it was “urgently working to put together an aid package” for India consisting of ventilators, monoclonal antibodies, the drug Remdesivir, as well as surgical and N95 protective masks.

Stung by criticism of its lack of preparation ahead of the wave of infections, the federal government has asked industrialists to increase the production of oxygen and life-saving drugs in short supply.

But many say it is too late — the breakdown a stark failure for a country that boasted of being a model for other developing nations.

Only three months ago, the country’s leaders were boisterous, delivering messages that the worse was over.

In January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared victory over the coronavirus, telling the virtual gathering of the World Economic Forum that India’s success couldn’t be compared with anywhere else.

A little less than a month later, his Bharatiya Janata Party passed a resolution hailing Modi as a “visionary leader” who had already “defeated” the virus.

By the second week of March, India’s health minister declared that the country was “in the endgame” of the pandemic.

At the same time, the patients arriving at India’s hospitals were far sicker and younger than previously seen, prompting warnings by health experts that India was sitting on a ticking timebomb, which went either unnoticed or ignored.

Millions of Hindu devotees celebrated the festival of Holi across the country at the end of March, foregoing social distancing guidelines and masks. Politicians, including Modi, spearheaded mammoth election rallies where tens of thousands participated without masks. And millions more gathered by the Ganges River for special Hindu prayers as recently as last week.

Now it’s suspected all these events might have accelerated the unprecedented surge India is seeing now.

“Many people across India are paying with their lives for that shameful behavior by political leaders,” Udayakumar said.

In a radio address on Sunday, Modi sought to deflect the criticism and said the “storm” of infections had left the country “shaken.”

“It is true that many people are getting infected with corona,” he said. “But the number of people recovering from corona is equally high.”

India’s government said last week it would expand its vaccination program to make all adults eligible, something long urged by health experts.

But vaccinations take time to show their effect on the numbers of new infections, and there are questions of whether manufacturers will be able to keep up with the demand. The pace of vaccination across the country also appears to be struggling.

Meantime, ordinary citizens are taking matters into their own hands, doing what they say the government should have done a long time ago.

Volunteers, from students to technology professionals, non-profit organizations and journalists, are rallying to circulate information on the availability of hospital beds, critical drugs and oxygen cylinders.

Like Dr. Singh, many have taken to social media, particularly Twitter, to crowdsource lists of plasma donors and oxygen cylinder supplies.

The system’s imperfect, but some are getting badly needed help.

Rashmi Kumar, a New Delhi homemaker, spent her Sunday scouring Twitter, posting desperate pleas for an oxygen cylinder for her critically ill father.

At the same time, she made countless calls to hospitals and government helpline numbers, to no avail.

By evening her 63-year-old father was gasping for breath.

“I was prepared for the worst,” Kumar said.

But out of nowhere, a fellow Twitter user reported an available oxygen cylinder some 60 kilometers (37 miles) away. Kumar drove to the person’s house where she was handed over the oxygen cylinder by a man.

“I was helped by a stranger when my own government continues to fail thousands like me,” she said. “Unfortunately, everyone is on their own now.”

This content was originally published here.

Face masks are polluting the world’s beaches and oceans, pose potential health risks to humans: ‘Really concerning’

This month marks the anniversary of San Francisco implementing the first face mask mandate in the United States. Since then, nearly all states have implemented mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. By October, 93% of Americans said they sometimes, often, or always wear a mask or face covering when they leave their home and are unable to socially distance.

“Humanity is going through 129 billion face masks a month, which works out to three million a minute,” according to Big Think.

With large populations of the world using masks regularly as a health precaution against coronavirus, it has had an unintended consequence – pollution.

The Ocean Conservancy released new data detailing how personal protective equipment has polluted beaches and oceans all over the planet. Volunteers who were cleaning beaches all over the world tracked the number of PPE they found on the shore. From late July until December 2020, volunteers collected 107,219 items of personal protective equipment from beaches and waterways worldwide.

The Ocean Conservancy notes that the number is “likely a vast undercount of what was and remains out there” because many volunteers recorded discarded PPE as “Personal Hygiene” or “Other Trash.”

“The amount of personal hygiene litter recorded in the app between January and July 2020 was three times higher than what was recorded in that same time period for each of the previous three years despite significantly lower participation levels due to the pandemic lockdowns.”

The report found that 94% of the volunteers encountered PPE pollution during their cleanup efforts, and over 80% of respondents identified face masks as the most common waste PPE. There were 37% of cleanup participants who reported PPE in waterways.

“This is the first time we have some very hard evidence to shed a spotlight on the magnitude of the PPE component of the plastic pollution issue, and really underscores how this is a new additive component to our existing global crisis,” Nick Mallos, senior director for the group’s Trash Free Seas program, told KING-TV.

“This was not a typical type of litter that we saw more than a year ago,” said Amber Smith, litter prevention coordinator for the Washington Department of Ecology. “This is a brand-new thing related to COVID, and it’s really concerning.”

Volunteers with New Jersey’s Clean Ocean Action environmental group removed 1,113 masks and other pieces of coronavirus-related protective gear from New Jersey beaches last fall.

A report from OceansAsia from last year estimated nearly 1.6 billion face masks flooded the oceans in 2020. The group suspects that discarded face masks would result in an additional 4,680 to 6,240 metric tons of marine plastic pollution. The Hong Kong-based marine conservation organization claims that the face masks would take as long as 450 years to break down.

“Most of these face mask wastes contains either polypropylene and/or polyethylene, polyurethane, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyacrylonitrile, which add plastic or microplastic pollution to the environment,” ScienceDirect reports.

Single-use face masks are believed to be a source of microplastic pollution, which could pose health risks to humans.

“A newer and bigger concern is that the masks are directly made from microsized plastic fibers (thickness of ~1 to 10 micrometers),” according to a study by doctors Elvis Genbo Xu of the University of Southern Denmark and Zhiyong Jason Ren of Princeton. “When breaking down in the environment, the mask may release more micro-sized plastics, easier and faster than bulk plastics like plastic bags. Such impacts can be worsened by a new-generation mask, nanomasks, which directly use nano-sized plastic fibers (with a diameter smaller than 1 micrometer) and add a new source of nanoplastic pollution.”

“Single-use polymeric materials have been identified as a significant source of plastics and plastic particle pollution in the environment,” another study claimed. “Disposable face masks (single use) that get to the environment (disposal in landfill, dumpsites, freshwater, oceans or littering at public spaces) could be emerging new source of microplastic fibers, as they can degrade/fragment or break down into smaller size/pieces of particles under 5 mm known as microplastics under environmental conditions.”

“Obviously, PPE is critical right now, but we know that with increased amounts of plastic and a lot of this stuff getting out into the ocean, it can be a really big threat to marine mammals and all marine life,” said Adam Ratner, an educator at the Marine Mammal Center, a conservation group that rescues and rehabilitates mammals.

“It is noted that face masks are easily ingested by higher organisms, such as fishes, and microorganisms in the aquatic life which will affect the food chain and finally chronic health problems to humans,” one study noted.

“Researchers believe masks could compound that issue, as the spun plastic fibers break down into smaller and smaller particles that evade filters,” KING-TV reported. “Small fibers and particles are widely found in drinking water, and such contamination can bio-accumulate in marine life, causing problems for the creatures themselves, and those higher up the food chain that consume them.”

A 2019 report by Australia’s University of Newcastle found that the largest source of plastic ingestion by humans were drinking water and eating shellfish.

“Plastic pollution is so widespread in the environment that you may be ingesting five grams a week, the equivalent of eating a credit card,” Reuters reported.

“Because research into microplastics is so new, there’s not yet enough data to say exactly how they’re affecting human health, says Jodi Flaws, a professor of comparative biosciences and associate director of the Interdisciplinary Environmental Toxicology Program at the University of Illinois,” a 2019 report from the Washington Post. “Flaws says microplastic particles can also accumulate polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), other chemicals that are linked to harmful health effects, including various cancers, a weakened immune system, reproductive problems and more.”

The article warns that microplastics can disrupt hormones and reduce fertility.

Another issue is that disposable masks can’t be recycled with typical recyclables, which makes disposing of PPE even more challenging.

“Used correctly PPE saves lives; disposed of incorrectly it kills marine life,” said Cindy Zipf, the executive director of New Jersey’s Clean Ocean Action. “PPE litter is a gross result of the pandemic, and 100% avoidable. Use PPE properly, then dispose of it properly in a trash can. It’s not hard and it’s the least we can do for this marvel of a planet we all live on, not to mention ourselves.”

This content was originally published here.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says COVID-19 is no longer a public health emergency, calls for end to mask mandates

The state of Tennessee is ending its coronavirus pandemic public health orders and lifting its mask mandates, moving toward a full return to the pre-pandemic normal as state residents are vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gov. Bill Lee (R) announced the return to normal Tuesday, signing an executive order that removes the local authority for county mayors in 85 of the state’s 95 counties to require face coverings. The governor has requested that the remaining counties with independent health departments lift their business restrictions and mask requirements by no later than May 30.

“COVID-19 is now a managed public health issue in Tennessee and no longer a statewide public health emergency,” Lee said in a statement. “As Tennesseans continue to get vaccinated, it’s time to lift remaining local restrictions, focus on economic recovery and get back to business in Tennessee.”

In an interview on Fox News Wednesday, the governor said the availability of COVID-19 vaccines means people are protected from the virus and should start living like it.

“It’s time for us to move on. I think we don’t have a crisis anymore. It’s a new season and we need to make steps toward that new season. We need to actually start living in that new season,” Lee said.

“If you have a vaccine or you’ve had access to a vaccine and you’ve had the opportunity to be vaccinated then we should not be requiring people to wear masks anymore. If you’ve been vaccinated you’re safe, you’re protected,” he added.

According to the New York Times’ vaccine tracker, more than 3.8 million vaccine shots have been delivered in Tennessee. About 23% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated with both doses and 34% have received their first shot. The state has used up about 72% of its supply of vaccines received from the federal government.

Lee acknowledged that the state has seen some hesitancy among its residents to receive the vaccine but emphasized that availability of the vaccine means people are protected from the virus if they want to be and should be encouraged to return to normal.

“We’ve had a slowdown as most states have seen. But for a month now every Tennessean 16 and over has been eligible, and we have walk-up vaccine availability everywhere. So where we are is that people have had access to this protection — you know that’s what masks are, they’re protection — but now we have vaccine as protection, vaccine changes everything,” Lee told Fox News.

“So we need to change everything as well,” he continued. “We need to move forward, so I’ve asked our city mayors in the remaining places in Tennessee that have a mask mandate and any limited business restrictions to remove those restrictions by Memorial Day.”

“We need to have concerts and conventions and parties and proms,” said Lee.

“Tennessee is wide open. We’re open for moving forward and open for business. What we need to do now is just finish the mask mandates and we think that’s coming off soon.”

This content was originally published here.

5 Benefits of Oral Probiotics – Orthodontics Limited

Taking probiotics for a boost to your health has become popular over the last few years, but did you know that there are certain probiotics for your oral health specifically. They can help prevent cavities and gum disease and help keep your breath feeling fresh.

The bad bacteria in your mouth has also been linked to diseases like cancer, heart disease and even Alzheimer’s disease. Oral probiotics can help reduce the number of bad bacteria in your mouth.

The main difference between oral probiotics and other types of probiotics is that most of them focus on gut bacteria. Oral probiotics focus on different bacteria that are important to the oral microbiome. They usually come in the form of lozenges or chewable tablets.

Ultimately if your oral microbiome is healthy enough, there will be enough good bacteria to keep any harmful bacteria in check.

Here are 5 benefits of oral probiotics:

1. Reduces Plaque

Plaque buildup on your teeth is the most common cause of cavities and something brushing and flossing isn’t enough to get rid of all of it. An oral probiotic with Steptococcus A12 in it though can help reduce the plaque buildup even further.

2. Reduces Gingivitis

Gingivitis the precursor to gum disease is another major concern when it comes to your oral health. The probiotic Lactobacillus reuteri though can help destroy the microbes that cause gingivitis bringing a healthier balance to your oral microbiome.

Oral probiotics also help relieve the inflammation that comes with gum disease. This 2007 study suggests that taking supplements with the bacteria Lactobacillus brevis can help decrease inflammation and another study found that drinking probiotic milk on a daily basis can help with inflammation caused by gum disease.

3. Prevents Oral Thrush

Oral thrush a condition when you find white spots on your tongue. This is due to the overgrowth of a fungi called Candida that can be prevented by oral probiotics.

4. Freshens Your Breath

Some studies have found that oral probiotics are more effective at eliminating bad breath than antibacterial mouthwash which tends to kill off the good bacteria as well as the bad which is not what you want.

5. May Protect You from Disease

Research has shown that what goes on in your oral microbiome can have an effect on the rest of your body too and that the risk of life-threatening illnesses like cancer and heart disease. And Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to gum disease. This means keeping a healthy oral microbiome may help protect you from disease.

There is a caveat in all of this though. While studies have shown the benefits of oral probiotics, it is important to remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration hasn’t approved them for medical use yet.

You should always talk to your doctor first before starting to take any supplements. Oral probiotics should never be taken by anyone whose immune systems are weakened like people living with HIV. Also, children, older people and pregnant women should not take high levels of probiotics.

If you do take oral probiotics, be sure to follow the dosage instructions and never take more than what is recommended in 24 hours.

There are also some foods that are rich sources of probiotics like yogurt, kefir, aged cheeses, miso and sauerkraut.

While taking oral probiotics have their benefits, don’t forget that the best way to maintain your oral health is to brush and floss your teeth carefully every day and visit your dentist for regular checkups. If you have teeth alignment issues and a crowded mouth, this too can make it difficult to maintain a healthy mouth. Orthodontic treatment is also important for your health.

Today there are so many options now besides the traditional metal braces. You can choose ceramic braces, lingual braces, Invisalign and accelerated orthodontics. Invisalign treatment involves wearing clear plastic aligners that you remove to eat and drink, and brush and floss your teeth. Then there are lingual braces that are attached to the backs of your teeth in order to make them less visible as well as tooth-colored ceramic braces which are also less noticeable than metal braces.

Each treatment has its own pros and cons that you should evaluate carefully, but whatever you decide, don’t ignore your oral health. Your health is important and if you don’t take care of it now, you will find yourself having more serious issues down the line.

Want to learn more about how orthodontic treatment as well as the benefits of oral probiotics? Contact Orthodontics Limited today. We are an Invisalign Diamond + provider, the only orthodontic practice in Philadelphia with this designation, and we are board certified by the American Board of Orthodontics.

With convenient locations in Hatboro, Northeast Philadelphia and Center City Philadelphia, getting to your orthodontic appointments will be stress-free and won’t take up most of your day. Don’t wait any longer to see if orthodontic care can help you get a healthier smile.

ALTHOUGH ORAL PIERCINGS’ ORIGINS GO BACK TO ANCIENT tradition, it didn’t become a means of…

This content was originally published here.

“Mercury in Existing Dental Fillings Is No Problem” – International Academy of Biological Dentistry and Medicine

Our thanks to Dr. Alvin Danenberg for letting us crosspost this piece from his blog. View the original here.
“Mercury in existing dental fillings is no problem.” Can you believe that statement? I heard it from a prominent dental educator.

I was surprised

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a social “greet and meet” cocktail hour following a dental seminar I was attending. At the reception, I was introduced to the Director of Restorative Dentistry of a major dental school in the US. He was an educated, tenured professor. We chatted about all kinds of things. Eventually the conversation turned to my emphasis on nutrition and how I treat advanced gum disease in my office.

We spoke of toxic substances harming our body and mouth. When the topic came to mercury in existing dental filings, he said, “Amalgams are controversial. Mercury in existing dental fillings is no problem.” He emphasized that there were no studies that showed mercury being released from old amalgams causing damage to human cells. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He continued to tell me that dental students at his university were still trained to place mercury amalgams in teeth.


The science

The science clearly shows mercury is toxic to the human body, and free mercury vapor is emitted from existing dental amalgams constantly (HERE. HERE.) Just as lead in the water or in paint is potentially toxic, mercury in dental amalgams sitting in teeth is toxic. Just last week, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Chairman of the World Mercury Project (WMP), announced a $100,000 challenge aimed at putting an end to including mercury, a neurotoxin that is 100 times more poisonous than lead, in vaccines administered in the U.S and globally. As far back as 1998, research was published about toxic mercury in dental fillings.

My thoughts

I didn’t know how to reason with this dental educator. He was in a position to know all the science out there. I could only tell him that I have learned so much from, which is my go-to source for current knowledge. I then walked away.

My profession is well trained in the repair of broken and diseased teeth. However, some in my profession are not well informed of the medical research that has been published in peer-reviewed journals. Highly trained and competent technical dentists need to be onboard with current medical research in order to provide patients with the best preventive and reparative treatment possible.

Josh Billings (the 19th Century humorist) put it so clearly: “It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble. It’s the things we know that just ain’t so.”

This content was originally published here.

Pastor confronted by health inspector again, kicks out ‘Gestapo’ Calagary police from Canadian church

Pastor Artur Pawlowski went viral earlier this month for kicking a health inspector and police out of his church in Alberta, Canada. He infamously screaming at them, “Out of this property you Nazis! Gestapo is not allowed here! Out, Nazi! Out! Nazis are not welcome here! Do not come back here you Nazi psychopaths!” Pawlowski, who became known worldwide as the “Polish pastor,” kicked out a health inspector and a group of Calgary police officers again when they came to his church on Saturday to confront him over COVID-19 restrictions.

“And they did it again! Today, the Gestapo Attacked our Church Again,” Pawlowski wrote on Twitter about the latest harassment by Canadian authorities. “History is being repeated in front of our eyes! Another sad day for Freedom and democracy!”

Pawlowski shared a video of the tense confrontation with law enforcement in Canada where he stood his ground once again. The public health inspector hands Pawlowski a court order that she claims grants them access into the church, but he immediately responds, “I’m not really interested in what you have to say.”

“I do not cooperate with Gestapo,” Pawlowski tells the health inspector. “I do not talk to the Nazis. You came in your uniforms like thugs. That’s what you are. Brownshirts of Adolf Hitler. You are Nazi Gestapo, communist, fascists. I do not cooperate with Nazis. Talk to my lawyer. You are not allowed here, you are not welcomed here, and I’m not going to cooperate with Gestapo like you, okay? So is that fair enough for you?”

“You see, this is what the Gestapo is doing,” the Polish pastor says. “You’re coming to the place of worship to intimidate and to harass.”

Then Pawlowski informs the health inspector that they can make an appointment for another day when there are no church services.

The Polish pastor then launches into a loud rant, and labels the police as “Gestapo” again as he did in the first incident that was recorded on video and garnered millions of views on social media websites.

“You are sick, that’s what you are!” Pawlowski screamed at the police, who he described as “wicked evil people.” “And rightfully so you change your uniforms to black, because you are exactly acting like the Gestapo of old.”

“If Canadians will not rise up and stand up, if they will not come to their senses while there is still time, while there is a time to wake up and push this evil, there will be absolutely no, no rights whatsoever,” Pawlowski continued. “If they can get away with this, they’re going to come anywhere else.”

“And, you know, that’s what people do not understand,” Pawlowski, who was originally from Poland and is determined to warn the world about the dangers of authoritarian governments, said “They think that this is some kind of a game. Do you think they are here for your health, seriously?”

“They could come any day of the week,” he continued after the police departed. “No, they want to do it during the church service because they have a purpose, they have an agenda. If you’re not seeing it then you’re plain either stupid, blind, and deaf.”

“Either you’re going to keep pushing as hard as you can or you’ll be swallowed by those people,” Pawlowski said. “They’re going to keep coming, keep taking your rights, one after another. Destroying you by thousands of cuts. One cut at a time.”

Pawlowski, who has refused to stop church services during the pandemic, called the second visit by Canadian authorities “sickening.”

The Gestapo came again attacking the Church!

This content was originally published here.

Businesses, health experts join ranks of ‘vaccine passport’ opponents

WASHINGTON — When it comes to decrying the concept of “vaccine passports,” conservatives have company. The idea’s detractors now include certain business owners, who fear customer backlash and the hassle or danger of enforcing the policy, and even prominent public health advocates, too.

The proof-of-vaccine concept is gaining traction in some circles globally and within the U.S., including among some professional sports teams, a major university, and highly vaccinated countries like Israel. In New York and Hawaii, among other states, governors have pitched the idea as a means of returning to normal life.

But the concept represents a “slippery slope,” said Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association — one that could politicize the vaccine rollout, make health inequities worse, and even lull vaccinated people into a false sense of security.

“It’s impractical,” Benjamin said in an interview. “This is a nation that does not allow a national identity card. Getting compliance is going to be hard, and I think it leads to politicization. I would like to avoid that.”

The widespread resistance could doom the concept of a vaccine pass before there’s any real attempt to implement it. Already, several business coalitions have expressed relief that the federal government won’t attempt any national system, and suggested most of the companies they represent won’t pursue the idea either.


“We’re grateful to learn that there will not be a national mandated verification program,” Audrey Schaefer, the head of communications at the National Independent Venues Association, which represents local performance spaces across the country, said in an email. “While vaccine verification is the hot topic, we have questions and concerns surrounding the effectiveness of only implementing verification at live events and not other businesses where people gather; the cost implications for small businesses; and equitable access and ethical issues surrounding such programs.”

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The opposition to a proof-of-vaccination system, even if it’s not run by any government and is only for voluntary activities like sports games or dining out, is reminiscent of one of the country’s largest pandemic failures: The politicization of wearing masks. The early resistance to a vaccine-passport scheme, though, appears even more intense, and its sources more diverse. According to public health and ethics experts, the morality of requiring vaccination to enter a concert hall or stadium is also significantly more fraught.

The pushback also illustrates the unlikelihood of a quick transition to post-pandemic life. Given the outcry, the concept of widespread “vaccinated-only” policies at movie theaters or restaurants seems increasingly far-fetched, even in cities and states where most adults are vaccinated. Many local governments haven’t taken a stance or have indicated they’ll leave the decision to businesses — and in many cases, businesses have expressed little interest in becoming vaccine enforcers.

Resistance to the concept of vaccine passports is nothing new. But it quickly intensified this week after the Washington Post reported the federal government was working on a program to set standards for potential proof-of-vaccine programs around the country (but, the story stressed, not pursuing a federal vaccine passport program).

The report nonetheless caused anger on Capitol Hill and among Republican governors, who have long cast the idea as a threat to freedom, regardless of whether it’s implemented by a government or by a business.

Businesses and public health advocates writing off the idea, however, may be more telling than any individual lawmaker’s objection.

Many businesses are worried about the impracticality of enforcing a vaccination requirement, particularly at theaters, concert halls, restaurants, hair salons, and any other business that relies on indoor gatherings. Doing so, some said, could alienate some customers, hurt revenue, and even lead to safety concerns.

“With some of the mask mandates, businesses had to increase security,” said Xiomara Peña, the vice president for engagement at Small Business Majority, a nonpartisan, business-focused advocacy group. “That was a little bit easier to enforce. But how could this impact the bottom line of businesses, ultimately, I think it’s still to be determined.”

Many public health experts have also expressed ambivalence or outright opposition, though their reasoning is usually different.

Asking for proof of vaccination could politicize the immunization effort more broadly, Benjamin said, even if the people requiring it aren’t government officials. He and others have also argued the system could also worsen racial and economic gaps in who has received shots so far, further punishing people for being unable to access vaccines.

Benjamin’s chief worry, however, was neither ethical nor political.

“The biggest concern I have is a false sense of security,” Benjamin said. Given the fragmented vaccination rollout, remaining unknowns about real-world vaccine efficacy, and their protectiveness against new viral variants, he argued that allowing vaccinated people to gather without distancing or masks could backfire.

While public health experts and business owners’ response has been tepid, most Republicans’ has been incandescent, even for proposals limited to individual businesses.

In Washington, lawmakers including Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.) have cast the idea as a basic threat to liberty, and described the idea, among other terms, as “Orwellian.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga.), a known conspiracist who has referred to vaccine passports as “the mark of the beast,” introduced legislation this week banning passports and prohibiting any school or business that requires a vaccine, or even a mask, from receiving federal funds.

With a Democratic president and Democrat-controlled Congress, individual GOP lawmakers have little power to prevent vaccine-passport systems from being implemented. But the same might not be true for Republican governors.

Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said this week that he would soon attempt to issue an emergency ban on businesses requiring proof of vaccination, and that he would urge the GOP-controlled legislature to enact a more permanent prohibition. Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota called the proposals “un-American.”

Taken together, resistance from state governments and from the businesses who’d have to enforce the requirements present a major obstacle to the proposal, which has generated enthusiasm in other countries even amid American opposition.

The most-cited international success story is Israel, where 58% of citizens have gotten at least one vaccine dose. There, a “green pass” system allows people the chance to use public swimming pools and enter concert venues once they show proof of vaccination, or that they’ve recovered from Covid-19.

Comparable efforts in the U.S., though, have been rare. New York’s “Excelsior Pass,” a voluntary phone-based program developed with IBM, has allowed some venues to request proof of immunization or a recent negative Covid-19 test.

A handful of baseball teams, including the New York Mets, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants, will require proof of vaccination or proof of a recent negative coronavirus test to enter their stadiums, which are operating at sharply limited capacities. Other teams, like the NBA’s Miami Heat, now sell tickets to voluntary vaccinated-only sections, where mask use is still required but social distancing rules are relaxed.

Rutgers University, the largest public college in New Jersey, also recently announced it would require all its students to be vaccinated as a condition of enrollment beginning in September.

Those examples, though, are the exception, not the rule. Rutgers stands alone among universities in its future vaccine requirement, and large majorities of professional basketball and baseball teams have no restrictions in place beyond requiring masks and limiting capacity.

Most sports leagues’ lack of interest in a testing or vaccine requirement mirrors the broader tone throughout the U.S., where polling shows the public is almost evenly split on the issue.

President Biden has not spoken to the issue publicly. Nor has the White House, with one exception: A rush to distance itself from any vaccine-passport campaign, and stress that any federal effort would focus only on creating guidelines for businesses and localities, not actually implementing a vaccine-passport system.

“We expect …. a vaccine passport, or whatever you want to call it, will be driven by the private sector,” Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said at a recent briefing. “There will be no centralized, universal federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”

This content was originally published here.

Minnesota Board of Dentistry Recommends Only Emergency Procedures Amid COVID-19 Pandemic – Fox21Online

Minnesota Board of Dentistry Recommends Only Emergency Procedures Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Dr. Daniel Loban of Loban Dental Speaks Out About the Order from the Minnesota Board of Dentistry

DULUTH, Minn. – Dr. Daniel Loban, the owner of Loban Dental, is speaking out regarding the closure of dental offices unless procedures are for emergency purposes.

“I can tell you my propensity is to help people and putting myself at home and understanding how serious this is kind of draws a line in the sand so I can be a little more proactive in taking steps to keep myself away from other people,” said Loban.

Loban understands this is a difficult time for many people in our community.

He said as the owner of a dental office, he is also working around the clock to figure out steps necessary to protect his small business, including the employees in his office.

“If we were to treat everybody as if they potentially have this virus, we’re vastly unprepared because we typically don’t typically care respiratory devices and goggles,” said Loban.

Loban said he has contacted other dental offices in the region. Many offices are operating with few employees to answer phones and take care of emergency procedures as they come in.

If you’re having a dental issue or have concerns, Loban recommends calling your dentist. He says at this time, they should be able to help your needs and resolve the situation.

Currently, Minnesota health department officials say the state’s 89 confirmed cases as of Thursday represent only “the tip of the iceberg” and they believe there’s widespread transmission across Minnesota.

This content was originally published here.

6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens

6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens
6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens

6 Reasons Why Invisalign Is The Best Option For Teens : When it comes to orthodontic treatment, braces are the most common thing that comes to mind. Dealing with them, however, is not easy considering that the metal surely makes you stand apart. Teens, in particular, don’t appreciate the kind of attention they may get because of braces.

But they were still a necessary evil for decades just because there was no alternative. The advent of Invisalign, however, has sorted out things to a considerable extent. Here are some reasons why Invisalign makes the best option for teens.

Practically invisible

The fact that makes Invisalign aligners popular amongst teens is that they are practically invisible. This makes them just right for teenagers who would not want metal braces to show up in their mouths. There are no wires, brackets, and bands as well. You can have custom-made aligners that fit your teeth perfectly and can be removed whenever you want.

Boosts self-confidence

The biggest challenge for young adults is that they have certain standards about their appearance. Not looking good lowers their confidence level and wearing braces could be one reason. Since Invisalign is an option that can set things right while being discreet, they definitely make an apt choice. If you want a treatment option that does not affect your self-esteem, this is the one for you.

As effective as braces

The best part about Invisalign is that it is as effective as braces even while being invisible. Every expert Pittsburgh Orthodontist, therefore, recommends this option for teenagers who want to correct their smiles and bites without having to rely on braces. While the results that you get are good enough, you need not spend a fortune on Invisalign.

No off-limits foods

As a teenager, you would want a treatment option that does not keep you away from your favorite foods. With traditional braces, you need to be selective about food items. Popcorn, caramel, and ice are a few that come on the list of foods to avoid. There are no such restrictions with Invisalign aligners as you can remove them any time and bite into the foods you love.

No lifestyle restrictions as well

While you can eat just anything with Invisalign aligners, there are no lifestyle restrictions as well. Whether you are a musician or teenager, you can wear them safely and comfortably. There is no risk of cuts and irritation, which are common if you wear traditional braces. Moreover, you can remove the Invisalign aligners whenever you want to.

Fewer office visits

Another reason for teens to get Invisalign rather than braces is that it requires fewer office visits. This is because you need not visit repeatedly to tighten or replace wires. The follow-up appointments with invisalign are automatically fewer in number. Young people have a lot to do these days and anything that requires lesser work and attention is a preferable choice for them.

If you have always feared braces as a youngster, just see an orthodontist and get Invisalign aligners instead. They are comfortable, low-maintenance and safe while being effective as well. Moreover, you need to spend a fortune on the treatment.

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No wonder patients detest our health care system, and doctors are leaving medicine in droves

My patient is a brilliant, 30-something-year-old highly educated woman with type 1 diabetes. I’ve known her for many years, since she was a teenager.  She is sweet and fun, even though she can be fierce and fiery at times. She has type 1 diabetes.

She has been living with this life-altering, life-threatening disease for many years. Even as a child, she always took charge of her life and consistently maintained her blood sugar at an excellent level. Things weren’t as complicated ten years ago: there were a few kinds of insulin, but mostly what she needed were two types of insulin, long-acting and short-acting, and there were the blood sugar testing devices. They were either on the “approved” list or on the “not-approved” list by insurers (based on the deals various insurers have with drug manufacturers). We mostly complied and got her the supplies she needed from the “approved list,” which was the end of the story.

As medical technology grew more and more advanced and complex, my patient’s needs also changed. It turned out that she didn’t have to live with the inconvenience of four or more insulin shots a day- she learned that there were insulin pumps.  Then, she learned that instead of checking her blood sugar ten to twenty times a day, she could use a sensor.

Now, the insurance companies did not take it kindly to the technological progress. It was already expensive for them to have a type 1 diabetic on their roster to start with, but with all the devices that would make a diabetic’s life easier and more pleasant, the cost of care would turn literally astronomical.

The insurers couldn’t prevent people with diabetes from joining their programs (it became illegal to discriminate patient enrollment based on pre-existing conditions), and they also couldn’t prevent patients from asking for the latest technology and the latest and best kind of insulin in caring for their condition.  So the solution was beyond clever: make it difficult for the physicians to prescribe it. Put up barriers every time a prescription for anything that was on the “non-approved” list showed up. Make the doctor get a “pre-authorization.”

What I am trying to say here, is that, for the patient to have their ever-increasing needs met, the doctor has to jump through innumerable hoops, spending hours literally filling out forms and fielding phone calls, often on hold for tens of minutes, if not full hours, at a time.

There are two possibilities here: either the doctor has office staff, in which case, well-trained staff can take care of most steps (but please, since we live in a capitalist society where nothing is free, keep in mind who the bearer of the cost of the office staff is), or, like in my case, the doctor has no office staff (by choice) and she/he has to do everything herself.

I know how much I want my patient to have the latest and the best of everything- but how do I justify to myself the tremendous burden that her needs are imposing on my time? This most valuable resource, time- that once gone, nothing will ever replace. Time spent on administrative tasks means time away from my family, from my writing, from my other patients who need me.

What is the way out of this mystery? We, the empaths, have been put in the middle of the war happening between patients and their insurers. We have agreed to take on this burden, which ended up with us burned out, dehumanized, and often vilified by the public, precisely because we want to help and want to be everything to everybody.

Why did we agree to this? I guess we were never explicitly asked.

Slowly, insidiously, the curse and obscenity of “cost-saving” has infiltrated our professional lives and has turned us into the “bad guys.”

How do I stop myself from feeling resentment at the demands placed on me by the system?

I thought I found a solution (at the advice of one of my mentor, Pamela Wible) in asking patients to be temporary, honorary office staff members and make all the calls and take care of all the paperwork, be in charge again of their own care, be involved, and see first hand the price that had to be paid for their ever-increasing needs.

This worked for a while until the patient said she was “fed up” with the system and asked me to go on with the next steps.

When I told her that there’s a price for my administrative time, it turned out she didn’t want to pay and went back to doing everything herself, irritated and disappointed.

I do have a lot of compassion for people who are not well, and I am particularly familiar with type 1 diabetes, who have a chronic condition. The way I see it, that a system’s problem has been dumped on individuals. The patient has to bear the burden of their condition alone, in isolation, from a very unresourced place. The doctor must bear the burden of all the administrative, time-consuming, meaningless tasks that will save the insurance company a buck or two. When doctors revolt and refuses to give their time and energy for free, they are accused of being money-hungry, greedy or plain heartless.

A huge societal flaw has been perversely turned into emotionally manipulating the people with the biggest hearts into giving away their resources for free. In staying silent, in continuing to buy into the corrupt, rotten, nefarious “medical insurance” system, we all approve of the ways the people with the biggest medical needs (that they did not inflict upon themselves) and the kindest and brightest of us are treated.

No wonder patients detest our health care system, and doctors are leaving medicine in droves.

Corina Fratila is an endocrinologist.

This content was originally published here.

Cone-beam computed tomography in dentistry and oral surgery

Inka, a five-year-old female jaguar, is placed in the cone beam CT scanner for assessment of dentoalveolar structures.

Computed tomography (CT) has revolutionized our ability to detect subtle hard and soft tissue abnormalities of the maxillofacial region. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is creating much buzz amongst veterinary dentists when it comes to dental/maxillofacial diagnostic tools.

What is the difference between CBCT and conventional CT? Rather than a collection of thin, closely spaced slices obtained with a fan-shaped beam of conventional CT, CBCT has both an X-ray generator and detector that rotates around the patient, capturing data with a cone-shaped beam. Both modalities can be used to create very helpful 3-D reconstructions of the areas of interest, although CBCT provides increased detail of dentoalveolar structures. One veterinary study compared CBCT’s diagnostic image quality with that of 64-multidetector row CT sagittal slices. Four blinded evaluators compared CBCT and 64-multidetector row CT images. Trabecular bone, enamel, dentin, pulp cavity, periodontal ligament space, lamina dura and “overall impression” were scored. Images captured with CBCT were found to be significantly superior in image quality when compared to images acquired with 64-multidetector CT in all categories.1

Inka, the jaguar

My first experience with CBCT was with a patient from the Elmwood Park Zoo in Norristown, Pa. Inka is a five-year-old jaguar that fractured a tooth two years prior. Zoo veterinarian Michele Goodman, VMD, felt Inka’s previously fractured right maxillary canine tooth should be reassessed. Two years earlier, the tooth was noted to be fractured and a vital pulp therapy was performed (see my column in the March 2019 of Veterinary Practice News for details on vital pulp therapy procedures). At that time, Inka had a cerebrovascular event perioperatively, which resulted in lasting neurologic issues. Understandably, the zoo’s doctors and staff were concerned about placing Inka under anesthesia again. However, they suspected something might need to be done about that same tooth and possibly others.

With the help of board-certified anesthesiologist Andrea Caniglia, VMD, DACVAA, zoo staff developed a plan to minimize anesthetic complications. The most accessible diagnostic test to assess vitality of the teeth would be intraoral dental radiography. However, in an attempt to save time under anesthesia, I suggested we arrange to have a CBCT scanner on-site. Coupled with the dedication of a company representative equipped with a trailer designed to haul the CBCT, the scanner’s size and mobility allowed for Inka to benefit from this new technology, cage-side.

Another advantage of using CBCT includes its ability to plug into any electrical outlet, along with rapid image generation. One limitation, however, is its decreased ability to assess contrast-enhanced soft tissue structures compared to conventional CT when using intravenous iodinated contrast agents.

Once Inka was sedated, she was placed in the CBCT scanner (Figure 1), and within a few minutes, we were able to assess not only her entire dentition, but also the bones and joints of her head (Figure 2). This allowed for more rapid commencement of treatment and uneventful recovery.

What the studies say

Recent studies from University of California, Davis provide support of widely held assumptions that CBCT offers more detailed information than dental radiography. In small- to medium-sized brachycephalic dogs, when three CBCT software modules were used (i.e. serial CBCT slices and custom cross sections, tridimensional rendering, and reconstructed panoramic views), the diagnostic yield of CBCT was higher than that of dental radiography for assessment of nine of 10 categories, four of which were statistically significant (abnormal eruption, abnormally shaped roots, periodontitis, and tooth resorption). In only one category (loss of tooth integrity) was the diagnostic yield of CBCT lower than dental radiography.2

In a similar study with feline patients, the diagnostic yield of CBCT was higher than that of dental radiography for 13 of 14 categories, four of which were statistically significant (missing teeth, horizontal bone loss, loss of tooth integrity, tooth resorption).3 Both studies concluded CBCT should be considered better suited than dental radiography in diagnosing dentoalveolar lesions.2,3

Will CBCT replace dental radiography in the near future? That’s not likely anytime soon at a general practitioner level, given it’s an expensive piece of equipment. Dental radiography can still provide valuable clinical information in every practice for a reasonable cost. However, more and more specialists are taking the plunge into CBCT. It may not be a tool used on a daily basis, but it’s nice to have available when needed.

John Lewis, VMD, FAVD, DAVDC, practices dentistry and oral surgery at Veterinary Dentistry Specialists and is the founder of Silo Academy Education Center, both located in Chadds Ford, Pa.


1 Soukup JW, Drees R, Koenig LJ, Snyder CJ, Hetzel S, Miles CR, Schwarz T. Comparison of the diagnostic image quality of the canine maxillary dentoalveolar structures obtained by cone beam computed tomography and 64-Multidetector Row Computed Tomography. J Vet Dent. 2015; 32(2): 80-86.

2 Döring S, Arzi B, Hatcher DC, Kass PH, Verstraete FJM. Evaluation of the diagnostic yield of dental radiography and cone-beam computed tomography for the identification of dental disorders in small to medium-sized brachycephalic dogs. Am J Vet Res. 2018; 79(1): 62-72.

3 Heney CM, Arzi B, Kass PH, Hatcher DC, Verstraete FJM. The Diagnostic Yield of Dental Radiography and Cone-Beam Computed Tomography for the Identification of Dentoalveolar Lesions in Cats. Front Vet Sci. 2019; 6: 42.

The post Cone-beam computed tomography in dentistry and oral surgery appeared first on Veterinary Practice News.

This content was originally published here.