Culture

It’s Time To Tell Your Family You Won’t Be Home For The Holidays And Here’s How

Here’s the truth: Covid numbers are increasing across the nation because of Thanksgiving. This means that it is time to make the tough call and cancel whatever in-person holiday gathering you might have. It is also time to tell your parents that you won’t be coming home for the holidays. It’s for everyone’s health and safety.

“Saturday Night Live” had a sketch showing the tough conversation we all need to have with our families.

Watching SNL’s “The Christmas Conversation” sketch is all too real. The holidays are some of the most important times for our families. It is the only time of year that the family regularly gathers to share gifts, love, and spend time together. However, Covid and the out of control post-Thanksgiving spread of the virus is enough reason to officially cancel any Christmas gatherings.

This year is going to require an unprecedented level of commitment not to see your family.

People around the world are being urged not to gather this year. Countries are implement restrictions on gathering to keep the spread of the virus under control. In the U.S., the Trump administration has not taken any steps to protect the American people leaving it up to the individual states to set their own restrictions to limit the spread of Covid.

So, how do you tell your family you won’t be there this year?

Start with the facts. It is important to remind your family that you are not skipping the holidays because you don’t want to be there. You are skipping one holiday season to keep everyone safe. We are all experiencing a surge of cases in the U.S. because people held in-person Thanksgiving gatherings despite the risk to public health.

There are a lot of factors that are at play when gathering with family. Gathering for the holidays at this point is dangerous and can lead to wide outbreaks of the virus among families. Before making the decision to gather, consider the well-being of your family.

First, the elderly are particularly vulnerable to developing serious complications if they contract Covid. This means that our abuelos are vulnerable to the symptoms and complications that can lead to hospitalization and death.

Second, underlying health conditions can make Covid fatal. This means people with diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and other major health ailments. The Latino community is one of the most at-risk communities for diabetes and heart disease. People with Type 2 diabetes, the type Latinos are most likely to develop, are at a higher risk of serious illness than those with Type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leading medical minds in the nation, is urging Americans to do the right thing and not gather.

Everyone is making the tough choice to forgo the holiday season with family this year. It is a way of keeping your family safe and healthy and guaranteeing another chance to gather next year. It is a hard choice for people to make but it is an important choice.

Be honest with your family about your concerns. Let them know that you are not comfortable traveling to them and risking contracting the virus and exposing everyone. Our family units are one of the most important things in our lives. This holiday season, give them the best gift and prioritize their health and safety but not merging households for an in-person gathering. Go virtual and keep everybody safe.

READ: New Mom Dies Of COVID-19 Before She Could Even Hold Her Newborn Baby

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Hector Vivas/Getty Images

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

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Study Finds Pandemic Lockdowns Hit Latinas, Black, Women Hardest Due To Likelihood Of Job Loss, Inability To Afford Basic Necessities

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Study Finds Pandemic Lockdowns Hit Latinas, Black, Women Hardest Due To Likelihood Of Job Loss, Inability To Afford Basic Necessities

Angel Valentin / Getty

Updated April 7, 2021.

We’ve known since the start of quarantine that the coronavirus poses extreme risks to those who catch it. But when it comes to those with respiratory diseases and other severe and chronic conditions, the virus caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 can be even more unforgiving.  Now, new studies are revealing that pregnant women infected with the disease are also more likely to become severely ill and die from Covid-19 than researchers might have suspected.

Still, while the results from two major COVID-19 vaccine trials have inspired some hope, researchers are still unsure as to how the new studies will affect pregnant people.

Some experts weighing in on the current vaccines say that pregnant women or nursing moms who want the COVID-19 vaccine should get one.

According to the Daily Mail, researchers found that low-income African-Americans and Latinos were up to three times more likely than high-income white men to suffer job loss, experience food insecurity, and “default on a rent or mortgage.”

In the study, which was published by JAMA Network Open, a team combed through data taken from one million people that participated in the US 2020 Household Pulse Survey. The surveys were taken between April 23 and July 21 to people across all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. “Researchers asked if volunteers had experienced any of the following due to the coronavirus pandemic,” the Daily Mail notes, including “unemployment; food insufficiency; mental health problems; no medical care received for health problems; default on last month’s rent or mortgage; and class cancellations with no distance learning.”

In a recent report it was revcealed that the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are effective in protecting pregnant and lactating women. The studies also found that the vaccine was able to pass protective antibodies from mother to newborns. “These vaccines seem to work incredibly effectively in these women,” one of the researchers of the new study, Galit Alter, a professor of medicine at the Ragon Institute stated.

“Pregnant women who opt not to receive the vaccine should be supported in that decision as well, a practice advisory from ACOG recommends,” WebMD shared in an article. “In addition, women do not need to avoid getting pregnant after receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, according to the CDC. The FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the vaccine on Dec. 11.”

After Pfizer and Moderna, revealed that they might have developed two promising high-profile vaccine candidates there’s still quite a bit of some uncertainty.

On December 11, the FDA said that they will allow pregnant and lactating women to access the vaccine. This is despite the fact that the vaccinehas hasn’t been tested on pregnant woman and remains unavailable for anyone under 16.

In an interview with Vogue, experts weighed in on why the clinical trials for major COVID-19 vaccines haven’t included pregnant people. According to the interview, “Historically, pregnant and lactating women have been excluded from clinical and vaccine trials because of safety concerns for the mother and child. But that exclusion can pose its own risks, a point that’s been repeatedly raised by the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and various medical professionals. “

According to USA Today, “Both companies have indicated they will seek a federal emergency-use authorization, in which the government makes the drug available before having approved it, based on the strength of early results. That means vaccines could be available to the general public by next spring… But since the vaccine trials have thus far excluded people who are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s unclear when the immunizations would be safely available for them.”

Reports released earlier over the summer, by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underlined that pregnant women with COVID-19 are at risk for premature delivery.

According to Hub, “A late September Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that among nearly 600 pregnant women in 13 states hospitalized with COVID-19 from March 1 through August 22, 16% were admitted to an intensive care unit, 8% were put on mechanical ventilation, and 1% died.”

In a recent report bioethicist Ruth Faden, who is reportedly the founder of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics says that the issue of the distribution of vaccines to women is sensitive.

“As more and more vaccine candidates progress to later-stage trials, we want to make sure that pregnant women have fair opportunities to participate in studies that may benefit them and their babies and also that pregnant women, as a group, have a fair opportunity to benefit from vaccines when they are authorized for use outside of trials,” says Faden, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management. “We want to make sure that their interests are taken into account from the outset so that we can generate the best possible evidence about safe and appropriate use of vaccines in pregnancy.”

The CDC’s latest findings reveal that that pregnant women infected by coronavirus are more likely to need intensive care.

While overall risk of severe illness or death is still considered low, the CDC says that pregnant women with coronavirus are at an increase risk for needing intensive care including ventilation, heart and lung support than women are not pregnant and infected by the virus. In a separate report published by the CDC researchers discovered an increase in the rate of premature birth just before the 37 weeks of pregnancy. The results found that 12.9% of women with coronavirus gave birth early compared to 10.2% who tested negative for the virus.

According to CNN, researchers behind the recent CDC studies reviewed data collected from 461,825 women (ages of 15 and 44) who tested positive for Covid-19 in the time between January 22 and October 3. The studies also only focused on those who experienced coronavirus symptoms.

Reports underline that these new developments highlight an increase in the number of reports related to the risk the virus poses to pregnant women. Speaking to CNN, Dr. Denise Jamieson, the chair of the gynecology and obstetrics department at Emory University School of Medicine, explained that the new research “demonstrates that their infants are at risk, even if their infants are not infected, they may be affected,” Jamieson noted on a call with reporters Monday.

“The team adjusted for outside factors and found that pregnant women were more likely to need intensive care, with 10.5 per 1,000 pregnant women admitted to the ICU, compared to 3.9 per 1,000 women who aren’t pregnant,” CNN explained about the report. “Pregnant women were 3 times more likely to need help breathing with invasive ventilation than women who aren’t pregnant. Similarly, they were at greater risk of requiring lung and heart support with oxygenation. They were also more likely to die, with 1.5 deaths per 1,000 pregnant women, compared to 1.2 per 1,000 women who aren’t pregnant.”

While the risks pregnant women face are low, researchers say that they must still take precautions.

This is particularly important as the winter months rise and coronavirus cases increase. “Less than 1% of pregnant women with Covid are admitted to an intensive care unit,” Jamieson told CNN. “However, they are at increased risk when you compare them to their non-pregnant counterparts.”

According to CNN, pregnant women should avoid gatherings, wear masks, and practice social distancing. “We’re learning more about how people are infected, and there is some new information that household contacts — so, people who are in your house — may be a source of infection,” Jamieson explained. “It’s not unreasonable, if a person has a lot of exposure at work, for instance, for that person to stay separated from the rest of their family or to protect the rest of their family by wearing a mask or even separating physically in the house.”

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