Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Coronavirus - 1918 all over again?

We are no better prepared than we were for the great influenza pandemic of 1918
By Jane Orient
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness
Clusters of a dozen or so deaths may get nonstop “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” press coverage. But the lack of preparedness for the really, really big threats may be met with virtual radio silence – until panic breaks out.

The worst, possibly existential, threat is the stealthy, invisible one that multiplies exponentially – in the accurate sense of the term: 400 cases today, 800 tomorrow, then 1,600, 3,200, 6,400, 128,000, 256,000, 512,000, and 1.024 million after only eight doubling times. Biological threats proliferate – until they run out of susceptible victims.

In 1918, the great influenza pandemic killed as many people in 11 months as the medieval Black Death did in four years. Ultimately, at least 50 million may have perished. Young healthy people, especially young American soldiers headed off to the front in the First World War, succumbed quickly. To avoid interfering with the war effort, the U.S. government denied and covered up the threat, preventing the implementation of public health measures.

Since then, the world has gotten smaller. A virus that jumps the species barrier from animals to humans in a meat market in China can cross the Pacific in hours. And despite the expenditure of US$80 billion on a National Biologic Defense, the U.S. is arguably no better prepared than it was in 1918, state Steven Hatfill, M.D., and coauthors in their new book Three Seconds until Midnight.

As in 1918, we lack a vaccine or wonder drugs, but must rely on non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), and on public health authorities to track and try to contain the spread of infection.

Accurate information is critical. Can we trust governmental authorities to tell the truth? Travel restrictions, quarantine, closing businesses, and cancelling public events have a huge economic and potential political cost.

There can also be incentives to exaggerate the threat, in order to sell poorly tested vaccines or drugs. The 1976 swine flu epidemic was almost a non-event; more people were probably injured or even died from adverse effects of the heavily promoted vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far declined to declare the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency, although cases have been reported in more than a dozen or so countries. China reported only hundreds of “confirmed” cases – while countless additional cases were not tested because of lack of diagnostic test kits.

The New England Journal of Medicine writes, “Another Decade, Another Coronavirus.” This 2019-nCoV virus is the third zoonotic (animal) coronavirus to infect humans in two decades. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) were contained. Other coronaviruses cause mild cold-like syndromes.

This virus has occasioned the quarantine of entire cities, for the first time since medieval times. This could not be done other than in authoritarian China, states virologist Steven Hatfill, but even that is unlikely to be effective – especially if five million people had left before the order was implemented.

The People’s Liberation Army has sent 450 medical personnel to Wuhan to help out at local hospitals, which are crammed with patients lying in packed corridors. Construction workers are reportedly trying to build a 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan in five days. The U.S. and other nations are evacuating their citizens from Wuhan.

A report of 41 hospitalized patients in Wuhan, published in The Lancet, showed that patients were relatively young (median age 49) and fewer than half had an underlying illness. Only 66 per cent had been exposed to the Huanan seafood market, the apparent source of the infection. One patient (two per cent) had no fever; all had pneumonia; 29 per cent had severe respiratory distress syndrome; and 12 per cent had acute cardiac injury. Most cases may be very mild, facilitating more rapid spread.

The coronavirus is transmitted by droplets coming into contact with mucous membranes, including the eye. It can persist on surfaces for days. People without fever or symptoms can transmit the illness during the incubation period, which might be as long as two weeks. At present, definitive diagnostic testing is available only from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In a severe outbreak, people whose job is not critical may need to stay home. Those who do not have a supply of food, essential medications, or other needed supplies would likely end up in a frantic crowd. Personal protective gear, for people who need to be in contact with the public or care for a sick family member, is already out of stock in medical supply houses. This includes gloves, wrap-around eye protection, and N-95 protective masks: regular surgical masks are probably of little help.

Panic is never helpful; staying calm is always good advice. But failure to heed previous warnings of the need for robust disaster planning, and complacency about medical technology and governmental resources, has set the stage for potential unprecedented disaster.

Individuals need to recognize that they themselves, and not 911 or the emergency room or government emergency authorities, may hold the key to their family’s and their community’s survival. Local authorities need to know that they may be on their own.

For now, stock up on supplies; cover those coughs and sneezes; wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds; avoid crowds; and stay aware, as the situation could change rapidly.

Dr. Jane Orient has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Eat less sugar

This infographic breaks down how many sugar cubes might be in the foods you eat.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

By Sarah B. Weir

Shine from Yahoo! Canada  
There is one thing most presidents have in common at the end of their first terms: more gray hairs. The graying of the Commander-in-Chief is symbolic of the stress associated with being top dog in the world's most powerful nation. However, research shows that psychological stress does not, in fact, impact the color of one's locks.

Read more:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Buttermilk Banana Bread
1 HR
1 HR 10 MINS
The perfect banana bread contains one special ingredient… buttermilk!
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas, 3-4 bananas
  • 1/2 cup (113g or 1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  1. Prepare 9x5 loaf pan. (I used two smaller loaf pans.)
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (Do not skip this step!)
  3. Mash bananas and set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer on medium-high, cream butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time with mixer on low speed. Add in buttermilk and vanilla until the batter is just combined.
  5. Slowly pour in the flour mixture. Mix until JUST combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in mashed banana's.
  7. Divide batter into greased and floured bread pans and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Nonna's recipes and home remedies

Body Care
Wash your body with coffee grounds as an exfoliant, also helps with celluite. 
Then soak is a bath of baking soda.

Roasted Garlic Olive Oil


  • 1/2 gallon (2 liters) high quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 whole heads of garlic


Slice the tops off the heads of garlic, drizzle with a little olive oil, and
 wrap tightly in aluminum foil. Bake in 350F (180C) oven for
45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool,
squeeze the garlic out of the 'paper' shells. Add this to the olive oil in a
 large saucepan (you can also add the 'paper'). Heat the olive oil
(not very hot, but more than warm) to extract the flavor from the garlic.
 Let cool. Letting it steep for a couple of days will intensify the flavor.
 Strain through several layers of cheesecloth or through a tightly woven
 dish towel. Using a funnel return the oil to the bottle it was bought in,
or put into a decorative bottle and keep next to the stove.
Tip: save the garlic after you have strained the oil.
t is lovely in sauces, soups, or just spread on toast.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Perfect Pancake Recipe

Perfect Pancakes 
3 - cups plus + 2 tablespoons cake flour
1/2 - teaspoon salt
3 - tablespoons baking powder
2 - tablespoons sugar
2 - cups milk or buttermilk
2 - large eggs
3 - teaspoons vanilla
4 - tablespoons butter (melted)
Lots of butter and syrup

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together milk, eggs, and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring very gently until just combined.

Melt butter in the microwave and add it to the batter, stirring gently to combine.

Cook on a greased skillet over medium-low heat until golden brown. Serve with butter and syrup.

- See more at:

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Cinnamon Roll Dutch Apple Pie

Pillsbury™ refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing -                                                                         1 can (19 oz/540 mL) apple pie filling
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup chopped pecans
    Heat oven to 375°F. Separate dough into 8 rolls. 
  2. Spoon icing from can of rolls into small microwavable bowl; cover and refrigerate.
  1. In medium bowl, mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter with fork until crumbly. Mix in pecans; set aside.
  2. In ungreased 9-inch pie plate, place 1 roll in centre; pat and press to stretch. Surround with remaining 7 rolls; press seams of dough to cover entire bottom of pan and seal. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon pie filling over cinnamon roll crust; top evenly with streusel. Cover edges of crust with strips of foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown. Cool on cooling rack 1 hour.
  4. Before serving, microwave icing uncovered on High 10 to 15 seconds or until thin enough to drizzle. Drizzle back and forth over top of pie.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Have Fun Cooking With the Kids

Probably one of the best and most memorable bonding experiences you can share with your children is preparing a meal or a snack with them. Letting your children help in preparing meals and snacks builds coordination, helps improve math skills, and establishes life skills. Besides that, it's also fun and a nice break from video games and cartoons. Below are some no bake and "low" bake recipes for snacks and meals you and your children will enjoy making—and hopefully, eating together.

Rice Crispy Treats have nearly become a traditional treat—or at the very least a small institution. With a little twist they can become new again to even the most experienced marshmallow treat veteran—like my 9 year old. Use fruity rice cereal, or chocolate rice cereal, or just about any cereal out there. Just make sure it's one you could easily cut with a knife after your confection has set.


1/4 cup butter 4 cups marshmallow cream (about 1 jar) 5 cups fruity rice cereal


Melt margarine in large sauce pan over low heat. Add marshmallow cream. Keep stirring until the cream is melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Add fruity rice cereal, or chocolate cereal. Stir until well coated. Pour into a buttered 13 x 9 inch pan. Press down firmly using a spatula or piece of wax or parchment paper. Cut into squares after cooling.

For breakfast, few things top French toast. The question is: how do we involve the kids in a one person/one pan scenario? Try this recipe:

Baked French Toast Bites


Approx. 1/2 loaf of stale bread 4 eggs 2 1/2 cups of milk (or half and half) 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon of salt 1 teaspoon vanilla 3 tablespoons butter 3/4 cup light brown sugar


Cut stale bread into 1 inch cubes and layer them on a cookie sheet or in a buttered baking dish, then set aside. Mix together eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour over bread squares and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Stir together butter and brown sugar with a fork until mixture is crumbly and butter is evenly distributed. Sprinkle this mixture over the soaked bread cubes. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

French Bread Pizza

This was one of my favorites as a kid. This is probably one of the easiest and most fun recipes for you and your kids to enjoy because your child will have a chance to express his/her self creatively and really get a chance to get their hands dirty.


1 loaf of French bread Pizza sauce (canned) Shredded cheese As many toppings as you can think up!


Cut the bread in half length wise then again down the middle. It should resemble a boat. Start with the sauce, add cheese and then toppings. I suggest that you make your pizza first so that your children can see how it's done, and so you can get a pizza before they have a go at all the toppings!

They will enjoy comparing notes on pizza making and hopefully a pizza food fight won't break out! You'll be amazed at the combinations your kids will come up with on their own and your kids will be pretty impressed with themselves.

Cooking with your kids should be a given. In past days, meal time and meal prep were considered bonding and tribal rituals that brought families and tribes much closer together. In these days families rarely eat at the same time, much less together. Perhaps a step backwards is needed to regain some of what we've given up to technology and prosperity. Maybe just that little bit of "extra" time will last a lifetime.

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