|To: TobagoJack who wrote (187466)||5/12/2022 12:11:30 AM|
|From: Pogeu Mahone|
| HEALTH AND WELLNESS|
Long Covid is ‘continuing to increase,’ experts say. Here’s how to know if you have it — and what to do about it
Published Tue, May 10 20229:10 AM EDTUpdated Wed, May 11 202210:46 AM EDT
Jade Scipioni @JADESCIPIONI
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A long Covid patient does breathing training in a gymnastics room at the Teutoburger Wald Clinic, a rehab clinic in Germany for post-Covid sufferers.
Picture Alliance | Picture Alliance | Getty Images
Over the last two years, new Covid cases and deaths have risen and fallen alongside surges of variants and subvariants. One constant, experts say: a continual increase in long Covid cases.
The term “long Covid” refers to the wide range of new, ongoing or returning health conditions that can affect people weeks or months after they’ve recovered from a Covid infection. Common symptoms include fatigue, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, brain fog, lightheadedness, stomach pain and altered sense of taste or smell, the Centers for Disease Control says.
“There’s definitely no slowing down in the demand and the need for long Covid care. It’s continuing to increase,” says Dr. Jason Maley, director of Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s long Covid clinic, which is part of a multicenter study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Long Covid is estimated to have affected as many as 23 million Americans as of March, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Part of the problem is that its symptoms can vary from person to person, making it difficult for experts to understand — and hard for physicians to diagnose.
“There’s still a lot of lack of knowledge and familiarity with long Covid, even within the medical community,” Maley says.
To help you navigate those unknowns, CNBC Make It spoke with a series of long Covid experts about what to look out for, whether you’re at risk and what tools might be able to help:
How do you know if you have long Covid?
If you test positive for Covid, Maley says, consider doing a self-check-in about a month after you’ve recovered. “Look out for common symptoms like changes in [your] thinking, memory and [your] ability to perform at work or to function effectively at home,” he says.
Some of long Covid’s symptoms may not seem obviously connected to the condition, at first. Take fatigue, for example: Maley says a delayed tiredness episode, even days after strenuous activity, can be a sign of long Covid.
“You may not feel exhausted when you’re being active in the moment, but hours or even one to two days later, you may be hit with overwhelming exhaustion,” he says.
According to the CDC, people with “more severe Covid-19 illnesses” and “underlying health conditions prior to Covid-19? may have a higher risk of developing long Covid symptoms. So, that self-check-in could be particularly important for anyone who was hospitalized with Covid, or needed intensive care to recover.
But everyone should stay vigilant: Research published in the scientific journal Pathogens in November 2021 indicates that a small portion of people with long Covid were asymptomatic, and didn’t even know they had Covid in the first place.
What should you do if you have long Covid?
Everyone’s experience with long Covid is a little bit different, says Dr. Thomas Gut, an associate chair of medicine and director of ambulatory care services at Staten Island University Hospital. He says symptoms can last anywhere between three and six months. Other studies show that symptoms can last for at least a year.
There aren’t currently any comprehensive treatments for long Covid patients, but experts say a few at-home strategies may prove useful. For instance, if you’re experiencing a lot of fatigue after recovering from Covid, try identifying the activities triggering your severe exhaustion and intentionally avoiding them for a little while.
“It’s called pacing,” Maley explains.
Pacing also involves adjusting your daily schedule to include built-in rest periods, for both your mind and your body, to prevent “severe” crashes. Avoiding those exhaustion episodes can help you recover more effectively from long Covid, Maley adds.
Maley also says his patients who suffer from shortness of breath often find yoga-based breathing exercises helpful — long, slow deep breaths in and out through your nose. He says some breathing exercises help strengthen your breathing muscles, while others help with breath control and the sensations of breathing.
Typically, long Covid patients don’t have any lung function damage, Maley says: “We think [the shortness of breath] may relate to the muscles and nerves that control the breathing, rather than injury within the lung like a scar or something leftover from the infection.”
Does being vaccinated help prevent long Covid?
The CDC notes that unvaccinated people may run a higher risk of developing long Covid post-infection. Maley says most studies so far have been “a little mixed in terms of how strong of a protection that may provide.”
Dr. Nisha Viswanathan, co-director of the UCLA Health COVID-19 ambulatory monitoring program and Long COVID program, agrees. “We know that from our early studies that about one in three who [were] unvaccinated were exhibiting signs of long Covid,” she says. But now, with a mixed population of vaccinated and unvaccinated people, researchers are seeking more clarity on who’s still experiencing long-term symptoms.
Covid vaccines can lessen the severity of illness for people who become infected with the virus. Similarly, Maley says, multiple studies suggest that vaccinated people who develop long Covid display less severe symptoms than unvaccinated people with long Covid.
But, he adds, he can’t guarantee that being vaccinated would completely protect anyone against long Covid — at least, not without further research.
Who’s most at risk?
Gut notes that the Covid virus’ recent mutations are causing increasingly milder infections — and since milder infections seem to cause fewer long Covid cases, he doesn’t expect the next wave to create a long Covid surge.
Still, Maley says, he’s currently seeing patients of all age groups with long Covid symptoms, most predominantly in young adults. Some studies also suggest long Covid is affecting women more than men.
The reason for that, Maley says, is not yet known.
Viswanathan says most of her long Covid patients already had pre-existing conditions like cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and obesity. “So, ways to help prevent [long Covid], in addition to vaccination, really do consist of cleaner eating [and] regular exercise,” she says.
It’s not a “foolproof” strategy, Viswanathan says: Many otherwise healthy individuals still develop long Covid.
“But I will say their numbers are far fewer,” she adds.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect that according to studies, long Covid symptoms can last for at least a year in some patients.
3 big Covid misconceptions people still have, according to infectious disease experts
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|From: Julius Wong||5/12/2022 7:10:35 AM|
|Weak links in finance and supply chains are easily weaponized|
A sign in Moscow displays currency exchange rates. Unpredictable economic consequences followed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February.Credit: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg via Getty
When Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February, nobody expected that the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and other nations would isolate Russia from the global economy in retaliation. Instead of limited and largely symbolic sanctions, which were all Russia faced when it annexed Crimea and occupied eastern parts of Ukraine in 2014, this latest response has had devastating ripple effects.
Key Russian banks have been denied access to the US dollar, foreign reserves and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) messaging system, which banks use to relay financial information to each other. The United States and its allies blocked the export of high-end semiconductors to Russia’s technology and defence sectors, as well as software, oil- and gas-refining equipment and other items. As one US law firm put it, it is now illegal to knowingly supply a toothbrush to a company that occasionally helps to repair Russian military equipment.
Russia’s economy is reeling. The value of Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, has been knocked flat by the war. No one knows what will unfold.
The biggest surprise is how this has been done — by weaponizing the networks that bind the global economy together. Financial and supply networks have chokepoints, which powerful states can use to punish individuals, businesses and even nations. Some of these points are known; many have yet to be identified.
There has been too little academic study of these pressure points, however. Policymakers lack the necessary data to make informed decisions. Companies hold information on supply chains close; governments and the public don’t have an overview. Data on financial and information networks and their vulnerabilities are similarly patchy.
For decades, policymakers have assumed that production and financial markets can largely look after themselves, with some oversight by regulators. These assumptions are poorly suited to a world in which hostile governments can weaponize the weak points in the global economy against their adversaries.
Data scientists, political scientists, economists and macrofinance scholars urgently need to map these networks to discover the points that pose the most threats and risks. As a first step, the United States has begun to survey supply relationships. More detailed knowledge would allow policymakers to close vulnerabilities where possible, and to mitigate them where it is not.
Some reforms, such as stress-testing banks to see whether they would survive unexpected turbulence, were enacted after the global financial crisis in 2007–09. These shored up the global financial system by discouraging risky speculation. But they are not enough to defend against targeted attacks.
Policymakers need to think about macro-financial risks 1. Some analysts have predicted that cutting Russian banks out of SWIFT might trigger the kind of global systemic collapse that nearly happened when Lehman Brothers, a financial-services firm in New York City, failed in 2008. They fear that Russian financial sanctions might destabilize payments between counterparties, creating a crisis of confidence that could feed on itself. Those early predictions have been wrong so far. But they highlight that there are uncertain consequences of removing major elements of a system whose deep workings and sources of stability remain unmapped.
Networks as weapons
Globalization has led to extraordinary economic efficiency. Money transfers happen in nanoseconds, not days or weeks. Global supply chains allow hundreds of suppliers in dozens of countries to build complex products, such as smartphones. Some supply chains are dominated by one country. For instance, China controls nearly all stages of photovoltaics manufacturing.
These links make economies more interdependent. Businesses in different countries might rely on a single supplier for the sake of efficiency — which creates risks if that supplier fails. As war has spread across Ukraine, German car factories have fallen idle because they cannot obtain electronic cabling systems, or ‘wire harnesses’, produced by Ukrainian suppliers.
The global economy isn’t symmetric, an open system of links that offers many alternative routes when one closes, as conventional wisdom has supposed. It’s asymmetric: the flows of trade and finance rely on a relatively small number of hubs or nodes with many connections 2, 3. Control over those hubs allows governments to deny adversaries access to key parts of global economic networks 4.
For example, in 2019, when South Korean courts found Japan potentially liable for forced labour during the Second World War, Japan threatened the South Korean electronics industry. Companies such as Samsung, based in Suwon-si, South Korea, relied on chemicals and components, including fluorinated polyimide and photoresists, to make their products. This made them vulnerable to pressure from Japan, which produced 90% of these precursors.
A few nations or companies have disproportionate sway over areas of finance and trade. For example, SWIFT is based in the EU, but is run by banks that rely on the US financial system. Transactions between non-US parties often rely on US dollars, which means that they have to be cleared through a small number of US-regulated financial institutions. And Silicon Valley in California controls much of the world’s advanced technology and computing.
Targeted attacks against chokepoints can quickly disrupt the entire network. In 2012, the United States and the EU cut Iran out of the global financial system by denying its banks access to dollar clearing and SWIFT. Iranian companies found it hard to get paid for oil, leading to a dramatic fall in exports. Complicated barter arrangements emerged: oil was exchanged for tea, zips and bricks. The impacts can reach farther than those from general shocks, such as supply-chain disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, the US denial of some Russian banks’ access to the dollar effectively cuts them out of the global financial system.
Other nations could be brought into line. The United States also controls crucial intellectual property and design software for semiconductors. Fearing loss of access, non-US-based semiconductor manufacturers, including the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company in Hsinchu, are complying with the US ban on exports to Russia. China-based manufacturers, such as the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation in Shanghai, will face the threat of sanctions if they do not also cooperate.
Governments and firms need to prepare for disruptions from intentional, rather than random, shocks. And the fallout is hard to foresee.
Some vulnerabilities are well known. For example, China dominates the mining and refining of rare-earth elements, such as cerium and yttrium, used in many items, from mobile phones to wind turbines. In 2010, China halted shipments of rare-earth elements to Japan after a dispute over a captured fishing vessel — prompting fears that it could use its dominance in this market as a tool of coercion or retaliation. Since 2010, China’s share of rare-earth production has dwindled from a near monopoly to slightly less than 60% of the global market, although it still has a central role in processing these elements.
Similarly, many cars, phones and watches rely on the US GPS to determine their geographical location. GPS has military origins and is subject to federal control — leading Russia, China and the EU to develop their own competing satellite positioning systems, at a cost of billions of dollars.
A worker walks beside a gas pipeline near St Petersburg, Russia.Credit: ITAR-TASS News Agency/Alamy
Other vulnerabilities are more obscure. Only businesses themselves know what their supply chains actually look like, and even their knowledge is imperfect. They often know their first-tier suppliers (those they have direct relationships with), and might know their second-tier suppliers (those on whom their first-tier suppliers rely). After that, things get murky.
More weak links might be discovered only when another war, disaster or pandemic haphazardly reveals them. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, few people noticed or cared that a single German manufacturer produces roughly 75% of the machines for processing the fabrics that high-quality medical masks require, for example. Vaccine manufacturing is dominated by a small club of mostly rich countries. Although not explicitly weaponized, this concentration of production power has brought rich countries to the front of the line for messenger-RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines while poorer countries still wait for adequate supplies.
Key aspects of the global financial system resist understanding as well as regulation. The amount of money hidden in tax havens is possible to measure only indirectly 5, and offshore dollars are hard to assess or control. ‘Dark pools’, in which large volumes of complex financial instruments are traded, are opaque to outsiders.
With so little to go on, impacts are difficult to predict. Even limited efforts to weaponize global networks can have big unanticipated consequences. For example, in 2018, the United States ‘designated’ Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and his companies — meaning US businesses were prohibited from having dealings with them, and businesses outside the United States could not facilitate their transactions. This put the customers and suppliers of enormous conglomerates, such as the aluminium processor United Company Rusal, based in Moscow, in legal jeopardy. It soon became clear that designating Rusal might devastate European car manufacturers and other businesses. The United States effectively wound down some of the sanctions by requiring Rusal and other companies to decrease Deripaska’s ownership stake.
As powerful governments take advantage of chokepoints, they risk escalation, disruption and retaliation. The war in Ukraine is already affecting food markets. Ukraine and Russia together account for about 30% of global wheat production. Ukraine is a major exporter of barley and maize (corn) and produces nearly 50% of the world’s sunflower oil by volume. Between them, Russia and Belarus produce roughly 31% of global potash — a key ingredient of fertilizer. Fertilizer shortages risk exacerbating food shortages and human suffering.
Russia has countered that it might itself block exports of nickel and stop gas flows to Western Europe. It has imposed its own (largely symbolic) financial sanctions against US officials. Such measures could backfire in the medium term. Russia needs to earn hard currency from exports; many of its products can be bought elsewhere. Even so, substantial economic disruption is likely to happen in the next few years.
Russian retaliation might give rise to a vicious spiral of counter retaliation. Debates on nuclear war and cybersecurity conflicts focus on whether a shared understanding of a ‘ladder of escalation’, from less to more extreme uses, can lower risks 6. No common picture of weaponized economic networks exists.
It is possible that the strong network of countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and their allies will deter countermeasures. Equally, targeted countries might consider other ways to retaliate. Between the First and Second World Wars, fears of economic sanctions helped to spur Nazi Germany to grab territory to insulate itself from external pressure 7. After the United States isolated Iran from the global financial system in 2018, Iran allegedly attacked shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a geographical chokepoint for global energy flows.
Economic coercion and the economic fallout from military coercion could wreak havoc in a globally interconnected world and might make it difficult or impossible for governments to work together to tackle international problems, such as climate change, pandemics and global health.
Addressing weaponized networks requires the collaboration of researchers in disciplines across the natural and social sciences.
The first step is to map the networks that bind the world. US President Joe Biden’s administration has already identified the lack of supply-chain data as an urgent policy priority. It is not yet clear whether Congress will provide sufficient funding to address it. Other governments, too, must gather data and consider how to minimize the security risks of sharing them. Preliminary mapping exercises in the United States and Europe highlight broad areas of dependency, including battery production.
Researchers should probe networks for vulnerabilities. Algorithms for network analysis can identify bottlenecks 8. Economic models can test networks’ robustness to external shocks or attacks 9. A qualitative understanding must be built, including of alliances and the politics of global finance. Dependencies between networks require study. For example, although oil markets are relatively robust (because one source of oil can reasonably be substituted for another), oil shipping depends on financial networks 10 and shipping insurance, both of which have chokepoints.
Policymakers must assess how best to mitigate vulnerabilities before they are exploited. Strategies will depend on specifics. Substitutes and alternative suppliers might be found, as has happened for rare-earth elements. Some nations, including the United States and Australia, are beginning to accept the environmental consequences of mining and processing rare-earth elements to undermine China’s dominance.
Governments might subsidize domestic suppliers, as South Korea did. This could be more difficult than it looks. Supply relationships are complex, and businesses might still prefer to work with established partners. South Korea has found it challenging to reduce its dependence on Japanese materials for electronics. In the United States and the EU, domestic political stand-offs make it hard to agree on whether to boost renewables, frack for gas and oil or expand nuclear energy. Understanding the consequences of a changed security situation for the energy transition and climate change following Russia’s invasion is a major research and policy challenge.
Where possible, arrangements between like-minded governments might underpin supply relationships. The EU and the United States are increasing cooperation in the production of advanced technologies, and other countries could look to join them. If cooperation is impossible, materials scientists and engineers will have to find substitutes for key inputs.
Sometimes, the vulnerabilities are ineradicable. China depends on foreign manufacturing facilities, or ‘fabs’, to manufacture advanced semiconductors. Despite hefty industrial subsidies, it has failed to catch up with cutting-edge techniques and processes. Addressing such vulnerabilities will involve difficult — and political — trade-offs between economic progress and national security.
Shoring up financial networks will be even harder. The SWIFT system and dollar-clearing networks were created during the cold war. For better or worse, few paid attention to their strategic implications. Countries that do not like the currently dominant networks will find it hard to create attractive alternatives under conditions of distrust. They might devise workarounds. For example, Iran built a clandestine financial micro-system to shelter itself from the US sanctions regime. Russia is trying to move away from transactions in US dollars. Some economists argue that India might try to maintain its neutrality and become a safe haven for politically risky financial assets.
A key question researchers need to ask is: under which circumstances might the network structures that the United States and the EU have weaponized start to unravel, to be replaced by alternative networks or a more fragmented global economy?
Answers will require exploring the hinterlands between economics, political science and macrofinancial history, as well as network science, complexity research, geography, materials science and other disciplines. Social scientists need to build integrated models to understand the interactions between these economic and political strategic decisions, and to gather data to test and refine.
The actions against Russia will accelerate the weaponization of global economic networks as countries look to exploit others’ vulnerabilities, secure themselves or both. Understanding and mitigating these security risks requires forging links among researchers.
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|From: Julius Wong||5/12/2022 3:20:30 PM|
|Warren Buffett invested in Apple after learning how upset his friend was about losing his iPhone, a new book says|
Warren Buffett.AP Images
Warren Buffett invested in Apple after hearing how upset a friend was about losing his iPhone.A Berkshire Hathaway director said leaving the device in a taxi was like losing a piece of his soul.Buffett realized the iPhone was more like Kraft Macaroni & Cheese than a computing device.
Warren Buffett partly owes his phenomenal Apple investment to a friend leaving his iPhone in the back of a taxi, a new book reveals.
David "Sandy" Gottesman, a director of Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, suffered a devastating loss when his iPhone slipped out of his pocket during a taxi ride in 2016.
"I felt like I lost a piece of my soul," the nonagenarian told Ted Weschler, one of Buffett's deputies and a longtime Apple fan. The anecdote appears in "After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost its Soul," written by Wall Street Journal reporter Tripp Mickle.
Weschler shared Gottesman's story with Buffett, who was surprised to learn one of his friends was so enamored with the device at his age. The Berkshire chief, who famously eschews technology companies as they're outside his "circle of competence," decided to take a closer look at Apple.
Buffett noticed how obsessed people had become with their smartphones, including his grandchildren during their weekly trips to Dairy Queen. He determined the iPhone was indispensable to many people, and would remain so for a long time.
"He realized that Weschler was right: the iPhone wasn't tech, it was a modern-day Kraft Macaroni & Cheese," Mickle writes in his book.
Weschler had already built a $1 billion position in Apple at Berkshire, but Buffett piled another $35 billion into the stock over the next couple of years. The conglomerate has more than tripled its money since then, as its stake has ballooned in value to $133 billion. Apple is easily the most-valuable holding in Berkshire's portfolio today, and Berkshire is Apple's largest individual shareholder.
Buffett has ranked Apple among the best businesses he knows. He touted the company as one of Berkshire's "four giants" in his latest annual letter, along with its insurance business, the BNSF Railway, and Berkshire Hathaway Energy.
Notably, the investor boosted Berkshire's Apple stake last quarter to around 911 million shares, or about 5.6% of the company.
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|To: Pogeu Mahone who wrote (187483)||5/12/2022 4:10:57 PM|
|From: Litore Lapis|
|So there is a picture of a guy doing breathing exercises in a gym wearing a mask? |
Sometimes I am just wondering if the Press are not just making all this Long Covid stuff up.
Its got an unreal dimension to it.
If I had damaged lungs, the very last thing I would do is wear a mask and inhibit my breathing, and that would be doubly true if I was doing any exercise. .
The "experts" do not understand Covid or how to control it. That is plain. We are back at square one.
What to do?
Restrict what people can say. Let the bureaucrats control the conversation and ruin careers. That seems to be the direction. -ng-
Federation of State Medical Boards introduces misinformation policy (reclaimthenet.org)
Federation of State Medical Boards introduces misinformation policy
Doctors could face disciplinary action for going against specific convention.
If you're tired of censorship, cancel culture, and the erosion of civil liberties subscribe to Reclaim The Net.
During its annual meeting, the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) announced a medical misinformation and disinformation policy. The guidance contains recommendations for medical professionals and for state medical boards when drafting their own policies.
Speaking to MedPage Today, FSMB’s president Humayun Chaudhry said: “More than 2 years into this pandemic, the largest threat next to the spread of the virus itself is the spread of disinformation and misinformation.”
He noted that the guidance “sets the tone – that truthful and accurate information is central to the provision of quality medical care.”
“We acknowledge early on that [medical misinformation] isn’t new,” he continued. “But it’s important to keep in mind that when there is misinformed decision making, it can cause needless harm, including deaths.”
Throughout the pandemic, doctors have been suspended or fired for publicly going against many of state narratives on social media or otherwise.
For boards, the guidance recommends adopting misinformation and disinformation policies that clarify “board expectations regarding the dissemination of misinformation and disinformation by licensees.”
Related: Doctors warned that they could lose their license for contradicting CDC
Chaudhry encouraged the state boards that do not have the necessary language in their policies to take action against misinformation to adopt “a specific policy on misinformation is encouraged in light of the increased prevalence of and harm caused by physician misinformation in this ongoing pandemic.”
Related: UK’s General Medical Council to restrict what doctors can say online
He also said that not all misinformation cases should result in disciplinary action as there are instances where the medical professional does not know they are engaging in misinformation.
The guidance also insists that state medical boards should “retain their legislated authority to regulate the professional conduct of licensees in order to effectively protect the public.” Several states, including Tennessee, have proposed bills that could undermine the authority of state boards.
For medical professionals, the guidance recommends the administration of treatment based on consensus or evidence, or “appropriate scientific rationale and justification.”
Medical professionals are also advised to discuss treatments with patients and be transparent about the risks and benefits, as well as viable alternatives.
Medical professionals are advised to be up to date with “evolving scientific evidence and practice standards.”
When handling patients, especially those that have been misinformed, medical professionals are advised to respectfully listen.
“Don’t interrupt the patient and make sure you understand what the concern is before you offer guidance,” Chaudhry said.
“I think there’s an undertone throughout the document about the need for thoughtful, civil discussions among colleagues and with patients,” he added. “Patients may come in with preconceived notions, but they should be engaged with respectfully and honestly.”
Meanwhile, back in the reality of Mathematics, there does indeed seem to be prevalent misinformation.
Ivermectin works – Zoe's Insights (phzoe.com)
The misinformers are out there... misinforming. Killing people.
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