NASA’s Office of Space Science has selected a group of University of Colorado at Boulder researchers to spend three years mapping the polar ice on Mars using satellite data. The research team from the National Snow and Ice Data Center will create a “virtual sensor” by combining data from two instruments currently orbiting the Red Planet on NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor satellite, said principal investigator and glaciologist Anne Nolin. The scientists will apply remote-sensing techniques to study the Mars data and help them to both identify the surface composition of Mars’ polar ice and plot its perimeters. In addition to increasing the human understanding of Mars’ climate and geophysical properties, the scientists believe the $225,000 project may help explain some of Earth’s evolutionary processes, she said.”Mars is the planet most similar to Earth,” Nolin said. “There used to be a lot of liquid water on Mars, but not any longer. We want to know what has caused a planet relatively similar to ours to change so much, and how and why it evolved. Ice provides a long-term archive of climate change.”Although Nolin said distinctions between Mars ice and Earth ice will influence the study, both planets have large polar ice caps that play a role in their hydrological cycles, temperature gradients and atmospheric circulation. The northern ice cap on Mars is mainly fresh water, but the southern ice cap is thought to be almost entirely composed of frozen carbon dioxide.”Ice on Earth is comparatively close to the melting point, and is therefore the most dynamic type of surface cover due to seasonal changes in ice and snow extent,” she says. “The lower temperatures on Mars mean that the poles experience fewer seasonal changes, but still experience changes in frost-covered areas.” Ice on Mars extends to lower latitudes than ice on Earth and there is probably more frozen ground on Mars than on Earth, Nolin said.In addition to the presence of carbon dioxide ice on Mars, the substantial amount of dust in the Martian atmosphere and within the ice caps indicates that Martian ice differs greatly from Earth’s polar ice and presents the greatest challenge in studying Martian ice.To address such difficulties, the researchers plan to combine images from the Mars Orbital Camera with reflectance information from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter to create a multi-spectral “virtual” sensor. The camera on the Mars Global Surveyor satellite is sensitive to the visible characteristics of ice and dust, while the altimeter measures both the near infrared reflectance of ice and its surface height characteristics.By analyzing the combined data through a series of “refining steps,” the researchers will be able to measure the relative abundance of dust to ice or snow and possibly identify other surface components, Nolin said. The virtual sensor also will allow the CU-Boulder researchers to see temporary events on Mars like frost, snow and clouds.The National Snow and Ice Data Center is part of the CU-Boulder- headquartered Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. CIRES is a joint institute of CU and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Published: Feb. 15, 1999 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail
Inntopia,Vermont Business Magazine Ski NH, the statewide trade association representing alpine and cross country resorts across New Hampshire, has partnered with Vermont’s Inntopia, the leading e-commerce and central reservation platform for destination travel in North America, to sell ski tickets to participating ski areas in the Ski NH ticket program. Inntopia will help Ski NH provide an intuitive and enjoyable experience for its customers as well as help Ski NH with increased operational and administrative efficiencies. “We are very excited about our partnership with Inntopia,” said Jessyca Keeler, Executive Director at Ski NH. “We needed a system that delivers ease of use for our consumers, our Ski NH team, and the resort ticketing staff. Inntopia’s intuitive yet powerful platform will meet our needs and provide additional operational functionality that will benefit our sales and marketing efforts.”Inntopia’s online solutions will enable Ski NH to easily sell and distribute various ski vouchers to be redeemed later at the ski areas. Furthermore, Ski NH will now have the ability to efficiently manage products, inventory, and prices, track usage of each product, gather consumer data, run reports of all kinds, and rely on secured payment options. Guests of Ski NH will enjoy the intuitive reservation platform and the true one-stop online shopping experience, along with the ability to easily purchase multiple tickets from various mountains in one simple transaction.The partnership with Ski NH represents Inntopia’s growing presence in the statewide ski business. “We are very excited to be working with Ski NH,” states Trevor Crist, founder and CEO of Inntopia. “We will help them deliver their guests an intuitive and complete booking experience and are looking forward to long-term success. We expect this to open doors with other statewide associations that have experienced similar challenges and are looking for the ideal solution that Inntopia provides.”About Ski NH: Ski NH(link is external) is New Hampshire’s not-for-profit, private ski area trade association representing 34 alpine and cross country ski resort members. They support the ski members with government relations and education, marketing and promotion, and membership and networking opportunities. The ski areas participating in the ticket program for 2016-2017 include: Loon Mountain, Dartmouth Skiway, Granite Gorge Ski Area, McIntyre Ski Area, Mount Sunapee, Black Mountain, Bretton Woods, Cannon Mountain, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Gunstock Mountain Resort, King Pine Ski Area, Pats Peak, Ragged Mountain Resort, and Waterville Valley Resort.About Inntopia: Headquartered in Stowe, Vermont, Inntopia(link is external) provides the leading suite of advanced reservation solutions in the destination travel industry, with a continuously evolving platform using over 15 years of measurable results and feedback from industry leading partners. Inntopia’s innovative technology solutions serve ski (link is external)and golf resorts(link is external), water parks and attractions(link is external), destination marketing organizations, tour operators, hotels, and activity providers. Inntopia has partnerships with over 75 major resorts and destinations across the globe, including Aspen, Intrawest, Whistler.com, Thredbo (Australia), and World Golf Village.
Vermont Business Magazine The states with the most robust economies are tending to be on the coasts, while the interior of the US states are growing more slowly. Vermont ranks 26th. On the top five “best” and “worst” subcategories, it is in only one, ranking second best in educational attainment of newcomers. Other states have seen a tremendous rebound from the Great Recession. California, for instance, blossomed in 2016 as the sixth largest economy in the world, boasting a GDP(link is external) that’s comparable in size to the UK’s and even larger than those of France and India. Meanwhile, Illinois continues to be in a fiscal free fall(link is external), with a record $14.5 billion in unpaid debt — imperiling its schools and social programs — as well as the second-highest unemployment rate(link is external) in the Midwest.Vermont, with the second lowest population to Wyoming ($37,858 million), has the smallest GDP at $31,092 million. Vermont is tied for 8th lowest unemployment rate at 3.1 percent.In order to determine which states are pulling the most weight, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 27 key indicators of economic performance and strength. WalletHub’s data set ranges from GDP growth to startup activity to share of jobs in high-tech industries. MethodologySource: WalletHub(link is external)Best State Economies Overall Rank(1 = Best) State Total Score ‘Economic Activity’ Rank ‘Economic Health’ Rank ‘Innovation Potential’ Rank1Washington76.541432California73.7822623Utah73.775144Massachusetts73.3442915District of Columbia67.0936136Colorado66.3715357Oregon65.6569108New Hampshire62.52171079Maryland60.971828610Delaware59.8210201511Idaho58.202121912Michigan57.862333813Virginia57.519182314Arizona57.3516241415North Carolina57.3424111216Connecticut57.251245917Minnesota56.5620161718Georgia55.998212919New York55.667441820Texas55.4019152121New Jersey55.1311471122Florida54.4813123023Missouri50.1734192424South Carolina49.7814234125Wisconsin49.1633143126Vermont49.1035312227Nebraska49.003673428Indiana48.8926253529Nevada48.1122274030Pennsylvania47.7325412731Montana47.6646132532South Dakota47.093953933Iowa47.0131223734Illinois46.9327432635Tennessee46.4029174436Rhode Island46.0240402037Ohio45.6730422838Kansas44.2543343239Hawaii43.7138303840New Mexico42.0844511641Alabama41.5832384342North Dakota41.115183643Wyoming39.4047324544Kentucky38.9428464845Maine38.9137364746Alaska37.6850393347Oklahoma37.1149374248Arkansas35.8845355049Mississippi34.9941484650Louisiana33.2242504951West Virginia28.14484951In order to determine the best state economies, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three key dimensions: 1) Economic Activity, 2) Economic Health and 3) Innovation Potential.We evaluated those dimensions using 27 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest economic performance.We then calculated the total score for each state and the District based on its weighted average across all metrics and used the resulting scores to construct our final ranking.Economic Activity – Total Points: 33.33GDP Growth: Quadruple Weight (~13.33 Points)Share of Fast-Growing Firms: Triple Weight (~10.00 Points)Note: This metric measures the number of firms in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list as a percentage of total firms.Exports per Capita: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)Startup Activity: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)Note: This metric measures the rate of newly established firms.Quality of Legal System: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)Economic Health – Total Points: 33.33Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~4.60 Points)Underemployment Rate: Half Weight (~1.15 Points)Change in Nonfarm Payrolls (2016 vs. 2015): Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Change in Total Civilian Labor Force (2016 vs. 2015): Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Increase in Ratio of Full-Time Jobs to Part-Time Jobs (2015 vs. 2014): Half Weight (~1.15 Points)Median Annual Household Income: Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Government Surplus/Deficit per Capita: Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Unfunded Public Pension Plans per Capita: Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Share of Population Lacking Health Insurance: Half Weight (~1.15 Points)Share of Population Living Below Poverty Level: Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Foreclosure Rate: Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Growth in Number of Businesses (2015 vs. 2014): Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Fiscal Health: Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Note: This metric is based on the George Mason University Mercatus Center’s state fiscal rankings(link is external), particularly the State Fiscal Condition Index, which refers to the sum of cash, budget, long-run, service-level and trust-fund solvency indices for each state.Building-Permit Activity: Full Weight (~2.30 Points)Note: This metric measures the total number of new privately owned residential-building permits issued annually per capita.Average Educational Attainment of Recent Migrants from Abroad: Half Weight (~1.15 Points)Note: The educational attainment of recent immigrants aged 25 and older from a foreign country is classified as having either no high school diploma; a high school diploma or equivalent; some college experience or an associate’s degree; a bachelor’s degree; or a graduate or professional degree. Each degree classification was assigned a weight based on the equivalent average years of schooling the U.S. education system would require for the level of educational attainment:0 for no high school diploma;12 for high school diploma or equivalent;14 for some college experience or an associate’s degree;16 for a bachelor’s degree; and18.95 for a graduate or professional degree (the average number of years of schooling of the U.S. population of graduate, professional, and doctorate degree holders)The number of recent immigrants in each degree classification was multiplied by its respective weight then divided by the total number of recent immigrants aged 25 and older for the final score.Average Educational Attainment of Recent Migrants from Other U.S. States: Half Weight (~1.15 Points)Note: The educational attainment of recent migrants aged 25 and older from other states within the U.S. is classified as having either no high school diploma; a high school diploma or equivalent; some college experience or an associate’s degree; a bachelor’s degree; or a graduate or professional degree. Each degree classification was assigned a weight based on the equivalent average years of schooling the U.S. education system would require for the level of educational attainment:0 for no high school diploma;12 for high school diploma or equivalent;14 for some college experience or an associate’s degree;16 for a bachelor’s degree; and18.95 for a graduate or professional degree (the average number of years of schooling of the U.S. population of graduate, professional, and doctorate degree holders)The number of recent immigrants in each degree classification was multiplied by its respective weight then divided by the total number of recent migrants aged 25 and older for the final score.Innovation Potential – Total Points: 33.33Share of Jobs in High-Tech Industries: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)Share of Jobs STEM Professionals: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)Number of Independent Inventor Patents per 1,000 Working-Age Population: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)Industry R&D Investment Amount per Total Civilian Employed Population: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)Note: “R&D” refers to research and development.Nonindustry R&D Investment Amount as Share of GDP: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)Note: “R&D” refers to research and development.Entrepreneurial Activity: Full Weight (~5.56 Points)Note: This metric is based on the Kauffman Index of Startup Activity(link is external), which is an equally weighted index of three normalized measures of startup activity, as defined by the Kauffman Foundation: the Rate of New Entrepreneurs (percentage of adults becoming entrepreneurs in a given month); the Opportunity Share of New Entrepreneurs (percentage of new entrepreneurs driven primarily by “opportunity” vs. “necessity”); and the Startup Density of a Region (number of new employer businesses, normalized by the business population).Sources: WalletHub June 2017. Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Deloitte, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, United Health Foundation, American Legislative Exchange Council, Mercatus Center at George Mason University, CoreLogic, United States Patent and Trademark Office, National Science Foundation and Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
When cancer CAN’T be beat I chose the title for this article with all deliberate intention. Having served on the Quality of Life and Career Committee for The Florida Bar for nearly two terms, I am well aware that at the Annual Meeting last year our committee presented an outstanding course called “CANcer CAN be Beat.” For those of you who attended this program and got valuable information and boost to your spirit, clutch to those — the value is real and there is truth for MOST cancer. Unfortunately, it is not the universal truth of the matter for all cancers — and the factual situation came crashing into my life headlong on August 23 and 24, 2006. This article shows how it can come to pass that cancer can NOT be beat.During the early summer of 2006, I became ill and seemed to get progressively worse no matter what I did. What I did NOT do was go to the doctor. Like so many people in the U.S. today, I did not have health insurance. I’ve dedicated so much of my professional time to serving the indigent that I don’t have any assets and I didn’t have any liquid assets to pay for a doctor’s visit. Actually, with the information I have now, it probably wouldn’t have made a terribly significant difference if I had gone to the doctor in June or August, but I hadn’t really been to a doctor’s office in a few years. So, some things were happening inside of my body that were about to force themselves into present moment awareness.About May or June of 2006, I started having flu symptoms, including rapid weight loss, digestive disturbances, chest congestion. I would treat each spurt of symptoms with the appropriate over-the-counter remedy until it went away and the next symptom set came on. I have four children, three of whom are young adults, and by mid-summer they were actually nagging me to go to the doctor. My son, 18 at the time, told me he couldn’t stand to hear me crying out in pain in my sleep anymore. But the bottom line came around the end of July, when I started coughing up blood – bright red blood. The actual incidents were only three in number, but after the third one, my children made me promise that the next time I would go to the emergency room. Ironically, there was not a next time, at least not one of which we had direct knowledge. Almost certainly, I had been coughing up or otherwise bringing up blood, but it just wasn’t looking the same way and finally, one morning it became obvious that I could no longer ignore my symptoms. I went in to brush my teeth, and while I was cleaning my tongue I started to gag and vomited a little into the sink. The problem was that I vomited up blood. My daughter had me, caught me red-handed, so to speak, and off to the emergency room we went.Vomiting up blood can, of course, be symptomatic of a large variety of ailments. I was indulging myself in the fantasy that this could be an ulcer, perhaps; after all, I’ve been known to get stressed out like a lot of other lawyers. And there are other ailments that can have similar symptoms … so I just waited patiently with my daughter for the results of a chest X-ray. We were NOT prepared for the results. First, I thought the doctor’s presentation was great. My daughter wanted to knock him to the floor for supreme insensitivity: He came bouncing into the room and said something like:“You have a growth in your right lung 9 centimeters big, that’s the size of a baseball. Of course we can’t tell you it’s lung cancer from an X-ray, but we can certainly say that you do NOT have pneumonia.”Hey, I thought this was hysterically funny. When I started laughing, my daughter started laughing. It turned out to be the best way for us to learn the news, I think. The range of emotions in those few seconds was more intense than any roller coaster I’ve ever been on. Of course, the doctor was telling me I have lung cancer. And not just a little, bitty cancer – I have a baseball sitting in my lung. Worse yet, the baseball tumor in my lung is bleeding. I’m indigent. The doctor is doing some kind of mental hurly-burly trying to figure out how he’s going to get me services so we get a real diagnosis and get some proper care set up. In the meantime, the doctor is telling me what tests he can justify to keep me in the emergency room for a while so we can strategize for more long-term care.A few tests were ordered to isolate views of the growth in the lung, but also to get views of other abdominal organs. A CT scan was done, with appropriate dyes to offset the appearance of any other growths. I can tell you that they found another tumor on my left adrenal gland (and probably others as well, that simply were not discussed at the time). This was used to justify keeping me in the hospital overnight for consultations with a pulmonary specialist and a medical oncologist. The pulmonary specialist wanted to be angry at whatever doctor had been treating me, because he said it was clear by the appearance of my fingers and hands that I was having severe respiratory problems. He became less caustic when he learned about my financial situation and the reason for it. The oncologist was setting me up for radiation with a colleague before he left the room I was in, saying, “I don’t like bleeding tumors.” The oncologist just made me promise to follow-up with his office to get radiation therapy started so we could stop the lung tumor from bleeding. Between the pulmonary specialist and the oncologist, several more tests were ordered and completed during the next day, including a biopsy. And I was discharged the next day after dinner.Being a searcher for truth, I was totally dissatisfied with the information that I brought home from the hospital, so I spent several days on the computer researching lung cancer. I had enough information to know this: I have a primary tumor in my right lung that based on size alone qualifies it as the worst stage of cancer; even if it didn’t, however, there is metastasis to other organs. (They still haven’t told me every location, but does it really matter now?) the end of the weekend, before I got in to see the radiation oncologist, I was able to determine that I have Stage IV lung cancer. The only thing I couldn’t know was the specific type of cancer I have (non-small cell, squamous), as that information came from the biopsy they did while I was in the hospital. I had fairly exhausted all information available to me within two days through Internet research, and decided to let it rest for a while when I found prognosis information. For Stage IV lung cancer THERE IS NO CURE. I am going to die of lung cancer.The problem with lung cancer is that it is basically symptomless. the time I had any symptoms at all, I was already at the most advanced stages for lung cancer. This, I think, is the point that ties this article to the presentation by the Quality of Life and Career Committee last June: Cancer CAN be beat with early detection — yes, even LUNG cancer — but you have to take proactive steps to identify the cancer and treat it. Are you engaging in risky behavior? I smoked for nearly 20 years, and while no one will say I caused my cancer, I had a choice to stop smoking every time I lit a cigarette. You can choose to stop your risky behavior today (but I won’t nag you to do it). Because lung cancer is so hard to find and doesn’t invite you to find it, if you have engaged in risky behavior or been exposed to other risk factors, discuss the relative risks of having chest X-rays at some regular interval with your family physician.There is another thing we can all do: Something must be done to create universal health care in the U.S. How many other people are going without care and treatment because they can’t afford medical care? I know that I am not the only one. If I had had more options for health care, perhaps my cancer might have been found early enough to be treated, allowing for a much more promising result for me and for my children.A final thought on all of this: I appreciate prayer, no matter what faith you identify with, and if you choose to pray for me, that would be kind. I ask, however, that you not pray for a miracle. I am going to die from cancer and there is really nothing that can be done to change that. Rather than praying for a miracle, I ask that you pray that I live out the end of my days pain-free, with a good quality of life that allows me to enjoy my children and love them completely. I ask that you pray that I continue to see the miracle that occurs each and every day when I wake in the morning to a beautiful day, with a beautiful family, beautiful friends; and that you pray that my friends and family can all see the same miracle in their own lives as well. I wish you love and blessings. Cindy Lenoff Zatzman is a member of The Florida Bar’s Quality of Life and Career Committee. She is an author of quality of life and ethics articles for legal professions, including the News . Cindy is blogging her cancer and end-of-life journey, and the blog can be found at http://blog.myspace.com/zatzwoman. The blog will, from time to time, make her transparent to the world at large, but she believes there is more to be served by sharing than by concealing the aspects of finishing out life with cancer. There may, therefore, be explicit comments from time to time. When cancer CAN’T be beat December 15, 2006 Regular News
The Wall Street Journal:What does the psychological research say about the effectiveness of putting graphic images on cigarette packs? I haven’t had a chance to sort through the original research articles myself, but science journalists are presenting some seriously variant conclusions.According to ScienceInsider,”Scary New Cigarette Labels Not Based on Psychology.” The author of the piece quotes the behavioral psychologist Carol Tavris: “Has anyone been to the movies lately? [HBO’s] ‘Game of Thrones,’ where people’s heads are cut off in front of you? I think people’s tolerance for the ugly and the violent is quite high.”Read more: The Wall Street Journal More of our Members in the Media >
Stereotypes related to gender and appearance that burden women in the real world could follow them into virtual ones, according to researchers.In a study of how people interacted with avatars in an online game, women received less help from fellow players than men when they operated an unattractive avatar and when they used a male avatar, said T. Franklin Waddell, a doctoral candidate in mass communications, Penn State.“It doesn’t matter if you have an ugly avatar or not, if you’re a man, you’ll still receive about the same amount of help,” said Waddell, who worked with James Ivory, associate professor of communication, Virginia Tech. “However, if you are a woman and operate an unattractive avatar, you will receive significantly less help.” Share Waddell said the findings, which were released in the recent issue of the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, are similar to those in previous research on how appearance stereotypes affect men and women in the real world. There, women are more likely to suffer negative consequences based on their appearance than men are, he said.“Overall, many of the same gender and sexual stereotypes seem to permeate the online worlds,” Waddell said. “The study supports the idea that our responses to stereotypes and norms follow us from real life into virtual environments.”In another finding, players were less likely to help a woman who controlled a male avatar than a man who controlled a female avatar.“Although woman are typically less penalized for engaging in cross-sex behavior than men in offline settings, we found an opposite pattern in the online setting, such that men were allowed to control either a male or female avatar without penalty, whereas women were penalized for controlling an opposite-sex avatar,” Waddell said. “In other words, when the stereotype would typically benefit women, the pattern was flipped in the virtual world, allowing men to engage in ‘gender bending’ with their avatar, whereas women were not encouraged to. So it truly is a lose-lose for women in online settings, according to our study.”The findings suggest that businesses may want to offer fewer, not more, options if workers use avatars to interact with colleagues or customers, according to the researchers.“Businesses often want to provide employees and customers with as many technological options as possible,” said Waddell. “However, if business people are going to use avatars to interact with each other or with customers, they may want to use avatars that are gender neutral, for example, or they risk bringing all of those stereotypes from the real world into their online environments.”The researchers used six different avatars to study reactions to help requests among 2,300 players of the online game, World of Warcraft. The avatars represented male and female creatures across three different levels of attractiveness. Prior to this study, participants had evaluated the levels of attractiveness as high, medium and low.During an online session, a researcher would approach a player with a request for directions in the game. To test the magnitude of the favor, the researcher either asked the player to provide directions to a site in the game — a small favor — or asked the player to actually guide the researcher to the site — a large favor. The researchers used other cues to signal the sex of the operator.“For example, if I approach a player, I might say, ‘Can you help a guy out?’ to signal that I was a male operating the avatar,” said Waddell. “If I wanted to signal that I was a female operator, I would say, ‘Can you help a girl out?’” Pinterest LinkedIn Email Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
A woman is tested for COVID-19 in Windhoek, Namibia, on April 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Jacobina Mouton) A woman is tested for COVID-19 in Windhoek, Namibia, on April 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Jacobina Mouton)As COVID-19 cases surge in Namibia, healthcare workers face a disproportionate risk of infection with over 60 healthcare workers having so far tested positive of the novel coronavirus.For more than four months, nurses across the country have been caring for patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic without the protections that would prevent exposure to the virus.The country had prepared well in terms of quarantine and isolation facilities but had not equipped state hospitals with proper safety gear and procedures on how to deal with all patients in the time of the coronavirus.This exposed many healthcare workers who attended to asymptomatic walk in patients resulting in many getting infected.Emelda Naruses is one of those healthcare workers who risks her life everyday as a front-line worker to give care to patients without blinking an eye as she says that is what she signed up for.According to her, “it is business as usual” even though sometimes she becomes overwhelmed with anxiety at the thought that it is not only her life in danger, but that of her colleagues, her family and the country at large.For the past 10 years, Naruses has been a casualty nurse at two of Namibia’s biggest state hospitals in the capital Windhoek.As a casualty nurse, Naruses is the front-line person who receives patients as they come into the hospital before they are referred anywhere else, a routine that she has become accustomed to.“Doing my job is scary but it is something I know I signed up for. At casualty people just come even without masks and sometimes it is a life and death situation so we do not worry about such things, all I am concentrating on is saving a life,” Naruses said.A hospital’s casualty area is the busiest and sometimes events happen so fast that the nurses do not have time to look for protective wear and this has put many nurses at risk of infection especially during these times of COVID-19.Naruses explains that before the surge in cases in the capital city, patients were not initially swabbed when they entered the hospital which exposed a lot of healthcare workers to the virus as they did not have proper personal protective equipment to use.According to Naruses, nurses usually just have aprons on and gloves but they do not wear masks except when they start examining a patient.“Previously when we admitted patients we did not swab them. For some patients would come to the hospital for a completely different condition and it would only be discovered later that the person has COVID-19 after tests. Some patients do not present any symptoms when they come,” Naruses said.These gaps in the country’s response to COVID-19 has exposed many of the healthcare workers, weakening the healthcare system at a time when every hand is needed.The country is however intensifying efforts to raise awareness and offer everyday training to healthcare workers to make sure that more people do not get infected to the virus.“We receive training on the proper use of protective gear and conducting tests and treatments. The training also includes lesson’s on how COVID-19 is spread for us to educate our patients so that they also know how to protect themselves,” Naruses said.Namibia has so far recorded 3,726 positive cases, 2,342 recoveries and 31 deaths.According to the country’s Health Ministry, the rate of infection is accelerating at a very fast pace where cases in capital Windhoek have more than doubled in the past 2 weeks.It took three months for the country to get to 1,000 positive cases but it has taken 14 days to reach 2,000 and 11 days to reach 3,000.Namibia’s President Hage Geingob says he is concerned about surge in coronavirus cases in particular the number of healthcare workers who are becoming infected.“I am especially concerned with the number of healthcare workers who are becoming infected. We must do everything necessary to ensure the adequate provision of Personal Protective Equipment for all front-line workers in the country so they can continue to safely serve the nation,” Geingob said.He added that the confirmation of clustered community transmissions is of great concern. If left unchecked, this pandemic will be catastrophic for our country in terms of lives lost and the economy.This week, the country reinstated stricter lock-down measures because of the surge in cases by migrating back to stage-3 for 16 days after having moved to stage-4 on June 29.Under stage-3, travel in and out of hot-spot areas such as the capital, Windhoek and Walvis Bay will be restricted to emergency situations while any persons leaving these areas will be quarantined upon arrival at their destination.The country has imposed a curfew on the restricted towns as well as limit alcohol sales while public gatherings including weddings, funerals and religious events will be limited to 10 people.Hope Kalufu, who is also a healthcare worker at Namibia’s state hospital said being a nurse during these times has been an uphill struggle where she has constantly had to fight with patients to make sure they put on their masks before entering the hospital.She said apart from fearing for her life, the nurses face many emotional challenges where they are constantly conflicted on whether to go to work or to just stay home and be safe.“Everyday we are exposed to many dangers but all of them are not as serious as the pandemic. we fear for our lives and the lack of protective equipment makes the situation even worse,” Kalufu said.Namibia is in the process of recruiting more health-care professionals as the country faces a shortage.Related Namibia COVID-19 cases breach 1,000 mark Somalia confirms 19 new COVID-19 cases Over 22,000 healthcare workers infected by COVID-19: WHO
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