• Health
    Eat This, Not That!

    CDC Says You Can Catch COVID This Way After All

    As scientists learn more about COVID-19, their findings take a while to make their way to the general public. Now, months after being discovered, one important observation has made its way into CDC's list of ways you can catch coronavirus—and it will change the way you protect yourself. "The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated guidance on its website to say coronavirus can commonly spread 'through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols,' which are produced even when a person breathes," reports CNN. This means the virus can hang in the air indoors, waiting for you. Read on, and to protect your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.    COVID-19 Can Remain Suspended in the Air"Previously, the CDC page said that Covid-19 was thought to spread mainly between people in close contact—about 6 feet (approximately 1.8 meters)—and 'through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks,'" says the network. Now the page reads: "There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes). In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.""How easily a virus spreads from person to person can vary," the CDC goes on. "Airborne viruses, including COVID-19, are among the most contagious and easily spread. Some viruses are highly contagious, like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more efficiently than influenza, but not as efficiently as measles, which is highly contagious. In general, the more closely a person with COVID-19 interacts with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread."Earlier in June, a large team of international doctors around the world issued a game-changing statement to the World Health Organization: COVID-19 is, in fact, airborne. The World Health Organization confirmed then that airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols—and in other closed settings, including bars, restaurants, and places of worship, aerosol spread "cannot be ruled out."RELATED: I'm a Doctor and This Vitamin May Reduce Your COVID Risk How to Avoid COVID-19Jaimie Meyer, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious disease specialist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine, explains that experts have understood for a while now that COVID-19 can be airborne but there had been debate earlier in the pandemic about how important this was in terms of infection spreading in the community. To appreciate the debate, it is important to understand exactly what airborne spread means and why it matters."When viruses are carried on droplets, these particles are relatively large, so they can't pass through even cloth facial coverings very well," she explains. These droplets are also relatively heavy, so they fall to the ground quickly. This is why droplet-borne viruses are primarily passed from person to person when they are in close contact (i.e. within 6 feet). "Most scientific evidence supports that COVID-19 is primarily carried on droplets, which is why social distancing and mask-wearing work," she maintains. In contrast, truly airborne diseases—like tuberculosis or measles—are carried on much smaller particles that can hang in the air for longer periods of time, known as aerosols. "Aerosols are produced, like a spray, when someone coughs or sneezes, or during procedures like inserting a breathing tube or giving a breathing treatment. These smaller particles more easily pass through cloth face coverings but do not pass as well through surgical masks or N95 respirators, though these are often in limited supply and thus reserved for healthcare workers," Dr. Meyer explains. RELATED: COVID Mistakes You Should Never Make Outdoors Is Better Than IndoorsThe CDC's new addition makes something Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, has been saying for months even more important: "outdoors is better than indoors." Avoid indoor spaces with people you aren't sheltering with, and avoid crowds. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch Coronavirus.

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  • Politics
    Refinery29

    This Is Amy Coney Barrett, The Potential RBG Replacement Who Hates Your Uterus

    With a vacant seat in the U.S. Supreme Court following the Friday passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, President Donald Trump says he is determined to fill her spot, vowing to nominate a new judge as early as this Friday or Saturday. “I will be putting forth a nominee next week. It will be a woman,” Trump said during a Sept. 19 rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, just one day after Ginsburg died and her family stated that she hoped “not be replaced until a new president is installed.”While rumored nominees include Barbara Lagoa of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, and fellow appeals court judge Allison Jones Rushing, there is one woman who appears to be the frontrunner to flip RBG’s seat: Judge Amy Coney Barrett. And with her name making the top of nearly every speculative list, many are now wondering who Barrett is and what she really stands for. Amy Coney Barrett currently serves the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, a position she was appointed to by Trump in 2017. A Notre Dame Law School graduate, she began her career in 1998 as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Under his tutelage, Barrett honed conservative beliefs, including standing against abortion, and has been described as Scalia’s “ideological heir.” According to those who have studied her career more closely, like Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List anti-abortion political group, Barrett is “a woman who brings the argument to the court that is potentially the contrary to the views of the sitting women justices.” And by all accounts, this appears to be true, and Barrett plans to continue Scalia’s anti-abortion legacy.During her 2017 confirmation hearing, she made clear that in her new role as judge, she would follow the Supreme Court’s lead in looking to restrict and ban abortion. This is particularly important, considering that in 2018, she was also under consideration to fill the Supreme Court seat that is now occupied by Brett Kavanaugh.The following year, she joined a dissenting opinion in an appeals court case of Planned Parenthood Of Indiana And Kentucky vs. Indiana Health Commissioner, which determined an Indiana law banning patients from having abortions if their fetuses had disabilities — including life-threatening ones.But Barrett’s positions on abortion stem from her personal background and strong religious beliefs. In 2002, she joined her Catholic university’s faculty. At the time, fellow educators actively opposed ideas of secularization, and especially the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.“Life begins at conception,” she told Notre Dame Magazine, who also described Barrett’s view on Roe v. Wade as “creating through judicial fiat a framework of abortion on demand.”  For her part, Barrett is a practicing Roman Catholic and mother of seven. She is well-known throughout conservative circles for putting her religious convictions at the forefront of her work and identity. “Her religious convictions are pro-life, and she lives those convictions,” said U.S. district Judge Patrick J. Schiltz, one of her mentors.“I think the question of whether people can get very late-term abortions, you know, how many restrictions can be put on clinics, I think that would change,” Barrett said during a talk she gave on Roe v. Wade at Jacksonville University in 2016.Barrett’s nomination could stand to change everything for the Supreme Court. On Nov. 10, when the Supreme Court is back in session, they will once again hear arguments challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. With Barrett in the seat, women’s access to reproductive health could be in serious jeopardy. If Trump does nominate Barrett — a noted anti-abortionist — it would solidify fears for millions of Democrats: a 6-3 conservative majority in the Supreme Court that will most definitely derail years of inclusive healthcare initiatives. And, considering Ginsburg’s tenure protecting women’s rights and elevating social justice initiatives, Trump would actively be opposing her legacy by appointing Barrett, putting millions of vulnerable people at risk.“Amy Coney Barrett meets Donald Trump’s two main litmus tests,” Nan Aron, the president of Alliance for Justice, told the New York Times. “She has made clear she would invalidate the ACA and take health care away from millions of people and undermine a woman’s reproductive freedom.” Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?In The Wake Of RBG's Death, What Happens Next?Mitch McConnell Wasted No Time Being Human GarbageYou Owe Ruth Bader Ginsburg More Than You Know

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  • Celebrity
    E!

    Christina Anstead Spotted for the First Time Since Announcing Split From Husband Ant

    Flip or Flop star Christina Anstead was spotted picking up green juice three days after she announced her breakup from husband Ant Anstead--and her bling was all too telling.

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  • Politics
    Bloomberg

    Republicans Would Regret Replacing Ginsburg Before Election

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, immediately announcing their intent to nominate and confirm a replacement. Tempting as it is for Republicans to install a third Supreme Court justice during Trump’s first term, it would nevertheless be a serious mistake — and potentially a historic one — for Senate Republicans to go along. The result would not only likely be the long-term erosion of the Supreme Court’s legitimacy as a third branch of government, but also a backlash so strong it would hurt the Republican Party itself.The reason for Republicans to hold off isn’t the extraordinary hypocrisy they’re showing by pushing a rapid confirmation now, despite holding Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat open in 2016. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where voters will punish a party for arrant hypocrisy. Republicans and Democrats alike all understood that McConnell was making a specious argument when he claimed the March nomination of Judge Merrick Garland was too close to the November election to deserve a vote. We all knew it was power politics then; and we all know it is power politics now.To be clear, Trump has the constitutional authority to nominate a new justice right now and the Senate has the authority to vote — or not vote — on that nominee. The arguments pro and con are moral and political, as I’ve noted before, not legal.In a rational version of Senate confirmation politics, the party in the majority thinks about how its actions will affect the other party when it takes control. Ideally, that norm leads to balance and some fairness: I don’t take advantage of you so that in turn, you won’t take advantage of me. In our current world of power politics, the norms have eroded to the point of near-disappearance. What that leaves is medium-term self-interest about what the other side will do immediately, as opposed to what both sides would do if norms of fairness applied.The self-interested reason Republicans shouldn’t confirm Trump’s nominee in short order is that it will create a potential backlash that could have disastrous effects for Republicans. If a conservative fills Ginsburg’s seat, and then the Democrats win the presidency and both houses of Congress in November, an outraged, left-leaning Democratic base will pressure Democratic leadership to do things leadership would never otherwise have considered.The most obvious is that left-leaning Democrats will push their leadership to pack the Supreme Court by adding new seats and filling them with progressive justices. Until now, when the left of the Democratic Party has talked about court packing, moderates have pushed back strongly. They may change their tune if Ginsburg is replaced by a conservative before the election. That will place enormous pressure on Joe Biden, who — before Ginsburg’s death — made it clear that he opposed packing the court, because it would lead to an arms race in which the legitimacy of the court would ultimately be undermined.So say Biden caves to the pressure and installs two, or three, or even four new justices on the Supreme Court. This would delegitimize the Supreme Court, which would be bad for the country as a whole. But it would also be bad for conservatives, who might find themselves stuck living under three Democrat-dominated branches of government for some time.The other danger to Republicans is probably even deeper. Democrats enraged by a quick confirmation of a conservative might be motivated to admit Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico as states — each with their own (presumably Democratic) senators. Constitutionally speaking, this can be done with a bare majority of both houses and the presidency. Four more Democratic senators (or even three out of four, if Puerto Rico elected one Republican) could change the balance of the Senate over the long term.Of course, admitting D.C. and Puerto Rico as states would represent a significant change from the tradition of maintaining some Senate balance by admitting Democratic- and Republican-leaning states at the same time. And to do it, Democrats would have to eliminate the filibuster. But progressive Democrats are already angry enough to do that, and a quick vote to confirm Ginsburg’s replacement could enrage moderates enough to join them.Senate Republicans therefore have to calculate whether they would be better off confirming a conservative justice and risking these consequences or delaying until after the November election and confirming a Trump nominee only if Trump wins re-election.In our current political moment, only rational Republican self-interest can stop the Trump-McConnell juggernaut. Republicans had better start thinking about whether the road they’re walking is taking them to a destination they really want to reach.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist and host of the podcast “Deep Background.” He is a professor of law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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