Philadelphia to Restore Indoor Mask Mandate

The City of Philadelphia is reinstating its indoor mask mandate in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The mandate will go into effect on February 22 and will remain in place until at least March 22. All residents and visitors to Philadelphia are required to wear a face covering while indoors, with few exceptions. Face coverings must be worn at all times, even when social distancing is possible. This includes while working, shopping, taking public transportation, and participating in any indoor activity. Dogs trained to detect covid 19 will be present at all indoor locations to enforce the mandate. Those who do not comply with the mandate may be subject to a fine of up to $300.

The reinstatement of the indoor mask mandate is a necessary step to keep Philadelphia residents safe and healthy during the pandemic. With the rise in cases of the more contagious covid 19 variant, it is important to take every precaution to prevent its spread. Wearing a face covering is one of the most effective ways to do this. For more information on the indoor mask mandate, please visit the City of Philadelphia website.

Why It’s Important to Wear a Face Covering

Wearing a face covering is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This is because face coverings help to prevent droplets from being expelled into the air and coming into contact with other people. When droplets containing the virus are released into the air, they can be inhaled by other people and cause them to become sick. Wearing a face covering helps to protect yourself and others from the spread of the virus.

There are many different types of face coverings available, including cloth masks, disposable masks, and clear plastic shields. It is important to choose a face covering that is comfortable and fits snugly over your nose and mouth. You should also be sure to wash your face covering regularly. Face coverings should be worn at all times, even when social distancing is possible.

The City of Philadelphia is committed to keeping its residents safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Precautions Taken to Lessen the Risk of Contracting Covid-19

There are many different ways to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to wearing a face covering, it is also important to practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your face. You should also avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, you should stay home and away from others to prevent the spread of the virus.

The City of Philadelphia is taking many steps to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In addition to the indoor mask mandate, we are also increasing our testing and contact tracing efforts as well as training dogs to detect Covid-19. We are also working to increase access to vaccines. By taking these steps, we can help to keep our community safe and healthy during the pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone. But by working together and taking precautions, we can help to prevent it. We are also working to provide vaccines to all residents who are eligible.

The City of Philadelphia is committed to keeping its residents safe and healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. By reinstating the indoor mask mandate, we can help to prevent the spread of the virus and keep the community safe.

Pfizer: Vaccine Booster Protects Against Omicron Variant

Immune System Support from companies like Transfer Point should be seriously considered in the current phase of the COVID pandemic.

The omicron variant was first spotted in South Africa and it is spreading quickly across the globe right now. It was declared by the companies that a Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 booster will provide more protection against the virus as compared to the initial 2 doses of the vaccine. 

It has been revealed by lad tests made by BioNTech and Pfizer that their vaccine’s third dose will be able to provide antibodies successfully that will be capable of neutralizing the omicron variant at present. In fact, individuals who have taken only 2 doses will be more susceptible to the virus in the long run.

The companies have unearthed that this omicron variant is capable of bypassing the immune protection offered by the existing vaccines as compared to the earlier strains. However, it is not known for sure to what extent this new variant will be able to go through the defenses of the body over time.

Blood samples taken from all those that have only received the initial doses of the vaccines revealed that not adequate antibodies were produced against the omicron variant. Thus it is evident that in spite of safeguarding us from severe infections, the initial doses might not be enough when it comes to protecting us from the new variant. However, one thing is for sure receiving 2 doses will be protecting us in a better way than no doses at all. 

It has been suggested by the authorities that folks that have attained the age of 18 ought to receive a booster 6 months after receiving the initial 2 doses of the Moderna or Pfizer series or a couple of months following the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which consists of a single dose only. However, more research has to be made regarding the effectiveness of the booster dose in the long run. 

Dogs Trained to Detect COVID-19 Deployed Globally

Canines have a unique ability to detect the odors of COVID-19 when the virus is active. Dogs from Austria to Britain to Thailand have been deployed to detect its presence, delivering an extra safety line for border entry, large events, and other group activities.

Airports in Chile and Finland were the first to deploy dogs as a screening tool against COVID in 2020.

According to Austrian authorities who have trained at least two dogs to detect COVID, the success rate is far above 80%

It Takes About Three Months to Train Dogs to Detect COVID

When a dog is already trained to sniff out substances, it only takes about two weeks for trainers to help them recognize the presence of COVID.

It then takes another three months for them to be fully trained to detect its presence in masks, clothing, or other items.

Most countries don’t have specific plans to deploy canines trained to detect COVID-19, but there is global support to help those who want this defense line.

Dogs have a remarkable capability of picking up the volatile compounds that different infections cause in the human body. Their sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than what humans have, which is why detecting the coronavirus is possible.

As the proof of concept work continues, you can expect to see more COVID-sniffing dogs at schools, airports, and public venues. Although the detection rate isn’t as high as some rapid antigen tests, it’s still a helpful tool to help us end this pandemic once and for all. 

Merck Reports COVID Pill Reduces Risk of Hospitalization

We’ve all seen the stories where seemingly healthy people get devastated by COVID-19. There are also numerous reports of people who eat healthily, get some sunlight, and include vitamins that barely have any symptoms.

Although including Thorne Research products is a great step for self-care, the COVID virus can create problems for anyone. That’s why Merck has worked to develop an antiviral pill while others have produced vaccinations.

The Merck COVID pill reportedly reduces the risk of hospitalization by half. 

This Pill Would Join Other Antiviral Care Products

Merck’s antiviral pill joins the infused product remdesivir and a generic steroid called dexamethasone to treat severe COVID cases. The other two products are typically given to patients once they’ve been hospitalized.

With the antiviral pill, Merck hopes to change the dialogue on how to treat or recover from COVID-19. 

The results from the Phase III study caused the company’s stock to rise nearly 10%. It produced such significant data that outside monitors recommended that the study stop early so that the treatment could proceed to market.

Merck says it is seeking emergency authorization use for the antiviral pill. 

Atea Pharmaceuticals is developing a similar product. Their shares went up by more than 20% on the news from Merck. 

With over 700,000 fatalities from COVID-19 in the United States alone, any treatment option is a welcome opportunity. Drugs similar to Merck’s have been linked to birth defects in some animal studies, but indications are that it doesn’t affect mammalian DNA – of which humans are included. 

Everything We Know About the Delta Variant of Coronavirus

When the Delta variant struck India, it caused record numbers of infections. Hospitalization rates skyrocketed, oxygen was in high demand, and there weren’t enough beds to accommodate everyone who became ill.

After the wave hit India, it went on to impact the world. Infection rates rose sharply even in countries with robust vaccination programs.

While you give your immune system a boost with Apricot Power and Irwin Naturals, please remember to consider vaccination as a tool to help you and your family get through this pandemic as safely as possible.

Facts About the Coronavirus Delta Variant

1. The Delta variant is more contagious than the other coronavirus strains. That’s why it spread around the world so quickly. By the end of July 2021, it accounted for about 80% of all new cases in the United States.

2. Although all people have a small risk to consider, vaccines limit the issue significantly. Individuals who haven’t received their COVID vaccine are 2.5 times more likely to become infected by this coronavirus variant.

3. The transmissibility of the Delta variant is so high that it could lead to numerous local outbreaks. It can skip from one poorly vaccinated area to another, especially since vaccinations in children under 12 haven’t come close to reaching goals.

4. Breakthrough cases happen, but it often creates less severe symptoms when it does.

We have a lot more to learn about the Delta variant. Until these issues get under control, the best option for everyone is to mask up, get vaccinated, and maintain social distancing. 

How Coronavirus Spiraled Out of Control in India

It seemed like India had COVID-19 controls in place that limited the spread of the coronavirus. While the United States, Brazil, Italy, and other nations faced staggering infection and death numbers in 2020, the country of more than one billion people was barely a blip on the radar.

That changed in 2021. While other developed countries were distributing vaccines, India started begging for basic health supplies.

At the peak of the pandemic in the fall of 2020, India topped out at nearly 100,000 daily cases. On April 27, 2021, over 360,00 cases were reported. The crisis was past the scale of anything the world had ever seen.

During that fateful last week in April, over 1.8 million new COVID-19 cases were registered. Health experts believe that the actual numbers were probably twice that amount.

What Caused the COVID-19 Spike in India?

Although the scale of the April outbreak in India could be driven by a more transmissible version of the coronavirus, several other factors create a perfect storm for infections to rise.

About 40% of the households in India have a multigenerational structure. That fact alone increases the risk of COVID-19 spreading.

India also has chronic underfunding of its healthcare system, which is only 3.5% of its GDP. France spends about 11% in comparison, while the United States reaches close to 20% in some years.

There was also a recent religious holiday where people came out by the thousands to celebrate. Many of them didn’t take personal precautions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

It would be fair to say that there are equal parts of incompetence and complacency when looking at how India ran into this crisis. People ignored the warning signs, and the government didn’t take steps to mitigate the issue. Leaders even said on April 17, just ten days before the massive infections, that they were pleased to see large crowds.

As of May 31, the number of new cases was down to a 7-day rolling average of 175,000.

Current State of COVID Strains: Is There Any Reason to Worry?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve, the virus behind COVID-19 keeps going through mutations. This behavior is normal, but it also creates problems for those seeking to find a solution to get society back to some semblance of normalcy.

Although several COVID strains are circulating, only three of them have authorities concerned. That’s because the virus seems to have adapted its protein spikes to make itself a more infectious agent.

The three strains under investigation are B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1.

Another variant found circulating in New York City and California is called B.1.526. Its infection rate is under investigation as well, offering a unique set of changes that could pose antigenic challenges for the current therapies being deployed.

Why Are the Variants Concerning Researchers?

As medical authorities research the shifting coronavirus mutations, including the UK and South African variants, they have noticed that transmissibility changes are taking place.

With the California variants labeled B.1.427 and B.1.429, a mutation that lets the virus bind to human receptor cells with greater ease makes it easier to catch COVID-19.

This issue might be part of why the United States continues reporting over 50,000 cases per day. In February 2021, over 500,000 deaths had the coronavirus listed as a contributing factor, with about 30 million total cases recorded.

Although the vaccine makers can insert the new genetic materials into the inoculations they distribute, Pfizer and BioNTech are looking at the idea of a third vaccine dose to trigger an additional immune response.

Since ongoing mutations could make the virus deadlier than it is now, the race to get everyone vaccinated is underway. Most global governments’ goal is to have the majority of adults receive both shots by the fall.

Until everyone gets their vaccines, people must follow today’s best practices to prevent transmission. That means social distancing, wearing a facial covering, and limiting indoor contact with others.

State of Coronavirus Globally at the Start of 2021

When the first cases of COVID-19 were announced in Washington State at the start of 2020, the idea that the world would take on two extended lockdown periods and three infection surges seemed unlikely.

What would follow would be several months of uncertainty, unemployment, and life-changing circumstances.

As the world enters 2021, hope is on the horizon. Pfizer and Moderna have developed COVID-19 vaccines with over 90% efficacy ratings, creating the idea that we can all return to some level of normal at some point during the year.

We also have several challenges to meet, which means you must still take care of your health. Having your shelves stocked with products from brands like Douglas Laboratories and Amazing Grass to keep your immune system strong can help during this historical moment.

1. Some People Can’t Take the Vaccine

Although the adverse reaction rates are low with modern vaccines, there is always the possibility of an unwanted outcome when getting this shot. Some people have allergies to the ingredients that make it challenging to receive the necessary dosage. That means the individuals in this group may need to limit their social activities until 2022 – or later.

2. Some Vaccines Require Multiple Doses

Pfizer’s vaccine offers an excellent efficacy rating, but it also requires two doses to be effective. The company reported that they have the capacity to produce 1.3 billion does in 2021. That means this product will be available to about 650 million people – a far cry from the billions globally that need it.

3. Shipping Issues with the Vaccines

Although Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t require extensive freezing arrangements, Pfizer’s must be kept at exceptionally cold levels during transport and storage. That makes the logistics of receiving one quite difficult. Although front-line workers should not have issues accessing this product, it could be problematic for the average family trying to get back to normal.

There is still a lot of work to do in 2021 to manage COVID-19. If we don’t want a repeat of 2020, it is up to all of us to be healthy, stay safe, and take care of those around us.

Quick Review of 2020 Most Notable Moments

When we think about 2020, it will be a year that none of us forget. Future generations will talk about the months that we spent alone, working and learning remotely, while everything seemed like it could fall apart at any moment.

The year started with news that a disease was spreading throughout China. It didn’t seem like a problem in January, but it became concerning in February when it began to spread. Italy saw record casualties, followed by the U.S., while the rest of the world tried to maintain its status quo.

China locked down Wuhan first. Italy did the same, followed by the United States and the rest of the world.

We’re still dealing with the coronavirus today. It was once considered a respiratory illness with new mandates requiring people to wear masks, but now scientists see it as a cardiovascular issue. At least every day gets us a little closer to normalcy again.

That’s one issue from 2020. Here is a review of the other notable events, in no particular order.

1. Murder Hornets

These massive hornets are the size of a finger. They feed on bee colonies, disrupting pollination chains wherever they go. For the past few years, some had been spotted in Canada. Now, they’re moving into Washington State.

2. Assassination of Qasem Soleimani

The U.S. authorized the death of an Iranian general in a drone strike. This event led to several days of tension between the two countries, with threats of war traded. Iran would issue a retaliatory attack on Iraqi bases with American troops in response. That happened three days into the year.

3. Trump’s Impeachment

Donald Trump became the first President in his first term to get impeached by the House of Representatives.

4. Death of Kobe Bryant

Basketball star and philanthropist Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash with his teen daughter and seven others while flying to a game. The entire world found itself mourning the loss, with murals appearing from Africa to the Philippines.

5. Beirut Explosion

Over 2,700 pounds of ammonium nitrate exploded in Lebanon, killing over 150 people and injuring about 6,000. Hundreds of thousands of people were displaced as entire neighborhoods got leveled.

6. George Floyd

Protests in Portland, OR, over the death of George Floyd have persisted for over 100 days. The Black Lives Matter movement surged again, with mostly peaceful protests happening in dozens of cities.

We’re in the final stretch of 2020. What else do you think this year has in store for us all?

Why Some Countries Haven’t Reported COVID-19 Cases

Before Christmas 2019, it seemed as if the new coronavirus epidemic would stay confined to China. A few weeks later, authorities declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic, causing a variety of symptoms and pneumonia-like problems.

The coronavirus transmits through bodily fluids and droplets. Exposure to a person’s saliva or mucus through the eyes, nose, mouth, or cuts can cause the infections. Some researchers believe that someone with active disease is immediately contagious, even if that individual doesn’t report any symptoms.

As of June 11, 2020, COVID-19 has been reported in 188 countries and territories around the world.

COVID-19 Has Infected Over 7 Million People

Estimates from Johns Hopkins University suggest that the new coronavirus has infected over 7.2 million people. The ease of transmission for this virus is causing health officials, scientists, and governments worldwide to suggest social distancing measures.

Unless there is a compelling reason to go outside or travel, authorities are recommending people should stay inside.

The United States is the global leader in reported infections, with about 2 million people and over 111,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19.

On the other end of the spectrum, a total of 13 countries and territories have not reported a single case of the new coronavirus. Those governments are Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Greenland, and North Korea. 

With the exceptions of North Korea and Turkmenistan, the reason why the other governments are not reporting coronavirus cases is simple. Their isolation is an advantage during a global pandemic.

Using COVID-19 as a Political Tool

The other governments are not reporting new COVID-19 cases because they feel it is their best interest to behave this way.

North Korea sees the idea of reporting cases of the coronavirus as a sign of weakness. When their adversary (the U.S.) is the global leader for infections and deaths, saying that nothing exists in their country portrays a domestic feeling of strength.

Turkmenistan says that it is coronavirus-free. The government recently uninvited a team from the World Health Organization to check on conditions, raising suspicions about the information coming from the country.

COVID-19 will likely be a disease that we must learn to live with until effective treatment solutions get found. We know that social distancing can work, and the island nations of the South Pacific are evidence of that fact.