Canada takes lead on first dose vaccinations

Vaccine access will be a discussion topics for months and even years to come. “Rich” countries, beginning with the United States, have ensured their population has first access to the vaccines, namely Pfizer and Moderna. Other countries follow suit, and although there’s been gaps of months for these countries, supply is now picking up steam and more and more people are getting jabs in arms. Canada is now the leading country in terms of percentage of population with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Now it’s a matter of distribution and increasing access for the entire world, not just those who can hoard vaccine volume/shots.

Hospice Care: Pioneering Palliative Care and What’s Next

In medieval times the term hospice meant a refuge for ill or tired travellers. In other countries hospices are specific buildings where care is provided only for patients of life limiting illnesses. However in the US hospice care is a term that denotes care to the terminally ill patient at the location of his or her choosing. That location can be the patient’s home, a family member’s home or an institution. The concept of hospice is the recognition of the end of life as part of a natural process. The desire is to help a patient at that stage cope with that progression as positively and with as much dignity and respect as possible. Hospice care also recognizes the importance of the involvement of the patient’s family in the decisions involved in the patient’s care.

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AstraZeneca Vaccine More Effective In new Study

There were initial reports of the AstraZeneca vaccine with a slightly lower effective rate compared to the primary North American vaccines made by Moderna and Phizer. Couple that with recent dubious concerns that the AZ vaccine was causing health problems (blood clots), and many governments paused distribution. That also meant general populations refused to take it, thereby stigmatizing the vaccine in a time when ANY vaccine is the right one. These are valid concerns by the public, but with additional information becoming available, those concerns must be put to rest. It also behooves governments that have approved the vaccine (or will), to do a better job with public health communication to dispel any rumours AstraZeneca isn’t a “good” vaccine. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the study of 30,000 people, the vaccine was 79% effective at preventing symptomatic cases of COVID-19 — including in older adults. There were no severe illnesses or hospitalizations among vaccinated volunteers, compared with five such cases in participants who received dummy shots — a small number, but consistent with findings from Britain and other countries that the vaccine protects against the worst of the disease.

Canada Struggles to Find Vaccine Supply

The Conservative government from over 30 years ago, in the typical conservative fashion of dismantling public sectors, mothballed Canada’s capacity to produce and research vaccines domestically. The effects are in full view as the country struggles to ascertain supply of the COVID vaccine from any number of manufacturers. Countries where those vaccines are being produced are preventing supply from leaving their countries until their populations are fully vaccinated. Regardless of agreements in place, there’s little the Canadian government can do to scramble and get more supply for their slow vaccine rollout.

This is of course part of the ‘first world problem’. Those that can produce will be vaccinated first, and those without, will wait until the end of the year for their share.

For once, it pays to have an ‘advanced’ healthcare system like the US, albeit not single payer. Which means, although America may have the worse access to healthcare for those who can’t afford it (a majority of the population), access to the COVID vaccine is readily available.

Will Vaccination Cover America’s Ineptitude?

THe ineptitude in America surrounding anti-masks protesting and individualism (culturally important to Americans), the proliferation of COVID is the result. The largest tally of deaths to COVID-19 is America. The largest impact for the after affects, it will be America. The population, particularly if you’re poor, is monumental.

But, America also has among the fastest rollouts of vaccination. At this point it’s our only hope to combat the ineptitude of federal and certain state level governments who have refused to treat the pandemic seriously.

As for now, the vaccine may prove to be the needed saving grace. Assuming enough people have access and can get it (or will get it). Time will tell. Here is a chart about current country vaccination rates:
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Vote for COVID response this election 2020

The growing and unabated second wave has hit America.

That’s nearly 250,000 deaths. The pandemic is unmatched in deaths, yet the average American seems disinterested. The regional impact varies widely. That’s both a level of ignorance with the pandemic, healthcare response, and healthcare coverage. America is one of the only 1st world nations that does not provide universal health to their citizens. It’s a matter of pride to an American to forgo health coverage in favour of ‘freedom’ and military spending.

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To Mask or Not to Mask – There’s no Question

Initially, there has been some confusing information pertaining to use of personal face masks to combat the spread of COVID-19. Culturally, There’s wide adoption of facemasks in countries such as China or South Korea. But when it comes to North America there’s been a nonstop push against the covering of the face.

This is rooted in a level of stupidity and a lack of education. However, the CDC and chief medical officers should share part of the blame.

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6 Tips to Help Cope When Anxiety Strikes

Anxiety is the body’s physiological response to external stimuli. Everyone can feel anxious as a response to things, namely stress. How you handle stress, and prevent anxious feelings, depends on your strategies to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Anxiety, however, also extends into mental illness. Anxiety disorders vary from panic, to social anxiety disorders. Although the approach to deal with disorders should include your doctor, there are tips and tools everyone can apply to reduce anxiety.

One of the challenges to anxiety is dealing with a feeling that you have liuttle control over. Anxiety is unpredictable. Conversely, there are few guaranteed ways to make anxiety magically disappear at a moments notice.

Here are some keys that help reduce anxiety, and more importantly, help guard against the intense effects of anxiety in the future.

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Grief Amidst COVID

It’s often important to name the feelings. During the COVID pandemic there are a lot of new feelings to process. Whether it’s being self-isolated and stuck in bad thoughts. Or if you have the sickness yourself. Part of maintaining good mental health is step one, that discomfort you’re feeling is grief. Once you can name it you can heal. Here’s an article that’s part of the first step.