Here’s How to Care For Curly Hair

Curly hair is beautiful, loved by everyone, and envied by those who don’t have it. But, only someone who has curly hair can understand how high maintenance and unruly it can be, most times. Curly tresses tend to go through a lot of problems like hair fall, tangled hair, dryness, and may lose shine easily if not cared for properly.

Given how delicate curly hair can be its treatment needs to be special too. Agnes Chen, National Technical Head from Streax Professional shares some tips on managing your curls daily and keeping them healthy and shiny forever.

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Common curly hair problems:

Dryness: If you over-wash your curly hair, it loses its natural moisture. Natural oil vanishes from the hair leaving the curls to look dry and frizzy.

curly hair
As curls are unique, you need to treat them exceptionally to maintain their beauty and charm. You might need to work a little extra for curls, but it is all worth it. Here are some guidelines to help you care for your curly locks. IANS

Frizz: Curly hair is way more prone to frizz than other hair textures. It is naturally dry since its spiral-shaped DNA structure makes it difficult for the scalp’s natural oils to slide down each strand and hydrate its lengths.

Messy Knots: We have all been there, waking up with a bird’s nest of tangles or trying to tug a brush through our hair after showering, curly hair can be a knotty mess.

As curls are unique, you need to treat them exceptionally to maintain their beauty and charm. You might need to work a little extra for curls, but it is all worth it. Here are some guidelines to help you care for your curly locks.

1. Keep it clean and moisturized. Always use a shampoo and conditioner suitable for curly hair. Hair products made for curly hair understand the hair type and have elements to help it retain efficient moisture

2. Use the pads of your fingers to cleanse in a circular motion, it eliminates the frizz by blocking out any humidity or unhealthy moisture in the hair. Do not use your nails nor scrub too hard.

3. Always use leave-in cream if your curly hair gets frizzy and dry. Leave-in cream helps in moisturizing, maintaining, and making your curls look graceful. Curly texture hair tends to be dry, dull, and frizzy. The usage of serum prevents the hair from getting frizzy. It also provides moisture so your locks can have bounce and sheen.

curly hair
Keep it clean and moisturized. Always use a shampoo and conditioner suitable for curly hair. Hair products made for curly hair understand the hair type and have elements to help it retain efficient moisture. Pixabay

4. The right way to dry curly hair. Most people dry their hair wrongly, causing dullness, frizzy, and tangled hair. Never dry your hair bending backward. Always try to flip your head upside down and with the help of a towel scrunch it so that the towel absorbs the water. While you scrunch your hair, it will take shape and help inform curls.

5. The thumb rule is to avoid brushing your hair when it is dry. Always use a wide-tooth comb and avoid using a fine-tooth comb and brushes as they open your curls.

Also Read: Wellness: An Important Part of Leisure

Don’ts for people with curly hair:

Never comb your hair when it is dry. Always comb or brush it when wet.

Never forget the conditioner. It is mandatory!

Use styling products on your crown will turn it into a big, frizzy puffball.

Serum, leave-in conditioner, mousse, and curl enhancing cream should be your good friends.

Hair may be fragile and caring for it can be a bit of a handful, but well-maintained curls can add an extra oomph to your looks. (IANS)

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Here’s How Covid-19 Attacks Train Passengers

Next time you are travelling via train, make sure your seat location, travel time and social distancing is just right to minimise infection if a Covid-19 patient is present in the coach.

Scientists from the University of Southampton and colleagues have for the first time detailed the chances of catching Covid-19 in a train carriage carrying an infectious person.

The ‘attack rate’ for each seat — the number of passengers in a given seat diagnosed with Covid-19, divided by the total number of passengers travelling in the same seat –increased by 0.15 per cent for every hour that a person travelled with an infected patient.

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For those in adjacent seats, this rate of increase was higher at 1.3 per cent per hour.

Interestingly, the researchers found that only 0.075 per cent of people who used a seat previously occupied by an infected patient went on to contract the disease.

The study, in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China Academy of Electronics and Information Technology, and Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, showed that passengers travelling in seats directly adjacent to an index patient suffered the highest level of transmission, with an average of 3.5 per cent contracting the disease.

Covid-19
There is the individual risk of Covid-19 transmission on public transport based on data from epidemiological investigations of disease cases and their close contacts on high-speed trains. Pixabay

For those sitting on the same row, the figure was 1.5 per cent.

“Although there is an increased risk of Covid-19 transmission on trains, a person’s seat location and travel time in relation to an infectious person can make a big difference as to whether it is passed on,” Lead investigator Dr Shengjie Lai said in a paper published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The findings suggest that during the Covid-19 epidemic it is important to reduce the density of passengers and promote personal hygiene measures, the use of face coverings and possibly carry-out temperature checks before boarding.

Given the attack rates estimated for passengers in the same row as an index patient, a safe social distance of more than one metre is required for one hour spent travelling together.

Also Read: Amidst Pandemic, Frantic Doctors Trade Tips Across Oceans

After two hours of contact, a distance of less than 2.5 metres may be insufficient to prevent transmission, said the authors.

“Our research is the first to quantify the individual risk of Covid-19 transmission on public transport based on data from epidemiological investigations of disease cases and their close contacts on high-speed trains,” said Professor Andy Tatem, Director of population-mapping project WorldPop.

“It shows that the transmission risk not only relates to the distance from an infected person, but also the time in their presence,” Tatem added. (IANS)

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Wellness: An Important Part of Leisure

Standing at the crossroads of health and travel, wellness retreats and centers have gained feet in the Indian market in the past decade. In the current crisis where health is in focus like never before, wellness retreats provide a holistic and much-needed escape.

Manu Rishi Guptha, CEO of Niraamaya Wellness Retreats, says the idea of a holiday has changed, and wellness is an integral part of leisure, especially at a time when immunity is important than ever.

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“Earlier the definition of holiday used to be, go, and indulge. Now people are wanting to slow down, even on holiday, because of the fast-paced lifestyle cities offer. People want to invest money in themselves, in their health. There is a lot of inquiry about our immunity program and about how holistic wellness can help people to define an inner balance in their mind and soul. Also to cleanse the body from toxins and heaviness which overall increases and boosts immunity is important,” Guptha told IANSlife over the phone.

The decade-old wellness brand, which closed late March when the nationwide lockdown was imposed, has reopened all its properties in Kovalam, Kumarakom, Thekkady, Kohima, and Goa last month.

wellness
Once everything stabilizes a bit, the domestic travel will take off and people will spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and money on themselves. Pixabay

Asked about the initial response they are seeing, the CEO says guests are trickling in, but the border and quarantine regulations will still largely shape decisions about traveling. For residents at the retreat, he adds that due to low guest density and spacious architecture and landscape of their luxury centers, social distancing is easy.

Connecting wellness with overall health, the expert said that the focus now should be on reversing lifestyle issues caused by common morbidities. “Ninety percent of the problems in the human body originate from these basics – Hypertension, Diabetes, Obesity, and Cardio-Metabolism issues. If you correct these problems you can easily prevent so many serious diseases that can affect the human body.” Niraamaya runs several programs focussed on correction of body order and builds health and well-being – in Guptha’s words, programs that heal and relax the mind, body, and soul.

Also Read: Memory Loss Can Be Reversed in People With Cognitive Decline

On tourism resuming, Guptha believes, “Once everything stabilizes a bit, I think the domestic travel will take off and people will spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money on themselves. We are just praying and hoping the virus keeps down and the people build a little bit of confidence about traveling. Once travel will happen, the industry hopefully will bounce back.”

In addition to its healthy living portfolio, Niraamaya has collaborated with Daivam Wellness to launch new Integrative and Functional Medicine Programs – The Diabetes Program, The Immunity Booster Program, The Mindfulness Program, The Stress Management Program, The Metabolic Obesity Program, The Gut Restoration Program, The Aesthetics Program, and The Deep Detox Program. (IANS)

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Education With Regional Languages Gets 80% Nods

The new National Education Policy (NEP) announced by the central government last week has introduced major reforms in Indian education at all levels. For languages, it lays emphasis on learning in the mother tongue or regional language as the medium of instruction till Grade 5, to promote multilingualism. The NEP has also given a list of foreign language electives students can take from the secondary school level.

“Wherever possible, the medium of instruction until at least Grade 5, but preferably till Grade 8 and beyond, will be the home language, mother tongue, local language, or the regional language. Thereafter, the home or local language shall continue to be taught as a language wherever possible. This will be followed by both public and private schools,” said the policy.

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In an Inshorts poll, participated in by over 2 lakh users, 80 percent of the respondents supported the move of making mother tongue/regional language the medium of instruction. However, many are saying they want to stick to the English language as the medium of instruction.

“As a parent, I feel the reform in NEP was a much-needed reform because in someway the focus was shifting only to the English language which is why kids were not very familiar with their mother tongue or Sanskrit or any other foreign language. Through this reform, students can make their base strong in language from the very beginning. Changing the medium of instruction will add important and enriching options as well as will promote multilingualism in the country.

education
The suggested foreign languages are Korean, English, French, German, Hebrew, and Japanese for this. The new policy will replace the existing policy that was formulated in 1986. Pixabay

“The most interesting fact is that students can now avail the facility of learning foreign languages also at the secondary level. Through this reform, children can now learn three languages at the same time which will definitely help them in further studies in different regions with different languages. I think this reform will surely add on fun learning methods,” NCR-based parent Niti told IANSlife.

“A language is mainly a utilitarian tool for acquiring knowledge. While promoting regional languages is indeed beneficial, making multiple languages compulsory is detrimental to both the social and human capital of the country. English already provides access to global knowledge as well as is being used uniformly in the majority of the IT workplaces globally,” Shubhajit Jagadev, Executive Director, EduSkills opines.

Education
A language is mainly a utilitarian tool for acquiring knowledge. While promoting regional languages is indeed beneficial, making multiple languages compulsory is detrimental in our education is to both the social and human capital of the country. Pixabay

Notably, in the new National Education Policy, the Indian government has included Korean, Japanese, Thai, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, and Russian languages at the secondary level among the foreign languages to be offered.

The government also pointed out that foreign language vocabulary should be updated in the textbooks and other printing materials. The suggested foreign languages are Korean, English, French, German, Hebrew, and Japanese for this. The new policy will replace the existing policy that was formulated in 1986. This revision has come after 28 years.

Also Read: ISRO’s “Vikram” of Chandrayaan-2 Might be Found

Highlighting positive cultural diplomacy, Shin Bong-Gil, the ambassador of the Republic of Korea to India said the Indian government’s decision about adding Korean as a foreign language for secondary level can be considered as one of the symbolic measures to focus on the importance of India-Korea relations.

According to recent reports, following tense Sino-India relations, the Chinese language was dropped from the suggested list of foreign languages; it was included in the Draft policy in 2019. (IANS)

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Celebrate A Digital Raksha Bandhan by Sending Virtual Rakhis

With travel restrictions and physical distancing becoming the new normal this year, traditional visits to our siblings for Rakhi this year are being substituted by virtual Rakhis sent online.

Major e-commerce sites have seen a massive jump in the number of orders placed for rakhis and e-gifts given the restrictions and apprehensions about travel and social distancing.

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Snapdeal saw rakhi orders jumping three-fold as more users have opted to buy or send Rakhis online. Adding to the trend, Snapdeal’s shoppers moved to completely digital solutions for Raksha Bandhan this year by choosing E-Gift cards as the topmost Rakhi gift.

The platform witnessed a surge in the sale of digital gift cards two weeks before Rakshabandhan. It logged an increase of 70 percent in the sale of these cards, vis-à-vis last year, the company announced in a statement.

Last year, travel accessories like go-pro mounts, selfie sticks, and backpacks were widely picked as Raksha Bandhan gifts. Ethnic clothes were also widely bought as gifting. This year, as India continues to be cautious of the virus, digital gift cards saw a big boost in sales.

“The number of Rakhis sold this year exceeds the number of Rakhis sold in the last two years combined. This is primarily due to the shoppers exercising caution and avoiding the festival linked travel,” the company said.

rakhis
Shoppers have moved to completely digital solutions for Raksha Bandhan this year by choosing E-Gift cards as the topmost Rakhi gift. Pixabay

Flipkart has also seen a sale of over 1,00,000 rakhis per day. Overall, the platform has seen 2x growth as compared to the previous year in terms of units sold.

The North is the largest chunk in the pie, with almost 45 percent demand coming from the region, followed by Eastern states with 25 percent share, the company said.

The top 10 cities generating demand are New Delhi, Bangalore, Patna, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune, Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, and Gurgaon

Also Read: A Curated list of Raksha Bandhan Gifts for Your Sibling

Ferns N Petals has witnessed 100 growth in comparison to the previous rakhi seasons. It has received 10,000 rakhi and rakhi gift orders every day, a total of 300,000 orders till Saturday. There have been 400-600 orders per day for virtual gifts like Guitarist on Video Call, Personalized Video message, and celebrity video message. The company is anticipating closing this season at 1.5 million orders.

“More and more customers are shopping online than before, in order to maintain social distancing. With this shift in buying behavior, we have witnessed a huge surge in customers who want rakhis to be delivered in other countries like the US, followed by the UK, Singapore, UAE and a couple of other countries,” informed Manish Saini, COO, e-commerce, Ferns N Petals. (IANS)

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ISRO’s “Vikram” of Chandrayaan-2 Might be Found

Space enthusiast Shanmuga Subramanian, who found the debris of India’s moon lander Vikram, said on Saturday that Chandrayaan-2’s rover Pragyan seems to be intact on the moon’s surface and had rolled out a few meters from the lander.

In a series of tweets along with the pictures of the moon surface, Subramanian said: “Chandrayaan-2’s Pragyan “ROVER” intact on Moon’s surface & has rolled out few meters from the skeleton Vikram lander whose payloads got disintegrated due to rough landing.”

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“We have received communication from him (Subramanian). Our experts are analyzing the same,” K. Sivan, Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), told IANS.

“It seems the commands were sent to the lander blindly for days & there is a distinct possibility that the lander could have received commands and relayed it to the rover… but the lander was not able to communicate it back to the earth,” Subramanian said.

There is also the possibility of the rover rolling out of the lander when it impacted the moon’s surface.

Tweeting a picture taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbital (LRO), Shanmugam said the white dot might be the skeleton lander devoid of other payloads and the black dot might be the rover.

Chandrayaan-2
There is also the possibility of the rover rolling out of the lander when it impacted the moon’s surface. Pixabay

According to him, the rover may be still intact on the moon’s surface. The latest pictures from LRO (Jan 4, 2020) showed rover tracks on the moon from the lander.

He said the debris he had found earlier might be from one of the payloads. The debris found by NASA might be of other payloads, transmitting antenna and thrusters.

Vikram lost contact with ISRO following its launch from Chandrayaan-2 moon orbiter on September 6 last year when it tried to make a soft landing near the moon’s south pole.

Also Read: Amidst Pandemic, Frantic Doctors Trade Tips Across Oceans

July 21, 2020, marked a year of the launch of India’s second moon mission by a Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV)-MkIII-M1.

It was on July 22, 2019, when the GSLV rocket, nicknamed ‘Bahubali’, blasted off from the second launch pad at India’s rocket port in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh carrying Chandrayaan-2 Orbiter Vikram (lander) and Pragyan (rover). (IANS)

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Memory Loss Can Be Reversed in People With Cognitive Decline

Cognitive decline is a major concern of the aging population. Already, Alzheimer’s disease affects approximately 5.4 million Americans and 30 million people globally. Without effective prevention and treatment, the prospects for the future are bleak. By 2050, it is estimated that 160 million people globally will have the disease, including 13 million Americans, leading to potential bankruptcy of the Medicare system. Unlike several other chronic illnesses, Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise–recent estimates suggest that Alzheimer’s disease has become the third leading cause of death in the United States behind cardiovascular disease and cancer. Since its first description over 100 years ago, Alzheimer’s disease has been without effective treatment. While researchers continue to seek out a cure, it is becoming clear that there are effective treatment options. More and more research supports the conclusion that Alzheimer’s disease is not a disease of only Beta-Amyloid plaques and Tao tangles but a complex and systemic disease. In this study of patients with varying levels of cognitive decline, it is demonstrated how a precision and personalized approach results in either stabilization or improvement in memory.

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Interventions to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease have been marginally successful at best. This study uses a more comprehensive, personalized approach addressing each participant’s unique risk factors. “The findings, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Reports (Journal of Alzheimer’s DiseaseReports4(1)), are encouraging and indicate that a more extensive clinical study is warranted”, said Brian Kennedy, Ph.D., Director of The Centre for Healthy Aging, National University Health System, Singapore and Chief Scientific Officer, Affirmative Health.

Memory
Far too few people understand how critical lifestyle and dietary choices are for brain function. ‘Outsmart Your Brain’ is an important tool to get this information into the hands of those who should know it. Pixabay

The Affirmative Health scientific team, after a thorough review of published research, has developed a comprehensive approach to addressing scientifically supported risk factors that have been rigorously defined as interventions to promote prevention, increased resiliency, and stabilization of brain function in the realm of AD and dementia. Utilizing cutting edge technology in concert with in-person coaching and consultation, we are demonstrating that a multi-modal and personalized approach promotes an improved resiliency and restoration of optimal brain function. The personalized therapeutic program includes genetics, an extensive blood panel, medical history, and lifestyle data to evaluate relevant metabolic risk factors and nutrient levels associated with cognitive health. “Target laboratory levels differ from standard laboratory ranges as the goal is to reach optimized levels for cognitive health”, Ginger Schechter, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Affirmative Health

The study approach considers more than 35 factors known to contribute to cognitive decline. Results demonstrate that certain of those factors are more affected than others again demonstrating the need for a more precise treatment plan. “This study supports the need for an approach that focuses on a one-size-fits one, not a one-size-fits-all, approach that comprehensively assesses all involved risk factors affecting memory loss”, Denise M Kalos, CEO Affirmative Health

Also Read: Amidst Pandemic, Frantic Doctors Trade Tips Across Oceans

In conjunction with the publication of this vital study, and to expose alternative treatment options for Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline, the team at Affirmative Health has written a book, Outsmart your Brain – an Insider’s Guide to Life-Long Memory. “Memory is not something that should diminish with age; you are never too young to start developing healthy habits that can ultimately impact your cognition,” Outsmart Your Brain. This book leverages the foundation of Affirmative Health’s research to deliver tips and tools guide for the maintenance of good cognitive health. “Far too few people understand how critical lifestyle and dietary choices are for brain function. ‘Outsmart Your Brain’ is an important tool to get this information into the hands of those who should know it, everyone!, in easy-to-understand language”, Ryan R. Fortna, MD, Ph.D., Chief Medical/Scientific Officer, ADx Healthcare. (AlphaGalileo)

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Amidst Pandemic, Frantic Doctors Trade Tips Across Oceans

Amid the chaos of the pandemic’s early days, doctors who faced the first coronavirus onslaught reached across oceans and language barriers in an unprecedented effort to advise colleagues trying to save lives in the dark.

With no playbook to follow and no time to wait for research, YouTube videos describing autopsy findings and X-rays swapped on Twitter and WhatsApp spontaneously filled the gap.

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When Stephen Donelson arrived at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in mid-March, Dr. Kristina Goff was among those who turned to what she called “the stories out of other places that were hit before.”

Donelson’s family hadn’t left the house in two weeks after COVID-19 started spreading in Texas, hoping to shield the organ transplant recipient. Yet one night, his wife found him barely breathing, his skin turning blue, and called 911.

In New York or Italy, where hospitals were overflowing, Goff thinks Donelson wouldn’t even have qualified for a then-precious ventilator. But in Dallas, “we pretty much threw everything we could at him,” she said.

Like doctors everywhere, Goff was at the beginning of a huge and daunting learning curve.

“It’s a tsunami. Something that if you don’t experience it directly, you can’t understand,” Italian Dr. Pier Giorgio Villani said in a series of webinars on six straight Tuesday evenings to alert other intensive care units what to expect. They started just two weeks after Italy’s first hospitalized patient arrived in his ICU, and 10 days before Donelson fell ill in Texas.

Villani, who works in the northern city of Lodi, described a battle to accommodate the constant flow of people needing breathing tubes. “We had 10, 12, 15 patients to intubate and an ICU with seven patients already intubated,” he said.

Amidst Pandemic, Frantic Doctors Trade Tips Across Oceans
Medical staff work at one of the emergency structures that were set up to ease procedures at the Brescia hospital, northern Italy. VOA

The video sessions, organized by an Italian association of ICUs, GiViTI, and the non-profit Mario Negri Institute and later posted on YouTube, constitute an oral history of Italy’s outbreak as it unfolded, narrated by the first doctors in Europe to fight the coronavirus.
Italian friends spread the word to doctors abroad and translations began for colleagues in Spain, France, Russia, and the U.S., all bracing their own ICUs for a flood of patients.
They offered “a privileged window into the future,” said Dr. Diego Casali of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, who is from northern Italy and was directed to the webinars when he sought advice from a front-line friend about how to prepare.

Dr. Jane Muret of the French Society of Anesthesia-Resuscitation also heard by word-of-mouth and, impressed by the breathing-tube lessons, posted a translation when France had only a handful of diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

“Now we can recognize our COVID patients” when they start showing up, she said.
Every tidbit about the newest baffling symptom, every trick to try, served as clues as the virus bore down on the next city, the next country. By the time Donelson arrived, Goff’s hospital was adjusting ventilator care based on that early advice.

But while grateful for the global swirl of information, Goff also struggled to make sense of conflicting experiences.

“You have no idea how to interpret what went right or what went wrong,” she said, “or was it just the native course of the disease?”

Even now, months into a pandemic first wave that’s more like constantly shifting tides, Goff is humbled at how difficult it remains to predict who will live and who will die. She can’t explain why Donelson, finally home after a 90-day ordeal, was ultimately one of the lucky ones.

Doctors in Italy were confused: Reports from China were suggesting a death rate of about 3% among those infected. But for the first 18 days, only the dead left the ICU at Bergamo’s large Pope John XXIII Hospital.

While the toll eventually dropped, 30% of the hospital’s initial 510 COVID-19 patients died.

After decades in practice, ICU chief Dr. Luca Lorini thought he knew how to treat the dangerous kind of respiratory failure — called ARDS, or acute respiratory distress syndrome — first thought to be the main threat.

“Every night, I would go home, and I had the doubt that I had gotten something wrong,” Lorini said. “Try to imagine: I am all alone and I can’t compare it with France because the virus wasn’t there, or Spain or the U.K. or America, or with anyone who is closer to me than China.”

Only later would it become clear that for patients sick enough to need the ICU, death rates were indeed staggeringly high.

By February, China had filed only a limited number of medical journal reports on how patients were faring. Lorini’s hospital tried to fill the data gap by dividing patients into small groups to receive different forms of supportive care and comparing them every three or four days — not a scientific study, but some real-time information to share.
The first lessons: The coronavirus wasn’t causing typical ARDS, and patients consequently needed gentler ventilation than normal. They also needed to stay on those ventilators far longer than usual.

“We made big errors,” Villani said, weaning patients off machines too soon.
Then mid-March brought another startling surprise: In a training video for U.S. cardiologists, Chinese doctors warned that the virus causes dangerous blood clots, and not just in the lungs.

Dr. Bin Cao of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing explained that as the virus sneaks past the lungs into the bloodstream, it damages the lining of blood vessels, forming clots in the heart, kidneys, “all over the body.” He urged American doctors to use blood thinners protectively in the severely ill.

In Italy’s epicenter, doctors were making the same discovery. Lorini described a scramble to get the word out via Skype and email. “This is a vascular sickness more than a pulmonary one and we didn’t know that,” he said.

Amidst Pandemic, Frantic Doctors Trade Tips Across Oceans
COVID-19 patient Stephen Donelson is applauded by family and health care professionals as he departs the Zale Hospital on the UT Southwestern Campus in Dallas, VOA

In the U.S., the finding of blood thinners made biological sense to Dr. Tiffany Osborn, a critical care physician at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“It means at least you’re not shooting in the dark. You’re trying something that from a physiologic standpoint makes sense,” said Osborn, who was living in a camper in her driveway to avoid bringing the virus home to her family after her long ICU shifts.

By April, many doctors were bowing to pressure to try a malaria drug named hydroxychloroquine that obsessed President Donald Trump. Osborn never understood why such a drug would work and, sure enough, it eventually failed when put to a real test.

But what else might be effective?

“We’re learning as we go,” Osborn said. “You could talk to me in two weeks and I might be telling you something that’s really different.”

When Stephen Donelson arrived in the emergency room, “we had very little hope for him,” Goff said.

The Midlothian man had undergone an organ transplant two years earlier, and the immune-suppressing drugs that prevent rejection of his new lungs and liver meant his body couldn’t fight the coronavirus. Goff’s first challenge: how to scale back those medicines just enough for Donelson to battle the virus without endangering his transplant.

Her second: He was fighting against the ventilator’s artificial breaths. So Goff deeply sedated Donelson, paralyzing his muscles to let the machine do all the work.

Hospital after hospital struggled with balancing how to get enough air into oxygen-starved coronavirus patients without further damaging fragile lungs.

Ventilation is like “blowing air into a sponge and all the little holes are opening up. The walls between the holes can be very thin. If you’re putting in a lot of air, it can damage the lining of those little holes,” explained Osborn, the St. Louis critical care specialist.

A trick the doctors shared with each other: Flip patients over from their backs to their stomachs — a procedure called proning that takes pressure off the lungs, which lie closer to the back. It also helps lower fluid accumulation in the lungs.

It’s not a one-time fix. Donelson stayed on his belly about 16 hours a day early on, as his doctors watched his oxygen levels improve. It’s also hot and heavy work: Every turn took five or six health workers, in full safety garb, working in slow synchrony to avoid dislodging his breathing tube.

Italy’s Alessandro Manzoni Hospital set a schedule: Start turning patients onto their bellies at 2 p.m. — it took more than three hours to work through them all — and then put them on their backs again at 8 a.m. when fresh nurses arrived.

Hospitals that specialize in treating ARDS knew how to prone before COVID-19 hit. For many others, it was a brand-new skill their workers had to learn. Fast.

“We’ve never had to prone anyone here before the pandemic, but now it’s like second nature,” Kevin Cole, a respiratory therapist at Fort Washington Medical Center in Maryland, said four months into the U.S. outbreak.

And some hospitals now are asking patients not yet on ventilators to simply roll over periodically, in hopes it might prevent them from needing more invasive care.

“What have we got to lose? That’s something that’s not going to hurt anybody,” Osborn said.

Even in normal times, critical-care specialists know they can’t save all their patients. But they’re used to more hand-holding. With this virus, even garbed in spacesuit-like protective gear, health workers must minimize time with infectious patients to avoid getting sick themselves. And family members are largely barred, too.

“My general way of doing things is, no one dies alone,” said Osborn, who holds her phone in front of dying patients so loved ones can say goodbye.

She paused to compose herself, and added: “If this is going to happen, and you can provide some comfort that maybe they wouldn’t have gotten if you weren’t there, that’s important.”

The newest lesson: Recovery takes a lot longer than surviving.

Back in Dallas, Donelson spent 17 days on a ventilator. When it was removed, he was too weak to even sit without support and the breathing tube had taken away his ability to swallow.

“He would try to pick his head up off the pillow and it would lob to the side just like a newborn baby,” said his wife, Terri Donelson, who for the first time since his hospital admission finally was allowed to connect with her husband through a videoconferencing app.

For days after waking up, Donelson had tremendous delirium, a dangerous state of mental confusion and agitation. He didn’t know where he was or why, and would try to pull out his IV tubes. Then a bacterial infection hit his lungs.

Then one morning, worried that Donelson suddenly was too quiet, his doctor donned what she calls her “full-helmet, Darth Vader-style mask, which cannot possibly help anyone’s delirium,” and went in to check on him.

“I rubbed his arm,” Goff recalled, asking him to wake up. “I said, ‘Hey are you OK, are you with me?’” and Donelson started trying to talk, at first too raspy to understand.

Eventually, she made out that he was wishing her a happy Easter. She can only guess he heard the date on TV.

The doctor and patient cried together.

That was Donelson’s turning point. He still wasn’t deemed virus-free but physical therapists cautiously spent a little more time helping him gain strength and learn to swallow. His first bite: chocolate pudding.

Terri Donelson countered the long periods of isolation by keeping the video app running non-stop, talking to her husband, and giving him quizzes to stimulate his memory.

Also Read: Research Shows Pandemic Leads to Higher Depression, Anxiety

“Little by little, with each day, he gains something new, something else reawakens,” she said.

Finally, on June 19, 90 days after the frantic ambulance ride, Donelson — still weak but recovering — went home. His doctor is humbled by his survival and anxiously awaiting better science to help guide care as the pandemic continues.

“If you have one patient who leaves a really strong impression on you, you may interpret that patient’s experience to be the hallmark. Until we have large, population-based studies of actual outcomes, it’s really hard to know what’s real and what’s not real,” Goff said. (VOA)

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Awareness Can Help Detect Sarcoma At An Early Stage

There are about 250 types of cancers out of which only a few major ones are talked about. Out of the many we are not even aware of, is sarcoma cancer, a cancer of the bone and soft tissues, says a medical expert.

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Dr. Manish Pruthi, Consultant – Musculoskeletal Oncology, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute, and Research Centre, told IANSlife: “A sarcoma is a rare kind of cancer. Sarcomas are different from the much more common carcinomas because they happen in a different kind of tissue. Sarcomas grow in connective tissue — cells that connect or support other kinds of tissue in your body. These tumors are most common in the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage, nerves, and blood vessels of your arms and legs, but they can also happen in other areas of your body.”

Though sarcoma accounts for 3 percent of all cancers in adults and 10-15 percent in the pediatric age group, the disease needs to be considered in the right earnest to save lives as well as limbs. There is a need to raise awareness as most cases get reported late.

“Usually the tumor goes unnoticed in limbs or an inappropriate surgery is done. This can lead to further damage and also pose a threat to lose the affected limb, which can have a significant impact on the life of young children and/or adults. We need to preserve the function of the affected limb and cure cancer.

 sarcoma
Though sarcoma accounts for 3 percent of all cancers in adults and 10-15 percent in the pediatric age group, the disease needs to be considered in the right earnest to save lives as well as limbs. There is a need to raise awareness as most cases get reported late. Pixabay

“Most of the primary bone sarcomas happens at a young age (<20 years) without known risk factors. So initially when the cancer is diagnosed, most parents are naturally in shock. In the national capital region, another major issue is that not many hospitals have sarcoma management teams, which comprises dedicated pediatric/medical oncologists, surgeons, pathologists, radiation oncologists, and rehabilitation services,” he says.

Talking about prevention, Dr. Pruthi says, prevention doesn’t play a role here, as there are no significant risk factors. So, what’s important is the early and correct diagnosis. One should not ignore the persistent pain or increasing swelling in limbs, which is not responding to conservative treatment. Usually, there is some history of injury, many of the times parents/children can implicate a persistent pain to injury sometime back.

Also Read: Google Searches During Pandemic May Predict Increase in Future Suicides

It’s not that every tumor/lump is cancerous; it could be an infection or a benign tumor. Sarcoma is a rare condition to have. Emphasis should be given on not ignoring increasing swelling or pain in limbs, especially in young adults, as it could be a sarcoma. Be aware, create awareness, diagnose sarcoma early, warns Dr. Pruthi. (IANS)

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2020 So far: OTT Platforms Turn Setbacks into Opportunity

The yearly and half-yearly summaries of the box office performance of films have been a ritual followed over the years. It serves to put on record the way the industry has performed at the box office over a year and check trends. A bit late, but still it needs to be put on record since the first few months of the year have changed the film industry forever.

The first half of the year 2020 started off on a positive note. But, as things happened in mid-March before the first quarter could come to a close, things changed. The pandemic of Covid-19 led to the closedown of all activities all over the world, which included not only the film industry, as in shootings, studios, cinemas, and all the other auxiliary activities.

Barely into 10 weeks into 2020, and the things came to a complete standstill. The period has not been productive and, hence, not very lucrative for the film industry. The box office has been dormant for the most part of this phase.

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There have been many strikes and closedowns in the film industry over the years. But, they were the industry’s own and not enforced due to any extraneous circumstances with no end in sight, as is the case this year due to coronavirus.

While we discuss the fates of few films that released before the Covid-19 and the resultant closedown, it will be very pertinent to discuss how the way entertainment is served to the target audience has changed in the few months following the lockdown in March till date.

The period saw the release of over 30 films. Rather an oversupply as has been happening all these years.

2020 So far: OTT Platforms Turn Setbacks into Opportunity
While we discuss the fates of few films that released before the Covid-19 and the resultant closedown, it will be very pertinent to discuss how the way entertainment is served to the target audience has changed in the few months following the lockdown in March till date. Pixabay

The first Friday of a new year is considered to be unlucky and no major film is released during that week. Hence, small films get playtime this week. Films like “Ghost Stories”, “Bhangra Paa Le”, “Sab Kushal Mangal”, “Shimla Mirchi”, and “Chhapak” were among over 30 films that released in the first 10 weeks till the lockdown.

That was till Ajay Devgn’s “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior” released on January 10. This was followed by “Street Dancer 3D” on the 24th and it looked like the year promised to be good for the industry.

Besides “Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior”, the other film to do well was “Baaghi 3”, released on March 6, though the film could not enjoy its full run at the cinemas due to the lockdown. “Angrezi Medium” was expected to do well, being a sequel to “Hindi Medium”, as well as the fact that it marked Irrfan’s return on screen despite his failing health at that point of time. However, soon as the film was released, a lockdown was imposed.

The film was slated to begin a trend, which a lot of filmmakers were to follow soon; that of opting for OTT release. There was no alternative for the makers but to continue with the film’s exploitation through whichever medium was available. It was a bold step but it went on to set a trend and opened an alternate medium for films that were ready for release. With uncertainty looming over the reopening of cinema screens, many more filmmakers followed and chose the OTT to release their films. No filmmaker likes his film to linger and would wish to cash in and move on to the next project. All a maker seeks is his work being taken to the viewer.

What has happened in the last four months is an exodus of films to OTT platforms, not waiting for the cinemas to reopen. The OTT platforms are buying film content in bulk, leaving nothing for the cinemas when they reopen!

2020 So far: OTT Platforms Turn Setbacks into Opportunity
OTT platforms save the year as the pandemic closes down cinema halls. Pixabay

When the filmmakers started opting for OTT platforms, some multiplex chains even threatened them with retaliation! Rather strange for a business house. These corporate houses with their marketing wizards, it seems, have never understood filmmaking or filmmakers. And, filmmakers chose this option only when it dawned that this corona lockdown could be indefinite. Besides, even when cinemas are allowed to reopen, it would be with many restrictions, which would tell on the box office collections.

What has happened during this period is that video streaming platforms that were an additional source of entertainment have filled in for the cinema halls. Along with the streaming episodic programs and already-screened films, it started acquiring films for premiere release. The move has changed the way the film business worked. The OTT buyers are many, which creates competition among themselves. This works well for the filmmaker.

Also Read: Prakash Jha on The New Education System

The multiplex owners have been making representations to the authorities for an early withdrawal of lockdown since the price of their shares has gone down drastically while the rentals for the properties are a recurring liability. They expected lockdown on cinemas to end, even if conditionally, by the first week of August, but that does not seem likely as of now. The cinemas, even when they are allowed to open, will find it tough initially owing to a lack of supply of new films, but incurring the running costs.

Film producers have heaved a sigh of relief as an alternate market has been created, with streaming platforms willing to buy films. For them, the show will go on. (IANS)

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