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“There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.” “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt” “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please” “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.” Mark Twain The Limerick is a very particularly English form of comic rhyming poetry. It is often nonsensical, and sometimes even a lewd form popular in children’s literature. Composed of five lines or five-line stanzas, the limerick adheres to a strict rhyme scheme and bouncy rhythm, making it easy to memorize. Typically, the first two lines rhyme with each other, the third and fourth rhyme together, and the fifth line either repeats the first line or rhymes with it. Although the origin of the limerick is not entirely known, it has an active, if not long, history. It appeared as a form in the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, first published in 1791 (as Mother Goose’s Melodies). Poets quickly adopted the form and published limericks widely. Among them, Edward Lear’s self-illustrated Book of Nonsense, from 1846, remains a benchmark. He preferred the term “nonsense” to “limerick,” and wrote many funny examples, including the following: There was an Old Man with a beard, Who said, “It is just as I feared! Two Owls and a Hen, Four Larks and a Wren, Have all built their nests in my beard!” This is a form of poetry that we can all participate in, write our own and have fun! Please read and have fun! A wonderful bird is the pelican, His bill will hold more than his belican, He can take
The Eastern Cape health system is reeling as health workers fearing for their own safety refuse to treat Covid-19 patients, putting added pressure on state and private hospitals scrambling to meet requirements ahead of an expected spike in coronavirus cases. On Friday, Frere Hospital in East London was ordered to immediately shut down over concerns that measures for stopping Covid-19 — including access control — were inadequate, and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) believes this situation is only the “tip of the iceberg”. The health crisis has been brought into focus by the death of five health workers in the province, including the wife of Amathole district municipality mayor Khanyile Maneli, a nurse at Victoria Hospital in Alice, which has created a culture of fear among their colleagues, many of whom have tested positive for the virus themselves.
With the world’s attention on COVID-19, I believe that now is the time to talk about another pandemic that’s been happening right under our noses: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). When infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungi stop responding to the medicines designed to treat them, that’s AMR. Resistance builds over time through overexposure to antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, or disinfectants. With ineffective treatments, these infections persist in the body and ultimately spread to others.
At times of crisis, expert opinion is crucial to formulate policy and direction. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the life-saving importance of medical leadership at national as well as operational levels. Innovation and rapid re-organisation have enabled healthcare systems to cope with the unprecedented demands placed on services in both primary and secondary care settings. While there have been genuine issues picked up in the media, this should not detract from the enormous value gained from medical engagement and the real and present opportunity to capture and change the way we lead healthcare over the coming months.
This is the fifth issue of COVID-19Report. We point you to the latest quality science on the pandemic. If you come across unfamiliar terms, there is a glossary at the bottom of the article. The Medical Research Council (MRC) has been publishing weekly updates of the number of registered deaths. This is vital to see the effect of the pandemic because deaths officially assigned to COVID-19 will be an underestimate. Throughout the lockdown actual deaths have been lower than expected deaths because of a decline in homicides and vehicle accidents.
The Ministry of Health and multiple media sources state that people with diabetes are at greater risk of COVID-19 than the general population. This has generated concern and uncertainty amongst patients with diabetes, their families, employers and indeed health professionals. I will summarise below what is currently reported in the literature as of 28 March 2020, recognising that this is a rapidly evolving situation and more will become apparent over the coming months. I have not covered the general information about coronavirus public health messages that apply to everyone with or without diabetes.
A BBC team tracking coronavirus misinformation has found links to assaults, arsons and deaths. And experts say the potential for indirect harm caused by rumours, conspiracy theories and bad health information could be much bigger. “We thought the government was using it to distract us,” says Brian Lee Hitchens, “or it was to do with 5G. So we didn’t follow the rules or seek help sooner.” Brian, 46, is talking by phone from his hospital bed in Florida. His wife is critically ill – sedated, on a ventilator in an adjacent ward.
The charity which runs the national domestic abuse helpline has had a 10-fold increase in visits to its website in the past two weeks. Refuge said numbers have “spiked again significantly” since it started recording rises during lockdown. The charity said the lockdown itself does not cause domestic abuse but “can aggravate pre-existing behaviours in an abusive partner”. Police figures suggest a wide regional variation in calls about abuse. Fears that social conditions created by the coronavirus lockdown could result in a spike in domestic abuse led the government to boost funding for services by £76m
Is it really safe for children to return to school and early childhood education? And what about the recent reports of Kawasaki Disease in children with COVID in the UK? The science of COVID-19 is moving fast, including the epidemiology. When the Centres for Disease Control released its first report on COVID in children on 2 April,1 there had been more than 239,000 cases of COVID and 5,400 deaths in the USA. In the analysis of 149,760 laboratory-confirmed COVID cases in the United States in February and April, 2,572 (1.7 percent) were children aged under 18 years. Due to the high workload of clinicians, clinical data was only available for a small proportion of affected children, so we should be careful about extrapolating.
Viruses are strictly intracellular and use the host cells for replication. Their structure is very basic and consists of a segment of nucleic acid surrounded by a protein shell. Even though they are structurally simple, they have efficiently utilised their nucleic acid in creative ways to increase their functionality and optimise their survival. Genetic mutations are a virus’s natural way to adapt quickly to pressure. Fundamentally, a “good” virus is one that survives. Once a virus has entered a host cell, viral replication is underway. The process becomes a race between host survival and virus survival. If the host wins, the virus is cleared through innate and adaptive immune responses. If the virus wins, large-scale virus replication results in host tissue destruction and disease, and possibly death of the host. Clinically, the immune responses mediated by cytokines result in symptoms such as fever, headache and myalgia. However, some viruses can cause tissue damage in the absence of an inflammatory response. That leads to asymptomatic infection and shedding of the virus which complicates case detection and disease control but is a survival advantage for the virus (1).

June 1, 2020 Archive

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