Biden and CDC’s Covid-19 variant guidelines have disabled people feeling left for dead

By Eric Garcia: For Complete Post, Click Here…

As the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus spreads and adults and children are hospitalized in record numbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened the recommended amount of time asymptomatic people who test positive for Covid-19 spend in quarantine. There is not a requirement that people test negative before ending that shorter isolation period, although Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s top medical adviser, has said the CDC is considering it.

Though many schools have delayed their returns following winter break, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said this week, “Our expectation is for schools to be open full time for students for in-person learning.”

“We are intent on not letting omicron disrupt work and school for the vaccinated,” Jeff Zients, President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response coordinator, said in December. “You’ve done the right thing, and we will get through this.”

Those policies and statements have left people with disabilities once again feeling abandoned and demoralized. Assurances that the omicron variant is a “milder” variant of Covid-19 do little to comfort people with disabilities or people who are chronically ill. Nor is it a comfort to hear the White House blame people who are unvaccinated for the pandemic’s latest surge, as Zients did when he said, “For the unvaccinated, you’re looking at a winter of severe illness and death for yourselves, your families and the hospitals you may soon overwhelm.”

Framing Covid-19 in a way that blames unvaccinated people ignores how sick people with chronic illnesses and people with disabilities can get even if they have been vaccinated. The White House seems to be waving these people off as a technicality.

A program for cheaper internet for low-income Americans launches today

By Justine Calma: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The FCC extended assistance that started during the pandemic.

Starting today, eligible US residents can apply for help with their internet bills under the new Affordable Connectivity Program. The program launched today with $14.2 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure law passed in November.

Households can apply to take up to $30 a month off their internet service bill. For households on qualifying Tribal lands, the discount is up to $75 per month. The program could help to connect millions of people to the internet who haven’t had access to it at home, especially in communities that have historically faced more barriers to getting online.

Almost a third of people living on Tribal lands lacked high-speed internet at home in 2017, according to a report by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). That’s compared to just 1.5 percent of city-dwellers without high-speed internet access. On top of limited infrastructure, cost is often another barrier. The United States has the second-highest broadband costs out of 35 countries studied by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). And American Indian and Alaska Native people have the highest poverty rate of any race group in the US, according to the US Census Bureau.

To even apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program, someone has to be able to get online. They’ll need to visit ACPBenefit.org to apply or print out a mail-in application.

Folks eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program can also qualify for a one-time $100 discount for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer from participating providers (including T-Mobil, AT&T, and Verizon).

Motor skills in autism: A missed opportunity

BY ASHLEY DE MARCHENA, CASEY ZAMPELLA: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Clinicians and scientists have described motor skill differences since the earliest conceptualizations of autism, yet these differences are widely viewed as peripheral to the condition’s core traits. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5), for instance, atypical gait and clumsiness are included only as ‘associated features,’ independent of the primary phenotype.

Accordingly, autism theories, assessments and interventions have tended to gloss over the extent to which motor skill differences affect autistic people. A burgeoning literature, however, suggests that broad motor differences are more relevant than has historically been appreciated for understanding, assessing and supporting people on the spectrum. 

We recently reviewed the most current research on motor skills in autism, with a focus on the evidence most relevant for clinical care. We concluded that motor skill differences are a meaningful and highly underutilized clinical target for autistic people of all ages. They should also be included in the DSM as a clinical specifier for autism. Such representation would signal the need to give targeted attention to motor functioning, and it would provide a clear framework for how motor differences fit into the broader diagnostic picture.

Frontal Lobe Epilepsy — An Overview

by Brooke Dulka: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Symptoms of Frontal Lobe Epilepsy

In neurology, FLE is characterized by seizure activity in the brain’s frontal lobe. These seizures usually last less than 30 seconds. They most often occur during sleep, or between the hours of 2 a.m. and noon. Signs and symptoms of frontal lobe seizures might include:

  • Movements of the head or eyes to one side
  • Complete or partial impairment of consciousness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Loud yelling, vocalization of obscenities, or laughter
  • Unusual body posturing, such as extending the arms, which can be asymmetric
  • Repetitive movements, such as rocking or pelvic thrusting

Petition: Join The Fight to Get Joshua Barras Treatment!

From Stephanie Ruble: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Join us in fighting for the right to treatment of a man suffering from Anoxic Brain Injury

On behalf of Joshua Barras and the Barras family, myself and a group advocating for Joshua Barras are starting this petition to request that the State of Louisiana remove the current guardian or “curator” Maegan Adkins-Barras from having control of Joshua Barras’ medical and financial affairs. We also request that in the interim of court proceedings Joshua Barras’ mother Kelly Barras who is seeking to assume guardianship of Joshua Barras be allowed to seek treatment and adequate therapy for him. With every day that passes, Joshua loses critical time to receive therapies that could improve his quality of life. Not receiving prompt therapy can lessen his chances of making progress towards recovery.

Joshua Barras’ Story

They Were the Pandemic’s Perfect Victims

by Duaa Eldeib: For Complete Post, Click Here…

ngd-There was a similar process of large scale death among children with blood clotting disorders in the late ’80s-early ’90s. 95% of the children died because the powers that be refused to force blood testing for HIV even though a test was available….

The pandemic killed so many dialysis patients that their total number shrunk for the first time in nearly half a century. Few people took notice.

By the time Cheryl Cosey learned she had COVID-19, she had gone three days without dialysis — a day and a half more than she usually waited between appointments. She worried how much longer she could wait before going without her life-saving treatments would kill her.

The 58-year-old Cosey was a dialysis technician for years before she herself was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. After that, she usually took a medical transport van to a dialysis facility three days a week. There, she sat with other patients for hours in the same kind of cushioned chairs where she’d prepped her own patients, connected to machines that drew out their blood, filtered it for toxins, then pumped it back into their fatigued bodies.

Her COVID-19 diagnosis in the pandemic’s first weeks, after she’d been turned away from a dialysis facility because of a fever, meant Cosey was battling two potentially fatal diseases. But even she didn’t know how dangerous the novel coronavirus was to her weakened immune system.

Had she realized the risks, she would have had her daughter Shardae Lovelady move in. Just the two of them in Cosey’s red brick home on Chicago’s West Side, looking out at the world through the sliding glass door in the living room, leaving only for her dialysis.

Food is Medicine Coalition Policy Priorities

From The Food is Medicine Coalition: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Food Is Medicine Coalition (FIMC) is a national coalition of nonprofits focused on the intersection of nutrition and healthcare, delivering medically tailored meals (MTM) and nutrition counseling and education to people in communities across the country who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves. Most FIMC agencies began 35 years ago at the height of the AIDS pandemic, serving people with HIV. In the years since, all have expanded their missions to serve all people living with severe illnesses.

Medically tailored meals (MTMs) are delivered to individuals living with severe illness through a referral from a medical professional or healthcare plan. Meal plans are tailored to the medical needs of the recipient by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), and are designed to improve health outcomes, lower cost of care and increase patient satisfaction. MTMs are delivered to an individual’s home. The Clinical Committee of FIMC, made up of credentialled RDNs from across the country, establishes and regularly updates the FIMC Medically Tailored Meal Nutrition Standards, which catalogue the nutrition quality of this evidence-based intervention.

Community Access Center’s (CAC) Modular Ramp Recycle Program

By AbilityTools Staff: For Complete Post, Click Here…

For about six months now, I have been plagued by a pinched nerve in my neck; aside from losing the use of my right arm and leg, my balance has also deteriorated drastically. As a result, I have been relying more and more on rollators to walk.

For someone with physical disability, durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, and rollators are often considered an extension of one’s body, not unlike glasses can be seen as an extension of one’s eyes, as a matter of fact, I often think of my smartphone as an extension of my brain! If one relies on a wheelchair to move around, then the size of one’s world can be limited by places inaccessible to the wheelchair; in some cases, even one’s own house.

One thing I’ve noticed while using rollators to walk is that whenever there is a threshold, more force has to be applied in order to force it over. And of course, rollators have to be carried up the stairs, which made me think that perhaps I did not give enough credit to our Modular ramp recycle programs.

I work as the Assistive Technology Specialist for the Community Access Center in Riverside, in terms of geography our service area is quite wide, from Corona in the west all the way to Blythe in the east. That also includes quite a few rural areas and reservations. I started my job here in 2009 and for the majority of the time working here, there has been this ramp that we run quite successfully – in terms of numbers, but since I am not a wheelchair user, its actual significance has escaped me.

Now that I have become a rollator user, I frequently wish that my rollator can climb the stairs with me, which brings us back to our Modular ramp recycle program; at the time of writing, Community Access Center has around 150 modular ramps circulating in the field. These modular ramps cost anywhere between $3000.00 and $5000.00 each, these price points can be well beyond the reach of someone on fixed income. To make the matter worse, a plurality of people on fixed income live in modular homes in mobile home parks, those modular homes typically have 3-4 steps with fairly steep inclines. In other words, if you are a wheelchair user living in modular homes, these ramps are a necessity.

To alleviate the above mentioned financial burden, the Community Access Center has purchased almost 150 modular ramps since 2014 for the purpose of loaning them out long term; they are yours to keep for as long as you need them, and when you decide that you no longer need the ramps, we will repossess them before loaning them to the next person that need them free of charge. In the almost ten years this program has been running, we lost only two modular ramps when the consumers passed away; So, our modular ramp recycling program has become a very crucial part of the Riverside community.

FEMA wants to give families up to $9,000 for COVID funerals, but many don’t apply

From AP: For Complete Post, Click Here…

When Wanda Olson’s son-in-law died in March after contracting COVID-19, she and her daughter had to grapple with more than just their sudden grief. They had to come up with money for a cremation.

Even without a funeral, the bill came to nearly $2,000, a hefty sum that Olson initially covered. She and her daughter then learned of a federal program that reimburses families up to $9,000 for funeral costs for loved ones who died of COVID-19.

Olson’s daughter submitted an application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, received a deposit by June and was able to reimburse her mother the $1,974.

“Had this not been available, we would have been paying the money ourselves,” said Olson, 80, of Villa Rica, Georgia. “There wasn’t any red tape. This was a very easy, well-handled process.”

As of Dec. 6, about 226,000 people had shared in the nearly $1.5 billion that FEMA has spent on funeral costs that occurred after Jan. 20, 2020, the date of the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the U.S. With the nation’s coronavirus death toll topping 800,000, it’s clear that many families who are eligible for reimbursement have yet to take advantage of the funeral benefit.

Olson’s son-in-law was traveling a lot, working on air conditioning systems in theaters, restaurants and businesses, when he began feeling ill, she said. After a few days at home, he went to the hospital and was put on a ventilator. He died several weeks later.

“He could never overcome it,” Olson said.

To be eligible for reimbursement, death certificates for those who died after May 16, 2020, must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19.

National Harm Reduction Coalition creates spaces for dialogue and action that help heal the harms caused by racialized drug policies.

By Monique Tula (she/her): For Complete Post, Click Here…

National Harm Reduction Coalition builds evidence-based strategies with and for people who use drugs.

End the Overdose Crisis

We have the tools to prevent fatal overdose deaths. National Harm Reduction Coalition ensures more communities have access to these tools.

Nearly 70,000 people died from drug overdose last year. The work of the Harm Reduction movement is a matter of life and death.

Learn more about our overdose prevention efforts.