Health

Hiccup in COVID-19 Vaccine Development

By Althea Champion

In a statement from AstraZeneca, reported by STAT News, the biopharmaceutical company reported a halt in their global research trial. The company, which is working with the University of Oxford and is one of the few waist-deep in the process of developing a COVID-19 vaccination, reported that the halt is a “routine action which has to happen whenever there is a potentially unexplained illness in one of the trials.”

The company is in Phase 3 of their clinical trial in the U.S., as well as Brazil and South Africa, according to the New York Times, and in Phase 2/3 in England and India. AstraZeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31.

Phase 3 efficacy trials involve thousands of volunteers, some of which are administered the vaccine in question, and others the placebo.

AstraZeneca and its most close competitors, Moderna and Pfizer, which have each been in phase 3 of their clinical trials since July 27, are backed by the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed, a targeted allocation of resources meant to hasten the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The halt of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine—AZD1222—is the first made public by its drug maker, and will allow a safety review to take place. 

“A volunteer in the U.K. trial [of AZD1222] had been found to have transverse myelitis, an inflammatory syndrome that affects the spinal cord and is often sparked by viral infections,” reported the New York Times. “However, the timing of this diagnosis, and whether it was directly linked to AstraZeneca’s vaccine, is unclear.”

The vaccine was first developed by Oxford University’s Jenner Institute and Oxford Vaccine Group, according to nih.gov, and was then “licensed to AstraZeneca for further development.” Oxford-Astrazeneca began the third phase of its clinical trial not much longer than a week ago, on Aug. 31

The company stressed in its statement that the safety of their participants is a priority.

“We are working to expedite the review of the single event to minimize any potential impact on the trial timeline,” said the company in their statement. “We are committed to the safety of our participants and the highest standards of conduct in our trials.”

Kaelen Felix illustrates eviction article for 360 Magazine.

EVICTIONS POSTPONED FOR NOW

By Althea Champion

The Trump Administration recently announced a new eviction moratorium, which took effect Sept. 4th and will last until the end of December. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention put forward the order, which is meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, rent will be due when the moratorium expires at the end of the year.

The order is expected to go much further than its predecessor, the eviction ban classified under the CARES act, which protected 12 million tenants in qualifying properties and expired July 24th. The new moratorium is expected to protect all tenants who do not expect to earn more than $99,000 this year or face other financial limitations, and prove they are eligible.

This protection is meant to prevent a devastating wave of homelessness, that of which will likely spread the virus, worsening an already dire situation in the U.S.

Tenants breathed a huge sigh of relief as the news broke. According to a survey conducted by the National Housing Law Project, 85% of respondents expected a dramatic surge in eviction cases once the moratoria expired. However, the bills of tenants are not evaporating. Rather, they are starting a tab kept by their landlords.

“This Order is a temporary eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19,” the order reads. “This Order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract.”

Rather, it simply does not allow a landlord or owner of a property to evict tenants from their homes during the four month period it is active.

Tenants need to apply as soon as possible.

“To apply for the new moratorium, tenants will have to attest to a substantial loss of household income, the inability to pay full rent and best efforts to pay partial rent,” reports Matthew Goldstein of the New York Times. “Tenants must also stipulate that eviction would be likely to leave them homeless or force them to live with others at close quarters.”

This moratorium does not offer financial assistance. Instead, renters and landlords will take on the debt as they continue living in and renting their homes.

“The eviction moratorium the CDC enacted works from a health point of view, but it dodges the fundamental question, which is, how are we ultimately going to pay for this?” said Doug Quattrochi, a small landlord from Mass. on PBS NewsHour. “Just putting temporary band-aids on isn’t going to work when we knew, at the start of this, we were gonna need stitches.”

Rodent illustration by Nicole Salazar for 360 MAGAZINE.

CITY RATS × STREETS

By Althea Champion

Thirty-four years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant meltdown, lush greenery and wild wolves freely inhabit the landscape, uninhibited by the burden of human life’s presence. Nine months after the first reported case of COVID-19 in the U.S., another lifeform—one much less beautiful and romantic—roams the comparatively barren city streets of the U.S.: rats.

In East Coast cities, from New Orleans to Boston to New York City, residents are reporting sightings of rats swarming, scouring the city, capitalizing on the valuable real estate human beings recently left behind in pursuit of the safety of their homes.

The swell of rat turn-out is not simply because the once busy streets they cowered in the shadows of are now empty, but because they are starving and in dire straits. It seems that hard times are not unique to humans during these past few months, but are actually falling on rats, too.

“Community-wide closures have led to a decrease in food available to rodents, especially in dense commercial areas,” the CDC reported in a May update of rodent-control guidelines in respect to COVID-19. “Some jurisdictions have reported an increase in rodent activity as rodents search for new sources of food. Environmental health and rodent control programs may see an increase in service requests related to rodents and reports of unusual or aggressive rodent behavior.”

According to the Boston Herald, Boston is currently handling an impressive rat problem of their own, with the Allston/Brighton neighborhoods reporting a whopping 88% increase in rodent activity in comparison to last year.

“Boston is experiencing an unusually large surge in rodent complaints during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Meghan Ottolini of the Boston Herald. “With residents reporting massive infestations in gardens and rats ‘the size of cats’ scurrying down the street in broad daylight.”

The waste that rats once prospered on is no longer available as a result of much frequented restaurants and bars closing their doors. Scraps can no longer be found without extensive searches. Thus, city rats, motivated by their acute distress and changing landscape, are resorting to desperate measures. 

In New York City, where restaurants are permitted to serve patrons outdoors as of June 22, rats are also showing up to dine at the literal heels of customers bating for crumbs, according to The Guardian.

In cities more than ever, the line between wildlife and the human race is slimming. Unlike those who live in more rural areas, animals are not something city folk come in contact with on a daily basis—aside from a dog, cat, and the occasional hamster. 

Perhaps this is changing. Linda Rodriguez McRobbie of The Boston Globe suggests that the urban wildlifes—the coyotes in Chicago and San Francisco, mountain lions in Boulder, and the groundhog in Philadelphias—are perhaps lessening the “artificial division between ‘man’ and ‘nature,'” and maybe that isn’t a bad thing. Perhaps, humans do not have to be separate from nature, and rodents do feature in nature.

It is, after all, the year of the rat.

Mulatto of Altanta inside 360 MAGAZINE illustrated by Rita Azar.

Mulatto – Queen of Da Souf

Today, Mulatto cements her position with the release of her RCA Records debut project Queen of Da Soufclick here to listen. To usher in the long-awaited release, Big Latto premieres the Sara Lacombe-directed video for “Youngest N Richest,” one of the many standout tracks from the energetic project – click here to watch.

This year continues to be a stellar one for the 21-year-old Atlanta-based rapper. Her track,“Bitch From Da Souf (Remix)” featuring Saweetie and Trina, was recently RIAA-certified Gold, making Mulatto the first solo female rapper from Atlanta to accomplish this feat. As Mulatto continues to climb the charts –#3 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart and Top 10 on the Nielsen BDS Mainstream R&B/Hip-Hop National Airplay chart this week, theMuwop” video featuring Gucci Mane has reached 10 million views. Revealed last week, Latto is one of only two women inducted into the XXL 2020 Freshman Class, earning her another major milestone in her burgeoning career. In addition to her own music, Mulatto has been inescapable; from her recent cameo in Cardi B’s “WAP” video featuring Megan Thee Stallion, to countless features including NLE Choppa’s “Make Em Say,” and Hitmaka’s “Thot Box (Remix),” proving that Big Latto is bigger and better than ever before.

On top of her recent accolades, Queen of Da Souf solidifies Mulatto’s place in hip-hop as she displays her talent as a lyricist with witty, raunchy and raw bars. Gucci ManeCity Girls21 Savage and 42 Dugg make guest appearances, while producers Bankroll Got It, Hitmaka, Murda Beatz and more provide the addictive beatsThe project includes previously released tracks “Muwop” featuring Gucci Mane, “Bitch From Da Souf (Remix)”featuring Saweetie and Trina“No Hook” and “He Say She Say.” 

Queen of Da Souf Tracklist:

01 Youngest N Richest

02 Muwop feat. Gucci Mane

03 In n Out feat City Girls

04 He Say She Say

05 Pull Up feat. 21 Savage

06 Toya Turnup Talks

07 On God

08 Look Back At It

09 No Hook

10 Off Top feat. 42 Dugg

11 My Body

12 Blame Me

13 Bitch From Da Souf (Remix) feat. Saweetie & Trina

Rita Azar illustrates homeschooling article for 360 MAGAZINE

Homeschool Experts Recommend

Camping as a Virtual Learning Tool

With virtual schooling and family camping both skyrocketing as the result of COVID-19, Hip Homeschool Moms, a Parents magazine 2020 “Best Homeschooling Resource,” and Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park have teamed up to help struggling parents create fun, educational learning opportunities.

According to Jellystone Park, reservations are spiking as many schools open virtually and parents work from home, allowing families more flexibility to travel.

“Whether parents are using online curriculums provided by schools or are homeschooling, it’s important that they find ways to make learning fun,” said Trish Corlew, co-founder of the website HipHomeschoolMoms. “Most kids need to do more than sit in front of a screen to learn, which is why we are such big fans of camping. It provides so many great, hands-on educational opportunities.”

Hip Homeschool Moms has these tips for parents on how to include a late summer or fall camping trip in their virtual or homeschool plans:

  1. Look for family friendly campgrounds, such as Jellystone Park.They offer activities that entertain and educate kids, such as Bingo and arts and crafts, which supplement planned learning. They also provide socialization opportunities that are needed with classrooms closed and homeschool field trips and other activities on hold.
  2. Involve the kids in planning and managing the trip.Part of the learning experience is allowing kids to help with researching campgrounds, setting the budget for the trip and buying necessary supplies. And once you’re at the campground, let the kids help take care of the RV or cabin. They love responsibilities like these because it makes them feel grown up. These are life skills they will soon need.
  3. Check the campground’s Wi-Fi in advance.
    Call the campground to make sure it offers sufficient Internet access. If not, rent or buy a mobile hotspot to make sure you have enough bandwidth for online lessons, movie streaming and staying in touch with friends, family and work.
  4. Use online lessons and apps.Online lessons perfect for camping are widely available to help children study leaves, trees, rocks, flowers and wildlife. There also are apps designed for outdoor learning, as well as printable activities and games to take with you.
  5. Read and walk together.Camping provides the ideal environment to spend time as a family. Read aloud together, taking turns on different pages to help reluctant readers improve their skills. Or have the kids read independently and share what they learned. Scavenger hunts with printed or app-based guides encourage togetherness and learning.
  6. Visit local attractions.Many campgrounds are located near natural and historic sites. Consider stopping at some on the way to or from your campground. Museums and science centers can make for great day trips, especially on rainy days.
  7. Encourage your children to share what they learn.Kids love to tell stories, take pictures and produce videos. Have them record the weather, plants and animals they observe, and their activities. Journaling and scrapbooking also are great ways to get the most educational value from a trip and to preserve memories.

“Even before the pandemic, fall camping had become extremely popular with families, especially with most Jellystone Park locations offering special fall events, such as Halloween weekends,” said Trent Hershenson, Jellystone Park vice president of Marketing. He encourages parents to book trips now and to consider weekday visits, as weekends book up quickly. Weekday rates also may be lower.

For more advice on educational camping and links to free lessons and guides, visit here.

For tips on planning a family camping trip and to book a reservation at one of more than 75 Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, visit here.

Links to video of kids learning while camping here and here.

Cardi B illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Cardi B × TIDAL

Following a nine-month hiatus, Cardi B joins Elliott Wilson exclusively on TIDAL Check In to discuss her latest track and music video “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion. 

The interview can be viewed on TIDAL or on TIDAL’s instagram.

Cardi B talks about the stress involved with producing content during the pandemic, navigating shyness and anxiety, and how she met Megan in the whirlwind that this year has been. The Grammy award-winning rapper also details her struggle to make a clean version of WAP, what Offset’s reaction was to the new single, and why she finally decided to do PRESS.

This interview adds to the growing list of exclusive content and unique experiences available for TIDAL members, including CRWN with Megan Thee Stallion, Rap Radar with Drake, Car Test with Jhene Aiko and more. The interview further solidifies the platform’s commitment to elevating the connection between artists and their fans by providing subscribers with more than just great music.

To help keep everyone up-to-date on some of their favorite artists during quarantine, TIDAL rolled out an ongoing “TIDAL Check Ins” series hosted by Elliott Wilson on TIDAL IG Live. Previous TIDAL Check In guests have included Fabolous, T-Pain, Big Sean, The-Dream, Swizz Beats, Snoop Dogg and more.

Follow Cardi B: Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

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Mask illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Caring for Our Caregivers

Caring for Our Caregivers, an initiative launched in response to the real and rigorous toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on healthcare workers, is providing frontline heroes around the world with wellness and relaxation resources via apps preloaded onto donated tablets. Led by nonprofit organization Sufi Psychology Association (SPA), the initiative was developed in an immediate response and driven solely by donations, volunteers and good will, the initiative has resulted in  491 donated tablets and 16,300 headsets among 151 hospitals to 16,791 healthcare heroes across the globe to date, spanning four countries and 25 states in the U.S. Diligently working to expand their reach as the pandemic continues on, the SPA delivers tablets with a preloaded Sufi meditation and mental health app to doctors, nurses, therapists and other medical professionals internationally in an effort to offer frontline heroes the opportunity and resources to decompress and take care of themselves during an extremely challenging time. Sufism, which is based upon experiential learning and understanding, offers techniques for managing the long-term impacts and effects the pandemic has taken on many. 

 “As the COVID-19 crisis demanded healthcare workers take on unimaginable stress and sacrifice their mental health to keep us all safe, we knew that we must do something to mitigate the effects and make sure they were being taken care of, too,” said Saloumeh Bozorgzadeh, PsyD., President of Sufi Psychology Association. “Launching the Caring for Our Caregivers initiative has made a direct impact on the lives of many selfless medical professionals. The key to our program is that the sessions can be utilized on the user’s time, as we know daily schedules are anything but regular while the world fights this virus. Whether recipients utilize the technology before a shift or after a hard day’s work, we want to ensure they have the tools needed to unwind and recharge.”  

From PTSD to exhaustion, burnout and trauma among healthcare workers has been on the rise long before quarantine fatigue. The need for access to these resources is crucial to prevent deterioration of mental health amongst healthcare industry workers, and Caring for Our Caregivers has many donations scheduled to continue on with their mission. 

 Launched in a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and led by Sufi Psychology Association, Caring for Our Caregivers delivers tablets preloaded with meditation, wellness and relaxation resources to healthcare workers via hospital deliveries around the globe. Driven solely by donations, volunteers and goodwill, they have donated 491 tablets and 16,246 headsets to 149 hospitals around the globe spanning four countries and 25 states in the U.S. to date.  

Sufi Psychology Association (SPA) is a nonprofit organization based in California specializing in exercising the principles of Sufi Psychology of M.T.O Shahmaghsoudi®, a.k.a The Science of the Soul, in order to expand upon the current limitations of psychology, encompassing the entirety of the human being. SPA practices the principles of Sufism so that each individual may come to know his or her innermost self, far beyond thoughts, feelings and behaviors, reacquainting them with their true identity, the “I”. In identifying the “I”, one moves past the habitual patterns of behavior, repetitive thought process and emotional reactivity to discover harmony, balance and joy from within. The SPA reminds individuals that there is more to them than just their situations and circumstances. In addition to holding workshops and experiential conferences at universities throughout the school year, The SPA offers many other means of learning, including workshops, educational information at weekend retreats and Tamarkoz® classes for credit. Additionally, the SPA conducts research on Sufi Psychology, the practices of Sufism and publishes a semi-annual journal, Sufism: The Science of the Soul.

Follow Sufi Psychology Association: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Regis Philbin illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Regis Philbin Dies at 88

By Mina Tocalini

Iconic TV Host Regis Philbin passed away at age 88 one month before his 89th birthday. Philbin suffered from cardiovascular disease and had undergone heart surgery and other related operations in the past, the disease ultimately took his life. Philbin is survived by his wife, Catherine Faylen, his daughters and grandchildren.

Famed by his hosting on ‘Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee’, ‘Live! with Regis and Kelly’ and ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’, Philbin was loved by audiences daily and revered as “hardest working man in show business”. Philbin’s career began as a page on the Tonight Show and spanned 52 years. Philbin has appeared in over 16,500 hours on U.S. television, leaving him with the Guiness World Record for “Most Hours on Television”.

Regis Philbin was a pivotal part of television for generations of Americans. As the host of his daily shows, game shows, holiday specials and more, he will continue to be treasured by his family, friends and beloved fans.

Childhood Mental Health illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Childhood Mental Health Webinar

SAMI-Aid Webinar: Childhood Mental Health 101

Featuring child psychiatrist Dr. Sara Heron, M.D.

Friday, August 7, at 11:00 a.m. PT

Free to join, Register Here 

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, disruptions to school schedules, and reduction of social interactions, experts say the mental health of children in the United States is at greater risk than ever before. SAMI-Aid, a patient-focused telemedicine platform and healthcare concierge company, is hosting a free webinar titled “Childhood Mental Health 101” to aid parents in knowing the signs of mental health issues and identifying resources to help children navigate mental health issues they are experiencing. This webinar is the first in a series to help patients be more informed about their health options.

The Childhood Mental Health 101 webinar will be held on Friday, August 7, at 11:00 a.m. PT and will feature Child Psychiatrist Dr. Sara Heron, M.D., who is Board Certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and General Psychiatry.

“As we’ve seen an increase in demand for behavioral and mental health services through our telemedicine platform, we identified a need to educate parents about caring for their children’s mental health during these challenging times,” said John Farhangui, CEO and Founder of SAMI-Aid. “We’re pleased to have Dr. Sara Heron, M.D., share her expertise so that families and children can learn to cope with common stressors.”

SAMI-Aid offers on-demand access to medical professionals of a variety of specialties, including pediatrics as well as mental and behavioral health. SAMI-Aid’s mental health professionals are highly vetted, licensed, and certified in various areas of mental health expertise.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that millions of children were already suffering from mental health disorders, such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety, before the coronavirus pandemic became prevalent in the U.S. A new Gallup Survey asked parents how long they could follow social distancing practices and COVID-19 closures before their child’s emotional or mental health would suffer. The survey found that 29% of parents say their children are already suffering. The survey also found that 37% of parents also say their children’s mental or emotional health would be at risk in the next few weeks or months.

“By offering an affordable option to easily access trained behavioral health professionals for children as well as adults, we hope to be a small part of the solution to address our country’s mental health crisis,” added Farhangui.

As an additional resource, SAMI-Aid created an infographic to help parents understand important information about childhood mental health including data on how prevalent the issue is in the United States, signs to watch for that may indicate a mental health disorder, and how parents can help their children. 

Founded in 2014, SAMI-Aid is an online healthcare concierge platform that features a searchable medical procedure pricing database, a dedicated call center for patient support, and 24/7 access to telemedicine doctors and nurses. Its platform is secure, HIPAA-compliant, user-friendly, and mobile-friendly, offering members 24/7 access to doctors and nurses, and exclusive medical pricing information which helps them save money on care. Based in San Jose, California, SAMI-Aid serves the entire US. The acronym SAMI stands for Smart Affordable Medical Information. 

Follow SAMI-Aid: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Jericho High School Students illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Student Led Leukemia Fundraiser

Three students from Jericho High School have broken a national fundraising record – previously set by one of the students’ older brothers last year – by collecting more than $430,000 in just seven weeks for the annual Leukemia Lymphoma Society “Students of the Year” campaign. 

Team Just Cure It (2.0) was led by co-candidates 15-year-old Harrison Berger, 15-year-old Alexandra Gatoff, and 15-year-old Jake Gershwind of Jericho High School in Long Island, NY. Harrison’s brother Ryan was a co-candidate for Team Just Cure It (1.0), which was the previous national record holder, set in 2019. 

“What they have accomplished is nothing short of remarkable,” said Sara Lipsky, President of Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Long Island Chapter. “Cancer doesn’t stop for a pandemic and to see what they accomplished provides families who are fighting cancer together a lot of hope.” 

Harrison says the outlook for fundraising was intimidating, including rising to the challenge of beating his brother’s team’s success. But he says he saw the opportunity to develop a network and personal skills of persuasion – including talking CEOs into donating tens of thousands of dollars for LLS – as something that would benefit him long term as well. 

Jake says he and his teammates each have a connection to cancer: his grandfather passed away from stomach cancer when he was five years old. That, and the realization that blood cancer is the key to fighting all variety of cancers – including those afflicting children – was the motivation he says he needed to pull together his family and friends to help. “I thought we had zero chance to win, because the previous record was so big,” said Jake. “But I kept telling myself, we gotta keep going.” 

“We did lots of planning and had donations set up to come in right away,” says Jake. “Still, you have to be persistent. Not everyone will say yes at first. But we kept following up and didn’t let people say no.” 

The Just Cure It (2.0) team also enlisted the help of about 25 of their classmates from Jericho High School and pulled in the donations before the COVID-19 lockdowns went into effect. 

“COVID has taught us to look on the positive side,” says Jake. “We’re changing lives, helping people survive. One kid might have better cancer treatment because of the money we raised.” 

The Leukemia Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world‘s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS Mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the work and provides free information and support services.