Hundreds shelter in place from Irma at the Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center, which was converted into an emergency shelter, Sept. 8, 2017. Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned the state's 20 million residents should be prepared to evacuate to a safe location. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images Several days after Category 5 Hurricane Irma blew through the Caribbean and Florida in September 2017, more than a half-dozen seniors died in a steamy hot Florida nursing home when the air conditioning failed due to lack of power. As rescue crews evacuated the surviving residents to a hospital across the street, people began questioning whether sheltering in place during a disaster is wise. The answer is complicated. For some, staying put makes a lot of sense. For others, however, it can have catastrophic consequences. Such was the case in the Hollywood, Florida nursing home. As Irma ripped through the state, millions were left without electricity. When the air conditioning system failed at the nursing … [Read more...] about Why Some People Choose to Shelter In Place
Naomi Coto carries her dog Simba on her shoulders as they evacuate their Houston, Texas home on Aug. 27, 2017, following flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey. Joe Raedle/Getty Images When an August 2017 USA Today article on the federal emergency response to Hurricane Harvey referred to people fleeing the catastrophic storm as "refugees," that choice of words stood out. That's because much of the media coverage of the disaster used the term "evacuees" to describe those escaping the hurricane. That's a marked contrast to 12 years ago, when those who displaced by Hurricane Katrina were routinely referred to in the news media as refugees. Evacuees enter the Germain Arena in Estero, Florida, on Sept. 9, 2017; the arena served as a shelter from the approaching Hurricane Irma. Mark Wilson/Getty Images You might be wondering why it matters what people fleeing the storm are called, since in colloquial use, refugee and evacuee might seem pretty much interchangeable. But the two words … [Read more...] about Evacuee or Refugee: What Do We Call People Displaced by Natural Disasters?
Author Nadine Hays Pisani was born on a Friday. That would be otherwise unremarkable, but the day Pisani was born also happened to be the 13th of the month. Friday the 13's an inauspicious day according to some Western superstitions, and it's something that's followed Pisani her whole life. "Whenever that comes up in conversation, I usually get one person who looks at me strangely, as if I exude bad luck," she says via email. “I've been at a blackjack table in Atlantic City where my friend, just for fun, announced to the crowd I was born on Friday the 13th. Players actually got up and walked away from the table.” The superstitions surrounding the number 13 can be particularly problematic for people born on the 13th day of a month, and especially for those born on Friday the 13th. But is there any science behind that? Will a person born on the 13th really contend with a lifelong streak of bad luck – and encounter far more bad luck – than people who don't share … [Read more...] about There’s a Study on That: Are People Born on the 13th Unlucky for Life?
A new study found a link between asthma and hay fever and an increase in psychiatric illness. mladenbalinovac/Getty Images Doctors who treat patients with asthma and hay fever might want to also keep an eye on their mental health, according to the results of a large new study out of Tri-Service General Hospital in Taiwan. These unlikely compatriots appear to be linked, with people with asthma and hay fever at a 1.66-fold higher risk of developing a mental illness than those without the ailments, as reported on April 24, 2018 in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry. To fine-tune the connection, the researchers looked at a massive health insurance database covering the length and breadth of Taiwan for the years 2000–2015. All told, they examined data for 139,941 people without any history of allergic diseases, as well as 46,647 people with problems like hay fever or asthma. The resultant data showed that, over the period of 15 years studied, 10.8 percent of patients suffering … [Read more...] about People With Asthma, Hay Fever May Have Higher Risk of Psychiatric Disorders
This image shows some organs of the urinary system: the adrenal gland, the kidneys, the ureter, the aorta and the inferior vena cava. QAI Publishing/UIG via Getty Images Beto Maldonado knew the trials of kidney disease and dialysis better than most. In 2015, after spending most of his life limited by disease, he received a healthy kidney by way of transplant. Tragically, only two years later, Maldonado died in a motor vehicle accident. Normally, his death would have been the end of the road for the healthy donor kidney. But instead, that kidney was "regifted" to another patient in need. Dr. Jeffrey Veale, director of the UCLA Kidney Exchange Program, and his team did so with the blessing of Maldonado's family. "We just thought, 'They gave him that gift, why ... not help another family if we can?'" Maldonado's sister Linda said in a press release. The recipient was a 70-year-old woman named Vertis Boyce who had been on dialysis for 10 years, and pronounced the kidney a "blessing." … [Read more...] about How Many People Could Use the Same Kidney?