Saturday, March 28, 2020

Quebec Maritime Photo - 2

Quebec Maritime’s Parc Beauséjour that’s set along the Saint Lawrence River is idyllic for an urban cross-country skiing adventure. Numerous outdoor sculptures pepper the riverfront landscape. This scenic, placid park is located in the city of Rimouski. I wish I were there now. 

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Monday, March 23, 2020

Quebec Maritime: Photo

When the thaw started, several colorful ice fishing huts had been pulled off the ice of the Saint Lawrence River in the city of Rimouski in Quebec Maritime. 

As I’m self-isolating and self-distancing, I continue to create by posting photos from my previous travels. Each image inspires and calms me, helping me re-experience all the wonders the Earth offers us. And when this pandemic passes, each of these photos can provide all of us with ideas for future travels.
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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Protecting Myself From Coronavirus

Many people are asking me what I’m doing during this
coronavirus pandemic. I’m certainly overly cautious,
especially given my background in microbiology, physiology
and epidemiology. Now, in New York City, we have to social-distance, and notgo out of the house, except for necessities. Given that I live in a distant NYC suburb without a car, I have to venture out on foot to buy groceries. Here’s 
what I do.

Whenever I have access to soap and water, I thoroughly
wash all the surfaces of my hands.

I carry Purell in my pocket and use it liberally when soap and
water is not available.

I don’t touch my hands to my mouth, eyes or nose.

I also carry Lysol wipes and use this on any surface I will be

I don’t get within six feet of anyone. 

Whenever I have to open a door or touch a handrail, I do
so with a Lysol wipe in my hand or I wear one cloth glove.
But the glove, of course, becomes contaminated and, once
I get home, I disinfect it by rinsing in chlorine. (I don’t let
the glove touch my bare hands or anything else I will be

I use a diluted solution of alcohol on my iPhone if it was
somehow set on a surface that I neglected to wipe down with Lysol.

While I’ve seen people reusing N-95 masks or surgical masks
-- the latter are not effective against the coronovirus -- most
are single-use masks and are not to be reused. In addition,
if you are wearing a mask and you take it off, you have to properly
clean your hands that touched the mask.
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Sunday, March 8, 2020

Dispelling Myths on Coronavirus

I've been traveling recently. And, whether I was on NJ Transit to Newark Airport or catching up with friends and colleagues on Facebook, I sadly have been confronted with a lack of understanding of science and infectious disease, in this case the coronavirus epidemic (pandemic). Here are some of the myths and facts related to the coronavirus outbreak:

Myth: If you got a flu shot and maybe the pneumonia vaccine, you're ok.

Fact: Not true. Though getting both the flu and pneumonia vaccines (if you are over 65) would reduce the likelihood of you getting either disease that would compound your problems, they do not protect you from the coronavirus.

Myth: Scientists will have a coronavirus vaccine in a couple of months.

Fact: Not true. The development of a vaccine that will be used in humans requires a number of steps that require clinical trials, first with a small number of subjects and then with a much larger sample size. That being said, it's likely we will not see a vaccine for at least a year or more.

Myth: Only old people get sick from the coronavirus.

Fact: Though we are not seeing very young children getting sick, one of the early cases of coronavirus on the west coast was a teenager. And now there are reports that large percentages (almost 40%) of hospitalized cases in the U.S. are in ages 20s to 50s. Though most of the deaths have been among older people. Anyone can get sick with the coronavirus, though most everyone will have mild symptoms. But anyone who is immunocompromised or has an underlying health condition (such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or cardiac disease) -- especially if they are older -- has an increased risk of a more serious illness.

Myth: Coronavirus doesn't stay on surfaces for very long so there's no worries about touching a surface that hasn't been in use for awhile.

Fact: It's believed that the coronavirus can remain viable on surfaces for several hours up to a few days. But it depends on the surface and the amount of virus. For example, the virus may remain viable longer on metal than cloth surface. If you think a surface may be contaminated, use a disinfectant cloth (such as Lysol) to wipe it down and, of course, wash your hands with soap and water, or, if it's not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.

Myth: Taking vitamin C supplements, drinking green tea, eating garlic, or ingesting probiotics can help prevent coronavirus.

Fact: No. These natural remedies will neither protect you from this novel coronavirus nor can they treat the condition should you become sick. Neither will antibiotics work as a treatment since this is a viral infection, not a bacterial illness.

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