Things That Matter

Biden/Harris Campaign Appeals To Latino Youths In New Ads Weeks Before Election

Politicians understand that courting a broad and diverse coalition of voters is the key to winning the election. That is what paved the way for the 2008 victory of President Barack Obama as well as the House and Senate during the same election. So far, early voting numbers for young voters are way higher than this point in the 2016 election.

The Biden/Harris campaign is going strong to secure the youth vote days before the election.

The youth vote is an elusive vote and has always been. Presiden Barack Obama successfully brought the youth vote out in 2008 and that led to a sweep by Democrats in the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. The Biden/Harris campaign is hoping for a similar youth turnout in this election to secure their path to the White House.

Biden and Harris are hoping to turn out young Latino voters.

Latinos are a large electoral voting bloc in the 2020 elections. For the first time ever, the Latino vote outnumbers the Black vote. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 32 million eligible Latino voters and that accounts for 13 percent of all eligible voters. This is a major step into democracy for the Latino community.

Youth voters are currently turning out in early voting in record numbers.

In Florida, current early and absentee voting numbers are showing almost 100,000 more early and absentee youth voters than this time in the 2016 election. Some of the increase in participation in early voting among young voters is pandemic still raging in the U.S. There is also an enthusiasm among young voters to get out and vote.

The 2020 election is energizing similar numbers to the 2008 election between President Obama and Sen. John McCain.

According to polling, 63 percent of voters between 18-29 said they are definitely voting in the 2020 election. This is a major increase in voter participation in 2016 and 2018. The number of young people planning to vote this year is much greater than the 47 percent who said they would vote in 2016 and the 40 percent who planned to vote in 2018. Polling further found that 60 percent of young voters strongly favor Biden in the upcoming election.

There is a lot of appreciation for the young people who are turning up and voting for their future.

This is shaping up to be the most important elections in our lifetime. The rights of several marginalized communities are at stake and access to affordable healthcare is being threatened. In the midst of a pandemic, there is a legal challenge by the Trump administration against the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

One of the most crucial parts of the ACA that would be erased if it is overturned is protections for those with pre-existing conditions. President Trump has often spoken about protecting those with pre-existing conditions but striking down the ACA would also eliminate those protections. There has been no plan to replace the ACA presented by the Trump administration or the Republican Party.

READ: Joe Biden Says ‘Healthcare is Not a Privilege, It’s a Right,’ Donald Trump and the GOP Disagree

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What It’s Like To Process A Miscarriage According To Women On Reddit

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What It’s Like To Process A Miscarriage According To Women On Reddit

Frazer Harrison / Getty

A miscarriage can be a devastating experience for pregnant women and their partners. Typically occurring during the first trimester, or first three months, of a person’ss pregnancy, miscarriages can happen for a variety of medical reasons outside of a person’s control and can cause a mixture of mental health issues including anxiety and guilt.

Worst of all, it can make people feel extremely alone.

Women on Reddit are attempting to offer comfort and solidarity to women who’ve experienced miscarriages and the shares and messages of support are truly powerful.

We’ve picked some of the comments and shared them below.

“I honestly did not care. I felt it was nature’s/ the universe’s way of saying something was wrong. I don’t even think about it. I have a friend who miscarried two years ago at roughly the same pregnancy time frame and she named her daugther, had a funeral, and moderates a support group for pregnancy loss. I hate to be one of those ‘everyone is different’ people but yeah.”- flyingcatpotato

“A miscarriage is a time of grief and bereavement. How exactly that plays out for an individual will very much depend on their own personality and their relationship to their unborn child. You can expect a range of emotions, depression, anger, hopelessness, numbness, fear, guilt and so on.

The physical toll can also impact the emotional toll, Miscarriages are painful and bloody, and managing your grief while also managing your health is tiring, you will be sleep deprived, in pain and and on edge. I read a post on twox a while ago from a women experiencing a miscarriage, She managed to sum up every emotion I think I would personally experience. I don’t remember the exact quote, so it’s heavily paraphrased. ‘I’ve had to scrape 14 golf ball sized lumps of tissue out of my pants, and at every moment I have to stop and wonder when or if I have just flushed my baby down the toilet’ You can imagine how hard that must be. But every women is different.” – mundabit

“The major differences in reaction, based on what I’ve seen anyway, seem to depend largely on their relationship to the baby, their relationship to pregnancy in general, and how far into the pregnancy the miscarriage happens. A late-term pregnancy is pretty much always traumatic. It’s hard on your body, for one thing. You’ve also had months and months of planning for this baby, hoping for this baby, rearranging your life around this baby, and you’ve probably been talking about names. It’s a very real loss. An early miscarriage depends more on the individual. If you really wanted to get pregnant and had already bonded with the idea of the baby, you feel a loss. If you had difficulty conceiving, it’s devastating, like the loss of a dream. If you didn’t want to get pregnant but had decided not to abort, you might feel a weird mix of relief, guilt at feeling relief, and a twinge of sadness you can’t quite place. You might have some hormonal weirdness. You might feel nothing at all. Miscarriages are also intensely personal. People don’t really talk about them. There’s no script for dealing with someone who’s had one. So you really have to let them take the lead on what you do about it. If you’re close, ask how they feel about it and what you can do to support them. If you’re not, say “I’m sorry,” maybe ask if they need anything, and otherwise take your cue from them as best you can.” –caramellow

“I think it very much depends on how far into the pregnancy you were (4 weeks is very different from four months, for example) and how attached you were to the baby or how much you wanted to have a child. I have had multiple chemical pregnancies (very early miscarriages) and they were not traumatic in the least. However, if someone had just found out at the same time as me, told their whole family, and been thrilled because they’d been trying to conceive for a long time…very different reaction. Also, once you’ve seen the ultrasound and grown attached to the feeling of a future person living inside you, it becomes more difficult.” –papercate

“For me, it was a very non-emotional response. Like, ‘Huh, I guess that DNA wasn’t going to create an actual person.’ But for some of my friends, it was completely devastating. This is one thing that really does seem to cover the entire spectrum.” –searedscallops

“Ive experienced 3 miscarriages in my life. The first two I was really depressed and didn’t feel worthy enough to be a mother. It wasn’t necessarily because of the pain as much as I was fearing for my future. What if I couldn’t have any kids? What do I tell my future husband? My last one was a relief with a tinge of sadness and guilt. It was a rape baby.. And even though I was relieved when I lost it, I still felt bad that I wished that upon a life that didn’t deserve or ask to be here.” –tigerlilybeauty

“Female here and we went thru 2 miscarriages before we had daughter. Notice i stressed ‘we.’ Remember that you both lost a baby. With that being said, sometimes we want to talk, sometimes just trying to process it all, sometimes no talking is needed just quietness and hugs. Everyone handles miscarriages differently. We found out at 12wk, we hadn’t even planned on telling anyone until 20wks just in case, we waited until our late 30s to have kids. We definitely were in shock but later that night after a movie we hugged and cried. My best advice is talk to her and ask her. Just hold each other. Also ask yourself how you feel and what do you need. Neither of you are alone and you have each other.” –Flyingplaydoh

“Also someone who has had a miscarriage. Also an OR nurse. All of the above but from a physical stand point make sure you watch how much she’s bleeding. If you’re concerned at all that it’s too much go to the ER. My miscarriage was early and even though my baby was small the contractions were very physically painful. Again, if it gets to be too much, go to the hospital. Hold each other. Be with each other. Cry as much as you want. Or don’t. I know my husband was so in shock he didn’t cry until several weeks later. Tell people when you’re ready. I had a hard time blaming myself for the miscarriage. Nothing either of you did made this happen. If it gets to be too overwhelming seek out some professional mental health help for her and for yourself. It made a world a difference for me AND my husband.” –pax_et_veritas

“It get’s better over time OP. My wife and I are trying for our first child, have resorted to IVF, and have had two ectopic pregnancies in a row. Cry it out, support her, and realize that it’s so very emotional for her that it will creep into her overall emotional state for some time. Be as patient as you can!” –SANcapITY

“I’ve had two miscarriages, both around 6/7 weeks. First one they knew pretty much right away it was going downhill. Second one was more so being strung along wondering what had to happen. Both times I ended up needing very minor surgery (called a D&C) to remove retained tissue from my uterus. The best thing my husband did when we officially got the news the first time is cry with me. He isn’t a very emotional guy and avoids showing strong emotions when they come up, but it was nice to just hug and cry together for a bit. Made me feel like we were together in our grief with this. Being a ‘strong shoulder to cry on’ is great in some circumstances, but personally if he tried to hide his emotions through this I would have been really upset. I would have wondered why he didn’t care, why it didn’t affect him. So my advice is to share your feelings with your wife and don’t be afraid of being together in a low place for a while. Be open and honest with each other as much as possible. If she’s asking for space, give her space. It’s really hard to deal with pregnancy loss as a woman because even though you logically know nothing you do directly caused this to happen, it feels like your body had betrayed you. It’s suppose to be able to do this and it fucked everything up. It’s hard not to feel guilty and like you ruined everything. Ruined the happiness of your husband, your family, your friends, and now your SF trip. She may just need some time to sort through her head and to not feel like her brokenness is a burden on you. Be there in a way that makes her still feel loved. The ‘love languages’ seem stupid but I really think there is a lot to them. I need physical touch so having my husband rub my back, kiss my forehead, or cuddle makes me feel loved. He likes quality time and ‘acts of service’ like running an errand for him. What is her preference? Show non-verbally that she isn’t still broken and that you still love her through this.

Most importantly, don’t forget about yourself. It’s very easy for this to be seen as a ‘women’s problem’ and the guy just has to support his grieving wife. Both of you are grieving, you both need support. I found it really helpful for me to have others to talk to (r/miscarriage initially and then through that I found r/ttcafterloss). Knowing other people are in the same circumstance and how they deal with certain challenges was invaluable. My husband just told two friends through text but didn’t really talk about it much, he wanted it acknowledged and didn’t think it needed to be a secret… but also didn’t want it to be this big thing. Find what works for you. Take care of yourself and allow your wife to take care of you if she needs to. It’s easy to feel helpless and having others to help is nice. If someone tells you it “just wasn’t meant to be” or “part of God’s plan” or any other bullshit dismissal… feel free to punch them in the throat, or at least tell her you were tempted since no one should belittle the loss of a pregnancy with some kind of qualifier. That shit hurts.” –Squibege

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These Are The Five Emerging Coronavirus Variants That Worry Health Experts The Most

Things That Matter

These Are The Five Emerging Coronavirus Variants That Worry Health Experts The Most

Luis Alvarenga/Getty Images

As soon as the latest strain of coronavirus that caused COVID-19 infection burst onto the world stage in late 2019, medical experts and scientists knew it was bad. However, most in the medical community also thought the virus was stable and would resist mutations – which could buy us time while we develop treatments and vaccines.

Researchers were only partly right. The virus is definitely bad—but it is not so stable after all. Ever since jumping from animals to humans, the virus has been undergoing rapid shifts in mutations leading to several new variants of the original virus in recent months.

The COVID-19 virus is rapidly mutating and presenting challenges for researchers and our vaccine roll out.

Since the pandemic began, new viral versions of the virus have been popping up in communities around the world, and in some cases have outcompeted the existing variants. Although improved surveillance and sequencing efforts might partly explain why these variants are appearing now, some repetition in their patterns suggest the mutations are not random.

“What we’re seeing is similar mutations arising in multiple places,” Adam Lauring, a virologist at the University of Michigan, told Scientific American. “That’s pretty suggestive that these mutations are doing something.”

Most of these mutations in the virus seem to help the virus transmit more rapidly and evade the body’s immune system. In fact, in January, researchers reported for the first time that antibodies from individuals with COVID did not completely neutralize a variant first identified in South Africa. A few people who recovered from the disease also appear to have been reinfected with the mutant virus.

But which variants of the virus have scientists most worried and why?

SPAIN

The 20A.EU1 variant, first identified in Spain, contains a mutation called A222V on the viral spike protein. The spike is a component of SARS-CoV-2 that binds to a receptor on human cells called ACE2, and this attachment helps the virus get inside those cells and infect them.

This spike protein is also what is targeted by human antibodies when they fight back against the infection. Over the course of several months, the 20A.EU1 variant became the dominant one in Europe. Epidemiologists never saw any evidence that it was more transmissible than the original, however. Researchers believe that when Europe began lifting travel restrictions last summer, the variant that was dominant in Spain spread across the continent.

U.K.

Scientists in the U.K. had been watching the B.1.1.7 variant for some time before announcing in December that it might be at least 50 percent more transmissible than the original form. That announcement was based on data that showed the virus rapidly spreading throughout the nation. And it led to international travel bans and stronger lockdown measures in the U.K.

South Africa

The B.1.351 variant appeared around the same time as B.1.1.7 in the U.K., and it spread quickly in South Africa to become the dominant version in that country. But scientists are most concerned about its E484K mutation which may help the virus evade the immune system and vaccines.

A lab also found that some antibody cocktails, such as one currently being tested by the drug and biotech companies Regeneron and Eli Lilly, may be less effective against mutations present in the B.1.351 variant.

Brazil

In January researchers reported they had detected two new variants in Brazil, both descendants of a somewhat older common ancestor variant. Although they share mutations with other newly discovered versions, they appear to have arisen independently of those variants.

Vaccines are so far still potent against these strains but we must be vigilant.

So far researchers haven’t seen any major concerns among the vaccines made by by Moderna and Pfizer and their ability to protect against COVID-19 infection. However, Moderna has begun developing a booster shot specific to new variants. Because these two vaccines are more than 90 percent effective, a slight drop in effectiveness would still make them worth using, experts say.

“I’m optimistic this won’t compromise the [COVID vaccines], but obviously, it’s something we’ve got to watch closely,” Lauring told Scientific American. In coming years, he adds, companies may need to retool these vaccines and administer updated versions, much in the same way that flu vaccines are revised each year.

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