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Governor Cuomo Announces New Travel Restriction Enforcement’s For New York

Governor Cuomo announced this week that he would be implementing even more travel enforcement operations at all airports in the state in order to ensure that all travelers coming into New York follow quarantine guidelines and restrictions. After New York became one of the country’s initial epicenters for Covid-19 at the beginning of this pandemic, the administration has made it a goal to protect itself from that happening again.

Part of the operation includes having enforcement teams stationed at every airport in New York State. These teams will meet arriving planes at the gates to greet all passengers as they exit into the airport. The enforcement teams will request proof of completion from every passenger in regards to their State Department of Health traveler forms. These forms are given to all airline passengers before, during, and after all flights to New York. 

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The state has now made these forms electronic as well to make it easier for passengers to complete before coming in and out of the state. The Department of Health in New York is also issuing an emergency health order that requires all out-of-state travelers coming into New York to complete the DOH traveler form before coming into the state. Travelers who fail to complete the forms before leaving the airport will be subject to a fine of $2,000 and may be brought in for a court hearing that will order a mandatory state-issued quarantine. 

A multitude of airlines have pledged to help make passengers more hyper-aware of these forms and the importance of filling them out. Many airlines have opted to use pre-flight emails/announcements, as well as in-flight announcements throughout the course of the entire trip. 

If you’re an out-of-state traveler that’s from one of the state’s on New York’s designated travel list you must fill out one of the DOH traveler forms online beforehand, this also holds true if you’re planning on entering the state via train or car. Currently New York has 19 states listed as meeting the criteria for a required quarantine. Cuomo states that it’s up to every out-of-state traveler to comply with the rules if the nation has any chance at recovering. 

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“New York’s success in fighting the COVID-19 virus is under two threats: lack of compliance and the virus coming to New York from other states with increasing infection rates.” 

Larger more commercial airlines will be hiring peace officers and various employees from state agencies to work on the enforcement teams for arriving flights everyday. More regional airports throughout the state will have the teams on site based on the number of daily arrivals. As you could imagine, smaller more regional airports are seeing a lot less traffic especially when compared to larger ones that are located in more populated areas such as NYC. 

Regional airport enforcement teams will also be made up of State DOH employees as well as local police depending on the area. Each airport is being required by the state to set up a large physical space at each gate that stands out and is clear to passengers. These areas will have proper social distancing markers set up and will hopefully work to run smoothly and quickly so that passengers can exit the airport as quickly and safely as possible.

Woman Wearing Face Mask

CDC Director Offers Covid-19 Update, Urges Citizens To Wear Their Masks

Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in America has recently delivered a Covid-19 update in which he claimed that the outbreak could be controlled across the nation within 4-6 weeks if people were more strict about wearing their masks. According to Redfield over half of the states in America are currently spiking at a faster rate than they had been in the spring. 

Johns Hopkins University has been collecting national data on Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. As of this week, they reported that the US has surpassed 3.4 million positive cases of the coronavirus with over 136,000 deaths. Globally there have been about 13.3 million cases and almost 580,000 deaths; meaning the US accounts for around 24% of all covid-related deaths. 

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Redfield consistently was emphasizing that disciplined use of facial coverings, social distancing, and hand washing can dramatically decrease the rate in which this virus spreads, however, this isn’t new information. The biggest issue now is enforcing these policies that so many Americans are actively ignoring because their state governments are telling them it’s okay to be out in public again through the reopenings. 

“If all of us would put on a face covering now for the next four weeks to six weeks, we could drive this epidemic to the ground in this country.”

Redfield went on to discuss other aspects of the pandemic as well, specifically how the Trump administration is now implementing a new directive that requires all hospitals to bypass the CDC when it comes to sending Covid-19 related data to the government. Instead, the data is to be sent directly to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

For reference, the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network has been the number one source of information in terms of all things coronavirus related. This includes data on things like hospital bed numbers, ventilator use/availability, and personal protective equipment (PPEs). Now, the administration claims the new system will streamline the collection of these important stats and the CDC will still be able to have access to the information, they just won’t get it first. 

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Finally, the CDC announced that pharmaceutical company Moderna Inc. is currently in the early stages of a trial for a Covid-19 vaccine that’s showing successful results. The vaccine has proven to trigger an immune response within the body, however, it’s still too early to tell if that immune response is strong enough to actually protect someone from contracting the Covid-19 virus. 

Moderna’s chief medical officer Dr. Tal Zaks recently spoke with the media about the vaccine that’s technical name is mRNA-1273. Zaks claims that while we don’t have all the data yet, so far all indications prove the vaccine to be safe and effective. 

“The levels of protective antibodies produced by the trial participants were similar to those found in patients who had recovered from COVID-19, suggesting that the candidate vaccine provides the same protection as an infection.”

In the meantime, it’s recommended that we all continue to listen to the CDC and all of our country’s healthcare providers when they tell us the most effective ways to curve the spread of this virus. If we want a chance at returning to a life of normalcy, it’s imperative that we wear our masks in public, continue to social distance, and wash our hands as often as possible.

Basketball Hoop

NBA Players Have Mixed Reactions To Being In Disney World Bubble

NBA players have been in the Walt Disney World “bubble” for almost a week now and many of them are less than enthused to be living in an isolated hotel in preparation for the 2020 season. Los Angeles Clippers forward Montrezl Harrell, for example, made an Instagram post after being in the bubble for less than 24 hours that showed a picture of what looked like uncooked chicken. He captioned the post “This ain’t it, I’m about to starve out here in Orlando,” setting the tone for many other players’ reactions to being locked away and isolated from the world. 

The league is set to fully relaunch on July 30th, but many players are arriving early for pre-season/ to remain isolated for two weeks ahead of the season to make sure they’re healthy enough to play. The first game is set to be between the Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans. All players must receive two negative Covid-19 results that are 24 hours apart before they’ll be able to leave their hotel rooms. 

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NBA spokesperson Michael Bass recently spoke to the media about the specifics of the living conditions within the bubble as time progresses:

“After clearing quarantine, players will also have access to various restaurants on campus and delivery options to choose from … There is never a shortage of food options – players can always request additional food by speaking with their team nutritionists.”

Many players besides Harrell have also been documenting their Disney Hotel journeys upon arrival. Some have shared more positive sentiments, showing off their stellar views and elaborate room setups, but for the most part, the posts have seemed relatively negative. Many players have been adamant about the lack of quality food and Wi-Fi making it difficult to contact their loved ones back home. 

One of the most viral posts came from Memphis Grizzlies guard Tyrus Jones who posted a photo of a dead cockroach in his room, along with a plate of food many have been describing as “airplane quality.” 

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These posts emulate a massive conflict that all major sports league players are facing in the coming months. Is the sacrifice to provide professional sports entertainment to the public in the middle of a global health crisis really worth it? Many have made the comparison to television and movie studios in Hollywood shutting down all production indefinitely to the major leagues, claiming that professional sports require the same level of person-to-person interaction as recording a scene for a TV show, so why are they continuing to play? Disney World is also located in Florida, which has become one of the world’s new epicenters for the virus. 

Major League Soccer kicked off their season this past week, but has also had two teams pull out of the season after players tested positive for Covid-19. The separation of players and the world within these bubbles is also taking a psychological toll on players already, as many will likely not be able to see their loved ones again for at least 50 days depending on how the season progresses and if there’s any new case numbers within the bubble. 

In the bubble, players are required to remain isolated, will be tested daily for the coronavirus, and policies such as wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing are still required.

World Health Organization

WHO Director Calls For Global Unity As Pandemic Begins To ‘Speed Up’

The Director and Chief of the World Health Organization is reprimanding the world’s leaders for spreading mixed messages regarding Covid-19.

Coronavirus Fight

Dr. Fauci Continues To Battle Administration On Covid-19 Handling

Dr. Anthony Fauci has acted at the US’s figurehead in regards to the Covid-19 pandemic and ways we as a country can curve the spread. President Donald Trump and his administration, however, are continuing to sideline Fauci as a Covid-19 expert and contradict his advice by expressing their skepticism about the severity of the virus/treatments for the virus. 

More recently, Trump claimed that he “disagreed” with Fauci’s claim that the US was in a bad place in its coronavirus response, despite the fact that the US is one of the only countries in the world that’s still seeing an increase in case numbers and deaths. Trump went on to claim that Fauci was the one who’s been “making a lot of mistakes” in terms of Covid response. 

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The public has generally stayed on Fauci’s side as he, along with the rest of the countries healthcare professionals, have been basing their claims off the national/international data that’s been collected regarding the virus and how it works, however, that hasn’t stopped the administration from trying to take Fauci down. 

Trump retweeted a call for Fauci to be fired back in April after he continuously has had to correct the president specifically on his false claims regarding the virus; for example, when Trump was telling individuals that taking hydroxychloroquine could kill the virus, despite the FDA’s warning against doing exactly that. 

Trump can’t actually fire Fauci, and if he did the public would likely be very outraged; Fauci currently has a 67% approval rating for how he’s handled the pandemic, which is about three times the approval rating for Trump’s response. White House officials instead have taken to the media and internet to damage Fauci’s reputation, one recent example being an official telling CNN that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr Fauci has been wrong on things.” 

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Fauci himself has had enough of standing on the podium after Trump to disprove the false claims he’s spread about the pandemic, so much so that according to insiders Fauci hasn’t briefed Trump on the coronavirus since the first week in June. 

For those who may not be aware, Fauci has had a long career in public health. His name first entered the public eye during the AIDS epidemic where he also, at the time, contradicted the president’s handling of the virus. In a recent podcast interview, Fauci delivered an assertive assessment of the US’s handling of the pandemic in comparison to the rest of the world.  

“You have to be having blind-folders on and covering your ears to think that we don’t live in a very politically divisive society now, from a political standpoint. So I think you’d have to make the assumption that if there wasn’t such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach.”

The pushback from the president and his administration has been continuously detrimental to the way in which the US has fallen victim to this virus. More American citizens have been killed by Covid-19 than in World War 1. America alone makes up about 28% of all Covid-19 cases in the world as well. 

Regardless of your opinions on Fauci, we can’t deny that America is currently enduring one of the biggest crises it’s ever seen. Listening to your own healthcare professionals/providers is of the utmost importance right now and regardless of political beliefs, make sure you do your research and see for yourself what the facts are.

California Positive COVID

California’s Poorest County Is The State’s New Epicenter For Covid-19

Adolphe Edward is the CEO for El Centro regional medical center, which is one of the only two hospitals in the entire county; which houses 181,000 California residents.

COVID

WHO Director Claims Lack Of Unity Among World Leaders Is Bigger Threat Than Covid-19

It’s been over six months since the coronavirus initially appeared in Wuhan, China. Now, half a year later, the virus is continuing to rapidly spread in what experts are calling the “once-in-a-century pandemic.” 

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently held a mission briefing in Geneva where he told members that the virus can be brought under control, however, in most of the world it’s doing the opposite and getting worse. As of this week the Covid-19 virus has infected more than 12 million people worldwide and has killed at least 550,000; although lack of testing facility data has experts believing that number to be much higher, especially in the US.

More than half of the world’s cases have been found in North and South America according to WHO’s latest report.  

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“The pandemic is still accelerating. The total number of cases has doubled in the last six weeks.”

Although the world is seeing massive spikes in cases, there are also many countries that have the pandemic relatively under control and contained. These countries used fundamental public health measures such as widespread testing of all citizens, contact tracing, and isolating all exposed individuals. 

Ghebreyesus went on to explain how this virus may have “upended health systems in some of the world’s wealthiest nations,” but other countries, such as New Zealand, were able to rise to the occasion and implement a successful response to the outbreak by putting its countries healthcare experts at the forefront of policy-making decisions. This briefing also came days after president of the United States Donald Trump and his administration submitted their notice to the United Nations that the country would be withdrawing from the WHO.

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This news has many Americans worried, however, the submission of the notice to the UN is just step 1 in a major yearlong process to actually withdraw from the WHO. There are many outside factors that will make the US’s withdrawal difficult in the long run; such as the election coming up this November and Trump’s need to convince Congress that withdrawing would be the best decision during a pandemic. 

While the Trump administration has consistently criticized WHO’s response to the virus, Ghebreyesus continued to defend it, stating that the UN health agency warned countries early on about the threat of this virus to coordinate global research responses. 

“For years, many of us warned that a catastrophic respiratory pandemic was inevitable. But despite all the warnings, the world was not ready. Our communities were not ready. Our supply chains collapsed. It is time for a very honest reflection.”

The WHO has now created The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response which will be led by the former prime minister of New Zealand Helen Clark and the former president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Both Clark and Sirleaf will have full control over who else is added to the panel based on how well their countries have coped with Covid-19. 

Ghebreyesus also called on the world’s leaders to unite in collaboration against this virus, as they should’ve been this whole time. Now that we’ve seen how this virus works within different systems and policies for half of a year, we can better understand how to contain it and stop the spread; it’s more so now about actually implementing those changes.

Architects working Together

Antonio Citterio Discusses Resilience And Sustainability In The Architecture Industry

Antonio Citterio’s aim as a designer and architect has always been to create spaces that evoke a sense of quality. Spaces that are useful for the individuals daily life while being creative enough to embody a sense of the client’s personality.

HIV Drug Medicine

Over 70 Countries Experiencing Shortage In HIV Medication Due To Pandemic

More than 70 countries in the world are currently at risk of running out of essential HIV medication due to the coronavirus pandemic and the multitude of vaccine trials using drug cocktails that involve said medication. 

According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), twenty-four countries currently claim to have a “critically low” stock of antiretroviral medicine, more commonly known as ARVs. ARVs are largely used around the world as a therapy to treat HIV, and now a majority of these countries are seeing disruptions in their supply chains as a direct result of the pandemic. 

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated recently that the organization thinks “the findings of this survey are deeply concerning.”

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SUDAN – JUNE 18: Sudanese pharmacists, holding banners protesting against medicine shortage

“Countries and their development partners must do all they can to ensure that people who need HIV treatment continue to access it. We cannot let the COVID-19 pandemic undo the hard-won gains in the global response to this disease.”

In May of this year the WHO and the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS estimated that AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa specifically could double due to a six-month disruption of access to ARV medication.  

The estimation itself applies only to 2020, however, that doesn’t make it any less staggering. While there may not be a direct cure for HIV/AIDS, ARVs and drug treatments like it have made it so individuals can get to a place where they’re completely undetectable, and therefore, untransmittable, which is remarkable when you think about what the AIDS epidemic looked like in the 1980’s and how bleak the future looked in terms of the virus. 

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Pharmacy owner Abdulaziz Othman speaks about the acute shortage of medicine at his drugstore in the Sudanese capital Khartoum

The fact that we’ve gotten to a place where HIV and AIDS can practically disappear from an individual’s body goes to show that we should all remain hopeful for a Covid-19 treatment/vaccine, however, it’s important that we continue to provide resources to parts of the world that need HIV/AIDS relief the most. 

According to the WHO survey some of these main “disruptions” that are causing so many countries to struggle with their ARV supply includes the closure of air and land transportation, failure for suppliers to deliver the medication as a result of that, and a limit on access to health services due to Covid concerns. 

In 2019 alone more than 25 million people received ARV treatment; which is around the average every year for HIV treatment using antiretroviral medication. Now, the WHO is predicting that number will be much smaller because of the pandemic. 

This past weekend the WHO also announced that they would be discontinuing a Covid-19 vaccine trial that involved a drug cocktail using lopinavir and ritonavir; two HIV medications. While both drugs are regularly used in ARVs and successfully help treat individuals with HIV, the medications produced “little or no reduction in the morality of Covid-19 patients.” 

Drug and vaccine trials are continuing to develop throughout the world, but in the meantime it is imperative that we continue to listen to our healthcare providers and remain indoors as often as possible. If we want to get to a place where Covid-19 becomes completely undetectable and untransmittable, we have to take every necessary precaution.

Jump Rope Workout at Home

Easy Exercises You Can Do At Home

Staying indoors has become the new normal for all of us as we endure the coronavirus pandemic. While remaining isolated is the best way to curve the spread of the virus, it’s still important to be doing things that will improve your physical and mental health, especially during times of global uncertainty. 

Exercise has long been one of the greatest things an individual can do to improve upon their physical and mental wellbeing. However, many are struggling to adjust their lifestyles to remain active and healthy while stuck inside during a public health crisis. Additionally, research shows that living an inactive life for an extended period of time can lead to an increase in depression, anxiety, and a decrease in physical health/motivation as well. 

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The main goal is simple, do something to keep your mind and body engaged for at least 30 minutes everyday. This means doing some sort of physical activity besides pacing around your house. Exercise is also an amazing way to keep your bodies systems running smoothly and efficiently, which is of the utmost importance especially during a pandemic. 

If you own an exercise ball, stairmaster or treadmill, maintaining a solid cardiovascular workout routine is easy. If not, you want to look for activities that are specifically meant to increase your heart rate; jumping jacks, sprints, climbing up and down the stairs, etc. Covid-19 aside, heart disease is normally the number one killer in the world, so these types of exercises are imperative for everyone, regardless of age or health status, to do.

Jumping rope and setting up a hopscotch course to run back and forth through are just a couple of other easy solutions for ways to get your blood pumping and heart rate going at home. YouTube is also an amazing free resource to use.

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There’s a multitude of actual fitness instructors who have accounts and upload full workout routines for their subscribers. For individuals with televisions that are WiFi compatible, you can easily pull up any of these videos on the screen so you’re not bending over the phone or computer to really see the instructor. 

If you’re more interested in developing mobility/flexibility and strengthening your muscles, you’re going to want to look for more resistance-based exercises. Typically in a gym setting these exercises would use weights and resistance bands to help your body work even harder, both of which can be found online. If you’re not looking to spend any money, push-ups against the wall, squats, lunges, and wall-sits are just a few easy at home exercises that will lead to successful results. 

Online cardio dance classes like Zumba are also available online for low prices, and you can find other hip hop choreography/exercise classes on YouTube as well. These types of classes are especially great for engaging your mind and motivating yourself to continue to exercise because it’s fun. Dancing along to popular music in sync with another person while also getting a full-body workout is just as enjoyable as it is effective. Plus, if you’re the type of person who gets shy about dancing in front of other people, this type of online exercise is perfect to do alone from the comfort of your own home. 

As the world continues to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that we remember to take care of our physical and mental health. Make a routine, write out a weekly schedule, choose exercises that can be fun and impactful, and of course, keep health and safety as your number one priority.