Most people think their employers don’t care about their well-being

Based on polls by Gallup, almost half of U.S. employees thought their employers cared about their well-being early on in the pandemic. That sentiment did not last:

Fewer than one in four U.S. employees feel strongly that their organization cares about their wellbeing — the lowest percentage in nearly a decade.

This finding has significant implications, as work and life have never been more blended and employee wellbeing matters more than ever– to employees and the resiliency of organizations. The discovery is based on a random sample of 15,001 full and part-time U.S. employees who were surveyed in February 2022.

This seems not good? Or maybe it’s just life’s terrible way of saying it’s healing.

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Percentage breakdowns of pandemic life

To broadly show how people have lived in the U.S. during these past two years, The Washington Post shows percentages for various questions, such as “Have you had long covid?” and “Did you work from home?” But instead of using something like pie charts, they used people icons in illustrated unit charts.

In the above, each person represents a percentage point. There’s also a multiple-choice element to the piece, which helps readers relate personally, but I think it’s mostly there as a way to reveal the full answer breakdowns.

Projects like this one always remind me of World of 100.

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Where people moved during the pandemic

In another look at migration through the lens of USPS change of address data, Bloomberg CityLab shows where people moved during the pandemic, focusing on movement in and out of metro areas. With the exception of San Francisco and New York, most areas didn’t see much movement distance-wise:

Even in the biggest metro areas, most people didn’t go very far. In the country’s 50 most populous cities, 84% of the moves were to somewhere within the perimeter of the central metro area, down just slightly from pre-pandemic levels. Many of the most local moves were likely related to the economic downturn: A February Pew Research Center survey of those who moved during the pandemic found that the most common reason people cited was financial distress including job loss.

See also similar conclusions by The New York Times and Financial Times.

While there wasn’t the mass exodus that some imagined, the pandemic did seem to speed up some trends. So as we wait for the 2020 Census count, which comes out out this afternoon, it’ll be interesting to see if the rate of change continues in the coming years.

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Pandemic migrations

With the restrictions of the pandemic, you might expect an unusually big wave of people leaving cities for more open space. Using USPS’s change of address data, Jed Kolko, Emily Badger and Quoctrung Bui, for NYT’s The Upshot, show that this was not quite the case.

This surprised me, because I live in a suburban area that saw a flux of home buyers, which made prices approach ridiculous ranges. I wonder what in- and out-migration look like separately, on relative and absolute scales.

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Stopping a pandemic before it starts

For Politico, Beatrice Jin provides an illustrated guide on stopping a pandemic before it starts. Some scientists suggest going to the source, which often is from interacting with animals, and as you’d expect, cutting off the livelihood of millions around the world would be a complex process.

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Pandemic timeline as animated dot density map

As a lead-in and backdrop to a timeline of the past year by The Washington Post, an animated dot density map represents Covid-19 deaths. “Every point of light is a life lost to coronavirus.”

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Pandemic Graphics Archive

The Pandemic Graphics Archive is a work-in-progress collection of floor signs and posters from our current days of distance and mask-wearing. [via swissmiss]

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Lab Culture Ep. 22: Life as a public health lab scientist testing for COVID-19

Matt Sinn and Jessica Bauer pose with the Missouri state flag

Jessica Bauer and Matt Sinn are scientists at the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory. On this episode, they shared their experiences performing COVID-19 testing, working long hours seven days a week, supporting their staff while trying not to burnout themselves. As they describe in this conversation, the experience has been nothing they ever could have expected.

Jessica Bauer, molecular unit chief
Matthew Sinn, molecular laboratory manager

Listen here or wherever you get your podcasts:

Links:

Missouri State Public Health Laboratory
APHL: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic
COVID-19 posts on APHLblog.org 

The post Lab Culture Ep. 22: Life as a public health lab scientist testing for COVID-19 appeared first on APHL Lab Blog.

AFM is Serious: Know the Symptoms. Act Fast.

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM)

Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) is a serious neurologic condition that causes limb weakness and paralysis. While uncommon, AFM affects mostly children, and can have devastating, long-term effects for patients and their families.

There have been three AFM outbreaks in the United States—in 2014, 2016, and 2018. If this biennial pattern continues, another outbreak might occur in 2020.

What AFM Might Look Like

Little boy doing physical therapy
Braden, who was diagnosed with AFM in 2016, doing his physical therapy. Braden needed a breathing tube for 3 years and was initially paralyzed from the neck down. Now Braden can walk short distances, and his breathing tube has been removed. Braden’s mom Rachel is a co-founder of the Acute Flaccid Myelitis Association.

Imagine your 5-year-old son, who is usually very excited to get up and get going in the morning, complains that his neck hurts, and he can’t move his left arm. You think nothing of it. Maybe he just slept wrong and his arm “fell asleep” and it will go away shortly.

You fix his favorite cereal and call him to come eat, but he doesn’t. It’s been almost half an hour since he woke up. Any other morning, he’d be running around, talking about this and that, and demanding his breakfast. You check on him again. He is still lying in bed and still complaining about his neck and arm.

You check his temperature, which seems fine. What could this be? You don’t think he’s making it up, especially since he was excited about an art project happening today.

You call the doctor’s office and get the nurse on the line. She asks you a series of questions, and you remember that his older sister was sick last week with a mild fever, but your son only had some sniffles. Your pediatrician wants to see your son right away, and after examining his reflexes and strength, he tells you to bring your son immediately to the nearest children’s hospital’s emergency department (ED). The pediatrician suspects your son may have a serious neurologic condition. Scared and worried, you rush to the ED.

AFM is a Medical Emergency

AFM can progress quickly to respiratory failure. Patients who develop AFM symptoms need immediate medical care. That’s why it’s very important that parents call their child’s pediatrician right away or go to the ED, and that clinicians recognize the symptoms of AFM early and hospitalize patients for further evaluation and monitoring.

When to Suspect AFM

You should suspect AFM when a person has sudden onset of arm or leg weakness. Also, did the person have a recent respiratory illness or fever? If so, this should heighten your suspicion for AFM.

Also, look for other signs and symptoms such as:

  • Loss of muscle tone and reflexes in the affected extremities.
  • Difficulty moving the eyes or drooping eye lids.
  • Facial droop or weakness.
  • Difficulty with swallowing or slurred speech.
  • Pain in arms or legs.
  • Pain in neck or back.

AFM & the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Spot Symptoms of AFM in Your Child
View Printable Poster: How to Spot Symptoms of AFM in Your Child.

COVID-19 is likely on everyone’s minds and causing concern, uncertainty, and challenges for communities across the country.

It is not known how the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing may affect AFM this year, or the health care system’s ability to promptly recognize and respond to it. However, even in communities with high COVID-19 activity:

  • Parents should act and get medical attention immediately if their child develops sudden arm or leg weakness. It may be AFM, which is serious and requires urgent care. It is very likely that the assessment of your child will require hospitalization if clinicians think your child might have AFM.
  • Clinicians should not “wait and see.” They should refer patients suspected to have AFM to the ED immediately. They should reference CDC resources on AFM symptoms, provide optimal medical management, collect specimens, and report cases to health departments. Clinicians can also contact an AFM expert for a clinical consult through the AFM Physician Consult and Support Portal.

Clinicians may consider reassuring parents about going to the ED during the COVID-19 pandemic for serious health problems. Clinicians can let parents know that hospitals are taking precautions to prevent exposures to COVID-19, such as providing separate entrances and rooms for those with respiratory symptoms, requiring hospital staff to wear appropriate protective equipment like face coverings and shields for all encounters with patients, and increasing access to hand sanitizer and disinfecting surfaces frequently.

AFM remains a public health priority for CDC. CDC is committed to investigating AFM, working with partners, supporting affected families, and responding to outbreaks. Clinicians are encouraged to review CDC’s AFM website, stay alert for AFM in late summer through fall, and promptly evaluate and hospitalize AFM patients.

Resources for Parents:

Resources for Health Care Professionals:

If you have questions, you may send them to AFMQuestions@cdc.gov.

Thanks in advance for your questions and comments on this Public Health Matters post. Please note that the CDC does not give personal medical advice. If you are concerned you have a disease or condition, talk to your doctor.

Have a question for CDC? CDC-INFO (http://www.cdc.gov/cdc-info/index.html) offers live agents by phone and email to help you find the latest, reliable, and science-based health information on more than 750 health topics.

Curves for the 1918 flu pandemic

For National Geographic, Nina Strochlic and Riley D. Champine look back at the 1918 pandemic for clues about the future:

The 1918 flu, also known as the Spanish Flu, lasted until 1920 and is considered the deadliest pandemic in modern history. Today, as the world grinds to a halt in response to the coronavirus, scientists and historians are studying the 1918 outbreak for clues to the most effective way to stop a global pandemic. The efforts implemented then to stem the flu’s spread in cities across America—and the outcomes—may offer lessons for battling today’s crisis.

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