Mental health is a cornerstone of overall health. Since the coronavirus started sweeping across the world, fear, worry, and uncertainty have dominated the emotions of people of all ages and backgrounds.
NY Mets Owner and GM In Feud Over BLM Related Game Cancellation
NY Mets Moment of Silence Team Video
New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and his son Jeff are furious with their team’s general manager Brodie Van Wagenen after he was caught on a “hot mic” criticizing Baseball’s commissioner rip Rob Manfred. This came after his team joined other professional sports franchises across America in taking the night off to respect the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the shooting of Jacob Blake.
Hot Mics. We hear about them all the time. It’s when a person is speaking, usually with the press, and he forgets that his comments are being recorded. Or he mistakenly believed that the recording part had ended. So what happened with Mr. Van Wagenen?
Professional sports teams took the night off Thursday to signal their participation in the national outrage over the shooting of an unarmed Black man Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. It started with the NBA suspending its playoff tournament. Then most of Major League Baseball followed suit after the Brewers game scheduled to be played in Milwaukee, Wisconsin was cancelled.
But last night’s New York Mets game was different. It was not canceled ahead of time, rather the Mets and Miami Marlins actually took the field. The Mets took their positions with the pitcher on the mound and stood for a moment of silence. Then the players from both teams tipped their caps at one another and left the field.
After a moment of silence, the Mets and the Marlins have left the field.
Before the start the New York Mets’ announcers had no confirmation that the game was canceled. All they could do was point out that the starting pitchers had taken no warm up pitches which is kind of a giveaway.
It was how the game cancellations came about which bothered Mr. Van Wagenen. And he mistakenly put the blame on MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
On the hot mic Van Wagenen was recorded saying, “Baseball’s trying to come up with a solution, saying, ‘Oh, you know what would be super powerful — the three of us here, [this information] can’t leave this room — you know it’d be really great if you just have them all take the field and then they leave the field and then they come back and play at 8:10. And I was like, ‘What?’”
Here’s video of Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen discussing a plan in which he says MLB wanted the Mets to take the field, leave it and return an hour later. Van Wagenen is critical of the idea and commissioner Rob Manfred, saying: “He just doesn’t get it.” (Video via @NickCocco18) pic.twitter.com/46Z9neVkJt
So the New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon issued a statement saying, “I am very stressed and disappointed to learn tonight that our General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, made disrespectful and inaccurate comments about our Commissioner, a long-time close friend of mine.I hold Rob in the highest regard and in no way are Brodie’s remarks reflective of my views or the organization’s.”
Brodie Van Wagenen then apologized to commissioner Manfred.
“Jeff Wilpon called Commissioner Manfred this afternoon to notify him that our players voted not to play. They discussed the challenges of rescheduling the game. Jeff proposed an idea of playing the game an hour later. I misunderstood that this was the Commissioner’s idea. In actuality, this was Jeff’s suggestion. The players had already made their decision so I felt the suggestion was not helpful. My frustration with the Commissioner was wrong and unfounded. I apologize to the Commissioner for my disrespectful comments and poor judgement in inaccurately describing the contents of his private conversation with Jeff Wilpon.”
The Mets have been looking for a buyer for years as they are losing a lot of money as a franchise. Mets fans have been praying for the sale of the team as Mr. Wilpon is known to be in financial trouble since his involvement with Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. This will not help them with their PR problems.
The United States Postal Service has been playing a starring role in debate over how the US presidential election will take place amid a pandemic.
As the coronavirus continues to wreck havoc on the US, many Americans are considering voting by mail in the upcoming election.
But the US postal service has warned almost all 50 states that ballots might not be able to be delivered on time.
Why is this happening?
The postal service has been losing money for years and in June, US President Donald Trump appointed a Republican donor and tasked him with making the government agency profitable.
The Trump appointee cut overtime for postal workers, late delivery trips and other expenses that ensure that the mail arrives on time which has resulted in a national slowdown of mail.
The postal service is now waiting on billions of dollars in potential funding from coronavirus relief legislation but left-wing Democrats and right-wing Republicans have yet to agree on funding.
Trump said the money Democrats wanted for the postal service would allow for universal mail-in voting, which he falsely claims his opponents support for the election.
“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,” Trump said in a Fox Business Network interview on Thursday. “That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.”
It comes as Trump has also repeatedly claimed that there would be widespread fraud by mail in voting.
Why are people concerned?
Many Americans have said that due to the pandemic they would like to vote by mail in the upcoming presidential election and many states are expanding access to mail-in voting. States also saw mail-in voting increase during the primaries.
This means that the volume of mail is expected to increase this election. Just five states currently do use universal mail in voting systems – sending ballots by mail and having voters return them by mail.
Democrats in Congress have now demanded that postal service officials testify before a House committee over the mail delays.
“The postmaster general and top Postal Service leadership must answer to the Congress and the American people as to why they are pushing these dangerous new policies that threaten to silence the voices of millions, just months before the election,” congressional Democrats said in a statement announcing the hearing.
Some states could ask to move the voting deadline for receiving mail in ballots ahead of the election.
Pennsylvania asked a court to move the deadline for receiving mail ballots back to three days after the November 3 election, provided the ballots were placed in the mail before polls close on Election Day.
The Postal Service is the country’s most popular government agency with 91% of Americans having a favourable opinion of the service, according to a Pew Research Centre Survey published in April.
“What concerns me is an all-out attack, they’re not even hiding it, by the president of the United States to undermine the United States Postal Service, to underfund it, to allow a mega-donor leading it to overtly do things to slow down the mail,” said Democratic Senator Cory Booker on CNN.
So I’m not sure if this is the right place to put this, and I’m not sure if I’m asking for advice, I just need to get this out.
My anxiety has been really bad the past few days/week. It’s been kind of bad since lockdown in March, but this past week it’s been really bad, to the point where I’ve had chest pains and real difficulty breathing. I knew that part of this anxiety was due to lockdown easing here (Scotland) but masks being required on public transport.
Because of the way anxiety affects me, I often forget to take breaths, and when I do they’re quote shallow. Having anything covering my mouth or nose, or around my neck like a scarf, makes my anxiety worse.
I think I’ve just realised that my anxiety is so much worse recently because I have to get a bus to get my prescription for depression and anxiety. I can’t wear a mask on the bus, I’ll start hyperventilating. I think I’m also anxious and nervous about people calling me out on it, and trying to ask me why I’m not wearing a mask. I can’t deal with confrontation, especially when I’m in a mess like I am at the moment. I think I’m more scared of going on a bus now than I was when COVID was worse, just because I’m terrified of someone losing their mind at me.
I think I just need a bit of reassurance from people that can’t wear masks for similar reasons.
But consumers may not be heeding the message about correct footwear, with global searches for Crocs up 32 per cent and fur slides up by 62 per cent, according to global fashion search platform Lyst. In Australia, search traffic has also spiked for “utility slides”, which are open-toed shoes with straps across the top of the foot, not dissimilar to a Birkenstock.
Online retailer The Iconic said in April slipper sales were up by 1500 per cent, year on year, with the most popular brands being Ugg, Hush Puppies and Vionic.
Johnston says if she had to choose, she’d favour a Birkenstock (“they’re very well made”) over other types of slippers or slides.
“Wearing Birkenstocks around the house is a far better option than a pair of fur slides than Ugg boots,” Johnston says. “I would rather people be barefoot than have a pair of slides or Crocs on.
“Slippers should only be used around bedtime, not when working, cooking, cleaning or chasing kids around the house.”
Foot injuries, which can also result in referred pain elsewhere, are often caused by the “clawing” action required to wear them for any length of time.
“Our feet have to work overtime to keep them on or the shoe falls off,” Johnston says. “Subconsciously, our feet are working harder with every step … and that repetitive motion starts to add up.”
Johnston says slippers present a huge fall risk, especially in people 60 and older. “We see so many people in hospital with hip fractures from having a fall around the house in a pair of slippers,” she says.
There have been 118 cases reported from January to April to the Australian Government’s National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS) down from 210 cases for the first third of 2019.
The Department of Health has suggested that the drop cases reported, in the year to date, could be related to COVID-19.
The Department said that COVID-19 response activities might also be impacting on laboratory testing capacity, information which it does not hold.
Figures extracted from the NNDSS reveals no continual decline in Q fever cases in the five years prior: 605 in 2015, 560 in 2016, 478 in 2017 and 513 in 2018, and 563 in 2019.
Are fewer people being tested?
President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia (RDAA), Dr John Hall, is not surprised by the reduction in Q fever cases reported this year.
“We could imagine, and this is only a best guess, that a number of people that had mild illnesses with Q fever are probably not getting tested in the current climate and being told to stay at home and to manage themselves symptomatically,” he said.
Dr Hall said as a result it was likely that fewer people were getting tested for Q fever.
“We know that people who get the severe form of Q fever often are hospitalised, those people would still be being tested … and that’s why we’re still seeing a number of tests coming through.”
Reduction in dust and livestock possibly behind decline
While the Rural Doctor’s Association of Australia presents a plausible explanation for the decline in cases reported, the NSW Farmers’ Association has pointed to several other potential factors.
The Association’s president James Jackson said a reduced number of Q fever cases could be due to a reduction in cattle and sheep, and less dust, which can carry the Q fever bacteria, present as a result of rain.
“Contact with stock or domestic animals is a significant risk factor, so there would be reasons why it could be down on last year.”
While agreeing it could be in part be COVID-19 related, he hoped another reason was awareness programs run by the farmer peak body, and the NSW Government, had led to an increase in vaccination rates.
The sheep and cattle producer from Guyra in the New England region spent a week in Armidale Hospital’s intensive care unit in 1992 after contracting Q fever.
Steady uptake of the Q fever vaccine
Despite the decline in cases, the uptake of the Q fever vaccine, Q-Vax, has remained steady, according to its manufacturer Seqirus.
Seqirus Asia Pacific’s senior medical director Dr Jonathan Anderson said that the fall in cases reported this year was encouraging.
“What we don’t know yet is why this has occurred,” he said.
“What I do know though is that there’s been a tremendous amount of work put in by a whole range of different stakeholder groups to try to create more awareness around Q fever, both in the general community and in the health care system to make sure we can properly prevent and treat Q fever.”
“We’ll continue to work with the Australian Government to make sure that there’s adequate supplies of the vaccine into the future.”