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Archive for the ‘Self-Help’ Category

First Things First Adapts to COVID-19 Regulations for Class of 2024 – Wesleyan Argus

Posted: September 19, 2020 at 3:57 am

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c/o Ava Nederlander, Photo Editor

First Things First (FTF), the orientation program organized by the Resource Center for first-year, First-Generation Low-Income (FGLI) students, ran from Monday, July 20 to Friday, Aug. 28. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this years FTF program was conducted online, featuring a number of synchronous and asynchronous programs rather than previous years in-person, two-and-a-half-day program before New Student Orientation (NSO).

FTF specifically aims to help FGLI students adjust to campus life and equipthemwith the necessary resources, support systems, and academic services to succeed at the University. The program is also an opportunity for students to engage in conversations about their backgrounds and how to navigate a predominately white and wealthy institution.

This years six-week program divided each week into themes, each focusing on a specific facet of campus life: a welcome to Wesleyan, financial aid and independence, academic readiness and resources, connections and networking at Wesleyan, self-care and discovery, and onwards and upwards.

Students attended workshops and panels organized by Resource Center Director Demetrius Colvin and FTF intern CeCe Payne 21, interacting with each other and their FTF orientation interns.

According to Colvin, FTF acknowledges the inequalities faced by FGLI students and provides them with resources for success at the University.

If you come from a family that has thatexpectation, or has that experience, then not only are you passively getting a lot of that information just as youre growing up, but then you also have a direct source you can go to, as you are facing challenges and having questions, and first generation low income students really dont have that same resource, Colvin said. So thats partially why this program was created to help them get that social and cultural capital they need to successfully navigate the institution.

In addition to helping address some of the institutionalized challenges FGLI students face, FTF builds connections for students, creating a community built on shared experiences.

FTF for me is sort of like the first kind of community youre brought into, FTF Orientation Leader (OL) Mahey Gheis 22 said. As a first-generation, low-income student, it means finding people that can relate to you on that level which is kind of hard to parse out when youre at Wesleyan among a general population of college students, and its an opportunity really for connections that can be formed on the basis of those commonalities, which I think is really unique.

FTF Orientation Leader Ariana Baez 22 echoed Gheis words, describing her own experience as a participant and OL for FTF as both meaningful and welcoming.

FTF was the thing that made me feel secure in my position at Wes regardless of my identity and actually because of my identity, Baez said.It celebrated me and ensured me that I was here on my own merit, not as a statistic or filling a quota for Wes, but it really empowered me to take up space and find my own community.

It is unclear whether the changes made for this years program will carry over into future years. Nonetheless, Baez hopes that the positive feedback about the new format will be taken into consideration when planning for next year so that the program can continue to grow and support FGLI students in the best ways it can.

Every FTF student that I talked to this semester, I think, felt a lot more supported because it wasnt a three-day thing, although they didnt get the traditional social in-person interactions that I did, Baez said.

Despite this lack of in-person, Payne stillemphasized the overall success of this years FTF program.

There were a lot of moving parts that went into this, but it came together in a really conducive final product, Payne said. I think one of the big things we had to keep asking throughout was just about access and thinking about the fact that we were in the middle of a pandemic and there were a lot of things that were on peoples plates that they might not have had planned in March. It was just a lot of different things that we had to consider to make sure that everyone was able to capitalize in the way that we wanted them to. I think at the end of the day, we did a good job.

Oliver Cope can be reached at

Hallie Sternberg can be reached at or on Twitter @halsternberg.

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First Things First Adapts to COVID-19 Regulations for Class of 2024 - Wesleyan Argus

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September 19th, 2020 at 3:57 am

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Dallas Therapists Share Their Pandemic Advice for Patients – Dallas Observer

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After the SARS pandemic in 2003, a study was conducted on 129 quarantined people to find out the effects of the pandemic on their mental health. 28.9% of subjects were found to have PTSD, and 31.2% had symptoms of depression. And the longer the quarantine, the worse things got.

But chances are, you might not even remember the SARS pandemic; so imagine the mental and emotional toll of a pandemic with the historical proportions we are experiencing today with the coronavirus.

I have seen a pretty significant uptake in both depression and anxiety in the pandemic, says Laine DiStefano, a licensed therapist from North Texas.

Maybe you werent struggling with your mental health before the pandemic, but COVID-19 is hitting everyone's mental health in some major ways.

Wherever we were emotionally before the pandemic, the alarming uncertainty and rapid lifestyle changes it produced have negatively impacted us all, says Deborah Ann Davis, a certified personal trainer and award-winning self-help author.

People are really struggling with social isolation, says DiStefano. And naturally, when people get depressed, they tend to self-isolate, which makes them further depressed. And were all sort of thinking about mortality and death and loss and things like that at a higher rate.

So not only do we all have a pandemic to deal with, but we also have less access to the things that used to help us cope with stress, whether it be friends or family or fun activities outside of our homes.

The stress is cranked up really really high, and our access to coping strategies is cranked really low, adds Avery Hoenig, a clinical psychologist. People who normally dont struggle with depression are experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety as well.

You might have already experienced this tug-of-war between your mental and physical health during the quarantine. Hanging out with friends may ward off depression, but it puts us at a higher risk of infection. So how can we practice self-care while being wary of the dangers of the coronavirus?

The biggest thing is just for us to be kind to ourselves... This is hard. And its not hard because were doing it wrong, its hard because its really hard. " Avery Hoenig, clinical psychologist

What Ive recommended for my patients is to just try to balance risk and benefit, says Hoenig. Theres a risk to go to the grocery store, theres a benefit of getting groceries. So I think especially with social interaction there is a risk, but there is a risk with lack of social interaction, too. Stress reduces our immune system and makes it really hard for us to fight things off.

Hoenig lists ways that she likes to take care of her mental health in a safe way, like socially-distanced picnics, exploring new hiking trails around Dallas, and phoning a friend while walking around her neighborhood.

A risk of a large gathering in tight quarters is pretty high, and I dont know if the benefit would be much higher than a one-on-one kind of socially distanced outdoor picnic, says Hoenig. So try to make the decisions based on possible benefit, and kind of eliminating possible risk can be a good guide.

DiStefano recommends having a social isolation bubble.

If [you] have a group of friends who are also being super careful, who are doing all the right things, wearing masks, people [you] can isolate together with, I think its important that we have social connection and we dont let those go to the wayside either so if you can do that in a safe way, that goes a long way with mental health too.

Deborah Ann Davis wrote about self-care in her book How to Get Your Happy On. She says, If you feel lower than before, reach out to someone with more energy, and let it boost you. If your negative self-perceptions are more pronounced, seek out a professional counselor for help. Find library books for guidance. Write in a journal. Confide in a friend. Scream into a pillow.

There are many practical things you can do to take care of yourself during this time, but there are also ways of thinking that could help you stay strong.

People who have higher levels of depression tend to attribute negative things to permanent factors. So saying to yourself, 'This is never going to go away, things are never going to change, that is absolutely not helpful and it is destructive to your mental health, says DiStefano. So keeping the faith and believing that this is going to get better and that were all going to adjust and the situation will improve is imperative to your mental health.

Hoenig also emphasizes self-compassion during this time. The biggest thing is just for us to be kind to ourselves, she says. This is hard. And its not hard because were doing it wrong, its hard because its really hard. Trying to kind of have that compassion with ourselves and people around us can kind of go a long way.

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Dallas Therapists Share Their Pandemic Advice for Patients - Dallas Observer

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September 19th, 2020 at 3:57 am

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Citizens Financial’s Discount Is Shrinking, But It’s Still Too Wide Relative To The Opportunity – Seeking Alpha

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When talking about any bank, its important to remember that current bank sector valuations are far below normal and sentiment is lousy, as investors worry about the impact of the confluence of tight spreads, weak loan demand, rising credit costs, and limited expense leverage. Given all that, it may well not be until late next year before banks start trading on recovery prospects.

Even so, I continue to believe that Citizens Financial (CFG) is just too cheap at a double-digit discount to book value, particularly in the context of upside potential from balance sheet optimization, better operating leverage, and growth in fee-generating businesses. With annualized total return potential in the double digits, I believe this is a name worth considering, and I dont see much risk to the dividend unless theres a significant deterioration in the economy beyond whats already expected.

Most banks commented after second quarter earnings that they believed the bulk of their reserve-building was done, and virtually, every bank Ive seen update their views since has maintained that view although always with the caveat of if things dont get worse from here So too with Citizens, where management presented at Barclays recent bank conference and confirmed a reduced need for future reserve builds. This is perhaps one of the benefits of the new CECL standard in that it leads to earlier reserving ahead of actual losses.

Deferrals are of limited value in predicting credit problems, but evolution here has been positive. Citizens had below-average deferrals exiting the second quarter (6% in the 10-Q), and those have since dropped further to around 4.5%, with commercial loan deferrals at only 1.8% of loan balances at the end of August.

Exposure in the loan book to industries at high risk from COVID-19 is still elevated, though, at around 17% exiting the second quarter (managements estimate is closer to 10%). On a positive note, the exposures are pretty diverse, with no real concentration across areas like oil/gas, hospitality, and so on. Whats more, even the exposed areas arent necessarily at high risk, as the companys exposure in oil/gas is in less price-sensitive segments, its exposure in food service is largely to fast-food/quick-service, and its exposure to retail is largely to gas stations and convenience stores.

Id also note that criticized loan balances are accelerating, with criticized C&I loans up 45% qoq between the second and first quarters, and criticized CRE loans up 37%. In both cases, CFGs criticized loan levels are above-average, though not enough to concern me too much. Citizens also looks a little under-reserved relative to the Feds Severely Adverse scenario compared to other banks, but Id also remind investors that Citizens is challenging the Feds numbers, given that it doesnt factor in certain risk-mitigating items like loss-sharing obligations.

The general theme shaping for the third quarter on the revenue side of things is pretty similar to the theme from the second quarter. Higher levels of deposits are leaving banks with excess liquidity that they cant profitably deploy, given weak loan demand and low rates on securities. Thats going to pressure net interest margins. At the same time, though, fee-generating businesses like capital markets and mortgage banking remain healthy, and that should provide a boost to CFGs non-interest income in the third quarter.

Looking out a bit, Citizens is going to have to continue working on its self-help initiatives to offset secular pressures from weak rates and weak loan demand. Citizens has shifted toward a much more asset-sensitive position over the last few quarters, giving it meaningful leverage to rate increases, but with the Fed recently saying it intends to maintain low rates into 2023, thats not going to help much.

Management continues to invest in its fee-generating businesses like wealth management and capital markets, and Citizens has a pretty diverse array of businesses under its umbrella. The company is also pushing hard on its TOP 6 program, with an increasing focus on fin-tech investments meant to streamline processes, reduce costs, and improve (or at least maintain) customer experiences.

Balance sheet optimization is also still in the mix, with the company looking to make better use of its excess cash, exit low-return commercial relationships, and optimize its funding. On that latter point, $3.5 billion of CDs reprice in the second half of the year its not a huge number relative to the deposit base ($140B-plus), but were very much in an every bit helps phase of the cycle.

I dont see much prospect for higher spreads over the next three to five years, and loan growth is likely to be muted over the next few years, though I see Citizens having some market share growth potential. Of course, one of the most commonly-used words in conjunction with models and estimates is surprise, so there would be upside if the U.S. economy recovers at a stronger/faster pace, particularly with Citizens enhanced rate sensitivity. As is, though, I do believe that cost reductions and fee income growth will help, and I believe Citizens can generate mid-single-digit pre-provision profit growth in 2022-24, and that should be an above-average level of growth for banks of similar size.

Long term, I see Citizens growing core earnings at a low single-digit long-term rate. That supports a fair value in the $30s, as does the companys likely ROTCE over the next two years.

There are legitimate (or at least fair) concerns about Citizens' ability to offset core spread earnings pressure with fee income, operating leverage (lower expenses), and better balance sheet management, but I think todays double-digit discount to tangible book is still too much. Yes, banks are very much out of favor now and likely to underwhelm on core earnings for a while, but for patient long-term investors willing to collect dividends ahead of the eventual recovery-driven re-rating, this is a name worth considering.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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Citizens Financial's Discount Is Shrinking, But It's Still Too Wide Relative To The Opportunity - Seeking Alpha

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September 19th, 2020 at 3:57 am

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Learning In The Age of COVID: From Chaos Comes Opportunity to Build Community – Sacramento Observer

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(WORDINBLACK.COM) On Sunday, Sept. 12, the NY Times Magazine called 2020 The Lost Year for students across America and their families dealing with remote learning and the social, psychological and cognitive challenges it presents.

But since COVID-19 pulled the plug on live, in-school learning last spring, two predominantly Black charter school systems in Sacramento have turned negatives into positives, chaos into community.

Theyve made it clear that without sustained parental involvement, the horse wont run, the plane wont fly. When it comes to remote learning, Fortune School of Education and St. Hope Public Schools are making sure no child, parent, guardian or grandparent is left behind. In addition to free meals, the school systems are providing free Chromebooks, wifi hotspots, low-cost Internet, headsets, tech support, teaching assistants and behavioral and psychological counselors. They are also providing well-trained teachers who have learned to be patient with themselves as well as their scholars and families.

For generations, African Americans often felt that the education deck was stacked against them inferior schools, higher rates of discipline and suspensions, fewer resources, teachers that seemed not to understand or believe in them.

Black students remain the lowest performing subgroup in California other than special needs students, said Dr. Margaret Fortune, founder and CEO of eight predominantly Black K-12 charter schools in Sacramento serving 1,904 students and another in San Bernardino serving 395. Were 65 percent African American and 26 percent Latino and mixed race most of them low income.

St. Hope Schools serves a similar population at PS7 elementary and middle schools and Sacramento Charter High School in Sacramentos Oak Park neighborhood: more than 1,000 predominantly African American students, the majority low-income, said Chief of Schools Kari Wehrly. Both Fortune and St. Hope helped their teachers, students and families adjust to on-line learning in a matter of weeks.

At first, we had our teachers filming their instruction every single day, posting the video, and students had all day to complete their lessons, Ms. Wehrly said.

Dr. Fortune, too, saw video learning as a way to showcase her best teachers and share their lessons system wide. But both charter systems have come to realize that teachers and students need to meet in cyberspace in real time.

Students were telling us they needed more structure, and families said they dont want to be home-school teachers, so now our classes run live from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, Ms. Wehrly said.

A good experience in school now is not a normal experience; learning from your kitchen table is not normal, said Dr. Fortune, whose schools require their scholars to sign in remotely by 7:45 a.m. in their school uniforms for a half day of live instruction four days a week the rest of the time is spent on self-paced learning that relies on on-line programs such as MobyMax and Reading Eggs.

Both charters report that thanks to the demands of distance learning, theres more parental engagement than ever.

Its not uncommon for us to have 100 parents on a Zoom call with the principal to teach them how to use the curriculum, Dr. Fortune said. We dont expect you to become an overnight tech expert.

When Fortune Schools announced it was time to pick up free Chromebooks, there were lines of cars around the corner these are low-income Black folks, Dr. Fortune said. We also provide three meals a day. For some of our students, school is their refuge from troubles at home and now they dont have that refuge. In addition to teachers in virtual classrooms, technicians, counselors and special ed teachers often drop in to keep an eye on students who may be in trouble, Dr. Fortune said.

For students whose parents work and cant be home to guide them, the Oak Park Community Center is open all day to receive kids from a variety of schools. The community center staff tell me the Fortune (School) kids are on time in their uniforms and dont need to be coached, Dr. Fortune said.

Some families rely on older siblings to keep everyone on task. St. Hope parent Elesia Morris, a home health nurse from Elk Grove, has left her 13-year-old daughter EMyiah, a 9th grader at St. Hopes Sacramento High School, in charge of her younger brothers at PS7, Emare, 11, and Eric 13.

Shes always been bossy, she said its been in my DNA since I was three, Ms. Morris said. At first they told her, Youre not our mom, but now theyre so used to her waking them up since my husband and I are at work, they go to her for help with everything.

Ms. Morris, whose two oldest sons graduated Sacramento High School and went on to Berkeley and UCLA, said her three younger kids were thrilled when they learned they no longer had to get up at 5 a.m., be out the door at 6:45 a.m. and into the car for a traffic-clogged 14-mile drive to school.

Since they dont have to go to school that early and dont have basketball practice, they dont have to go to bed that early, either, she said.

For grandparents who may not use the Internet, Its really about getting the kids and the teacher together, said Ms. Morris. I believe my kids are learning just as much. My 6th graders teacher called and said he was kind of struggling with Spanish, and we were able to log into office hours.

The same goes for attendance both charters quickly follow up with families whose scholars arent logged in to class.

The key to engagement is to keep school fun and interesting. We had over 600 people view our virtual yoga class some of our parents are more engaged now than they were in person, Dr. Fortune said.

Meanwhile, students have learned to be more self-reliant and self-disciplined than ever because they can monitor their progress working through their online curriculum. This is more like college, Ms. Wehrly said. Nothing replaces getting to see your students in person every day and pulling them aside if you need to, and students get bored at home and are craving to be back in person with their peers. It requires a level of resilience how do you persevere and create your own routine? What does self-care look like?

About the only time they see their teachers and classmates in person is at drive-through events to pick up meals, materials or homework packets. One kindergartener saw her teacher and wanted to give her a hug.

Until students can be in class together, the use of Facebook Live to communicate and celebrate is creating a positive dynamic which weve never had before, Dr. Fortune said. When we held our kindergarten, 5th and 8th grade graduation ceremonies, instead of 100 parents we had 11,000 people from all over the country, and even got a shout out from comedian Tracy Morgan. Its a level of celebrating the individual scholar that goes beyond the four walls of the multipurpose room, and our parents are communicating with parents from all over the country.

Weve gone beyond our initial goal of keeping our school community together in a healthy and joyful way and now are adding to our academic rigor, so kids dont fall into COVID-19 learning gaps.

By Stephen Magagnini | OBSERVER Correspondent

The OBSERVER has joined nine of the nations leading Black publishers to come together to reimagine the Black press in America. Our first official initiative is the launch of Word in Black, a news collaborative unlike anything we have seen in the industry. The mission could not be more important: Word in Black frames the narrative and fosters solutions for racial inequities in America. The group will publish stories on important issues such as voter suppression, inequities in education and healthcare, reimagining public safety and more. The following story is part of the collaborative. For more information, visit

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Learning In The Age of COVID: From Chaos Comes Opportunity to Build Community - Sacramento Observer

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September 19th, 2020 at 3:57 am

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COVID-19 | Ayurvedic Effective Measures For Self-Care: In The Absence Of COVID-19 Drug, Precautions Should Be Taken! Can We Use Chyawanprash To…

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With the outbreak of the COVID 19 epidemic, the entire mankind around the world is suffering. Strengthening the bodys natural defence system (immunity) plays a significant role in maintaining optimal health.

As we all know, prevention is better than cure, although there arecurrently no drugs for COVID-19 treatment, it is best to take preventive measures to enhance our immunity during these tough times. The Ministrys guidelines on post-COVID management also recommend adequate sleep, rest, and a balanced nutritious diet; looking for early warning symptoms (such as high fever, breathing difficulties, unexplained chest pain, etc.), and regularly take medications as recommended for COVID-19 diseases, as well as for managing Comorbidities (if any). It said that a holistic strategyis needed to provide follow-up care and improve the health of all patients who have recovered from COVID.

Ayurveda, the science of life, spreads the gifts of nature in maintaining a happy and healthy life. The extensive knowledge of Ayurveda in preventive health care is derived from the concepts of Ritucharya(seasonal care) and Dinacharya(daily regimes) to maintain a healthy life. This is a plant-based science.

The simplicity of self-awareness and the harmony that everyone can achieve by improving and maintaining their immunity is emphasized acrossAyurvedas classical scriptures.

The following self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and immune improvement, with relevant reference to respiratory health, are recommended by theMinistry of AYUSH.These are also supported and recommended by Ayurvedic literature and scientific publications.

Ayurvedic Immunity Boosting Measures

1. Chyawanprash prevents COVID-19: Is it effective?

Earlier, the Ministry of AYUSH recommended that Chyawanprash should be taken in the morning with warm water/milk under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor. However, the question here is-Can taking Chyawanprash provides protection against COVID-19 infection?

Chyawanprash is enriched with minerals, vitamins, and effective antioxidants, which can help strengthen the immune system and prevent a series of health problems.It is believed that the high vitamin C content in Ayurvedic herbs can help you improve immunity,metabolism and prevent various viral and bacterial infections, including the common cough and cold problem.

Therefore, the idea is that taking this Ayurvedic product may help strengthen immunity against infectionsincluding COVID-19.It is important to note that no scientific research can prove that Chyawanprash can prevent or cure COVID-19. Chyawanprash can only boost your immunity.

Benefits of Chyawanprash

It is claimed that using Chyawanprash has some health benefits:

Heres How to Use Chyawanprash to Boost Immunity

According to the recommendations of theAYUSH Ministry, one teaspoon ofChyawanprashwith warm water/milk should be taken in the morning under the supervision of a registered Ayurvedic physician. It is believed that Chyawanprash is an effective remedy in the post-recovery phase in clinical practice.

Parents who plan to give Chyawanprash to their children should consult a doctor, as the dosage depends mainly on their digestion.

2. Drink decoction(Kadha) or Herbal tea made from Basil (Tulsi), Cinnamon (Dalchini), Black pepper (Kalimirch), Dried ginger (Shunthi ), and Raisin (Munakka). Add natural sugar (jaggery) and/or fresh lemon juice as per your taste.

3. Golden Milk Put half a teaspoon ofTurmeric(Haldi) powder into 150ml of hot milk-once or twice a day.

4. Simple Ayurvedic Procedures

General Measures

During Sore throat/Dry cough

These measures usually treat normal sore throat and dry cough. However, if these symptoms persist, it is best to consult a doctor.

In addition to this, the Union Ministry of Health issued a post-COVID-19 management protocolon Sunday, providing comprehensive follow-up care and well-being of recovered patients. Among the several suggestions,the Ministry of Health recommends healthy eating, moderate exercise, such as yoga, and seeking social support or counseling. The ministry also proposed several home remedies and Ayurvedic medicines to boost immunity.

Health Ministry statedthat it has been observed that after the acute coronavirus ailment, recovered patients may continue to report various symptoms and signs, including fatigue, body pain, cough, sore throat, difficulty in breathing, etc. The recovery period may be longer for patients who have a more severe form of the disease and those with pre-existing illnesses.

It appended:The follow-up care and well-being of all recovered sufferers post-COVID needs a holistic method. Heeding this, the Ministry of Health has issued a post-COVID management protocol. This provides a comprehensive holistic approach for managing patients who have recovered enough from COVID for home care. This protocol is not intended to be used as a curative/preventive treatment method.

Heres the complete post-COVID tracking protocol:

1. At individual level

2. At the community level

3. In a healthcare facility setting

In the absence of specific treatment or a safe vaccine for COVID-19 illness, taking precautions in all possible maybe our best action against coronavirus infection.

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September 19th, 2020 at 3:56 am

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Focusing on self-care and wearing face masks ‘can help mental wellbeing during pandemic’ – Yahoo News UK

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The Telegraph

Coronavirus was not the main cause of death for nearly one third of recorded Covid-19 victims in July and August, research by Oxford University has found. Analysis shows that around 30 percent of people included in the coronavirus death toll by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) over the summer months had died primarily from other conditions. It means someone who suffered a heart attack, or even died in a road traffic accident, may have been included in the figures if they had also tested positive for coronavirus at some point, or if doctors believed the virus may have exacerbated their condition. Throughout the entire pandemic, around one in 13 people currently classed as Covid-19 victims did not have the disease as an underlying cause of death. It means 3,877 deaths (7.8 per cent) in which coronavirus was not the primary cause have been included in the figures. In July and August, that number jumped to 28.8 per cent of all registered deaths, meaning Covid-19 was not the main cause of death in 465 of 1,617 recorded victims (listen to the podcast below, which discusses whether Britain's death toll could be set to increase again).

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Focusing on self-care and wearing face masks 'can help mental wellbeing during pandemic' - Yahoo News UK

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September 19th, 2020 at 3:56 am

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Heavily Armed Self-Help Gurus Demand America Reopens Their Hearts – The Onion

Posted: June 30, 2020 at 1:45 am

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WASHINGTONFollowing months of lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, an angry mob of heavily armed self-help gurus reportedly demanded Tuesday that Americans reopen their hearts. Its time for U.S. citizens to find a way to look inwards and embrace their own divinity or face the inevitable consequences, said an AK-47 toting Bren Brown, wielding her weapon and threatening untold violence if the nation didnt immediately allow itself to be vulnerable in an effort to accomplish its goals. Our founding fathers created this country as a haven away from that little voice in your head that says No. Frankly, its unconstitutional to deny others a glimpse of your true inner self. We will uphold the American ideal of love and acceptance with blood if necessary. At press time, Marianne Williamson slammed a magazine into her FN SCAR and vowed to unleash hell on Earth until the nation welcomed the healing power of crystals.

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June 30th, 2020 at 1:45 am

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ITSM Tools in Healthcare: How ITSM solutions Are Assisting in Healthcare – HealthTech Magazine

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What Is IT Service Management?

IT service management includes the actions performed by an organization to design, deliver, implement and control its IT services for end users. ITSM takes a proactive approach to IT, focusing more heavily on the end-users needs as opposed to those of IT systems and emphasizing continuous improvement.

Without good ITSM, an organizations efficiency and productivity can fall by the wayside which is where modern, software-based tools like ServiceNow can come in handy. These solutions can help an organization maintain primary IT functions, such as a service desk, while simultaneously taking a broader view to its IT processes.

You must consider the various dependencies and links across ITSM and IT processes, even if there is no pressing need to do so, Mike Roberts, marketing manager for CDW, writes in a recent blog post. Such big-picture thinking will be invaluable for future enhancements or should an unforeseen problem arise.

From streamlining existing processes to mitigating risk, quality ITSM in healthcare can help organizations regain control over IT costs while improving patient care. Take Novant Health, for example.

The Winston-Salem, N.C.-based healthcare system runs its IT management platform on top of ServiceNow. Using the Software as a Service-based tools as its service-delivery platform, the organization set out to reduce the amount of human error involved with IT and break down the silos impeding quality customer service for its staff and clinicians.

Novants main goal: Elevate the level of service that the health system could provide via the help desk wherever possible and drive quicker resolutions.

We try to be as proactive as we possibly can in how we service our infrastructure within our facilities, says James Kluttz, vice president and CTO for Novant, whether it be a physician practice, a corporate facility or an acute care facility.

In the past year, Novant has enhanced its model significantly. The organization previously ran a telephonic approach, where staffers were required to call in, talk to an agent and report their incidents. Now, the company has been able to introduce chat capabilities to eliminate hold times for end users, allowing them to spend more time with patients and perform their jobs in the most effective way possible.

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ITSM Tools in Healthcare: How ITSM solutions Are Assisting in Healthcare - HealthTech Magazine

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June 30th, 2020 at 1:45 am

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SJs Continuum of Care releases housing project report – Stockton Record

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STOCKTON The San Joaquin County Continuum of Care has released its housing project report.

The report requested and developed by the Shelter Subcommittee shows the ongoing development of permanent housing for the homeless in the geographic area of the SJCoC. The committee hopes to provide insight into the work of local agencies creating permanent housing exits from local shelters, an integral component of any effective system intended to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring.

Title of project: progressive housing

Location: scattered sites in Stockton and Lodi

Project Type: transitional housing

Beds: 60

Estimated completion: 50 beds available now; 10 more by June 30

Funded with MHSA Innovation Funds

Operated by Stockton Self-Help Housing under contract with BHS

Eligibility limited to individuals with serious mental illness, placed and case managed by BHS

Title of project: New Life Overflow Housing

Location: 204 E. Sonora St., Stockton

Project Type: transitional housing

Beds: 12

Estimated completion: July 1

Part of a two-year program for homeless men, women and women with children

Title of project: project-based housing

Location: 448 S. Center St., Stockton

421 S. El Dorado St., Stockton

35 W. Park St., Stockton

Project Type: permanent supportive housing

Units: 14 units 448 S. Center St.

12 units 421 S. El Dorado St.

11 units 32 W. Park St.

Estimated completion: July 22 for 448 S. Center St. and 35 W. Park St.

Funded with MHSA Funds

Developed by Housing Authority of San Joaquin, under contract with BHS

Eligibility limited to individuals with serious mental Illness, placed and case-managed by BHS

Title of project: Turnpike Commons

Location: 1630 Turnpike Road, Stockton

Project Type: Permanent Supportive Housing

Units: 9

Estimated completion: October 2020

Funded primarily by HEAP and CDBG

Innovative local partnership to create direct exits from shelter

Uses manufactured product to reduce costs and expedite construction

Title of project: New Life Womens Home

Location: 403 S. San Joaquin St., Stockton

Project Type: transitional housing

Beds: 118

Estimated completion: Nov. 1, 2020

Part of a two-year program for homeless women and women with children

Converts the former Alustiza Hotel & Restaurant

Title of project: Shelter Plus Care-Combined Expansion

Housing Location: scattered sites throughout San Joaquin County

Project Type: permanent supportive housing beds for the "chronically homeless"

Beds: 21

Estimated completion: end of 2020

Funded with Continuum of Care Program Competition Bonus funds

Title of project: permanent housing for the homeless

Location: Five locations in southeast Stockton

Project Type: permanent housing

Beds: 21

Estimated completion: November 2020December 2021

Partnership including Dignity Health and San Joaquin County Whole Person Care

Title of project: New Life Mens Home

Location: 429 S. San Joaquin St., Stockton

Project Type: transitional housing

Beds: 178

Estimated completion: January 2023

Part of a two-year program for homeless men

Two old Victorian campus structures comprising 4 addresses

The report provides information only on projects serving the homeless that are currently underway within San Joaquin County; projects in the planning phase and projects not specifically intended to serve the homeless are not included. It is also important to note that this report includes only those responses from organizations indicating their interest in being included. Completed projects are also not included.

To review the 2019 San Joaquin County Housing Inventory Count Report detailing capacity in existing ongoing local shelter and homeless housing projects, visit the Department of Housing and Urban Development website at

Contact reporter Bob Highfill at (209) 546-8277 or Follow him on Twitter @bobhighfill.

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SJs Continuum of Care releases housing project report - Stockton Record

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June 30th, 2020 at 1:45 am

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Black lives and the CBC: What happens to a dream deferred? | TheHill – The Hill

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After weeks of protests, African American observers can reasonably conclude that the expenditure of time and resources will result in few substantive changes. And even more dismaying, that the Black Lives Matter rallies have degenerated into a form of street therapy for previously homebound white liberals. So, the aftermath may provide an opportunity to question the purpose of the leading organization of black politics, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

Founded about 50 years ago during a time of expansive political vision, the CBC was the brainchild of Rep. Charles Diggs Jr. (D-Mich.), elected to the House in 1955. He joined Reps. William Dawson (D-Ill) and Adam Clayton Powell (D-N.Y.) as the delegation for 22 million black people. He was part of a generation of political thinkers influenced by the 1945 resolution of the fifth Pan-African Congress: We are determined to be free. We want education. We want the right to earn a decent living, the right to express our thoughts and emotions, to adopt and create forms of beauty. We demand for Black Africa autonomy and independence.

During the 91st Congress (1969-1971), as the black delegation expanded, Diggs proposed the formation of the Democratic Select Committee (DSC) as a forum for coordinated strategy. In 1971, the DSC became the CBC, with Diggs elected as chairman. He asserted, Our concerns and obligations as members of Congress do not stop at the boundaries of our districts, our concerns are national and international in scope.

By 1972, Diggs envisioned the CBC as a vanguard entity for black empowerment. He promoted a Black Declaration of Independence and CBC leadership for a political convention in Gary, Ind. At this point, some organization members balked over playing the role of a black national congress. Instead, they elected Rep. Louis Stokes (D-Ohio) as chairman and he moved the group under the umbrella of a white liberal coalition. He believed that if we were to be effective, if we were going to make the meaningful contribution to minority citizens in this country, then it must be as legislators.

Since then, the CBC has suffered a question of identity and relevance. Its high points were in the 1980s, with bills for a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and sanctions against apartheid in South Africa. Today, however, the organization is perhaps most associated with the shrill screeds of Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarDem-aligned group announces return to in-person canvassing in seven states Horn of Africa politics come to Minneapolis The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump signs police reform executive order MORE (D-Mich.), symbolic gestures such as removing the statues of Confederate figures from the National Statuary Hall, and legislation seemingly devised to render an appearance of reform such as the bills in response to George Floyd's death.

Political scientist Kenny Whitby, in Dimensions of Representation and the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote that the CBC lacked the confidence to speak out on substantive issues and relied too much on a strategy of protest. Moreover, he found that its undue dependence on the liberal wing of the Democratic Party poses a dilemma for members of the group as players in the world of congressional politics.

So, how might the organization find its way back to the pathway of black empowerment? It could begin by revisiting the earlier desires for self-determination and Pan-African identification. It is ironic that early organizations with far less resources than the CBC could better speak to the needs of the ordinary folk.

On the question of economic development, for example, there was Booker T. Washingtons program in advanced agriculture and industrial skills. His founding of the Tuskegee Institute in 1881 became a model for leaders of developing societies around the world. It even inspired the Pan-African activist Marcus Garvey to incorporate a self-help economic program in his Universal Negro Improvement Association in the 1920s. Meanwhile, Elijah Poole, a Georgia sharecropper of modest education who took the name Elijah Muhammad, was astute enough to promote economic principles for everyday folk in the book, Message to the Blackman in America.

Surely, the CBC could find direction from these humble beginnings and speak to the Black population plainly. It might advocate the practical steps one can take to improve economic standing: live within your means, save as much as possible, nurture a supportive family life, spend your money among yourselves, support Black-owned businesses or non-Black businesses that hire your people, seek to improve health, home, education and community. Such basic lessons of self-improvement may not address the problem of structural racism but they do empower people to help themselves and offer more chances of rewards than taking to the streets.

In addition, the CBC should question the economic implications of the Democratic Party position on immigration legal and illegal for the Black labor force. Members have raised few concerns publicly about the consequences of liberal immigration initiatives. Fair-minded people can see evidence of policies that have undercut the status of Black labor in agriculture, hospitality, restaurants, construction and the civil services. In higher education, Black students encounter objections from immigrants and their children under a right-wing campaign to target affirmative action policies that relate exclusive to Black standing.

Finally, the organization must engage in the quest to build sustainable bases of political power in the states. Clearly, the needs of Black folk are best addressed at the state and local levels. As Ive suggested, Georgia is the most likely state for the establishment of a stable Black political majority (or plurality in a coalition). With over 30 percent of the population, Black voters have developed a talented political class ready to challenge suspicions of election fraud.

However, the Georgia imperative needs the support of Blacks from other areas to help grow the voter base quickly. The narrow loss in the 2018 gubernatorial race of Democrat Stacey Abrams to Republican Brian Kemp showed that victory is well within reach. With a sustainable political power base, the interests of ordinary folk would be reflected in the major offices, laws and police forces of the state. The CBC can play a role in coordinating a winning strategy for Georgia and other states.

In the 1950s poem, Harlem, Langston Hughes poses the question, What happens to a dream deferred? The poem explores a frustrated vision of a symbolic Black political entity. Today, the CBC faces the same question for the prospect of an autonomous Black political entity how will it respond?

Roger House, Ph.D., is an associate professor of American studies at Emerson College in Boston. Since 2014, he has published, a multimedia library resource on African American history and culture. He has produced radio programs on African American history for NPR, and is the author of Blue Smoke: The Recorded Journey of Big Bill Broonzy.

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Black lives and the CBC: What happens to a dream deferred? | TheHill - The Hill

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June 30th, 2020 at 1:45 am

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