There’s been a huge spike in the number of seniors smoking pot and taking cannabis edibles

Nicole Lyn Pesce
MarketWatchFebruary 25, 2020, 12:42 PM EST
There’s been a huge spike in the number of seniors smoking pot and taking cannabis edibles
There’s been a huge spike in the number of seniors smoking pot and taking cannabis edibles
In fact, the number of Americans ages 65 and up who smoke marijuana or take edibles spiked 75% in just three years, according to a new study published in JAMA this week. Researchers analyzed the data from just under 15,000 adults in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and found that the number of those 65-plus who had smoked or ingested “marijuana, hashish, pot, grass and hash oil” jumped from 2.4% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2018. The new analysis found that the rise in marijuana use was highest among women (up 93%) and racial and ethnic minorities (up 336%) in particular.

Story continues

PR Newswire
Cannabis Dispensary and Cannabis Business Times Magazines Announce The Top 2020 Best Cannabis Companies To Work For
PR NewswireFebruary 25, 2020, 3:02 PM UTC
Top-ranking cultivation and dispensary business leaders will share best practices for company culture and more at the 2020 Cannabis Conference.

CLEVELAND, Feb. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Cannabis Business Times magazine (Cannabis Business Times) and Cannabis Dispensary magazine (Cannabis Dispensary) announced today the 2020 Best Cannabis Companies To Work For – Dispensaries and Cultivation. Profiles of the Best Cannabis Companies to Work For are featured in Cannabis Business Times’ February issue, and at CannabisBusinessTimes.com, and in Cannabis Dispensary’s January/February issue, and at CannabisDispensaryMag.com.

(PRNewsfoto/GIE Media)
(PRNewsfoto/GIE Media)
The awards program recognizes North American cannabis businesses that have created quality workplaces for employees.

The top-ranking cultivation companies are: OGEN By Bloom Cultivation, Calgary, Alberta; The Grove, Las Vegas, Nevada; ONE Cannabis, Denver, Colorado; and Jushi Holdings Inc., Boca Raton, Florida.

The dispensary winners are: Greenhouse Wellness, Ellicott City, Maryland; Jushi Holdings Inc., Boca Raton, Florida; ONE Cannabis, Denver, Colorado; Hashtag Cannabis, Seattle, Washington; and The Grove, Las Vegas, Nevada.

During the 2020 Cannabis Conference, April 21-23 in Las Vegas, Darren Brisebois, president of top-ranking OGEN by Bloom Cultivation, and Dr. Leslie Apgar and Gina Dubbé, founders of top-ranking dispensary Greenhouse Wellness, will share insights into how they create an exceptional place to work.

Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary developed the awards in partnership with the Best Companies Group (BCG), a global research organization specializing in recognizing great places to work.

“As the cannabis industry continues to rapidly expand, we believe it is important to recognize those companies that are dedicated to the best business practices and operations for themselves, their customers, and their employees,” said Noelle Skodzinski, editorial director of Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary.

Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary are the leading publications serving the cannabis industry’s cultivation and retail segments.

The Best Cannabis Companies To Work For awards are based on a comprehensive evaluation of each participating company’s workplace policies, practices and demographics— accounting for 25% of the evaluation. Company employees were also surveyed to assess the experiences and attitudes of individual employees with respect to the workplace—accounting for 75% of each company’s total score.

Full eligibility requirements can be found here https://bestcompaniescannabis.com/eligibility-criteria.

For more information on the Best Cannabis Companies To Work For program, visit www.bestcompaniescannabis.com.

Cision
Cision
View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cannabis-dispensary-and-cannabis-business-times-magazines-announce-the-top-2020-best-cannabis-companies-to-work-for-301010092.html

SOURCE GIE Media

Astronauts Could Mix Their Pee With Moon Dust to Build Lunar Bases

Photo credit: Aidan Monaghan/20th Century Fox

Researchers have made a 3D-printable building material by mixing urea and moon dust.

As NASA plans to return to the moon, scientists are looking for ways to protect and shelter astronauts.

The combined material is homogeneous in texture and can be piped into shape.

Was The Martian a documentary after all? In a new paper in the Journal of Cleaner Production, scientists looked at the ways space travelers might end up building structures on the moon, and one avenue they studied combines urea (from urine) with different materials to utilize urea’s unique chemical properties.

The researchers say this is a way to capitalize on what the moon already has, which is tons of rock, regolith (smaller rock particulate), and fine, silky lunar soil. By combining some distillate of urea from astronaut urine and the lunar silt, scientists have made a kind of geopolymer cement that can be piped using a 3D printer. In their experiments, they used a syringe to pipe the composite material in a similar way to a 3D printer.

Why urea? Well, once you decouple the ick factor, it’s a useful chemical. “Urea can break hydrogen bonds, and therefore reduces the viscosities of many aqueous mixtures. Since urea is the second most abundant component in urine (after water), it is readily available anywhere there are humans,” the researchers explain.

In the experiment, the scientists used powdered urea, which is available for purchase as a fertilizer, adhesive, and beauty additive. It’s also given to patients with very specific kidney problems and diseases. Humans naturally produce urea, of course, but it can also be derived from animals and plants.

Once blended with water, this liquid is combined with fine rock powder. We colloquially call all moon surface gravel regolith, but what this team used is technically more like lunar soil.

Photo credit: Journal of Cleaner Production
On Earth, we think of soil as something that’s often pretty damp and filled with organic material and microorganisms. Moon soil is simply rocks that have been ground down until they’re the consistency of dust—it’s just the pure mineral component, without the enlivening nutrients and living things that plants need.

This dry, lifeless dust is made almost exclusively by wind erosion. What results is more like plaster of Paris or Portland cement, ideal for mixing into a paste.

In their tests, the researchers found their piped urea mixture dried into a strong solid that they hope will be structural grade for things astronauts might need. They explain:

“Further studies are needed in order to assess how these lunar regolith geopolymers will behave under the severe lunar conditions, with a vacuum that can cause the volatile components to evaporate, and large temperature fluctuations which might cause crack formation.”

There are logistical and safety challenges, too. How could astronauts set up and shelter a 3D printing environment? Even if the material holds up to the extreme vacuum conditions on the moon’s surface, it’s not very useful if it can’t withstand meteor activity or shelter astronauts from powerful cosmic radiation. All of this is work for subsequent tests.

Caroline Delbert
Popular Mechanics

Twisted Nuclear Fusion Is Much Closer to Actually Happening

Photo credit: The HSX Team, Jerahmie / Public domain

Permanent magnets could help to stabilize and simplify stellarator fusion reactor design.

Stellarators look like huge metal donuts fully greebled with hardware sprinkles.

Permanent magnets would replace expensive to operate and complicated electromagnets.

A researcher in New Jersey says he had a nuclear fusion breakthrough while helping his son with a science project. He realized he could explore which kinds of permanent magnets could be powerful and stable enough to be part of a fusion reactor concept called a stellarator.

Michael Zarnstorff, from the Max Planck-Princeton Research Center for Plasma Physics, worked with three other researchers on the permanent magnet design.

“It is shown that the magnetic-field coils of a stellarator can, at least in principle, be substantially simplified by the use of permanent magnets,” the scientists’ new paper begins. A permanent magnet is one whose magnetic charge comes from the chemical makeup of the material itself, like the interplay between individual electrons. This is different from something like an electromagnet—whether that’s a copper wire electromagnet or the magnetic field generated by the Earth. If behaviors or assemblies generate magnetic force, that’s a temporary magnet.

These magnets can’t generate the required plasma flux inside a stellarator, but researchers say they can shape the course of the plasma and help to rein it in.

Like a tokamak, a stellarator—such as the one at the University of Wisconsin-Madison shown above—is a donut-shaped (toroidal) plasma stream that generates power by fusing light particles into heavier ones. These generators must be brought up to temperatures like those of the sun and other, well, naturally occurring fusion plasma generators.

But the stability of these generators is really up to chance, based on a carefully managed magnetic field. Extremely hot moving plasma ends up corroding the materials containing it, and these small changes can drop the temperature and throw the fusion reactor out of the power generating zone. This is where permanent magnets could change the landscape of plasma reactor design.

Permanent magnets can’t replace the entire magnetic field by themselves, but they can supplement and add structure, the researchers say. Stellarators and tokamaks are both torus shaped, but stellarators require twisting the plasma so it swirls through the donut in a spiraling form.

“Such magnets cannot produce toroidal magnetic flux, but they can create poloidal flux and rotational transform of the magnetic field, and thus help to simplify stellarator design,” the researchers say. In other words, the permanent magnets can be used to make more effective twists, which has been a snarl in the design process for stellarator prototypes.

“In the original design, the magnetic field was created by 20 nonplanar, modular coils of 5 different types,” the researchers say. “Leaving permanent magnets to do most of the plasma shaping, a new optimization was now carried out where only 8 identical, planar, circular toroidal-field coils proved necessary.”

Permanent magnets are fixed solids that don’t require special equipment, and using them to replace complex electromagnetic coils isn’t just simpler to build or design around—it’s simpler to maintain and keep at high temperatures.

Scientists have wondered for thousands of years if magnets could be used to make perpetual motion machines, and if nuclear fusion ever comes to the wider commercial marketplace, they’ll really seem to generate extraordinary, long-term power from very little.

Caroline Delbert

 

https://stacksocial.com?aid=a-t05y2r3p

5 Coronavirus Myths You Should Stop Believing Immediately

Edward Cooper

Let’s get one thing straight: you have every right to be concerned about the issue of the coronavirus, or Covid-19. At the time of writing, there are currently 139,000 cases and 5,000 reported deaths from the disease.

Similarly, as borders close and celebrities — including Tom Hanks — go into isolation or quarantine, concern about the spreading disease has hit fever pitch, with many people being forced to work from home or practice self-isolation, for fear of catching the disease. Let’s not even talk about the toilet roll hoarding or the myths about cocaine curing the disease.

All of this, however, doesn’t mean that your health, wellbeing and mental fortitude is out of your control. Far from it, in fact — as hundreds of news and media outlets churn out headlines designed to get clicks, drive engagement and boost traffic at the cost of social anxiety, there’s never been a more pertinent time to re-calibrate yourself with cold, hard facts.

Which, hopefully, is how you’ve found yourself on this page. We’ll help you separate the scientific fact from social media fiction on all things coronavirus to help you stay sane and stay healthy.

Now synonymous with the outbreak of Covid-19, the white face mask has become a symbol for a disease which has spread over several continents and can be seen being worn almost anywhere, from quiet residential streets to (unsurprisingly) crowded commuter transport. Face masks, however, aren’t a bonafide way of keeping yourself virus-free. It can infect you through your eyes and is transported through tiny particles, called aerosols, that can penetrate masks. However, for health workers and social carers dealing with the sick, face masks are an essential part of keeping both parties safe. If you bulk buy them on Amazon, you won’t be keeping yourself safe, but you might be preventing the people who actually need them from getting them.

Coronavirus Myth #2: Getting Covid-19 Means Certain Death
It certainly doesn’t. While media headlines focus on the rising death toll (let’s not forget it’s actually decreasing at its place of origin in Wuhan), there are approximately 70,000 cases of people recovering from the strain. In fact, according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 81 per cent of those infected have mild cases of the coronavirus and 2.3 per cent of those infected have died so far. Be aware also that that number refers to the number of people diagnosed, in other words the ones who presented to medical staff because they had the most serious complications. Many more people self-isolated and were infected but never diagnosed, so the true mortality rate is likely much lower.

Crucially, this means there’s no need to panic (or to stock up on tins and dried food), but instead to use this as an opportunity to encourage healthier habits, such as washing your hands more regularly.

Coronavirus Myth #3: You Need to Be Near Someone for 10 Minutes to Contract Covid-19
This is one of the most common concerns. Generally, hospital guidelines consider ‘exposure’ distance as being up to six feet from someone coughing or sneezing for up to 10 minutes. However, shorter interactions can also lead to infection. As can contaminated surfaces, although this is a less common cause of virus transmission.

Coronavirus Myth #4: Pets Can Transmit The Disease
Keeping an eye on your four-legged friend? There’s no need. While social media erupted over the ‘WHO let the dogs out’ joke, good news came in the form of findings being published confirming that, generally, dogs and cats can’t transmit the coronavirus to humans. That’s straight from the World Health Organization (WHO), who confirmed that companion animals show no risk of disease transmission.

Dad Jokes
@Dadsaysjokes
The World Health Organization has declared that dogs cannot transmit Coronavirus, and there is no reason to quarantine dogs anymore.

W.H.O. let the dogs out!

4,169
4:08 PM – Mar 6, 2020
Twitter Ads info and privacy
1,406 people are talking about this
Coronavirus Myth #5: Covid-19 Is Nothing Compared to the Flu
At a surface level, symptoms of the coronavirus and the seasonal flu share a few similarities — high temperatures, sore throat and a continuous cough — but that, of course, doesn’t mean that they should be treated the same. That’s because the ‘profile’ of the coronavirus, when compared to that of the flu, has a much graver mortality rate. Currently, this is much greater than the seasonal flu.

So, What Can I Do To Stay Healthy and Potentially Avoid Coronavirus?
We’re glad you asked. Thankfully, it won’t involve stockpiling toilet paper or tearing the last remaining packets of pasta off the supermarket shelves, but instead being a little smarter about your hygiene standards and how you approach your self care — both mentally and physically.

Reconsider Your Exercise Habits
Gyms and public workout areas could be a hotbed for picking up germs and, potentially, the coronavirus. “As viruses can live on a surface outside the human body for several hours, gym equipment is a prime culprit for picking up an illness,” said Dr Ravi Tomar, a GP at Portland Medical.

“The most effective way of preventing the spread of Covid-19 in the gym, or any other virus for that matter, is for people who aren’t feeling well to simply skip their gym session and stay at home until they’re sure it’s not coronavirus.

“If you’re feeling a bit sniffly and can’t work out whether it’s spring allergies or something more sinister, use a symptom assessment app such as Doctorlink to check before you head to the gym.”

Wash Your Hands (Properly)
This is a real no-brainer. You (and your smartphone) are almost certainly harbouring a lot of nasties. Thankfully, your body will be astute at repelling them, but as cases of the coronavirus rise both in the United Kingdom and abroad, it’s the perfect time to mop up your habits. Here’s how to nail it every time:

Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

Always wash your hands when you get home or into work, after touching rubbish, before bandaging wounds, before a meal and after using the toilet.

Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.

Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.

Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

Use Hand Sanitiser
Soap and water is always preferable, but if it’s not available, sanitiser will do. Ideally, you should use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that has at least 60 per cent alcohol.

Don’t Touch Your Face with Dirty Hands
Viruses can enter your body through your eyes, nose, mouth and other orifices. Placing contaminated hands on your face can lead to infection, so wash your hands before you touch your eyes, nose and mouth. And after using the bathroom, obviously.

Get Enough Sleep
An essential survival mechanism, sleep helps your body to recover and lowers stress. If you’re feeling ill, you should allow yourself as much sleep as your body needs.

Don’t Panic
Unless you have been in contact with someone infected with the coronavirus, then treat any cough or cold symptoms as normal. Currently, the NHS advises that people should call 111 instead of visiting the GP’s surgery to prevent the risk of infecting others.

https://stacksocial.com?aid=a-t05y2r3p

‘It’s not like flu’: Doctor’s warning to those underestimating coronavirus

Do not underestimate coronavirus
As the virus continues to spread in more countries, Professor Ian Mackay, virologist and associate professor at the University of Queensland, has warned the virus must not be underestimated.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia, he said many people he comes across daily refer to coronavirus as “just another flu” without seeing it as a “big risk”.

“It’s hard to stress how bad this could be if we don’t take it seriously.”

He noted how “advanced” medical teams in countries where the outbreak has soared have been forced to make the decision on whether patients live or die due to a lack of beds or staff to cope with “the sheer overwhelming number of sick people”.

Italy’s health system has been pushed to its limit as a result of the outbreak (Reuters)
Italy’s health system has been pushed to its limit as a result of the outbreak (Reuters)
“We’re seeing the virus spread and cause a lot of severe disease and while it’s not death, it’s still severe disease and it’s tying up a lot of healthcare resources. That’s not what we see every year from flu,” he said.

In recent days Italian media has broadcast footage of ICU units overflowing with patients, with the current situation labelled by Prof Mackay as a “cautionary tale”.

Weeks before, the plight of medical teams in the Chinese province of Hubei, the original epicentre of the virus, was widely documented as staff worked day and night in their fight against the outbreak.

‘This virus is not influenza’
Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus specifically warned the coronavirus outbreak shouldn’t be compared to the flu.

“This virus is not SARS, it’s not MERS, and it’s not influenza. It is a unique virus with unique characteristics,” he said.

Tedros reiterated that Covid-19 causes more severe disease than seasonal influenza.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has reiterated the effects of coronavirus are more severe than the flu (AP)
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has reiterated the effects of coronavirus are more severe than the flu (AP)
“While many people globally have built up immunity to seasonal flu strains, Covid-19 is a new virus to which no one has immunity,” he said.

“That means more people are susceptible to infection, and some will suffer severe disease.”

He noted the current global mortality rate sits at 3.4% while seasonal flus sit at less than 1%.

Tedros praised the work of countries working to contain the virus, such as Australia where a cluster of cases has occurred in Sydney’s northwest.

“We don’t even talk about containment for seasonal flu – it’s just not possible. But it is possible for Covid-19,” he said.

“It will prevent infections and save lives. Containment is possible.”

In a report on coronavirus issued by WHO in February, treating the virus as the flu will only cause further deaths.

“Building scenarios and strategies only on the basis of well-known pathogens risks failing to exploit all possible measures to slow transmission of the Covid-19 virus, reduce disease and save lives,” the report said.
Tom FlanaganNews Reporter
Yahoo News UK


https://stacksocial.com?aid=a-t05y2r3p

Donald Trump Wants You to Know He Has the Coronavirus Totally Under Control

Erin Banco, Asawin Suebsaeng
The Daily Beast

President Donald Trump is frantically trying to quell criticism that he and his team were caught off guard by the growing number of coronavirus cases worldwide, fearful that a narrative of dysfunction could complicate his reelection bid.

Advisers to President Trump have for weeks tried to gather data about how quickly the virus spreads, how it can be stopped, and how to contain an outbreak in the future. But those efforts have largely remained behind closed doors, leaving the public wondering what—if anything—the administration has been doing to address the outbreak. Meanwhile, as cases doubled, then tripled, across the globe, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have increasingly called out top administration officials to be more transparent and to declassify their briefings, accusing them of mixed messaging on the severity of the virus.

The situation came to a head Wednesday morning when Alex Azar, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, was grilled by lawmakers about the adequacy and breadth of the administration’s response. Azar, defended the effort and beat off suggestions that he would soon be replaced with a formal czar for coordinating the coronavirus response. Officials say that they don’t believe such an appointment will happen–despite reports to the contrary—citing the president’s support for the secretary both publicly and privately.

The Terrifying Reality of Trump’s Coronavirus Promise

Nevertheless, harsh criticism from Capitol Hill over the administration’s handling of the virus—dubbed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer (D-NY) as “towering and dangerous incompetence”—prompted panic in the halls of the White House early this week that the administration was losing grip on the narrative. The fear, according to two senior administration officials, was that not only lawmakers but the general public were becoming increasingly wary of the discrepancy between the president’s statements and those of the health officials leading the task force.

Trump and his closest advisers tried to downplay fears about the virus in an attempt to correct the market, which fell more than 1,900 points over Monday and Tuesday, according to two senior administration officials. White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow appeared on CNBC Tuesday, urging people to remain calm and insisting that the virus was contained to an “airtight” degree. At the same time, though, officials of the Centers for Disease Control, were pushing a different story: The coronavirus was contained but would soon spread more widely in the U.S.

Several senior officials told The Daily Beast that the State Department was in the midst of drafting new travel advisories for several countries, including Japan. The department issued an advisory for Mongolia Wednesday morning, which will allow for the voluntary departure of U.S. government employees from the country.

With the varying lines of messaging, the administration attempted to correct course—holding press calls and conferences—in an effort to assuage any concern that members of his team were behind the ball or at odds with one another. According to two national security officials, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien along with his deputy Matt Pottinger are coordinating the interagency efforts on the task force, additionally relying on several other NSC officials from the weapons of mass destruction directorate to draft ideas for prevention and containment.

Dow Plunges Amid Global Freakout Over Coronavirus Outbreaks

The scramble to get out in front of the story shows the degree to which Trump administration officials fear domestic political blowback for a response that has been increasingly questioned for its lack of clarity. While the president increasingly focused on downplaying fears about the virus spreading to fend off more economic repercussions, scientists and academics studying the virus have begun warning in more dire terms about the human cost of the virus spreading and the need to stockpile resources for the future.

As Trump tries to reassure the public that the virus—and the markets—are under control, the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services are aggressively advocating that lawmakers on Capitol Hill approve more funding for preventative measures. The administration requested additional funds to help handle the coronavirus response and prevention.

But Democrats in Congress have criticized the request as woefully inadequate as medical and political officials in some of their home states have already begun warning that they are, potentially, dramatically shorthanded for the coming pandemic. On Wednesday morning, Schumer requested $8.5 billion in coronavirus funding—more than three times the funding requested by Team Trump.

According to multiple doctors and administrators at three hospitals across the country, the need for more equipment—such as masks, gowns and gloves—has grown more dire by the day. At Bellevue Hospital in New York City, one of the country’s only designated coronavirus centers, the stockpile of masks dipped by hundreds over the course of a day when news broke in January that the virus had landed in the U.S. They’ve since been replenished but there are fears that the supply could dwindle again.

In New Jersey, an official with Gov. Phil Murphy’s office said the guidance from the federal government was “coming in fast and furious”, particularly over the last few days. “It is the nature of the outbreak,” the official said, who said the federal government had given the New Jersey team guidance on quarantining individuals in hotels or state facilities if needed. But there was no definitive promises to date for resources and only vague assessments as to how big the administration expected the pandemic to get.

“It is a complete guess,” the official conceded, when asked just how much money they would need.

Complicating matters is the seemingly disjointed approach that the White House has taken to addressing the evolving crisis. While top health agencies warned that it was merely a matter of time before it spread in the United States, President Trump seemed focused on controlling the narrative to prevent a financial crisis.

Over the past three weeks, Trump has, on multiple occasions, asked administration officials about the different effects the spread of coronavirus could have on the world and U.S. economies, according to two people present for the conversations.

“He referenced [concerns about] the stock market at least two times,” said one of these sources, recalling a discussion that occurred roughly two weeks ago.

A third source who spoke to Trump in the past few weeks said that the president mused about how his enemies could use pandemic fears against him. “Remember recession, recession, recession?” Trump said, the source recalled, referencing the media and cable news coverage late last year about the growing recession fears in the country.

Trump has privately said many times that his perceived adversaries in the press would “love it” if a recession occurred on his watch, thus crippling his chances at reelection, those close to the president say. Reached for comment Wednesday afternoon, the president’s White House comms apparatus made a point of sticking it to those alleged foes in the media.

“Unfortunately what we are seeing is a political effort by the Left and some in the media to distract and disturb the American people with fearful rhetoric and palace intrigue,” White House spokesman Judd Deere wrote in a statement. “The United States economy is the strongest in the world thanks to the leadership and policies of President Trump. The virus remains low risk domestically because of the containment actions taken by this administration since the first of the year.”

https://stacksocial.com?aid=a-t05y2r3p

How deadly is new coronavirus? It’s still too early to tell

LAURAN NEERGAARD

WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists can’t tell yet how deadly the new virus that’s spreading around the globe really is — and deepening the mystery, the fatality rate differs even within China.

As infections of the virus that causes COVID-19 surge in other countries, even a low fatality rate can add up to lots of victims, and understanding why one place fares better than another becomes critical to unravel.

“You could have bad outcomes with this initially until you really get the hang of how to manage” it, Dr. Bruce Aylward, the World Health Organization envoy who led a team of scientists just back from China, warned Tuesday.

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEATH RATE?

In the central China city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus first exploded, 2% to 4% of patients have died, according to WHO. But in the rest of hard-hit China, the death rate was strikingly lower, 0.7%.

There’s nothing different about the virus from one place to another. Instead, the never-before-seen strain of coronavirus struck Wuhan fast — before anyone knew what the illness was — and overwhelmed health facilities. As is usual at the beginning of an outbreak, the first patients were severely ill before they sought care, Aylward said.

By the time people were getting sick in other parts of China, authorities were better able to spot milder cases — meaning there were more known infections for each death counted.

And while there are no specific treatments for COVID-19, earlier supportive care may help, too. China went from about 15 days between onset of symptoms and hospitalization early in the outbreak, to about three days more recently.

Still, Aylward expressed frustration at people saying: “’Oh, the mortality rate’s not so bad because there’s way more mild cases.’ Sorry, the same number of people that were dying, still die.”

WHAT ABOUT DEATHS OUTSIDE OF CHINA?

Until the past week, most people diagnosed outside of China had become infected while traveling there.

People who travel generally are healthier and thus may be better able to recover, noted Johns Hopkins University outbreak specialist Lauren Sauer. And countries began screening returning travelers, spotting infections far earlier in places where the medical system wasn’t already strained.

That’s now changing, with clusters of cases in Japan, Italy and Iran, and the death toll outside of China growing.

Aylward cautioned that authorities should be careful of “artificially high” death rates early on: Some of those countries likely are seeing the sickest patients at first and missing milder cases, just like Wuhan did.

HOW DOES COVID-19 COMPARE TO OTHER DISEASES?

A cousin of this new virus caused the far deadlier severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003, and about 10% of SARS patients died.

Flu is a different virus family, and some strains are deadlier than others. On average, the death rate from seasonal flu is about 0.1%, said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

That’s far lower than what has been calculated so far for COVID-19. But millions of people get the flu every year around the world, leading to an annual death toll in the hundreds of thousands.

WHO’S MOST AT RISK FROM COVID-19?

Older people, especially those with chronic illnesses such as heart or lung diseases, are more at risk.

Among younger people, deaths are rarer, Aylward said. But some young deaths have made headlines, such as the 34-year-old doctor in China who was reprimanded by communist authorities for sounding an early alarm about the virus only to later succumb to it.

In China, 80% of patients are mildly ill when the virus is detected, compared with 13% who already are severely ill. While the sickest to start with are at highest risk of death, Aylward said, a fraction of the mildly ill do go on to die — for unknown reasons.

On average, however, WHO says people with mild cases recover in about two weeks, while those who are sicker can take anywhere from three to six weeks.

There’s been a huge spike in the number of seniors smoking pot and taking cannabis edibles By Nicole Lyn Pesce

Cannabis use among older Americans jumped 75% in just three years, new research finds, especially among women, minorities and diabetics

manonallard/iStock
More adults over 65 are getting high, a new study finds.

These seniors don’t fear the reefer.

In fact, the number of Americans ages 65 and up who smoke marijuana or take edibles spiked 75% in just three years, according to a new study published in JAMA this week.

Researchers analyzed the data from just under 15,000 adults in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, and found that the number of those 65-plus who had smoked or ingested “marijuana, hashish, pot, grass and hash oil” jumped from 2.4% in 2015 to 4.2% in 2018. A decade earlier, just 0.4% of people in this age group copped to using cannabis in any form.

Related: Seniors at this upscale retirement community are really into cannabis-infused products

The new analysis found that the rise in marijuana use was highest among women (up 93%) and racial and ethnic minorities (up 336%) in particular. There was also a significant increase among Americans over 65 who were married (up 100%), college educated (up almost 114%), those who had been treated for mental health issues in the past year (up 157%), as well as those who reported incomes of $20,000 to $49,000 (up almost 139%) and $75,000 or higher (up 129%).

What’s more, a surprising number of diabetics are going to pot, with a 180% relative increase in marijuana use among those with diabetes between 2015 and 2018.

The survey didn’t ask subjects why they used cannabis products, however, so lead author Dr. Benjamin Han, assistant professor of geriatric medicine and palliative care at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, couldn’t definitely explain why these specific groups of people reported higher rates of marijuana use. In fact, the report notes that these numbers could be even higher, as there is still some stigma around cannabis use despite the fact that 11 states and the District of Columbia have already passed laws legalizing recreational cannabis use, so many subjects could have been hesitant to report their weed habit.

Related: Cannabis experts are hoping 2020 will be the year that New York finally legalizes weed

“Certainly the passing of medical marijuana laws in many states for a variety of qualifying conditions and diseases has played a role, and gotten the attention of older adults who are living with chronic diseases or symptoms that are difficult to treat,” Han told MarketWatch. “Also we have a large baby boomer cohort who has more experience with cannabis compared to generations before them now entering their 60s and 70s.”

Indeed, marijuana delivery platform Eaze has reported that boomers are its “biggest spenders by a fairly wide margin,” dropping more than $95 a month on weed, which is 53% more than Gen Zers ages 21 to 24 years old.

Related: They’re over 60, selling marijuana — and say it’s ‘pretty damn cool’

The new analysis also didn’t ask seniors whether they had conditions like arthritis, Parkinson’s disease or chronic pain. And using cannabis products for pain management is one reason why many seniors might consider trying weed, especially since a 2019 Health Affairs report found that 65% of people who use medical marijuana in the U.S. use it to treat chronic pain. The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine also reported evidence that cannabis and/or cannabinoids could help with conditions like pain, chemotherapy-related nausea and multiple sclerosis-related muscle spasms.

Related: More baby boomers use medical marijuana, but they want their doctors to get wise to the risks and benefits

But Han also cautioned that there is still a lot that we don’t know about the risks of cannabis, especially for older adults with more chronic medical diseases who take more prescribed medications. The report warned that there is an urgent need to better understand the benefits and risks of those 65-plus using marijuana products, especially since there was also an increase in cannabis use among older adults who use alcohol — and binge drinking among Americans over 50 has also been on the rise.

“As a clinician, I worry about how cannabis (depending on the dose of certain cannabinoids, route of administration) may interact with existing chronic disease or medications. I also worry about the psychoactive properties of THC that could predispose older adults to dizziness or falls,” he said. “While cannabis may be beneficial for certain medical conditions, we need well-done clinical trials to better understand the benefits and the risks for older adults.”

Nicole Lyn Pesce

 

https://stacksocial.com?aid=a-t05y2r3p

Aliens: could light and noise from Earth attract attention from outer space?

Jacco van Loon, Astrophysicist and Director of Keele Obse


Science Fisherman Catches Terrifying ‘Dinosaur’ Fish And Then Eats It

A man fishing in Norway pulled a fish out of the water that looks like something from another planet.

Oscar Lundahl, a fishing guide for Nordic Sea Angling, was fishing for blue halibut off Norway’s coast when he hooked something he’d never seen before.

Lundahl explained what happened to The Sun:

“We were looking for blue halibut which is a rare species about 5 miles offshore. I had four hooks on one line and felt something quite big on the end of it. It took me about 30 minutes to reel it in because it was over 2,600 feet deep.”

On two of those hooks were the blue halibut he was fishing for. But on a third hook was this monster.

One of Lundahl’s colleagues knew what this alien-looking fish is. It’s called a ratfish and is a distant relative of sharks. They’re believed to be about 300 million years old and only reside in very deep, dark water, which is why its eyes are so big.

The ratfish died while being reeled in due to the change in pressure. Lundahl didn’t want to be wasteful, so he took the fish home and cooked it. “It was really tasty,” he said. “It is a bit like cod but tastier.”

by Clark Sparky The Blast

https://stacksocial.com?aid=a-t05y2r3p