Vaccinations Plummet During Pandemic

By Scott LaFee

June 24, 2020 4 min read

Routine vaccinations for children plummeted earlier this year, say researchers. Compared with the first four months of 2019, there were 2.5 million fewer doses of childhood vaccines ordered for prevention of diseases like rubella, diphtheria and whooping cough, and 250,000 fewer vaccines ordered for highly infectious measles.

Pediatricians are urging families to maintain well-child appointments and stay on schedule with necessary vaccinations.

Disney Detox

A small study reports that cancer patients who watched Disney movies during rounds of chemotherapy reported fewer symptoms of fatigue and improved social functioning scores. The study involved 50 women undergoing treatment for a gynecologic cancer, half of whom were assigned to watch Disney movies.

Those who viewed classics like "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "Lady and the Tramp," "Frozen" and "Frozen II" reported feeling less tense and worried; experiencing reduced symptoms of frustration and helplessness; and experiencing fewer feelings of encroaching on their families' social lives.

However, the study did not examine the effect of other movie categories, so the therapeutical effects of Adam Sander's filmography remain unknown.

Body of Knowledge

The average man has about 30,000 whiskers on his face and will spend about 3,350 hours in his lifetime shaving them.

Get Me That, Stat!

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis estimates nearly 27 million people will lose health insurance as a result of being laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic, reports STAT.

The study found that while the majority will be eligible to get coverage through Medicaid, Medicare or state health care exchanges set up through the Affordable Care Act, nearly 6 million won't be eligible for coverage under the ACA and may have to pay the full cost of care. Eight states — including California, Massachusetts, Texas and Florida — will have at least a million residents who lose health insurance, and nearly 17 million people will become eligible for Medicaid by January next year, which could put a strain on state budgets.

Mania of the Week

Ecdemomania: abnormal compulsion for wandering.

Observation

"Neurotic means he is not as sensible as I am, and psychotic means he's even worse than my brother-in-law." — American psychiatrist Karl Menninger (1893-1990)

Medical History

This week in 1999, the first demonstration of brain signals from live rats directly controlling a robot arm were described in the journal Nature Neuroscience. Researchers from MCP Hahnemann and Duke University taught laboratory rats to operate a water-dispensing robot by thought alone. Their aim is to restore movement to patients who are paralyzed or have had limbs amputated. At first, the robot was controlled by the rat pressing a lever while researchers identified the corresponding brain activity. Then the robot was linked to a computer interpreting the rats' brain signals. The rats gained water merely by thinking about pawing the lever.

Medical Myths

Egg yolks aren't bad for you, unless you are allergic to them. The yolk is loaded with high-density lipoprotein (the good cholesterol), which helps counteract the bad stuff. (Cholesterol itself isn't bad. It's a major component of all cell membranes and is used to make molecules like hormones.) It's really more a question of balancing levels of high- and low-density cholesterol and triglycerides, another type of blood lipid or fat.

Epitaphs

"I am a busy man. I don't have time for this." — Wayne Everett Strickland (1927-2005)

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: whitesession at Pixabay

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