Showing posts with label Health Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Related. Show all posts

17 September 2020

According to New Survey, 85% of Cat Owners Experience Therapeutic Benefits from Their Cat

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Purina Cat Chow is donating $30,000 to Pet Partners to encourage the training and registration of therapy cat teams like Tommy the blind cat and his owner Christy.
According to a recent survey conducted by Purina Cat Chow, 85 percent of cat owners agree that they have had therapeutic benefits from their cats and that becoming a cat owner has improved their quality of life (86 percent). While three-fourths of cat owners agree that society does not understand the benefits of having a cat, nearly all (94 percent) agree that many people can benefit from spending time with cats.

Purina Cat Chow recognizes the benefits of cats as therapy animals and like Pet Partners wants to improve health and well-being through the human-animal bond, a mutually beneficial relationship that improves the physical, social, and emotional lives of both animals and people who interact with them regularly.
"While most people tend to associate therapy animals with dogs, cats also provide a variety of mental and physiological benefits," said Dr. Annie Valuska, Ph.D., senior pet behavior expert at Purina Cat Chow. "Cat owners often have lower stress levels than non-pet owners, which can improve blood pressure and cardiovascular health over time. Cats can also boost our mental health, decreasing feelings of loneliness and increasing a sense of purpose."
Purina Cat Chow's recent survey confirmed that while most (94 percent) pet owners associate dogs with animal-assisted therapy, only 41 percent of pet owners associate cats with therapy animals. 

  • However, more people, especially cat owners, understand the special benefits cats provide, with 72 percent of cat owners believing cats could be effective therapy partners and 60 percent interested in learning more about how their cat could potentially improve others' lives.
Cats of all kinds can become great therapy animals. Take Tommy the blind cat for example. Even after losing his sight, the eight-year-old tabby passed his therapy pet evaluation with excellence. Now, as a registered therapy cat with Pet Partners, he loves helping people of all ages with his handler, Christy Santoro.
"For pet owners seeking to keep their therapy cats healthy and prepared to serve their communities, it is important to ensure their cats receive balanced nutrition, like that found in Purina Cat Chow, in addition to plenty of rest between visits. It's also key for owners to keep the bond strong with their cats, prioritizing time for play and affection," adds Valuska.
According to New Survey, 85% of Cat Owners Experience Therapeutic Benefits from Their Cat (image via Catster)
As people spend more time at home with their cats, Purina Cat Chow and Pet Partners encourage cat owners to learn how to become a therapy animal team with your cat. Thanks in part to Purina Cat Chow's donation, Pet Partners is offering online training courses and discounted registration of therapy cat teams. Cats and cat owners can give back without even having to leave their homes. Together, Cat Chow and Pet Partners are working to enhance the well-being of local communities with the help of cats.

About Pet Partners:

Pet Partners is the national leader in demonstrating and promoting the health and wellness benefits of animal-assisted interventions. Since the organization's inception in 1977, the science proving these benefits has become indisputable. With more than 13,000 registered teams making more than 3 million visits annually, Pet Partners serves as the nation's most prestigious nonprofit registering handlers of multiple species as volunteer teams. Pet Partners teams visit with patients in recovery, people with intellectual disabilities, seniors living with Alzheimer's, students, veterans with PTSD, and those approaching end of life, improving human health and well-being through the human-animal bond. With the recent release of its Standards of Practice for Animal-Assisted Interventions and international expansion, Pet Partners is globally recognized as the industry gold standard. 

About the Survey:

This survey was conducted by Dynata on behalf of Purina Cat Chow. The survey was conducted among a sample size of 2,500 pet owners across the U.S. Data was collected between August 14-24, 2020 and was carried out online. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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SOURCE: Purina Cat Chow

13 September 2020

How to Handle a Bully [Video Included]

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How to Handle a Bully
How to Handle a Bully (Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)
It’d be nice to think that once you’re out of school, you’d be done with bullies for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, that can be far from the truth, as anyone who’s ever had a bullying boss, co-worker or friend can attest.
We all know what bullying looks like as a kid: name calling, pushing, meanness, just to name a few. But how do you know that someone is an adult bully?
Often, in the name of security and keeping the peace, we may let bullying just roll off our back. But if someone you know is a bully, they may take subtle actions such as:

  • Ignoring you - This is a form of disrespect, and aims to control you by keeping you guessing and never knowing. You make a request or ask a question, and don’t get a response.
  • Being late, or not showing up at all - Again, this is another form of disrespect, but it can sometimes have more serious consequences, such as missing an important appointment or being late for a meeting.
  • Starting rumors - The bully that starts untrue rumors is seeking to sabotage you and your reputation. Seeing you react (or overreact) to hearing lies told about yourself is what they thrive on. 
  • Passive-aggressive behavior - Backwards compliments, deliberate procrastination, having to have the last word... these are all examples of passive-aggressive behavior that a bully might exhibit.
These are only a few examples of how a bully might act as an adult to control a situation. How you handle each situation is the key to taking away the bully’s power.
How to Handle a Bully
How to Handle a Bully (Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels)
First and foremost, if you find yourself being bullied a lot as an adult, take a close look at whether you’re playing the victim. Due to your upbringing, you may not even realize that you’re doing it, but often, a bully will instinctively aim for the person who already has a victim mentality. If that’s you, you’ll need to learn to stand up for yourself and become more assertive in the face of the bully.

If all else fails, simply separate yourself from the bully. This may be more difficult to accomplish in a work situation, but be creative, and try to create space between you and the bully. The less you are around them, the less harm they can do.

Also, try to remember that most bullies end up that way because of low self-esteem and a fragile sense of self-worth. By asserting yourself, you take away the bullies power, and maybe... just maybe... you’ll show them that they don’t have to be that way.

The Video:

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2 September 2020

3 Celeb Workout Plans Which Will Motivate You Today

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3 Celeb Workout Plans Which Will Motivate You Today
Man and woman holding battle ropes (image via Pexels.com)
If you have found your workout routine has relaxed dramatically over the quarantine period, you aren’t alone. Since March, people around the world have been quarantined in their homes, watching Netflix, baking banana bread and trying to come to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unsurprisingly, then, we have all gotten a little less fit, and a little more fat. People on Instagram have been hashtagging the #Quarantine15, referring to the 15 pounds it has become customary to gain while in quarantine.

It’s totally normal that our bodies have changed as our lives have so dramatically. But if you’re ready to get back to kicking your own ass in the gym, here are three celeb workouts which will motivate you to put down the chips, switch off the TV, and get that butt back into some workout gear.

1- Lebron James’ Home Workout

Lebron’s basketball workout has been a popular one for LA Lakers fans to research and emulate. After all, Lebron is one of the most celebrated athletes of all time for a good reason. The guy embodies dedication, excellence and relentless hard work in all he does. Lebron broadcasted on Instagram over lockdown, showing off his workout routine despite being unable to play basketball as normal. Lebron’s home workout consisted of gym equipment because, well, he obviously has a home gym. But now the gyms are back open again, why not watch Lebron’s powerful workout and get motivated to reach his levels.

2 - Khloe Kardashian’s Weight Loss Workout

Khloe Kardashian has undergone one of the most dramatic celebrity transformations ever. Part of this transformation has been from using facial reconstruction surgery to change her look, but part of this has been her weight loss. Khloe reportedly lost 40 pounds in recent years and regularly shows off her svelte physique on Instagram. In addition, the third oldest Kardashian sister has released a clothing line, Good American, which now stocks workout gear. Khloe is serious about this fitness lifestyle.

Luckily, Khloe has also let us in on her workout secrets. Snippets of her workouts are regularly posted to Instagram, and her personal trainer also posted this helpful video with advice and tips on how Khloe got her body in shape.

3 - Beyoncé’s 44 Day Coachella Workout

Beyoncé headlined Coachella in 2019 after giving birth to twins just a few months prior. Her trainer, Marco Borges, designed a 22 day nutrition program which Bey followed for 44 days while rehearsing for her iconic Coachella performance which is now immortalized in the Netflix documentary, Homecoming.

For this diet and workout, Beyoncé worked out daily alongside full days of dance rehearsals and eating a purely plant based diet. No sugar, no caffeine, no meat, no dairy, no processed foods. This plan is now available to members of the program, so you too can sweat, eat and eventually look like the Queen B herself.

27 August 2020

Misinformation: Tech Companies Are Removing 'Harmful' Coronavirus Content – But Who Decides What That Means?

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Misinformation: Tech Companies Are Removing 'Harmful' Coronavirus Content – But Who Decides What That Means? (Pearl PhotoPix/Shutterstock)
The “infodemic of misinformation about coronavirus has made it difficult to distinguish accurate information from false and misleading advice. The major technology companies have responded to this challenge by taking the unprecedented move of working together to combat misinformation about COVID-19.

Part of this initiative involves promoting content from government healthcare agencies and other authoritative sources, and introducing measures to identify and remove content that could cause harm. For example, Twitter has broadened its definition of harm to address content that contradicts guidance from authoritative sources of public health information.

Facebook has hired extra fact-checking services to remove misinformation that could lead to imminent physical harm. YouTube has published a COVID-19 Medical Misinformation Policy that disallows “content about COVID-19 that poses a serious risk of egregious harm”.

The problem with this approach is that there is no common understanding of what constitutes harm. The different ways these companies define harm can produce very different results, which undermines public trust in the capacity for tech firms to moderate health information. As we argue in a recent research paper, to address this problem these companies need to be more consistent in how they define harm and more transparent in how they respond to it.

Science is subject to change

A key problem with evaluating health misinformation during the pandemic has been the novelty of the virus. There’s still much we don’t know about COVID-19, and much of what we think we know is likely to change based on emerging findings and new discoveries. This has a direct impact on what content is considered harmful.

The pressure for scientists to produce and share their findings during the pandemic can also undermine the quality of scientific research. Pre-print servers allow scientists to rapidly publish research before it is reviewed. High-quality randomised controlled trials take time. Several articles in peer-reviewed journals have been retracted due to unreliable data sources.

Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has changed its position on the transmission and prevention of the disease. For example, it didn’t begin recommending that healthy people wear face masks in public until June 5, based on new scientific findings.

The World Health Organization has updated its advice as new evidence has emerged. (FABRICE COFFRINI/EPA)
Yet the major social media companies have pledged to remove claims that contradict guidance from the WHO. As a result, they could remove content that later turns out to be accurate.

This highlights the limits of basing harm policies on a single authoritative source. Change is intrinsic to the scientific method. Even authoritative advice is subject to debate, modification and revision.

Harm is political

Assessing harm in this way also fails to account for inconsistencies in public health messaging in different countries. For example, Sweden and New Zealand’s initial responses to COVID-19 were diametrically opposed, the former based on herd immunity and the latter aiming to eliminate the virus. Yet both were based on authoritative, scientific advice. Even within countries, public health policies differ at the state and national level and there is disagreement between scientific experts.

Exactly what is considered harmful can become politicised, as debates over the use of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and ibuprofen as potential treatments for COVID-19 exemplify. What’s more, there are some questions that science cannot solely answer. For example, whether to prioritise public health or the economy. These are ethical considerations that remain highly contested.

Moderating online content inevitably involves arbitrating between competing interests and values. To respond to the speed and scale of user-generated content, social media moderation mostly relies on computer algorithms. Users are also able to flag or report potentially harmful content.

Despite being designed to reduce harm, these systems can be gamed by savvy users to generate publicity and distrust. This is particularly the case with disinformation campaigns, which seek to provoke fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Users can take advantage of the nuanced language around disease prevention and treatments. For example, personal anecdotes about “immune-boosting” diets and supplements can be misleading but difficult to verify. As a result, these claims don’t always fall under the definition of harm.

Similarly, the use of humour and taking content out of context (the weaponisation of context) are strategies commonly used to bypass content moderation. Internet memes, images and questions have also played a crucial role in generating distrust of mainstream science and politics during the pandemic and helped fuel conspiracy theories.

Transparency and trust

The vagueness and inconsistency of technology companies’ content moderation mean that some content and user accounts are demoted or removed while other arguably harmful content remains online. The “transparency reports” published by Twitter and Facebook only contain general statistics about country requests for content removal and little detail of what is removed and why.

This lack of transparency means these companies can’t be adequately held to account for the problems with their attempts to tackle misinformation, and the situation is unlikely to improve. For this reason, we believe tech companies should be required to publish details of their moderation algorithms and a record of the health misinformation removed. This would increase accountability and enable public debate where content or accounts appear to have been removed unfairly.

In addition, these companies should highlight claims that might not be overtly harmful but are potentially misleading or at odds with official advice. This kind of labelling would provide users with credible information with which to interpret these claims without suppressing debate.

Through greater consistency and transparency in their moderation, technology companies will provide more reliable content and increase public trust – something that has never been more important.

About Today's Contributors:

Stephanie Alice Baker, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, City, University of London; Matthew Wade, Lecturer in Social Inquiry, La Trobe University, and Michael James Walsh, Associate Professor, University of Canberra

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.

23 August 2020

Do Not Disturb: How to Exercise Quietly at Home

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Do Not Disturb: How to Exercise Quietly at Home
Woman practicing yoga (image via Pexels)
If you live in an apartment, you know how thin the walls and ceilings can be. The past few months have been a test of true patience for apartment dwellers dealing with the sounds of their neighbors as everyone has been cooped up inside under Covid-19 quarantine restrictions. One particularly noisy activity is exercising, which is hard to do quietly under the best of circumstances. With many gyms closed during the pandemic, people have moved their workouts to their apartments, much to the chagrin of their neighbors.

Of course, there are some forms of exercises that are low-impact and do not involve jumping jacks and burpees that can be heard two floors down. There are also ways of making a space more soundproof and using equipment to soften the noise of exercising. Even slight modifications to your at-home workout routine can make a big difference to your elderly neighbors. Here are some tried and true tips to get you through until gyms fully reopen.

Use a noise reducing mat

You can still exercise wearing comfortable sneakers without making a lot of noise. Instead of jumping around directly on your hardwood floors, set an exercise mat down and use that to cushion your movements and absorb the sound of impact. The thicker the mat, the better it will be for absorbing sound. If you are doing yoga or a low-impact exercise routine, you can opt for a thinner mat. A PVC or rubber exercise mat also serves to ease the pressure put on your joints from exercising on a hard surface. 

Swap machinery for simple gear

Loud machinery, like a treadmill, can be heard by neighbors. For the time being, swap it for simpler equipment that won’t make a sound. For an intense core workout, try an ab wheel to deliver a challenging, yet quiet workout. Instead of weights, use resistance bands that are lightweight and don’t make noise when they hit the ground like weights. You can work every part of the body, from your legs to arms, chest, and shoulders with a resistance band.

Use coated weights

If you must use regular weights, try using ones that have a polyurethane or rubber coating rather than exposed metal as these will be quieter when you set them down. You can also buy silencer pads to lay on the floor to soften the sound of the weights.

Do bodyweight exercises

Instead of kickboxing or cardio dance classes in your living room, opt for bodyweight exercises that can give you a full workout without the noise. Bodyweight exercises include crunches, lunges, planks, wall sits, and push-ups, among other exercises. They make for a great full body workout because you use your core and the rest of your body to maintain balance in each position. Start small with a few reps for each exercise and add more each day.

Show that you are a considerate tenant by making slight alterations to your normal workout classes and all of your neighbors will thank you for it. In addition to low impact indoor exercise, there are also plenty of outdoor options like running, biking, and swimming that can be done while socially distancing. Grab your athletic women’s and men’s sneakers and head out into the great outdoors -- you’ll be back at the gym soon enough.

11 August 2020

Hip Hop Public Health Completes Trilogy Of COVID-19 Music Video PSAs With Release Of #BehindTheMask [Video & Lyrics Included]

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Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) Completes Trilogy Of COVID-19 Music Video PSAs With Release Of Behind The Mask
Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) Completes Trilogy Of COVID-19 Music Video PSAs With Release Of Behind The Mask (PRNewsfoto/Hip Hop Public Health)
Building upon the momentum and public engagement generated by 20 Seconds or More and 20 Segundos o Más, the high-impact music video PSAs that have become global anthems and rallying cries around the importance of handwashing in the fight against COVID-19 since launching in April and July, respectively, Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) today released Behind the Mask

Behind the Mask is an original new song and music video designed to increase the use of face masks as an effective means of stopping the spread of the coronavirus around the world. It is the third installment in a trilogy of COVID-related music video PSAs produced by Hip Hop Public Health, the New York-based, nonprofit organization founded in 2006 to build health equity through the transformative power of music, art and science. 
With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise around the country while disproportionately affecting communities of color, the goal of Behind the Mask is to proactively address the issue by driving the conversation and debate around COVID-19 safety protocols into action with culturally relevant and compassionate messaging.
Behind the Mask was written by multi-platinum composer Quennel Worthy, and features Grammy-nominated vocalist Raheem DeVaughn, backed by Grammy-winning rapper Darryl DMC McDaniels from Run-DMC and the iconic rapper and HHPH Co-Founder, Doug E. Fresh. With medical oversight by Dr. Olajide Williams, Co-Founder of Hip Hop Public Health and Chief of Staff, Department of Neurology, New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center, Behind the Mask utilizes HHPH's evidence-based behavior change Multisensory Multilevel Health Education Model

  • The video focuses on proper mask-wearing techniques while incorporating culturally tailored, personalized themes that drive a strong emotional connection to the message, which in turn has been shown to facilitate behavior change.
"There is unequivocal supporting evidence that masks reduce the spread of COVID-19, and this is related to the scientific consensus that the infection can occur from inhaling droplets containing the virus," says Dr. Olajide Williams. "Masks act as a barrier to these infected droplets of saliva that are expelled when we sneeze, cough, or even breathe heavily. They protect those around us from being infected by us, and this is especially important because of the people in our communities walking among us who do not exhibit symptoms (asymptomatic people). The more people that wear masks, the more we are able to reduce the spread of COVID-19 - and to demonstrate this point, one study from the University of Washington showed that if 95% of the public wear masks, we would avoid approximately 34,000 more deaths by October 1, 2020."
Hip Hop Public Health created Behind the Mask as the cornerstone of a major public health education initiative that began in April at the height of the pandemic in New York with 20 Seconds or More, followed by the Latino community-facing 20 Segundos o Más campaign in early July. 

  • Together, these campaigns have reached over three million people around the world through the viewing and sharing of the videos, significant social media traction and international media coverage.
A running theme encapsulated in the Behind the Mask song is love: how our actions or inactions can dangerously impact those we love, and how, from behind the mask, we are promoting community and neighborhood health, while protecting and saving the lives of our loved ones and those with whom we come into contact daily. 

The music video PSA features guest appearances by well-known and everyday New Yorkers – artists, public health experts, religious and civic leaders, athletes, media personalities, entertainers and families, all wearing masks or demonstrating proper donning, doffing, and storing for re-use techniques. Among the participants are: rappers Niko Brim and Rob Base; New York Jets linebacker, James Burgess; Broadway legend Irene Gandy; Chief Jeffrey B. Maddrey, NYPD Chief of Community Affairs; Commissioner Benjamin Tucker, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner; DJ Dee Wiz, touring DJ and Producer; author and poet Jacqueline Woodson; music executive Sal Abbatiello; award-winning broadcaster Cheryl Wills; Rick Patel, Deputy Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations, New York; radio personality Sasha the Diva; and, virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen (full list of participants).
"Behind the Mask is a love letter and an ode from the people of New York to everyone around the world," says Lori Rose Benson, Executive Director and CEO of Hip Hop Public Health. "The song's lyrics literally bring people together with a message of love, unity and hope. Our work is far from over, and we see Behind the Mask as a natural way for Hip Hop Public Health and our supporters to advance our mission of propelling the dialogue and action around COVID-19 forward with kindness and humanity at the heart of our message and towards our goal of stopping the spread."
Says Doug E. Fresh, "Behind the Mask is a classic R&B-inspired track infused with the forthrightness of hip hop to deliver a vital, lifesaving message. Continuing on this journey with my friend Darryl DMC McDaniels as we join forces with 'The Love King' himself, Raheem DeVaughn, will hopefully move people and inspire them to wear a mask to protect themselves and their loved ones."
Raheem DeVaughn adds, "It was an honor to collaborate with Hip Hop Public Health, Doug E. Fresh and Darryl DMC McDaniels on this project. Everyone has, in some way, been impacted by COVID-19 and we all need to listen and adhere to the message of Behind the Mask as a symbol of love, a symbol of trust and a way forward to a better future."
As a long-time supporter and Advisory Board member of Hip Hop Public Health, Darryl DMC McDaniels comments, "I know first-hand how music, and naturally, hip hop can impact people in a positive manner. Behind the Mask is a powerful example of this and I am convinced that it will make a difference."
Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) Completes Trilogy Of COVID-19 Music Video PSAs With Release Of #BehindTheMask
Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) Completes Trilogy Of COVID-19 Music Video PSAs With Release Of Behind the Mask (Hip Hop Public Health)

Behind the Mask -The Lyrics:

Behind The Mask
By Q. Worthy, Barnard “BJ” Gray, and Joshua Banks

(Verse1 )
A symbol of love
A symbol of trust
Between us
I wear it for you
You wear it for me
A promise
I put on the mask
Out of respect for the masses
And all those left behind
To salute and honor
All the first responders
Battling on the front lines

(Hook)
You got my back
I got your back
Behind the mask
It’s not
Much to ask
We’ll save the world
From behind the mask
If you feel alone
Just know
You’re not invisible
Cause I still see you
Behind the mask

(Verse2)
Now we can’t pretend
The state that we’re in, is not dangerous
One minute we’re close
Then six feet away like strangers
There’s a virus outside
Threatening all of our lives
And we can’t let it in
Not just for you but for all
To prevent a loss
We put on the mask for them

(Hook)
You got my back
I got your back
Behind the mask
It’s not
Much to ask
We’ll save the world
From behind the mask
If you feel alone
Just know
You’re not invisible
Cause I still see you
Behind the mask
Yeah I still see you
Behind the mask

(Rap)
Now here’s a little story about this year
Who woulda thought we would end up here
Fresh decade we was barely in it
New year came wit a world pandemic
But it’ll get better
The storm we’ll weather
Heads held high as we stand together
We gotta do our part to stop the spread
All pull together like we never did
First, wash your hands make sure they’re clean
20 secs or more is what I mean
Put ya mask on don’t matter what kind
Cloth, surgical, N95
Before you take ya mask off
Go and wash ya hands off
Fold it up outside in so the germs touch
Store your mask in a paper bag
Then one last time go and wash ya hands

Behind the Mask - The Video:


  • The Behind the Mask video was produced by IDEKO, a New York-based experiential production agency. To learn more, please visit www.hhph.org

About Hip Hop Public Health:

Hip Hop Public Health (HHPH) is an internationally recognized organization that creates and implements multimedia public health and education interventions designed to improve health literacy, inspire behavior change and promote health equity. Based in New York City, HHPH was founded in Harlem in 2006 with the mission to empower youth and families around the country – and the globe— with the knowledge and skills to make healthier choices, reducing preventable health conditions. Through a research-driven developmental process created by Columbia University Neurologist Dr. Olajide Williams (a.k.a. the "Hip Hop Doc"), Hip Hop Public Health works with socially conscious artists and public health experts to create scalable, highly engaging, culturally relevant music and multimedia "edutainment" tools.

The Hip Hop Public Health team, led by physical education veteran and public health leader Lori Rose Benson, is a collective comprised of not only health and education professionals (including nutritionists, public health researchers, teachers, physicians, behavioral scientists, and a student advisory board), but also proven-successful multi-media professionals and A-list iconic rap stars and pop artists including Doug E. Fresh, Chuck D, DMC of Run DMC, Ashanti, Jordin Sparks, as well children's television writers/producers (formerly of Sesame Street). All HHPH music, videos, comic books, video games and guidance documents are available for free and can be accessed on its online resource repository.

SOURCE: Hip Hop Public Health

7 August 2020

"Creatures" Tale of 1700's North American Smallpox Outbreak Currently Filming with Native American Cast & Producers During Global Pandemic

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"Creatures" Tale of 1700's North American Smallpox Outbreak Currently Filming with Native American Cast & Producers During Global Pandemic
"Creatures": Filming is underway at the Blackfeet Reservation in Northern Montana
'Creatures', a story of the smallpox pandemic that decimated Native American tribes across the Western American territories, is currently being filmed on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, with shooting scheduled to wrap during the second week of August for a Winter 2020 international theatrical and streaming release. 
'Creatures' is a powerful reminder that what we are coping with as a world, is truly ancient history.
'Creatures' is developed in cooperation with the Blackfeet Tribe of Montana, with a full cast of Indigenous actors, and several Blackfeet producers and crew members. The story is told through adventures of several youths from warring tribes who wrestle with the spread of the disease and the introduction of the horse, called "Creatures," that hold the promise of power.

"Creatures" Tale of 1700's North American Smallpox Outbreak Currently Filming with Native American Cast & Producers During Global Pandemic
"Creatures" Movie about a Pandemic being filmed during the Coronavirus Pandemic
"Our film follows the story of one Blackfeet man and his response to the same kind of issues that we, as a unified American people, are addressing today: how do you collectively manage a mysterious and deadly pathogen that rapidly spreads from person to person? The Blackfeet Nation has kept these stories alive for generations and now we are sharing them with the rest of the world. If there is one lesson that our past holds for this future generation, it's that fear is the deadliest weapon of all. Conquer that, and logic will save you," says Pat "Judge" Hall, Producer and Locations and Wrangler for 'Creatures'.
Smallpox was brought to the New World by the Spaniards and was later spread from tribe to tribe, as a deadly bioweapon. Smallpox was responsible for decimating entire tribes from the planet. It is estimated that over two thirds of the Blackfeet Tribe alone were killed in the first wave. 

The course of the disease vector across the Great Plains was accompanied by the proliferation of horses, called "elk-dogs," also imported by the Spanish, and came to represent a powerful weapon in the fight to conquer enemies and gain territory. 
The profound impact of the horse and its nascent relationship with the Blackfeet is a powerful metaphor woven through the tapestry of this gritty, personalized slice of Native American history.
'Creatures' is produced by KK Productions and is directed by Kristian Kery. It features a completely Native American cast and is shot on location in Blackfeet Nation, Montana.

SOURCE: Blackfeet Reservation

6 August 2020

#TeamMASK - Face Masks Placed on New Castle County Government Cars to Promote Mask-Wearing

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 #TeamMASK - Face Masks Placed on New Castle County Government Cars to Promote Mask-Wearing
Mac Macleod, CEO of Carvertise, with the help of New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, affixes a mask on a New Castle County vehicle at their August 5 launch event.
Carvertise, Inc., a rideshare-based transit advertising company, announced the launch of its #TeamMASK advertising campaign with the New Castle County Government in an effort to promote the continued importance of mask-wearing to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

As a part of this initiative, eleven high-mileage county vehicles, including the County Executive's very own car, were selected to don gigantic custom-made "Car Masks" that fit over the grill of the vehicles. 

The vehicles also prominently feature a #TeamMASK slogan on both driver and passenger sides, to proudly state the county's position on wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19.
  • The county vehicles selected are a medley of paramedic and public works sedans and trucks that will be seen at COVID-19 testing sites, public parks, and construction sites. 
  • Each vehicle travels a minimum of 1,100 miles a month which will create an estimated 82,500 monthly impressions, according to Carvertise's proprietary impression calculating algorithm. 
  • For the duration of this three-month advertising campaign, 2.7 million impressions will be created generating significant reach and frequency throughout the entire county.
 #TeamMASK - Face Masks Placed on New Castle County Government Cars to Promote Mask-Wearing
The New Castle County #TeamMASK fleet unveiled.
Carvertise CEO, Mac Macleod, stated, "New Castle County has become the first government entity in the country to transform their fleet of vehicles into moving billboards promoting public safety messaging specific to COVID-19. Not only does the creativity of the face masks make it memorable, but it is also highly cost-efficient. These vehicles are driving around the county everyday as it is; now, however, they're holding the dual purpose of marketing to county residents. That's a 2-for-1 benefit."
"The #TeamMASK campaign is a great way for us to drive home an important public safety message to our county residents," said Matt Meyer, County Executive, New Castle County, Delaware. "What better way to show a sense of community spirit and pride around public mask compliance than to have these larger-than-life face masks adorned to our highest mileage vehicles? I'm highly confident this will get people thinking and talking about mask-wearing," said Meyer.
Macleod added, "This is innovative advertising at its finest. It's creative, it's memorable, it's culturally relevant, it's reaching the right audience, and it's effectively communicating the right message through the use of humor. Everyone who sees these cars stops in their tracks, takes a picture of it, and understands the message being promoted. Big kudos to New Castle County for being bold enough to be first."
  • #TeamMASK wraps and Carvertise's gigantic "Car Masks" are available in all 50 states and can be leveraged by other government and healthcare entities looking to make a big marketing splash in their communities.

29 July 2020

"Covid-19 The Virus Of Fear" - An Italian Movie Regarding The Lesson Learned From The Pandemic [Trailer Included]

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"Covid-19 The Virus Of Fear" - An Italian Movie Regarding The Lesson Learned From The Pandemic
"Covid-19 The Virus Of Fear" - An Italian Movie Regarding The Lesson Learned From The Pandemic (screengrab)
"Will we be able to learn anything from all this?
The movie trailer of "Covid-19 The Virus of Fear" closes with this question, while a dying man is attached to a respirator.
Produced by Consulcesi, a company specialized in healthcare education, this movie is part of a broader education project on Covid-19 aimed primarily at medical doctors and healthcare professionals, included in a full series of continuing education in medicine (CME) courses. 

A careful fact gathering of what happened, which dismantles the fake news on Covid-19 through correct scientific information, will also be available to the public on mainstream platforms. Therefore, a project that engages the public not to forget the near past and to learn from mistakes.
The movie was brought forth on the idea of Massimo Tortorella, Consulcesi' s Chairman who explains its genesis and purpose: "Covid-19 has changed digital education in the professional field. This initiative aims to overcome the traditional learning model through the concept of 'learning by doing' guaranteed by interactivity and technology. Healthcare professionals can update their knowledge-base not by reading slides but through a movie and testing their skills with decision-making articulations marked by algorithms that generate virtual interactions with patients."
The result is an 80 minutes-long film written by Manuela Jael Procaccia and directed by Christian Marazziti. Starting from the experience of Italy and China, among the first contaminated countries, the film retells the sensations that have affected everyone on a global level: the fear of the unknown, which leads to discriminatory behaviors and which feeds hypochondria and psychosis.

Consulcesi: “Covid-19 The Virus of Fear” An Italian Movie Regarding The Lesson Learned From The Pandemic
Consulcesi: “Covid-19 The Virus of Fear” An Italian Movie Regarding The Lesson Learned From The Pandemic
This project sees prestigious collaborations, including those of the virologist Massimo Andreoni, Director of Infectious Diseases department at Tor Vergata University; Giorgio Nardone psychotherapist of Strategic Therapy Center; Giuseppe Ippolito, Scientific Director of Lazzaro Spallanzani and Ranieri Guerra, Deputy Director-General of WHO. Just the latter, highlights that: "The EU has finally started to behave as such and the major international agencies have joined forces. Vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, namely borderless science can become the global public healthcare systems. We need the contribution of everyone, governments, individuals, communities: It will take time, but we cannot allow that the effort, the tears and the blood shed to have been in vain."
The film presentation took place under the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Healthcare. "Coronavirus has taught us that continuing education in medicine and clear information to citizens are the solid basis for a head start," commented the Minister.

The Trailer:


SOURCE: Consulcesi

3 July 2020

2020 Part 2: What Can We Expect From The Second Half Of The Year?

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2020 Part 2: What Can We Expect From The Second Half Of The Year?
2020 Part 2: What Can We Expect From The Second Half Of The Year? (Pixabay - CC0 Licence)
The calendar flipping over into July means - among other things - that this year (which has seemed to be several years long itself already) has finally entered its second half. If you are someone who follows news media, it has undoubtedly been a packed year, but strap yourself in - there’s another six months before it’s at an end.

As we enter Part 2 of 2020, it’s worth looking ahead and considering what the rest of the year might have in store for us. After all, we were all a little blindsided by the way that this year started, so it’s a good idea to be ready for anything in the next six months.

Will the UK have a second wave of Coronavirus?

The nature of pandemics is that there tends to be an initial ramping up to a frightening peak, which then relents to a point where things can be somewhat relaxed. We’re at the third point of that path, which sounds good. However, the overall path of a pandemic usually includes a sting in the tail in the form of a “second wave”. Unless the virus is entirely eradicated globally, it’s almost certain that a second wave will arise in some areas of the world.

Will the UK be among those areas? There’s no way of knowing for sure, but let’s consider these points:

  • One city has already had to announce that their planned exit from lockdown will be delayed; more are expected to follow.
  • New Zealand, which had eradicated the virus within its borders, then announced two new cases; both visitors from the UK.
  • Within days of opening up beaches, the town of Bournemouth was the scene of a “major incident” as thousands of people descended to enjoy a heatwave.
In other words, all the signs are that the UK will be prone to another wave. While the first caught most of us by surprise, we can at least be more prepared for the probable second wave. Smart moves include buying more tinned food with your regular shops, setting up a quarantine system for deliveries, and ensuring that any underlying conditions you have are well managed. For instance, asthma sufferers are more vulnerable to the virus, so this article may be beneficial.

Will there be a swine flu outbreak to deal with, too?

While we are already dealing with Covid 19, many of us will have noted from our social media timelines that there might be more bad news on the way:

So, will we go from protecting against Covid 19 to fighting the new strain of swine ‘flu? Will we, perish the thought, find ourselves battling both at the same time? The truth is, we can’t really say right now. The fact that the virus has been highlighted as having “pandemic potential” certainly isn’t good news. What we know is that the virus can infect humans and, because it is new, we’re unlikely to have any inbuilt immunity to it. It’s also not a strain that is currently protected against by the ‘flu vaccine.

Where we need to be particularly vigilant is in not seeing this as simply a threat that is being amped up. It is possible for two unpleasant and highly contagious viruses to be in circulation at once. Whether or not you believe the present pandemic was a particularly serious event, you should err on the side of caution if this latest virus starts to make its way around the world. If people become skeptical and cease to follow social distancing and other anti-transmission measures, this could vastly increase the potency of either virus, or both.

Will things ever be normal again?

In the early days of lockdown, many of us will have repeatedly used a form of words along the lines of “when this is over/when things are back to normal” or similar. It will have crossed very few minds that “this” might not be over any time soon, and that “normal” might mean something very different by the time it is over. In truth, looking into the future, we may all have reason for uncertainty. It’s an uncertainty that won’t go away any time soon, in all likelihood.

Let’s look at one of the most obvious changes that has taken place since the virus started spreading: working practices. If you have begun working from home since March, how inclined are you to go back to a workplace? Particularly if doing so involves getting on a bus or a train? When every contact is a potential opportunity for the virus to spread, and people don’t need to be symptomatic to pass it on, “normal” is unlikely to describe the overall situation any time before 2021.

There is, essentially, no part of everyday life which is the same right now as it was this time last year. The number of things that have changed, and the extent to which they have changed, may well make it impossible for life ever to go back to the way it was before, or anything like it. That doesn’t need to be a bad thing - if you can make adjustments that allow you to have more time with family and, eventually, friends - but equally, it is important not to rely on things getting back to how they used to be any time in 2020.

The first half of 2020 has been tumultuous, and it’s entirely understandable if you’re still digesting it all. As we turn to the second half, it is important to be ready for anything that it might throw at us. Recent history has taught us that things can happen fast and turn the world upside down.

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