Today’s Read: 3.5 minutes
From hand sanitizer to social media, it’s the mundane that sometimes grab (and need) our attention. Today, these are the things we’re focused on.
The sound of social media
A new wave of apps are making conversation the way people connect again. Last year, Twitter launched 140-second voice tweets. Or maybe you have heard of Clubhouse, the invite-only, audio-focused network that has gotten some buzz, or Cappuccino, which is an app that takes voice recordings from a group of acquaintances and delivers them as an audio file.
Immediacy and intimacy during the age of social distancing are driving the growth of these voice-based networks. But these audio-only platforms are not immune from many of the same issues seen elsewhere on the internet—namely, moderation is even more of a challenge. Racism and harassment have already been reported on Clubhouse; while Discord may have been used by far-right extremists to organize the recent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
As with any social network, participant beware.
Time to contact your legislators
With a new Congress and Senate underway, legislation that wasn’t heard in the past could be left to die. One such act could be The Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, which was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in the Senate in July 2020.
The bill addresses behavioral health and well-being among health care professionals by establishing grants for:
- training health profession students, residents, or health care professionals in evidence-informed strategies to reduce and prevent suicide, burnout, mental health conditions, and substance use disorders.
- improving health care professionals’ well-being and job satisfaction by identifying and disseminating best practices for reducing and preventing suicide and burnout among health care professionals, training health care professionals in appropriate strategies, and promoting their mental and behavioral health.
- employee education, peer-support programming, and mental and behavioral health treatment; health care providers in current or former COVID-19 hotspots will be prioritized.
It would also establish a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals to encourage them to seek support and treatment for mental and behavioral health concerns.
If you believe this should be a priority, contact your local representatives today.
Hand sanitizer warning
Apparently, the new danger to our health is hand sanitizers. Beyond the uptick in children experiencing eye trauma after rubbing their eyes after applying it to their little hands, we now need to pay attention to where our small bottle of virus protection is made.
The FDA has issued an alert about hand sanitizers from Mexico that contain a toxic form of alcohol. Specifically, the products are labeled to contain ethanol but may actually have methanol as an ingredient. Methanol, or wood alcohol, can be toxic when absorbed through the skin.
Methanol-contaminated hand sanitizers have been implicated in blindness, cardiac effects, effects on the central nervous system, hospitalizations, and death. Exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system, or death.
ONE BIG NUMBER
The percentage of adults who take a prescription and have trouble affording it, according to data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Here are five ways to help them save on their medications.
This gymnast is having a ton of fun.