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COVID's Longer-Lasting Consequences

Scott LaFee on

There's "long COVID," defined as cases in which people experience new, returning or ongoing health problems more than four weeks after first being infected with SARS-CoV-2, and there's the longer, lingering, broader effects on just about everybody else.

In a new study published in Lancet, researchers describe the pandemic's uneven toll. The disease killed more men than women and disproportionately affected people of color. Compared to men and boys, women were more likely to lose their jobs and do unpaid caretaking; women and girls were more likely to drop out of school; and women were more likely to report domestic violence.

"The further we progress in this pandemic, the more we feel that the inequities being exacerbated are only going to worsen, and that any pre-pandemic progress towards gender equality will be reversed," the study authors wrote.

Body of Knowledge

The average human adult is comprised of approximately 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (7 octillion) atoms. However, these atoms are mostly empty space. If compressed into solid matter, your body would fit into a cube less than 1/500th or 0.002 of a centimeter on each side. For comparison, common dice are usually 1.6 centimeters of 0.63 inch on each side.

Get Me That, Stat!

In its latest survey (data from 2017-2018), the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics reported 3.4 million visits to emergency departments for people injured in motor vehicle crashes. The greatest proportion were people age 15 to 24; and the region with the largest percentage was the South.

Mark Your Calendar

April is official awareness month for irritable bowel syndrome (like anyone can ignore that), autism, facial protection, sarcoidosis, oral and testicular cancers, Parkinson's disease, sexually transmitted diseases and stress, which may be incurred from reading this list.

Counts

17.2: Percentage of Americans over the age of 18 who binge drink, defined as a pattern of drinking alcohol that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08%. For a typical adult, this corresponds to consuming four or more alcoholic drinks (female) or five or more drinks (male) in about two hours.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Stories for the Waiting Room

Early screening, such as regular mammograms, are fundamental to preventing severe or fatal outcomes from breast cancer, but sometimes they lead to "overdiagnoses" that can cause more harm than good. A new study found that in 1 in 7 breast cancer cases, overdiagnoses occurred. That's still good news because it underscores the idea that in 6 of 7 cases, the benefits of mammography generally outweigh its risks.

Doc Talk

Bruxism: teeth grinding

Phobia of the Week

Asthenophobia: fear of fainting

 

Food for Thought

Rennet is a complex set of enzymes traditionally used to separate milk into solid curds and liquid whey. It's used in the production of cheese. Historically, the source of rennet was from the stomachs of ruminant mammals, such as cows. Most rennet, or more specifically, its key component chymosin, is derived from bacterial sources these days.

Best Medicine

First student: "Well, I just finished my psychology PhD thesis on the mental health and well-being of little people."

Second student: "And what were your findings?"

First student: "Six out of seven dwarves aren't Happy."

Observation

"According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two. Does that seem right? That means to the average person, if you have to go to a funeral, you're better off in the casket than doing the eulogy." -- Comedian Jerry Seinfeld

Medical History

This week in 1932, C. Glen King of the University of Pittsburgh isolated vitamin C, a medical and scientific breakthrough that involved five years of work and the sacrifice of untold numbers of lemons. King and his colleagues isolated a crystalline substance, identified and later synthesized vitamin C, leading to new ways to prevent related diseases, such as scurvy.

Self-exam

Q: What are the four most common elements that make up the human body?

A: Oxygen (65%), carbon (18.5%), hydrogen (10%) and nitrogen (3.2%). Calcium and phosphorus each come in around 1%. Everything else is smaller or trace amounts.

Curtain Calls

In 1988, a poodle fell from a balcony on the 13th floor of an apartment building in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It landed on a 75-year-old woman below, the impact killing both the dog and the woman. As onlookers gathered to gawk at the tragedy, a woman standing in the street at the edge of the crowd was struck and killed by a passing bus. After her death, a man who had witnessed all of these deaths suffered a heart attack and subsequently died en route to a hospital.

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To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate Inc.
 

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