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Ash Wednesday 2021 will look different for Christians compared to other years. Here’s how – The State Journal-Register

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

Steven Spearie|State Journal-Register

What's old is new again because ofthe COVID-19 pandemic.

Most Christians marking Ash Wednesday thisweek won't get the familiar cross of ashes traced on their foreheads.

Rather, local Roman Catholics and Episcopalians will have ashes sprinkled onthe crowns of their heads, a practice from the Middle Ages still done in some European countries, said Andrew Hansen, a spokesman for the Springfield Catholic Diocese.

That directive, Hansen said, comes from the Vatican. It also avoids any skin-to-skin contact, he said, where a priest or deacon would mark a person's forehead with his thumb dipped in ashes.

Bishop Daniel Martins of the Springfield Episcopal Diocese said he is leaving the question to local pastors, though he is urging either the sprinkling of ashes on heads or applying ashes with a cotton swab as "alternatives to consider."

Related: Rev. Samuel W. Hale Jr.: The real church is not a building.

Lutherans and Methodists have come to the dispensing of ashes as a rite more recently.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, leading to Holy Week and Easter Sunday.

Another familiar touch of the ritual is being done away with this year, Hansen said.

Usually, the priest or deacon applying the ashes says to each person "Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return," harkening back to the Book of Genesis verse and a reminder of man's mortality, Hansen said.

This year, the priest will only say it once from the pulpit before people receive ashes, Hansen added.

Using ashes as a sign of repentance is an ancient practice, mentioned several times in the Old Testament. Early Christians adopted the use of ashes from Jewish practice as an external mark of penitence.

Ash Wednesday as a ritual dates from about the eighth century, most sources indicate.

The Lenten journey, Hansen said, is a reminder to Christians "to take a step back from the world, to think about fasting, to think about sacrificing, to think about increasing your prayer life and ultimately growing in your relationship with God."

While Ash Wednesday isn't a holy day of obligation for Catholics, it is a day of abstinence and fasting.

Everyone 14 years of age and over is bound to abstain from meat on Wednesday. Everyone 18 years of age and under 59 is required to fast, meaning only one full, meatless meal is permitted.

Two other meatless meals, which, put together, can't equal a full meal, can be consumed but snacking between meals is not permitted. Liquids, including milk and fruit juices, are allowed, according tohttps://www.dio.org/lent.

There are exceptions to the rules considering a person's health, Hansen added.

Ash Wednesday is a tradition, Martins said, that Episcopalians "are quite attached to."

"Of the non-Sunday regular occasions for worship that are not Christmas, Ash Wednesday usually sees the highest attendance," Martins said.

Catholics in the Springfield diocese are still under a dispensation from the obligation of attending weekly mass because of the coronavirus.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has discussed lifting the dispensation, issued March 14, Hansen said, as several other dioceses have done recently.

Hansen said because the diocese, which covers 28 counties, has pockets of urban areas along with rural areas, "we're trying to find that balance between looking at the numbers and how we can do it safely and responsibly.

"That, right now, is something we're always mindful of and so when we are making these decisions, that's near the top of the list."

Related: Continue masking and distancing after you get vaccinated.

Dispensation or not, Hansen said he hopes Catholics find their way back to the pews.

"Especially now during Lent, to get your mind, body and soul prepared for Jesus' passion, death and resurrection, what better way (is there) than coming back to mass?" he said.

Contact StevenSpearie: 622-1788, sspearie@sj-r.com, twitter.com/@StevenSpearie.

Ash Wednesday occurs the day after Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday,the last day of carnival.

Ashesused in theceremonyare made by burning the remains of the palms blessed on Palm Sundayof the previous year.

The 40 days of Lent Sundays aren't counted is reflective of the New Testament account of Jesus' fasting for 40 days in the desert before beginning his public ministry.

Ash Wednesday is 46 days before Easter and the date for Easter has been determined by a lunar calendar since the First Council of Nicea in 325. Easter is celebrated the Sunday following the first full moon after March 21, the start of spring.

Sources: Catholic Encyclopedia, BeliefNet, SJ-R research

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 524 E. Lawrence, Springfield

Our Saviour Catholic Church, 453 E. State St., Jacksonville

Christ Episcopal Church, 611 E. Jackson St., Springfield

St. Alexius Catholic Church,215 W. Fifth St, Beardstown

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Ash Wednesday 2021 will look different for Christians compared to other years. Here's how - The State Journal-Register

The Hungry Swimmer: Creative Ways To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth 3.0 – SwimSwam

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

The holidays are far behind us and Valentines season is in full swing- chocolate everywhere! While I preach balance and moderation, sometimes its fun to recreate your favorite sweets with a healthy twist. These recipes stemmed from extreme boredom in quarantine and I am so excited to share my creations with you!

Check out these creative ways to satisfy your sweet tooth below.

Blueberry Muffin Greek Yogurt Cups

Ingredients

(makes 4 cups)

These cups mimic an ice cream bar. Theyre cold, creamy and super satisfying. And the best part is that there is no baking required!

First, divide the Overnight Oats bar into 4 & pack into a lined muffin tin. Drizzle a generous amount of almond butter over the crust & place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set. In a small bowl, mix about 1 cup of Greek Yogurt with 1/3 cup frozen blueberries until the mixture turns blue. Spoon the blueberry yogurt mixture on top of the set almond butter. Freeze overnight and enjoy

Chocolate Almond Protein Fudge Bites

Ingredients

(makes 10 bites)

If youre in a house with nosy siblings, friends or even parents, youll definitely want to hide these bad boys! These protein bites are a healthier version of chocolate truffles. Gooey, rich and covered in rainbow sprinkles, its safe to say that this recipe is a crowd pleaser!

First, combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Roll into balls with your hands and fill a smaller bowl with some cacao powder and another small bowl with rainbow sprinkles. Gently roll the balls in the cacao then the sprinkles. Place cacao dusted and sprinkle covered balls onto a parchment lined sheet or large plate. Set in the freezer for 30 minutes and enjoy!

Vanilla Matcha Cereal Bars

Ingredients

These cereal bars arent your grandmothers Rice Krispie treats. Yes, theyre gooey, crunchy and delicious, but they pack a punch of protein filled goodness! If you want to make a more nutritious cereal bar, I recommend choosing a cereal with more protein and less sugar as a base. The Kays Naturals cereal I chose has 12 grams of protein per cup and is made with stevia. This recipe is also no-bake, so thats also a plus!

First, line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper. Combine almond butter and honey in a medium sized pot and heat over medium-low for a few minutes. Remove mixture from heat and stir in dry Kays Naturals French Vanilla Protein cereal. Carefully pack cereal mixture into baking dish and drizzle with Matcha almond butter. Let this set in the freezer for 1 hour, then carefully cut into 9 squares. Enjoy!

Check out my page for more recipe inspiration and be sure to share your sweet eats with me @whatzoeeeats.

About Zoe Gregorace

Zoe Gregorace is currently studying Nutrition Policy at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and recently graduated from Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was a proud member of the Tufts Swimming and Diving team (Go Jumbos!). During her 16 year career as a competitive swimmer, she developed a passion for sports nutrition. She enjoys writing on the topic of nutrition, health and wellness and posts her meal creations on her Instagram page@whatzoeeeats. As a former college swimmer, she strives to share recipes and nutrition tips to promote balanced eating and optimize sports performance.

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The Hungry Swimmer: Creative Ways To Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth 3.0 - SwimSwam

Catalina Island Reopens to Visitors, With Safe Measures – NBC Southern California

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

What to Know

THAT STORIED AND SUBLIME ISLE, the one that's located 22 miles across the sea from mainland Southern California? It's a bison-beautiful, shoreline-sublime land that's long been known for welcoming leisure travelers with warmth, charm, and outdoorsy pleasures aplenty. Leisure travel came to a halt for several months during the pandemic, but ardent fans of Catalina Island remained well-connected to one of their favorite places. After all, the island did send a moving, you-are-missed love letter to mainlanders in June, and shared its cool Frida Kahlo show, the one with the outdoor projections, later in the summer. And the incredibly rare chance to spend the night in the world-famous Casino building? That came up in October. Catalina has still been itself, in short, and awaiting those eager to return.

THAT CAN NOW HAPPEN, as leisure travel has reopened to the island. There are a few things to know, starting with your trip across that much-sung-about "sea" (indeed, it's the Pacific Ocean we speak of). The Catalina Express is making daily trips between Long Beach and Avalon, but due to reduced capacity, booking your ticket in advance is a must. Face coverings, physical distancing, and other safety guidelines are being observed at all island businesses, too, so be sure to arrive with your mask. And dining? It's outdoors, with a briny twist in some spots: Tables have moved to the beach, with plenty of space for each set-up, at some places.

TO FIND OUT MORE... about hotel specials, the alfresco dining at Catalina's restaurants, and how you should plan for your ferry ride to the island and back, visit Visit Catalina Island now.

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Catalina Island Reopens to Visitors, With Safe Measures - NBC Southern California

South Africa: COVID-19 pushes inequality in schools to crippling new level, risks a lost generation of learners – Amnesty International

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged South Africas schools further into crisis, exposing how the countrys education system continues to be shaped by the legacy of apartheid, Amnesty International said today.

A childs experience of education in South Africa is still dependent on where they are born, how wealthy they are, and the colour of their skin

In a new report, Failing to learn lessons: The impact of COVID-19 on a broken and unequal education system, the organization highlights how students from poorer communities have been cut off from education during extended school closures, in a country where just 10 percent of households have an internet connection. Meanwhile historic underinvestment and the governments failure to address existing inequalities has resulted in many schools not having running water or proper toilets whilst struggling with overcrowded classrooms, meaning they cannot provide a safe learning environment amid the pandemic.

A childs experience of education in South Africa is still dependent on where they are born, how wealthy they are, and the colour of their skin. The COVID-19 pandemic has made a broken and unequal system even worse, putting students from poorer communities at a huge disadvantage. Remote learning is not an option for the vast majority, said Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa.

South Africas schooling system is so under-equipped that the pandemic has all but ended education for many students, especially those from already disadvantaged communities. Unless urgent access is taken, the future livelihoods of an entire generation will be at risk.

Disturbing picture

Amnesty Internationals report is based on extensive desk research, including analysis of statistical data and institutional studies and surveys, between March 2020 and February 2021.

The education system in South Africa continues to be shaped by the legacy of apartheid. Previous research by Amnesty International showed how many communities continue to live with the consequences of political and economic decisions made during the apartheid era where people were segregated according to their skin colour, with schools serving white communities much better resourced.

When schools first closed in March, for almost three months, the widespread lack of internet access needed for remote study was laid bare. Nationally, only 22% of households have a computer and 10% an internet connection. In North West and Limpopo provinces, only 3.6% and 1.6% respectively have access to the internet at home. By contrast, students from wealthier communities with computer access have been able to continue their education particularly through remote learning provided by better resourced schools.

Further school shutdowns came in July 2020 and January 2021. The closures not only interrupted learning, but also severely affected access to food for around nine million students who depend on school meals for their daily nutrition. The situation became so bad that NGOs were forced to go to court to compel the government to resume the National School Nutrition Programme.

Hazardous and unhygienic

When schools have been open, hazardous and unhygienic conditions have prevented them from meeting basic COVID-safe requirements. Thousands of schools in South Africa have no running water more than half of schools in some regions. Social distancing is also impossible in many schools. One study by Stellenbosch University found that at least half of South African learners would not be able to comply with distancing rules due to overcrowded classrooms.

The government has failed to ensure that schools in poorer communities have the additional resources they need to provide a secure learning environment. As a result, many have had to shut down repeatedly due to high COIVD-19 infection rates.

The toll on staff needs also to be recognised. By the beginning of 2021 it was estimated that up to 1,700 teachers have lost their lives to COVID-19, more than 300 alone during the recent school holidays.

Drastic budget cuts are not the solution

Despite the clear evidence that school infrastructure and equipment can play a key role in ensuring safer learning environments, in June the government announced that it was planning to divert over R2 billion (US$ 0.13 billion) from the provincial education infrastructure grant. The recent medium-term budget statement revealed that, adjusted for inflation, the education budget will be reduced over the next three years with a cut of over 4% for this financial year.

Amnesty International is calling on the South African authorities to reverse that decision, and commit sufficient funds to address longstanding and ongoing infrastructure failings. These have not just been documented by Amnesty and other organisations but are also confirmed by the governments own statistics. In March 2020, just before COVID-19 struck, it was reported that only 266 out of 3,988 schools that needed it had benefitted from the Presidents own 2018 Sanitation Appropriate for Education (SAFE) campaign to address inadequate sanitation. 56% of South African head teachers reported in a survey conducted by the OECD in 2018 that a shortage of physical infrastructure is hindering their school's capacity to provide quality instruction. Many of the deficiencies are in breach of the governments own Minimum Norms and Standards for educational facilities.

Amnesty International acknowledges that guaranteeing access to education during a pandemic is not easy. It also acknowledges that the government has both put various procedures in place and taken action to seek to ensure both some limited access to remote learning during lockdown and to protect the safety of learners and teachers when schools have reopened.

However, the government needs to do more from exploring further innovative ways to provide access to education for as many students as possible where schools are partially or totally closed due to the pandemic, to ensuring that all schools have sufficient supplies of personal protective equipment such as masks and hand sanitizer, as well as clean water facilities. Above all it must commit sufficient resources to address the infrastructure crisis in schools which is continuing to undermine the goal of safe learning spaces for all young people.

In certain key areas, the government has failed to meet its obligation to provide equal and accessible education to ALL learners.

The Constitutional and international human right to quality education includes access to safe, clean and adequate school facilities

The Constitutional and international human right to quality education includes access to safe, clean and adequate school facilities, said Shenilla Mohammed.

However, this right is clearly being denied to too many learners across the country. Schooling in South Africa has operated on a two-tier system for far too long. Now is the time to take concrete action to ensure that every child in South Africa has equal access to education, during and after the pandemic.

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South Africa: COVID-19 pushes inequality in schools to crippling new level, risks a lost generation of learners - Amnesty International

Over 50 Dogs Have Been Rescued from a Property in Marengo – khak.com

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

57 dogs are safe and warm now thanks to some great local animal rescues!

Last week during our 'Furry Friday' segment, our friends over at Safe Haven of Iowa County informed us of a large animal rescue that they had been assisting with for the past few weeks. According to their latest Facebook update:

"Safe Haven has been closely involved in the rescue of 57 dogs from a local Marengo property for the past month. These dogs had been living in extremely unsanitary, crowded conditions and exposed to the elements for years, before the owner contacted us for help."

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa was able to save 25 pups during the blizzard on February 4th, and Safe Haven worked to collect the other 32 over the course of the pastseveral weeks. Those two organizationscouldn't take in all those dogs themselves, though. They were able to transfer some of them to other animal rescues like the Dubuque Regional Humane Society, Fur Fun Rescue, theIowa City Animal Care & Adoption Center, thePAW Fort Madison Animal Shelter,PAWS & More Animal Shelter,Adopt A Pal Animal Rescue,Animal Welfare Friends,New Beginnings Pet Rescue of Quad Cities,and Paws-N-Claws Iowa.

Safe Haven has been closely involved in the rescue of 57 dogs from a local Marengo property for the past month. These...

Posted by Safe Haven of Iowa County onMonday, February 15, 2021

Fortunately, all the dogs are now SAFE! The post says that they were able to catch the final dog this weekend, but the recovery process is just beginning. The dogs desperately need medical attention, proper nutrition, and socialization before they can find their fur-ever homes.

The Animal Rescue League of Iowa has been posting updates about the rescue on their website and social media accounts, encouraging animal-lovers to donate money towards the pups' medical care. You can get more information about that HERE.

You can also donate to our friends at Safe Haven of Iowa County by clicking HERE.

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Over 50 Dogs Have Been Rescued from a Property in Marengo - khak.com

HerpaGreens Reviews Effective Antioxidant Supplement for Herpes? Safe Ingredients? – SF Weekly

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

Cody Morgans HerpaGreens Reviews Is it an Really An Advanced Super Antioxidants Blend? Truth Revealed! List of the ingredients. Any Side Effects?

Official Website: Click Here

HerpaGreens is an all-natural dietary supplement that is formulated to treat Herpes from its roots.

HerpaGreens is a clinically proven, science-backed formula that flushes out every trace of the herpes virus so you never have to deal with any other breakouts anymore.

HerpaGreens formula is made using 57 greens and nutrients that are extremely important to boost your natural immunity levels so your body can find a way to defend the herpes virus on its own.

The herbs and greens used in this HerpaGreens supplement are 100% natural, pure, potent and effective.

HerpaGreens supplement has no adverse effects on your health, it is completely safe for consumption.

HerpaGreens formula is four times more powerful than any other medicine or herbs in the market because the way these ingredients are combined is amazing.

The ratio of mixing these ingredients has given a new boost to the cure for herpes. Now you too can treat the Herpes virus from its roots!

HerpaGreens works in two phases: Search Phase and Destroy Phase.

Unlike other Herpes medicines and topical ointments, HerpaGreens ensures that the herpes virus stops multiplying the moment you start taking the supplement.

If the virus keeps on multiplying then it becomes almost impossible for your body to prevent it. So it stops Herpes virus reproduction first.

Then it begins the Search Phase where the ingredients begin the detoxification process.

They cleanse your blood, organs, cells, tissues and microparticles that float in your body. In the process, all the toxins are removed so your immunity fighter bacteria can finally spot the herpes virus.

Then, the ingredients strengthen your bodys natural defence mechanism so whenever it sees the virus, it can kill it.

Once the immunity is strengthened and the virus is out of hiding, the war or battle begins.

Your immunity is likely to win because of the super ingredients in this HerpaGreens supplement. Eventually, every single trace of the herpes virus will be wiped out and you will be free.

Additionally, the supplement also takes care of the outbreaks and the symptoms.

However, its aim is to kill the virus directly so there are no symptoms or outbreaks to fear.

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As mentioned above, HerpaGreens is made with 57 natural ingredients only. Here is the list of its ingredients:

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HerpaGreens is not made into a capsule because that would require adding some additives. They just didnt want to compromise with the product.

So they have made it in the form of powder. You just need to add one scoop of HerpaGreens superfood in a glass of water, your smoothie or shake every morning.

Youll be energetic and free from Herpes every day. Although the formula is 100% safe, you should consult your doctor before taking it if youre pregnant, under 18, or have other chronic medical conditions.

When you consume HerpaGreens, you wouldnt have to worry about the embarrassment or shame of outbreaks anymore.

You will simply be free. You can consume HerpaGreens for as long as you want as it is a completely natural and safe formula.

HerpaGreens has the following health benefits:

The benefits improve with time. So it is advised for you to take this supplement for at least three to six months for best results.

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HerpaGreens is usually available at $99 per bottle, but the manufacturers have offered a good deal on the official website only. You can choose from these offers:

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Also, youre backed up by a 60-day 100% money-back guarantee.

If this HerpaGreens supplement doesnt show you any improvements or doesnt treat your Herpes, you can ask for a complete refund within 60 days of purchasing this supplement.

You get your refund and get to keep the bonuses and products too!

Theres nothing like living a life free from any risks and health dangers. You can enjoy it to the core and have an amazing sex life, marriage and have kids too.

You will never have to fear that you may transmit this virus to your loved one. Youre free and you should know that.

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HerpaGreens Reviews Effective Antioxidant Supplement for Herpes? Safe Ingredients? - SF Weekly

How to Have a Safe Valentine’s Day, According to the CDC Pasadena Weekendr – Pasadena Now

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

With Valentines Day just on Sunday, some couples may feel conflicted with their plans for the special day, especially since the pandemic is still an issue across the country.

To help ease some of this confusion, the CDC has released a list of holiday tips so you and your loved one can spend the day together in a safe manner.

First and foremost, the CDC said the safest way to celebrate Valentines Day is gathering virtually or with people who live with you. Staying home and making Valentines cards together is one way for families to do this. You can then have someone in the household drop off the cards to your loved ones, if theyre close by, mail them if your loved ones are far away, or send them online yourself.

The other tips on the list include taking a walk with your Valentine, celebrating with your special someone virtually, preparing a special meal or dessert, or planning a special movie or game night.

Its alright to have a picnic outside, the CDC said, but just make sure you have your masks on most of the time, and that youre socially distanced from others who may be enjoying a picnic themselves in the same area.

Remember that if you plan to celebrate with people who dont live with you, outdoors is safer than indoors, according to the CDC.

Indoors, you should avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces. These places dont usually offer fresh air from the outdoors. If indoors, you can bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible. Using a window fan in one of the open windows to blow air out is recommended. This will also pull fresh air in through the other open windows.

If you really must host a Valentines event where youre expecting guests, the CDC lists some of the things you should bear in mind: if youre sick or you have been near someone who thinks they may have or have been exposed to COVID-19, cancel the gathering.

During the event, if it does push through, provide single-use options such as salad dressing and condiment packets, and disposable plates, cups and utensils. Limit the number of guests to your event, and prepare extra unused masks for your guests. Even before you start, remind everyone to wear their masks inside and outside.

Remember also to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items between use. You may have to have your cleaning gloves ready at all times, because the CDC recommends cleaning dirty surfaces with soap and water first, then using disinfectant. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a list of disinfectants that are recommended for coronavirus. You can check out the list here.

Because youre celebrating, there will be food and drinks in the house or in your yard, so make sure your cleaning tools and your disinfectant do not mix with the food.

In any case, hosting a virtual gathering with friends and family is always the better option. You can also walk or drive or around your community to wave to neighbors and greet them from a safe distance. If youre taking food, your Valentines cards, or gifts to family, friends, and neighbors, do it in a way that doesnt involve contact, such as leaving them at the door.

Theyll understand that these are unusual times, and that its better to be safe than sorry.

For more of the CDCs tips for celebrating, visit http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/winter.html.

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How to Have a Safe Valentine's Day, According to the CDC Pasadena Weekendr - Pasadena Now

What to do if you’re in the middle of a power outage – CNN

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:50 pm

Millions of customers across the US have lost power, with much of those outages occurring in Texas. Power outages can be dangerous for those unprepared for such intense winter chill.

If you're among the Texans whose power has gone out or will go out at some point this week, here's what you need to know to stay warm and safe this week.

Take stock of the essentials

If you need to make a trip outside, keep it as brief as you can, and layer up, the CDC says. Check with your local emergency authorities to make sure it's safe to drive or travel in the cold.

Stay warm

The CDC recommends warming up with extra blankets, sleeping bags and winter coats.

It's not safe, though, to keep blankets and other flammable materials near alternate sources of warmth like a portable space heater. Keep the heaters in an area clear of flammable fabrics.

If you're using a fireplace, first make sure it's properly vented to the outside and won't leak gas into your home. You should keep it stocked with dry firewood -- not paper, the CDC says -- throughout the power outage.

To keep in heat, close blinds and curtains and shut doors to rooms to avoid "wasting heat," the National Weather Service recommends. Stuffing towels in the cracks under doors can keep some of the chill out of your home, and eating and drinking throughout the power outage will help keep your body warm.

Keep your food & water supply safe

Fill coolers with ice, if necessary, to keep food from spoiling.

Be careful of carbon monoxide

Generators can release poisonous carbon monoxide if you use them inside your home. If you're using one this week, keep it outside, about 20 feet away from your home, the CDC advises.

If it's safe, go somewhere warm

If it's safe for you to travel to a shelter, be sure to wear a mask or layer two masks and bring extras in case your stay is extended. These locations should be well-ventilated, though social distancing is still advised, according to Ready.gov.

Know the signs of hypothermia

If you fear someone in your household has hypothermia, call for medical help. If they can't immediately arrive, try to warm them up yourself with blankets, food and water and an alternate heat source.

Conserve power if you still have it

Start by turning off and unplugging nonessential lights and appliances, and don't use large appliances like ovens or washing machines if you can avoid it, the Houston Office of Emergency Management suggests.

Turn down your thermostat to 68 degrees or lower -- if too many people crank up the heat, the demand could trigger another blackout.

During the day, if it's sunny, open your blinds so the sun can heat your home, but close them at night to prevent losing heat.

Check on your loved ones

When safe to do so, check in with the people around you to make sure they're OK.

Those who have medical equipment that require power, like respirators, should be taken to locations with generators or a friend's or neighbor's home that hasn't been impacted.

Keep your pets warm

If you're walking your dog (though outdoor activity should be brief), consider wrapping them up in a sweater or coat -- pets can get hypothermia, too.

Look on your pet's paws for rock salt or other chemicals used to melt ice. Those chemicals can irritate your pet's feet, so wipe them down with a warm, damp towel upon returning home.

CNN's Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

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What to do if you're in the middle of a power outage - CNN

Have you heard of male menopause? Andropause explained by an expert – IOL

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:49 pm

By IANS 9h ago

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Some people use the term "male menopause" to refer to hormonal changes that men experience as they get older.

Men experience symptoms resulting from a decrease in the male hormone called as "testosterone". This condition is referred to as andropause or in other words it is called as male menopause.

It affects up to 30 percent of men in their 50s and becomes more prevalent with age, says Dr Chandrika Kulkarni, Consultant Obstetrician Gynaecologist and fertility specialist.

"Unlike menopause in women, when hormone production stops completely, testosterone decline in men is a slower process. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone.

However, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as age 45 to 50 and more dramatically after the age of 70 in some men," the doctor tells IANSlife.

Male menopause differs from female menopause in several ways. Not all men experience andropause and also it doesn't involve a complete shutdown of the reproductive organs.

Sexual complications may arise as a result of lowered hormone levels. Male menopause can cause physical, sexual, and psychological problems. The symptoms typically worsen as one gets older, she warns.

Watch out for the symptoms

The doctor points out: "The symptom most associated with hypogonadism (low level of hormones) is low libido. Other manifestations of hypogonadism include: erectile dysfunction, decreased muscle mass and strength, increased body fat, decreased bone mineral density and osteoporosis, and decreased vitality and depressed mood. Osteoporosis is twice more common in hypogonadal (low level of hormones) men as compared to eugonadal (normal level of hormones) men (6 vs 2.8 percent)."

How is Andropause diagnosed and what is its treatment? Dr Kulkarni answers:

It is recommended to test older men for low testosterone levels only if they have signs or symptoms. If an initial test shows low testosterone, the test should be repeated to confirm the results.

The initial treatment for symptoms of male menopause is making healthier lifestyle choices.

These lifestyle habits can benefit all men. After adopting these habits, men who are experiencing symptoms of male menopause may see a dramatic change in their overall health. It's normal to experience a decline in testosterone levels as one gets older.

For many men, the symptoms are manageable even without treatment. If the symptoms are cause hardship, consultation with the specialist is advised. They can provide recommendations to help manage or treat symptoms.

Hormone replacement therapy is another treatment option. However, testosterone replacement therapy has its own potential risks and side effects.

Replacing testosterone may worsen prostate cancer and increase the risk of heart disease.

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Have you heard of male menopause? Andropause explained by an expert - IOL

Like Women, Men Hit Menopause Too – All You Need to Know – India.com

Posted: February 15, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Mood swings, irritability, and lack of energy are not just the signs of menopause in females but males too. Yes, they also go through this phase. Male menopause is commonly known as andropause. It occurs due to changes in the level of the male hormone called testosterone. Its level drops with age. Testosterone is produced in a mans testes and does more than just fueling his sexual drive. This hormone keeps men mentally and physically energetic. It also maintains their muscle mass and helps during a fight-or-flight situation. Also Read - Early Menopause May Cause Type 2 Diabetes

Male menopause is different than female menopause in many ways. Firstly, not all men experience this phase in life. Secondly, their reproductive organs do not shut down completely after hitting menopause, unlike women. In an interview with IANSlife, Dr. Chandrika Kulkarni, Consultant Obstetrician Gynecologist and fertility specialist; Cloudnine Group of Hospitals said, Unlike menopause in women, when hormone production stops completely, testosterone decline in men is a slower process. The testes, unlike the ovaries, do not run out of the substance it needs to make testosterone. However, subtle changes in the function of the testes may occur as early as age 45 to 50 and more dramatically after the age of 70 in some men. Also Read - Early Menstruation Linked to Increased Menopause Symptoms

Male menopause is characterized by signs including decreased motivation, difficulty concentrating, low energy, increased body fat, erectile dysfunction, infertility, reduced libido, reduced muscle mass etc. Also Read - Did You Know Males Hit Menopause Too? Know Everything About This Condition

It is recommended to test older men for low testosterone levels only if they have signs or symptoms. If an initial test shows low testosterone, the test should be repeated to confirm the results. The initial treatment for symptoms of male menopause is making healthier lifestyle choices like following a healthy diet, doing exercise regularly, taking adequate sleep, reducing stress level etc.

These lifestyle habits can benefit all men. After adopting these habits, men who are experiencing symptoms of male menopause may see a dramatic change in their overall health. Its normal to experience a decline in testosterone levels as one gets older. For many men, the symptoms are manageable even without treatment. If the symptoms are cause hardship, consultation with the specialist is advised. They can provide recommendations to help manage or treat symptoms.

Hormone replacement therapy is another treatment option. However, testosterone replacement therapy has its own potential risks and side effects. Replacing testosterone may worsen prostate cancer and increase the risk of heart disease.

With Inputs From IANS

Read the rest here:
Like Women, Men Hit Menopause Too - All You Need to Know - India.com


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