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San Benito Aquatics offers safe place for swimming and competition – Benitolink: San Benito County News

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am

Programs offer youth a chance to exercise and socialize.

What I like about swimming is that I get to stay in shape, Ayden Kusumoto said. I am doing online learning, it is hard to find stuff that keeps me active. I swim really hard and, mentally, it helps me get rid of stress. I have a lot of stress because of school and when I swim it just goes away.

Kusumoto, 15, joined San Benito Aquatics around a year ago and has been part of the swim team since. On Feb. 13, he participated in the first swim meet since last March and was happy to be there.

San Benito Aquatics operates the pool at San Benito High School. The pool is open year-round and offers swim lessons, lap swimming and training for competition.

Swim lessons are currently fully booked, but there is a waiting list available through the website.

The pool is also used for certification of both scuba diving and lifesaving through outside programs.

The people here are really great, Kusumoto said. They really cheer me on, giving me advice, and trying to help me be better. The coach is firm but you always learn from him. And the kids here are good competition which helps me improve as a swimmer.

With the San Benito High School pool being one of the few sporting venues open to the public at the moment, Aydens father, Ray Kusumoto, said swimming has helped his son cope with the isolation imposed by COVID-19.

He has not been able to go to school as much as he would like, Ray said. Swimming has really kept him activelike a lot of teenagers his nutrition is not ideal so this gives him a way to keep up his physical fitness. And mentally, swimming keeps him focused, but being here also gives him time to spend with his friends. It has been huge with him. I would encourage parents to bring their kids down here.

Mia Guardino, 14, moved from gymnastics to swimming seven years ago on the advice of a friend and has been on the SBHS swim team ever since. In 2019, she successfully competed in the Coast Valley Aquatic League Championships, and the Feb. 13 meet was her first chance to compete in over a year due to the pandemic.

It has been really sad to not have any events, Guardino said. Especially when I pass by the Morgan Hill Aquatics Center, where we had a lot of meets before. I really missed ittrying hard to improve your times and cheering for your friends at the top of your lungs.

Maddie Corrigan, 15, has been swimming and attending these kinds of meets for nine years. She said they are a way of measuring your own abilities.You are not really racing against other people, said Corrigan. You are racing against yourself, trying to get your best time you can and do the best you can.

Corrigan represents San Benito Aquatics in the South Bay Aquatics program and also works as a lifeguard at the pool. During the meets, shes involved in monitoring the activity of the contestants to help maintain safety and improve performance.

For a session like this, I make sure all the kids are in their lanes and doing what they need to do, Corrigan said. I make sure they have an understanding of the sport and that they are swimming hard and working hard. If the kids dont do their best time at an event, we will work at the next practice to improve it. But we want to do it in a way that they will enjoy it. But most importantly, that they are having fun.

The swim meet was held under the direction of Coach Michael Fujii, who was a U.S. National qualifier, High School All-American and Collegiate All-American. He works with the young swimmers five days a week and is grateful that swimming and swim meets are among the few youth athletic programs allowed under current state guidelines.

We have really had to reinvent meets, he said. We have to limit how many people can warm up in a lane, we have to keep up with the social distancing and we separate the older kids from the younger kids. We can only practice for an hour rather than two. We are moving in sessions and keeping the parents off the deck to eliminate overcrowding. It has been complex.

While the meets are geared toward competitive swimmers, there are programs for all ability levels, from stay-in-shape swimmers to the kids who want to progress in their skills. Fujii said all ages and abilities are welcome at the pool, and he encourages swimming as a healthy and safe form of exercise.

Guardino agreed. Swimming is great for your health and it involves every muscle in your body. It has made me push myself more and be more confident. It also gives me a place to escape my problems. To me, the water is like a second home.

BenitoLink is a nonprofit news websitethat reports on San Benito County. Our team is working around the clock during this time when accurate information is essential. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please considersupporting BenitoLink,San Benito Countys news.

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San Benito Aquatics offers safe place for swimming and competition - Benitolink: San Benito County News

Meal-Deals on the island for Wednesday, April 7 – Islander

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am

Mid-Week and first Wednesday in April. Mark the occasion by enjoying a nice and delicious meals at any of our participating #tasteofkeybiscayne restaurants.

#meal-deals this Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Join us tonight - Open for Indoor dining and limited outdoor seating, or if you prefer, make it a La Scala dinner-at-home night with Takeout. Offering curbside delivery

Call Chandra so he may recommend a special Wednesday night dinner pasta-dish from their regular menu!

Our place is safe, we sanitize every hour and will continue to do so as they reopen the dining room!

The popular Italian Bistro now offers their delicious meals to enjoy at home and thank you for the great support during this challenging time!

To place a takeout order call (786) 773-3633 or visit us online here.

Open 5 to 10 p.m.

180 Crandon Blvd Arcade Shopping Center

We are open to serve you with indoor & ample outdoor seating, takeout or delivery!

We have the perfect roll for your Wednesday meal!

Modern Japanese fusion restaurant. We offer creative treatments & creativity in our dishes for takeout and delivery by our own employees. Available for lunch and dinner.


Mon to Sat Noon to 9:45 p.m.

Closed Sundays

To place an order call (305) 361-2675 or order online here.

At Pops, we love burgers! Confident we have your favorite combination!

Our burgers are made with 100% certified Angus beef and we offer from the most basic burger or cheeseburger, to our new Signature Burgers!!

We also serve Hot Dogs, nachos with chili and many other favorites, in addition to shakes and desserts!

Try our Wednesday feature item our delicious BLACK WIDOW sandwich. What is in it? Come in to find out and enjoy!

We serve our food in a safe and family style setting and we are pet friendly!

Pops Burger is located in the Square Mall, at 260 Crandon Blvd, Key Biscayne

We are open at Noon to 9 p.m. seven-days a week. We close at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

To place an order, please call (786) 401-7474

We offer dine-in, takeout and delivery via UberEats and Postmates

At PANNA we like to say we offer a taste to remember, the place you love. We are serving the most delicious Venezuelan food combined with other traditional delights from Colombia and Argentina in a fast-service, friendly and casual setting.

At PANNA, everyone can find something to eat for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner

We are proud to offer the best Venezuelan cachitos and tequeos on the island, made with traditional recipes.

Today, we invite you to try a PANNA exclusive - our TROPICAL AREPA. Only $6.94

We offer a dine-in or grab-and-go menu for you to enjoy at home.

Convenient order online for takeout or delivery. Click here.

We are located at 600 Crandon Blvd, Suite 130, Key Biscayne next to Winn Dixie. You can reach us at (305) 456-0886

From San Marino, the oldest & smallest republic in the world located in the center north of Italy, now serving authentic Italian cuisine in Key Biscayne.

In Italian, AMICI means friends and that is what you will find at AMICIs a friendly atmosphere surpassed only by the excellent Authentic Italian cuisine

Today, our mid-week special is our Branzino alla Griglia (only $33), whose exceptional preparation is only surpassed by the incredible flavors.

AMICI at Key Biscayne is located inside The Towers of Key Biscayne at 1111 Crandon Blvd. To make a reservation call (786) 453-0974 or Email

To see the complete menu and the history of the family behind the excellence that is AMICI, click here.

Join us. Open for Indoor dining & expanded Outdoor dining, Takeout or FREE Delivery.

We ask you please wear a mask and observe social distancing.

Want something really unique to start this Wednesday? Try our incredibly delicious Eggs Benedict Arepa

We deliver our famous craft beers. Call for your favorite, or take advantage of our Wine sale! All our white & red wine bottles are $12 - and we will deliver

Hours of operations: Mon - Sat 8 AM to CLOSE

Sunday Brunch 9 AM to 4 PM

Call us directly at (305) 365-6003 to place an order.

Place your Order Online here

Ristorante Forchetta

Looking for a new Italian spot to eat? Then, do not look any further and visit the new Fine Italian Dining hotspot of Key Biscayne, Ristorante Forchetta, where every meal is cooked from scratch.

The name of the restaurant Ristorante Forchetta is inspired by the Italian word for fork, which is the perfect gateway to enjoy a memorable culinary journey to Italy at our restaurant.

Classic and perfect: Filetto di Manzo! This grilled filet mignon is served with sauted garlic mushrooms and a Barolo red wine demi-glace sauce.

Our indoor dining room, with its turquoise and golden elements reminds of the seaside of Italy, and blends in perfectly to the maritime setting of Key Biscayne, where the sea is just steps away. However, we also offer outdoor seating and takeout.

Ristorante Forchetta is located in the Square Shopping Center at 260 Crandon Blvd Suite 29 30. To make a reservation call (305) 361 6252.

We are open daily for Lunch 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Dinner 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

We are looking forward to your next Fine Italian Dining experience!

Open Seas Cafe

Enjoy the day in a true beachside setting at OpenSeas Cafe, you will be pampered with delectable offerings from Caribbean dishes to our local favorites.

Try our signature conch fritters or our renowned fish tacos for a treat you wont forget. Our frozen daiquiris or flavorful margaritas are the perfect combination for beach and sun.

We also offer beachside food delivery and chair and umbrella service.

On this Wednesday, we invite you to try our delicious Bahaiman Conch fritters for only $9.95 for 6 or $17.95 for a dozen

We are located in Crandon Park / South Beach at 6747 Crandon Blvd. Key Biscayne. We are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (weather permitting).

Call or text us at (786) 305 4747 for more information or order. Visit us online by clicking here.

Home Page

Ayesha Indian Restaurant

Wednesday the perfect day for that special South Indian meal. How spicy do you want it?

Join us today, indoor & outdoor seating to help with social distancing.

For our full menu or to order online click here.

FREE APPETIZER when you spend $50 and FREE DELIVERY

Tuesday Sunday 5 to 9:30 p.m.

Call (786) 953-4761 to place a takeout order

328 Crandon Blvd - #115 Key Biscayne

Brasas KB

Open for covered Indoor & Outdoor Dining, Takeout or delivery!

Mid-Week special.... Our delicious half pound hamburger, with one side and a soda, only $10.99 - loaded it up with a fried egg, bacon, cheese and pickles to make it a "completa" for only $4 more! Can't beat the quality! Unmatched value!

Have you tried our Peruvian Chicken Rotisserie for lunch or dinner that include 2 sides and sauce of your choice: huancana, aj amarillo, huacatay and olivas negras peruanas.

Call (786) 615-2399 to place a takeout order. Open Noon to 8 p.m.

328 Crandon Blvd, Galleria Shopping Center

Costa Med Bistro

Open for Indoor and Expanded Outdoor Dining, Takeout!

Offering delicious Takeout-friendly options menu!!! We have taken all recommended safety precautions and more!

Today, start your Costa meal with our exclusive Burrata & Prosciutto appetizer!

Order online for take out - click here!

Costa Med, a TripAdvisor Traverlers Choice nominated restaurant, is located in the Square Shopping Center. 260 Crandon Blvd. Since they are operating at reduced capacity, reservations suggested.

Call Antonio or Harold at (305) 361-7575


Lunch Mon to Sat: Noon a.m. to 4 p.m.

Dinner Mon to Sat: 6 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. / Sun 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Boaters Grill & Lighthouse Caf / Bill Baggs

The restaurants inside Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park the popular Boaters Grill, located at No Name Harbor and accessible by boat, and the beachside Lighthouse Caf are ready to serve you.

Start the holiday with a delicious breakfast under the Lighthouse!

Start your day with us under the Lighthouse serving traditional breakfast favorites being served at Lighthouse Cafe

Boaters Grill is open Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Lighthouse Caf is open 7-days a week, from 9 a.m. to Sunset

The restaurants are located inside Bill Baggs State Park, at 1200 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne. You can reach them at (305) 361-0080


What do they say at Tacopolis? Everyday is Taco-Day!! Only eat tacos on days that end in a Y

Enjoy flavor and stay fit with our Veggie fried rice

Tacopolis was born as an idea in Cancun Mexico years ago. We offer a family concept, serving authentic Mexican flavors in a casual and relaxed atmosphere

Open Seven Days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. for Indoor & Outdoor dining, Takeout or delivery by our own service of find us on UberEats

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Meal-Deals on the island for Wednesday, April 7 - Islander

Our Expert Shares All The Amazing Reasons Why You Must Eat Mangoes This Season – NDTV

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am

Mangoes are loaded with fibre and vitamin C

The summer season is also known as the mango season. Mango is a delicious and juicy fruit that you cannot afford to miss this summer. Not just the pleasant taste, it can also provide you with plenty of health benefits. This summer fruit is well packed with nutrients that can boost your health in more ways than one. Being high in fibre and low in calories, mangoes are perfect for your weight loss diet too. Other than vitamin C, you can also receive essential nutrients like folate, protein, vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium and much more by adding mangoes to your diet. Nutritionist and fitness expert Munmun Ganeriwal took to Instagram to share some impressive reasons why you should not miss this fruit.

Mango has a low GI score therefore it is safe for diabetics to consume mangoes. "Mango is not only safe for diabetics but highly recommended as it delivers sustained energy without spiking the blood sugar levels," Ganeriwal says.

Mango is also weight loss friendly as it is fat-free, cholesterol-free and does not make you fat even if you eat it every day. It is also loaded with soluble fibre which can keep you satisfied for longer and keep hunger pangs at bay.

Diabetics can enjoy mangoes safelyPhoto Credit: iStock

According to Ganeriwal, mangoes are rich in vitamin B6. It can help you regulate hormones and reduce PMS.

Also read:Should Diabetics Eat Mangoes? Do They Cause Weight Gain? Luke Coutinho's Word On It

Mangoes are rich in nutrients like potassium, magnesium and vitamin C that can help you improve blood pressure. Magnesium in mango is also beneficial for those suffering from thyroid-related issues.

Also read:Can I Eat Mangoes If I Am Trying To Lose Weight? Know A Nutritionist's Reply

Mangoes are loaded with dietary fibre and water content that can help keep your digestion healthy. Fibre can ensure healthy bowel movements and prevent constipation. This juicy fruit also contains digestive enzymes.

High fibre foods can help keep constipation at bayPhoto Credit: iStock

Vitamin A in mango makes it your skin's best friend. It helps fight acne and provides anti-ageing properties. Vitamin C also promotes collagen production that improves hair and skin health.

Also read:Diabetes: These Leaves Can Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels Effectively; Learn How To Use Them

"Soak mangoes in water for 30 mins before eating and enjoy between 11 am-5 pm," says Ganeriwal.

This mango season do not miss the king of fruits and the many benefits it can offer.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Our Expert Shares All The Amazing Reasons Why You Must Eat Mangoes This Season - NDTV

Letter to the editor: It’s time to support our public schools – My Edmonds News

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am


Voters in the Edmonds School District will soon be receiving ballots with a Capital Levy proposal to maintain a steady, local education tax rate over the next six years. I hope you will join me with an enthusiastic yes vote!

We have all seen our southwest Snohomish County region continue to grow, even through the pandemic. Ensuring our school buildings and facilities are safe, maintained, and upgraded to meet the evolving needs of our communities must be a top priority. These levy funds are only available for capital improvements including addressing building capacity issues in response to overcrowding. They cannot be used for staff salaries.

Far beyond the vital function of education, this last year has underscored stronger than ever the roles our local public schools fill as a backbone for social development, athletics, and basic life necessities like daily nutrition and family support.

As many community members may be sending their students back to buildings, we need to set up our school facilities, our children and our communities for success. Please support the Edmonds School Districts 2021 Capital Levy this April to make long-term improvements to our public schools.

More detailed information is available at

Luke DistelhorstEdmonds School District parent

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Letter to the editor: It's time to support our public schools - My Edmonds News

Migralepsy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More – Healthline

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am

If youve had migraine with aura that triggered an epileptic seizure, you might have experienced migraine-induced epilepsy.

Another name for this phenomenon is migralepsy.

Scientists have debated the existence and terminology of this phenomenon for some time.

Currently, the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3) acknowledges it as migraine aura-triggered seizure.

However, epilepsy authorities do not acknowledge the condition.

Migralepsy is a rare event in which you experience a migraine episode with an aura and then a seizure soon afterward. The migraine episode triggers the seizure.

However, a 2018 review noted that epilepsy and migraine can often be hard to tell apart. Both cause episodes or attacks, and both conditions can cause similar symptoms, such as:

You might experience a migraine episode after a seizure during whats called the postictal state, but experts dont consider this migralepsy.

If you experience migraine episodes and you have epilepsy, but the two dont seem to be related, thats not migralepsy either.

Here are the symptoms youll experience in the order they appear in migralepsy, according to the ICHD-3.

First youll have a migraine episode with an aura.

The aura happens minutes or hours before the headache starts and each symptom can last about an hour. An aura can also happen during the headache.

An aura is a collection of neurological symptoms that usually come on gradually. You might experience all or just some of them.

Less common aura symptoms include motor weakness and speech disturbances, like slowed speech or feeling unable to speak.

There are several subtypes of migraine with aura. Your doctor will be able to help you identify which subtype youre experiencing.

Migralepsy isnt normally associated with migraine episodes that do not come with an aura. However, more research is needed.

With migralepsy, you experience a seizure within 1 hour of having migraine with aura.

A seizure is an episode in which you move involuntarily for a short period of time. It can affect all or part of your body and you may lose control of your bladder or bowels. Sometimes seizures cause you to lose consciousness.

Types of epileptic seizures include:

Migraine and seizures may be connected by similar patterns of brain activity. However, scientists dont currently understand exactly how theyre related.

About 1 to 17 percent of people who have migraine also have epilepsy, and people with epilepsy have reported a frequency of migraine episodes of 8.4 to 20 percent, according to a 2011 review of research.

In a seizure, massive waves of electrical activity pass through areas of the brain, activating many neurons in sync.

In a migraine episode, your brain experiences a similar slowly spreading wave of electrical activity. It can last for several minutes, and scientists have found its associated with experiencing migraine aura.

Scientists have proposed that the electrical wave in a migraine episode can lower the threshold for a seizure to occur, meaning you may be more likely to experience a seizure.

Factors that might increase your risk of migralepsy include having:

Some drugs or surgery that help with migraine and epilepsy may help with migralepsy.

Some migraine-preventing drugs may prevent cortical spreading depression the slow wave of electrical activity in your brain that happens when you experience migraine with aura.

These include sodium valproate or valproic avid (Depakene, Depakote, Epival) and topiramate (Topamax, Trokendi XR, Qudexy XR), which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you have migralepsy that isnt going away with treatment, your doctor may consider trying opioids. Opioids are a prescription medication used to treat moderate to severe pain. They have a risk of serious side effects, including addiction.

A 2017 review of five case studies found that opioids might have a strong preventive effect against migralepsy.

The review followed five people who experienced a combination of migraine and drug-resistant epilepsy, in which migraine episodes appeared to trigger the seizures.

In all five people, migraine episodes and seizures completely stopped when people took the opioid drug oxycodone daily. When they stopped taking the drug, the migraine episodes and seizures resumed.

Its important to note that these were case studies, so theyre not conclusive. More research is needed on the use of opioids as a treatment for migralepsy.

Some people with epilepsy who dont respond to drug treatment to resolve their seizures may find surgical interventions effective.

If you think you have migralepsy, start by talking with a neurologist. You may need to get a referral from another healthcare professional first. Neurologists can diagnose your condition and help you find the treatment thats most appropriate for your circumstances.

Changing your diet may also help reduce migralepsy episodes. Many studies suggest that the ketogenic diet can help treat epilepsy.

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that makes the body shift from using blood sugar as fuel to using fats instead.

When this happens, a metabolic process breaks down fat into molecules called ketone bodies. Your body, including your brain cells, uses these for energy instead of glucose from carbohydrates.

Several studies have shown that the ketogenic diet may help reduce or completely eliminate seizures in some children and adults with epilepsy.

A ketogenic diet may also help reduce migraine episodes, although theres less research on this. A 2013 case study found twin sisters migraine episodes stopped when they went on a low-calorie ketogenic diet.

A 2014 study in women with overweight who also had migraine found more promising evidence. One group of participants went on a very-low-calorie ketogenic diet for 1 month, then a standard low-calorie diet for 5 more months.

The other group went on the standard low-calorie diet for the whole 6 months.

The group that started their regimen with 1 month of the ketogenic diet had significantly reduced:

Meanwhile, those who ate a standard low-calorie diet for the whole study period only started experiencing improvements at the 3-month mark.

The researchers suggested that the ketogenic diet might help improve metabolism in brain cells and potentially reduce inflammation.

However, more research is needed on the effects of diet on migralepsy.

According to the ICHD-3, a person needs to show the symptoms listed above to be diagnosed with migraine aura-triggered seizure.

However, experts still debate the diagnosis of migralepsy. If you think you have migralepsy, its best to see a neurologist and tell them what you experienced.

Theyll ask you about your particular symptoms and history and make a diagnosis and treatment plan based on your particular needs.

If youre driving and you sense youre about to have a seizure, pull over immediately.

Some states ask people to tell the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that they have epilepsy and require them to be seizure-free for a certain number of months before allowing them to drive.

Migraine symptoms may also make you unable to drive safely. These might include:

If youre driving and you start to have a migraine, pull over and wait until the distracting or impairing symptoms pass.

If youre taking medication for migralepsy, epilepsy, or migraine, the drug might also impair your ability to drive. Ask your healthcare team or pharmacist whether its safe to drive while youre taking it.

Call for emergency medical help if a seizure lasts for more than 5 minutes or if you or someone youre with has experienced an injury during a seizure.

If you had migraine with aura that triggered a seizure, you may have experienced migralepsy.

However, even if you arent sure, but you have experienced one or more severe headaches, its worth visiting a healthcare professional.

Write down all the information you can about what happened before, during, and after the episode, and tell your doctor. This will help them make a diagnosis and identify triggers.

If you had a seizure for the first time, whether or not you also had a migraine, see a healthcare professional.

Scientists argue about whether migralepsy, or migraine-induced epilepsy, actually exists as its own condition.

However, migraine and seizures are both serious conditions.

If you experience either independently, or if you experience them together and think you may have migralepsy, record information about the event and see a healthcare professional right away.

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Migralepsy: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, and More - Healthline

Western New England University poll shows people are seeing light at end of COVID tunnel, but remain wary abo –

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am

SPRINGFIELD As more people receive their COVID-19 vaccinations, polling shows people across the state are feeling hopeful the pandemic is on the wane. But many still have some reservations about making dinner reservations, going to a movie, or working out at a gym.

A poll conducted by the Western New England University Polling Institute showed Massachusetts residents generally are feeling a little less worried about the coronavirus, but there are significant differences in views when the data is broken down by race and ethnicity or by political affiliation.

The survey was conducted over the month of March. The Polling Institute contacted 415 adults by randomly dialing both landlines and cellphone numbers. The surveys were conducted only in English.

Of the 415 people surveyed, 377 said they were registered voters, and of those 133 identified as Democrats, 42 as Republicans and 188 were unenrolled.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.

The survey found that 44% of respondents had concerns about contracting COVID-19, while 54% had few to no worries.

This is a basically reversal from a similar survey conducted in October, where 64% were either very or somewhat worried, and 32% were either not worried very much or not worried at all.

Just over a third of those surveyed in March reported having at least one vaccination shot.

In Western Massachusetts, 34% had concerns about exposure, while 61% did not.

Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said they feel life will return to normal in a year or less, a slight uptick from October, when it was 59%.

Statewide, 85% favored wearing masks in public and 13% opposed it. In October, 90% favored masks.

Tim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute and a professor of political science at the university, said the survey indicates people are ready for things to return to what they were like a year ago, before the pandemic, but many are cautious about getting their hopes up.

More people are willing to get vaccinated, and there is some sense of diminished threat from COVID-19, he said. But people remain worried about contracting the virus and a significant number believed that the pandemic is far from over.

Just over half, or 51%, expressed feeling safe or somewhat safe eating inside a restaurant, an increase of 5 percentage points from October. Also 46% felt safe attending a religious service, an increase of 7 percentage points, and 42% felt safe going to a movie, an increase of 11 points.

Most people, however, seemed reluctant to resume their gym membership. While the percentage feeling comfortable in a gym increased by 5 percentage points from the fall, it remained at 39%.

Perception of risk for these activities has softened somewhat since our last survey, but a lot of people still view these as potentially dangerous undertakings, Vercellotti said.

The survey also shows that, statewide, 60% supported elementary school students returning to school for in-person instruction five days a week. Twenty-nine percent expressed either strong or partial opposition. Many schools across the state resumed in-person instruction on Monday.

Among Western Massachusetts residents, the support for returning to the classroom was not as strong, with 49% in favor, 41% opposed and 10% with no opinion.

When the question is broken down by race or ethnicity, there appears to be a large split between whites and nonwhites.

Sixty-two percent of whites surveyed favored reopening schools, 26% opposed it, and 13% were neutral or had no opinion. Among nonwhites, 47% were in favor, 50% were opposed and 2% were neutral or had no opinion.

Overall, a majority of those surveyed gave Gov. Charlie Baker passing grades for the rollout of the vaccines, although his overall numbers for job performance and for leading the pandemic response each showed a dip from October.

His approval rating for overall job performance and for pandemic leadership were both 62%. This marks a decline of 6% in job performance and 5% in leadership since the previous survey.

When the data is broken down by political affiliation, Baker, a Republican, is less popular with his own party than he is among Democrats or unenrolled voters. Sixty-three percent of Democrats and 69% of unenrolled voters said they approve of Bakers job performance, compared to 47% of Republicans.

In terms of Bakers handling of the pandemic, 63% of Democrats and 70% of the unenrolled approved, compared to 51% of Republicans.

That same split by political affiliation turns up in a number of other areas when one drills down into the data, which could be a reflection of how politicized the pandemic response has become over the last several months.

Overall, 54% of Democrats and 45% of unenrolled voters were worried or somewhat worried about exposure to COVID-19, compared to 33% of Republicans. Sixty-four percent of Republicans said they have little to no worries about the coronavirus, including 39% who said they are not worried at all.

In the five categories chosen for public activity, Republicans felt relatively safe eating in a restaurant, going to a movie, attending religious services, flying in an airplane or working out in a gym.

For example, 61% of Republicans said they feel safe eating inside a restaurant, compared to 53% of independents and 36% of Democrats. Also 56% of Republicans feel safe working out in a gym, compared to 41% of independents and 27% of Democrats.

Ninety-five percent of Democrats and 84% of independents favored requiring people to wear masks in public, compared to 71% of Republicans.

Also 49% of Democrats reported receiving at least one dose of the vaccine, compared to 22% of Republicans and 30% of independents.

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Western New England University poll shows people are seeing light at end of COVID tunnel, but remain wary abo -

Seaspiracy or ConspiraSea? – The New Hampshire

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am

The new Netflix documentary Seaspiracy made a splash of controversy on more than its content about the horrors of the fishing industry; this controversy came from many viewers who believed it should have been called ConspiraSea instead. But hate the name or love it, the film is sure to make anyone think twice before eating seafood.

The name controversy worked out surprisingly well for producers, Ali Tabrizi and Lucy Tabrizi, who said they have received more attention than they expected simply from people commenting on the fact that they believe the name should have been ConspiraSea. The reason for the name Seaspiracy was to relate to the movies predecessor Cowspiracy and because they thought the name ConspiraSea would have been confusing to spell.

But the documentarys intended controversy was in its bold claims regarding slavery in the fishing industry in addition to the damage caused to the ocean and sea creatures by the industry and the health risks from eating fish. And while these claims may be a shock to some people, many of the facts in the film have been known for a while. One bold claim is that approximately 46% of the 79 thousand tons of ocean plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of fishing nets, some as large as football fields. This is true according to a study published in March 2018 in Scientific Reports. According to the Chief Scientist at the Ocean Conservancy, George Leonard, At least half of [ocean plastic waste] is not consumer plastics, which are central to much of the current debate, but fishing gear.

But the darkest side of the film shows shocking footage of interviews with victims of slavery at sea. This issue has been reported on before by the Environmental Justice Foundations (EJF) report, Blood and Water which details numerous cases of abuse, on vessels flying the flags of both developing and developed nations, from the E.U. and U.S. to Asia and South America. According to an article from The Maritime Executive, The report details cases of slavery, debt bondage, insufficient food and water, filthy living conditions, physical and sexual assault and murder aboard fishing vessels from 13 countries operating across three oceans.

This slavery at sea showcases a horrifying human rights issue. Other claims in the documentary showcase the harm done to sea life, like sharks, whales and dolphins.

Something that may shock tuna lovers is that the Dolphin-Safe label on tuna cannot guarantee that all tuna with that label actually didnt harm or kill dolphins. The Dolphin-Safe label is supposed to signify that no dolphins were killed or seriously injured as a result of the catching of the tuna contained in certain brands. Mark Palmer of the Earth Island Institute, the organization behind the Dolphin-Safe logo, confessed to a conflict of interest between the companies and organizations that dole out Dolphin-Safe and related labels and the fishing operations they give them to. He admitted that they could not fully guarantee that no dolphins were harmed during the catching of tuna, even with Dolphin-Safe labels.

Seaspiracy also managed to showcase an organization doing hard work to stop illegal fishing, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Sea Shepherd is an international, non-profit marine conservation organization that engages in direct action campaigns to defend wildlife, and conserve and protect the worlds oceans from illegal exploitation and environmental destruction. In an interview regarding the Dolphin-Safe tuna label, Sea Shepherds Captain Peter Hammarstedt explained that the biggest threat to whales and dolphins is commercial fishing.

The end of the film encourages viewers to move towards a vegan or plant-based diet, but Seaspiracy makers also emphasized in an Instagram Q&A that it is still important for people to cut down on their individual plastic use as well. The end of the film also featured information about the health downsides to eating fish, such as mercury contamination, Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and microplastics in almost every fish that is consumed. They also showed some of the terrible conditions of farming fish that show that keeping fish in close proximity increases chances of disease. Farmed salmon in particular are susceptible to outbreaks of sea lice, according to the British Broadcasting System (BBC).

I went vegan in the beginning of January for environmental and animal rights reasons, but one of the hardest things for me to give up was tuna. Back when I ate tuna, I would always look for the Dolphin-Safe tuna and even now it feels discouraging to realize that the labels cant guarantee they are not harming dolphins.

I also loved sushi and always believed salmon was healthy for you because of the omega-3 fatty acids in it. The one part of the equation I was missing was that fish dont actually make omega-3s; they get them from eating algae. So now I eat what the fish eat and skip the middleman. According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, omega-3 fatty acids are readily available in a wide variety of plant foods, like walnuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, edamame, seaweed, and algae. Other green leafy vegetables and beans also contain small amounts. Additionally, omega-3s from a source like algae dont have toxic chemicals like PCBs found in some sea creatures. If you get to the end of Seaspiracy and realize you want to cut down on your fish intake, do not fear, there are lots of omega-3 sources available for you.

But its important to note after watching this film who the real culprit is, the commercial fishing industry. Small populations of people, or native, or indigenous people catching fish and eating it isnt where the problem lies. Its the large fishing industry destroying our seas and taking fish from the local people as well. And if you get to the end of the film and want to know more about the environmental impact of animal agriculture, make sure to watch Cowspiracy, my favorite documentary. If you cant quit seafood, maybe try to cut back a bit to help save our planet.

Photo courtesy of Netflix.

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Donating blood regularly is safe and an important public service here’s how often you can donate – Insider

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:52 am

If you give blood regularly, don't fret. Contrary to common misconceptions, blood donations are not associated with premature death or cancer. By donating blood, you'll be saving multiple lives.

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs some type of blood transfusion, and a single donation can save as many as three lives. Moreover, it's safe to donate blood several times a year, and institutions use sterile equipment for each donor to eliminate the risk of contracting infections.

That said, not everyone can become a blood donor. Certain health conditions may affect your eligibility to donate blood, such as dementia or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Here's what you need to know about how to become a blood donor safely.

When donating blood, there are several different ways to go about it. You can donate whole blood everything in the vial. Or, you can donate blood components like plasma, red blood cells, and platelets, where a machine separates your blood into the various components and then returns the leftovers to your body.

The main difference between each donation is how often you can safely do it.

"You can donate whole blood every 56 days or up to 6 times a year," says Bruce Sachais, MD, PhD, chief medical officer of the New York Blood Center. That's because, "it takes the body four to eight weeks to replace red blood cells," says Sachais." On the other hand, you can donate platelets and plasma more frequently.

Medical term: Platelets are blood cells that form clots to stop the bleeding, and plasma is the liquid part of blood that carries the proteins that are vital for blood clotting.Red blood cells are bring oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and carry away CO2.

"Platelets may be donated up to 24 times a year and plasma up to 12 times a year," says Sachais. You can donate more frequently because the body replaces plasma and platelets faster than red blood cells.

"Donating blood is a safe activity," says Tho Pham, MD, chief medical officer of the Stanford Blood Center. However, if you donate too often, you may develop anemia, a condition where your blood doesn't have enough red blood cells, he says.

"That's one of the main reasons why we check the donor's hemoglobin level before every donation [] to ensure that it is high enough," says Pham. "Based [on] extensive research over a long period, the FDA has established federal guidelines around how often and how much individuals can donate blood so as not to compromise their health."

Blood donors should usually be at least 18 years old, but 16 to 17-year-olds may donate with written consent from their parent or legal guardian. There is generally no upper age limit, but some institutions require a physician's letter for donors above 75 years old.

"While about 38% of the US population can donate blood, others may be ineligible for a wide variety of reasons designed to protect patients who may be receiving the donated blood products or even to protect the donors themselves," says Pham.

Some factors temporarily prohibit you from donating blood, such as:

There are plenty of eligibility criteria to become a blood donor. If you're unsure whether or not you qualify, you can get in touch with a blood center near you to walk you through your eligibility.

Prior to your blood donation, there are several things you have to keep in mind, such as:

"Since donating whole blood temporarily decreases the amount of red blood cells, and therefore hemoglobin, in your system, it's advisable to take an iron supplement, especially after your donation, to give your body a little extra boost as it starts creating more red blood cells," says Pham.

Eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, helps you absorb iron better.

You can donate one pint of blood every eight weeks, and it will take your body four to eight weeks to replace the number of red blood cells that you lost. You might not be allowed to donate blood depending on your medications, recent travel history, or certain health conditions like HIV, hepatitis B or C, or dementia.

Avoid drinking alcohol and eating fatty foods before your blood donation. Instead, get adequate sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat foods that are rich in iron and vitamin C to stay healthy and help your body create more blood cells.

"Long-term donation is safe. Many blood donors donate regularly over decades without health issues. Good nutrition, including eating iron-rich foods, help ensure blood levels return after each donation," says Sachais.

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With obesity on the rise, the best diet may be tailored to our genes, experts say – ABC News

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:51 am

With the COVID-19 pandemic drawing more attention to America's obesity problem, a growing body of research indicates that our genetics should be used to determine what we eat.

Decades of research shows that, at least for most people, the secret to staving off disease is getting plenty of exercise and eating diet high in vegetables and with a healthy mix of fats, protein and carbs. But now a budding field called "nutrigenomics" aims to offer people personalized lifestyle advice based on each person's DNA.

Though still a new area of scientific study, researchers hope food plans based on genetic makeups will be more effective than traditional one-size-fits-all recommendations.

"Given the greater concern for high blood pressure, high blood sugar and obesity, and their association with severe COVID-19, I foresee a great emphasis on personalized nutrition, with the use of data from genetic tests and monitoring blood glucose, to help people make positive choices and decrease their risk," said Brigid Titgemeier, a functional medicine dietitian and founder of

It's not the supplements or the food that we eat, it's what the food does to our body to make it heal itself.

Decades after the Human Genome Project mapped the genes of humans, scientists now are using this information to better understand how food can modify predispositions to disease and immune functions.

Nutrigenomics is described as a genetic approach to personalized nutrition, including not just diet but sleep patterns and one's overall lifestyle.

A doctor consults with a patient regarding diet nutrition in an undated stock image.

"It embraces this idea that despite all of us being 99.9% the same, there is that 0.1% that truly determines how you respond to the world around you," said Dr. Yael Joffe, founder and chief science officer of 3X4 Genetics.

"Following a diet that is restrictive or one seen on social media may result in some improvement, but they aren't sustainable and aren't data driven," said Dr. Marvin Singh, an integrative gastroenterologist and founder of Precisione Clinic. "Nutrigenomics provides an understanding of your predispositions and deficiencies. In terms of weight loss, it can provide data on particular gene mutations you have that might favor you acting or eating a certain way -- or even exercise patterns that may be more helpful."

Accessing one's genetic makeup can be done with saliva sampled from a cheek swab and sent to a lab. Using the data a subject gets back, Joffe said, can help inform that individual which foods can be eaten to turn on or off certain genes.

"We are all going to respond a bit differently when we eat a salad," said Kristin Kirkpatrick, a nutritionist and the president of KAK Nutrition consulting, "since there is no diet that is one-size-fits-all. We need to look at our DNA if we want to lose weight."

Diet and exercise is the first recommended treatment for the majority of the chronic diseases in the U.S. -- hypertension, obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol. But personalized nutrition based on genetics, research has shown, is more effective in reaching long-term weight-loss goals.

"Genetics is an extremely powerful behavioral tool to implement long-standing changes," Joffe added. "It's about you. It's your story. Not something you read on social media or the internet."

In his clinic, Singh finds that patients are more likely to stick to treatment plans tailored to their own genetics, so having access to that data helps him provide a framework for better treatments.

"A low-salt diet is recommended if someone has high blood pressure," Singh said, "but everyone's blood pressure may not respond to this. Using genetic information, I can see if a person's blood pressure would respond favorably to this dietary change and if there is something else that is driving their disease."

A doctor checks the weight of a patient in an undated stock image.

By changing variables such as sleep patterns, diet and exercise, it is ultimately difficult to measure the impact of a genetic test, explained Joffe.

Nutrigenomics is new and constantly evolving, and experts told ABC News there's much left to learn.

"More research needs to be done so we can have even more specific dietary guidance," Titgemeier said. "Right now, certain mutations in our genes can tell us to have a diet low in saturated fat, however, what we don't know is the percentage."

Health care consumers also need to be careful their genetic information doesn't end up in the wrong hands -- some companies have been found to collect and sell data to third parties. One of the best ways to avoid being scammed? Talk to your doctor.

"The best way to start is with your primary care [physician] and asking if they know someone who does nutrigenomics or if they can get some information on this," Kirkpatrick said.

Eventually, experts said, using food as medicine may help reduce the risk of other serious diseases such as Alzheimer's dementia or heart disease.

"It's not the supplements or the food that we eat, it's what the food does to our body to make it heal itself," Joffe said. "This area of gene expression is really the extraordinary power of where nutrition lies."

L. Nedda Dastmalchi, D.O., M.A., an internal medicine resident physician at The George Washington University, is a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

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Diet, Exercise Intervention Explored in Children With B-ALL – HealthDay News

Posted: April 9, 2021 at 1:51 am

THURSDAY, April 8, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- For children with B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), a diet and exercise intervention might improve disease response, according to a study published online April 1 in Blood Advances.

Etan Orgel, M.D., from the Cancer and Blood Disease Institute at the Children's Hospital Los Angeles, and colleagues enrolled 40 patients aged 10 to 21 years newly diagnosed with B-ALL in the Improving Diet and Exercise in ALL trial and compared them to recent historical controls (80 participants). The intervention was intended to achieve caloric deficits 20 percent during induction, reduce fat intake and glycemic load, and increase activity. Fat mass (FM) gain, minimal residual disease (MRD; 0.01 percent), and adherence/feasibility were assessed as trial end points.

The researchers found that the intervention did not significantly reduce median FM change from baseline overall (+5.1 versus +10.7 percent; P = 0.13), but in a stratified analysis, there was a benefit for overweight/obese participants (+1.5 versus +9.7 percent; P = 0.02). The intervention significantly reduced the risk for MRD after adjustment for prognostic factors (odds ratio, 0.30; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.09 to 0.92; P = 0.02). The adherence and feasibility thresholds were exceeded (75 percent of overall diet and 80 percent completed visits, respectively). Circulating adiponectin was increased, and insulin resistance decreased with the intervention.

"This is the first trial to test a diet-and-exercise intervention to improve treatment outcomes from a childhood cancer," Orgel said in a statement. "This is an exciting proof-of-concept, which may have great implications for other cancers as well."

One author disclosed financial ties to Servier Pharmaceuticals.

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