Home Authors Posts by Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn R. Bown

Kathryn - Our health specialist likes to share with the readers the latest news from the field. Nobody understands better than her the relation between healthy mind and healthy body.


The question of when to start a skin care regimen can be confusing for many people. Some believe that the early bird gets the worm, while others feel it’s better to wait until they’re older because their skin is less likely to change by then. However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.

Image source: Pixabay

This blog post will address what you should know about your age and how it can affect your skincare routine. It’ll also provide tips on how you can manage an aging face in different ways depending on where you are in life at any given time. Let’s get started.

Significance of Buying the Right Skin Wellness Products

Caring for your skin must be a top priority. It’s the first thing that people see when they look at you. However, to care for the skin, you must first understand that it needs different products. Nowadays, there are reliable online stores that can provide you with the cosmetic products you need.

Going for organic plant-based ones can be a great idea. Most skincare regimens will come with different ingredients; hence you’ll have a variety to choose from. Aesop, for instance, offers luxe skin, hair, and beauty care formulations. Nowadays, you can buy self-care regimens online easily. Choosing from a wide range of Aesop skincare collection increases the chances of you making an accurate selection. Stress is another factor that you should know since it can affect your skin significantly, especially when it comes to aging.

The Importance of a Skincare Routine for Younger Skin

There is no need to spend a lot of time and effort on skincare for those who are still in their teens. This is because your skin can take a lot without getting damaged or becoming dull-looking. As a result, a simple cleanser and moisturizer should be more than enough.

However, consider being mindful of how you cleanse your skin. It’s best to wash your face with warm water for a minute or less at most. You can follow that up by splashing cool or cold water on your skin – preferably on the side of your face that is not being washed. This helps close your pores and prevent dirt and debris from entering them after doing the cleansing.

You can also use a toner without alcohol on your face before applying the rest of your products. This will help keep excess oil at bay, leading to acne or breakouts if the removal takes long. Excess sebum buildup is always not recommendable.

The Importance of a Skincare Routine for Older Skin

As we age, our skin is more likely to be damaged and become dry and dull-looking. This makes it necessary to start adopting an effective skincare routine soon.

You may start using a gentle cleanser and moisturizer twice or more daily. You can also include an exfoliating serum in your routine to remove dry and dead skin cells. It’s important to note that you should be especially careful when choosing the right products for your face because your facial skin is thin, sensitive, and more prone to damage. This makes it easier for the product to penetrate deep into your skin and cause irritation or other problems.

It’s never too early or too late to start a skin care regimen. The right time is when you notice your skin needs it the most, which could be in your teens or later on in life. What’s important is finding quality products which you can do over the internet.

Image source: Public Domain Pictures

Becoming a doctor is one of the most rewarding yet challenging career paths to embark on. You have to go through years of school, pass complicated exams, and work through residency programs before even beginning your career. It is not until you successfully complete all of your schooling and survive your residency that you officially get your license and become a doctor.  However, once you become a doctor, it is essential to keep your license in good standing in order to continue your practice; losing your license through disciplinary means could be detrimental to your career, reputation, and livelihood.

If you plan on having a long successful career in healthcare, it is essential to avoid any mistakes that could lead to malpractice and the revocation of your medical license. Here are the top 5 most common reasons doctors lose their licenses.

Insurance Fraud

It is crucial for a doctor to be honest and ethical throughout all aspects of their work, especially when working with insurance companies. Make sure you always use the correct insurance codes and never change medical records. It is also unethical to charge uninsured patients different rates than insured patients. If you knowingly do any of these things, you risk criminal charges and losing your medical license.

Prescription Violations

Proper medication can be one of the best ways for a patient suffering from an illness or injury to heal and maintain their health. As a licensed doctor, you have the power to prescribe medications as you see fit to all of your patients. But with great power comes great responsibility: If a medical licensing board discovers that you are prescribing unneeded medication, prescribing the wrong medication, or abusing your power in any way, they could initiate an investigation and revoke your license immediately.

Substance Abuse

While working as a doctor is fulfilling, it is also stressful and mentally draining. The physician’s lifestyle can take its toll, and it is not uncommon for doctors to turn to drugs and alcohol in order to cope with their reality. According to American Addiction Centers, at least 15% of doctors suffer from substance abuse at least once throughout their careers. Data shows that alcohol is one of the most widely abused within the medical community; and since doctors have easy access to potent opioids, prescription pills abuse is also prevalent among doctors.

With that being said, doctors need to be substance-free and level-headed while on the job. Getting caught while under the influence could lead to losing your license and, therefore, your practice. At the same time, if you are honest about your substance abuse, licensing boards will help you find treatment.


A doctor’s responsibility is to treat and care for their patients without judgment. Therefore, it is crucial for doctors to treat each patient with equality and respect. Doctors who discriminate against either patients or staff based on their race, gender, or religion, can lead to significant issues within the licensing board. If, after an investigation, they find you guilty of discrimination, you could lose your license for good. 

Abuse and Misconduct

Last but not least, if a doctor is found to be taking advantage of a patient or staff member in a physical, sexual, or abusive manner, or mistreating them in any way that inflicts harm, their license could be revoked. Abuse can be defined as any act of verbal or physical assault, unsolicited sexual advances, or an unethical relationship. As a doctor, you are held with a substantial amount of trust from both patients, families, and staff members. It is vital to uphold your role as a medical care provider and act in an upstanding and respectable fashion.

Keeping on the Straight and Narrow

There are many reasons why doctors end up losing their licenses and ruining their careers. However, if you are careful to follow all of the rules and work ethically, you will have a long and fulfilling career as a doctor.


Shopping online can be intimidating, especially if you’re looking for furniture. There are tons of horror stories that exist when it comes to bad furniture purchases. You may have one of your own that has stopped you from buying online. However, with the busy lives we all lead, wouldn’t it be great if there was an online store you could trust? Well, 1Stop Bedrooms is that store.

Shopping online will give you options you won’t get from a retail location. One of the more obvious is you can browse free of pressure. There is no salesperson following you around trying to rush you into making a decision. Online, you can read the specifications, features, and reviews. Take your time and compare sets before making a purchase. This kind of transparency allows you to make a well-informed decision.

The low-cost guarantee ensures there is a set for every budget. With up to thirty-six months of financing available, as well as free shipping on every order, you won’t find a better deal.

Search the brand name manufacturers and find a quality set for every room. Start with your living room since it’s a high-traffic area. There are leather and fabric sets to provide comfortable seating for you and your guests. If you don’t have a guest room, pick up a sleeper sofa for visitors.

Another space that serves many purposes is the dining area. There are dining sets of all sizes and in different shapes. Whether you want round, square, or rectangular, there’s a table that’s just right for you. Add personality to the set with a dining bench and fill any space with a cabinet or sideboard that complements the pieces.

Take a look at the complete bedroom sets that come in every style. There’s glam, French, contemporary, and more to choose from. Polish the look with comforters, pillows, and other accessories that show off your creativity.

Add pieces that meet your lifestyle needs. If you use make-up or want a dedicated space to refresh your look, a bedroom vanity has great storage and surface space for your items. Armoires and chests provide additional storage for your garments. Jewelry armoires are an attractive option to keep your valuables safely tucked away.

Think about how you plan to use the other spaces in your home. Do you want a game room? If so,  you’ll find game tables and sets that will provide hours of entertainment for your friends. Do you enjoy playing bartender from time to time? Then sort through the bar and wine cabinets for pieces designed for any space. Is there a home office? Then take a look at the desks, bookcases, filing cabinets, and other accessories that add to the room’s purpose.

1Stop is the only stop you have to make for your home furniture. You’ll find brand-name furniture for every room at sale prices that the competition will not beat. When your friends ask where you bought your new sets, you can brag, “I bought it here”.

Image source: Picpedia

We all have heard of the latest beauty trend, plastic surgery. A lot of people, especially celebrities, are opting for it to look their best. But what is the best way to prepare for it?

The first thing to do is research, so you can get more information on the different procedures that are available. From there you should find a cosmetic surgeon that you are comfortable with and then get in touch with them about your consultation. If they recommend surgery, then you should set up an appointment for a consultation before making any final decisions.

Once at the office, they will be able to give you some advice on what kind of procedure is right for you and how long recovery time might be needed.

You want to make sure that you are getting the best possible results from your surgery. Why not ask your surgeon some questions before he or she starts operating on you? Here are a few questions to consider asking:

Who will be performing the surgery?

This seems like a question that doesn’t necessarily need to be answered. However, this should be one of the first you ask. While you may have your consultation with one surgeon, it’s important to ensure that this surgeon will be the one who is performing your surgery. If it isn’t, it’s important to determine who will be.

After determining who your surgeon will be, don’t be afraid to ask for their qualifications and their experience completing this type of surgery.

What can I expect during and after surgery?

It’s never a good idea to go to a plastic surgeon without knowing what you can expect. It can be a painful experience for some people and a pleasurable experience for others.

It is not uncommon for patients to feel anxious or apprehensive about going under the knife, especially if they have never had surgery before. Most of these feelings are unnecessary and stem from the lack of information that patients have about what they should expect during and after their surgical procedure.

How much will the operation cost and how am I going to pay for it?

Another vital question. A lot of people are tempted to just go ahead with the operation without finding out how much it will cost. But, before you agree, find out how much it is going to cost and plan your financial situation accordingly.

Also, if you’re thinking about paying for the surgery by means of medical credit cards or loans, make sure that you read up on all the terms and conditions to get a fair idea of what those agreements entail.

How do you feel about my goals?

What are your goals? With the advancement in technology, there is no need to feel any pressure when it comes to achieving your goals. Some people want to know how their surgeon feels about their goals before they get surgery.

A plastic surgeon might have a different opinion about your goals than you do. They would be able to give you more supportive advice and recommend ways for you to achieve your goal in the safest way possible.

What are the risks and complications associated with this procedure?

The question of how safe plastic surgery is can be a complex one. The risks and complications associated with plastic surgery depend on the type of procedure and the doctor performing it so be sure to ask what you can expect.

How long does it take for me to return to my normal life after this surgery?

Many patients are not aware of how long it will take to get back to their normal life after plastic surgery. It can be difficult for them to see the changes in their daily life.

Plastic surgeons want you to know that you should expect some changes in your daily routine after undergoing any type of plastic surgery. Some of the changes could be more noticeable than others, but most people can expect that it will take a while before they are back to their old self again.

Regardless of what type of cosmetic procedure you plan to undergo, It is essential that you ask your plastic surgeon questions beforehand. Remember to always seek a physician who supports your decision and understands your goals.

Image source Pexels

Aging brings with it a host of life changes, from how our bodies work to how people interact with us. It’s typical to lose some mental sharpness over the years. In fact, some studies suggest that people’s mental skills can begin to dull in their late 20s, with a steeper decline in their 60s and beyond.

These mental skills are our most powerful tools for keeping our independence and having a satisfying life in our golden years. This may be especially important if we live alone or with diminished social interaction in an aging in place program.

Many of the challenges we face as we age are actually the same as we put effort into all of our lives. We sharpen up to react quickly in a crisis, and to come up with the right words when talking. We put effort into dividing attention between different tasks, and to perform tasks step by step, as well as placing awareness on listening and comprehension.

Memory is something we have to focus more on as we age and accumulate more memories, to remember past events and to commit something new to memory. We deal with problem-solving strategies, and use mathematical and technical skills. It’s only as we age that we have to think more deliberately about keeping all these faculties well tuned. So what should you be doing to keep these skills sharp?

Agile Minds Keep Moving

Physical activity, especially outside, is great for the body and mind. Even a brisk 15-minute stroll in the park flushes your brain with oxygen, lowers stress levels, and boosts your mood. People who exercise regularly can enjoy an improved memory and may think more clearly about novel problems.

Any activity will do, but aerobic workouts like dancing or jogging have the greatest benefit. Remember to talk to your doctor before beginning an exercise regimen.

Healthy Diets, Healthy Brains

A balanced, nutrient-rich diet gives your brain the building blocks it needs to function at its best. Remember that water is part of your diet – between 17% and 28% of older adults experience dehydration. Some of the first symptoms are poor alertness and fuzzy thinking.

Try to maintain a healthy weight and healthy blood pressure as well. This will lower your chance of stroke and ischemic (mini) stroke, which are some of the biggest contributors to cognitive decline in seniors.

Do you need to follow a specific diet? Not really. A lot of studies have focused on the Mediterranean and DASH diets. However, if you’re eating produce, lean protein, and healthy fats and are going easy on the treats, you’re on the right track.

Build Brainpower with Friendships

Research suggests that people who socialize more have a lower risk of developing dementia. Why? Interpersonal relationships act like a brain workout. You stimulate your mind by meeting new people in new places. Communication skills are built as you talk and debate other points of view. Social activities like senior classes and volunteering increase self-sufficiency and instill purpose. Finally, a strong social net helps people bounce back from brain-draining depression.

Quality is more important than quantity here. You’ll see more benefits from a close circle of friends than a long address book of people you haven’t talked to in a year. If you’re like many Americans who are planning on aging in place in the final home that you buy, having a social life will be very important.

Ban Stress and Embrace Sleep

High stress and resulting poor sleep wreak havoc on the brain. In fact, people of all ages will experience short-term cognitive decline when they’re bombarded with long-term stress. Poor sleep causes your ability to remember, learn and function to plummet.

It’s productive to relax before bedtime with habits and routines, such as avoiding electronics for an hour before bed, spending that time reading or catching up with loved ones. Sipping a hot, caffeine-free beverage, taking a bath, meditation or prayer are all habits of lifestyle that prove valuable at any age. You can set your medical alert system or smart watch to give you reminders at the right time.

Physical routines are good too, with gentle stretches to work out the knots in your shoulders, cuddle time with a pet or person. Some people keep a gratitude journal of good things that happened today, or vent their stress into a worry journal, to be set aside deliberately before sleep.

Learn Something New

Learning new skills and hobbies challenges your brain on multiple levels, from processing information to memory building and beyond. Look for skills that require you to actively engage. Two of the most effective ones are learning languages and playing an instrument.

Picking up a second language isn’t the easiest task in the world, but it enhances your brain’s elasticity and helps you process information faster. Think you missed the boat because you didn’t learn as a kid? Think again! Even seniors can get the basics down. Some of the easiest languages for English speakers to pick up include Spanish, Italian, French and German – a European vacation may be in the cards.

Learning to play a musical instrument stimulates minds of any age, helping seniors ward off a decline in speech and listening skills. Dust off your old skills if you once played an instrument, or begin from scratch with one of the more easily learned instruments, such as harmonica, bongo drums, recorder, ukulele or tambourine.

Cognitive Training, Your Way

There is no one special habit or technique that keeps aging minds sharp. Research suggests that a combination of activities repeated over time will slow down cognitive decline and may even reverse it.

You have a buffet of fun hobbies and health-boosting lifestyle changes that can all add up to a sharper mind. As jogging becomes too arduous, donate your running shoes and take up yoga instead, or swap something else in. Load up your life’s plate with many helpings of what you like, investing in a richer, mentally sharper life in your golden years.

Image source: Free SVG

In today’s technologically advanced world, we have just about everything we need right at our fingertips. In fact, you can even get diagnosed online by a doctor for a variety of illnesses without ever having to leave your home.

But despite all of our technology and advances in telemedicine, there are still some things that we need to be consciously aware of, and our health is certainly among them.

Maintaining proper health is essential to living a full and productive life. Essentially, without good health, it’s hard to function. And this can make even the simplest of everyday tasks difficult.

One condition that you should be aware of that can make your life miserable is that of acute heartburn. Even mild heartburn can cause problems if it’s consistent over time. But thankfully, there are a few strategies that you can employ to avoid getting heartburn.

Here, we’ll explore a few tips on how to avoid heartburn, before the burning starts.

Modify Your Diet

Perhaps the first and best line of defense for avoiding heartburn is to avoid the foods that are known to cause heartburn. This might be easier said than done because we all know there are tons of wonderfully delicious foods out there just begging to be eaten

But without a proper diet, those tantalizing delights could ultimately become your worst nightmare, especially in the case of acute heartburn.

Many of the foods that cause heartburn are predominantly spicy or highly acidic. These can include buffalo wings, Asian cuisine, and anything heavily seasoned with pepper.

Additionally, acidic fruits and vegetables can also be causes of heartburn, so even though a diet of vegetables is recommended by many nutritionists, it’s best to steer clear of those with high acid content.

OTC Medication

Many people think they can fool their stomach by taking heartburn medication before a night of heavy eating or drinking. And while this may work on occasion, it certainly isn’t a foolproof plan.

In fact, taking heartburn medication on a regular basis can do more harm than good because your stomach needs to produce acid on a regular basis in order to regulate proper digestion. Further, some heartburn medications are known to cause serious problems.

For example, the heartburn medication Zantac has been linked to various types of stomach cancers, and the drug is now the subject of numerous Zantac lawsuits across the country.

Rather than try to “beat the system” and take medications to mitigate heartburn, adjusting your diet and using natural heartburn relief methods have proven to be a much healthier and more effective method altogether.

Natural Remedies 

Of all the natural ways you can combat the onset of heartburn, perhaps the best method is rarely practiced.

You might be surprised to learn that saliva has a neutralizing effect on stomach acid. As such, many doctors actually recommend gum chewing after a meal. Not only does the saliva help calm an overactive stomach, the act of repeatedly swallowing will help to push stomach acid back down, out of the esophagus.

Other natural remedies include drinking calming teas such as those which contain Caraway or German Chamomile. Licorice root is also a safe, natural alternative for heartburn relief, and this can come in raw form or be added to a tea.

Beverages which are known to cure heartburn also include aloe vera juice, which has become the most popular in recent years, or the timeless classic virgin cocktail of aromatic bitters and soda. The latter has a near-immediate neutralizing effect on overactive acid production, and has been a remedy for a couple of centuries.

Heartburn is nothing to scoff at. And this condition can actually be so debilitating that sufferers often visit the emergency room due to the writhing pain they find themselves in.

At the end of the day, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So be proactive when it comes to dealing with heartburn and you’ll be able to enjoy your meals without worry.


Your smile is the world’s first impression of you, and as the old adage goes, first impressions are important. But looking after your teeth isn’t just as simple as brushing twice a day, although it’s a good starting point. If you’re looking to improve your smile, ask your dentist about these procedures to make you smile wider.

Image by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay


Things like red wine and coffee in your diet, as well as smoking, illness or a simple lack of oral hygiene, can all fade the bright whiteness of your teeth over time, a dentist in Weymouth MA details on their website. If it’s bothering you, there are options to whiten your teeth.

Your first move should be to talk to your hygienist. A simple, affordable, and usually very effective way to brighten your smile is to make an appointment to have your hygienist remove surface stains and plaque.

A professional teeth whitening can then be considered. Your dentist will guard your mouth and gums with a mold and then paint a bleach solution onto your teeth. They will then shine a lamp into your mouth to activate the solution and let it develop over 15 minutes.


If you aren’t happy with how straight your teeth are, there are ways to sort that – yes even in adulthood. You can talk to an orthodontist about crowded, crooked or protruding teeth and how to straighten them out with a range of options.

The option of traditional braces may not appeal as many others. They are made up of metal brackets glued directly onto your teeth and held in place with wires. They’re hard to clean and to get used to, but advancements in orthodontics have given those looking to straighten their teeth a lot of options to choose from.

For example, it’s possible to get lingual braces, which are simply traditional braces but glued to the inside surface of your teeth. They still come with the issue of feeling like a mouth full of metal and the difficulty cleaning them but are invisible to anyone not getting uncomfortably close.

Clear aligners are by far the most popular choice. Made from a mold of your mouth, they are adapted to your individual needs. They are removable, can be worn during the day without discomfort or throughout the night, and, best of all, they’re invisible. They are made from clear plastic that will not show even to the nosiest onlooker.

Bad breath

If you don’t want anyone gagging when you smile, then you better keep on top of your breath. Bad breath is caused by bacteria in your mouth. It can be avoided by drinking water, which will wash away whatever bacteria is trapped by food and other sugar-filled drinks that will promote bacteria in the mouth. Water will also promote saliva, which has antibacterial properties to aid in keeping your breath fresh.

Image by jorono from Pixabay

Whether someone is suffering from fertility problems like low ovarian reserves, PCOS, or unexplained fertility, there isn’t always a clear-cut answer regarding suitable treatment options.

Though IVF and IUI cycles might work for many, these aren’t always successful avenues for every person hoping to conceive. Often, a person is left searching for different solutions to combat their infertility issues – for example, donor eggs are commonly considered as an alternative.

However, many people wonder how complicated using an egg donor will be. They ask themselves questions like, “Is affordable donor egg treatment a possibility?” or “How thoroughly are potential donors screened?”

Thankfully, there are positive answers to quandaries like these.

When someone uses frozen donor eggs to conceive, they’ll receive many benefits which might not be possible with other fertility solutions.

Are You a Suitable Candidate for Frozen Donor Eggs?

Before leaping at the opportunity to use a frozen egg donor to start your family, it’s worth considering if you’d make an ideal candidate for the process.

Luckily, there aren’t many who wouldn’t benefit from this treatment!

Not only is egg donation an optimal solution for those who haven’t been successful during traditional IVF or IUI cycles, but it can also be a helpful alternative for people battling conditions and symptoms like:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Advanced maternal age
  • Irregular periods
  • Low ovarian reserves
  • People with genetic conditions
  • Early onset menopause
  • Poor egg quality
  • Unexplained infertility

Can You Trust Frozen Egg Donors?

One reason prospective parents may lean towards using a fresh egg donor instead of frozen is wanting a personal connection with their donor. They believe they’ll have more trust if they can meet their donor in person.

On the contrary, there’s nothing to fear when using quality donor eggs from a respected frozen egg bank.

Before a potential donor can begin their egg collection process, they’ll undergo a comprehensive screening examination. This includes various tests like background checks, psychological evaluations, drug screenings, and general health tests.

During this evaluation stage, clinics also collect information regarding the donor’s educational, family, and professional background.

Many of the results obtained during this process are made available to hopeful parents. In this way, they have an abundance of facts to help them make their decision and the peace of mind that comes from knowing their potential donor underwent detailed screenings before their eggs were collected.

The Benefits of a Frozen Donor Egg Cycle

Some individuals might ask – “Why would I choose a frozen egg donor if a fresh donation is possible?”

There are several reasons why selecting frozen donor eggs instead of fresh is an advantageous fertility treatment decision. Some of these include:

Low Costs

Unfortunately, overcoming infertility often comes with high costs which aren’t usually covered by insurance.

In the argument between fresh vs. frozen donor eggs, many people appreciate how much less they’ll spend on a frozen egg donation cycle than a fresh cycle. In fact, they often save thousands of dollars in comparison.

Further, reputable donor egg companies like Donor Egg Bank USA also provide various financial payment plans to suit the unique needs of all families, including LGBTQIA+.

High Success Rates

In decades past, fresh donor eggs were the optimal choice regarding egg donation success rates. Today, the success rates of fresh and frozen donor eggs nearly equal each other.

This leap in the reliability of frozen eggs is mainly due to a flash-freezing technology known as vitrification.

While labs previously froze collected eggs using slow-freeze technology which often led to ice crystal formation and cellular damage, vitrified eggs are exposed to advanced cryoprotectants before freezing to protect them during storage and thawing.

Flexible Start Times

During a fresh donor egg cycle, the donor and recipient’s reproductive cycles must be synchronized to ensure correct timing for collection and transfer. Unfortunately, this can be a challenge which sometimes leads to cycle cancellations.

Alternatively, since frozen donor eggs have already been collected, prospective parents have more flexibility when choosing a cycle start date.

Creating New Opportunities to Build a Family with Egg Donation

When you dream of having a baby, but your faced with one negative pregnancy test after another, don’t lose hope. Even if the situation seems impossible, other options – like frozen egg donation – are always available.

No matter how hard things might seem, remember your answer could be right around the corner.

Image source: Merck

Molnupiravir, an experimental drug for severe Covid developed by Merck, cuts the risk of hospitalization or death by about half, interim clinical trial results suggest.

The tablet was given twice a day to patients recently diagnosed with the disease.

Merck said its results were so positive that outside monitors had asked to stop the trial early.

The drug-maker said it would apply for emergency use authorization for the drug in the US in the next two weeks.

Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said the results were “very good news”, but urged caution until theFood and Drug Administration (FDA) had reviewed the data.

If authorized by regulators, molnupiravir would be the first oral antiviral medication for Covid-19.

Molnupiravir, which was originally developed to treat influenza, is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, preventing it from spreading in the body.

An analysis of 775 patients in the study found:

  • 7.3% of those given molnupiravir were hospitalized
  • that compares with 14.1% of patients who were given a placebo or dummy pill
  • there were no deaths in the molnupiravir group, but eight patients who were given a placebo in the trial later died of Covid

The data was published in a press release and has not yet been peer-reviewed.

Unlike most Covid vaccines, which target the spike protein on the outside of the virus, the treatment works by targeting an enzyme the virus uses to make copies of itself.

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Merck said that should make it equally effective against new variants of the virus as it evolves in the future.

Trial results suggest molnupiravir needs to be taken early after symptoms develop to have an effect. An earlier study in patients who had already been hospitalized with severe Covid was halted after disappointing results.

Merck is the first company to report trial results of a pill to treat Covid, but other companies are working on similar treatments. Its US rival Pfizer has recently started late-stage trials of two different antiviral tablets, while Swiss company Roche is working on a similar medication.

The company has said it expects to produce 10 million courses of molnupiravir by the end of 2021. The US government has already agreed to buy $1.2 billion worth of the drug if it receives approval from the regulatory body, the FDA.

Merck said it is in ongoing discussion with other countries and has also agreed licensing deals with a number of generic manufacturers to supply the treatment to low and middle-income countries.


There might be nothing more stressful than anticipating an upcoming complex surgery and/or medical procedure that just might save your life. However, all too often, medial doctors are placed on a pedestal. They are considered infallible in their diagnoses and medical methodology. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Fact is, doctors and medical professionals are perfectly capable of making mistakes, sometimes big ones. Says the legal professionals at the Barnes Firm New York, when medical professionals including surgeons and doctors make gaffs, innocent patients can become the victim of severe injury and/or death. That’s why a patient who’s suffered from medical malpractice, along with his family, needs to contact a reputable personal injury attorney who specializes in medical malpractice to receive the financial compensation they deserve.  

In fact, medical malpractice is more common that you might have assumed. According to a recent report, more than 225,000 people die from it on an annual basis. But only 2 percent of these victims ever actually file claims. This is a shame, since medical malpractice can change the course of your daily existence for the remainder of your life.

That said, are you aware or not if you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice? There are several, all too common varieties of medical malpractice and being mindful of them will assist you in deciding if you have a case that needs exploring with a personal injury attorney.

Being Misdiagnosed

Statistics prove that misdiagnosis is the primary variety of medical blunder. The most common misdiagnoses include but are not limited to pulmonary embolism, stroke, celiac disease, heart attack, cancer, thyroid conditions, and Lyme disease.

Many times, a misdiagnosis isn’t due to sheer negligence on the part of the physician, but instead to symptoms that have presented themselves in ways the medical professional wouldn’t have noticed unless he or she was seeking them out. But if a doctor fails to diagnose a condition that they are fully trained to detect, it would then be considered a negligence case.

Misdiagnosis can be harmful to patients since it can result in a delay in treatment and/or sudden death. If a patient is made to undergo a medical procedure he doesn’t need, it can strap him with financial burden.

Diagnosis Delays

Delayed diagnosis is on par with misdiagnosis. A delayed diagnosis can result in harmful outcomes for a patient since their condition will progress in ways it wouldn’t if treated on time.

If a doctor has been less than thorough in the treatment of a patient, it will qualify for a case of negligence. One example of this is neglecting to order a specific test that the patient should have undergone considering his condition.

The key to establishing a good case of medical malpractice due to delay in diagnosis, is proving that your condition would be better had the medical professional started treatment sooner. With a case of cancer such as pancreatic cancer, this is difficult to prove since its possible the condition would have progressed rapidly even with treatment.  

Surgery Mistakes

It’s said that around 50 million surgical procedures are carried out every year in the U.S. alone. Thankfully, most of these are considered a success. But on occasion, a complication occurs, such as performing the wrong procedure, operating on the wrong part of the body, damage of nerves and organs, out of control bleeding, unsterilized surgical instruments, inadequate vital sign monitoring, and more.

Sometimes errors occur when a medical professional doesn’t read the patient’s chart correctly. It can also occur when they fail to review proper medical instructions, or when a patient is cleared “for the wrong surgery.”

At times, surgical errors result in minor inconveniences to the patient. Other times they can result in permanent tissue damage, disfigurement, permanent disability, or death.

Medication Mishaps

By going to a doctor for a medical problem you fully trust them to prescribe the right medication for you. But all too often medication mishaps occur and a patient is given a medication that’s 100 times or more of a dosage than it should be. Or a medical professional can prescribe the wrong meds altogether.

Some of the most common medication script errors are as follows:

–Prescribing the wrong drug

–Writing an illegible script

–Mishaps with medication prescriptions

–Improper monitoring a new medication

Medical malpractice can leave you and/or a loved one with lifelong problems that would have been avoided had the medical professional performed their duties the right way the first time around. If you feel you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, it’s imperative you consult with a reputable personal injury attorney. You might be due compensation that can greatly improve your financial wellbeing.


Everyone knows that getting into a new routine is challenging. Trying to make healthy habits like eating fruits and vegetables daily and working out regularly is especially difficult. It is important to remember that going from eating junk food everyday to a completely healthy and vegan diet is very challenging and is often destined for future failure. Instead, it is more effective to start making changes gradually and change your routine incrementally. This allows your mind and body to adapt to the change over time, rather than shocking it by changing all at once. For more advice, here are a few key ways to add a new workout routine into your weekly or daily habits:

Choose Activities You Enjoy

Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. Taking your dog on a walk or going for a swim are both great ways to get healthy exercise. By choosing workouts that you enjoy, you increase the chances of you sticking with them for a long time. Working out with friends or family can also make your workouts more enjoyable. Alternatively, hiring a personal trainer can help you stay motivated and on track to meet your goals.

Reward Yourself

One of the best ways to build healthy habits is to reward yourself for each time you workout or get exercise. This can include anything from buying yourself a new album or video game to going to your favorite restaurant. However, it is important to avoid choices like ice cream or fast food because these can hinder your weight loss or fitness success. Treating yourself every other week is more acceptable.

Pick New Activities Each Week

When you first start working out regularly, it can be beneficial to do the same exercises each time so that you get into a rhythm of working out. However, as you pass the one to three week mark, you will likely find yourself getting bored or burnt out. Therefore, it is important to change up your workout routine with different exercises or activities to keep each session fun and unique.

Collaborate with Your Doctor

Making a plan with your doctor for weight loss or getting into shape can help you create the right workout routine for you. The experts at RCMC Medical Center offer medical weight loss programs, nutrition counseling, and an individualized weight loss plan to help support your healthy habits. Doctor-approved appetite suppressants and medical HCG injections can also aid in weight loss.     


Overall, getting into a new workout routine doesn’t have to be miserable and painful. By encouraging exercises you enjoy, rewarding yourself for your efforts, and adding variety to your workout routine, you can help make exercising a long-term habit. Working with your doctor for weight loss planning can also help guide your routines and eating habits.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose Covid-19 vaccine has become the first to receive full approval from the FDA.

The vaccine had initially been given emergency use authorization. Its two shots, three weeks apart, are now fully approved for those aged 16 and older.

The approval is expected to set off more vaccine mandates by employers and organizations across the US.

It comes amid lingering vaccine hesitancy among many Americans.

In a statement, the FDA said its review for approval included data from approximately 44,000 people. The vaccine, which will now be marketed as Comirnaty, was found to be 91% effective in preventing Covid disease.

Acting FDA commissioner Janet Woodcock said that the public “can be very confident” the vaccine meets high safety, effectiveness and manufacturing quality standards.

Pfizer vaccine still has emergency use authorization for children aged 12 to 15.

The vaccine is being provided at no cost to Americans.

The FDA initially gave Pfizer temporary authorization – a clearance given if the agency determines the benefits of a product outweigh potential risks during a public health emergency.

This full approval is essentially permanent. The licensing process requires companies to provide the FDA with information on how and where the product is made, as well as other clinical testing data.

Pfizer Vaccine Can Target New Covid Variant

Covid-19: EU Kicks Off Mass Vaccination Campaign

Joe Biden Sets 100M Covid Vaccinations Goal for First 100 Days

Critics had been calling on the FDA to speed up this approval process as the US struggled with dropping vaccination rates earlier this year. The spread of the contagious Delta variant has already given some hard-hit regions a bump in vaccination rates in recent weeks.

While the agency took steps to increase staff and resources, it had previously said it would take six months to get the required data.

The approval ultimately came less than four months after Pfizer-BioNTech filed for licensing in early May – the fastest vaccine approval in the FDA’s more than 100 year history.

Polling data released at the end of June by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about 30% of unvaccinated American results said they would be more likely to get a vaccine if it received full FDA approval. The number rises to nearly 50% among Americans taking a “wait and see” approach to vaccines.

In a TV address on August 23, President Joe Biden spoke directly to the “millions” of Americans he said were waiting for full and final FDA approval.

“The moment you’ve been waiting for is here,” he said.

“It’s time for you to go get your vaccination. Get it today.”

Additionally, President Biden called on private sector companies and nonprofits to require employees to get vaccinated or “face strict requirements”.

Companies, healthcare systems, universities and other organizations are now expected to announce vaccine requirements as the country embarks on a return to normalcy. The US military has also said the vaccine will become mandatory for 1.3 million active-duty troops upon FDA approval.

To date, more than 92 million vaccinated Americans – more than half of the total – have received the Pfizer vaccine.


Discover Places You Can Visit On a Chartered Plane

Many people think about the privacy of traveling on a chartered flight as being a key reason for splurging on such a mode of transportation.

While being the only ones on a plane can be very exciting, going to even more private spots is a new level of exhilaration.

Rather than going on a vacation to Paris on a private jet, when you could travel there in first class, why not reserve a jet for a more intimate vacation?

There are remote areas in the world where commercial flights do not reach. But these private islands and other locations are accessible by chartered plane.

Below are some places you can go on a private jet, along with tips to make the most of your upcoming vacation.

Necker Island

An island owned by billionaire Richard Branson, Necker Island is only accessible by private aircraft charter. You would have to visit an area such as Virgin Gorda or St. Thomas before getting onto a plane or helicopter and making the final bit of the journey.

Unfortunately, you may need an invitation to get into such an exclusive island. Given the size of the landmass, there is only room for a handful of guests at a single time. The good news is that bookings do open up throughout the year, but you have to snag one very quickly. Such an island will give you the experience of a lifetime. You are literally at a location where an entire island has been set up to cater to your needs. What is not to love about such a vacation between luxury accommodation, water sports, meals, drinks, and staff waiting on you?

Amangiri Resort

The Amangiri Resort in Utah is another place you may ever see unless you rent a private plane. The spot is near Canyon Point, which means you have to go to Las Vegas and then take a private jet to the destination.

If you are concerned about the cost of such a trip, you should look at strategies for budgeting for a vacation. First, estimate how much you would spend on the airfare, hotels in Vegas, and your accommodation at the private resort.

Those who do have the means may want to experience such a vacation at least one time in their lives. By traveling to this 600-acre paradise, you can experience the very best and most luxurious time possible.

Between a flotation therapy pavilion, art galleries, pools, wine cellar, and a yoga center, you can experience one of the most interesting private spots in the world. The very feeling of being somewhere that only a handful has experienced is intoxicating.


Another exclusive destination, St. Moritz, is located in Switzerland. The slopes at this site are picture-perfect, while the weather is exquisite for most of the year.

You would fly into Geneva or another major city and then rent a plane that takes you to St. Moritz. If you have concerns about the cost of the trip, you can compare the differences between chartering or flying first class to some other European city for a vacation.

Going to a private spot such as St. Moritz may seem expensive, but so is flying first class to Paris or Milan. You have to decide whether you want a vacation that includes the hustle and bustle or if you prefer getting away to a quaint and charming spot in Switzerland instead.

Lake Tahoe

While you can always drive up to Lake Tahoe from nearby cities in California, you can always take a private jet there as well. Flying chartered within the United States is not excessively priced, which is why so many groups of friends and families can book themselves a flight to Tahoe.

Getting a direct flight to Tahoe is so much more convenient than having to fly commercial to Sacramento International Airport and then getting a car that takes you to Tahoe. The area itself is beautiful throughout the year, given California’s mild climate. The lake is one of the most picturesque places you will ever visit, while you can even add cities like San Francisco or Los Angeles to the next leg of your vacation.

Ensuring a Comfortable Vacation

Planning is the ideal way to ensure you have a comfortable vacation. People think taking spur-of-the-moment trips is fun, but having a clear idea of where you are going makes everything more enjoyable.

Say you plan out a vacation that includes chartering a plane. You would budget out everything to ensure that it is affordable. Then you can make the relevant bookings, take advantage of seasonal discounts, and plan the various activities that will keep you occupied during your trip.

Make sure you choose a spot that is amenable to everyone who is traveling. If you are going with a bigger group, get everyone’s opinion. If you can agree on a destination, you can even split the cost of the airfare and resort stays.

Make the Most of Your Trip

There is no better feeling than sitting in a private jet and flying off to a remote location. You may feel that the entire world is standing still while allowing you to have this wonderful experience.

Embrace such a vacation and ensure you have the best possible time. Plan the trip carefully, make a budget to ease your mind, and choose your destinations wisely.

When all the planning is complete, you can book a chartered flight, hotel, or resort stay and then focus on having the best possible time on your trip.

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Surgeries are often planned ahead by at least a month, and because of that, many of us try to be as prepared as possible.  We stockpile food and snacks, ask loved ones to agree to check in on us twice daily to ensure that we’re okay, and work to make post-surgery easier, and it can change how we experience it.

Post-surgery comfort and photos aren’t only affected by food and comfort, though!  The clothing you wear after surgery changes your level of mobility and can make it so that you feel some level of normalcy afterward.

Here are some must-haves in the post-surgery closet.

Button-Front Shirts

Whether you had your appendix removed or you’re getting a breast reduction, shirts that don’t require you to lift your arms over your head can be priceless.  Talk locally and try to gather as many front buttoning shirts as you can get.  The buttons mean you don’t have to reach up to pull on the shirt, and you can clothe yourself with a little ease.

Easy Shorts

The last thing you need after surgery is to have to lean down to pull on heavy and restrictive jeans. So put the denim aside and instead put money into getting comfy shorts for summer.  If you have someone who can help you after surgery and who will do your laundry, there’s less to worry about, but try to purchase at least ten cheap pairs of shorts if you are alone.  This will keep you more comfortable, more mobile, and less stressed about the steps of getting changed after surgery.


Easy shirts and shorts aren’t the other things you’ll be wearing after surgery!  If your surgery is particularly invasive, it may be a good time to look at post-surgery undergarments as well.  An excellent option for some is a post-op shoulder surgery bra, giving freedom of movement without worrying about hurting yourself more.


The main thing you should be wearing after surgery is flip-flops. However, you can also get away with slides or crocs, anything that doesn’t require you to lean fully over and secure or unbuckle a pair of shoes.  Although most people don’t go out or spend a lot of time away from the house, having the option available may help convince you into motion, which is a necessary part of healing.

Avoid At All Costs

There are some items of clothing you should avoid at all costs after surgery.  These rewire too much motion and can detriment your safety and your body’s ability to heal.  These range from button-down shirts to clothing with a lot of straps or pieces to it, to even high heels and boots with a lot of laces.  Although it may seem attractive, and you want to keep up what feels good to you while you heal, try to avoid anything that could actively harm you or make your life harder. 

Surgery is one of the most frustrating things to come out of in life. But, be good to yourself and plan thoroughly for how you’ll heal, and you’ll be back to health in no time.

Image by Elf-Moondance from Pixabay

Facing an afternoon energy slump is something that happens to most of us. It may be entirely normal for you, but in some cases, it can reflect a health issue. If your low energy levels affect your quality of life, you should talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying possible health conditions.

Even outside of medical conditions causing your fatigue, it can be dangerous to have low energy levels or feel fatigued at times when you shouldn’t.

For example, many car accidents and also accidents involving big trucks occur because of fatigue.

We think of fatigue as something that’s not a big deal, but it’s essential that you stay on top of it.

With that in mind, the following are some ways that you can naturally get past an afternoon energy slump.

Don’t Consume a Lot of Carbs at Breakfast and Lunch

You should choose healthy breakfast and lunch foods to keep you fueled throughout the day. If you opt for items that are high in carbs and low in protein, it can cause a spike in your blood sugar.

That spike can then reduce your energy levels.

Along with choosing healthy meals, don’t have many sweet snacks during the day and stay hydrated.

Many people are surprised to realize how much what they eat plays a role in their energy levels.

Be Aware of What Your Peak Productivity Times Are

In some cases, if you can’t altogether avoid your energy crash, you might at least want to find ways to work around it. For example, if you tend to be most alert in the morning, do your tasks requiring the most concentration during those early hours.

That way, if you do start to feel your energy waning, you might be able to do things requiring less concentration and focus.

For some people, learning to work with the rhythms of their body is more effective than trying to work against them.

Another way to work around your energy slump is to do collaborative work in the afternoon. The reason for this is that when you’re working with other people, it can help you stay more engaged instead of trying to do work on your own when you’re already feeling tired.

Go Outside

Sunlight and fresh air are good pick-me-ups when your energy is on the decline. You don’t have to go far. Just step outside for a few minutes and walk around your house or office building. If you’re driving, you might want to stop your car on the side of the road and take stretch breaks every hour or so.

If you move for just five minutes, it can improve your mood and help you feel better. It doesn’t have to be much to help you see benefits.

Use Essential Oils

Stimulating your senses can help you when you feel tired. Essential oils are a simple way to get a sense boost. You can smell an invigorating oil like peppermint oil and see if it makes you feel any better. You can also put just one drop under your nose, as long as you keep it away from your eyes.

Have a Cup of Green Tea

You might not want to have too much caffeine in the afternoon because it can keep you up at night, but if you drink green tea, it gives you a bit of caffeine and some other health benefits as well. For example, green tea has something called phytochemicals. These are energy boosters that don’t contribute to insomnia.

Rest Your Eyes

Eyestrain can be a factor that leads you to feel tired in general. Try to keep your computer screen at least an arm’s length from your eyes. Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes and look at something at least 20 feet away to avoid too much eye strain.

Turn On Music

One very simple and effective way to feel more alert and promote better memory and attention is to turn on music. Choose uplifting and energetic music. If you want to concentrate at the same time, go for music without lyrics.

Finally, if all else fails, try to set aside time in your schedule for a quick power nap if at all possible. Not everyone can do this either because of work or because naps make them feel more tired, but if you’re someone who can truly nap for just 20 minutes and you feel better then rather than feeling guilty about it, go for it. It can help you stay productive the rest of the day.


In recent years, telemedicine has become a useful alternative to seeing a doctor in person or addressing chronic health conditions. All it requires is an internet connection and some kind of teleconferencing application/service to take advantage of these services. They can also treat many different conditions as well as supply therapy or prescription services. Finding a telemedicine service that takes your insurance and provides access to an array of options is crucial to getting treated for non-emergency conditions. Remember that even telemedicine has its limits and there may be some conditions or treatments that are better provided in person. Despite this, however, there are plenty of conditions an online doctor can treat. Here is a quick look at five, covering both urgent care/quick care and chronic conditions:

Cold & Flu

Have you ever had a bad case of the sniffles, a terrible sore throat, itchy/burning eyes, or any combination of terrible flu symptoms that just make your day horrible? Of course you have! And you probably didn’t think about seeing a doctor or going to urgent care to address the situation. While over-the-counter cold and flu medications might help reduce the symptoms a bit, sometimes you need that little extra step of getting a doctor’s assistance. That’s where Urgent Care by way of telemedicine comes in. Instead of needing to go to an actual urgent care facility, you can get treatment for a cold or flu via a virtual doctor. The doctor will chat with you about your medical history, your current symptoms, and help you determine if what you’re experiencing is a cold or flu. Following the discussion/appointment, they can prescribe medication for treatment appropriate to helping you recover. Treated in this manner can allow you to recover a little bit easier because you don’t even have to leave your house, and can stay in bed resting while getting the treatment unit.

Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is a highly contagious inflammation of one’s eyes (specifically the conjunctiva). It might be because of a virus, bacteria, allergies, or a reaction to eye drops. The problem is that pinkeye spreads easily, but the good news is that it can be easily diagnosed. If you are doing your virtual doctor’s visit via a video call, the doctor will be able to actually see your eye and note what type of pink eye infection you have. If it’s just a phone call, they can still help you determine if you have pinkeye from your description of the symptoms. They can then prescribe treatment from there. Common treatments for pink eye include warm compresses, eye drops, or allergy medications.

Urinary Tract Infections

At some point in our lives, everyone will probably be afflicted with the dreaded urinary tract infection. A UTI has a number of symptoms and is caused by bacteria getting into the urethra. Burning sensation, a strong need to urinate, pain, and frequent urination can all be indications of an infection. During your telemedicine visit, the doctor will discuss your symptoms, history, age, potential risks, and other concerns. The questions will be laser-focused and highly specific to the individual. If the symptoms are indicative of a UTI, they’ll most likely prescribe an antibiotic to help clear up the infection and schedule a follow-up to ensure the infection is healed.


Asthma is a chronic condition and can be debilitating when an asthma attack strikes. Treating asthma usually involves inhalers and steroids, along with coaching from an asthma coach or allergy specialist. Asthma coaches help patients learn proper inhaler usage/technique, keeping the condition under control, and discussing ways to deal with the various asthma triggers in your environment. Treating your asthma with an online doctor or specialist mitigates cost, increases time efficiency, and helps the doctor help you ensure you’re following the treatment plan properly.


Depression can manifest itself in a few ways. Persistent depressive disorder is a long-lasting mood that is characterized by periods of major depression interspersed with less severe periods. Psychosis can also cause depression based on delusions of fear, guilt, poverty, illness, and many others. One of the most likely forms of depression is seasonal affective disorder, which rears its ugly head during the winter months. Signs of depression include:

  • A persistent feeling of being sad
  • Anxiety
  • Hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Appetite loss
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Concentration and memory issues
  • Minor aches and pains
  • Restlessness
  • Guilt
  • Feeling worthless
  • Fatigue

Teletherapy (a subset of telemedicine that covers mental health and wellness) can help treat this condition. Treatment for this issue can come through psychotherapy, specialized treatments, and medication. An online doctor can talk to you about the causes and treatments for your depression, in addition to diagnosing it. More importantly, they can prescribe antidepressants to help treat the issue. Going the online route can increase your comfort level and ultimately treat depression more effectively. 

China has rejected the next stage of a WHO plan to investigate the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

The World Health Organization wants to audit laboratories in the area the virus was first identified.

Zeng Yixin, China’s deputy health minister, said this showed “disrespect for common sense and arrogance toward science”.

WHO experts said it was very unlikely the virus escaped from a Chinese lab, but the theory has endured.

Investigators were able to visit Wuhan – the city where the virus was first detected in December 2019 – in January 2021.

However, earlier this month WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined the terms of the inquiry’s next phase. This included looking at certain science research institutions.

He has now called on China to be more co-operative about the early stages of the outbreak.

Dr. Tedros urged China to “be transparent, to be open and co-operate” with investigators and provide raw patient data that had not been shared during the first probe.

US Accuses China of Hacking Covid-19 Vaccine Labs

Speaking at a press conference on July 22, Zeng Yixin said he was extremely surprised by the WHO proposal because it focused on alleged violations of China’s laboratory protocols.

He said it was “impossible” for China to accept the terms, adding that the country had submitted its own origins-tracing recommendations.

“We hope the WHO would seriously review the considerations and suggestions made by Chinese experts and truly treat the origin tracing of the Covid-19 virus as a scientific matter, and get rid of political interference,” Reuters quoted Zeng Yixin as saying.

Yuan Zhiming, director of the National Biosafety Laboratory at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, also appeared at the press conference. He said the virus was of natural origin and maintained no virus leak or staff infections had occurred at the facility since it opened in 2018.

More than 4 million people have died worldwide since the start of the pandemic and the WHO has faced growing international pressure to further investigate the origins of the virus.


With 2020 now over, people are ready to put the isolation factors associated with the COVID-19 pandemic behind them. For many, the first order of business is travel! Currently, the demand for travel in the U.S. is high. However, the industry has changed since the 2020 interim year of lockdown and this in turn is influencing traveler habits. Here’s what we can expect to see.

Travel is Booming

Once vaccination options were announced, people immediately began to think about summer travel. During the first week of March 2021, Airbnb and VRBO saw a surge in bookings that even exceeded pre-pandemic levels. Other travel companies, such as airlines, hotels and online travel platforms, were also the busiest they’d been since before the pandemic.

This trend hasn’t stopped, and industry experts are projecting summer travel could thrive. A Tripadvisor survey in April found more than half of Americans planned to travel, but 97% planned domestic travel. Travel agencies report that business is shaping up to exceed expectations. Rising airline prices, typical annual gas increases, and even difficulty securing rental cars (at higher than normal prices) are additional signs of increased travel.

Accommodation Preferences

For the most part, hotels are projected to make a big comeback as travelers become more comfortable and ready to explore beyond their backyards, but vacation rentals are still the accommodation of choice due to people preferring to avoid crowds and shared spaces. People have generally gotten used to enjoying certain aspects of social distancing and this may not change as things get back to normal.

Families especially like to avoid the cramped conditions of a hotel room, where the kids have to be taken everywhere to eat and to be entertained. They have long found that rental accommodations with their own kitchens and a washer/dryer, and loaded with in-house entertainments and attractions are the way to keep the whole family happy and actually let Mom get some rest. Others are catching on to this, and Gatlinburg cabins are booming this year, as nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park, already America’s most visited national park, sees record-breaking numbers of visitors.

New Travel Trends

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the way people live and this is undoubtedly overlapping with their travel preferences. Workcations have now become a thing, as many employers embrace work from home – having learned during the pandemic that productivity didn’t drop just because people were out of the office. As a result, up to 80% of employers plan to allow remote work at least part of the time.

Workers have grasped the options for workcation travel, such as working for an extended period of time at a beachfront rental, or spending a week or two in a cabin by a mountainside lake, or even moving to another city and exploring how the locals live for a month or two. The possibilities are endless as people discover new ways to tick off their bucket-list places without using up valuable vacation time.

Pod Travel happens when people plan secluded trips with others they trust, to minimize risks associated with group travel. Travel pods are groups consisting of two or more unrelated households, multigenerational groups, extended families, solo travelers, and friend groups.

The idea is that everyone agrees to specific health protocols before and during the trip, even including a rapid test before meeting up to assure self and others of a clean bill of health. On the trip, participants stay contained within their pod to reduce exposure to other travelers. Travelers going pod-style often rent large homes, or charter boats, reserve small hotels, arrange tours designed for large private groups, or go camping.

Staying near family has renewed interest from people largely separated from their loved ones during the pandemic. Family visits are increasingly popular and the next few years will likely be spent catching up with family. Travelers are likely to stay with family or reserve a nearby rental home where they can socialize more privately. Multi-generational living has already been on the rise in America, and the same may be true for vacationing.

Health and Budget-Conscious

Going forward, travelers are likely to be more focused on safety and budget. Increased vigilance about health protocols and being budget-minded are likely to be dominating factors for travel planning even after this initial travel rush (aka revenge travel) is over.

The COVID-19 pandemic was an eye-opener and people will be more conscious of sanitary practices and promoting good health. Consumers are also less likely to take anything for granted – a travel opportunity today may not be there tomorrow, as the pandemic showed us. On the other hand, many have noticed how much money they didn’t spend in 2020 and are likely to be less impulsive and, instead, be driven by price.

Consumer Expectations

Consumer expectations are also evolving, and the industry is changing to suit. Companies associated with travel have been making goodwill gestures to try and lure people back. Hotel chains charging resort and parking fees are now lifting them, while airlines are offering more promotions and easier ticket changes.

Cleanliness is now a high value: accommodations, rental cars and airlines are promoting deep cleaning protocols. Businesses are discouraging people from traveling while sick. And the industry as a whole is offering more flexible refund policies and better customer service across the board.

From the traveler’s point of view, touchless and digital experiences enhance just about any aspect of travel, because people like the ease and control they have from their phones. The pandemic brought to the fore many desires for improvement that travelers had long held. Now, as the travel industry embraces its returning wave of travelers, we could see many improvements that make the nuts and bolts of travel easier and more fun.

China’s Sinovac Covid vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use.

Sinovac is the second Chinese vaccine to receive the green light from the WHO, after Sinopharm.

The WHO approval opens the door for the vaccine to be used in the Covax program, which aims to ensure fair access to vaccines.

Sinovac, which has already been used in several countries, has been recommended for over 18s, with a second dose two to four weeks later.

The emergency approval means the Chinese vaccine “meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing”, the WHO said.

Studies showed that Sinovac prevented symptomatic disease in more than half of those vaccinated and prevented severe symptoms and hospitalization in 100% of those studied, it added.

It is hoped that the decision to list the Chinese vaccine for emergency use will give a boost to the Covax initiative, which has been struggling with supply problems.

“The world desperately needs multiple Covid-19 vaccines to address the huge access inequity across the globe,” said Mariangela Simao, the WHO’s assistant director general for access to health products.

“We urge manufacturers to participate in the Covax facility, share their know-how and data and contribute to bringing the pandemic under control,” she said.

As well as China, Sinovac is already being administered in countries including Chile, Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Thailand and Turkey.

Sinovac says it has supplied more than 600 million doses at home and abroad as of the end of May. It says more than 430 million doses have been administered.

US to Share 60 Million Doses of AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine with Other Countries

One of Sinovac’s main advantages is that it can be stored in a standard refrigerator at 2-8 degrees Celsius. This means Sinovac is a lot more useful to developing countries which might not be able to store large amounts of vaccine at low temperatures.

The emergency approval came as the heads of the WHO, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank appealed for a $50 billion investment fund to help end the pandemic.

In a joint statement they said the world had reached a perilous point, and that inequalities in access to vaccines risked prolonging the pandemic, and many more deaths.

They have called for the money to be invested in areas including vaccine production, oxygen supplies, and Covid-19 treatments, ensuring they are distributed fairly.

They also called on wealthy countries to donate vaccine doses immediately to developing nations.


Losing weight is hardly ever easy. Even though we all might know the basic formula for shedding pounds and maintaining an ideal weight — to eat less and move more — there are other factors at play that cause our bodies and minds, as well as our environments, to wreak havoc with our chances for weight loss success.

If you’ve attempted one diet after another and struggled through every exercise program under the sun but still haven’t managed to hit your weight loss goal, it could be time for a different approach. Here are four tips to try; one of them just might help you ditch those stubborn pounds once and for all!

Do a (Natural) Cleanse

While an extreme cleanse isn’t recommended — it can starve the body of vital nutrients and lead to bacterial imbalances, decreased immunity, general malaise and sustained ill health — there are ways to boost natural detox processes within the liver, kidneys, lungs and skin. Drink water; eat healthy, protein-rich (not carb-loaded) food that aids digestion (like tea, healthy fats, berries and leafy greens); and keep moving! With impurities flushed away, your body (and especially your mind) might be more ready for  healthier living in the future, making weight loss more likely to obtain.

Practice Intermittent Fasting

Research shows that when you eat could be as important as what you eat when it comes to weight loss. And if that doesn’t influence you to try intermittent fasting, research also shows that fasting can help fend off and even cure certain diseases! Sign us up!

Basically, intermittent fasting involves limiting the time you eat to a few hours each day or to eating only a certain number of calories every few days. Normal eating patterns have us consuming food all day, every day. By limiting food consumption to a specific time period or specific caloric intake, the body is able to more readily exhaust available calories and start burning fat. And when our bodies burn fat, we lose weight.

Try Lipotropic Injections

Many people have had success using a specific combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to boost their weight loss progress. Usually given as a weekly injection, these shots (called lipotropic injections) are offered through many natural health and medspa providers (such as the Institute of Natural Health in St. Louis). It is believed that these added nutrients foster improved energy consumption and increase metabolism, thereby aiding in general weight loss.


There’s little doubt that the mind is a powerful contributor to overall health. There have been numerous studies that support the mind-body connection. Thus, it makes sense that controlling our minds can help us control our bodies. For instance, many nutritionists and other health care providers recommend meditation as a tool for clearing our thoughts so that we have the ability to focus on and commit to beneficial habits (like eating well, exercising and avoiding unhealthy triggers). When done correctly and consistently, meditation has been shown to improve the practitioner’s well-being and aid in his or her weight loss when needed.

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The United States will share up to 60 million doses of its AstraZeneca vaccine with other countries as they become available, the White House has announced.

The doses will be able to be exported in the coming months after a federal safety review.

The US has a stockpile of the vaccine even though its regulators have not yet authorized it for public use.

Critics have accused the government of hoarding the vaccine, while other countries are in desperate need.

Last month President Joe Biden pledged to share about 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with Mexico and Canada – both of which have approved the vaccine.

The crisis in India has also piled pressure on the Biden administration to share US health resources.

On April 26, the White House said it expected that about 10 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine could be released when the FDA finishes its review in the coming weeks.

It said that another 50 million doses were in various stages of production.

At a news briefing, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said FDA officials would carry out quality checks on doses before they were exported.

She added: “Our team will share more details about our planning and who will be receiving offers from here, but we’re in the planning process at this point in time.”

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The US has already announced that it will provide raw materials for Indian vaccine manufacturers as the country battles a devastating surge in cases.

In a “warm and positive” phone call with Indian PM Narendra Modi on April 26, President Biden promised more emergency assistance “including oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials and therapeutics”, a White House statement said.

Washington is also looking at supplying oxygen, Covid tests, personal protective equipment (PPE) and the antiviral drug remdesivir to India’s health service.

The FDA has so far authorized three vaccines against Covid- 19: Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). Experts say it looks likely that these will provide all the country’s needs and the AstraZeneca jab may not be needed.

According to the latest figures, more than 53% of adults in the US have so far received at least one dose of vaccine.


According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of people who have died worldwide in the Covid-19 pandemic has surpassed three million.

The milestone comes the day after WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the world was “approaching the highest rate of infection” so far.

India – experiencing a second wave – recorded more than 230,000 new cases on April 17 alone.

Almost 140 million cases have been recorded since the pandemic began.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on April 16 that “cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates”.

He added that “globally, the number of new cases per week has nearly doubled over the past two months”.

The US, India and Brazil – the countries with the most recorded infections – have accounted for more than a million deaths between them, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Last week saw an average of 12,000 deaths a day reported around the world, according to AFP.

However, official figures worldwide may not fully reflect the true number in many countries.

Up until a few weeks ago, India appeared to have the pandemic relatively under control. Cases had been below 20,000 a day for much of January and February – a low figure in a country of more than a 1.3 billion people.

But then infections began to rise rapidly: April 17 saw a record set for the third day in a row, with more than 234,000 cases reported.

Hospitals are running low on beds and oxygen. Sick people are being turned away, and some families are turning to the black market to get the drugs they need.

The capital Delhi has gone into lockdown over the weekend, with restrictions put in place in several other states, as officials try to stem the tide.

Brazil – which has recorded the third highest number of cases and, at 368,749, the second highest number of deaths – is still struggling to control the outbreak.

On April 16, the health ministry announced more than 85,000 new cases over the previous 24 hours and 3,305 deaths.

Canada has also reported a recent rise, registering more cases per million than the US over the last week – the first time this has happened since the pandemic began.

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Papua New Guinea has also been highlighted as a cause for concern. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, noted “the potential for a much larger epidemic” in the Pacific nation following a sharp increase in cases.

He added that Papua New Guinea – which has received 140,000 vaccine doses through Australia and the Covax scheme – is a “perfect example of why vaccine equity is so important”.

More than 860 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered, in 165 countries worldwide.

However, the WHO chief told UN officials on April 16: “Vaccine equity is the challenge of our time – and we are failing.”

Some countries have secured and delivered doses to a large proportion of their population.

Those with high vaccinations rates, such as the UK and Israel, have seen their numbers of new infections drop sharply.

While Israel has distributed 119 doses per 100 people, just 2.81 doses per 100 have been given in the Palestinian territories, recent data from Our World in Data at Oxford University showed.

However, many more countries are still waiting for their first shipments to arrive.

That is leading to warnings about growing “vaccine inequity”.

Dr. Tedros pointed out that in high-income countries, one in four people have received a vaccine, compared with only one in 400 in poorer countries.

The WHO is working on a global scheme, Covax, to get rich countries to share their vaccine with lower income countries. Covax plans to deliver about two billion vaccine doses globally by the end of the year, but many vaccines require two doses per person.

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Denmark has decided to completely stop the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine rollout amid concerns about rare cases of blood clots, the first European country to do so fully.

The move is expected to delay Denmark’s vaccination program by several weeks.

Drug watchdog the European Medicines Agency (EMA) last week announced a possible link with clots but said the risk of dying of Covid-19 was much greater.

Several European countries had previously briefly suspended the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Most have now resumed vaccinations with AstraZeneca, but often with limits to older age groups.

On April 13, the US, Canada and the EU paused the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for similar reasons over clotting.

South Africa has also paused its use, despite the Johnson & Johnson being its preferred vaccine because of its effectiveness against the South African variant.

For both AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, the blood clot side effects are extremely rare.

The EU’s vaccine rollout has been criticized by the WHO for being too slow, and there are concerns this latest delay could throw it into further turmoil.

Both vaccines work by a similar method, known as adenoviral vectors.

Danish officials said that all 2.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would be withdrawn until further notice.

The Danish Health Authority said studies had shown a higher than expected frequency of blood clots following doses, affecting about one in 40,000 people.

It comes after two cases of thrombosis in Denmark were linked to vaccinations, AFP reported. One of the cases, in a 60-year-old woman, was fatal.

Director General Soren Brostrom said it had been a “difficult decision” but Denmark had other vaccines available and the epidemic there was currently under control.

However, the authority said it could not rule out using it again at another time.

During the press conference the head of Denmark’s Medicines Agency, Tanja Erichsen, fainted and was taken to hospital as a precaution. The agency later tweeted that she had recovered.

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Almost one million people in Denmark have been vaccinated, with approximately 150,000 of them receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are also in use.

Adenoviruses are found in humans and other animals. Scientists use a modified version of one of these adenoviruses, known as a vector, to deliver important instructions to cells, according to the CDC.

They work by entering cells and using the cell’s machinery to produce a harmless piece of the virus that causes Covid-19, known as a spike protein. The cell then recognizes that the spike protein does not belong there and this triggers the immune system to fight back against what it thinks is an infection.

This process allows our bodies to learn how to protect us against Covid-19, according to the CDC.

Regulators are now investigating whether an unusual immune response to the adenovirus vaccines is causing the rare but severe incidences of blood clotting.

An official from the FDA told Reuters it was “plainly obvious” that the cases of blood clots linked to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine were “very similar” to those linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The US paused rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six women under 50 developed rare blood clots after getting the shot. In the UK 30 people had developed unusual blood clots and seven of them had died after getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, out of a total of 18 million vaccinated.

Some European countries have limited the use of adenovirus vaccines to older people, who have been less affected by the rare blood clotting condition.

After the Danish announcement, France said it viewed the AstraZeneca vaccine as an “essential tool”.

France will also go ahead with plans to give the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to those aged over 55, the spokesman said. The country has already received 200,000 doses. Belgium will also give the doses it has received, while Greece and Italy will not.

Meanwhile the Czech Deputy PM Jan Hamacek said he had instructed the Czech ambassador in Denmark to try to buy the 2.4 million AstraZeneca vaccines doses that the Danes would no longer be using.

Jan Hamacek said he would also travel to Moscow to arrange deliveries of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine – another adenovirus vaccine – once its use is approved by the EMA.

Denmark was the first country to postpone use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in March. It was followed by numerous other European countries.

In a separate development, the European Commission said Pfizer-BioNTech would deliver an extra 50 million doses to the EU in the next few weeks.

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Russia’s Sputnik V is the third coronavirus vaccine approved for use in India amid a deadly second wave of infections.

The Russian vaccine has been deemed to be safe, and works in a way similar to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine which is being made in India as Covishield.

Sputnik V gives around 92% protection against Covid-19, late stage trial results published in The Lancet reveal.

India has so far given more than 100 million doses of two approved vaccines – Covishield and Covaxin.

Sputnik V’s approval came on a day when India overtook Brazil to become the country with the second-highest number of cases globally.

With the total case tally of more than 13.5 million cases, India is now only behind the US which has reported more than 31 million cases. With 13.4 million cases, Brazil is now at number three.

The Indian government aims to vaccinate 250 million “priority people” by the end of July. But experts say that the pace of vaccination has been slow and unless the drive is scaled up, the target could be missed.

Sputnik V, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, initially generated some controversy after being rolled out before the final trial data had been released.

But scientists say its benefits have now been demonstrated.

The vaccine uses a cold-type virus, engineered to be harmless, as a carrier to deliver a small fragment of the coronavirus to the body.

Safely exposing the body to a part of the virus’s genetic code in this way allows it to recognize the threat and learn to fight it off, without the risk of becoming ill.

After being vaccinated, the body starts to produce antibodies especially tailored to the coronavirus.

This means that the immune system is primed to fight coronavirus when it encounters it for real.

Sputnik V can be stored at temperatures of between 2 and 8C degrees (a standard fridge is roughly 3-5C degrees) making it easier to transport and store.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which is marketing the vaccine, has signed deals to produce more than 750 million doses of Sputnik V in India with six domestic vaccine makers, according to reports.

Unlike other similar vaccines, the Sputnik shot uses two slightly different versions of the vaccine for the first and the second dose – given 21 days apart.

They both target the coronavirus’s distinctive “spike”, but use different vectors – the neutralized virus that carries the spike to the body.

The idea is that using two different formulas boosts the immune system even more than using the same version twice – and may give longer-lasting protection.

As well as proving effective, it was also safe with no serious reactions linked to the vaccine during the trial.

Some side-effects to a vaccine are expected, but these are usually mild, including a sore arm, tiredness and a bit of a temperature. There were no deaths or serious illnesses in the vaccinated group linked to the jab.

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As well as Russia, Sputnik V is being used in a number of other places, including Argentina, Palestinian territories, Venezuela, Hungary, UAE and Iran.

It will be weeks before Sputnik will be rolled out in India and until then, the country has to make do with Covaxin and Covishield.

Covaxin is an inactivated vaccine which means that it is made up of killed coronaviruses, making it safe to be injected into the body.

Bharat Biotech, a 24-year-old vaccine maker with a portfolio of 16 vaccines and exports to 123 countries, used a sample of the coronavirus, isolated by India’s National Institute of Virology.

When administered, immune cells can still recognize the dead virus, prompting the immune system to make antibodies against the pandemic virus.

The two doses are given four weeks apart. The vaccine can be stored at 2C to 8C.

The vaccine has an efficacy rate of 81%, preliminary data from its phase 3 trial shows.

India’s regulators gave the vaccine an emergency approval in January while the third phase of the trial was still underway, sparking skepticism and questions from experts.

Bharat Biotech says it has a stockpile of 20 million doses of Covaxin, and is aiming to make 700 million doses out of its four facilities in two cities by the end of the year.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer. It says it is producing more than 60 million doses a month.

The vaccine is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus (known as an adenovirus) from chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like coronavirus – although it can’t cause illness.

When the vaccine is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any coronavirus infection.

The shot is administered in two doses given between four and 12 weeks apart. It can be safely stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C and can easily be delivered in existing health care settings such as doctors’ surgeries.

The vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, which is currently being administered in several countries, must be stored at -70C and can only be moved a limited number of times – a particular challenge in India, where summer temperatures can reach 50C.

International clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine showed that when people were given a half dose and then a full dose, effectiveness hit 90%.

But there was not enough clear data to approve the half-dose, full-dose idea.

However, unpublished data suggests that leaving a longer gap between the first and second doses increases the overall effectiveness of the jab – in a sub-group given the vaccine this way it was found to be 70% effective after the first dose.

Image source: indiatvnews.com

India has become the “fastest country in the world” to administer more than 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, amid a deadly second wave of infections.

The country achieved the feat in 85 days, whereas the US took 89 days and China 102 days, the Indian health ministry said.

However, India reported a record daily increase of over 150,000 cases – and more than 800 new deaths – on April 11.

There are reports the vast vaccination drive itself is struggling.

This week, half a dozen states reported a shortage of doses even as the federal government insisted that it had 40 million doses in stock and that the “allegations” of vaccine scarcity were “utterly baseless”.

The inoculation drive aims to cover 250 million people by July, but experts say the pace needs to pick up further to meet the target.

Everyone aged over 45 is now eligible for immunization at vaccination centers and hospitals. Most doses have so far been given to frontline workers and the over-60s.

The third phase – which began on April 1 – opened amid a sharp uptick in Covid-19 cases. India has been reporting an average of more than 90,000 cases every day since then.

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On April 4, India became the second country after the US to report 100,000 new cases in a single day. More than half of those were confirmed in Maharashtra, which has India’s largest city Mumbai as its capital.

The country’s caseload had dropped sharply by the time it began vaccinating people early this year. It was adding under 15,000 infections daily. But cases began to spike again in March, largely driven by poor test-and-trace and lax safety protocols.

Experts say India’s second wave is being fuelled by people being less cautious – and mixed messaging by the government.

Since the pandemic began, India has confirmed more than 12 million cases and over 167,000 deaths. It’s the third-highest number of Covid-19 infections in the world after the US and Brazil.

India launched its vaccination program on January 16, but it was limited to healthcare workers and frontline staff – a sanitation worker became the first Indian to receive the vaccine.

From March 1, the eligibility criteria was expanded to include people over 60 and those aged between 45 and 59 with other illnesses.

The third phase included everyone above the age of 45.

India’s drugs regulator has given the green light to two vaccines – one developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University (Covishield) and one by Indian firm Bharat Biotech (Covaxin). Several other candidates are at different stages of trials.