Which Test When

People are flocking to testing sites to find out if they have COVID. That is a good thing and it means that a good number of people are taking responsibility for their safety and the safety of others. But when it comes to testing, there are options and it can be difficult to decide when to get tested and which test is best under certain circumstances.

The state of Vermont made over 300,000 rapid diagnostic testing (RDT’s) kits available a few days ago and they were grabbed up within a short period of time. Before people use them it would be a good idea to do some research and find out how to use the kits and when to use them. I will be getting some and I hope the instructions in the kits are useful.

The Nursing Shortage Needs New Solutions

News reports during our times with COVID point to a worsening of a nursing shortage. Clearly, the epidemic has made the shortage worse because of a host of problems, not the least of which is burnout. But the nursing shortage has been with us, and the rest of the world, for a very long time and there are no signs of it letting up anytime soon.

When I was in nursing school in the late 1970’s we were told there would always be a job for us and that the demand for nurses was greater than it had ever been. Things have not changed much in all these years and politicians, nursing leaders and policymakers have been pointing to the problem for just as long. The situation never seems to get any better.

Brattleboro Dog and Wolf Hybrid Licenses Available

Brattleboro dog and wolf-hybrid licenses are available for the 2022 licensing period.  Vermont dogs and wolf-hybrids 6 months of age and older must be licensed on or before April 1. 

Renewal licenses may be obtained in person at the Town Clerk’s office, by using the drop box in the Municipal Center parking lot, through the mail or online at www.brattleboro.org.   Dogs being licensed in Brattleboro for the first time may be licensed in person, by using the drop box,  or through the mail by printing the license form from the website listed above. 

I Want A Snow Day

Remember way back when we used to have snow? Wasn’t that a fun time?

I’d really appreciate a good, old-fashioned snow day sometime soon. One of those days when we get a foot or more of (not heavy and wet) snow and everything has to close down. Everyone gets a day off, schools close, and  we hear the sound of plowing, shoveling and snow blowing.

Postponed : Lecture on Critical Race Theory (CRT)

We’re having a problem.

The CRT lecture by Etan Nasreddin-Longo must be postponed (date TBA).  Professor Nasreddin is well.  Unfortunately, one BCS staff member is sick with COVID, and other residents at BCS headquarters are sick and in isolation.   Although we would be glad to see everyone, we have plenty of help from the community.  Please do not drop in unannounced. 

Masking Smartly Makes A Difference

Are people who are getting infected and re-infected with COVID using masks? Are they using masks correctly? When we hear about numbers of cases or individual cases there does not seem to be any reporting about mask use. This got me to wondering if people who use masks are using them to maximum benefit.

I have read a number of peer-reviewed medical journal articles and I also looked at data from the CDC and the EPA(Environmental Protection Agency) to determine the most effective masks and how they should be used.

Harris Hill Lights, Fireworks, Night Jumping Planned

On Friday, February 18, an evening of FREE festivities will be held to kick off the weekend and honor the fans as Harris Hill Ski Jump and The Brattleboro Outing Club celebrate their 100th anniversaries. The evening, which will run from 6-8 pm under the new lights, will include ski jumping competition, local food and beverages and a fireworks display. The Harris Hill Ski Jump and Brattleboro Outing Club were founded by Fred Harris in 1922.

We Need A New Definition Of Parenthood

Over the past 50 or more years we have heard just about every possible argument for and against abortion. In 1973 the issue seemed to be settled from a legal perspective when the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade, making abortion a constitutional right.

But the debate never ended and the anti-abortion forces have been patiently packing the courts with sympathetic judges with the hope of once again making abortion a criminal act. In 2021 we are now on the verge of having a country where abortion will no longer be a constitutional right. The Supreme Court could go further and turn pregnant women who have abortions into criminals.

When it comes to abortion and the law I have a simplistic view. The courts should not be telling a woman what she can and can’t do with her body. There are many other issues to consider and I will not rehash them.

COVID’S Bigger Lessons

It is two years since the emergence of the first versions of the COVID virus. The world was slow to figure out what was going on and even slower to figure out ways to deal with this new deadly disease. Despite all of the technology and science that we have developed over the years, COVID continues to make fools of the humans who are trying to beat it.

On the surface it may seem that the best way to contain COVID and to make it less of a threat to humans is to develop effective vaccines and get those vaccines to as many people as possible. It sounds like a simple plan and it makes sense from a scientific perspective.

False Hope and Deadly Consequences

Just when it seemed that the validity of science was gaining credibility among the masses the story of Aducanumab (Aduhelm) shows that profit still rules. Aducanumab is a drug that claims to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in June despite the fact that an advisory committee of experts outside of the FDA, as well as many Alzheimer’s specialists, said that that it was not clear if the drug provided benefit to patients. They noted that the drug presented a high level of risk because of serious side effects.