“State Department of Aging offers older Pennsylvanians new resources to arrange COVID-19 vaccinations” – WITF
“We need to foster these community-based solutions.”
SOURCE: WITF article
by Kiley Koscinski/WESA
“(Pittsburgh) – After weeks of criticism from older Pennsylvanians struggling to get COVID-19 vaccine appointments, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday two state agencies are stepping up to help people over the age of 65 book COVID-19 vaccine appointments over the phone.
“The state’s Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, or PACE, is a low-cost prescription program for older adults; it has launched a dedicated unit at its Harrisburg-based call center to help its 275,000 cardholders arrange vaccination appointments. Operators will also be working with cardholders to arrange for transportation to vaccination sites; they’re also working with PACE’s pharmacy network members to vaccinate at a cardholder’s residence, if necessary. Enrollees can call 1-800-225-7223.
“For other older adults, PA Link is now taking calls from people who don’t have access to a computer. Operators will assess the caller’s situation, offer guidance and transfer to a scheduling team. For callers with transportation needs, PA Link will also be able to contact partners with their local Area Agency on Aging to assist with coordinating rides.”
“Side effects are just a sign that protection is kicking in as it should.”
“GETTY / THE ATLANTIC
by Katherine J. Wu
“At about 2 a.m. on Thursday morning, I woke to find my husband shivering beside me. For hours, he had been tossing in bed, exhausted but unable to sleep, nursing chills, a fever, and an agonizingly sore left arm. His teeth chattered. His forehead was freckled with sweat. And as I lay next to him, cinching blanket after blanket around his arms, I felt an immense sense of relief. All this misery was a sign that the immune cells in his body had been riled up by the second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, and were well on their way to guarding him from future disease.
“Side effects are a natural part of the vaccination process, as my colleague Sarah Zhang has written. Not everyone will experience them. But the two COVID-19 vaccines cleared for emergency use in the United States, made by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, already have reputations for raising the hackles of the immune system: In both companies’ clinical trials, at least a third of the volunteers ended up with symptoms such as headaches and fatigue; fevers like my husband’s were less common.
“Dose No. 2 is more likely to pack a punch—in large part because the effects of the second shot build iteratively on the first.”
Click here to read this article at The Atlantic in its entirety.
“Glitchy websites, jammed phone lines and long lines outside clinics are commonplace as states expand who’s eligible to be vaccinated. The oldest Americans and those without caregivers and computer skills are at a distinct disadvantage.” (LYDIA ZURAW/KHN ILLUSTRATION; GETTY IMAGES)
by Will Stone
“The efforts to vaccinate people 65 and older have strained under the enormous demand that has overwhelmed cumbersome, inconsistent scheduling systems.
“The struggle represents a shift from the first wave of vaccinations — health care workers in health care settings — which went comparatively smoothly. Now, in most places, elderly people are pitted against one another, competing on an unstable technological playing field for limited shots.
“’You can’t have the vaccine distribution be a race between elderly people typing and younger people typing,’ said Jeremy Novich, a clinical psychologist in New York City who has begun a group to help people navigate the technology to get appointments. ‘That’s not a race. That’s just cruel.’
“While the demand is an encouraging sign of public trust in the vaccines, the challenges facing seniors also speak to the country’s fragmented approach, which has left many confused and enlisting family members to hunt down appointments.”
Continue reading this article at Kaiser Health Network, click here.
“Lack of internet access shouldn’t be a barrier to getting vaccinated.”
by Susan Nash
“The federal government’s recommendation that the COVID-19 vaccine be made available to adults aged 65 and up is a welcome step in the effort to accelerate the distribution of these life-saving shots. Unfortunately, many of the older adults most at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 are the least likely to have online access to vaccine information and registration options. Other forms of outreach to this population are essential to an effective vaccination effort.
“In a recent Los Angeles Times story about this problem, Donna Spratt, 82, of Cerritos, Calif., explained that she couldn’t figure out how to use county’s online system for vaccination registration.”Once you’re retired, you kind of lose contact with these things,” Spratt said. She needed to get her daughter to arrange for the appointment and her son to drive her 20+ miles to get the shot.
“The digital divide between young and old has already emerged as a critical problem during the months of sheltering in place: older people without internet access have faced increased risks from social isolation without the ability to connect even via Zoom. Internet access is also crucial to accessing essential services like grocery delivery and telehealth video visits during the pandemic.”
Click here to continue reading this opinion column at next avenue.
“Coronavirus scams spreading as fraudsters follow the headlines”
by John Waggoner and Andy Markowitz
“Coronavirus scams are spreading nearly as fast as the virus itself. As of Jan. 12, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had logged more than 324,000 consumer complaints related to COVID-19 and stimulus payments, 69 percent of them involving fraud or identity theft. Victims have reported losing $307 million, with a median loss of $305.
Fraudsters are using the full suite of scam tools — phishing emails and texts, bogus social media posts, robocalls, impostor schemes and more — and closely following the headlines, adapting their messages and tactics as new medical and economic issues arise.
For example, with the government granting emergency authorization of the first COVID-19 vaccines, federal and state agencies are warning of a flood of vaccine scams, with phony websites and email campaigns promising easy and early access to coronavirus shots. Authorities also anticipate a fresh wave of stimulus scams with Congress approving new rounds of relief payments, enhanced unemployment benefits and small business loans.
Here are some coronavirus scams scams to look out for. Click to keep reading this article.
Right now, there’s a fair amount of consternation and confusion about the vaccination protocols across the nation, the state and locally in your county.
The big issue is that so many rumors are flying about that people are having a hard time getting accurate information. The best way to get credible information is to look to the information provided at government Websites.
For instance, here’s the guidance at the Pennsylvania Department of Health Website: https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/coronavirus/Vaccine/Pages/Vaccine.aspx
Your county, too, may have specific to your county information:
- Berks County has this Website: https://www.berkscms.org/covid-vaccine
- Lebanon County has this Website: https://www.lcdes.org/vaccinate/
This January 15, 2021 LNP – Always Lancaster article states “As neighboring counties launch websites for residents to sign up for COVID-19 vaccines, officials in Lancaster County have decided to hold off while federal and state guidelines continue to shift.”
The vaccination process is quite fluid and just two days ago, the Biden Administration added national COVID-19 guidance to the White House Website — you can download the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness.
Other sources for reliable information about the vaccination processes:
- “Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination” Updated Jan. 15, 2021 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- “COVID-19 vaccines at VA”
- “Vaccine Timeline | Availability & Distribution Guide” at Scientsy.com
“Autopsy studies have revealed a range of recurrent neuropathological features in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.”
by Katarina Zimmer
“When epidemics and pandemics washed over humanity through the ages, watchful doctors noticed that in addition to the usual, mostly respiratory ailments, the illnesses also seemed to trigger neurological symptoms. One British throat specialist observed in the late 1800s that influenza appeared to ‘run up and down the nervous keyboard stirring up disorder and pain in different parts of the body with what almost seems malicious caprice.’ Indeed, some patients during the 1889–92 influenza pandemic reportedly became afflicted with psychoses, paranoia, stabbing pains, and nerve damage. Similarly, scholars have linked the 1918 flu pandemic to parkinsonism, neuropsychiatric disorders, and a broadly coinciding outbreak of the “sleeping sickness” encephalitis lethargica, which would often arrest patients in a coma-like state—although researchers still debate whether the two are causally connected.
“That SARS-CoV-2, the culprit of the COVID-19 pandemic, is also associated with neurological symptoms isn’t entirely surprising, given some evidence that its close relatives, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-1, have been associated with neurological symptoms too. But the proportion of patients …
Continue reading this article at The Scientist, click here.
“Dr. Viktoria Mahnych, walks on country road to attend to her patient near Iltsi village, Ivano-Frankivsk region of Western Ukraine, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)“
by Mstyslav Chernov and Yuras Karmanau
“VERKHOVYNA, Ukraine (AP) — Riding a horse-drawn cart, Dr. Viktoria Mahnych trots along country roads to attend to her patients in several villages nestled in the Carpathian Mountains in western Ukraine.
“The country of 42 million has recorded more than 1.1 million confirmed COVID-19 infections and nearly 20,000 deaths. Mahnych, 30, now fears that the long holidays, during which Ukrainians frequented restaurants and other entertainment venues, attended festive parties and crowded church services, will trigger a surge in new coronavirus infections and make her job even more difficult.
“Starting Friday, Ukraine imposed a broad lockdown aimed at containing a surge in infections, but many medical workers say that the move came too late.
“The streets of Ukrainian cities swarmed with festive crowds during the holidays and thousands flocked to churches to attend Christmas services Thursday in the mostly Orthodox country without worrying about social distancing or wearing masks.”
From top to bottom: “A medical worker talks with coronavirus patients in a hospital organized in the medical college in Lviv, Western Ukraine, on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021. A medical worker treats Mykhailo Kaldarar, patient with COVID-19 as his wife Oleksandra Kaldarar, left, looks at him in a hospital in Rudky, Western Ukraine, on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)”
“LVIV, Ukraine (AP) — A medical college in western Ukraine has been transformed into a temporary hospital as the coronavirus inundates the Eastern European country.
“The foyer of the college in the city of Lviv holds 50 beds for COVID-19 patients, and 300 more are placed in lecture halls and auditoriums to accommodate the overflow of people seeking care at a packed emergency hospital nearby.
“The head of the hospital’s therapy division, Marta Sayko, said the college space has doubled treatment capacity. She hopes a broad lockdown ordered Friday will reduce the burden on the Ukrainian health care system.
“’Considering that now the number of cases is growing, more patients arrive in a grave condition with signs of respiratory failure,’ Sayko said.”
“The illness has affected nearly every aspect of life.”
by Rachael Rettne
“The year 2020 was defined by the coronavirus pandemic, arguably the worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years. COVID-19 has caused more than 75 million cases and 1.6 million deaths worldwide as of mid-December. The illness has affected nearly every aspect of life, from work and school to everyday activities like getting groceries, and even our wardrobes.
“Here are just some of the ways COVID-19 changed the world in 2020.
“A number of new words and phrases entered the general lexicon in 2020. We were told we need to “social distance,” or stay six feet apart, so that we could “flatten the curve,” or slow the disease’s spread in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. People even became familiar with relatively obscure epidemiological terms like the “basic reproduction number” (R0, pronounced R-nought), or the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected person.”
To read this article at Live Science in its entirety, click here.
“Like 1968, 1945, 1918 and so many other landmark years, we won’t have to work hard to remember, in the decades to come, what year COVID-19 struck. It was in 2020 — a year to remember, whether you like it or not.“
“Protesters gathered July 25 in Springfield to complain about (Illinois) Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 restrictions.” The State Journal-Register, distributed by the Associated Press
by Neil Steinberg
“An Easter like no other.
“A summer like no other.
“A World Series like no other.
“A year like no other.
“The description ‘a _____ like no other’ wasn’t invented in 2020. It has been used for more than a century: ‘It has been a year like no other,’ wrote R.M. Squires, summing up the world of dentistry in 1919.
“But the phrase was worn to a nubbin over the past nine months by journalists lunging to convey in a handy three-word code the baked-in strangeness and continuous turmoil we’ve been enduring. A branded logo to rubber-stamp this slow-motion train wreck: COVID-19 pandemic meets civic unrest meets economic disruption. Our locked-down society of shuttered schools and struggling restaurants, all playing out against a political clown show that veers from farcical to frightening, sometimes within the same hour.
“A presidential election like no other.
“A Thanksgiving like no other.
“So often was ‘like no other’ flung, at times I wanted to scream, ‘EVERY year is a year like no other!’ Years are unique, like snowflakes. And besides, 2020 is like other years. It’s like 1968, 1945, 1918 … all the way back to 1066, landmark years where you won’t have to purse your lips and ponder, trying to dredge up a single event. We all know what happened in 2001. Nobody is going to snap their fingers and try to recall what year COVID struck: 2020, a year to remember, whether you like it or not.”
Want to read more about the year like no other? Click here to read the entire article at The Chicago Sun-Times.
VOX: Are we doomed? An investigation
At the conclusion of a dystopian year, we look to historians, preppers, and even the heavens in search of answers: What exactly was 2020, and what happens now? Click to read opposite opinions.