COVID – 19 pandemic, a long-lasting future challenge?

COVID – 19 pandemic, a long-lasting future challenge?

Worldwide, since the turn of the century, we had 3 significant pandemics: Sars, Mers & H1N1. When we look at South Korea, with utmost certainty they have learned the lessons of the earlier pandemics. The situation is different for Europe and the USA, were just up to the COVID – 19 pandemic, we were fortunate to escape the worst effects of the pandemics. It is time now to realize that we live in an age of coronavirus and prepare for the future and future pandemic threats.

All sectors have been rapidly changing and adjusting practices over the recent weeks in hopes of avoiding the spread of the Coronavirus and to ensure full compliance with social distancing, as well as trying to manage ‘’ home working’’ and having a contingency plan on when/if an employee tests positive for COVID – 19.

For OSH experts, such as professionals in the sector or consultants, its vital to consider if the pandemic will return as a second spike, will pass quickly, or will have another visit next winter, as many studies (University of Basel or Stockholm) suggest.

Health experts are stressing, still, the importance of social distancing. This means keeping 2 meters apart as much as possible, but particularly if in close contact for 15 minutes or more. Close contact does not mean just direct contact. Two hours in an enclosed space such as a room can be also considered close contact, thus office work will be hard to police and manage. Experts are directing employers to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s website (www.hpsc.ie) for guidance in this regard.

Will the above be a norm in the future? Will remote working & home working a subsequent consequence of the pandemic? The future challenge is to prepare for future pandemics and a notable rise in home working.

Let me know your thoughts.

Top 10 Facts About Obesity

Top 10 Facts About Obesity

What’s better than a juicy steak? Or some chips and coke? Imagine all your favorite food in as much as your stomach allows it and never getting fat. I know, never gonna happen.

However, there is nothing worse than feeling so bloated and being so heavy that you can no longer bend to touch your toes – let alone see them. This very alarming medical condition is called Obesity. Defined as the accumulation of excess body fat to the extent of causing negative effects on your health, obesity is one of the leading medical conditions in our world today. Aside from lowering life expectancy, obesity increases the likelihood of contracting other diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer, and obstructive sleep apnea.

Here are 10 facts about obesity. Enjoy!

Fact 1: Traveling back to 1990, if you were a little overweight back in the day, it wouldn’t be something society would be looking down upon. In fact, it would have been celebrated! Being on the heavy side meant that you were of high social status, and some parts of the world even celebrated obesity as a mark of true beauty and fertility.

Fact 2: Throughout recent history, the world has taken the steps in preventing the disease from spreading. In 2011, after the largest obesity boom known to man, schools and city districts implemented the practice of more physical activity and less calorie intake. The facilities would ban soft drinks and junk food from being sold in schools.

Fact 3: Obesity has become the leading cause of death worldwide, affecting not only adults but children as well, with numbers rising annually. Authorities now view it as the 21st century’s most alarming public health problem to date. In 2013, obesity had been declared as a disease by the American Medical Association, and has been traced in most parts of the Western world. America stigmatized as the Obesity Capital of the world.

Fact 4:  According to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, obesity grew at an alarming rate between the years 1980 till 2009, with Southeastern and Midwestern countries going from a 10% obesity rate to a an alarming 30%. According to the New York Times, 2010 marked the year with the highest rate of people diagnosed with obesity all throughout the world.

Fact 5: In 2019, an estimated 38.2 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight or obese. Once considered a high-income country problem, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings. In Africa, the number of overweight children under 5 has increased by nearly 24% percent since 2000. Almost half of the children under 5 who were overweight or obese in 2019 lived in Asia.

Fact 6: During the years 1957 up to 1997, the amount of meat found in hamburgers grew significantly. The beef patties which were originally 1 ounce became 6 ounces in the span of 40 years, which played a large part in contributing towards the rising percentage of obesity.

Fact 7: The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents aged 5-19 has risen dramatically from just 4% in 1975 to just over 18% in 2016. The rise has occurred similarly among both boys and girls: in 2016 18% of girls and 19% of boys were overweight.

Fact 8: Children in low- and middle-income countries are more vulnerable to inadequate pre-natal, infant, and young child nutrition. At the same time, these children are exposed to high-fat, high-sugar, high-salt, energy-dense, and micronutrient-poor foods, which tend to be lower in cost but also lower in nutrient quality. These dietary patterns, in conjunction with lower levels of physical activity, result in sharp increases in childhood obesity while undernutrition issues remain unsolved.

Fact 9: Reports indicated that over 83% of those who are overweight or who are suffering from obesity suffer from a mental illness as well. Because a person suffering from a mental disorder is more than likely to become socially isolated, physically inactive, and live a sedentary lifestyle, obesity is highly possible and the two go hand in hand.

Fact 10: Obesity is one of the leading risk factors for early death. Obesity is responsible for 4.7 million premature deaths each year. Obesity is one of the world’s largest health problems – one that has shifted from being a problem in rich countries to one that spans all income levels.

Turkey and children drawing rainbows

Turkey and children drawing rainbows

The Erdogan regime forbids children from drawing rainbows on the grounds that it corrupts them to become gay.

The state apparatus in Turkey has found a new reason to hate the LGBT community, namely the rainbows drawn by children and hung on the windows. Officials in Turkey apparently ordered school principals to ban children from drawing rainbows and displaying them in windows, for fear that it was a community effort to make children gay, Business Insider reports.

It all started with pandemic control measures. Schools moved to distance learning classes. According to Al-Monitor, a US-based press publication covering the Middle East, the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art asked students on March 28 to draw rainbows and hang them on windowsills to showed the “miracle of nature” and to “spread hope” during the pandemic.

Egitim-Sen, a teachers’ union, says education leaders have told school principals to ban children from participating in the museum project, arguing that the drawings are a plot to make children gay, according to Al-Monitor.

It is the latest incident in which Turkish officials use the pandemic to continue their anti-LGBT messages.

Top 10 Horror B-Movies

Top 10 Horror B-Movies

Sometimes, I find myself indulging in a good horror B-movie flick. Sometimes, I enjoy B-movies more than most recent Hollywood movies. Maybe it’s because of the low budget that pushes directors to be more creative and original or it could be the opposite, the low budget gives them the freedom to “fail” without repercussions. Whatever the case may be, I think more people should give B-rated movies a shot. You might be pleasantly horrified.

10. Wolves

Source: https://screenrant.com/best-modern-b-movies/

 If you’re into a good werewolf monster movie, you might just give this a shot. “Wolves” is an edgier take on the familiar story of a man that turns into a wolf. The movie is entertaining and has decent special effects given its budget.

9. It Came From Beneath The Sea

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048215/

For its time (1955), the effects were quite decent, though most likely you won’t be shocked by this film. It features a huge radioactive octopus that is terrorizing the North American Pacific Coast.

8. Piranha 3D

Source: https://letterboxd.com/film/piranha-3d/

After a sudden underwater tremor sets free a group of prehistoric carnivorous fish, Lake Victoria in Arizona explodes with casualties. Now, unlikely group of strangers must band together to stop themselves from becoming fish food for the area’s new razor-toothed residents.

This film is a blast. The movie succeeds admirably because it never tries to offer anything else than B-movie thrills, namely nudity and gore. The scant running time is absolutely packed to the brim with naked women and people being destroyed by piranha in increasingly gory ways. This is one of the most hands-down entertaining creature features I’ve seen in a while and the kind of film you think they don’t make anymore.

7. The Human Centipede

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Centipede_(First_Sequence)

“The Human Centipede” is described as the most horrific film ever made. It follows a mad scientist who kidnaps and mutilates a trio of tourists in order to reassemble them into a human centipede, created by stitching their mouths to each others’ rectums. Above all very scary and intelligent! I wouldn’t recommend eating before viewing this movie.

6. The Evil Dead

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083907/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

The story is about five students who go to a cabin in the woods (why not). They find a tape with the voice of a professor trying to translate the “Necronomicon”, the Book of the Dead. By playing the tape the students unleash the evil power that lives within the woods. Gradually they are turned into blood-thirsty zombies until there’s only one of them left. Ash (Bruce Campbell) now has to fight not only his former friends but also the evil that is trying to get him too. it is considered to be one of the best and most original horror films of all time.

5. The Blair Witch Project

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185937/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

The movie is about three film students who vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind. I can still remember the initial shock it had on me. This gem is a must see.

4. Paranormal Activity

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1179904/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0

The title gives it away. A couple becomes increasingly disturbed by a nightly demonic presence after moving into a suburban home, With a budget of 15.000$, this movie is surprisingly good. The effects, while minimal and cheap (banging, invisible feet and hands), are very effective. But the real scare is the ending. This offers one of the most terrifying endings of all time.

3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077745/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

“Invasion of the Body Snatchers” follows Matthew Bennell as he is confronted with the realization that several people, including his friends, are acting abnormally only to realize that aliens have been replacing humans by living inside them. This is one of the most underrated films of its genre. It will scare the daylights out of you, not just because of the story but because of the characters.

2. Carrie

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074285/?ref_=tt_sims_tt

The movie follows Carrie White – a shy, friendless teenage girl who is sheltered by her domineering, religious mother. She unleashes her telekinetic powers after being humiliated by her classmates at her senior prom. “Carrie” is a modern classic, and many recent horror films could take a few lessons from the story,

1. Eraserhead

Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074486/

The story is about Henry Spencer. He tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend, and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child. This masterpiece will forever haunt me.

Let me know if you know any other good horror B-movie flick I should have included in the list.