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IronLionZion's Journal
IronLionZion's Journal
October 28, 2021

Vaccine eligibility for mood disorders underscores elevated covid risk


When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added mood disorders to the list of conditions that put people at high risk for severe covid-19 recently, clinicians were not surprised. The mind-body connection, they say, is long-settled research.

But the scientific seal of approval is still critical: It makes millions of people eligible for booster shots based on their mental health diagnosis alone and gives vulnerable groups more reason to protect themselves.

“This is a population that is really, really at risk due to the way that covid-19 interacts with the diagnoses,” said Lisa Dailey, executive director of the Treatment Advocacy Center. “Until the CDC put this group of disorders on their list, they would not have known that.”

The CDC on Oct. 14 added “mental health conditions” to a long list of mostly physical conditions that make someone likely to be hospitalized, need a ventilator or die of the coronavirus, including cancer, diabetes and obesity.

The change means it is important for people with “mood disorders, including depression, and schizophrenia spectrum disorders” to get vaccinated — with initial doses and boosters — and take preventive measures, such as masking, social distancing and hand-washing, according to the CDC.

Clinicians have known that COVID can cause mental illness so there is a connection. But this is a new motivation for people to get booster shots. Depression is very common and often got worse for folks during the pandemic isolation.
October 26, 2021

Here's a little-noticed reason the Virginia race is such a big deal


It’s widely known that the Virginia gubernatorial race will offer clues on what the 2022 midterm elections might look like. If Democrats win, they might campaign aggressively on vaccine and mask requirements. If Republicans win, they’ll see that demagoguing on critical race theory and feeding former president Donald Trump’s lies about 2020 energize the base with no serious cost among swing voters.

But there’s a less obvious way the Virginia outcome could help shape future campaigns. A Democratic victory might show that another issue has unexpected political potential: Paid leave.

To an underappreciated degree, Democrat Terry McAuliffe’s candidacy has put paid leave in the foreground. McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018, has pledged to institute statewide paid sick, family and medical leave if elected, vowing to make Virginia the “first Southern state” to do so.

Numerous ads from the McAuliffe campaign have placed paid leave front and center. One ad casts passing a new paid-leave measure as pivotal to ensuring that “everyone is treated with dignity and respect.”

Apologies if it's paywall. The opinion piece is about paid leave.

This is the year to do it. Secretary Pete took parental leave. My doctor is unreachable because he is taking parental leave. People should be able to care for loved ones or take medical treatments without worrying how to pay the bills. It's important in Virginia where a lot of workers are contractors. Some contracting firms are better than others. The best firm I worked for and the worst firm I worked for are both headquartered in the old dominion.
October 21, 2021

The Ocean Cleanup Successfully Hauls 20,000 Pounds of Plastic From the Pacific Ocean


For nearly a decade, the world has been watching as Boyan Slat's The Ocean Cleanup transformed from an 18-year-old's idea to a non-profit pulling in millions in funding. The organization's aim is to remove 90% of the ocean's floating plastic by 2040. This ambitious goal has seemed both attainable and far out of reach during the highs and lows of testing different systems for the cleanup. But now, it seems that the organization's System 002, which is nicknamed Jenny, is up to the task.

After some trial and error with previous prototypes, Jenny appears to do its job well. In August, the team launched Jenny into the Pacific and headed toward the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This vortex of trash located between Hawaii and California is fertile ground for The Ocean Cleanup. Over the course of 12 weeks, they tested the system to ensure that it would not only capture ocean plastic but that it was durable enough to bring the haul onboard.

Fortunately, Jenny passed the test. The last haul brought in an astounding 9,000 kilograms (almost 20,000 pounds) of plastic. So what happens to all this plastic? Once the system is closed and hauled aboard the ship, its net gets emptied. The plastic is then sorted and recycled, with some of the plastic even being used to create sunglasses that help fund The Ocean Project.

Like all of The Ocean Cleanup's technology, Jenny works by acting as a huge barrier that, when dragged along at slow speeds, traps trash. By skimming the surface of the ocean, Jenny picks up larger pieces of floating plastic. While some critics point out that there may be up to 30 times more plastic deeper in the ocean, The Ocean Cleanup maintains that collecting plastic while it is still large cuts down on eventual microplastics sinking into the sea.

As each system can hold anywhere from 10,000 to 15,000 kilograms, Slat estimates that with 10 Jennys, the organization could clean up 50% of the trash vortex in just five years. Of course, the system isn't perfect. The company is currently purchasing carbon credits to offset the emissions of the boat used to haul Jenny around the ocean. At the moment, it's a necessary evil as The Ocean Cleanup found that allowing the system to passively move around using the ocean's currents as originally planned ended in large quantities of plastic escaping from the barriers.

Still, even with the issues to work out, Jenny's success is a huge step forward in eliminating plastic from our oceans.

More photos and links to their sites at the link. This is a very intriguing project and they could use donations and support. The sunglasses made from ocean plastic look pretty cool.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Southwestern PA
Home country: USA
Current location: Washington, DC
Member since: Mon Nov 10, 2003, 06:36 PM
Number of posts: 44,970

About IronLionZion

If an H-1b has an American accent, they are probably not an H-1b. It's race, not citizenship. Americans are more diverse than you think. Millions of US citizens don't look the way you might expect. This fact is very important and will help us win elections.

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