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Health and Hiking

A SCARY COVID-19 REOPENING SPIKECOVID-19 is winning once again in these states: Arizona (419), Texas (175), Arkansas (202), Mississippi (252), Florida (291), South Carolina (240).In contrast, New Mexico (75), Oklahoma (75) and Kansas (75) are doing much better in controlling the virus.These numbers are daily new cases of the virus, averaged over the past week (21-28 June), per million people in the state. See Figure 1.

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The virus in Texas has flared up since restrictions were softened in early June: no mandate to wear masks, bars open to 50% and restaurants open to 75% capacity, allowing 100 people to meet together, and beaches open.… More

Last week I came across a calendar I had designed for 2015. To tell the truth, I had completely forgotten about the calendar. The pictures and the words lifted my spirit at this time of injustice, loss, death, and despair sweeping across the country. The following photos and words are from different months of that calendar.

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Figure 1: Starting out on a cold fall morning in late 2014 about 60 – 70 miles from Albuquerque. Kim on the right with kids Kara and Jaden, and friend Brayden in the middle.

If you are a hiker, you will especially appreciate the challenge of the climb.… More

INTRODUCTIONThe COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. This is defined as when an infectious disease passes easily from person to person in many parts of the world at the same time.The material in this blog comes from two BBC News articles dated May 28 and 29, 2020. To read these articles, click HERE and HERE.USA VERSUS REST OF WORLDThe death toll in the US became the highest in the world in early April and has risen dramatically since then.

President Donald Trump initially said “50 to 60,000” people could die during the outbreak but in May he said he was hopeful the toll would be lower than 100,000.… More

A BBC News article from earlier this week stated that the severity (number of deaths) of COVID-19 in a country depended on two things:(1) How quickly countries went into lockdown, i.e. mandated the “stay-at-home” rule, or “shelter-in-place” as the Californians called it.(2) The extent of and how quickly testing for the virus was made available.This information is in the video attached to the article (see below).THE EXTENT OF TESTING.The article makes clear that countries like South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Vietnam got into testing quickly and broadly. The Vietnam story is fascinating. They got control of the virus quickly and their deaths per million residents are way downS Korea = 5, Australia = 4, Vietnam = 0.In… More

The numbers and graphs in this blog are updated to 3 May 2020. Enormous changes have occurred since my first coronavirus blog was posted five weeks ago.

Bill Gates was interviewed by CNN again on Thursday evening. I wish they had put him in charge of the pandemic in the early days….a lot of lives would have been saved in the USA. For me, every comment he made was sensible, based on data and facts, and carefully thought out. Of course he knows his stuff. Been warning of a pandemic for 10 years. Spoken about it, written articles about it, funded universities who built models of the growth of the pandemic.… More

BACKGROUNDPetrified wood is created by precipitation of the mineral quartz from groundwater that flows through the wood after it is buried in sediment. Quartz replaces the wood, often preserving its fine cellular texture. The variety of colors of petrified wood results from impurities within the quartz crystals.

Perhaps the most famous is petrified wood from northern Arizona, extracted from the Chinle Formation of Late Triassic age (220 million years ago). Wood from the Chinle Formation represents conifer trees and is noted for vibrant red and yellow colors.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Large-cross-sectionIMG_4296-1536x1147-1.jpgLarge Petrified Pine cut and polished from Arizona, with Director Tiffany Santos. Stuhl Museum is at New Mexico State university in Las Cruces.https://zuhlmuseum.nmsu.edu/petrified-wood/

MESA DE CUBA BADLANDSAll five badlands lie along an east–west line stretching from Cuba, about 60 miles from Albuquerque.… More

BILL GATES.Did you see Bill Gates on CNN last week? He was impressive. In clear language, he stuck to the facts and figures — and he made sense.

He has had lots of money to spend, and some of it he has spent on future pandemics. This was after the SARS pandemic of 2003. He wrote an article that defined what governments should do when the next pandemic strikes.

Did they act on this? Nope. In fact, President Trump closed down the Office of Infectious Diseases in the White House.

It seems that if the USA had acted like Gates recommended, our country might have been in a much better situation.… More

The following is adapted from an article in BBC News dated January 20, 2020. To read the full article, click HERE.

HISTORY.

Immunotherapy is adapting our body’s own immune system to better fight cancer cells. It has made enormous progress in the last five years, see HERE. It has good results treating cancers of the blood, such as leukemia, and cancers of the skin such as melanoma. President Jimmy Carter was healed of a tumor of the brain that resulted from melanoma metastasizing. See HERE.

Even neck and head cancers have responded to such treatment…see HERE.

The researcher who discovered how to adapt the immune system was Dr James Allison.… More

Some of the following story is adapted from a BBC News report by Philippa Roxby Health, dated 23 November 2019.

The original trial of ipilimumab was in 2005. It’s a tear-jerker story of Sharon Belvin, who was dying. Sharon was a 22 year old grad student just two weeks away from her wedding when she received news that would forever change her life. Sharon was diagnosed with late stage melanoma, a skin cancer that spreads easily, that had metastasized to her lungs. But the cancer was completely destroyed by the new drug in 12 months.

WHAT IS IMMUNOTHERAPY? It is a treatment that does not kill cancer cells itself but instead stimulates the body’s immune system to attack them.… More

MARY ANN has had chronic pain for 30 years. Several lower back surgeries, neck fusion, fibromyalgia, RA (rheumatoid arthritis). On top of all this, she has to take oxygen all the time, and a C-PAP at night to help her sleep apnea. She has suffered more than anyone else I know.

In the past two years, her shoulders have caused joint pain, which became unbearable. Bone-on-bone said the orthopedic specialist. Surgery to replace her right shoulder was deferred twice due to a potential heart valve problem.

Mary Ann is a fighter and has remained remarkably positive while under all this duress.… More

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