Compared to pre-pandemic levels, Americans drank more, smoked more, exercised less and spent more time in front of a computer or television. Study found led by researchers at UCLA.
Among those surveyed, research found that alcohol consumption increased by 23% and cigarette smoking by 9%, respectively. Smoking, in particular, can adversely affect people who contract COVID-19 – according to research studies, with current and former smokers needing intensive care unit support or more than non-smokers. 2.4 times more likely to die from the disease.
Researchers found that exercise decreased screen time by about a third and increased screen time by 60%. Other countries such as Canada, Italy, Brazil and Poland have seen similar behavior during the pandemic.
The study noted that nearly 80% of individuals looked at screens for more than four hours a day during the pandemic.
The study’s lead author and UCLA epidemiology professor, Dr. Liwei Chen, said restrictions on non-essential activities and stay-at-home orders have negatively affected certain behaviors in American adults – especially minorities.
“As bad as these changes have been for all Americans, they disproportionately affect racial and ethnic minorities in America, who already bear a greater disease burden from COVID-19,” she said.
Also in the news:
More than 100 performing arts centers, cruise lines and other businesses, along with some public officials across the state of Florida, are being investigated by the Department of Health for possible violations of state law prohibiting the use of COVID-19 vaccine passports or other mandate.
New Hampshire’s executive council on Wednesday rejected $27 million in federal funding for vaccination outreach. The money would have allowed the state to hire a public health manager and a dozen workers to promote the COVID-19 vaccine and address public concerns about it.
The Archbishop of the Military Services said Catholic American service members who object to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at their discretion should not be punished.
Nearly 800 San Francisco city workers have sought medical or religious exemptions to avoid the deadline for getting vaccinated against the coronavirus or losing their jobs. So far, the city has not approved a single request.
Montana has set a new high for the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19. The number, 510, reported on Wednesday surpassed the previous high of 506 hospitalizations recorded on November 20, 2020, before any coronavirus vaccines were available.
Today’s numbers: The US has recorded over 44 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 719,000 deaths, According to Johns Hopkins University figures. Global totals: Over 239 million cases and 4.8 million deaths. More than 187 million Americans – 56% of the population – have been fully vaccinated, according to CDC.
What we’re reading: Parents already face a shortage of child care providers – the workforce is about 10% below pre-pandemic levels. Vaccine mandate could make it so Hiring otherwise qualified employees is tough for day care.
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NS Best Booster for Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine According to a National Institutes of Health study posted on Wednesday, Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna could be.
“The Mix and Match was a big study that people were waiting for, it gave a lot of new data, and there was none about Johnson & Johnson with the first mRNA boosters,” said Dr. Eric Topol at Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, and a national expert on the use of data in medical research.
The study, which involved about 500 people, found that one of the mRNA vaccines followed by the J&J shot produced a stronger immune response than two doses of J&J as a booster.
For those who received the Pfizer or Moderna two-dose series, a booster dose of the mRNA vaccine was effective.
The new study comes just a day before an important Food and Drug Administration advisory committee meeting begins to discuss potential booster doses of the Moderna and J&J vaccines. The Pfizer booster was approved on September 24.
– Elizabeth Way
World Health Organization: 7% drop in global cases last week
The World Health Organization says the number of global coronavirus cases declined last week, continuing the decline that began in late August.
In its latest weekly assessment of the pandemic, published on Wednesday, the United Nations health agency says nearly 2.8 million new cases and 46,000 deaths were confirmed in the past week, a decline of 7% and 10%, respectively. Europe registered a 7% increase in cases, while all other world regions reported a decrease.
Europe also saw the biggest increase in deaths last week, WHO says, with 11% more COVID-19 deaths. The WHO says that Britain, Turkey and Russia had the highest number of new cases in Europe.
The biggest drop in cases came in Africa and the western Pacific, where the number of cases fell by 32% and 27%, respectively. Deaths have dropped by more than a third in both regions.
– The Associated Press
Border residents rejoice as US says it will lift travel ban
Business owners and families torn apart by COVID-19 restrictions rejoiced Wednesday when the US said it would reopen its land borders to non-essential travel next month, a 19-month freeze will terminate.
Travel across land borders from Canada and Mexico is largely restricted to workers whose jobs are deemed essential. The new rules will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the US regardless of cause starting in early November.
Shopping malls and big box retailers in US border cities such as San Diego, California, Nogales, Ariz., and Del Rio, Texas, whose parking spaces were filled with cars with Mexican license plates, were hit hard by the travel restrictions.
In Del Rio, Texas, Mexican visitors account for about 65% of retail sales, said Blanca Larson, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau in the city of 35,000 people.
– The Associated Press