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How The Northeast Can Prevent A Covid-19 Surge This Winter According To Dr. Fauci 

Dr. Anthony Fauci recently spoke on CNN to advise the Northeast on the best ways to prevent a wave of Covid-19 this fall and winter season. The South is currently enduring multiple waves and spikes on infection, but Fauci believes those in the Northeast can get ahead of it. 

“It is within our power, and within our grasp, to prevent another wave from occurring. The way to do it is by utilizing mitigation measures like wearing masks indoors and in schools, as well as increasing vaccination rates.”

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Evidence has shown that vaccine mandates do lead to more people getting vaccinated, and the more vaccinated people there are in a given community, the more protected that community will be. President Joe Biden stressed the importance of people getting vaccinated on Monday while he received his booster shot. 

“This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated. That’s why I’m moving forward with vaccination requirements wherever I can.”

Former US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Dr. Scott Gottlieb estimated that “the Delta wave of the pandemic could run its course by Thanksgiving, and Covid-19 could eventually become more of a seasonal nuisance than a devastating pandemic. But that is dependent on getting a lot more people vaccinated.”

55.4% of the US is currently fully vaccinated, according to the CDC. The daily pace of new vaccinations is the lowest it’s been since the CDC started tracking it back in January. 

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Health experts have also been discussing using vaccine boosters as a way to increase protection against the virus. Booster shots are not currently accessible to everyone, and even when they do become more widely available, it won’t solve the issue of the part of the population still refusing to get their inoculations. 

While mask and vaccine mandates have been highly politicized and debated, the data is accurate. Vaccine mandates lead to more individuals getting vaccinated, that’s a fact. The more people who get vaccinated in a given community, city, state, etc., the more protected that space will be. 

Currently Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is available in booster form for people 65 and older and adults with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of infection. 

Fauci said that “many people are still well protected from their initial Covid-19 vaccination, while certain categories of people, such as the elderly and those in long-term care facilities, may be ready for a boost six months after their initial vaccination. If you’re a person who ultimately might get a booster that will make you optimally protected, you don’t necessarily need to get it tomorrow.”

US Covid Vaccine

President Biden Urging Governors To Be Patient With Vaccine Rollouts As Reopenings Begin

Biden warned the nation this week that we must remain vigilant and protect one another from Covid-19 spreading any further while we wait to be vaccinated.

Santa with Floats

Christmas In Shorts? How To Celebrate The Holidays In Warm Weather

Christmas time is here, and if you’re living in one of the parts of the United States that has already felt the wrath of winter storms this year, than you’re definitely preparing for a possible white Christmas. However, what do you do if you’re living in California, Florida, parts of the South, and any other part of the US that remains above 60 degrees during the holidays? Experiencing a “winter wonderland” seems to be an unspoken essential aspect of the holidays, but for many Americans that’s just not the reality. So how do you create the same level of Christmas magic and spirit when you’re surrounded by palm trees and warm weather?

Decorations would be the obvious first step. Sometimes, families like to take vacations during Christmas when they just need a break from all the chaos of winter piled on top of an already stressful holiday. So whether you’re spending your holiday in a hotel room, Airbnb, or just at home in Los Angeles, adding decorations will liven up any space and fill it with that Christmas joy that seems to be lacking from Mother Nature. If you are in a situation where you’re temporarily going somewhere warm and can’t travel with a 6 foot tall tree and bins upon bins of twinkly lights, ask the concierge services, or local activity hotlines, where the best spots are to pick up some decorations. 

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Assuming you spend a majority of your holiday budget on the vacation itself, you won’t have to break the bank on decor either. Simple string lights can range from $10 – $80 depending on how many you get and from where. Tinsel and ribbon go for less than $20 at local craft stores, and mini Christmas trees don’t have to cost more than $30. If you are already a resident in an area with a warm winter climate, then get out there and go buy a tree, hang some lights, light some Balsam candles and enjoy your own little slice of Christmas paradise. 

Also, if you’re the type of person who just really needs some sort of snow to feel like it’s the holidays, buy some pillow fluff from a local craft store online, and stuff some in between the tree branches, on the window sill, side tables, etc., and powder on some iridescent or silver glitter to give it that freshly glowing snow look. Just because it’s not real snow doesn’t mean that the mood isn’t still set. 

Our senses are what gives us the best indication of the holidays. Pine trees, cinnamon, and peppermint are just a few examples of the many scents that fill a room with holiday cheer. Simple scented candles can be used to fill any space with Christmas cheer. If you have an artificial tree, or are in a space where you can’t necessarily burn any candles, Michaels and craft stores alike sell Pine scented sticks that you can simply and discreetly hide within your tree branches, or just around the room. The sticks emit a natural pine scent that isn’t too overwhelming or artificial for the space. Regular cinnamon sticks, cloves, and spices in boiling water have also been known to have the same effect. 

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Wherever you are, make sure you’re getting your fix of holiday entertainment. Keep the holiday music on in the background as much as you can. The subtle sounds of jingle bells and Mariah Carey’s Christmas album always seem to bring holiday cheer to any space. Many families also have their standard Christmas movie that is a must-watch every holiday season. So if your family decided to be spontaneous and spend the holidays in Costa Rica, pre-download the movie onto a laptop to ensure that you can keep your tradition alive. Order some hot cocoa from room service and enjoy. 

Speaking of hot cocoa, the tastes of the holidays is what really brings it all together. Holiday food is comfort food, as it’s extremely traditional. Making a full-on holiday feast is easy if you’re actually living in these warm places, but if you’re in more of a vacation/temporary living situation and are depending on local eateries for food, at least buy a decent amount of Christmas cookies and any other holiday desserts from the local grocery stores. So even if you end up ordering room service grilled cheese on Christmas day, you can still finish the meal with a candy cane and holiday sugar cookie (the desserts are clearly key here). 

Even if your Christmas isn’t gearing up to “let it snow,” the true spirit of the holiday is being around your loved ones and being thankful for all that you have. So grab some cocoa and a cookie, put on some Bing Crosby, and hit the beach!  

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An Oyster Bar In Florida Pulls $14,000 Off Their Walls For Hurricane Dorian Relief

It’s been about a month since Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Florida, and more southern states. These parts of the world are still recovering and have been left in complete disarray by the hurricane that only grew bigger and bigger before touching land. The storm reached a category 5 level, the highest it could be, making it one of 5 hurricanes to reach that level of severity within the past four hurricane seasons. Climate change and rising ocean temperatures are only further fueling the hurricanes; warm water temperatures add energy to the storms causing them to grow at substantial rates. 

Wind speeds reached up to 225 miles per hour, and sustained that intensity for 24 hours in the Bahamas, making it the most powerful and prolonged hurricane to hit the Atlantic, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists in the USA (USCUSA). A majority of the Bahama Islands is 15 feet above sea level, Dorian was a storm that reached up to 23 feet above sea level, leaving a majority of the island completely submerged and destroyed, 60% of the island, to be more specific, was left underwater after the hurricane finally passed, also according to the USCUSA. 

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Now, four weeks after the tragic hurricane, the Bahamas are recovering, but at an extremely slow rate. Hundreds of people are still missing, most are presumed dead. Most of the island is still left without electricity or running water of any kind, and heavy machinery used to clear debris in only just arriving. Many parts of the island remain abandoned from the people who were able to flee the island before the storm and while aid teams and clean up crews are starting to work on the island more heavily, the recovery process is reminding many of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, a storm their still recovering from.

An oyster bar in Florida, surprisingly, saw the devastation in their state first hand, and when they heard about the lack of financial backing for recovery teams all throughout the areas affected by Dorian, they knew something had to be done. The Oyster Bar is located in Siesta Keys, and over the years the bar has kept a novelty tradition alive that just might help the recovery process for the storm speed up. 

The Siesta Key Oyster Bar has become a huge tourist attraction for its very creative decorating style. The staff encourages every customer who comes in to write or draw on a dollar bill and attach it to the walls and/or ceiling. In fact, the bar has been open for about 16 years, making its entire design aesthetic at this point nothing but colorful dollar bills hanging from every angle, at least that was the aesthetic. 

After the owners saw the devastation that its state, and more importantly the Bahamas, has endured they knew they had to do something to help move the recovery process along. So the entire staff spent the whole past month removing all the beautifully decorated bills, which were heavily secured using a staple gun, so removal had to be a delicate process to avoid ripping. 

Once word got out to Siesta Key locals on what the bar was doing, hundreds of patrons began coming into the bar and giving in $5’s, $20’s, even $100 bills. This week, the owner finally went to the bank to count up what they’ve collected, and to their surprise the total reached $14,000. According to ABC News, “Jill Pedigo, Beth Owen-Cipielewski and their husbands would take money off the walls and donate some of it to local charities. Hale said they once gave it to a safe house for battered women.” This time, they wrapped up the bills, placed them in a bin, and went straight to the Red Cross Foundation, most likely one of the most unique donations they’ve ever received. 

“After we saw the videos and everything that came out of the Bahamas, it was unreal, and we all thought, what better reason to pay it forward? Honestly, I’m shocked, and I think the staff is shocked, I don’t think we ever expected it to amount [to] that much. Knowing it was such a lump sum of that magnitude is overwhelming.” Siesta Key Oyster Bar’s general manager Kristin Hale told ABC News.