Posts tagged with "COVID-19"

Growing heart illustration

MENTAL HEALTH – DR. ALEX ALVARDO

Even though we have made great progress in bringing people into therapy during the pandemic, there is still a huge stigma about therapy – that it doesn’t work. In order to really change this perception, we must do more upfront work to make sure people are being matched correctly to qualified therapists and psychologists who can care for, and treat, that person’s individualized needs. To achieve this successfully requires more than a simple Internet search or app signup.

One of the biggest missteps someone can make when searching for a therapist is blindly accepting the most convenient option. This could come in the form of a quick Internet search (just because something pops up in the No. 1 position on Google does not mean it is the best option for you); or taking a referral from a friend or family member (just because a therapist is right for someone else, does not mean it is the best match for you). Additionally, skipping the therapist interview step, and rushing to the hiring step (or signing up on a mental health app), can make you feel committed or trapped with a therapist that was never the right match for you in the first place. It is true that the year 2020 will likely be known as one of the most stressful years in our time, and the first time that many Americans sought out a therapist. While this is a good thing and shows progress for improving mental health, we now face a lesser-talked about “second pandemic” of mental health issues – of which includes finding the right therapist – that could affect our future perception of mental health and our willingness to seek help.

Compounding this problem is the anxiety, financial stress, politics, substance abuse, isolation, job worries, relationship problems, health concerns and other issues that have intensified since the start of the pandemic, which has overwhelmed therapists with new patients, many of whom go on a waiting list or get referred out to less qualified resources. Mental health professionals are not immune from the stress of the pandemic either, often citing burnout and fatigue from heavy patient loads, while also struggling to handle their own stress at home.

All of these factors contribute to a more complicated and challenging mental health environment that requires increased navigation and guidance from the mental health industry to make sure that those seeking help are receiving evidence-based therapies from qualified professionals who have the bandwidth to invest in the client for the long run. To improve first-time encounters with therapy, I developed a free online matchmaking platform at Thriving Center of Psychology that vets and validates licensed professionals, then matches them to individuals seeking help, based on the person’s specific therapy needs and the professional’s area of expertise and therapy process.

To begin the process of finding the right therapist is simple. Start by filling out a 3-minute questionnaire that helps uncover the style of therapist that may be the best fit for your specific situation and preferred type. Questions cover everything from therapy approach to gender and ethnicity, including what specialty of a therapist are you seeking? Are you looking for a goal-oriented or reflective therapist? Do you want your therapist to have a holistic approach (including recommending yoga, meditation, and journaling)? and so on.

This filter then quickly matches individuals seeking help to a vetted database of qualified therapists who are licensed to work in the state in which the person lives. I developed this therapist matchmaking platform because so many friends and family members would ask me for therapist referrals. What I came to realize was that when people finally decide they should find a mental health therapist, they are often faced with a huge hurdle: finding a qualified therapist. Finding a therapist is not easy, especially if you are not a professional in the mental health industry and do not know all the right questions to ask. Mistakes can be easily made as many people either skip or rush through the research and interview step of finding a therapist.

If it is a person’s first time in therapy and it is a bad experience, it is most likely they will never return to it.
Once you find your therapist match, you should still interview 2-3 therapists before
committing to a paid session with anyone. Face-to-face office visits or video sessions
are ideal. During the interview, be sure to check the therapist’s credentials with state government sites, and have a clear understanding of his or her treatment style, therapy process and verify whether or not that therapy approach is evidence-based as defined by the American Psychological Association. Also, ask the therapist if he or she has ever treated anyone with similar concerns to yours. This will give you a clearer picture on the therapist’s treatment approach. It is important in this initial interview with the therapist, that you do not do all the talking.

You can share at a high level about what is going on (like, I’m grieving from the death of my mother), but do not get into the
details. Let the therapist do the majority of the talking so you can get a really good feel for his or her compatibility to you and your needs. Additionally, make sure that the therapist you select is licensed to work in your state. The increased popularity of virtual sessions since the start of the pandemic has opened many more options for people
seeking counseling, but if you go the virtual route, you still need to make sure the therapist is licensed to work in the state in which you reside. Ultimately, to live a truly fulfilled life, remember that it is just as important to place a high
priority on your mental health as it is for your physical health. You deserve the chance to unlock your true potential and live the life you have always dreamed of so do not let anything get in the way of your mental health, which is part of your overall health.

Start with the research step and find the therapist that is the best match for your specific needs – then the rest of the journey will be less stressful from there.

Dr. Alex Alvarado 

The Frontline names Bukky Ojeifo apart of their "Frontline 40" via Frontline for use by 360 Magazine

Frontline 40

The Frontline is a group of individuals dedicated to finding solutions to solve mass societal and political problems that inflict the United States.

After the tumultuous past few years we’ve all endured, a number of causes have been raised to the attention of people all around the world. From the effects of the pandemic to the ever-present racism, The Frontline makes it their goal to achieve change that lawmakers haven’t thus far. 

Standing stronger together, the group urns to see a reshaping of the world we live in today. The Frontline believes in the power of unity; that together, they can achieve whatsoever they set their minds to.

Members of The Frontline volunteer their time in hopes of implementing lasting changes. From connecting with others to spread the word, or even working local polls, The Frontline members work on all different levels to accomplish advancements.

Driven by the Movement for Black Lives, United We Dream and the Working Families Party, The Frontline has awarded a select group of people who continue to ensure just and equal opportunity for all. 

The awardees, also known as “Frontline 40,” caught the eyes of The Frontline as they continue to fight against the crises that conflict the US. Of the recipients, some of the main causes being fought for include securing access to clean water in Flint, Michigan, discovering what an anti-racist society would look like and finding an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the New York winners, the “Frontline 40” consists of Bukky OjefioChanelle ElaineDiana BerrentDrew DixonGabe TobiasJanvieve Williams ComrieJune MosesQiana Mestrich and Sil Lai Abrams.

“These aren’t the talking heads you see every night on cable news,” stated Tiffany Flowers, campaign director of The Frontline. “These are the real people on the frontlines of our communities making a real change. It’s time we honor them and say, ‘thank you,’ for all the work they do and do what we can to uplift and support their critical work to end white nationalism and advance liberation for our communities.” 

Stay tuned for an array of events hosted by The Frontline, including the recent panel that saw Lavender Rights Project executive director, Jaelyn Scott, director of Flint Rising, Nayyirah Shariff, Omisade Burney-Scotts from The Black Girl’s Guide to Surviving Menopause, and Dr. Sarah L. Webb from Colorism is Healing speak about their initiatives and plans to ensure just change. 

June Moses apart of the "Frontline 40" via Frontline for use by 360 Magazine
June Moses
Chanelle Elaine apart of the "Frontline 40" via Frontline for use by 360 Magazine
Chanelle Elaine
Janvieve Williams Comrie apart of the "Frontline 40" via Frontline for use by 360 Magazine
Janvieve Williams Comrie
Qiana Mestrich apart of the "Frontline 40" via Frontline for use by 360 Magazine
Qiana Mestrich

Images courtesy of Frontline

360 Magazine, LA PRIDE 50th Anniversary

June Top Stories

It’s official; we’ve hit the midway point of 2022. With such an array of breaking news headlines so far this year, let’s review the most resounding stories in the month of June.

Tulsa Shooting

Four people were killed in a shooting that broke out at a campus hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just eight days after the catastrophic shooting at Robb Elementary School. The gunman, unidentified, was also found dead, producing a total of five fatalities. As the shooting broke out, panic set in as there were “hundreds of rooms and hundreds of people,” located in the hospital, as reported by Richard Meulenberg.

NFL Player Jeff Gladney Dies

After suffering a fatal car accident in Dallas, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jeff Gladney has passed away. At the scene of the crash, along with Gladney, it was confirmed that Andrea Mercedes Palacios was also killed.

Previous Dallas Cowboys Player Marion Barber Found Dead

Marion Barber, former running back for the Dallas Cowboys, was discovered dead in his Frisco apartment. A complaint about a water leak was reported from Barber’s apartment, and police conducted a welfare check. At the scene, they found Barber neglected and unalive. It is uncertain what the cause of his death was.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Defamation Suit Ends

After a strenuous courtroom battle, both Johnny Depp and Amber Heard were found legally responsible for defamation by the jury. Their ultimate decision found Heard slandered Depp in three varying statements, with Depp defaming Heard in one statement.

Regarding the financial components, the jury awarded Depp with $10 million in compensatory damages and $5 million in punitive damages. For Heard, she was awarded $2 million in compensatory damages.  

Jubilee Live Updates: UK kicks off celebrations for Elizabeth II’s 70th year on the throne, United Kingdom

The ‘Trooping the color’ military parade kicks off four days of celebrations across the country for Queen Elizabeth II‘s Platinum Jubilee. Britain’s longest-serving monarch appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with other members of the royal family at 11 am Thursday. Today, June 2nd, is the first of four days of the Platinum Jubilee festivities.

Thousands of people have flocked to the British capital (London) to greet a queen who arrives at the event at the height of her popularity. Many citizens spent the night outdoors, camping on The Mall, the avenue that leads to Buckingham Palace, in order to reserve a place in the front rows and witness the parade of 1,500 officers and the subsequent flight of the Royal Air Force over the Palace.

Police officer will not be charged for a shooting he committed in 2016, Wisconsin

The officer who shot and killed three people in the line of duty over five years will not be charged in the 2016 shooting of a 25-year-old man who was found sleeping inside a car in a park.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke, Milwaukee attorney Scott Hansen and special prosecutors have reported their assessment of the incident and no legal basis has been found to charge and blame former police officer Joseph Mensah for having shot at Jay Anderson.

Phoenix Suffers Mass Shootings

The city of Phoenix, Arizona endured an array of mass shootings in the area. At the end of the month of May, one man was shot at a house party in west Phoenix, leaving an additional five injured.

Only one week later, three separate shootings occurred within 24 hours of each other. In the first, a teenage girl was shot dead at a Phoenix strip mall, with eight enduring injuries. The other two shootings left a teenage boy and a man dead by gunshot wounds.

Shootings in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Michigan Leave at Least Nine Dead

Saturday June 5 and Sunday June 6 attributed to the United States growing number of mass shootings in the year of 2022. In a shocking turn of events, shootings in Philadelphia, Tennessee and Michigan all broke out.

A fight broke out in Philadelphia that resulted in three people being slain, with 11 others shot in the crossfire. The next shooting occurred near a nightclub in Chattanooga with four people killed, and 14 more people suffering injuries from gunshots. The final shooting of the deadly weekend took place in Saginaw where an additional three people were killed.

JUNETEENTH

Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day, African American Independence Day, Emancipation Day, or Jubilee Day is a federal holiday celebrating the emancipation of slavery in the United States. It commemorates the proclamation of freedom for enslaved persons at Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865. Bringing together June and nineteenth, this festival represents pride and solidarity with the black community.

Latest update of the war in Ukraine

The United Nations (UN) denounces that Russia uses rape as a weapon of war. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to many allegations of war crimes and abuses perpetrated by Russian soldiers. The UN has corroborated 124 cases of alleged sexual violence committed in Ukraine.

The Secretary-General’s Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, has stated that “women make up the majority of potential victims”. Of the corroborated total, it indicates that 56 are women. It follows that 41 of the complaints are from girls and seven boys. It includes rape, forced public nudity, attempted rape, and threat of sexual violence.

Britney Spears Ties the Knot with Sam Asghari

The princess of pop herself, Britney Spears, married fiancé Sam Asghari in a magical ceremony Thursday June 9. Dressed by Donatella Versace, the bride and groom both worn custom Versace designs for their big day.

The magical, private evening took place at her Thousand Oaks home in California with around 60 guests. The icon celebrated the special night with some of her dearest friends and family, including Donatella, Paris Hilton, Selena Gomez, Drew Barrymore and Madonna.

A celebration of love and freedom, Britney danced the night away at her well-deserved fairytale wedding.

Justin Bieber Suffers Ramsay Hunt Syndrome

Justin Bieber announced the devastating news that he contracted Ramsay Hunt syndrome, “a neurological disorder characterized by paralysis of the facial nerve,” as defined by RareDiseases.org. Bieber took to his Instagram to announce the news, clarifying his recent cancellation of upcoming shows for the summer.

In a video posted to his Instagram, he showed followers the effects of the virus, stating, “As you can see, this eye is not blinking, I can’t smile on this side of my face, […] This nostril will not move. So full paralysis in this side of my face.”

Continuing he declared, “This is pretty serious, as you can see. I wish this wasn’t the case, but obviously my body’s telling me I gotta slow down.”

Texas Legislator Threatens Bill that would Prohibit Minors from Attending Drag Shows

Following a celebratory “Drag Your Kids to Pride” event held in Dallas, Texas, a Republican legislator has made threats to propose a bill that would forbid children from attending drag shows in the state. The event, held in celebration of Pride month, was described a family-friendly show that fostered honor and commemoration, like many other Pride events held throughout the month of June.

The event reportedly went viral across social media, alarming Texas Republican Bryan Slaton. Slaton took to Twitter to announce he would file a bill to restrict minors from attending drag shows. He stated, “I would never take my children to a drag show and I know Speaker Dade Phelan and my Republican colleagues wouldn’t either, […] The events of this past weekend were horrifying and show a disturbing trend in which perverted adults are obsessed with sexualizing young children.”

His disgust surrounding the celebratory event has alarmed people across the nation, especially after the mass elementary school shooting that occurred in Uvalde, Texas and left 22 dead one month prior.

Drag superstar Alyssa Edwards, originally from Texas, has publicly communicated her discomfort with Republican officials’ responses to the shooting versus the Pride event. Edwards took to TMZ and Twitter with statements, asserting directly to Slaton, “You, sir, have tweeted more about #drag than the loss at #Uvalde. Is this truly about children or politics? #Priorities.”

A group of US senators reaches a minimum agreement to increase gun control, United States

  1. The measures include a revision of the process for purchasing weapons for those under 21 years of age.
  2. The group of senators that has reached an agreement in principle consists of 10 Republicans and 10 Democrats.

A group of United States senators announced on Sunday June 12 an agreement in principle to increase control over firearms, which proposes minimum measures after the mass shootings in a school in Uvalde (Texas) and in a supermarket in Buffalo (New York) . In a statement, the group of senators, both Democrats and Republicans, have indicated that the agreement includes a review of the process for purchasing weapons for those under 21 years of age ( the perpetrators of the #Uvalde and the #Buffalo shootings were both 18 years old).

Rapper Trouble dies after being shot at an apartment complex in Georgia

Atlanta rapper Trouble was shot to death at an apartment complex in Georgia. The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office confirmed news of the 34-year-old man’s death to local media on Sunday, June 5. According to WSBTV Atlanta, Trouble, whose artist’s real name was Mariel Semonte Orr, was shot around 3:20 a.m. at the Lake St. James apartment complex in Conyers.

Police officers claimed that when they arrived at the crime scene, they found the rapper lying on the ground. He was shot once in the chest and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The rapper’s label, Def Jam, released a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the children, loved ones and fans of Trouble. A true voice for his city and an inspiration for the community he proudly represented. RIP Scoob.”

Bitcoin ATMs become more common, more than 880 machines installed in June already

In recent days, Bitcoin ATM installations around the world have increased, Coin ATM Radar has stated in its recent report. In the first two weeks of June alone, more than 882 Bitcoin ATMs have sprung up in different locations around the world. The increase in the number of these fiat-to-crypto exchange machines is related to the emerging regulation of cryptocurrencies in various countries. Besides, institutional investments in the crypto industry have managed to keep investor appetite intact, so more people have opened up their financial portfolios to also include crypto assets.

On average daily installation is between 16 and 23 crypto ATMs worldwide, data from Coin ATM Radar shows in a report.

Ranchers against the project to lower nitrogen pollution, Netherlands

The Dutch government announced on Friday, June 10, the obligation to lower emissions to 70% in some places and even up to 95% in others, to protect nature. The objective is to attack the emission of nitrogen from cattle that produces their digestion, feces and urine. The Minister for Nature and Nitrogen Policy, Christianne van der Wal, guarantees that it is an “inevitable transition”: “We have to emit much less nitrogen, and unfortunately the agricultural sector emits a lot of nitrogen. They have done a lot to emit less, but for unfortunately it is not enough. We still have to reduce it much more”.

Something that will cause major upheavals in the country’s multimillion-dollar agricultural industry since The Netherlands is the second largest agricultural exporter in the world, after the United States. A definite NO from farmers’ associations; the head of the Netherlands Association for Horticulture and Agriculture, Sjaak van der Tak, replies: “Our members say that it is good enough, that we have reached the limit. That means that we will prepare the appropriate actions to make it clear, in a dignified way, that These plans are unacceptable.”

The new National Museum in Oslo becomes the largest cultural building in the Nordic region

The most striking feature of the new museum is the huge illuminated exhibition hall at the top of the building. It will be used for temporary exhibitions of international importance. The building was designed by architect Kleihues + Schuwerk Gesellschaft von Architekten, with an emphasis on longevity and dignity over sensational architecture. The roof terrace of the new museum offers a unique view of the inner fjord of Oslo. The square in front of the main entrance has become an urban meeting place, with a coffe shop and benches that invite you to enter to rest.

“The new National Museum is the largest museum in the Nordic countries and is built to contain, preserve and display our amazing collection of visual arts, crafts, design and architecture dating back to ancient times and continuing to this day,” explained the director from the National Museum, Karin Hindsbo.

Spanish NASA finally takes off: this is how its space agency should be to be effective, Spain

The Spanish Government will approve today (June 14) the Space Council to promote the start-up in 2023 of the long-awaited Spanish Space Agency. Scientists and engineers from the sector give their opinion on how this body should be and if it is feasible to locate it outside of Madrid.

Mick Jagger tests positive for covid-19, Amsterdam

The Rolling Stones cancel a concert in Amsterdam after singer Mick Jagger tested positive for covid-19. Mick Jagger’s positive status was announced in a statement on the band’s verified Instagram account: “The Rolling Stones have been forced to cancel tonight’s concert in Amsterdam at the Johan Cruijff ArenA, after Mick Jagger tested positive after experiencing COVID symptoms upon arrival at the stadium,” the statement read. “The Rolling Stones deeply regret tonight’s postponement, but the safety of the audience, fellow musicians and touring crew must come first.”

The concert will be rescheduled for a later date and original tickets will be honored. The Rolling Stones’ current summer tour is for the band’s 60th anniversary.

The emotional farewell of the Real Madrid player: Marcelo Vieira, Spain

Marcelo: “I’ve done everything I set out to and leave here feeling happy, I leave a legacy for the youngsters”. “This season I realized that you don’t need to play to be important, you need to be part of a team and understand the coach”, he added.

The football player addressed the media at the press conference held after the tribute and farewell ceremony that took place at Real Madrid City: “I don’t think much about the future, I always live in the moment. It’s hard to leave the club of your life after so much joy, suffering, training, pain, giving your all for the club. Putting on this shirt is a beautiful and powerful thing. The future doesn’t scare me because history’s already been written, I had to do this. I’m pleased with myself and my family’s proud of me too. There’s no uncertainty”.

Current Real Madrid teammates like his compatriots Vinícius Júnior, Éder Militão or Casemiro, former teammates like, Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas, or Sergio Ramos have wanted to pay tribute on social networks to Marcelo, who leaves the white club after 16 seasons.

Shakira and Gerard Piqué confirm their separation as a couple, Spain

After twelve years together, Shakira and Gerard Piqué separated in the midst of an international scandal. The Colombian singer would have discovered her Spanish husband’s infidelities with a young model and decided to ask for a divorce.

Te felicito‘ (I congratulate you): Shakira’s song whose lyrics all relate to Piqué. After the announcement of the separation, the speculations have not stopped and it has become a highly commented topic on television talk shows. The song has not only become popular for being a danceable theme, but also for the lyrics. And it is that there are many who have related the lyrics of the song with the FC Barcelona footballer on social platforms.

A jihadist attack in Burkina Faso causes 86 deaths and 19,000 displaced, Africa

The number of displaced people after the terrorist attack that took place in northern Burkina Faso on the night of June 11 to 12 and in which 86 people died, amounts to more than 19,000 people, the authorities of the African country reported this past Saturday.

Since 2015, Burkina Faso has been dealing with a jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and displaced nearly two million people. The conflict, which is also affecting parts of Niger and Mali, is displacing rural communities and contributing to widespread food shortages.

The left political party makes history and wins the Presidency of Colombia for the first time with Gustavo Petro

With 98.86% of the recognized votes, Petro obtained 11,185,671 votes, equivalent to 50.49%. Gustavo Petro is a 62-year-old Colombian economist and politician, leader of the Political Coalition Historical Pact. he will succeed the president of Colombia, Iván Duque, from next August 7.

Beyonce releases “Break My Soul”

Beyonce released her new song on Monday and we can safely say that “Break My Soul” did its part in “breaking” the internet. With a house music melody, the single has marked the return of the artist. The new track also reunites queen Bey with bounce music legend Big Freedia, who collaborated on the artist’s 2016 track “Formation.”

Five Tips for Finding Peace After Living Through a Natural Disaster

Your entire world can change in the blink of an eye. Few people ever think they’ll see their neighborhood on a news broadcast, but natural disasters affect millions every year. Thanks to climate change, the problem grows more severe all the time.

It takes time and plenty of TLC to put the pieces of your life back together again. Be gentle with yourself as you navigate the process. Here are five tips for finding peace after living through a natural disaster.

1. Seek Necessary Resources

Depending on how the natural disaster affected your property, you might not have a place to call home for a while. What about your children’s school? Your transportation to and from work?

Your first contact is your local emergency manager. They’re your best resource for meeting your immediate needs for food and shelter. After that, please reach out to the following individuals:

  • Your loved ones: Your loved ones deserve to know you’re alright. Fortunately, social media makes it easier than ever. You can mark yourself safe to alert your friends and relatives who also use Facebook. Let people know what they can do to help and how you prefer to be contacted – a flurry of phone calls may or may not be what you need.
  • Your employer: If you weren’t at work when disaster struck, you need to let your employer know how it affected you and what arrangements you can make until it is safe to return.
  • Your insurance company: First, document the damage and make a list. Take photographs. If you have some from before the disaster to prove the extent of your loss, all the better.

You might also reach out to local animal shelters if you have pets that you could not evacuate on time. They’ll take a description and reunite you with your beloved companion if they locate them before you do.

2. Give Yourself the Gift of Time

Surviving a natural disaster takes time. This statement isn’t fluff – it’s a physiological fact. While some people recover from a shock to the system more quickly than others, you need time for your body and mind to return to homeostasis.

If possible, take time away from work to heal with those you love. The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers programs for disaster survivors that provide housing and medical assistance. The Small Business Association provides aid to those whose livelihoods suffered the impact of hurricanes, floods, and fires.

It’s important to be aware of the potential that you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that’s triggered by witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event. Symptoms can include nightmares and anxiety, as well as uncontrollable flashbacks and thoughts about the event. Evidence suggests that the chances of PTSD and even suicide increase after someone survives a natural disaster. 

A natural disaster can shatter your world in the blink of an eye. You and your loved ones could find yourselves without shelter or food, and understandably stressed and anxious. However, if you begin to feel like what you’re experiencing goes beyond normal stress, you may be experiencing some form of PTSD. In either case, it’s a good idea to make an appointment with a certified mental health professional in the wake of surviving a natural disaster. They will be able to help make sense of what you’re experiencing and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan.

If you don’t have the resources to see a mental health professional in person, look into free online resources, counseling and rehabilitation groups and even text therapy, which can be more accessible for some.

3. But Also, Safety First

Your first instinct is to heave a sigh of relief once the twister disappears in the distance and you and your family take your first tentative steps out of the basement. Inhale, exhale, and contact everyone who’s not in your immediate vicinity who should be. Then, take stock of the second shock wave – the illnesses and infections that often follow natural disasters.

For example, after a flood, mold becomes a serious health concern. The CDC has recommendations for assessing your risk and handling the potential hazards to your health. Untreated cuts and scrapes can lead to blood poisoning and tetanus. Get a booster if need be and wash all wounds, dress them with triple antibiotic ointment, and clean, sterile bandages. Pay attention to signs of discoloration and streaking lines around the injury.

It’s not unusual to become sick in the wake of a natural disaster’s wake. Storms stir up germs and displacement introduces you to new ones when your immune system is already compromised by stress. Please take a COVID-19 test and adhere to the required quarantine – even if you don’t have the novel coronavirus, you need a few days to rest and recover.

4. Stay Close to Your Loved Ones

Natural disasters make you cherish the ones you love. Nature intended for you to cling to each other in its wake. Honor that instinct.

Stay close to your loved ones. If you have children, they will need your guidance and support to heal. They don’t have an adult frame of reference to cope with what happened – they’ll need your help to process big feelings and make sense of the senseless.

Spending time with your loved ones also soothes your soul. Disasters have a way of reminding you what matters most. You can’t take material things with you, but the love you leave behind survives.

5. Accept Offers of Help

You might not realize how wide your friendship circle extends until you survive a disaster. However, please take advantage of offers of help. Don’t let pride deny you and your family the support you need to heal.

Please take advantage of available social services. You might not have ever needed a food bank before, but visiting one is better than letting your children go to sleep hungry.

If you’re spiritual, your house of worship is another sanctuary that may open its arms to you and your loved ones. Shelter yourself and those you care about in the arms of your faith, letting members of your congregation accept you and uplift your spirits.

Shanghai during COVID-19 lockdown via Hannah Zhong for use by 360 Magazine

Shanghai Navigates COVID Lockdown

On March 28, the urbanist city in China of Shanghai began to lockdown. As of now, all people continue to be quarantined at home, with schools and businesses closed.

During the extended quarantine of Shanghai, the number of infections has continued to climb. A few things about the gravity of the lockdown are worth noting.

First is the treatment of positive patients. In most countries, people with mild infections only need to be quarantined at home to wait for self-recovery. China differs from often countries as they have adopted centralized quarantine, which includes quarantine of close contacts.

After the outbreak, countless shelter hospitals were built in Shanghai, with some schools, office buildings, and stadiums were requisitioned to build shelter hospitals. Because the speed of construction could not keep up with the spread of the virus, many covid positive patients waited at home for more than a week for treatment and were later sent to shelter hospitals even after testing negative. Many patients even spend whole days in transfer cars because all the shelter hospitals are full.

The conditions of shelter hospitals are also very diverse. Some places have sufficient food supply, and the environment is very hygienic. However, the sanitary conditions of some hospitals are shocking. Hundreds of people share one restroom, and in severe cases, toilets may even be filled with excrement.

Next, it is important to dicsuss the lack of food, specifically outage of all packages and restaurant delivery. The government issued a statement on March 28th, which entailed the Pudong district being locked down from March 28th to April 1st. Remaining areas would be locked down from April 1st to April 5th. Many people stored food for four days as directed by the government, but Shanghai’s lockdown was not lifted by the fourth day.

The government distributes food and daily necessities to residents, but the food everyone received could not sustain a month-long confinement. Some open supermarkets began taking orders in the morning hours, but a community with tens of thousands of people can only take hundreds of orders, leaving most citizens with no way to order food.

As a result, some people spontaneously initiated group purchases, with a resident of the community as the leader, negotiating with food suppliers, and then ordering the food needed by the entire community, and then distributing them by themselves. In communities with few households, everyone can only rely on supermarket deliveries.

Lastly, non-COVID-19 patients have not been receiving adequate treatment. During the quarantine period, all citizens were unable to leave their homes, which led to the difficulty of seeing a doctor for patients with underlying diseases. There are many patients who need hemodialysis, chemotherapy, and surgery that cannot be treated in time.

For emergency patients, it is even more difficult, because hospitals need Covid PCR test reports within 24 hours before they can accept patients. There are some acutely ill patients, such as myocardial infarction, renal failure, etc., who died at the hospital gate because they were waiting for the PCR test report.

As April 21, Shanghai had been closed for 24 days, with the number of infected people beginning to slowly decline on April 17. The government declared that “Zero-Covid policy” must be implemented. It remains to be seen where Shanghai will go in the future.

Article by: Hannah Zhong

Shanghai during COVID-19 lockdown via Hannah Zhong for use by 360 Magazine
Vinexpo Paris via Vinexposium for use by 360 Magazine

Paris Expo Porte de Versailles

The Vinexposium group’s flagship event opened at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles, marking the return of large-scale trade events after a two-year hiatus. The official opening ceremony, attended by Julien Denormandie, French Minister of Agriculture and Food, launched the three-day exhibition punctuated by tastings, business meetings, and the major reunion of every strand of the industry in Paris this February.

The Minister praised the courage and determination of the organizers and the attendees for staying focused in order to make the event a reality. He particularly wanted to send out a message of confidence to producers: “Rest assured that we are by your side to honor these wonderful products and a love of wine which I share and which I am delighted to see celebrated here at the exhibition”.

During the official opening ceremony, Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium, stressed the significance for the wine and spirits trade of resuming business: “Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris in February is a key date in the buying calendar. Today, we are gathered here in Paris and it is a huge pleasure to meet up once again. May the celebrations continue!”

As the first round of business meetings set the tempo for the first day, the prevailing mood throughout the exhibition aisles on the eve of the second day was one of joy.

“What a feeling to attend the first international wine fair after two years. Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is already a success because it stuck to its original program. It was a bold decision. Respect…” comments Ilaria Ippoliti, export director at Tenuta del Buanamico.

“It’s the right time of the year for buying Northern hemisphere wines and Paris is so easy to get to from the UK », adds David Gill, Specialist Sales & Wine Development at Kingsland Drinks

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris continues through to February 16 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles. The event is hosting 2,864 exhibitors from 32 countries, visitors from over 100 countries, and a program packed with 100 conferences, masterclasses, and panel discussions.

About WINE PARIS & VINEXPO PARIS

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is the annual event for wine and spirits professionals from around the world. Hosted in February, it aims to offer a cohesive focal point for industry players centering on a comprehensive, relevant, and inclusive range of products that showcases not only French wine regions but increasingly vineyard sites across the globe.

Piggy Bank illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

DBDT Recieves ARP Grant

Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) is pleased to announce they have been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. Dallas Black Dance Theatre is recommended to receive $100,000 and may use this funding to save jobs, fund operations and facilities, secure health and safety supplies, and provide marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC.

“Our nation’s arts sector has been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Endowment for the Arts’ American Rescue Plan funding will help arts organizations, such as the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, to rebuild and reopen,” said Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, chair of the NEA. “The arts are crucial in helping America’s communities heal, unite, and inspire, as well as essential to our nation’s economic recovery.”

“Dallas Black Dance Theatre is extremely grateful for this NEA grant which will be used to support the 10 dancers in our second professional training company, DBDT: Encore! over the next two years,” said Zenetta S. Drew, Executive Director of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. “These artists provide critical services for Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s growing dance education programs, community outreach services, and artistic collaborations.”

The American Rescue Plan was signed into law in March 2021 when the NEA was provided $135 million for the arts sector. The funding for organizations is the third installment providing more than $57.7 million for arts organizations. In April 2021, the NEA announced $52 million (40 percent) in ARP funding would be allocated to 62 state, jurisdictional, and regional arts organizations for regranting through their respective programs. The second installment in November 2021 allocated $20.2 million to 66 local arts agencies for subgranting to local artists and art organizations.

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of arts organizations funded in this announcement, click HERE.

About Dallas Black Dance Theatre 

Dallas Black Dance Theatre is an internationally recognized professional dance company that engages the cross-cultural community through contemporary modern dance presented from the African American experience. The National Endowment for the Arts designated the 45-year-old company as American Masterpiece Touring Artist in 2008. The company also received the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Arts Education in 2017.

Handcuff art via Allison Christensen for use by 360 MAGAZINE

HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE UNITED STATES

Human trafficking can be defined as “a crime that  involves the exploitation of a person for labor, services, or commercial sex.” 

The illegal ring of human enslavement primarily for sex acts has been a problem in the United States for quite some time. The popularity of social media combined with the ongoing stresses from the COVID-19 pandemic have only furthered the presence of human trafficking in the country.

Human enslavement has been a rampant problem often stemming from the Midwest, expanding through the rest of the country. The Midwest serves as the epicenter for trafficking endeavors for several reasons. First off, the number of federal interstates that are common make it easier to transport victims. Commerce tends to be high in areas such as St. Louis and Chicago, simplifying the traveling process of victims. The Midwest has, too, been regarded as a safe part of the country, which masks the existence of human exploitation in this part of the country.

Although servitude of humans has great linkage to the Midwest, it has an intense correlation to the Black community, specifically Black woman. According to the FBI, 53% of all children involved in juvenile prostitution arrests are Black.

This linkage stems back to the racism and oppression prevalent in US history, combined with sexualization of people of color. The Center on Poverty and Inequality generated a study to investigate this point, and found that adults generally regarded Black girls as “less innocent and more adult like than white girls.” Black women continue to be targeted, predominantly by white men. A 2012 research study found that about 85% of people who purchased sex online were white men.

These prejudices impact perpetrator motives, as they are statistically more likely to go after Black girls/ women. A two-year review of alleged enslavement occurrences found that 40% of sex trafficking victims were Black women.

The pandemic and the rise of social media, too, has played its factor in the rise of human subjugation. With many individuals suffering from economic and social deficiencies, trafficking systems have grown exponentially. The victims tend to be vulnerable, often children, in search of some form of attention. Victims often are coerced into enslavement with false promises of jobs or stability.

The growing commonness of human trafficking in the US is alarming and must come to a stop. One of the key problems that prevents victims from being identified is that they often do not believe they are victims. Victims cannot comprehend or see what they’re going through to be considered exploitation, as they often form trauma bonds with their abusers, are hidden in plain sight.

Common signs that can help us identify human trafficking:

  • Physically appearing malnourished
  • Physical injuries
  • Avoidance of eye contact, social communication; primarily with law enforcement
  • Rehearsed replies in social communication
  • Lack of identification documents
  • Staying at hotels/motels with older males
    • Victims refer to males as boyfriend or “daddy” – street slang for pimp
  • Young children serving in family restaurants
  • Individual not allowed in public alone, often spoken for

Trafficking cases continue to grow in numbers, with victims regularly becoming younger and younger. A North Carolina woman was recently sentenced to over 19 years in prison for sex trafficking a 13-year-old girl. This NC proceeding provides insight into common patterns that occur in human enslavement circumstances. It highlights the dominance of social media used in trafficking acts, the susceptibility that victims face and how perpetrators are typically somewhat close to victims.

Authorities were made aware of this case on January 1, 2020, when a 23-year-old girl was a believed victim of sex trafficking. They were able to uncover that from December 2 to the 25 of 2019, Simone McIllwain had been sex-trafficking the young girl in the Charlotte area.

The girl met McIllwain through a shared relationship, when McIllwain started advertising the girl online for commercial sex. She arranged that the 13-year-old girl would perform sex acts in her own hotel room, while she obtained segments of the profits.

She pleaded guilty of sex trafficking of a minor in April 2021, when she was placed in federal custody. Now, she has been sentenced to 235 months in federal prison and 20 years of supervised release.

National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1 (888) 373-7888

SMS: 233733 (Text “HELP” or “INFO”)

Website: http://humantraffickinghotline.org/.

Written By: McKinley Franklin 

Nursing Home Staff Shortages

Amidst the perseverance of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry has taken a massive blow. There are intense staffing shortages in the field, and the public is suffering from these scarcities. The Washington Post gave a detailed report on these worsening staff deficiencies, more specifically in long term care facilities.

Nursing homes tend to lessen the stress on hospitals as recovered patients typically move there after being released. Without proper staffing, though, facilities have not been able to take in patients from hospitals. A specific example of this misfortune stems from the Terrace View nursing home in Buffalo, New York. The home is currently not running at full capacity, and there are up to 22 beds not being used due to lack of staff.

The Washington Post article elaborates on this disaster, highlighting another facility affected. “That means some fully recovered patients in the adjacent Erie County Medical Center must stay in their hospital rooms, waiting for a bed in the nursing home. Which means some patients in the emergency department, who should be admitted to the hospital, must stay there until a hospital bed opens up. The emergency department becomes stretched so thin that 10 to 20 percent of arrivals leave without seeing a caregiver — after an average wait of six to eight hours, according to the hospital’s data.”

Many long-term care facilities across the country are facing these same troubles. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) found 58% of nursing homes are cutting down on arrivals, again, because of the shortage of staff members.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that 425,000 long term care workers left the industry since February 2020. Though other industries have seen economic growth since the onset of the pandemic, nursing homes have not had the same luck. “Remarkably, despite the horrific incidents of death and illness in nursing homes at the outset of the pandemic, more staff departures have come during the economic recovery. As restaurants and shops reopened and hiring set records, nursing homes continued to bleed workers, even as residents returned.”

These troubles are heightened in more rural areas. The article, too, depicts the story of Diakonos Group in Medford, Oklahoma, that had to shut down since there was simply not enough staff. The facility provided care for patients with mental health needs, but after the pandemic started, they found that their staff had endured too much. Diakonos Group CEO Scott Pilgrim explained that although the business offered a raise in hourly wages, bonuses and overtime, employees continued to leave, and they could not withstand these absences.

AHCA/NCAL urges lawmakers to work with the long term care division of healthcare to fix this staffing crisis and devote resources to employ caregivers. As hospitals continue to be directly affected by this catastrophe, change must be made as soon as possible. AHCA/NCAL encourages Congress to take action and ease these tensions placed on both hospitals and long term care facilities.

Alex Bogdan for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Tips to Maintain a Healthy Back

With the COVID-19 pandemic reaching another surge this holiday season, its more important than ever to stay safe, protected and healthy. With the pandemic continuing throughout the winter season, it’s easy to forget that the chilling winter weather can result in the muscles and ligaments of our bodies to contract and tighten significantly more. The muscles and ligaments that strengthen the back and spine, as well as the shoulders and knees, are considerably impacted by these seasonal changes.

From the Pinkston News Service comes a series of tips from Dr. Rita Roy, Chief Executive Officer of the National Spine Health Foundation, on how to protect and keep your back healthy during these frostier months.

Stretch regularly

Implementing a consistent stretching routine can lower your risk of injury, and can even elevate the healing process of a previous injury. Engaging in basic back stretches such as the child’s pose or cat-cow and enhance strength and flexibility to your spine.

Wear proper footwear

Dr. Rita Roy encourages everyone to be mindful of the shoes that you plan to wear depending on the weather you may be dealing with. Make sure that your footwear is a fitting size, by trying them on in-store first, if you can. Ensure that your shoes have proper lining to keep you warm during the chilling temperatures. Making note to purchase a set of footwear that has non-stick rubber soles and treads on the bottom of the shoe for an extra level of safety from slipping. Remember to also take those shoes off when you head indoors, replacing them with socks or slippers, so you don’t run the risk of slipping inside as well.

Be aware of your surroundings

If you know that you may be heading outside, make sure to pay attention to what surfaces you step foot on. To get ahead of the game, keep up on the weather conditions heading your way. If you live in an area with a lot of icy roads and sidewalks, make sure to take your time, walk slowly and steer clear of carrying large items along your path. Make sure to look around you and use the objects that are not moving to your advantage; hold onto a handrail or tree to give yourself some extra balance. Keep your eyes peeled and watch around you to avoid unwarranted hazards.

Stay active

While winter follows the holiday season, this may warrant a lot of eating, sitting around and mood shifts. Seasonal depression is ever apparent through this time of year, so it’s extremely crucial to get your body moving to aid the dreariness that comes with winter. Moving around in between meals through exercising can help you in more ways than you may know.

Don’t overextend yourself

While it is crucial that you keep exercising, be sure to not overreach these efforts. The end of the holiday season raises a whole new set of physical activities, such as, hanging Christmas lights and shoveling snow. These unique tasks pose risks to the body because these are not activities that are regularly carried out year-round. Shoveling snow can cause intense stress to your back. It is vital that you use proper techniques and equipment when carrying out these tasks. Give yourself well-needed breaks and time to rest while participating in these endeavors.

Always wear a seatbelt

This may seem like a misplaced tip among the rest, but nonetheless this one is exceptionally valuable. Studies have found that a large amount of weather-related auto accidents happen throughout the winter, and around 76,000 people become hurt in accidents that result on snowy or slushy roads. Back pain can result from a mere low-speed fender-bender since the body was not anticipating the impact. So, keeping your seatbelt on can limit these sudden movements.