Tag: COVID-19

Staying Healthy Going Back to School Amid Ongoing Pandemic

It is the time of year when parents and students of all ages begin preparing to go back to school.  They will be exposed to new experiences and ideas, but also higher stress and risk of exposure to viruses — including the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and the proliferating variants. 

The ongoing pandemic has added challenges to every facet of life, including navigating classrooms. Returning to school has taken on new meaning and a new set of worries for students, parents, caregivers, and teachers. The decision on what classes and learning looks like is usually made on the local level by school boards and government officials. Overall, schools choose from one of three models:

  • Distance learning. All instruction is done remotely using technology and other tools.
  • In-person schooling. Similar to traditional schooling with enhanced health and safety precautions and procedures, but risks infection for students/teachers/their families.
  • Hybrid schooling. This model includes elements of both distance and in-person schooling.

Schools may adopt one or more models over the course of the school year and still-evolving pandemic. Being prepared for a variety of learning environments can empower you and/or your child/student and reduce any additional anxiety. In each case, there are steps you can take to reduce the risks of COVID-19, help your student feel safe, and make informed decisions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Get vaccinated. All adults and children over 12 years old currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccines should get fully immunized by the start of school year. People are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine such as Johnson & Johnson’s.
  • Wear face masks. Everyone over 2 years old should wear face masks that cover the nose and mouth. This is a simple, proven tool to protect students and teachers indoors — even if they’ve been vaccinated.
  • Monitor health. Be aware of any symptoms you may have, stay home if you are sick, get tested, and notify the school if you are at risk of exposure/infection.

Regardless

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Resources for Migraine and Headaches

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month. A vital part of awareness is knowing that migraines are much more than just a bad headache. Migraine is a neurological disease with debilitating symptoms that affects over 39 million people in the United States. Most people who experience migraines get them once or twice a month, but more than 4 million are affected by daily chronic migraine with at least 15 days of debilitating symptoms every month.

Everyone has headaches, but not everyone experiences migraines. Migraine is not a measurement of headache pain. Many people think there’s a scale: mild pain, moderate pain, severe pain, migraine. This is a misconception. A migraine may be any level of pain, from none to severe. Migraine involves nerve pathways, brain chemicals, and often runs in families but also has environmental factors. There is no single migraine pattern. Some people find certain foods bring on a migraine, while others may find bright or flashing lights start the process leading to a full-blown migraine. 

There are

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The Costs of Coronavirus – Part 4

Since our last update on the costs associated with COVID-19 in January, the United States has begun to make meaningful progress in distributing vaccines, vaccination rates, and slowing the spread of the coronavirus within its borders. There are now three FDA-approved vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19, including one approved for emergency use among children as young as 12 years old.

Over 1,000-4,000 Americans died from COVID-19 every day in the final months of the Trump administration. Former President Trump refused to meaningfully address the ongoing pandemic in their final weeks in office, even going so far as to needlessly delay signing relief legislation — jeopardizing benefits for millions of Americans in need. Following two vaccines being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December, the Trump administration lagged far behind its target of 20 million Americans inoculated by the end of 2020 and left no plan for how to distribute the vaccine for the incoming Biden administration.

The anniversary of the first confirmed diagnosis of the novel

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How Vaccines Work

The COVID-19 pandemic is a reminder of the important role immunization plays in preventing infections. Vaccinations contribute to stopping epidemics/pandemics  and greatly benefit public health. Like polio and influenza before it, vaccinations against the novel coronavirus will be a major part of trying to stop the global pandemic. Vaccines are vital to herd immunity and preventing infection without causing the disease.

The Immune System

To understand how vaccinations work, it is necessary to know something about the human immune system which is responsible for fighting off and protecting against infection. The primary component is white blood cells. To fight infection, white blood cells react to proteins on the virus or bacteria surface called antigens. White blood cells can fight infections directly or produce a variety of defenses. There are many types of white blood cells, each playing a different role in the body’s fight against bacteria and viruses.

Neutrophils and Macrophages

White blood cells called neutrophils

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Allergies, Asthma, and COVID-19 in Spring 2021

We are a few short weeks away from the beginning of spring in the United States, when more than 50 million Americans may be affected by seasonal allergies. Allergies are one of the most common chronic illnesses. An allergy occurs when the body’s immune system sees a substance (referred to as an allergen) as harmful and overreacts to it. Allergies affect as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children in the U.S. The most common allergy symptoms make you uncomfortable, while others can be life-threatening

Allergens can be inhaled into your nose and lungs, ingested through the mouth, absorbed through the eyes and skin, or injected into the body. The severity of symptoms during an allergic reaction can vary widely based on the allergen, infection vector, and individual reaction. Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Pain
  • Tongue swelling
  • Cough
  • Throat closing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness, loss of breath
  • Feeling faint, light-headed, or “blacking out”
  • A sense of “impending doom”

Asthma, affecting over 25 million Americans, may or may not be related to allergies and can cause similar symptoms. There are two types of asthma — allergic (or extrinsic) and

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About Us

Welcome to the NeedyMeds Voice! We look forward to presenting you with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. Our goals are to educate, enlighten, and elucidate; together, we will try to make sense of the myriad and ongoing healthcare-related changes in the U.S. today.