A GLOBAL AGREEMENT TO END DISRUPTION OF CORONAVIRUS MEDICAL SUPPLIES

The 2020 novel coronavirus pandemic has prompted civic and business leaders to rethink the global strategy in terms of emergency medical response.

One of the primary concerns of public health experts is the short supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) that threatened the ability of frontline healthcare workers to safely perform their lifesaving work during the pandemic.

In fact, governments around the world desperate to grab the remaining PPE for their respective medical communities began asking their citizens to avoid purchasing PPE for themselves. Some even released false information that n95 respirator masks do not prevent the spread of disease in an effort to curb private purchases.

75 nations around the world instituted harsh checks on exports of crucial medical equipment, prompting panic among public health officials desperate to stockpile the resources to battle the outbreak in their home countries.

The medical supply shortage created a number of negative effects that rippled throughout the interconnected global economy. Manufacturers were accused of price-gauging, and private entities began hoarding PPE for resale purposes at exponentially higher prices than their fair market value.

A new global agreement could alleviate the issue in the future, were another pandemic to break out. The agreement basically mandates that PPE vendors accept temporary restrictions on how much and where they can export medical supplies in times of crisis in exchange for promises from import countries to reduce or eliminate tariffs.

In this scenario, public health infrastructures benefit from guaranteed access to medical equipment while manufacturers benefit from the reduced barriers that governments around the world place on their products.

One of the primary anticipated effects of the proposed global agreement is to increase stability. Volatility, panic, and uncertainty largely drove the hoarding of medical supplies seen during the COVID-19 outbreak. Functioning markets with fair exchanges require a degree of stability and predictability. The proponents of this global agreement believe that it provides this much-needed stability in the form of a trade framework.

The proposed agreement is part of a much larger multilateral international process to develop a better, more integrated, more effective coordinated response. The globalized nature of supply chains and ever-increasing rates of international travel mean that nations are more reliant on one another than ever, in terms of protecting the health of their populations from infectious diseases.

HOW VETERANS ARE AT RISK FOR CORONAVIRUS

The coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly every nation on earth and people from all backgrounds, but several at-risk groups have been identified. While the elderly are facing the brunt of the disease, veterans are also among the most hard-hit by COVID-19 due to economic and health reasons. Here are many ways in which veterans are most vulnerable to the threat of COVID-19.

Age and Health Risks

The median age of veterans in the United States is 64 and the largest group of veterans served during the Vietnam area. Along with age predisposing many veterans to life-threatening symptoms, many have also been exposed to hazards while serving that have left them more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

More than 2.8 million were exposed to Agent Orange while veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq faced oil fires and burn pits and thus have higher rates of respiratory illness and asthma.

Reduced Access to Care

VA hospitals throughout the U.S. are routinely understaffed with 43,000 vacancies out of more than 400,000 staff before the pandemic. Routine visits have also been postponed at VA medical centers since mid-March. Many veterans face long wait times to receive care through the VA health care system.

Staff shortages are bad enough that Veterans Affairs Department employees have been required to return to work even after being exposed to the coronavirus with discipline threats and AWOL status for those who do not.

Already, more than 5,000 patients and 1,600 VA staff members have tested positive and over 300 have died.

Mental Health Concerns

Veterans are at a higher risk of suicide with 20 veterans committing suicide every day. Despite serious mental health concerns among veterans, including depression and PTSD, outpatient mental health programs for veterans are virtual-only or closed. In March, the VA handled over 150,000 virtual mental health appointments, three times more than usual. It’s predicted the suicide rate among veterans will increase with these conditions.

Jail and Homelessness

More than 181,000 veterans are in jail or prison and it’s believed that 45,000 are homeless on any night. Many more receive court-supervised treatment for mental health and substance abuse. Over half of veterans who are involved with the justice system have a substance abuse or mental health disorder.

The incarcerated and homeless face a mostly silent fight of their own against the coronavirus. While long-term care facilities have become hotspots across the United States for COVID-19, so too have jails, prisons, and homeless shelters.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE NAVY SEALS | Academy Medical | Charlotte, North Carolina

The Navy SEALs play an essential role in our nation’s security. The SEAL moniker in the name stands for the areas they protect; Sea, Air, and Land. They are the foundation of the Naval Special Warfare combat forces, a branch of the United States Army that helps protect the nation. The SEALs are trained to run Special Operations in all areas or environments. The process and training are incredibly complicated and involves mental, emotional, and physical challenges.

We can trace the origins of the SEALs back to World War 2. The SEALs are similar to some of the Scouts and Raiders, Office of Strategic Services, Operational Swimmers, Underwater Demolition Teams, Combat Demolition Units, and Motor Torpedo Boat Squadrons of World War II. None of those original organizations still exist today, but they did inspire the current system. 

During World War 2, a significant amount of battles occurred on beaches and the water. The increase in that warfare required special operations; therefore, the select Navy and Army personnel gathered together at the Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, on 15 August 1942 to begin Amphibious Scouts and Raiders (Joint) training. The Scouts and Raider’s job was to identify, capture, and defend the beach objective. One of the first members of the force was Phil H. Bucklew, the “Father of Naval Special Warfare,” after the Naval Special Warfare Center building is named after him.

The first operation the squadron saw was Operation TORCH in November 1942, which were the first allied landings in Europe. Shortly after, in July of 1943, the second group of scouts and raiders, codenamed Special Service Unit 1, was born. Their first mission was at Finschafen on New Guinea in September 1943. Personal conflicts arose over how to conduct military operations, and all non-navy members were reassigned. The unit was renamed the 7th Amphibious Scouts conducted more than 40 operations throughout the Pacific until the end of the war.

The next Scout and Raiders organization operated throughout China, to fight with alongside the Sino-American Cooperation Organization, or SACO. With SACO, they established the core of amphibious warfare in China. Many more groups and sections were created to function both in the European and Pacific Theater, the Underwater Demolition Teams (UDT) became an increasingly standard part of American warfare. Throughout the entirety of World War 2, these special operations were a critical part of the allied war efforts.

The UDT was used throughout the Korean War in the 1950s. In response to John F Kennedy’s desire for the particular services to create opportunities for unconventional warfare, the Navy SEALs unit One and Two were born. They continued to function throughout every conflict America was involved in, to date. The Navy SEALs play a crucial role in the American Military system. The Navy Seals have played an incredible role in American warfare over the past 100 years, and the brave men and women continue to serve and protect this country today.

THE HISTORY OF VETERAN’S DAY

The United States of America was founded on certain unalienable rights. Since the country’s birth, the great men and women of the armed forces have fought to protect those rights from those that would violate them. Each November, the nation takes a moment to stop and thank those that have worked tirelessly to protect them from threats far and wide.

Not to be confused with Memorial Day, an observance held on the last Monday of the month of May honoring those fallen in combat, Veteran’s Day is an observance for those who have served, both living and passed. The day began with humble origins, a remembrance of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that Allied forces and Germany called a ceasefire in 1918, effectively ending World War I. It began with the name Armistice Day. The day continued to be Armistice Day, gaining traction as an annual observance in 1926, then a national holiday in 1938.

In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed by Congress as Veteran’s day, and the observance we now know was born. For most of its time as a national holiday, Veteran’s day has been annually celebrated on November 11th. However, in a bid to give federal workers a few three-day weekends, the Uniform Monday Act passed through Congress in 1968. For the first time in over 50 years, Veteran’s Day was celebrated on a Monday that wasn’t November 11th, specifically the Monday of October 25th, 1971. That didn’t sit well with the American public, since November 11th held a particular significance to the population. President Gerald Ford, in his wisdom, repealed the Act and Veteran’s Day was free to be celebrated and observed on November 11th again, starting in 1978, a decade after the act had been ratified.

Not to be outdone, the rest of the Allied forces hold a day of remembrance falling on November 11th or the closest Sunday.

There are many ways to honor Veterans, be it with a kind word, participating in the annual national moment of silence, or just a gesture of thanks. As a nation indivisible, it is important to remember that all gave some, but some gave all. Take a moment to thank a Veteran.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CATEGORIES OF MEDICAL SUPPLIES?

Medical technology and supplies continue to get more complex, specialized, and numerous. Organization of supplies becomes more crucial   ever to provide fast, efficient patient care in various medical settings. Medical supplies are put into 9 main categories.

1.Electronic: This category is about medical devices that are electronic, such as blood pressure monitors. Electronic and digital replacements are becoming more commonplace in modern times. Electronic medical records are in this category, replacing the paper records that facilities used to keep. Electronic replacements are becoming the preferred option.

2.Self-Care: Self-care or home care includes things like diabetic testing supplies, hearing aids, respiratory aids, and more. This category encompasses supplies patients use for at home health maintenance and support.

3.Diagnostic: This category includes devices that help test or screen patients for conditions. They can include: otoscopes, ophthalmoscopes, and Sphygmomanometers.

4.Surgical: This category encompasses everything needed for surgery. This can include the stainless steel tools, disposable caps, gowns, gloves, and shoe covers. Also included are drapes and gauze used for the patients during surgical procedures.

5.Durable Medical Equipment : This category includes patient safety equipment like bath safety devices. It also encompasses transfer equipment, walking aids, and wheelchairs. This equipment can be tested heavily for weight-bearing capabilities and to make sure it’s non-slip. The medical providers and patients need to rely on the equipment being safe.

6.Acute Care: This category references equipment that is used by medical professionals in hospital settings. General-purpose and minor procedure trays, as well as monitoring equipment and skincare or wound kits are included.

7.Emergency And Trauma: Emergency departments need to carry a wide array of items to serve a multitude of patients. Some items in this category are: diagnostics, respiratory aids, wound care, and minor procedure kits.

8.Long-term Care: This includes items that serve patients in residential or long-term settings such as assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, and hospice care. These items include: beds, mattresses, grooming and dressing aids, therapeutic chairs, mobility aids, and incontinence management products.

9.Storage And Transport: This category includes the items that are used to store and quickly transport the necessary medical supplies where they need to be. This includes: food carts, supply carts, linen carts, procedure carts, case carts, and storage carts.

HOW TO SUPPORT VETERANS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON

While veterans may be out of uniform, that is not to say they aren’t fighting their own battles daily. Veterans can often be overlooked at the holidays, but there are many veterans who would appreciate even an hour of your time. The following are great starting places to volunteer that time:

Volunteer at your Local VA 

One of the most treasured items you can give a veteran is your time. Locate the closest VA Medical Center to you and volunteer with the veterans. You may be asked to serve food or simply do a puzzle with a veteran. Keep in mind that the veteran you are helping may rarely receive visitors and your presence alone is a gift. To register as a volunteer, you can fill out an online form or contact the VA Voluntary Service Office at your nearest VA Medical Center directly. 

Lay a Wreath on a Veteran’s Grave

Wreaths Across America is an organization that allow you to donate your time or money in an effort to place wreaths on the headstones of every veteran in a veteran cemetery nationwide. This program operates out of over 1,000 locations, in every U.S. state. 

Adopt a Veteran

There are a multitude of programs in place that help to support lonely or isolated veterans.  Veterans in VA hospitals, assisted care homes, community living center, retirement homes, homeless and transitional shelters, and hospital domiciliary programs are all eligible. Even if you can’t find an official program, feel free to stop by your local VA Medical Center and inform them that you are interested in adopting a veteran. They will be more than happy to connect you with a veteran. 

The holidays are meant to bring about feelings of love, joy and happiness. Unfortunately for many veterans, the holidays induce further stress.  How can you best help those who have defended you? You can volunteer your time at a local VA Medical Center, lay a wreath on a veteran’s grave or even “adopt” a veteran. No matter what you choose, the gift of your time is always enough. 

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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