Harm Reduction

Remember vaping? Remember, before COVID-19 took all the oxygen out of the room when vaping was a big fear. A new study shows what we have claimed all along is true; vaping reduces inflammatory biomarkers associated with smoking tobacco.
A new study finds that people who love terrifying movies are more resilient and less concerned about the current pandemic. It is time to get out the popcorn and see what is on the big screen.
Our elderly population living in nursing homes has been a target of COVID-19 and now early vaccination. Was COVID-19 preying upon the weak and frail -- where some co-morbidities more likely to be problematic -- or were nursing home protocols, and the staff administering them, one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Vaccinating the population of the United States is quite an enterprise. The media has recounted the problems of extreme cold logistics and getting the vaccine from manufacturers to health care workers, along with the delays in the roll-out. But those problems are far more easily solved than the trip from vial to arm.
The answer is yes if you believe a paper recently published in the British Medical Journal. The article gives data mining for results a bad name. It is more like data dredging – scooping out mud and trash. Not to worry, no patients were harmed in this study, although the popular media couldn't help but report on this new reason to fear surgery and surgeons.
In the United States, we live in an affluent culture whose standard of living is high compared to other nations. Yet, we fail to be grateful for the advances in food science and biotechnology we benefit from, which frees us from the day-to-day task of our food production. One of the major phobias consumers struggle with is related to pesticides.
While there are many ways of spreading COVID-19, the best medical analysis currently is that the virus is transmitted via airborne events from aerosols. (That's a fancy term for breathing.) Perhaps, to stay safe, we might strategically avoid moments that produce the most aerosols.
Recently we've experienced a trifecta regarding the issue of mortality associated with fine particles (PM2.5, i.e., particles with median diameters less than 2.5 millionths of a meter). Let's take a more in-depth look behind the headlines.
More and more states are legalizing recreational marijuana, a drug that remains difficult to detect at a traffic stop. The only data to suggest that marijuana has played a role in motor vehicle accidents is the slight rise in accidents after legalization. But ask a stoner - do a few tokes impair driving? Let's follow the science.
Just how effective is the Pfizer vaccine? Turns out that in addition to being very effective, the onset of protection is quick - a therapeutic two-fer.
Fear is a strong motivator; it is the basis of fight or flight. Long before a shutdown for businesses was declared in Florida, many individuals who felt they were "at-risk" voluntarily stayed at home. What is the role of fear in the time of COVID-19, and more specifically, to what degree is fear driving our behavior?
There's no doubt that COVID-19 infections are spiking. State and local governments are introducing a range of lockdown strategies. Super spread is real, but it varies from place to place. So how do we decide where to draw the line? Are our leaders making this up as they go? A new paper may help science lead the way.