Posts tagged with "pandemic"

360 MAGAZINE illustration for online gaming by Symara Briel Wilson

Travelling Tips from the Experts

When this epidemic is done and travel resumes, where do you want to head? Make your dreams a reality with our travel tips to start you on the road to greatness.

So, Done any Good Travelling Lately? 

No, it may not be the best time for any overseas, or even local, travel. And the rest of the year will probably not see much of an improvement with this pandemic around. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t keep dreaming, right? 

The great thing about travel is that all these fantastic places that you’ve been longing to see are not going anywhere. And just like those beautiful sights, sounds and smells, the fact that travelling costs money isn’t changing either. We can’t all be lucky enough to have a job like my friend Stan, who travels the world on income made from the fastest payout online casino he bets on, and which you can read more about here https://new-casino.ca/articles/fast-payout. Though that does sound tempting.

For the rest of us, we need to save, to scrimp and maybe even to borrow to fund our dreams. But that’s OK, because we have a whole host of travelling experience here in the office, and we’re more than happy to share all our tips to get you in the traveling zone.

Money, Money, Money!

Those sexy Swedes were right about one thing; it’s a rich man’s world. Travelling is going to cost you a pretty penny and saving up is the first thing that you need to be doing. Look at it this way; every sacrifice you make before you go is another cool thing you can spend your coin on when you’re away. And trust us, you won’t regret it.

The silver lining to a pandemic is that you’re more limited than usual to find all those exciting things that you normally spend your money on. No more concerts, no more dinners out, no more buying rounds of shots for the entire bar of strangers every weekend. Yes, it sucks, don’t get me wrong, but you need to look for the positive in a bad situation sometimes.

So, instead of seeing all that money building up in your bank account and spending it on Amazon, save, save, save. Then spend your time researching all the amazing places you’re going to visit in New Zealand or Peru or Cambodia or wherever your first trip will take you.

Do Your Research

Many are used to flying by the seat of their pants when they are touring the world. And we’re not for a second implying that that’s not a good idea, not essential for the soul sometimes. But all too often, we’ve come back from a trip only to find that when we decided to drive 8 hours inland to see that wicked cave system, we missed one of the very things we went all that way to see.

It’s a great idea to ensure that the time you’re planning on going (not that it’s a great time to book anything into any calendar right now!) is good weather wise too. Koh Samui is not that great when there’s flooding from the monsoon season in October, trust us. 

Travel guides are easily accessible online these days, like Lonely Planet and even Trip Adviser. And online searches of the country’s official tourism page is definitely advisable too.

Start Making a List

Now you’ve started looking into all the cool things to do, start making a list of the things you definitely don’t want to miss. Also, make a note of them on a map so you can start to get a good feel for where they are in relationship to each other. Not only is it good to slowly start to navigate your way around the country, but it’s perfect to start seeing things that are in between. 

Hopping from one place to the next is always relatively easy via public transport or tourist buses, so you’ll be able to visit that awesome lake on your way to the glaciers, or that pristine beach, or the forest your friends keep going on about.

Referring back to your list whilst you’re on your journey will make sure that those last minute detours won’t cost you an even better surprise. 

Learn a Little of the Lingo

Just a simple “good morning” in the local language will break down social barriers faster than money can buy. And it’s just as important as “thank you”, which you may never use in your everyday life anymore, but will open so many more doors on your travels. Oh, and it works wonders when you smile at the same time.

Language goes hand in hand with local cultures too, so when you’re learning when Ramadan is for your Egypt trip, delve a little into the customs and rules that coincide with it. Again, so important when it comes to mixing with the locals. You may just find yourself at the dinner table in the middle of the street, breaking bread with the entire community who have had all the food supplied by the wealthier tenants. Now that’s a story to tell your friends.

Balance Your Guard with Common Sense

Now we’d be the last to say that nothing ever happens when you’re travelling, no one gets in any trouble in Sudan. But if you don’t let your guard down just a little, you may as well just read the guide books and stay on your sofa. The paranoia that you’re a constant target will leave you with regrets when you get back home. So, play it safe but don’t forget why you’re there.

Paying too much for the fruit at a street stall or being ripped off on that $8 sarong is not worth battering an eye at. Instead, go with the flow and focus more on local scams that will matter. Checking with the front office crew about which bars to avoid, the areas that are notorious for pick pockets and how safe the subway is at night are things worth worrying about. 

Being smart about how you hold your bag, where your valuable are and what’s going on around you whilst you’re in the marketplace, is better than avoiding that culture at all. You’ll only travel there once, trust me, so make it count. 

Healthcare Equity article illustrated by Rita Azar for 360 MAGAZINE

The Importance of Education for Advancing Healthcare Equity

By: Maria Hernandez, Ph.D.

If you’ve been tracking the nation’s progress in the fight against Covid-19, physicians and public health officials of color have been highlighting the need for health equity in the national dialogue. As the data on mortality rates becomes clearer, there is no mistake that the pandemic is impacting African American and Latino communities to a much greater extent. Current mortality rates for Blacks and Latinos is almost 2.8 times that of whites suggesting significant health inequities exist. The discussion about why these inequities are taking place has been less clear and even less clear is how to address this reality.

The key may be in educating healthcare providers about the root cause of these inequities and empowering patients that access healthcare systems.

Health inequities are the differences in health outcomes due to unfair conditions or factors that different populations may face. These factors can include access to quality care, inadequate housing, lack of access to quality food, poverty and systemic racism. Public health researchers and healthcare providers have known about health inequities in the US for over 40 years and the research about what to do point to a confluence of factors that center on economic, educational and social change. Even before the pandemic, Native American and Black women are 2.5 times more likely to die in childbirth than Whites. Women are under diagnosed for heart disease.

Research points to the presence of unconscious and systemic bias as well as a lack of culturally competent care.

https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/tracking-the-covid-19-recessions-effects-on-food-housing-andThe pandemic exacerbated the impact of these factors in profound ways. If we look at the fact that essential front line workers–cashiers, bus drivers, food service providers, healthcare workers, postal carriers, warehouse workers, receptionists–have high concentrations of Black and Latino workers, it becomes much easier to understand why so many victims of Covid-19 are from these communities. And if we also explore the role poverty plays in the pandemic, we know that crowded housing conditions where social distancing is not possible has been a factor. The reality is that low income, hourly workers are not able to do their jobs remotely using telecommuting or video conferencing. Many of these workers also experience a harder time finding personal protective equipment that can be a burden for tight household budgets.

The pandemic has set the stage for profound changes in healthcare and its about time.

Two important responses that have emerged in the nation’s healthcare systems is an awareness that physicians, nurses and other caretakers must accept that–like all other human beings–they suffer from unconscious biases. It’s those snap judgements about a person’s race, ethnicity, age, ability, and socioeconomic status that enter into each encounter which can influence the recommended course of care. Those biases can be positive or negative but we all make those associations. The pandemic has accelerated the

extent to which hospitals are seeking training for front line staff and providers in order to reduce the likelihood of these biases and provide more culturally competent care.

These programs include an awareness of how bias impacts the experiences of patients and what may be important factors to consider in working with different populations. Culturally competent care encourages staff to look at how the patient may be experiencing their illness and what their own understanding of how to improve their health. It means taking into account the patients cultural of reference and listening to their unique needs.

Another response is the effort hospitals are making to partner with community clinics, faith based organizations and community organizations to win the trust of patients. This was present before the pandemic, but it has taken on a new sense of urgency as vaccine adoption rates have faltered in Black and Brown communities. Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, not for profit hospitals which are the majority of facilities in the US have been asked to report what community benefits they provide to address known community needs.

Despite all of these approaches for improved healthcare services for diverse patients, it will take years before all health systems are aligned on their approach to advance health equity.

The most vulnerable patients need quality care now.

A visit to the doctor—even on-line—may require some key steps to ensure the best care is made available. Three steps that can make a big difference for patient visits. First, bring an advocate with you–a family member or friend who will join you in your visit and support your being heard or to help you ask the right questions. You’ll have to give them permission to be with you given privacy rules in healthcare but it’s worth it. Having a trusted advocate can be a big relief if there’s a lot of options to explore or if there’s different treatment steps involved. There’s a growing field of professional Patient Advocates — sometimes called Patient Navigators that help individuals with navigating treatment options, getting insurance payments, and arranging for home health care if needed. Your health may rely on having someone who understands the complexity of healthcare systems to support you.

Next, review the information your physician provides about the condition or illness and the medicines you may be asked to take. Ask your doctor what information you most need to understand for your treatment or what to do to support your health. Most physicians will provide information on a condition or point you to a reputable website for more information like the Mayo Clinic Review what your physician provides to be informed about the options and treatments presented.

Last, communicate with your care team throughout the course of your treatment or care. If you are struggling with side effects in your treatment or symptoms worsen, call your doctor or the nurse practitioner assigned to your care. Take an active role–with your advocate–to look at options for continued treatment. Poor communication with your physician can put you at greater risk for poor health outcomes. During these challenging days, preparing for each time you visit your physician can set the stage for you to receive the very best care available

About the author -Maria Hernandez, Ph.D., President and COO of Impact4Health is a thought leader in health equity and pay for success initiatives designed to address the upstream social determinants of health among vulnerable populations.  Maria currently leads the Alameda County Pay for Success Asthma Initiative which is testing the feasibility of reducing asthma-related emergencies using health education and proven home-based environmental interventions for children.  

Gaming illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Counter-Strike: The Shooting Game Taking The World By Storm

Counter-Strike began life as a fan-made modification for Valve Corporation’s much-acclaimed title Half-Life 2. Created by Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess “Cliffe” Cliffe, Counter-Strike was acquired by Valve in 1999 and saw its first retail release later on that year. Whilst it has never been the commercial behemoth that a series such as Call of Duty has become over the years, Counter-Strike has managed to establish itself as one of the most recognisable faces in the first-person shooter (FPS) genre of gaming, with three major sequels and various spin offs titles, the latest of which, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, was released back in 2012. 

Valve have established themselves as one of the best in the business for continuing to support their games with constant tweaks and updates to keep things feeling fresh and optimised, and this has proven to be the cornerstone for Counter-Strike’s enduring popularity within the video gaming community. 

It has also been one of the biggest driving forces for the Counter-Strike franchise being able to flex itself as the most successful FPS title in the world of competitive gaming, and a huge driving force behind its growth as a multi-billion dollar industry over the past twenty years. With the series continuing its soar in popularity ahead of 2021, here’s everything you need to know about Counter-Strike: the shooting game taking the world by storm. 

Gameplay 

The Counter-Strike series has built a legacy for emphasising team play, communication, planning and short sharp bursts of action, rather than the all-out action approach of competitor titles such as Call of Duty. Whichever game in the series you play, simply running around and trying to kill opponents is not an option at a reasonable skill level. 

The game pits two teams of five players against each other on a map in a best of thirty match. Rounds last 1:55 and teams are split into either the T (Terrorist) or CT (Counter-Terrorist) side. Terrorists can win rounds by either killing the entire enemy team or successfully planting and defending a bomb until it detonates after a forty second countdown. There are two bombsites on every defusal map, and Counter-Terrorists can win rounds by either killing the enemy team before a bomb is planted, waiting out the round timer without the bomb being planted, or defusing the bomb once it has been placed. 

Teams are given an economy for each round that they have to manage, meaning that planning ahead, saving weapons, choosing between armour, utility and weaponry each round can be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of games even before a bullet is fired. 

All these factors have helped Counter-Strike develop one of the highest skill ceilings found anywhere in the gaming world, and subsequently developed an hyper-competitive professional scene.

Counter-Strike In Esports

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is the latest game in the series and, despite being over eight years old now, has actually seen its numbers soar over the past year or so. Not only is it one of the most watched games on online streaming platforms such as Twitch.tv with hundreds of thousands of hours digested by viewers, but 2020 saw it peak past the one million concurrent player mark several times for the first time in its history. As of February 2021, the game averages roughly 24 million users a month, over double the amount recorded in 2016. 

For the first time in the franchise’s history, Global Offensive was moved to a free to play model by Valve in 2018 and can still be picked up and played for absolutely nothing via Steam even today. 

Naturally, with so many players and so much interest, the competitive scene for the game is one of the most heavily invested in and fleshed out in the entire Esports industry. CS:GO betting has become increasingly popular for events and tournaments right across the world and, thanks to the influx of investment from the likes of Intel, Monster, Alienware and even the United States Air Force, the standard for competition hosting has risen substantially over the past couple of years. 

The very first Counter-Strike tournament was hosted in 2001 for the original game in the series at the Cyberathlete Professional League, and the likes of the World Cyber Games and Electronic Sports World Cup hosted Counter-Strike tournaments in the early to mid 2000s as the Esports industry grew. It wasn’t until the release of Global Offensive in 2012 however that the industry really began to ramp up, coinciding with the boom in popularity of games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends. 

Valve began hosting the very first Major Championship for the game in 2013 at DreamHack Winter, and have gone on to host two annual tournaments ever since. These tournaments tend to carry with them a prize pool of $1 million dollars and are still regarded as the most prestigious events in the game to this day. 

Las Vegas-Based Tour Provider

When Bindlestiff Tours owner Rachel Urban opened the Las Vegas-based adventure tour company nearly 10 years ago, she sought to offer adventurers the most immersive experiences throughout the Southwestern United States, Alaska and Western Canada. In the days leading up to the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours was doing just that. Business was booming and the company welcomed thousands of international visitors each year.

Then borders closed, shutdowns began and the international tourism industry dried up. As reservations were cancelled and trips delayed, many tour operators opted to close their doors entirely. Yet, Bindlestiff made the bold, yet tough, decision to remain open last year as one of the only fully operating national park tour companies in Las Vegas during the height of the pandemic. Today, Bindlestiff continues to fight challenges created by the pandemic while still welcoming drive-market travelers to keep the business afloat.  

“Like many small businesses in the tourism industry, we’re fighting every day to keep our operation running while safeguarding our staff and customers’ health and well-being,” said Urban. 

With group size limits, mask enforcement rules and social distancing guidelines differing state by state, Bindlestiff’s high operating and cleaning costs for their spectacular multi-state tours through Nevada, Arizona, Utah and California have risen while the number of guests they are able to accommodate continues to remain restricted. 

Navigating which national parks and campsites are open also presents another obstacle for Bindlestiff Tours. A spike in COVID-19 cases often leads to sudden park or campsite closures or limited access to certain destinations which creates challenges in how Bindlestiff times tours, according to Urban.

Last-minute tour reservations and cancellations also add to the company’s dilemma of planning how many guests they are able to welcome on a given day. 

“While it certainly has been difficult to accommodate travelers visiting Las Vegas on a whim, it brings us such gratitude knowing there are still domestic tourists searching to get away and immerse themselves in nature,” said Urban. 

The immersive tour operator celebrates the small victories such as welcoming travelers from neighboring states, even if group sizes remain small, and continues to offer flexible booking conditions, value tour pricing and additional traveler options. 

Among these additional options are Bindlestiff Tours’ new multi-day, self-driving camping tours and private, custom single- or multi-day tours from Las Vegas.


The self-drive camping tours, also available with hotel upgrades, offer travelers an opportunity to socially distance under the stars. According to Urban, these tours are designed for guests interested in driving to the national parks of the American Southwest on their own, while still receiving expert guidance and an immersive, personalized adventure. 

Guests are provided with all the necessary camping equipment and tour guides assist with camp set-up in scenic locations. Expert tour guides meet guests at key locations throughout the tour and escort groups on remote hiking trails to spectacular viewpoints while providing live interpretive wildlife and nature content throughout the adventure. 

According to Bindlestiff, guides also facilitate evening campfires and locally sourced, fully catered al fresco dining options at camp or for hotel guests. 

To enhance the self-drive experience, Urban says guests can download the recently reconfigured Bindlestiff Tours mobile app. Now featuring tour narrations in English for domestic travelers in addition to multiple languages for international visitors, the app allows travelers to access additional details, instruction and information.


For families or groups of friends of four or more interested in experiencing national parks in a more intimate setting, Bindlestiff also offers private, custom tour options. These tour packages are pre-made and offer exclusive one-on-one attention from a dedicated, expert local guide. Guests may select day tours or multi-day outdoor camping tours or the comfort of hotel accommodation. Guides escort groups on a completely private tour throughout the experience. Guests have the option to choose from classic itineraries or request a custom-tailored tour and add on other areas of interest, according to Urban. 

Despite the overall decrease in travelers resulting from the pandemic, Bindlestiff Tours understands the importance of continuing to provide vacationers with spectacular opportunities to visit some of the country’s most breathtaking national parks when they are ready to travel again.

“During the height of the shutdown last year, we were one of the only fully operating tour providers in Las Vegas,” said Urban. “We understand the importance of offering travelers expert guides for incredible experiences they’ll never forget, especially during such a difficult time. It truly brings our team joy.” 

As Bindlestiff continues to expand its tour offerings when more people begin to travel again, the challenges of remaining viable and laying the foundation for recovery in a post-COVID economy remains present. This year, Bindlestiff is excited to launch “glamping” tours that allow families and private groups the peace of the great outdoors paired with more elevated living accommodations.

According to Urban, the tour company remains hopeful about the future. She said guests booking trips with Bindlestiff this year have felt reassured about their health and safety – some even going as far as sharing their uplifting experiences on social media. 

“Our company is beyond grateful we have remained open throughout these challenging times to welcome those searching to get out of their houses and into the wilderness,” said Urban.

For more information about private custom tours and self-drive tours, visit www.bindlestifftours.com

What Keeps Men From Picking Up Their Household Mess

By Andi Simon, Ph.D.

For many of the women I have been working with during the pandemic crisis, the biggest complaint has been: “Why doesn’t my husband help pick up the mess?” “Don’t men even see the toys all around them, the dishes in the sink, the clothes needing folding?” And when they finally lend a hand, it is hardly neat or “the way I would have done it.”

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the cultural dilemma is upon us, exaggerated during the current stay-at-home, work remotely era caused by COVID-19. What wives, moms and girlfriends might have silently dealt with in the past has become a major issue when both partners are now at home together. Differences are more apparent, irritations closer to the surface.

As an anthropologist, and a wife, and a mother, I know all too well how difficult it is to change habits in adults. Once we learn our habits, they take over and drive us. My husband is a wonderful teammate but loves to leave his cabinets open, his clothes folded but not so smoothly, and his office … well let’s not discuss that. I do confess, at times my office is as big a mess as his, which is OK as long as each of us stick to our own disorderly worlds.

In a recent Atlantic article, “The Myth That Gets Men Out of Doing Chores,” Joe Pinsker writes about how these male-female differences originate partly from how boys and girls are raised, and partly from how men and women simply see things through different lenses. While some contend that boys are naturally messier than girls, there is little research to support that. If anything, boys and girls (and men and women) can both make a mess in the bedroom, the bathroom and the kitchen — indeed, making messes comes naturally to both sexes. Cleaning them up, less so.

The issue is that boys and girls are taught differently what it means to be “neat” or “messy.” There is nothing inherent in either of those words. We learn what they mean as we grow up, and the ones teaching us play a major role in handing down those cultural values about what we should or should not be doing to create order in our lives.

What matters is how we “believe” that we as humans create and manage our physical and social order, at home and outside of it. Watch boys at a sporting event — lacrosse, soccer or anything — and they learn quickly how to pack their sports bag and keep their equipment in good shape (or be yelled at by the coach). Girls do the same. In the office, men can be very neat, or not. I have had bosses with horrible office order and others who were so immaculate that it was weird. The same has been true of male or female bosses.

The question then becomes: Why do we think women should pick up the toys, fold the laundry and close the cabinets, while the guys watch their ballgame and drink their beer with a mess all around them? Humans are culture-creating and culture-living creatures. As children, we learn from parents, teachers and friends what is valued and for whom. If boys are allowed to have messy rooms because, well, they are just boys, they will quickly learn that boys can be messy, ignore the mess, and not be expected to restore order to it. If girls are told that they must clean up their rooms before they can do something they want, they learn other rules and other norms.

It really is true that what we see our mothers and fathers, and others, doing is what we mimic, in business and in life. It becomes embedded in our psyches, sometimes without our even realizing. If girls and women repeatedly hear that cleanliness is next to godliness, they will learn that making the bed, tidying the kitchen and cleaning up messes are positive reinforcements for how good and acceptable they are. Boys don’t learn this. In fact, if a boy neatly picks up his toys and then is called a sissy, what value judgement is that passing along?

So then, if you have a man in the house who repeatedly ignores the kids’ mess on the floor, think hard about what both of you are teaching your kids about personal responsibility, beyond neatness and messiness. You might during this at-home period be able to change their futures by providing them with unbiased values and beliefs about what men and women see and do. Remember, it is easier to change the kids than the guy. I would advise, though, that in your corrections to the latter, tread carefully but quickly, before the opportunity evaporates.

About Andi Simon

Andi Simon, Ph.D., author of the book Rethink: Smashing the Myths of Women in Business, is a corporate anthropologist and founder of Simon Associates Management Consultants. A trained practitioner in Blue Ocean Strategy®, Simon has conducted several hundred workshops and speeches on the topic as well as consulted with a wide range of clients across the globe. She also is the author of the award-winning book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon has a successful podcast, On the Brink with Andi Simon, that has more than 125,000 monthly listeners, and is ranked among the top 20 Futurist podcasts and top 200 business podcasts. In addition, Global Advisory Experts named Simons’ firm the Corporate Anthropology Consultancy Firm of the Year in New York – 2020. She has been on Good Morning, America and Bloomberg, and is widely published in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Becker’s, and American Banker, among others. She has been a guest blogger for Forbes.com, Huffington Post, and Fierce Health.

AC_LatinoCovid by Allison Christensen for 360 Magazine

Antibody Cocktail May Prevent Symptomatic COVID-19 Infections

An antibody cocktail being tested at UVA Health and other sites was able to block 100% of symptomatic COVID-19 infections among people exposed to the virus, early results from the clinical trial suggest.

In addition, those who developed asymptomatic infections accumulated far less virus in their bodies than usual and saw their infections resolve within a week, according to interim data released by the cocktail’s manufacturer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

“This is the first treatment shown to prevent COVID-19 after a known exposure, and offers protection for unvaccinated individuals caring for a family member with COVID-19,” said UVA Health’s William Petri Jr., MD, PhD, one of the leaders of the trial at UVA. “We expect that Regeneron will file for Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA so that this drug can be used outside of the context of a clinical trial.”

Antibodies for COVID-19

The phase 3 clinical trial aims to determine if the antibodies will prevent COVID-19 infection in people who have been exposed but not yet developed the disease. This is known as “passive immunization.”

Regeneron’s new analysis, which has not yet been published in a scientific journal, looked at outcomes in approximately 400 trial participants. Of 186 people who received the antibodies, none developed symptomatic COVID-19. Of the 223 who received a placebo, eight developed symptomatic COVID-19, the company reports.

Asymptomatic infections occurred in 15 of the antibody recipients and in 23 of the placebo recipients. Overall rates of infection, including both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections, were approximately 50% lower in the antibody group.

Among those who developed infections, placebo recipients had, on average, a peak viral load (the amount of virus in the body) that was more than 100 times greater than antibody recipients. The antibody group also recovered more quickly–all the infections resolved within seven days, while 40 percent of infections in the placebo group lasted three to four weeks, Regeneron said.

The cocktail also appears to shorten the duration of viral shedding, the time when the virus is being manufactured in the body. The viral shedding period was nine weeks among antibody recipients and 44 weeks among the placebo recipients. While people with COVID-19 are not infectious for this entire time, reducing the duration of viral shedding may shorten the period when they can spread the disease.

There were more adverse events reported among placebo recipients than among antibody recipients – 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Regeneron attributed this to the larger number of COVID-19 infections in the placebo group.

There was one death and one COVID-19-related hospitalization in the placebo group and none in the antibody group. Injection-site reactions were reported among 2 percent of both groups.

“We are profoundly grateful to the nurses and staff of the UVA COVID-19 clinic, led by Dr. Debbie-Anne Shirley,” Petri said. “Their day-to-day support made our participation in this trial possible.”

About the Clinical Trial

Phase 3 clinical trials, such as the one under way at UVA, examine the safety and effectiveness of new drugs and treatments in large numbers of people. Positive results in the phase 3 trial could spur the federal Food and Drug Administration to make the antibody cocktail available for post-exposure COVID-19 prevention.

The antibody cocktail is not a vaccine and is not expected to provide permanent immunity to COVID-19.

The team conducting the study at UVA is led by Petri and Shirley and includes Gregory Madden, MD; Chelsea Marie, PhD; Jennifer Sasson, MD; Jae Shin, MD; Cirle Warren, MD; Clinical Research Coordinator Igor Shumilin; assistant Rebecca Carpenter; and COVID-19 Clinic nurses Michelle Sutton, Elizabeth Brooks, Danielle Donigan, Cynthia Edwards, Jennifer Pinnata, Samantha Simmons and Rebecca Wade.

To keep up with the latest medical research news from UVA, subscribe to the Making of Medicine blog.

360 football illustration for sports articles

THE ECONOMIC SUPER BOWL

In midst of a pandemic that devastated society, including sports, the total wealth of 64 billionaire sports barons shot up by $98.5 billion, or over 30 percent. Taxpayer subsidies for stadiums of 26 billionaire team owners have totaled $9 billion since 1990, with most in last decade.

We won’t know the winner of this year’s Super Bowl till Sunday, but we already know the big winners in our COVID-ravaged economy include dozens of billionaire sports barons.

On the eve of the big game, and after 10 plus months of the pandemic, 64 billionaire owners of major league sports franchises—including the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs’ Hunt family and the NFC champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Glazer family—have enjoyed a $98.5 billion rise in their collective net worth, a 30 percent increase, as millions of fans have fallen ill, lost jobs, neared eviction, gone hungry and died due to the coronavirus.

The 64 billionaires, who together own or co-own 68 professional sports franchises, had a combined wealth of $426 billion on January 29, 2021. This number is up from $326 billion on March 18, 2020, roughly since the start of the pandemic lockdowns, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), and data analysis from Forbes and Wealth-X. (Note: The increase in total billionaire wealth from March to January was $100 billion, but has been adjusted to $98.5 billion because an additional billionaire reached that status in January 2021.)

The sports billionaires’ private gain in the midst of so much public pain is particularly galling since many of their franchises have been the beneficiaries of taxpayer handouts. Over the past several decades, according to data maintained by Field of Schemes, 28 pro sports teams owned by 26 billionaires have received $9 billion in taxpayer subsidies (see Table here) to help build or update stadiums and arenas and make other investments that billionaires could presumably afford on their own. These publicly subsidized team owners have seen their wealth increase $45 billion since mid-March.

For the full report go to Pandemic Super Bowl 2021: Billionaires Win, We Lose.

Over the past five years—when a lot of sweetheart tax deals were cut—the collective wealth of sports billionaires shot up $165 billion, or 67 percent. Their combined wealth of $247 billion in March 2016 had grown to $426 billion by January 29 of this year. (Nine billionaires on the list in 2021 were not billionaires in 2016, accounting for the $14 billion discrepancy.)

The $98.5 billion wealth gain by 64 sports franchise billionaires since March 2020 could pay for:

  • A stimulus check of $1,400 for over 70 million Americans—almost half of the 153 million people who likely will be eligible under the pandemic relief plan proposed by President Biden based on the 2020 stimulus payments.
  • More than one-third of the $290 billion cost of providing $400-a-week supplements to existing unemployment benefits through September, as proposed by President Biden in his COVID rescue plan.

March 18 is used as the unofficial beginning of the pandemic because by then most federal and state economic restrictions responding to the virus were in place. Moreover, March 18 was also the date on which Forbes estimated billionaire wealth for the 2020 version of its annual report. That report provided a detailed baseline that ATF and IPS have been comparing periodically with real-time data from the Forbes website. [See past reports here] This methodology has been favorably reviewed by PolitiFact.

Last March is when the nation’s emergency response to the deadly virus threw professional sports, along with the rest of society, into turmoil. Thousands of low-paid stadium and arena workers lost their jobs as sports seasons were cancelled and curtailed.

The long winning streak of America’s billionaire sports owners is just part of the dominance of a national dynasty of 661 U.S. billionaires whose wealth has grown by $1.2 trillion, or 40%, during the pandemic. The number has climbed from $2.9 trillion on March 18 to $4.13 trillion, as of January 29, 2021 (see link here for all data).

Though only one of their teams will lift the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champs this year, both the Chiefs’ Hunt family—specifically, Ray Lee Hunt and W. Herbert Hunt—and the Bucs’ Glazer family will continue their long reigns among the nation’s biggest economic winners. The Hunts’ net worth is estimated by Forbes at $6.3 billion, up $482 million during the COVID crisis. The Chiefs received $250 million in taxpayer subsidies for stadium renovations in 2006.

The Buc’s Glazer family is worth an estimated $1.7 billion, according to Wealth-X. Taxpayers provided a total of $218 million in subsidies for construction and renovation of the Buccaneer stadium in 1998 and 2015.

Sixty U.S. billionaires—roughly one in ten of the country’s 661 total billionaires—own one or more major league professional sports teams in the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MBL), and National Hockey League (NHL). Four other billionaires—three from Canada and one from Germany—own four additional teams.

“These billionaire sports barons have seen their wealth rise as their fans lose their lives, livelihoods, health and wealth,” said Chuck Collins, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, Program on Inequality.  “As a country, we should be investigating pandemic profiteering and taxing windfall gains during these extraordinary times.”

“The Super Bowl brings the whole nation together, but we have not come together as a country to beat the pandemic,” said Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente. “Billionaire sports owners have continued their long winning streak of ever-growing fortunes while fans at home are losing their lives and livelihoods. Real team work would require billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes so we can get the whole U.S. back to its winning ways.”

“Every year, wealthy sports team owners rake in more than two billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies for new stadiums and arenas that, according to innumerable economic studies, provide zero measurable economic benefit to the public,” said Neil DeMause, co-author of Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private Profit, and editor of the stadium news site. “Letting billionaire owners socialize their costs and privatize their profits has allowed the rich to get richer, while starving local governments of revenue to pay for schools and other genuine public needs.”

Tax reform that ensures the wealthy pay their fair share—the principle President Biden’s tax plan is built on—would transform a good chunk of those huge billionaire gains into public revenue to help heal a hurting nation. But getting at that big boost in billionaire fortunes is not as simple as raising tax rates: tax rules let the rich delay, diminish and even ultimately avoid any tax on the growth in their wealth. What’s needed is structural change to how wealth is taxed.

The most direct approach is an annual wealth tax on the biggest fortunes, proposed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, among others. Another option is the annual taxation of investment gains on stocks and other tradable assets, an idea advanced by the new Senate Finance Committee chair, Ron Wyden. Even under the current discounted tax rates for investment income, if Wyden’s plan had been in effect in 2020 America’s billionaire sports owners would be paying billions of dollars in extra taxes this spring thanks to their gargantuan pandemic profits last year. Another reform is needed to significantly strengthen the estate tax so that the riches accumulated by these ultra-wealthy sports franchise owners pay their fair share of taxes when these dynasties get passed onto their heirs.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a COVID-19 Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Native Peoples’ Perspectives Toward COVID-19 Vaccine

Urban Indian Health Institute (UIHI) released a study with the first-ever national data regarding American Indian and Alaska Native peoples’ knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about a COVID-19 vaccine.

The study surveyed American Indians and Alaska Natives across 46 states—representing 318 different tribal affiliations—to gather information ranging from individuals’ willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine to the hurdles they face in accessing healthcare and resources.

“This data will be important to all organizations conducting COVID-19 vaccine education efforts,” said Abigail Echo-Hawk, director of UIHI. “Native communities have unique challenges and needs that usually are not considered in public health campaigns.”

American Indian and Alaska Native people continue to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates are 3.5 and 1.8 times that of non-Hispanic Whites, respectively.

While there has been worry about vaccine participation in Native communities, 75% of study participants claimed they would be willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, higher than the national average according to an Ipsos survey from October 2020, which indicates that 64% of the U.S. general population was willing to receive a vaccine.

“Willingness to receive a vaccine and hesitancy are not mutually exclusive,” said Echo-Hawk. “Fear and distrust of government and medical systems still exist in our community, which are hurdles that we have to overcome.”

Echo-Hawk hopes the report can start to create a better understanding of the unique perspectives of Native people.

“The data indicates that most Native people willing to be vaccinated feel it is their responsibility for the health of their community,” Echo-Hawk said. “This shows what motivates our community when it comes to decision-making.”

Report key findings:

  • 75% of participants were willing to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 74% of participants claimed that getting vaccinated is their responsibility to their community.
  • 89% of participants wanted evidence that the vaccine is safe right now and in the long term.
  • 39% of all participants reported difficulty traveling to their clinic for an appointment.
  • Two-thirds of participants willing to get vaccinated were confident that COVID-19 vaccines were adequately tested for safety and effectiveness among Native people.
  • 75% of participants willing to get vaccinated had concerns about potential side effects.
  • 25% of participants were unwilling to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • 90% of participants unwilling to get vaccinated recognized COVID-19 as a serious disease.
  • 89% of participants unwilling to get vaccinated had concerns about potential side effects.
Kaelen Felix illustrates Veterans Day for 360 Magazine

“Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” By Eric Power

Veterans face incredible challenges after leaving the military. From coping with mental health issues like depression and PTSD to finding employment, re-establishing relationships, and more – readjusting to civilian life is not easy. After putting their lives on the line in service of our country, veterans deserve more support than what they are getting.

The pandemic has only made this issue worse over the last year with the surge of loneliness, unemployment, and an increase in mental health cases among all Americans. A survey done by the Wounded Warriors Project found that more than half of veterans said their mental health had worsened during the pandemic.

Fortunately, a new book from recent military veteran, Eric Power can help. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story of self-discovery that shares the keys to overcoming some of life’s greatest challenges and the wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

“This pandemic has set a shocking and much greater feat for veterans (and all Americans for that matter) to rise above thier mental health challenges. Yet, I am very optimistic about the future and hope to provide support, advice, and my personal experience to help save someone’s life…” said Power, whose mission is to provide a valuable resource and life-changing advice to veterans, their families, and all struggling Americans.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Blurring the lines between fiction and nonfiction, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is a powerful story that shines light on the unique challenges veterans face after leaving the military. As an active combat veteran, Eric Power knows the sacrifices and struggles of civilian veterans. As a mentor and a self-development student, he also knows the keys to overcoming some of the greatest challenges in business and in life.

Power shares his success principles as he takes you through the challenges of David Little, a veteran facing personal and career challenges. Follow along as David meets his mentor, Ralph Power, who helps him discover his self-worth and shows him how to build life-changing relationships.

The statistics on veteran mental health are horrific. According to a 2020 report, roughly 17 veterans die by suicide each day in the US. This means meaning more veterans die by suicide every two days than were killed in action last year! This staggering statistic is why “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” rings true to 24 million veterans around the world who have some type of personal struggle after returning home. As the Coronavirus surges forward, we have seen an increase in mental health conditions among all Americans. The wisdom and insights in this book are more timely and relevant than ever before.

Of course, this personal development is a must-read for military veterans, but it also appeals to non-veterans because it offers timeless and universal business and success principles applicable to all people. This book is a valuable resource for military families or anyone with loved ones in the service. It offers a glimpse into the reality of the veteran experience and readers can learn more about what their loved one is going through and how they can help.

Whether you are a veteran or not, “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is an unforgettable story about life, relationships, and the power we all have to create a lasting imprint on the people we meet and know.

The book was released December 28th, 2020 by Waterside productions and starts at $16.95 for the paperback edition. “Don’t Shoot Your Future Self” is available for purchase on Amazon HERE. 

ABOUT ERIC POWER:

Eric Louis Power is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and social activist dedicated to helping military veterans and their families achieve a better quality of life. Power served honorably in the US Navy reaching the rank of Petty Officer First Class and serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Southern Watch. Power has a total of seven deployments, with 3.5 years in Active Combat zones. He is the founder of For Veterans By Veterans, a nonprofit that provides assistance to homeless vets, and he is the founder and CEO of Veterans Disability Help, LLC, a firm that manages VA disability claims and helps disabled veterans get the benefits they deserve. Since 2012, Power has been responsible for redirecting over 2.1 Million dollars a month recurring from the VA, back to the veterans in regard to their VA disability claims.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT https://veterandisabilityhelp.com

“Nature Vacations” Surge During Pandemic

Public lands saw a record number of visits in 2020 and interest in “nature vacations” surged.

TripAdvisor says more than 50% of its consumers are more likely to take a nature trip than they were before the pandemic. Booking.com‘s data shows that 56% of its travelers are searching for “off-the-beaten-track escapes”. Pitchup.com, a lodges, cabins, and campsites booking engine, reports that reservations for 2021 are more than six times higher than last year. RVshare says 73% of millennials indicated they are likely to rent an RV in 2021.

In the race to lure back travelers, vacations in nature are leading the pack. We have assembled a list of nature-focused vacations, ranging from touring Canyonlands National Park by mountain bike to wrangling cattle on a remote ranch in Wyoming.

1. Ride the Rockies and More

With maps and other resources from Adventure Cycling Association, plan a ride on the remote Great Divide Mountain Bike Route crisscrossing the crest of the Rocky Mountains through the U.S. and Canada. Or visit Yellowstone National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Badlands National Park on the Parks, Peaks, and Prairies route between Montana and Minneapolis. https://www.adventurecycling.org/

2. Channel Your Inner Cowboy

Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just three hours from Yellowstone National Park. Guests stay in private chalets and enjoy family-friendly activities like horseback riding, cattle wrangling, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, hiking, fishing, shooting and feasting on farm-to-table cuisine. http://redrefletranch.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV

Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath, and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual national parks pass, and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides, and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com

4. Teton Tiny House Retreat 

Just minutes from Jackson Hole, WY, Fireside Resort offers 25 pint-size, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. Each has its own outdoor fire pit and deck. And the resort is located just a stone’s throw from Grand Teton National Park. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com

5. Camp & MTB Canyonlands

Utah’s 100-mile White Rim Trail loops in and out of a multi-colored array of spires, arches, buttes, and mesas carved by the Green and Colorado Rivers. On this tour with Escape Adventures, guests ride the famous off-road route, while detouring to admire secret passages, hidden slot canyons, natural rock arches, and ancient Puebloan ruins. https://escapeadventures.com/tour/utah-white-rim-mountain-bike-tour/ 

6. Hike, Bike or Ski Big Sky

Find active adventures on the trails around Big Sky, Montana, when staying at The Wilson Hotel. On the edge of town, hike to the glacial cirque surrounding Beehive Basin or through the forest to Ousel Falls, or trek to natural wonders and wildlife in nearby Yellowstone National Park. Mountain biking abounds as well, with over 20 miles of lift-served riding. And in winter, 5,850 acres of ski terrain spreads out from the summit of 11,166-foot Lone Peak. https://thewilsonhotel.com/