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Bending PPE Rules Spells Death For Health Care Workers And Families

Bending PPE Rules Spells Death For Health Care Workers And Families

Bending PPE Rules Spells Death For Health Care Workers And Families2020-05-21PopularResistance.Orghttps://popularresistance-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/2020/05/pjimage-4-2.jpg200px200px

Above photo: Colleagues and family members gathered at UIC Hospital in Chicago for a demonstration to remember fallen health care workers and raise attention to the lack of personal protective equipment and the bending of PPE rules. At UIC Hospital, 190 healthcare workers have been confirmed infected with COVID-19. SEIU Local 73.

Chicago – If he could have worn a fresh N95 mask for every procedure as mandated by the Centers for Disease Control, would surgical technologist Juan Martínez be alive today?

It was a tough question for a reporter to ask a grieving daughter. “We can’t know, but they bent rules, and that’s not how healthcare should be,” Angela Martínez told People’s World.

Angela held aloft a large portrait of her father at a demonstration on the lawn across from the entrance to University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago where he had worked for over 20 years. She was joined by her sister Rebecca, brother Juan, Jr., who had followed in his father’s footsteps as a surgical tech, sister-in-law Yaneth, and her mother Martha who had worked 13 years in the hospital’s nutritional services department.

“We came because we knew they would be honoring my dad,” Angela said, describing her father as a lifelong advocate for workplace justice. “His union, SEIU Local 73, was a big part of his life. He would be proud to see us here, in support of firstline workers.”

Called together by their unions, the Illinois Nurses Association and SEIU Local 73, hospital staff and families carefully distanced themselves last Friday at noon while demanding proper equipment and hazard pay.

Angela Martínez holds a portrait of her father, Juan Martínez, a surgical tech at UIC Hospital who died of COVID-19. She is accompanied by sister Rebecca, left, and sister-in-law Yaneth, right. Roberta Wood / PW

Angela described the skilled work her father took pride in: “The surgical tech preps the operating room with the proper instrumentation and insures the sterile technique is maintained. He was in the OR for many years, and most recently worked directly with the sterile processing team,” she said.

As a nurse practitioner herself, Angela says she knows the importance of wearing a proper N95 mask. “They have made it OK for nurses to re-use these masks. I find it so hard to believe—we’re in America. We’re in a state of emergency. That is the time the rules are made for, when we’re supposed to do everything right. That is not the time to bend the rules.”

Ebony Talley is a hospital epidemiologist who focuses on infection prevention in hospital settings. Talley echoed Angela’s concerns. “A lot of things we are asking people to do now historically we have asked people NOT to do,” she told People’s World in a phone interview.

Talley is concerned that even though the science has not changed, the rules are being re-written to accommodate equipment shortages. She recalls only a short time ago her job called for insisting that nursing managers enforce CDC rules for proper PPE usage. A health care worker observed walking around in the same mask all day long would be called to account. Now, instead of being banned, that practice is being required. “There’s no change in evidence,” she emphasizes, there’s still the danger of contaminating the environment. It’s still a fact that, in general, masks are not effective once moistened.

Anthony Wallo’s wife, Sheila Puntal, is a nurse at UIC Hospital. Although Wallo did not work at the hospital, he became ill with COVID-19 and passed away. His portrait is held by Sandra Mundt, a co-worker of his wife. Roberta Wood /PW

Hospital workers also fear bringing the disease home to their families. One of the portraits carried was Anthony Wallo. Wallo did not work at UIC Hospital, but his wife Sheila Puntal is a nurse there, said her co-worker Sandra Mundt, who works in cardiac nursing and held Wallo’s photo. “We have to put our name on our mask so we can use them over and over,” she reported, shaking her head.

The Martínez family is a case in point of the dangers to health workers’ families: After their father’s diagnosis, Angela, Rebecca, their mother, brother, sister-in-law, and grandmother all tested positive for the virus. The grandmother remains hospitalized.

Neurological ICU nurse Eileen Fajardo was holding the photo of her good friend Joyce Pacubas Le Blanc, the first UIC nurse to die of COVID-19. “Joyce worked in a ‘clean’ unit, not a COVID unit,” Fajardo said. “It can happen to any of us. Precautions are not being taken. We should have N95 masks for everyone.” But only workers in the COVID units are supplied with N95 masks, she said.

Fajardo insisted that the protections for COVID unit staff are also inadequate. “They have 85 rooms for COVID patients, but only 3 have negative pressure. Negative pressure rooms for all COVID patients is one of the demands of the Illinois Nurses Association, according to Fajardo.

Six feet from Fajardo stood José Moreno, holding aloft the photo of his late colleague, Maria Lopez, an operating room nurse.

Left: Operating room nurse Maria Lopez’s portrait is held aloft by her colleague, José Right: The portrait of Joyce Pacubas Le Blanc, the first UIC nurse to die of COVID-19, is held by her friend, neurological ICU nurse Eileen Fajardo. | Roberta Wood / PW

Juan Martínez was scheduled to retire April 30, but on May 2, what would have been the second day of his retirement, friends, co-workers, and family paid tribute to him in a memorial drive-by procession. He will never enjoy the retirement he had worked so hard for. He died on April 27. In addition to his wife, daughters, son, and daughter-in-law, Juan Angel Martínez is survived by his beloved grandchildren, Ezra, 3, and Angelo, 1.

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News NPR

Families Foster Classroom Pets During Coronavirus Shutdown : NPR

Benjamin Dally and his daughters Emma (center) and Cleo are fostering Frisky the frog from a science classroom at PS 58 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Benjamin Dally and his daughters Emma (center) and Cleo are fostering Frisky the frog from a science classroom at PS 58 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

In the pandemic, families are taking on all kinds of unexpected roles. Here’s another one: zookeeper.

When the New York City schools closed in March, my son’s teacher, Mary Pfeifer, sent an email to parents, asking who would be willing to invite the classroom pets into their homes — for the duration.

The response was immediate. “It’s a very giving community” says Pfeifer, who teaches pre-K through second grade science at PS 58 in Brooklyn.

Ms. Pfeifer, as she’s known to her students, knows Holly the Russian tortoise, Frisky the frog, and the other classroom companions are in good hands. But that doesn’t stop her from thinking about them. “They’re pets. I miss knowing what they’re doing,” she says.

Chubby the frog is living with the Stacke Sleeper family until the school reopens.

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Chubby the frog is living with the Stacke Sleeper family until the school reopens.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

“I worry about the two frogs the most. They have the most care involved.”

In addition to Holly and Frisky, there’s Chubby the frog, as well as an assortment of invertebrates including walking sticks, garden snails, beetles, worms and bugs. “Hands-on time with live creatures is invaluable,” Ms. Pfeifer says.

With short-term changes becoming long term, the families who welcomed the animals into their upended lives are finding companionship, entertainment and learning opportunities.

Chubby the frog

Bryan Sleeper with his sons, Errol Sleeper, 6, and Oscar Stacke, 8 months.

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Bryan Sleeper with his sons, Errol Sleeper, 6, and Oscar Stacke, 8 months.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

Bryan Sleeper and Sarah Stacke
Errol Sleeper, 6 years old
Oscar Stacke, 8 months old

I was quick to enlist our services when I heard Chubby the frog needed a foster home. Since arriving in March, we’ve discovered a lot about Chubby and the crickets she eats.

Chubby gets two daily mists. She breathes through her skin and needs a moist environment to survive. She’s nocturnal and likes to soak in her pool at night. We’ve learned that frogs use their eyeball muscles to swallow, and we were also relieved to learn that it was the pet trade business that nicknamed her species “chubby frog,” rather than PS 58 students.

When we can find Chubby — she’s very good at burrowing into the dirt — my first-grade son, Errol, likes watching her open and close her mouth.

Errol Sleeper, 6, looks into Chubby the frog’s tank while Chubby receives a daily mist to keep her skin moist.

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Errol Sleeper, 6, looks into Chubby the frog’s tank while Chubby receives a daily mist to keep her skin moist.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

We’ve been surprised that crickets, considered a hardy pest in houses and gardens, have proven delicate in captivity. And they can be delivered by mail; who knew? Keeping their container free of poo and carcasses is a dirty job that we will not miss when Chubby returns to her forever home. Crickets do have one good quality: They chirp at night, which we all find very peaceful, and will miss when they leave.

Holly the Russian tortoise

First-grader Aram Agha and his 3-year-old brother, Ellias Agha, watch Holly the Russian tortoise in the yard of their apartment complex in Brooklyn.

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First-grader Aram Agha and his 3-year-old brother, Ellias Agha, watch Holly the Russian tortoise in the yard of their apartment complex in Brooklyn.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

Harris Agha and Christine Topalian-Agha
Aram Agha, 7 years old
Ellias Agha, 3 years old

When the Agha family agreed to take in Holly the tortoise, they didn’t know what they were getting into. But over the past two months, Holly has become a source of comfort during the long, unpredictable days of the city’s lockdown. “She’s a new experience and something the kids can enjoy,” says Christine Topalian-Agha, whose 7-year-old son, Aram, is a student of Ms. Pfeifer’s.

The Agha family finds Holly, who is “not a fast walker,” easy to care for.

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The Agha family finds Holly, who is “not a fast walker,” easy to care for.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

Aram is Holly’s primary caretaker, and the tortoise lives in his bedroom, in a 3-foot container with a bath, plants and bark flooring. He lets her out sometimes to crawl around freely. Aram has written a book about the experience, titled My Life with Holly.

“She’s given Aram something very special,” says Christine, “something [of] his own that he manages and takes care of.”

“She sleeps a lot more than I thought she did,” notes Aram. “I also never knew she was Russian.”

Though the Aghas’ hands are full with work, home-schooling and, for a few terrifying weeks, father Harris Agha’s COVID-19 infection and recovery, ­­Christine says they are grateful to have Holly in their lives. When the tortoise returns to PS 58, they plan to get one of of their own.

The Log Hotel

Beatrice Hibbert, 7, (center) looks into the Log Hotel which houses pill bugs, two beetles and two millipedes.

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Beatrice Hibbert, 7, (center) looks into the Log Hotel which houses pill bugs, two beetles and two millipedes.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

Cadria and Mark Hibbert
Beatrice Hibbert, 7 years old
James Hibbert, 21 months

“We have a lot of bugs,” explains Cadria Hibbert. Though not entirely sure who is sheltering inside the Log Hotel from Ms. Pfeifer’s PS 58 science classroom, the Hibberts have confirmed there are two large beetles, two millipedes and what seems to be a growing number of roly-polies. (The family wonders whether the bugs are mating.)

The Hibbert family is trying to feed the critters leafy greens, like kale, or anything green from their own dinner plates, because lettuce they were told to offer spoils quickly. The Log Hotel, they learned, does not like broccoli.

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The Hibbert family is trying to feed the critters leafy greens, like kale, or anything green from their own dinner plates, because lettuce they were told to offer spoils quickly. The Log Hotel, they learned, does not like broccoli.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

The Log Hotel, in its terrarium, has found a home next to the Hibberts’ hermit crab and the LED light station they use to grow garden plants year-round. “I like that we now have a whole area on the shelves dedicated to ecosystems,” says Cadria.

Her daughter Beatrice, 7, has been studying the Log Hotel’s needs, including what the creatures eat, and she has learned that they like to be sprayed with water throughout the day to keep the soil moist. “I was brought up in the countryside with lots of bugs like this,” says Cadria. “I’m glad Beatrice knows what they look like — in New York, you see cockroaches but not much else.”

Frisky the frog

Cleo (left) and Emma Dally play with Frisky the frog on the deck of their apartment in Brooklyn.

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Cleo (left) and Emma Dally play with Frisky the frog on the deck of their apartment in Brooklyn.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

Charles Dally
Cleo, 9 years old
Emma, 5 years old

The Dally family has a few questions about Frisky: Is he missing the other PS 58 classroom pets? Would he like to have more plants in his tank? What will we do with him if we go on vacation?

Frisky arrived at PS 58 as a tadpole six years ago and was raised in the classroom along with his mate, Fiona, who died last year, Ms. Pfeifer says.

Frisky now lives in a sunny corner of the Dally’s Brooklyn apartment. An unassuming amphibian, his behavior has surprised the family a couple times. Every night, dad Charles Dally says Frisky becomes quite noisy. At first he thought Cleo, 9, or Emma, 5, had left the metronome on after piano practice. “Tik tok, tik tok. Now I know it’s Frisky,” he says.

The Dally family doesn’t consider Frisky a demanding house guest.

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The Dally family doesn’t consider Frisky a demanding house guest.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

The Dallys don’t consider Frisky a demanding house guest. He eats food pellets, and his tank gets cleaned every week or two. Frisky, according to Cleo and Emma, loves playing with his reflection in the glass walls of his home.

“Cleo and Emma get a lot of enjoyment out of him,” says Charles. “Especially at the beginning, they watched him a lot. Now, he’s a part of the environment, kind of like the furniture.”

Garden Snails

Second-grader Violet Goldberg and her brother, Jonah Goldberg, who is in fifth grade, are fostering the garden snails from the PS 58 science classroom.

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Second-grader Violet Goldberg and her brother, Jonah Goldberg, who is in fifth grade, are fostering the garden snails from the PS 58 science classroom.

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Andrew Goldberg and Gabrielle Paupeck
Jonah Goldberg, 10 years old
Violet Goldberg, 7 years old

In mid-April, it appeared the garden snails were trying to reproduce. Andrew Goldberg and Gabrielle Paupeck, who took the snails home from PS 58, sent a picture of the activity to Ms. Pfeifer. She confirmed their suspicions. After the tiny, white snail eggs appeared, Ms. Pfeifer received another picture. She advised the family that the eggs should hatch in another two weeks.

“I’ve been trying to get them to lay eggs for seven years,” says Ms. Pfeifer. “Obviously, the Goldbergs are doing something right.”

Snails are easy and low maintenance, the Goldbergs say.

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Snails are easy and low maintenance, the Goldbergs say.

Sarah Stacke for NPR

The snails live in a plastic tank with a backdrop that Violet, 7, drew for them. The animals are easy and low maintenance. “Occasionally they like a leaf, grape or pepper, but what they really want is carrots,” explains mom Gabrielle. “They also eat chalk to make their shells hard,” adds 10-year-old Jonah.

When asked whether the snails have changed the family dynamic, dad Andrew Goldberg replies, not so much: “We all enjoy the snails, but they’re not really a gateway to a dog.”

Sarah Stacke is a photojournalist who lives in New York City.

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News Sputnik

Families of Iranian Victims in Ukrainian Airline Crash in Tehran File Lawsuits, Judiciary Says

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TEHRAN (Sputnik) – The families of Iranian victims in the January downing of a Ukraine International Airlines aircraft near Tehran have begun filing lawsuits in connection with the incident, the Judiciary Organisation of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran said in a statement Monday.

“Since the transfer of the case regarding the crash of a Ukrainian plane to the Judiciary Organisation of the Armed Forces, the Tehran military prosecutors’ office has conducted an accurate and verified investigation of the case. Several groups of experts are studying various aspects of this disaster and many families of the victims have contacted the organisation with lawsuits”, a statement published on the organisation’s website read.

Earlier in the day, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba threatened Iran with “collective prosecution” if Tehran fails to come to an agreement with Kiev, as well as the other countries whose citizens were among the dead. President Volodymyr Zelensky has previously said that Iran must bring those responsible for the plane’s downing to justice and pay suitable compensation to the victims.

Ukraine International Airlines’ Kiev-bound Boeing 737-800 crashed on 8 January, soon after departing from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport. Citizens of Iran, Canada, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom were among the 176 passengers and crew who perished.

The Iranian military subsequently admitted to unintentionally shooting down the jetliner, having confused it with a hostile cruise missile in anticipation of US retaliation to Iran’s massive attack against Iraqi bases housing US military personnel. The Iranian leadership expressed deep regret, describing the tragedy as an “unforgivable mistake”.

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Gateway Pundit News

Families with a Coronavirus Infected Member Will Not Be Allowed to Leave Their Homes

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee gave an update on reopening Washington’s economy and contact tracing during the coronavirus pandemic.

During his press conference the Democrat Governor warned citizens that those families with an infection will not be allowed outside of their homes. Someone else will have to do their shopping for them.

Governor Inslee: As far as refusal it really shouldn’t come to that…

https://youtu.be/17AdsaXL4BY?t=2334

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The Lynnwood Times reported:

Enforcement

For those businesses/individuals that don’t comply, the governor stated that he confirmed with Attorney General Bob Ferguson, there will be sanctions in civil or crimal court.

At timestamp 38:55 in the video of the press conference below, one reporter asked: “When it comes to contact tracing, how are you guys going to handle people or families who want to refuse to test or to self isolate? If they want to leave their home to get groceries I know you’ve said they can’t do that; how will you make sure they don’t?

Below is Jay Inslee’s response:

Therefore, those individuals that refuse to cooperate with contact tracers and/or refuse testing, those individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes to purchase basic necessities such as groceries and/or prescriptions. According to Governor Inslee those persons will need to make arrangements through friends, family, or a state provided “family support personnel.”

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News RT

Virgin Mary image flown on HELICOPTER over Ecuador’s Covid-19 hotspot as families struggle to bury the dead — RT World News

A Virgin Mary image was flown above Guayaquil, Ecuador in a helicopter, marking the end of a pilgrimage – which was held virtually this year as the city is the worst affected by Covid-19 in the country.

 Usually, it’s the worshippers who line up to a shrine, sometimes waiting for hours to receive a blessing. However, this year in Guayaquil, it was the Virgin Mary herself who set off on the ‘Route of Health’ pilgrimage, flying over the city on Saturday.

The local chapter of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement was behind the flyover.

“We thought about the possibility, at the beginning only as a possibility, of making this flight over the city. But we especially approached the hospitals, and the iconic churches of Guayaquil, to tell everyone that, even though on each pilgrimage the faithful go to visit Mary at home, now she is the one visiting,” Eduardo Auza, Diocesan coordinator of the Schoenstatt Movement, said, as cited by RT’s Ruptly video agency.

The flyover concluded a virtual pilgrimage in which the faithful visited Guayaquil’s Schoenstatt chapel online instead of walking to the shrine to arrive there at dawn. The traditional pilgrimage was scrapped as the coronavirus crisis ravages the city.

While there have been well-documented reports of overcrowded hospitals lacking basic supplies, bodies decaying on the streets, mortuaries running out of space, and relatives struggling to bury their loved ones for weeks, or even worse – not able to retrieve their remains due to the chaos – government data indicates that 533 people died of the coronavirus in Guayaquil in March and April combined.

Many argue that the death toll is vastly underreported, as there has been a dramatic spike in deaths in the city compared to the same period last year. This year, 12,350 died in April and March, while last year, less than 3,000 died.




Also on rt.com
‘We have to wait for a patient to die so others can use his bed & ventilator’ – doctor in hardest-hit Ecuador city to RT



In the meantime, the problem of missing remains has grown so severe that an investigation into the mishandling of hospital morgues was launched last month. Apart from that, a special website where people can search the names of their deceased relatives has been set up. If a body is found by the authorities, the information is uploaded to the site.

On the surface, the situation in Ecuador as a whole does not seem dire. According to official data, it has only registered 30,000 cases and just over 2,000 deaths, lagging far behind the worst-affected nations.

At the same time, Ecuador’s death/recovery ratio is not very encouraging – about 3,500 people have recovered so far. The nation of 8.6 million has conducted around 80,000 coronavirus tests, with reports on the ground suggesting the situation could be considerably worse than on paper.

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