Posts tagged with "survey"

graph via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Black Owned Media’s Marketing Panel

By: Skyler Johnson

Black Owned Media Equity and Sustainability Institute hosted an educational marketing panel to help small businesses, primarily newsrooms, in getting people to donate money through membership.

Building Trust

There are many ways to build trust with the audience. The easiest way is to create habits through emails and newsletters. The phone is the modern day porch. People routinely wake up and check their phones in the same way they used to read the newspaper. They offer a way for companies to meet their clientele where they are. It’s important to be transparent about what the association is and what its goal is. A person may not know a certain magazine is non-profit.

They drew a comparison with dating apps. Potential members are the people swiping left and right. The goal would be to get people from casual hookups, people looking at random articles, to active viewers. The newsletter was mentioned as a consistent and direct channel to readers. Once you build up their trust, you can begin to ask for donations.

Welcome Series

A welcome series is helpful in this transparency. It lets them know why they need your newspaper in their lives. After the welcome series, now they can ask for money, which can and should feel uncomfortable and daunting. One should never be too cautious when asking for money. They recommended having monthly donations instead of one-time payments. 

Surveys

When attempting to decide which content resonates the most with your base, survey  was described as the easiest way to do so. These questionnaires should find out the basic needs of your patrons: where and how and how often they will read. What kind of news do they read? Publishing polls yearly help in seeing changes over time. And it’s important to include some questions gauging the emotional connection the patron has with the content. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the panelists explained, there’s no exact science for any of this. It’s hard to gauge whether something will work or not and it’s impossible to tell how many welcome emails are needed and how much you should ask for in donations. That takes practice, and with enough of it you’ll be able to secure donations easily.

AHCA/NCAL Is Facing A Workforce Crisis

Nearly Every U.S. Nursing Home And Assisted Living Community Is Facing A Workforce Crisis

86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers said their workforce situation has gotten worse over the last three months.

58 percent of nursing homes limiting new admissions due to shortages.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country, released a survey of nursing home and assisted living providers across the U.S. Results from the survey highlight an urgent need for Congress to address the labor shortage facing the long term care industry.

Key findings include:

86 percent of nursing homes and 77 percent of assisted living providers said their workforce situation has gotten worse over the last three months.

Nearly every nursing home (99 percent) and assisted living facility (96 percent) in the U.S. is facing a staffing shortage. 59 percent of nursing homes and nearly one-third of assisted living providers are experiencing a high level of staffing shortages.

More than 7 out of 10 nursing homes and assisted living communities said a lack of qualified candidates and unemployment benefits have been the biggest obstacles in hiring new staff.

Due to these shortages, nearly every nursing home and assisted living community is asking staff to work overtime or extra shifts. Nearly 70 percent of nursing homes are having to hire expensive agency staff. 58 percent of nursing homes are limiting new admissions.

78 percent of nursing homes and 71 percent of assisted living facilities are concerned workforce challenges might force them to close. More than one-third of nursing homes are very concerned about having to shut down their facility(ies).

“The survey demonstrates the severe workforce challenges long term care providers are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Too many facilities are struggling to hire and retain staff that are needed to serve millions of vulnerable residents,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Lawmakers across the country must prioritize long term care and that begins with providing resources to address workforce challenges. When facilities have the means to offer competitive wages and training programs, workers will follow. We have laid out key proposals in our Care for Our Seniors Act, which will allow us to boost our workforce, but without the help from Congress and state legislators, this will not be possible.”

Parkinson said the reconciliation package currently under construction is an appropriate vehicle for Congress to fund a long term solution to addressing chronic staffing shortages in nursing homes and other long term care facilities.

“Congress has the opportunity right now, through budget reconciliation, to include meaningful investments in long term care, which will help address key staffing challenges. Our caregivers are the backbone of long term care, and they deserve the full support of our lawmakers. We cannot allow facilities to close because of these challenges, which will directly impact residents and their families, especially when lawmakers have the means to help solve this dire situation,” concluded Parkinson.

graph via Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Survey Reveals Customers Prefer In-Person Shopping

Beautyque NYC unveiled its consumer survey results assessing “Beauty Consumer Survey: Has the Pandemic Changed Beauty Retail Forever?”. Key results included concerns over safety in-store protocols with testers and sanitary issues, increases in online shopping, and a profound desire for in-store purchasing ability. To see full survey report, click HERE

“Over the past year, the pandemic has changed the way we do almost everything—including shopping for our favorite beauty products. We were interested to see how beauty consumers have adapted their shopping habits, and gauge their overall opinions and experiences when it comes to shopping online vs. shopping in physical stores,” explains Beautyque NYC Founder & Owner Sonia Khemiri. “We asked our community of beauty lovers to complete a survey, and we were able to extract some interesting key insights using the data submitted by 229 respondents.”

One of the most interesting takeaways of this survey was learning the beauty consumer’s feelings toward being able to physically see, feel, and test a product before deciding to purchase it. An overwhelming 80.4% of respondents indicated that being able to physically experience a product before buying is extremely important to them.

“Contrary to a lot of the buzz we’ve been hearing about how brick and mortar retail is dead, the consumers themselves are telling us otherwise,” says Sonia.

“The pandemic has caused me to enjoy shopping in a physical store more than before. I love being able to see, feel, smell and sample the products I purchase,” says survey respondent Jennifer G.

According to the Beautyque survey responses, the top 3 reasons why consumers like shopping for beauty products in physical stores include:

  1. Being able to see, feel, and try on products in person before buying
  2. Getting a product immediately rather than waiting for delivery
  3. Requesting a product sample to take home

However, concerns were expressed about sanitary efforts of retail stores. A significant amount of people indicated that they would only use product testers if they were sanitized before their use.

Just over 40% of survey respondents said that they will only be using product testers if they are fully sanitized immediately before use; 33.5% said they will avoid using testers altogether for the foreseeable future; and 24% said they will continue using product testers as they always have.

“I don’t feel very safe/clean touching using testers. I am okay with sealed products. I still do like going in person so I can see how big the product is, the actual colors and just the overall environment,” according to survey respondent Jenny N.

Beautyque also assessed whether the pandemic changed the shopping habits of beauty consumers? And if so, will this change in habits outlast the pandemic and continue indefinitely?

“We asked beauty shoppers how often they shopped for beauty products in physical stores before, during, and after the pandemic,” Sonia outlines.

Approximately 62% of respondents indicated that before the pandemic, they shopped in physical stores often or all the time; by no surprise, that number dropped to 12% during the pandemic; and now, after the pandemic, that number has crawled upward to 27%.

“These results show us that people are definitely not shopping for beauty products in physical stores as often as they did pre-pandemic—maybe because the pandemic isn’t fully over, maybe because they found that they enjoy shopping online more, or maybe a combination of many factors—but the reality stands that consumer shopping habits have changed for the long haul,” Sonia believes.

The Beautyque survey also inquired about beauty shoppers who online purchased before, during, and after the pandemic, to compare the results. Just over a third (34%) of respondents indicated that before the pandemic, they shopped for beauty products online often or all the time; that number jumped up to 53% during the pandemic; and has decreased just slightly to 46% after the pandemic.

According to survey results, the top 3 reasons consumers like shopping for beauty products online include: 

  1. Being able to shop from anywhere, at anytime
  2. Seeing product reviews and ratings
  3. Searching for brands/products quickly and easily

Survey respondents also indicated their favorite features that have improved the online shopping experience for beauty products.

  1. Personalized quizzes to find your perfect shade match, formula, etc.
  2. Ability to live chat with beauty specialists or brand representatives
  3. Virtual try-on technology

“I’ve grown to enjoy [shopping for beauty products online] much more. Being able to read reviews and engage with others online replaces the questioning that may occur in store,” survey respondent April P. says.

An interesting takeaway from the survey is that, although online shopping rose during the pandemic and although products bought online were more likely to be returned than those bought in-person, returns were still lower during the pandemic than before. Having said that, most people preferred to shop online than in physical stores, although the difference was slim. A significant amount of consumers also preferred to browse for products online, then buy them in-person, indicating a balance between the preferences.

“Many consumers feel there are elements of online shopping that retail shopping cannot compete with. The luxury of shopping from the comfort of their home, finding things through their keyboard and browsing other customers’ reviews — many consumers feel these affordances are more valuable than what in-person shopping allows,” Sonia says.

Beautyque NYC is a disruptive retail marketing platform conceived by US-based female entrepreneur and indie brand founder Sonia Khemiri. In addition to the first ever beauty 3D storefront, Beautyque NYC provides an in-depth and interactive marketing platform for its more than 25 brands and 10000 consumers.

In addition to taking its own polls with its beauty enthusiasts, Beautyque NYC also spearheads Brand Evaluation Programs for its brand members to provide them direct product feedback from a focus group testing process.

Survey respondents include 229 consumers, ages 18 and older provided insight to how and if their beauty shopping habits changed during the pandemic.

To learn more, click HERE.

Analysis for use by 360 Magazine

Health and Wellness Company Plexus Contributes Greatly to the Economy

A new independent study by the L. Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University shows Plexus Worldwide (Plexus®), a leading health and wellness company, had an estimated $128.5 million gross domestic product (GDP) economic impact in Arizona and more than $1.1 billion GDP impact on the U.S. economy in 2020. The study analyzed the scope and scale of Plexus’ economic impact and investment across the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Mexico.

“The purpose of this study was to measure the economic impact of Plexus’ U.S. operations in the state of Arizona and in each market where the company does business including Canada, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand in 2020,” said Dennis Hoffman, Director of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. “Our findings show the tremendous impact that Plexus has had, including a $1.15 billion economic impact on the global GDP and more than $128.5 million economic impact in the local Arizona community.”

Highlights of the 2020 economic impact study include:

  • $1.15 billion GDP impact on the global economy
  • $1.1 billion GDP impact on the U.S. economy
  • $128.5 million GDP impact on the state of Arizona
  • $791.6 million in U.S. labor income
  • 8,593 U.S. jobs supported
  • $26.8 million in sales tax revenues to state and local governments, responsible for $59.1 million GDP, 619 jobs, and $41.9 million labor income in the U.S. economy.

“Everyday Arizonans deserve opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families. As Arizona’s senior senator, I’ll continue supporting economic opportunities helping Arizonans grow and thrive in their own direction. I look forward to working with our business leaders and independent business owners as we continue to expand jobs and fuel economic recovery,” said Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

Plexus is dedicated to changing lives and promoting health, wellness, and success. “Our products, team members, and Ambassadors are the foundation of these goals, which is why we are committed to the highest standards of quality,” said Tarl Robinson, CEO and Founder of Plexus. “Thanks to our hardworking leaders and employees, and in a year like no other, Plexus was able to grow and have a real impact on economies at the local, national, and global communities where we operate.”

This study demonstrates that Plexus is a major economic driver, contributing millions to the U.S. economy, including $95 million in labor income statewide. “In 2020 alone, Plexus supported more than 9,000 jobs worldwide, with a total of $821.6 million in total earnings for our employees and hundreds of thousands of Ambassadors, who serve as independent business owners,” said Kim Drabik, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Plexus.*

Plexus, a privately held company was established 13-years ago in Arizona, has more than 400 employees at its Scottsdale headquarters, which consists of a 73,000 square foot office building and 28,000 square foot warehouse. In 2020, Plexus welcomed more the 462,000 new Ambassadors and customers, growing the number of Ambassadors receiving monthly income by 23%. 

About Plexus Worldwide

Plexus Worldwide, LLC, is a leading health and happiness company featuring health and wellness products that enable people to improve their lives and well-being. With hundreds of thousands of independent business owners (“Ambassadors”) worldwide, Plexus is among the top 30 largest direct sales companies globally according to Direct Selling News. The combination of Plexus products and opportunities help individuals to meet their health-wellness and financial goals.

Analysis for use by 360 Magazine

New Survey on Vacation Habits

After a year of lockdowns, Americans are ready to hit the road for their summer vacations—and memories of vacations past are fueling their wanderlust. That’s actually been recorded in surveys, including one by Carinsurance.com. According to results, 79% of Americans have taken a family road trip in the last five years and 70% of those families report having the time of their lives during those vacations. 

They’ve also tested which method of transportation people use for travelling. The majority of Americans (68%) prefer road trips for summer travel, compared to 15% of respondents in the annual survey of 1,000 drivers who say they would rather fly, and 17% who only favor car travel now because of the pandemic and expect to resume flying eventually. 

The research also highlights what family road trip experiences are like and how drivers feel when on the road, how they cope with traffic, and what types of mishaps they’ve experienced due to poor road conditions. 

As a result of peoples’ gravitation towards driving, there have been adverse effects. According to the Department of Transportation, the conditions of roads around the country are getting worse. This results in many drivers sustaining major (30%) or minor (30%) car damage because of poor road conditions, 15% hit objects, and 14% get into an accident with another car. Just one accident can raise your yearly car insurance rate by 32%, or $450 a year, on average.

24% of people planned to take a road trip last year, but their driving plans were wrecked by COVID. Another top reason for skipping a family road trip is work: 20% of respondents say they can’t get time off, though that’s down from last year’s 23% percent. Other common reasons for avoiding road trips include high gas prices (20%) and difficulty with hotels (10%). Another 11% percent of people complain about spending so much time trapped in the car with family members.

Dealing with traffic woes

During their trips, 53% of drivers say they are relaxed and content, up from 37% who felt this way last year. How do Americans cope when they experience traffic delays?

  • 69% listen to music
  • 30% listen to news
  • 25% talk on the phone
  • 23% listen to audiobooks or podcasts
  • 21% check social media on the phone
  • 18% listen to sports radio
  • 17% text on their phone
  • 11% get out of the car and walked around if in stopped traffic for extended time
  • 10% eat an entire meal
  • 9% talk with strangers in other cars to pass the time

Conclusion

People love to travel and that’s only expected to increase as the pandemic begins to come to a close. Despite everything, people still love to travel, and now more than ever people love being on the open road, even if it comes with complications.

Vaccine illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Small Businesses Sign Vaccine Plan

­­SURVEY OF SMALL EMPLOYERS; 400+ SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS AND NATIONAL ADVOCATES LAUNCH INITIATIVE ON VACCINE LEADERSHIP TO GET U.S. ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK 

New National Survey of More than 3,300 Small Business Owners: Survey of small employers found that 64 percent of business owners say it is very important that their employees get vaccinated

Over 400 Small Business Owners and Leaders — Sign pledge to commit to becoming a small business vaccine leader 

Small employers want employees to get vaccinated and are willing to help to make it happen. The majority (63 percent) of small businesses are willing to encourage and incentivize employees to get vaccinated.

 Reimagine Main Street (RMS), a project of Public Private Strategies (PPS), has launched a public awareness campaign that will support small business owners in being leaders on the Covid-19 vaccines with their employees and in their community. The campaign was announced during a webinar that also included findings from a survey of more than 3,300 small employers on their perspectives on the vaccines conducted by Reimagine Main Street, in partnership with the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship (National ACE), the US Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC), and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). The survey results provide insights into how small business owners view the vaccines and their plans for themselves and their workers. 

Other business organizations including the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NLGCC), the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) are stepping up to engage their members. 

“Small businesses like mine have struggled during this pandemic, but the vaccine shows us that the end is in sight,” said Shaundell Newsome, Founder of Sumnu Marketing and Chairman of the Board of the Urban Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas, who moderated the webinar. “I have implemented a vaccine plan for my employees and all business owners should do the same so we can make it through Covid-19 as quickly as possible.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that between 70-85% of Americans need to receive the vaccine to achieve herd immunity. Once that happens, small businesses will be able to get back to business at full capacity and the economy and communities can completely reopen.

“The survey findings demonstrate that small business owners recognize the importance of the vaccines in reopening Main Street,” said PPS Founder and Principal Rhett Buttle. “By championing the vaccine with the employees and in their communities, small employers can help fully reopen the economy as quickly as possible.”

NEW SURVEY: 

The survey of more than 3,300 small employers shows strong support for ensuring workers get vaccinated. View the full survey. Key findings include: 

  • 63% of small employers intend to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. 
  • Nearly half (45%) of small employers’ plan to give workers paid time off (PTO) to get vaccinated.
     
  • More than 80% of small employers report having conversations with employees about vaccines and a majority (55%) say they would use free or low-cost resources to provide guidance and information about Covid-19 vaccines.

PLEDGE FROM SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS: 

The campaign also calls on employers to sign a pledge to be a SMALL BUSINESS VACCINE LEADER, which more than 400 small business owners have already signed. In signing it, small business owners are pledging to do at least one of the following things:

  • Commit to getting the vaccine when it is their turn and let their employees know why they are choosing to get the vaccine
  • Create a vaccine plan for their employees
  • Provide incentives to employees who receive the vaccine, such as PTO to receive the vaccine
  • Continue to follow state and federal guidance on social distancing and wearing masks after all employees are vaccinated
  • Assist with vaccine promotion and distribution in their community (examples include volunteering to help at COVID-19 vaccination sites, donating supplies or services to vaccination sites, and being vocal in their community on the business case for getting vaccinated)

NEW TIP SHEETS: 

Reimagine Main Street is also giving small business owners the resources they need to play a critical role in championing the vaccine with their employees and in their communities. In addition to general tools and resources, the campaign includes tip sheets in multiple languages for small business specifically targeted to demographics, including:

QUOTES FROM BUSINESS OWNERS AND LEADERS: 

Ron Busby, Sr., President/CEO of the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.

“When our country faces a crisis, the most vulnerable are hit the hardest, especially in the Black community. This was the case with Covid-19, but business owners can help put us on the path to recovery by embracing the vaccine.”

Ramiro Cavazos, President and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

“It is going to take years for the Hispanic small business community to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, but the vaccine can get us started down that path. Business owners can help speed the recovery by championing the vaccine with their employees and community.”

Justin G. Nelson, Co-Founder and President, NGLCC

“COVID-19 has forced business owners in the LGBTQ community to look out for each other as we try to make it through this pandemic. Small business owners should protect themselves, their employees, and their communities by championing the vaccine.”

Cindy Ramos-Davidson, CEO of the El Paso Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 

“Hispanic businesses have closed at a disproportionate rate because of Covid-19 and the path to recovery begins with the vaccine. If small business owners champion the Covid-19 vaccines, businesses and communities will be able to fully reopen much faster.” 

Chiling Tong President/CEO of the National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been tough on Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses both financially and through the rise in anti-Asian violence. It is critical that we get through this pandemic as quickly as possible, and the vaccine is key to doing so.”

Mas Torito, owner of Kokoro Restaurant in Denver

“My family restaurant has been in business for over 30 years and this past one was the toughest we have ever weathered. To come back stronger than ever, we have championed the vaccine, but it is critical that more small businesses do so as well.”

Ginger Torres, co-founder of PPE for Navajo First Responders in Phoenix

“Hesitancy to take the Covid-19 vaccine is prevalent among many Native Americans, but small business owners can play a huge role in changing that. I urge all small business owners to be leaders on the vaccine with their employees and in their communities.”

Patty Gentry Young, co-owner of Young Hair Inc., Spring Field, Ohio

“We all take steps to be proactive about our health and getting the Covid-19 vaccine should be one of them. Small business owners can play an important role in encouraging their employees and others in their community to get the vaccine.”

Healthy Eating illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Food Insecurity

Michelle Obama‘s New Show Addresses Food Insecurity,

Recent Survey Findings Validate the Crisis Behind it

Six in 10 Americans have faced “food insecurity” at some point in their lives, and of those, 73% experienced it for the first time since the start of the pandemic, according to this new research. The ongoing issue of food insecuritycontinues to receive more attention from celebrities and programming, like Michelle Obama’s new Waffles and Mochi show, which is directed at children to learn how to eat and prepare healthy meals. 

To understand the true impact and severity of the food insecurity crisis, recent findings from a new study launched yesterday from Feed the Children, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child hunger around the world, and Herbalife Nutrition, not only validate the crisis that’s happening today, but also shows how the U.S. compares to the rest of the world

The global survey of 9,000 respondents in 21 countries touches on families experiencing food insecurity for the first time, how they are managing to keep their families fed, along with some of their biggest concerns.


Below are a few of the U.S. stats that have come out of the survey: 

  • 73% of Americans surveyed experience food insecurity for the first time during the pandemic.
  • 31% of which have said their family has had to skip meals
  • 59% of parents are concerned their children will have lasting health effects as a result of food insecurity
  • 78% of parents rely on their child’s school meals to ensure their kids receive healthy meals
  • 63% of parents feel the government should promote flexible working hours to parents, so they can ensure their kids are eating balanced meals
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 a COVID-19 Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Antidepressant x COVID-19

Based on a trial from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the antidepressant fluvoxamine appears to prevent COVID-19 infections from worsening, even keeping patients out of the hospital.

The clinical trial was conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Fluvoxamine was compared with a placebo in 152 adult patients who were infected with the coronavirus.

80 participants received the fluvoxamine, and not one of the 80 became seriously ill after 15 days. Six patients receiving the placebo became seriously ill with four being hospitalized for between four and 21 days. One of the four in the hospital was on a ventilator for 10 days.

Though the sample size was relatively small, the data is believed to be statistically significant. The plan is to launch a larger trial in coming weeks.

Eric J. Lenze, MD, of the Washington University School of Medicine, said patients who took fluvoxamine did not require hospitalization because of issues in lung function.

“Most investigational treatments for COVID-19 have been aimed at the very sickest patients, but it’s also important to find therapies that prevent patients from getting sick enough to require supplemental oxygen or to have to go to the hospital,” Lenze said. “Our study suggests fluvoxamine may help fill that niche.”

UVA’s Alban Gaultier, PhD, and former graduate student Dorian A. Rosen, PhD, found in 2019 that fluvoxamine may stop sepsis, a deadly inflammation causing the immune system to spiral out of control. The findings of Gaultier and Rosen inspired the tests at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Gaultier and Rosen determined that fluvoxamine reduces the production of cytokines, which have been linked to deadly cytokine storms, which are thought to occur in severe cases of COVID-19

“Because elevated cytokines levels have been associated with COVID-19 severity, testing fluvoxamine in a clinical trial made a lot of sense to us,” said Gaultier. “We are still unclear about the mode of action of fluvoxamine against SARS-CoV-2, but research is under way to find the answer.”

Washington University’s Angela M. Reiersen, MD, said the drug works by interacting with the sigma-1 receptor to reduce the production of inflammatory molecules.

“Past research has demonstrated that fluvoxamine can reduce inflammation in animal models of sepsis, and it may be doing something similar in our patients,” Reiersen said.

The limitations of the research were emphasized. The small sample size was noted along with the fact that 20% of participants stopped answering surveys during the trial. Though the researchers could rule out hospital visits for those who stopped answering, they did believe it possible that the participants sought treatment elsewhere.

Because of the limitations, the findings should be considered encouraging and worthy of further research rather than iron clad truth.

Gaultier said, “If a larger clinical trial (phase III) confirms the results, fluvoxamine would be a perfect treatment for COVID patients newly diagnosed. Fluvoxamine is not an experimental drug, it is cheap and safe and could be available as a first line of defense to unburden the hospitals that are overwhelmed by the COVID health crisis.”

For more medical research news from UVA, you can click right here.

Kaelen Felix Illustrates a Farm Animal Article for 360 MAGAZINE

Faunalytics x Farm Sanctuary

A new study from Faunalytics suggests that people who interact with farm animals at sanctuaries are more likely to consume fewer animal products.

Farm Sanctuary, America’s premier farm animal sanctuary and advocacy organization, joined Faunalytics to release the study, which showed that 70% of non-vegans who went on a tour through Farm Sanctuary said they would make dietary changes to reduce consumption of animal products. Comparatively, only 53% said they would change their diets prior to taking the tour.

You can see the study by clicking right here.

Farm Sanctuary followed up with participants in the survey two months later, and non-vegans reported eating less chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, shellfish, eggs and dairy, with many correspondents crediting the tour for that change.

Tourists didn’t only make active lifestyle changes. They also changed opinions. While 52% of participants said humans contribute to farm animal suffering before the tour, that number went up to 69% after the tour.

78% of omnivores said they were willing to cook vegetarian or vegan meals, which is up 12% from the 66% who were willing before the tour. 48% also said they were willing to discuss veganism and vegetarianism with others, but 73% said they’d had conversations with others about the subject at the time of the two month check-in.

The study took place at Farm Sanctuary locations in New York and California with over 1,200 subjects, and Farm Sanctuary hopes to continue progress by showing that tours can be both fun and effective.

Tom Beggs, a Faunalytics research scientist and the lead author of the study, said the public is becoming more aware of the way animals are treated in the food system, and a global shift is happening.

“The results from our study confirm something that most farm animal sanctuaries are already aware of: having meaningful interactions with farmed animals encourages people to empathize with them, and more importantly, to consider them as sentient individuals and not food,” Beggs said.

The study also shows that it’s important to find a balance between light-hearted and educational when sending a message about animal cruelty. The best way to spread the word is to make it easy to take immediate action by doing things like providing recipes, selling plant-based ingredients and foods and offering opportunities to get more involved in the cause.

Megan Watkins, CEO of Farm Sanctuary, said industrial agriculture is a major threat to our current world.

“The critical role that farm sanctuaries play in modeling a compassionate relationship with animals and inspiring positive lifestyle change cannot be overstated,” Watkins said. “Whether you visit in-person or virtually, the best way to glimpse the future is to visit a farm sanctuary.”

Faunalytics’ recent Animal Product Impact Scales list revealed the products causing the most suffering to animals in the United States. You can see that list by clicking right here

To learn more about Faunlytics, you can click right here, and to learn more about Farm Sanctuary, you can click right here.