Archive: July 2020

Scientific News

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a degenerative neurodisability that causes the immune system to attack the protective substance surrounding nerve fibres, called myelin. Although there is no cure, it can be treated with disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) that actively suppress the immune system. However, in the midst of a global pandemic, a weaker immune system puts MS patients at a higher risk for not only contracting COVID-19, but having fatal symptoms if they do. 

 

Currently, the Canada-U.S MS Society’s Medical Advisory Committee has recommended that MS patients wear PPE, follow public health regulations, and limit interactions with other people. Furthermore, consult your doctor and review the risks of beginning or stopping DMT treatment. 

 

A recent study in China investigated the relationship between MS and the associated risks of COVID-19 to prove whether or not there is a true correlation. The results of the study turned out to be quite interesting and surprising. Learn more about MS and read the full study results in the article!

Currently, the general consensus is that COVID-19 is transmitted through droplet contact. These droplets typically spread over 1 or 2 meters then quickly fall to the ground or other surfaces that others might touch. Therefore, current hand-washing and physical distancing guidelines aim for people to avoid close contact as much as possible.

However, recently,  a team of 239 clinicians, infectious-disease physicians, epidemiologists, engineers and aerosol scientists from 32 countries urged the World Health Organization to acknowledge that COVID-19 can be transmitted through the air, which happens through aerosols (droplets that typically measure less than 5 microns in diameter, that people can disseminate by coughing or sneezing, but, even simply through talking, laughing, and singing).

This article highlights the evidence supporting the claim that COVID-19 can be transmitted in the air, what this entails, and its impact on public health.

Until a vaccine is developed, the only way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is your immune system. The immune system is the only system that has no official organs, white blood cells and antibodies work with the lymphatic system to protect your body from infection. So what does your immune system do when it comes in contact with a coronavirus?

 

So first of all, as the immune cells sense the virus as a pathogen, they start to produce cytokines. These kill cells in order to stop the virus replicating. However, the excessive inflammatory innate response as well as a damaged adaptive host immune defence can cause tissue damage all throughout the body of the host, instead of specifically where the virus is located. The reason why older people and those with poor immune systems are more likely to suffer from COVID-19 is because the cell processes and immune cells become less efficient at responding to infections.

In recent studies and trials, there has been a significant amount of evidence suggesting that COVID-19 causes excess clotting of the blood, or “hyperactivity” of platelets. This can cause severe issues with patients that have this disease, as blood clots can cause serious complications, such as pulmonary embolisms, myocardial infarctions, strokes, or blood clots to other areas of the body which could lead to amputations. Unfortunately, each of these outcomes lead to devastating effects on patients if not treated quickly enough, making this virus that much more dangerous.

 

In this article, we have highlighted a few of the studies that have had results supporting this claim, and have explained how exactly this clotting occurs. Additionally, we have also explained some evidence regarding how this issue could be treated in the future, after further clinical trials. If you are interested in the mechanics behind this deadly virus, and how it effects our blood and immune system, we hope this article will help you learn more!

Social Initiatives

Physical distancing is one of the most important practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For months, government officials have urged citizens to practice social distancing. Whether it be 6 feet or 2 metres, we see these numbers everywhere. Across North America, there have been numerous fun and creative ways to demonstrate the safe distance. 

 

There are many examples, but we highlighted a few from Tim Hortons and national parks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely caused many people and businesses to adapt to this new situation, and from this, many interesting and unique innovations have arisen. We have expressed the need, and our entrepreneurs have found ways to cater to it!

 

In this article, we have highlighted a variety of different products and services that have started gaining popularity due to the changes in our society that this pandemic has caused. These include things such as pool noodle hats, and bumper tables. Check out the full article if you are interested in finding out more about how many entrepreneurs have figured out ways to adapt to our current state!

Asalah Youssef, a 17-year-old activist and photographer, decided to take it in her own hands to document the ongoing pandemic. Inspired by her passion for photography, she created ‘Screenshots of Home,’ a series of FaceTime portraits that capture people’s stories from Tanzania, Mexico, and Malaysia, and more. 


In an interview, Asalah says: “I hope my viewers will see a gallery of common humanity, connect with a specific story, and possibly see themselves mirrored in it… It has been a beautiful experience connecting with so many people with unique stories and experiences.”

Check out the entire ‘Screenshots of Home’ photo series at https://www.asalahyoussef.com/screenshotsofhome.

 
 

Advice/Tips

Shein? Romwe? Amazon? eBay? Since lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic began, people have switched to online shopping as a method to purchase their essentials and other items. According to Absolutnet’s COVID-19 x eCommerce Report, online revenue has doubled since March 11th—the day when the World Health Organization officially declared this pandemic.

 

Online shopping is certainly convenient and has many benefits, but at times, it can prove to be a lengthy and even dangerous process. People having their credit card information stolen or never receiving their purchases have been frequent occurrences. Thus it is important to be cautious and smart when shopping online. In this article, read on how you can ensure your transactions are safe ones, with important tips on keeping your online shopping cart and information protected.

Relationships help us thrive in our everyday lives. They provide us with support and consolation in our times of sadness, and joy. The COVID-19 pandemic has restricted physical interaction with people who fill your life with meaning. Have a friend, family member or significant other you are trying to connect with through a virtual setting? It can be hard to adapt to the online world, but we're here to help. Here are some ideas on how to interact virtually with those that matter most to you.

 

There are many communication platforms useful and efficient for talking to your loved ones such as zoom and FaceTime. You can also play games online or participate in a virtual workout class. The options are endless, read more about how you can maintain relationships while in quarantine.

At this point in time, everyone might still be struggling to do a variety of fun things to fill time, so we’ve compiled a list of activities to do while still staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic! 

Here are some things you can do at home:

  1. Take an online course!

  2. Binge-watch your favorite TV series with your friends online!

  3. Yearning to travel? Take virtual tours through museums, landmarks, and more!

Here are some things you can do outside:

  1. Go for a stroll at your local park?

  2. Challenge yourself to camp in your backyard for a couple days.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start a business? Or maybe you’re just looking for advice regarding your start-up? Well, this article includes helpful advice from two very successful entrepreneurs that spoke during the SHAD conference this summer: Michelle Romanow and Kenton Low. 

 

Their speeches revolved about how to lead successful businesses and the importance of resilience in the face of failure. We’ve compiled some of the most important advice that they gave that could be of great benefit to those of you interested in business and entrepreneurship! It also includes some information about how COVID-19 has changed the world of business, and how many have had to adapt and change their strategies.

It’s crazy to think that July has slipped away from us so quickly, and we are left with only one month before school starts! Although students may still be in denial of the new school year that is quickly approaching, it is extremely helpful to begin preparing in advance. Don’t know where to begin? Well you are in luck! This article features insightful tips on how you can make this upcoming school year the best it can be! General high school advice talks on topics such as friendship, extracurriculars, how to make a good impression on your teachers, and more. High school seniors advice touches on resume building, university applications, balancing your busy social life and school life, making memories, and many more topics on how to make your last year of high school a great one!

If you are an avid reader, or are simply wanting an activity to fill your time during this quarantine, we have listed 10 novels from a variety of categories, ranging from classics, like Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, to mystery novels, including Agatha Chirstie’s Murder on the Orient Express. Books are always an amazing way to pass time, and it can help you get away from the stress-filled world for at least a few hours throughout the day. Pick a novel that interests you, and it is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat!

With the federal government-issued advisory against non-essential travel outside of Canada still in effect, it may seem impossible to enjoy summer to the fullest. However, there are still ways to get away from your desk and take a well-deserved vacation. One of the best ways to do this is through a road trip! The first and most important step to having an amazing road trip with family or friends is planning. Especially with all the extra precautions to take to ensure safety during the pandemic, planning ahead for your trip is critical. In this article, read about important pandemic precautions to consider when planning. Also discover various tips and tricks for road trips; from electronic entertainment ideas to amusing road trip games, you can ensure your trip is a fun and memorable one for all travellers! Have fun, stay safe, and happy summer!

Ergonomics is the study of designing an environment fit for the worker so the work is safer and more efficient. While working from home, you might be uncomfortable at your workstation. We have included a few healthy tips to update your office. Ergonomics is very important to prevent physical injuries, stress work inefficiency and poor posture. 

 

Whether you are working from home, at your office or anywhere on a computer, ergonomics is good to learn about. In this article we have tips on setting up your workplace and stretching to reduce excessive tension.

What is leadership really? Leadership is about making an impact on other people. It's about making others feel touched, valued, and heard.

 

In Drew Dudley’s Ted Talk, he describes a “lollipop” scenario where he shows an act of kindness by giving a lollipop to a student who felt very anxious on their first day of university. It turns out, his small act of kindness had actually made a fundamental difference and impact on that student’s life.

 

Surprisingly, leadership isn’t always the glorious and “world-changing” picture we paint it to be. It’s not about reaching a level of power, authority, or influence. It's actually about little scenarios where ‘ordinary’ people can use their power to make extraordinary changes through impacting a person, one at a time. Anyone can become a leader by doing what they can to support one another.

Especially within a group project, these little acts are nothing to belittle because they contribute to making a positive atmosphere for you and your groupmates.

What better time than now to live your life to the greenest? From going biking to harvesting rainwater, here are some ideas for going green during the pandemic. 

  1. Go out for a bike ride. Not only can you immerse yourself in nature, but it’s great physical exercise and leaves zero carbon footprints!

  2. Tie-dye with plants/vegetable scraps. Instead of throwing them out, put those scraps to good use while making one-of-a-kind clothing at home!

  3. Build your own DIY rainwater harvesting system. The water collected can be used to water your flowers, vegetable garden, and can even be used for drinking if you purify it the right way! This will sure save you some money on water bills…

Visit the article for the full list!

 
 

Other News

June 13th, 2019. A day that will be engraved in Canadian history. The day the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Championship, bringing victory to not only their city, but their entire country. 

 

But where are they now? How is the pandemic affecting them? Due to COVID-19, all sports leagues and competitions were suspended for a few months. However, the recent decrease in cases has allowed for the NBA to resume with a selected number of teams in one the most magical places on Earth: Walt Disney World! 

 

Nevertheless, health regulations still apply. Players must follow strict guidelines, and there will be no spectators at the games. Don’t worry, the games will be streamed so you can cheer them on from home!

Feeling bored in quarantine? In the mood for something nostalgic and fun? Check out our top 10 movies, music, and favourite throwbacks for all of Gen Z! This article features our favourite childhood television shows, including the iconic web show team in iCarly and Hollywood Arts’ funniest students in Victorious! Listen to the go-to karaoke songs of the 2010s—Call Me Maybe, Want U Back, Teach Me How To Dougie, and others. And finally, rediscover your favourite childhood movies—Hannah Montana the Movie, Mean Girls, High School Musical, and so much more. Read all about it in this article, and enjoy your trip down memory lane!

Unfortunately, this time in quarantine have caused domestic violence rates to go up significantly, and have made it much more difficult for victims to espace their devastating situations or get help from others. In this article, we have compiled a few resources for those that may be experiencing domestic violence during these difficult times. 


Additionally, we have included explanations of different types of domestic violence and abuse, as it can occur in many different ways, all of which are entirely unacceptable and require the victim to get help or leave the situation. If you or anyone you know may be experiencing domestic violence, or maybe if you simply want to educate yourself on how this pandemic has affected this issue, this article is for you!

Quarantine has left people trapped inside their homes. For many athletes, this makes it quite challenging to maintain training and practice sessions. With social distancing regulations in place and the closure of many community centres, you will likely find yourself longing to get back on the field, the court, the ice, the mats—all the places COVID-19 has restrained you from.

 

Well here comes the good news! Across Canada, provinces are heading into various stages of the reopening process. With that, recreation centres and sports facilities are beginning to open back up to the public.

Check out the full article to see the updates on the reopening of sports and recreation centers in each Canadian province.

It has been over 4 months now since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic. After weeks and weeks of lockdown and quarantine measures being implemented across the world, cities are finally seeing eases in these restrictions, and the return to a new “normal” filled with lots of masks, hand washing and physical distancing.

 

Similarly, areas across Canada had been re-opening their economy in different ways, depending on the severity of the virus in different regions, according to phases outlined by each of their respective governments.

 

Check out the full article to see how the Canadian provinces and territories are beginning to open amid the pandemic.