Connect with us


How to Keep Cool this Summer



Now that the summer is officially here, you can look forward to sunny days at the beach and evenings lounging in the backyard. However, Canadian summers tend to get hot — really hot. And depending on where you’re located, they can also get extremely humid.

You know that feeling when you step outside of your house, and it feels like walking into a steamy, sticky sauna? The summer weather is great, but it’s also essential to find ways to keep fresh on those scorching hot days.

Take a look at these tips on how you can stay nice and cool all summer long.

Check Your Air Conditioner

Did you know that you should have your air conditioner professionally maintained several times a year? The summer is the perfect time to do it since your unit is likely working on overdrive because of the hot weather.

Check-ups and maintenance repairs help keep your AC in good shape all throughout the year. Without regular check-ups, the unit’s filters and coils can become clogged or dirty, risking permanent damage to its functionality.

With the guidance from a professional, fully licensed, and certified technician from a company that offers 24-hour emergency AC repair in Mississauga and the surrounding area, you can rest easy knowing that your home will be nice and cool all summer. You’ll also feel better knowing that you can contact them at any time, night or day.

Stay Hydrated

It’s the oldest trick in the book, but staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will help your body maintain a cooler temperature. Consider keeping a jug of water in the fridge with freshly squeezed lemons or limes for a citrusy, sweeter taste.

You can also snack on items such as cucumbers and watermelon — both are loaded with water and high in vitamins.

Save Outdoor Activity to Mornings and Evenings

Wake up a little early and start your morning with a 6 am jog, or finish the day with a late evening swim.

Exercising outside early in the morning or evening will save you from feeling overheated and exhausted. The middle of the afternoon (12 pm to 5 pm) is generally the hottest time to be outside during the summer, so if you can, reserve those hours to staying at home or work.

Pools and Sprinklers

One of the most refreshing ways to keep cool is to take a dip in the pool. Don’t have your own? Consider the local community swimming pool. They’re free, and an excellent way to cool off at the end of a long day.

If you don’t like swimming with strangers, visit the closest hardware store and buy a sprinkler. You might think they’re only for kids, but you’d be wrong. Setting up a sprinkler is simple to do, and after a few jumps and splashes through the rejuvenating cold water on a 35 degree Celsius day, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to purchase one!

With these ice-cold tips on how to avoid the summer heat, you’ll feel cool and fresh even on the hottest of days.

Continue Reading


Covid-19 Vaccine Trials Have a Problem: Minority Groups Don’t Trust Them – The Wall Street Journal



Chinedu Osondu, a potential participant in a vaccine trial, met with Cynthia Steele, right, a research coordinator, to receive informed-consent information and provide his medical history, in Atlanta last month.


Joshua Rashaad McFadden for The Wall Street Journal.

Researchers and companies developing Covid-19 vaccines are taking new steps to tackle a longtime challenge: People who need the vaccines most urgently, including Blacks and Latinos, are least likely to participate in clinical trials to determine whether they work safely.

Racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to be hospitalized and die from the new coronavirus, partly due to socioeconomic factors and underlying health conditions, data show. But clinical trials to evaluate drugs and vaccines historically underrepresent minorities, and researchers are concerned enrollment now under way to test Covid-19 vaccines will be no different.

While thousands of Americans have shown interest in testing vaccines, they are mostly young, white and healthy, according to researchers. Public-health officials say vaccines, to be effective, have to be proved to work safely across all age groups, races and ethnicities—and especially among those at high risk of contracting the virus.

Recruiters have to overcome several hurdles in high-risk populations: misinformation, decades of mistrust of health-care and government institutions, and fresh tensions around discrimination in the U.S.

To do so, researchers are joining with community leaders, churches and advocacy organizations to educate about the benefits of vaccination. They are trying to reach potential subjects through social media and minority physicians. And they are hoping that simply testing the vaccines in locations with high proportions of minority populations will draw interest.

“You have to be able to get into some of these communities where there may not be as much experience or trust for science, and just be very convincing in helping people understand why this is important for their health,” said Dr. Angela Branche of the University of Rochester Medical Center, in New York, which began testing a Covid-19 vaccine from

Pfizer Inc.

PFE -0.36%


BioNTech SE

last week.

With Covid-19 vaccine testing moving quickly, some scientists are skeptical that drugmakers will sign off on wide-ranging recruitment strategies. “Everybody’s against the gun in terms of enrolling as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Kathryn Stephenson, director of the clinical-trials unit in the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. “Nobody’s really going to want to wait around for those efforts to mature.”

Vaccines are considered crucial to stopping the spread of the coronavirus, and pivotal studies seeking 30,000 participants, including one led by Pfizer, are under way. Food and Drug Administration guidelines for Covid-19 vaccines say the agency “encourages” enrollment of racial and ethnic minorities, but doesn’t require it for approval.

Related Video

It’s far from business as usual at the Indianapolis headquarters of Eli Lilly, with only a sixth of the pharma company’s employees working on-site to develop potential Covid-19 treatments. WSJ’s Peter Loftus takes us inside. Photo: Eli Lilly

Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said recent social upheaval sparked by the death of George Floyd has likely added to feelings of mistrust between minority groups and government or pharmaceutical companies. “Yet we need their participation if this is going to have a meaningful outcome,” he said. “We’ve got work to do.”

Covid-19 hospitalization rates for Blacks and Latinos are nearly five times that of whites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Blacks suffer almost one-quarter of Covid-19-related deaths in the U.S., though they make up only about 13% of the population.

The drug industry has a poor record of minority participation in clinical trials, according to research and industry officials. Last year, Blacks made up about 9% of participants in trials for novel drugs while nearly three out of every four subjects were white, according to the FDA.

Some experts say efforts to diversify enrollment add to the cost of running a trial, and challenges including lack of access to basic health care and transportation in some communities make recruitment difficult. But the bigger problem, they say, is deep-rooted mistrust of health-care authorities after a tainted history of unethical medical experimentation on Blacks and other minorities.

A poster seeking volunteers for the large study of a potential Covid-19 vaccine developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., in Binghamton, N.Y.


Hans Pennink/Associated Press

A well-known example is the Tuskegee syphilis study, which began in the 1930s and went on for 40 years. Black men who participated weren’t informed of the true nature of the research and were even deprived of penicillin when it was found to be an effective treatment.

Scientists are working on helping people understand the benefits of vaccines. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that just over half of Black adults would be willing to get a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine, compared with about three-quarters of white adults.

“The biggest thing is trust-building,“ said Dr. Kawsar Talaat, assistant professor in the department of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. ”If you give people information, recruitment is not so hard.”

The government’s “lack of leadership and clear messaging around Covid in general has further eroded whatever trust there was in the public-health system,” said Dr. Toyin Ajayi, Chief Health Officer of Cityblock Health, a health-care provider focused on underserved communities. To overcome the mistrust, researchers are strategizing with community groups and churches.

Keep an Eye on the Data

The National Black Church Initiative, which includes about 150,000 U.S. churches, is working with

Moderna Inc.

MRNA -5.74%

after contacting the drugmaker about collaborating on enrollment. Pastors will help educate church members about vaccines and encourage them to enroll, said Rev. Anthony Evans, president of NBCI, which has worked with the industry on more than a dozen trials before Covid-19.

“We want to be included. We don’t want to be thought of afterward,” he said. “And since the disease is impacting the African-American community greater than any other community, we demand that.”


Get a coronavirus briefing six days a week, and a weekly Health newsletter once the crisis abates: Sign up here.

Researchers are trying to reach potential subjects though minority physicians, radio shows and community media outlets. They are making sure advertisements feature minorities, and that medical pamphlets are translated from English faster than usual.

Companies also are recruiting in areas with high minority populations.

In McAllen, Texas, along the Mexican border, where about 85% of the population is Hispanic, Headlands Research’s Centex Studies is enrolling study subjects for vaccine trials.

“You need to go where the population is,” said Headlands Chief Executive Mark Blumling, whose company is seeking 9,000 subjects across several sites to test vaccines.


Would you participate in a Covid-19 vaccine trial? Why or why not? Join the conversation below.

Sanofi SA,

SNY 0.27%

which expects to test its first Covid-19 vaccine in humans in September, will try to reach minorities by conducting late-stage testing in Latin America, Europe and Asia, said Sanjay Gurunathan, who oversees vaccine trials at the French company.

Vaccines tested in partnership with the NIH, such as Moderna’s and


AZN 0.41%

PLC’s, will harness research sites that are part of longstanding networks that were used to test HIV vaccines, and have years of experience recruiting minorities through community outreach, said Larry Corey, an infectious-disease specialist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who is advising the NIH on its vaccine trials.

On Sunday at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Cincinnati, researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center explained to the congregation the importance of Black Americans’ enrolling in vaccine trials. Afterward, Pastor Damon Lynch Jr. asked the congregants to tell others. “When you leave, you go out and you tell them what you learned today,” he said. “We want you, when this stuff becomes a reality, to fight to get it to our communities.”

Write to Jared S. Hopkins at

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Switzerland nears deal to get Moderna COVID vaccine, official says –



ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland is close to signing a deal to secure access for a coronavirus vaccine being developed by Moderna of the U.S., a government official has said.

Switzerland will soon sign a reservation and supply deal, Pascal Strupler, the director of the Federal Office of Public Health, told the Swiss TV programme Club late on Tuesday.

“We are only a few hours away from completing a purchase contract. With this contract we will get it very quickly,” Strupler said.

He declined to give financial details of any deal.

If the vaccine passes trials and is authorised for use, it could be produced in Switzerland under a deal between drugmaker Lonza and Moderna.

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading


Today's coronavirus news: Study suggests Canadians will face potentially explosive increase in mental illness for years after pandemic ends; Canadian company urging human trials after vaccine results –




  • 4:10 a.m. Nearly half of Canadians would support an election being called if the federal watchdog finds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to have violated the Conflict of Interest Act again

  • 4 a.m. A Canadian company is urging human trials after COVID-19 vaccine results in mice

  • 5 p.m. Tuesday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting a total of 41,682 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,820 deaths, up 125 new infections in 24 hours.

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Wednesday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

7:18 a.m. A cruise ship carrying more than 200 people docked in a Norwegian harbour Wednesday and ordered to keep everyone on board after a passenger from a previous trip tested positive for the coronavirus upon returning home to Denmark.

Bodoe Mayor Ida Pinneroed told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that the SeaDream 1’s 85 crew members would all be tested for the virus and that authorities were in contact with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health on whether the 123 passengers should be as well.

“We take the situation very seriously,” the mayor said.

The Norway-based company that owns the ship, SeaDream Yacht Club, said the former passenger had no symptoms of COVID-19 during the earlier voyage and had travelled home from Tromsoe on Aug. 2. The person underwent a routine virus test upon arrival in Denmark and it came back positive on Tuesday.

All the other passengers from the infected individual’s trip must self-isolate for 10 days, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said.

7:13 a.m. The World Health Organization is sending dozens of senior experts to South Africa to help the nation deal with the world’s fifth-highest number of coronavirus infections.

South Africa has more than half-a-million confirmed COVID-19 cases and expects the first wave of infections to peak around the end of August, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told reporters. The WHO is responding to a request for help by sending 43 specialists, with several arriving Wednesday, he said.

While South Africa has had reduced hospital admissions in recent weeks and its official virus death toll of 8,884 people is relatively low, medical researchers have found a discrepancy between the country’s confirmed COVID-19 fatalities and the number of excess natural deaths.

The country is also pursuing local vaccine manufacturing options and is participating in two global research projects, he said.

6:47 a.m. Novavax Inc. shares saw huge swings in extended trading as investors took a critical eye to early data on its experimental vaccine for COVID-19 following a 3,800-percent rally in the stock this year.

The shares briefly fell as much as 34 per cent postmarket on Tuesday, before paring the decline. In trading before regular hours Wednesday, they were up 21 per cent.

The two-injection regimen when administered concurrently with Novavax’s immune-boosting technology generated antibody responses that were four times higher than those seen in people who had recovered from the disease. Some of the healthy adults in the study experienced side effects including fever, headache and fatigue.

Confusion over the vaccine’s safety data arose after a media report incorrectly said trial participants were hospitalized with severe reactions. The vaccine appeared safe in the more than 100 patients who received it, according to the company. Reactions to the shots were generally mild, lasting two days or less. One patient getting the vaccine had a mild skin infection that was determined not to be related to the shot.

6:03 a.m. Poland reported 18 new coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, the most in a day since June 30, taking the total to 1,756 as an outbreak in the country’s industrial heartland worsens.

The pace of new cases slowed from Tuesday’s record 680, rising by 640 to 48,789, mostly in the southern coal mining region of Silesia and at a poultry processing company in the western district of Wielkopolska.

The government expects about 600 new cases per day in the next period, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, a spokesman for the health ministry told reporters on Wednesday. Authorities will soon announce new restrictions, including on restaurants and weddings, to fight the epidemic in 20 particularly affected counties, he said.

4 a.m. A supreme court judge in Newfoundland and Labrador is expected to rule Wednesday on the involvement of a civil rights group in a case challenging the province’s COVID-19 travel ban.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association filed a claim with Halifax resident Kim Taylor in May that alleges the restrictions violate the charter and fall outside the province’s jurisdiction.

A special measures order from the Newfoundland and Labrador’s chief medical officer of health in May banned anyone but permanent residents and asymptomatic essential workers from entering the province.

Justice Donald Burrage heard arguments Tuesday on whether The Canadian Civil Liberties Association should have standing to make legal arguments about the ban itself and its enforcement measures.

Changes to the province’s Public Health Protection and Promotion Act, also adopted in May, allow police to detain and transport people to exit points in the province and expand search powers.

A lawyer for the province argued there is no evidence related to the police powers because they have not been applied, but association’s lawyer said the measures are unconstitutional on their face.

4:10 a.m. Nearly half of Canadians would support an election being called if the federal watchdog finds Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to have violated the Conflict of Interest Act again over the WE charity affair, a new poll suggests.

The survey by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies also suggests the WE controversy has taken a bite out of Trudeau’s popularity, as well as that of the federal Liberal party, putting the Conservatives within striking distance of victory.

“To me these are numbers that will certainly worry or concern the Liberals at this moment because even though it’s in the summer, this is raising a lot of eyebrows,” said Leger executive vice-president Christian Bourque.

The online poll of 1,531 adult Canadians took place July 31 to Aug. 2, in the days following Trudeau’s appearance before a parliamentary committee to answer questions about the deal with WE. It cannot be assigned a margin of error because internet-based polls are not considered truly random.

The survey results come as federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion is investigating both Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau over whether they broke conflict-of-interest rules in relation to the government’s decision to give the WE organization a sole-sourced contract to run a $912-million student-volunteer program.

4 a.m. A Canadian company is telling the government Wednesday that its trials of a potential COVID-19 vaccine on animals completely blocked the virus, but it must conduct human trials to know whether it has found a possible cure for the pandemic.

And a leading health-care expert says the findings are promising even though they haven’t been peer-reviewed.

Providence Therapeutics says it needs federal funding to move forward, but it has not heard back from the Trudeau government since May, the month after submitting a $35-million proposal to conduct first-stage human trials.

Providence has told the government it could deliver five million doses of its new vaccine by mid-2021 for use in Canada if it were able to successfully complete human testing, but it has heard nothing.

Eric Marcusson, the San Francisco-based co-founder of Providence and its chief science officer, says the company has concluded testing on mice that showed its vaccine was able to block the entry of the novel coronavirus into their cells.

4 a.m. Wednesday A new study suggests Canadians, especially women, will face a potentially explosive increase in mental illness for years after the COVID-19 pandemic is finally over.

Get the latest in your inbox

Never miss the latest news from The Record, including up-to-date coronavirus coverage, with our email newsletters.

Sign Up Now

Over the long term, the Deloitte study estimates that visits to emergency rooms for stress and anxiety-related disorders will increase one to three per cent from pre-pandemic rates.

Moreover, the study estimates that 6.3 million to 10.7 million Canadians will visit a doctor for mental health issues — a whopping 54 to 163 per cent increase over pre-pandemic levels.

The consulting firm says governments should be funding mental health services, providers should be getting ready for the demand and insurance companies should look at revising coverage options.

The estimates are based on an analysis of what transpired in the years following the Fort McMurray wildfire in 2016, which forced the evacuation of 88,000 people and destroyed more than 2,400 homes in Alberta.

It’s also based on an analysis of the long-term impact on Canadians of the “great recession” of 2008-09, a global economic crash that was nowhere near as deep or as long-lasting as the expected impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

Wednesday 12:05 a.m. The Walt Disney Company lost nearly $5 billion (U.S.) in April, May and June, while its theme parks were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a presentation Disney executives made Tuesday.

It cost the company $3.5 billion (U.S.) just to close the parks during the third quarter, on top of the $1 billion (U.S.) it cost to shut them down the second half of March.

In all, the company posted a loss of nearly $5 billion (U.S.) for the third quarter, including a $2 billion (U.S.) loss in its parks, experiences and products segment.

Disney’s domestic parks — Disney World and Disneyland, as well as Disneyland Paris, resorts and cruise operations were closed for the entirety of the quarter and the final two weeks of the previous quarter.

“This is obviously a very uncertain time,” CEO Bob Chapek said during an earnings webcast Tuesday. “We should be in good shape once consumer confidence returns.”

7:30 p.m.: British Columbia health minister is urging residents not to attend private parties and gatherings after recent increases in the number of COVID-19 cases across the province.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says many of the latest cases stem from such events and the numbers serve as a reminder that people must adhere to public health rules this summer.

B.C.’s top doctor Bonnie Henry says transmission remains low and residents must ensure it stays that way.

She says common factors in many of the latest cases include talking, laughing and sharing drinks and food, especially in indoor settings, as well as spending time in crowded areas.

During a briefing on Tuesday, Henry reported that 146 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected since Friday and there have been no additional deaths.

Active cases have climbed to 319, while 3,273 people have recovered from the illness.

5:45 p.m.: As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Ontario’s regional health units are reporting a total of 41,682 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 2,820 deaths, up 125 new infections in 24 hours.

The provincewide case growth included a spike in Chatham-Kent, which on Tuesday reported 40 new cases for the three days of the Civic Holiday long weekend.

Along with neighbouring Southwestern Public Health, Chatham-Kent is one of two Ontario health units that is currently seeing its highest rate of case growth since the start of the pandemic.

Elsewhere, cases continue to fall, and the province is overall at its lowest rate of new infections since well before the pandemic first peaked in Ontario in the spring.

Ontario has averaged 98 cases per day over the last seven days, down from a peak of nearly 600 daily, seen in mid-April.

Meanwhile, three more fatal cases were reported, two in Toronto and one in Simcoe-Muskoka.

The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

The province cautions its separate data, published daily at 10:30 a.m., may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in the reporting system, saying that in the event of a discrepancy, “data reported by (the health units) should be considered the most up to date.”

Read Tuesday’s rolling file

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Source link

Continue Reading