Showing posts with label Coronavirus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coronavirus. Show all posts

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Women veterans are facing increasing isolation during the pandemic

Women veterans tell Congress VA communication has dropped during pandemic

Connecting Vets
Abbie Bennett
May 20, 2020
Advocates told lawmakers women veterans are facing increasing isolation during the pandemic and are struggling to access VA resources.
Women veterans told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not communicated well during the coronavirus pandemic.

In an online forum Tuesday hosted by the House Women Veterans Task Force, women veterans who are now researchers, veteran service organization staff and more told Congress members about the challenges female former service members face, and that they worry VA's focus on the pandemic could push those issues aside.

They recognized VA's effort to expand online services, such as telehealth appointments and mental health check-ins, but said they were concerned about ongoing issues that could fall by the wayside in the wake of the crisis.

Those issues include gender or sexual harassment at VA hospitals and clinics, inconsistent services, lack of staff trained to help women vets, lack of childcare and a lack of data keeping track of issues women vets face.
read it here

VA Contractor said veteran did not show up...after VA cancelled appointment for COVID-19

KARE 11 Investigates: Vets penalized for missing cancelled exams

KARE 11 News
Author: A.J. Lagoe, Steve Eckert
May 20, 2020
A KARE 11 investigation reveals veterans have been denied benefits for not going to exams the VA had already ordered cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

KEMPNER, Texas — “That’s a total lie!” said an angry and frustrated Harry Payne after receiving a benefits denial letter from the VA claiming he failed to show up for a required exam.

Records obtained by KARE 11 show the VA itself had cancelled the exam.

Payne, of Kempner, Texas, is one of thousands of veterans who had disability claims pending with the Department of Veterans Affairs when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the nation in force in March.

Records show he was scheduled for a C and P exam on April 21st by VA contractor QTC.

However, after VA put a stop to in-person exams on April 3rd, Payne says he received a phone call from QTC informing him his appointment was cancelled.

He thought his claim was just on hold until it was safe to do the exam.

He was wrong.

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) sent him a letter informing him his PTSD claim had been denied.
read it here

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Alan Twofoot, served in the Army for 28 years and Bedford VA hospital died of COVID-19

Rolling memorial service held for Merrimack veteran, 51, who died from complications of COVID-19

Siobhan Lopez
May 16, 2020
Tiffany Twofoot, who tested negative for COVID-19, said it's not clear how her husband contracted the virus, but that he continued to work at the VA in Bedford, Massachusetts, and was doing all of the grocery shopping for the family.
Emergency vehicles, including ones from the New Hampshire National Guard, led dozens of mourners past Alan Twofoot’s Merrimack home on Saturday. Twofoot, a 51-year-old Army veteran, died Tuesday from complications of COVID-19.

“Extremely overwhelming. I never imagined that there were so many people out there who loved and respected him that way,” said his wife, Tiffany.
Twofoot’s family want people to know this virus needs to be taken seriously.

“When he got sick with this, it brought him to his knees. It turned him into somebody he never would've wanted to be,” said Tiffany Twofoot.

Alan Twofoot, who served in the Army for 28 years, also leaves behind three children and two grandchildren. Nobody was allowed to be by his side when he died, adding to the heartbreak.

Alan Twofoot, who served in the Army for 28 years, also leaves behind three children and two grandchildren. Nobody was allowed to be by his side when he died, adding to the heartbreak.
read it here

Friday, May 15, 2020

VA starts clinical trial of prostate cancer drug Firmagon for COVID-19

VA launches clinical trial for Veterans with COVID-19 based on prostate cancer drug

Department of Veterans Affairs

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) began a new clinical trial to test a Food and Drug Administration-approved prostate cancer drug as a potential treatment for male Veterans with COVID-19.

In a double-blind randomized controlled trial, VA scientists will compare the drug degarelix (trade name Firmagon) to a placebo for improving the clinical outcomes of nearly 200 Veterans who have been hospitalized with COVID-19.

“Veterans who have contracted this virus are in need of immediate care,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “This trial is an important step in advancing knowledge of a potential treatment for those infected with COVID-19. We are here to do everything in our power to preserve and protect life.”

Degarelix is often used to treat advanced cases of prostate cancer. It works by rapidly, but temporarily, suppressing the body’s production of male hormones. These hormones can fuel the growth of prostate cancer. Scientists are testing degarelix because lab evidence suggests male hormones trigger the production of a protein called TMPRSS2 on lung tissue. The virus that causes COVID-19 relies on TMPRSS2 to enter lung tissues.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Columbia University applied advanced artificial intelligence and computational genomics techniques and used that lab evidence for this COVID-19 data. The researchers collaborated with VA to plan the new trial.

Potential side effects of degarelix are typically linked to long-term treatment. In the trial, patients will be administered only one dose of the drug that will last 28 days. Any side effects of degarelix are thus expected to be temporary.

By temporarily lowering male hormone levels, researchers believe they can reduce the production of TMPRSS2 in lung tissue and thus prevent the virus from penetrating lung cells. Hormone levels will return to normal at the end of treatment.
read it here

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

So how are veterans handling this pandemic?

Veterans may be having a harder time dealing with COVID-19 pandemic

The Rebound Tampa Bay
By: Wendy Ryan
May 12, 2020
"It could be increased negative emotions such as sadness or anger or fear. it could be changes in behavior such as increased crying, irritability, angry outbursts or social isolation. That's a big one," Dr. Gironda warns.
TAMPA, Fla. — May is Mental Health Awareness Month and the VA is asking veterans to prioritize their mental health right now.

There are over 1.5 million veterans in Florida and the state has the third largest veteran population in the nation.

So how are veterans handling this pandemic?

Dr. Ronald Gironda, Chief of Psychology at James A. Haley VA Medical Center, says medical assistance right now is critically important for veterans, especially those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"Not only have our anxieties been heightened but our normal routines have been disrupted in an unprecedented way. And of course, veterans with PTSD and other mental health conditions are at increase risks for worsening of their symptoms," Dr. Ronald Gironda said.

The contributing factors include social distancing measures, financial stress and more.

"For many, it's a disruption in our normal pattern such as eating patterns, sleeping patterns, physical activity and of course
read it here

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Navajo Nation for COVID-19 outbreak

Doctors Without Borders sent to Navajo Nation for COVID-19 outbreak

Associated Press
May 12, 2020

With roughly 175,000 people on the reservation, which straddles Arizona, New Mexico and a small corner of Utah, the Navajo Nation has seen 3,122 cases – a rate of nearly 18 cases per 1,000 people. At least 100 people have died.
Raynelle Hoskie attaches a hose to a water pump to fill tanks in her truck outside a tribal office on the Navajo reservation in Tuba City, Ariz., on April 20, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
TUBA CITY, Ariz. (TEGNA/AP) — The largest Native American reservation in the U.S. has some of the highest rates of coronavirus infections in the country.

The Navajo Nation has a population of roughly 175,000 and spans three western states. The tribe has seen more than 3,100 cases, and at least 100 people have died.

The organization Doctors Without Borders sent medical professionals to New Mexico to help the hard-hit Navajo Nation, according to national news outlets. CNN and CBS reported that the nine-person team arrived in late April to work with the Native American community.

"There are many situations in which we do not intervene in the United States, but this has a particular risk profile," said Jean Stowell, head of the organization's U.S. COVID-19 Response Team, to CBS.

The virus arrived on the reservation in early March, when late winter winds were still blowing off the mesas and temperatures at dawn were often barely above freezing.
read it here

Why should you care? Aside from the fact they are the original Americans...they, along with others contributed to making this nation what it is.

Navajo Code Talkers and the Unbreakable Code

Native American Medal of Honor Recipients going back to 1875

Native American Veterans Memorial Built To Recognize The Bravest Native Warriors To Ever Wear A Uniform
Source: YouTube/Gary Robinson
The Native American Veerans Memorial and the “Warrior’s Circle of Honor” will be dedicated on Veterans Day, 2020.

California Veterans Home with 800 has no COVID-19 cases because of early actions taken

Veterans Home of California with almost 800 aging residents, has had no COVID-19 cases

By Debora Villalon
May 7, 2020

YOUNTVILLE, Calif. - Across the country, nursing homes and Veterans Affairs facilities are being overwhelmed by COVID-19.
California’s oldest and largest veteran’s home is COVID-19 free
A veteran's home in Yountville has nearly 800 aging residents, but zero cases of COVID-19. KTVU's Debora Villalon reports stringent steps are being taken at the nursing home and it seems to be paying off.

In the Bay Area, one institution stands out.
The Veterans Home of California in Yountville, with almost 800 aging residents, has had no cases.
"Fingers crossed we keep it that way," said Director Lisa Peake, while acknowledging an aggressive response.
"We got on it early, it's nothing to mess around with," said Peak. "Our campus and CalVet were probably a week to two weeks ahead of everyone else."

Access to the sprawling Napa Valley campus tightened in early March.

Staff wearing PPE screened arrivals then, and the precautions have only become more stringent since.
read it here

Monday, May 11, 2020

UK:Ministry of Defence shut down a phone hotline for veterans just as need for help increased

Suicidal military veterans desperate for help as support calls triple during lockdown

The Mirror
BySean Rayment
10 MAY 2020

Rifleman Nathan Worner, 20, of the Rifles Regiment, was found dead at Bulford Camp, Wiltshire, last week.
Simon Maryan of Icarus Online (Image: Icarus Online)

Calls for help from mentally traumatised military veterans have soared by 100 per cent since the start of the lockdown, the Sunday People can reveal.

Support groups have been inundated with calls from suicidal veterans and current troops struggling to cope with isolation caused by the Covid-19 crisis.

Many of those seeking help have mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

Two veterans and a serving member of the Army have taken their lives in the past two weeks.

The deaths bring to at least 22 the number of veterans and serving members who are believed to have killed themselves since the start of the year.
The mental health crisis comes just weeks after the Ministry of Defence shut down a phone hotline for veterans and told them to ring the Samaritans instead.

The MoD has also stopped ­taking compensation claims from troops and veterans suffering from mental health conditions and physical injuries.
read it here

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The economic impact on transitioning service members and veterans is even worse.

Increasing recognition of military-based learning in the midst of the coronavirus crisis

Military Times
Lauren Runco
May 10, 2020

The quick spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has resulted in vast changes to the global economy. The Labor Department released statistics in late April which reported that over 30 million workers in the U.S. are now jobless, with 3.8 million workers having filed claims for unemployment benefits in the last week of April alone.
Health care professionals at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany undergo critical care training on April 20, 2020, to increase staff readiness and development in support of COVID-19 operations. (Marcy Sanchez/Landstuhl Regional Medical Center)
The economic impact on transitioning service members and veterans is even worse.

Underemployment is a major issue facing this population as a recent study by ZipRecruiter found that nearly one-third of veterans reported underemployment, which is a rate of 15.6 percent higher than non-veterans.

Enlisted service members, most without college degrees, receive high quality skill-based training in the military. However, they are often pushed into low-skill jobs after service. Their military training may qualify them for higher paying positions, but the primary barrier they face is that they do not have a civilian credential that represents what they know and can do.

What insights can be learned from historical periods of veteran unemployment that might guide or improve the response effort in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis? After the 2008 recession, there was a major surge in programs and funding focused on veteran hiring initiatives. While these programs did succeed in more companies hiring veterans, the retention rate became very low and numbers of veterans experiencing underemployment in the following decade skyrocketed.
read it here

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Veteran dying of COVID-19, unable to speak, sang God Bless America before he died!

Veteran's last words hold special meaning to family

May 9, 2020

Tom McDermott was pretty amazing — he survived polio, nearly became a priest and even worked on nuclear submarines while he was in the military.

McDermott's family said goodbye to the 84-year-old who battled Alzheimer's and coronavirus in his final days, but it was his last words that left them all in awe.

"He was on comfort measures and there was no expectation he was communicating," said Vin McDermott, Tom's son.

Doctors said Tom McDermott's lungs were overwhelmed by the virus and he never spoke again. Instead, he sang.

While Tom McDermott's family was at mass, a call came from the hospital: his last words were a song: "God Bless America."

"I don't know where the memory to sing or the energy to sing came from," Vin McDermott said.
read it here

Scots wounded war heroes had been failed by the Government

Ray of hope as Scots armed forces veterans wait two years for a mental health plan

Herald Scotland
By Martin Williams
Senior News Reporter
May 8, 2020
Earlier this week the military support group All Call Signs rescued five suicidal veterans during lockdown and issued a warning that more lives are at risk.
Ray of hope as Scots armed forces veterans wait two years for a mental health plan
ARMED forces veterans are facing a threat from an enemy they cannot see.

That threat is mental illness - and can deal a fatal blow long after a soldier has left the theatre of war and the military.

While Scottish armed forces veterans have waited over two years for a recommended mental health plan after concerns over suicides - a Scottish university is now playing a key role in a new UK-wide study on the psychological health and wellbeing of families of ex-service men and women.

Two years ago, a report by Eric Fraser, the first Scottish veterans commissioner revealed Scots wounded war heroes had been failed by the Government and a covenant to protect them was “meaningless”.
read it here

Devon Levesque prepares to bear crawl NY Marathon to save veterans...and thanks the Lord he can

Trainer prepares to 'bear crawl' entire New York City Marathon

Fox News
By Frank Miles
May 8, 2020
“When I found out about FitOps and how they were working with these heroic veterans who have made it through war but were struggling back at home, I made it my mission to get involved. My goal in bear crawling a marathon is to raise enough money to sponsor veterans and put them through FitOps camp and help them reach their goals,” the 27-year-old said.

Devon Lévesque Thank the Lord Every Day ✞

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s still up in the air if New York City Marathon will happen in November.

One of Manhattan’s top fitness trainers, however, is gearing up for all of its 26.2 miles in a very unique way.

Devon Levesque, a partner in the high-end training facility Performix House in New York City, is training to do the marathon in a bear crawl where he will run on his hands and feet.

He told Fox News: “Bear crawl is a full body exercise where you walk on your hands and feet. It takes a lot of core, quad, and shoulder strength since all of your weight is on your hands, and your toes and back are parallel to the ground.”

He’s like "Fight Club," in 2020, without the anarchy.
read it here

From the New York Post

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Call to action for veteran experts on PTSD

Where are all the experts I learned from and taught?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
May 7, 2020

Most of the experts I learned from have retired. Most of the people I taught over the years have gotten out of this work because it is so damn hard to do. Right now you need to remember why you got into this work in the first place.

For readers who do not know much about me, I used to be famous. I was know as Nam Guardian Angel going back to the early 90's online. That is what happens when people see what is happening before most people do. My work was sought out by military brass, psychologist, psychiatrists, mental health workers and educators. It astonished me how far the reach went, considering it was all word of mouth and intended to help veterans understand what PTSD so they would also know they could heal.

I am married to a Vietnam veteran with PTSD and survived traumatic events that could have killed me 10 times. I know what a flashback is, experienced nightmares, mood swings, anger, paranoia, depression, the list goes on. The biggest thing I want readers to get right now, is I also know what is on the flip side of the doom and gloom.

I wrote about living with PTSD back in 2002 in my first book, yet no matter how much I wrote, by then, the younger generation wasn't getting the message. In 2006, I started making videos. By 2008, I was Certified as a Chaplain with the IFOC and won an award for PTSD I Grieve. It was intended for members of the National Guard, but the IFOC was using it to help police officers and firefighters.

In 2007, I started this site and it has been read all over the world.

Why am I telling you all this? So that you take what I am saying seriously.

The parade passed me by many years ago, but considering it started in was a long time coming, I have been just doing my work and stopped competing with the influx of people getting into this for the wrong reasons and getting in the way. They left no room for me and I had no tolerance for them.

Lately I have been feeling really down about what has been going on with COVID-19 and our lives turned upside down. I have been searching for signs of hope that the power of trauma had not increased because educators mobilized to do crisis intervention. That search ended this morning when I read an article by an ER Doctor.
"The unfortunate truth is that the United States has never adequately provided treatment for mental and emotional health challenges, such as PTSD, for brave citizens who put their country before themselves. As we begin to imagine a post-Covid-19 America, we must do better by all of our veterans, including the hundreds of thousands of health care workers who have borne the trauma of this pandemic. That starts by destigmatizing mental health issues and making it easier for physicians, nurses and others to seek out the resources they need." 
Tsion Firew
Why am I still reading things like this? What hasn't the mental health community learned from the lessons people like me have been sharing for decades? Is it because they stopped looking or they stopped thinking?

I am wondering where the hell all the experts are? Where are you hiding? Did the parade push you out of the way too? Time to stop resting and get back into action because too many people need your expertise right now.

I don't do it for money and safe bet, you didn't either. It is a safer bet that you are grieving as much as I am for all the suffering going on right now.

You may believe that you will not be able to reach enough to make a difference. Is one enough for you? Do you remember what it felt like to change a life for the better? To be able to send them away knowing they will be happier ever after because of what you did for their sake?
"Whoever changes one life, changes the whole world.”

Read what the Doctor wrote and know that you have the power to make the difference right now before it is too late to wish you had done something when you had the chance!

Emergency doctor: We need help before it's too late

KITV 4 News
Opinion by Tsion Firew
Wednesday, May 6th 2020

Opinion by Tsion Firew Last weekend, I was on CNN discussing the importance of supporting the mental and emotional health of medical professionals. I likened this pandemic to an invisible bomb going off in our emergency...

Last weekend, I was on CNN discussing the importance of supporting the mental and emotional health of medical professionals. I likened this pandemic to an invisible bomb going off in our emergency departments.

Twenty-four hours later, I learned about the death of my colleague, Dr. Lorna Breen. A day later, I learned from media reports that she had died by suicide. It was a one-two punch, like she died twice.

Lorna had survived Covid-19 earlier this month. As her physical symptoms got better, the mental toll of the pandemic continued to get worse. And as I mourned, I reflected.

The world is hailing medical professionals as heroes, and don't get me wrong: The public praise has been a welcome shift. Our jobs were harrowing long before this crisis and will remain so long after we return to some semblance of normalcy. I am grateful for the acknowledgment.
Heed our call. The front line of this pandemic needs mental health resources and emotional support to process the destruction we cannot prevent, we cannot fix. The next wave is coming. We need help before it's too late for more of us.
read it here

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Some Veterans with dependents may "wait until 2021 for their stimulus checks"

With IRS Deadline Looming, Some Veterans May Still Wait Months for Stimulus Money
By Patricia Kime
4 May 2020

Making veterans who can't fill out the online form wait until 2021 for their stimulus checks, when they can file a tax return that includes dependents, is "incompatible with the goals" of the stimulus money, Takano said.
The Internal Revenue Service has set a deadline of May 5 for veterans to register for dependent payouts, after initially saying they would have only two days. But the guidance, along with warnings that veterans who don't complete the form now will have to wait until next year for their stimulus funds, has left some confused and scrambling.

"We have several veterans with no Internet access," one email received by said. "Are you able to get at least 25 copies of this IRS form mailed to us?"

Nearly 7% of U.S. veterans live below the poverty level, and more than two million veteran households lack fixed or mobile broadband connections at home, according to a Federal Communications Commission study released last year. read it here

Monday, May 4, 2020

"A Few Good Angels" and other miracles

Collection of miracles

Veterans Voice: Vietnam vet says divine intervention spared him
Providence Journal
By Mary K. Talbot, Special to The Journal
Posted May 3, 2020

Retired Sgt. Mike Montigny, 74
Seven years ago, he had just finished a round of golf. His partners on the course included old friends and some new acquaintances. One guest noticed the well-worn ring from Vietnam still on sitting on Montigny’s finger and with encouragement, Montigny shared his story with that newcomer, Ed Iannuccilli, former CEO of Rhode Island Hospital.

Later Iannuccilli would observe, “Churches are made out of wood, brick mortar and stone. Priests are human beings just like you and I. What happened to you is something spiritual that we can’t explain. Angels appear in all shapes and forms.”

Stories from Vietnam started flooding Montigny’s memory bank and Iannuccilli inspired him to begin chronicling those experiences. Soon the stories became chapters which turned into an inspirational book, “A Few Good Angels,” that Montigny published in 2016.

Mike Montigny left for Vietnam in 1965 and he attributes his unlikely return journey as one made possible only with divine interventions. Montigny was a survivor. Defying all predictions he made it “to hell and back” as a machine gunner for the U.S. Marines and lived to share his story.

Jason F. Wright: What you're about to read is a miracle or an odds-smashing coincidence
Northern Virginia Daily
Jason Wright
May 2, 2020
I asked Tyson what he learned from this memorable and moving moment on a morning train. “This was a real reminder to me of how personal and tangible God’s love is for each of us,” he said. “God is so aware of our circumstances. She may have been a stranger, but in reality, she was actually my sister. I know God works through His children, and what a cool chance it was for me to be an instrument for Him.”

'Absolute miracle': NYC surgeon, 74, beats 'severe form' of coronavirus with help of 3 doctor sons
Celeb Parke
May 1, 2020
Dr. Manuel Bulauitan, 74, is thanking everyone involved, especially his three sons, who are all doctors. They rushed to his side after their family noticed on FaceTime in mid-March that Bulauitan was sick.
Dr. Manuel C Bulauitan recovering on the medical floor after downgrading from the ICU. (Courtesy of Philippe Bulauitan)
"I am grateful that I'm here and my deepest thanks to all the medical professionals – from attending doctors and nurses – [they] are deep in my heart," Bulauitan told Fox News over the phone. "They tell me it's a miracle I survived."

Saturday, May 2, 2020

COVID-19 "2,000 cases within VA in the last five days"

Veterans Affairs adds 2,000 new coronavirus cases in five days, deaths top 500

Military Times
Leo Shane III
May 1, 2020

Veterans Affairs patient deaths from coronavirus topped 500 overnight and cases rose to nearly 9,000 as the illness continues to spread within the department’s health system.
Nurse Heather Espinal stands in front of the James J. Peters Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center where she works in New York City on April 22, 2020. (Mark Lennihan/AP)

As of Friday morning, 8,798 patients had contracted the fast-spreading virus, an increase of more than 2,000 cases within VA in the last five days. On April 2, the system had fewer than 2,000 total cases.

Dozens of sites have recorded more than 100 coronavirus cases among patients. The hardest-hit sites are all in the New York City area, while department hospitals in New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. have all recorded more than 200 cases.

As of Friday morning, VA has seen 512 deaths from the illness. That’s up 88 cases in the last five days. On April 1, the system had reported only 53 deaths.
read it here

VA ordered almost $300,000 worth of body bags in April

Veterans Affairs ordered nearly $300,000 in body bags due to coronavirus


Veterans Affairs ordered nearly $300,000 in body bags due to coronavirus
The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) ordered almost $300,000 worth of body bags in April amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A contract document first reviewed by Politico shows that the VA ordered the body bags from a major contractor called ISO Group on April 15.

The VA has seen its number of COVID-19 cases and death rise. As of Thursday, 8,500 VA patients had tested positive for the virus and nearly 500 had died. Since the VA signed the contract on April 15, it has reported 3,000 new cases.

It is unclear if the purchase of the body bags was related to the pandemic or how many bags were purchased.

The Hill has reached out to the VA for comment.

The Trump administration ordered over 100,000 body bags in April, for a reported $5.1 million. The order was placed was the day after President Trump said that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus might not exceed 50,000 or 60,000 people.
read it here

Friday, May 1, 2020

VA denies veterans used as "test subjects" with hydroxychloroquine

Wilkie defends VA hydroxychloroquine use, says vets weren't used as 'test subjects'

Connecting Vets
Abbie Bennett
April 30, 2020
About 28 percent of those given the drug died compared to 11 percent who were given only routine care. The drug did not make a difference in the need for a breathing machine such as a ventilator and researchers noted that the drug may have damaged other organs.
Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie defended the VA's use of hydroxychloroquine, a drug so far unproven as a treatment for COVID-19, Wednesday after being accused of using veterans as "test subjects."

In a letter and a call to veteran service organizations representing millions of former service members on Wednesday, Wilkie downplayed a non-clinical study conducted using VA records of veteran patients in department hospitals who were treated with the drug. The study showed that veterans were more likely to die or require ventilation if treated with the antimalarial drug than if they were under only standard care.

The call and letter follow Wilkie advocating for the drug last week, arguing it had been effective for younger and middle-aged veterans, though so far there is no published evidence supporting that.

In the letter, obtained by Connecting Vets, Wilkie said the study showing veterans were more likely to die or worsen when treated with the drug "led to misinformation about what did and did not happen at VA."

He said veteran patients with the virus were treated with the drug only with guidance from a doctor and denied the allegation vets were used as "test subjects" for the drug.
read it here

Marine died of COVID-19 within days of feeling sick

‘Just loved serving his country’: Marine with Houston ties remembered after dying of coronavirus

Brandon Walker, Reporter
May 1, 2020

HOUSTON – Staff Sgt. Robert Mendoza was among the few and the proud.
“He just loved serving his country and he was willing to die for his country,” said Yolanda Mendoza, his mother.

Staff Sgt. Mendoza survived war. His assignments took him to Afghanistan in the months following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He braved multiple tours of Iraq. However, it wasn’t the battlefield that lay claim to his life. Mendoza fell victim to COVID-19.

Within days of feeling symptoms, he died at a hospital in San Diego, California — home base since enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps in July 1994.

“I don’t even know where to begin with Robert. He knew since middle school he wanted to be a United States Marine,” Yolanda Mendoza said.
read it here

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

COVID-19 Dreams of Invisible Horror

In all the times I survived traumatic events, the dreams started. Vivid, strange dreams that made me think I was getting worse. After a while, they started going away. With COVID-19, they are back but now I have a better understanding of them. Instead of letting them haunt me, I laugh at them knowing they will go away again.

Insomnia and Vivid Dreams on the Rise With COVID-19 Anxiety

By Theresa Machemer
APRIL 23, 2020
“One of the earliest patterns that I noticed was people associating hugging with danger or menace,” Gravley tells NPR. “So there are a couple dreams where the dreamers described that someone wanted to hug them, and it made them very frightened, even to the point where they would yell, like, you're hurting me; you're going to kill me.”

An ongoing study by the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center has found a 35 percent increase in dream recall and a 15 percent increase in negative dreams. ( Nuca Lomadze / EyeEm via Getty Images)

A novelist recalls a trip to a comic store with Ronald Reagan, who swipes his wallet before he can make a purchase; someone else remembers escaping a collapsing building by climbing into a pilotless plane, where he hid in a toilet; and NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly says that one night, she broke into a colleague’s apartment and stole from a hoard of toilet paper—and then she woke up.

As parts of the United States enter their second month of stay-at-home orders, people’s day-to-day lives are becoming paired with an increasingly strange and vivid dreamscape. And a growing group is experiencing insomnia, an inability to fall asleep, as Quartz’s Amanat Khullar reports. Both seem to be symptoms of stress, part of the shared anxiety surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Common dream scenarios collected by a group of psychoanalysis students in London, called Lockdown Dreams, include the dreamer running away from something or discovering that they’ve done something wrong.

“These are typical anxiety dreams. It’s very pedestrian stuff in that sense, but it’s acted out with such vivid imagination, it becomes very strange,” Jake Roberts, a spokesperson for Lockdown Dreams, tells Donna Ferguson at the Guardian. “Everyone’s quite shocked by the fact that they’re having incredibly vivid dreams. That’s so interesting because our material waking lives have become, in a way, more dull.”

The London-based group is not the only research project tracking the pandemic’s parallel rise in strange dreams. In France, a group at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Center began a study on dreams and dream recall in March, National Geographic’s Rebecca Renner reports. And Bay Area resident Erin Gravley and her sister have begun a website called “i dream of covid” that asks visitors to share their recent dreams.
For those who find their vivid dreams unsettling, the good news is that the phenomenon will probably fade with time. read it here

and they will!