Posted in Covid-19, economy, news, Politics

Will a COVID or Protest Arrest Hurt Your Chances of Getting a Job and/or Unemployment Insurance?

Over the last few months and specifically days, many have been arrested for COVID or protest-related activities. These included:

  • Violating social distancing measures
  • Reopening a business prior to Governor phase reopenings
  • Protesting and failing to disperse
  • Curfew violation
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Shoplifting
  • Looting
  • Burglary
  • Vandalism
  • Rioting
  • Assault
  • Secondary offences such as drug possession

Charges can range in severity from misdemeanor to felony with varied amounts of bonds necessary for release.

Moreover, if you lose your job due to an arrest you may be unable to file for unemployment insurance.

Although our world seemed to change over night and “regular life” in general seemed to end during months of shutdowns, events or actions taken within this time period soon becomes our past and may resurface as we try to resume our pre-COVID lives.

Which begs the question, will shutdown infractions come back to haunt you?

Well first, it depends on what state you live in. Some states, such as California, have Ban the Box initiatives, prohibiting applications from including questions that relate to one’s criminal history. Many states, however, may allow the question to surface during an interview.

Secondly, it depends on what you did and if you have a good explanation if asked by a future employer.

Reasons such as trying to work to feed your family or joining others in a peaceful protest might be looked upon much more positively than explaining an assault charge.

It also depends on the employer. Many may feel strongly one way or another about social distancing measures or protesting the death of George Floyd and find empathy or concern regarding your individual actions.

Honesty is the best policy when it comes to interviews as even if the interviewer may not be in agreement with your actions, your sincerity and openness may be qualities needed for the job.

However, some employers may not have a choice. For example in some industries if an employee has a “criminal” record, licensing, contracting and sometimes insurance may not be awarded. An employer may agree with everything you’ve done and stood for but if they had to choose between two applicants, the one without the misdemeanor or felony may be more attractive.

What are your options?

Firstly, try to avoid getting arrested. This might sound obvious but for those are who under the assumption that they will not get caught, taking necessary precautions to ensure you are following the law might put you at less risk.

Consult a legal professional. Just because you were arrested does not mean you are guilty of a crime. Some charges can be reduced if not thrown out depending on what was done and your representation.

Apply for an expungement. Some states allow one to expunge their crime off their record or apply for their records to be sealed. This could prevent it from showing up on some background checks.

Be aware of unemployment insurance rules. If an employee loses their job because they broke the law, they may not be entitled to unemployment benefits.

Know the industry you’re applying to work for. Some are very regimented with employees being required to have clean records whereas others offer more flexibility.

Be prepared for changes in the state law and changes in your industry. What might protect you now may not protect you in the future.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and a Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news

George Floyd’s Autopsy Report: Why Was His COVID Test Still Positive After 7 Weeks?

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office has released George Floyd’s autopsy report.

The 46 year-old male had died May 25th while being restrained by Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin.

A video demonstrated Floyd gasping for air while the former officer used his knee to restrain him by his neck.

Floyd had lost consciousness and was unable to be resuscitated.

The autopsy report provided states George Floyd sustained multiple blunt force injuries and had underlying health issues that included severe arteriosclerotic heart disease (clogging of the arteries), cardiomegaly (enlarged heart), a benign pelvic tumor and sickle cell trait.

Toxicology studies demonstrated fentanyl, marijuana, caffeine, tobacco and methamphetamine in his system at the time of death.

George Floyd had tested positive for COVID-19 on April 3rd and appeared to still be positive at the time of autopsy. A nasal swab was done looking for viral particles and was positive 7 weeks after his initial positive test. This could suggest a few things:

  1. The virus had died weeks prior and fragments remained causing the PCR test to still show positive
  2. The virus remained active in his body all this time
  3. A new COVID infection/exposure occurred
  4. A false positive test result

The medical examiner noted Mr. Floyd was asymptomatic, meaning not showing symptoms of active COVID infection. On exam, however, his lung lining was found to be congested and swollen but was not specified as to why.

These findings might shed more clues on why COVID testing remains positive weeks after initial infection.

The full report can be found here.

This is a developing story…..

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and a Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in Covid-19, Health, news, sex

Study: Wear Mask During Sex To Prevent COVID

A study from Harvard University spells out the do’s and don’ts to sex during the COVID era.

They suggest the following:

  • Avoid kissing
  • Wear a mask during sex
  • Avoid oral-anal sex
  • Avoid urine and semen
  • Shower before and after sex
  • Clean area/setting of intercourse with alcohol wipes or soap
An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is aim-olf-M202004-M202004tt1.jpg

The report was not designed to investigate sexual transmission of COVID but rather how to prevent transmission while engaging in sexual activity.

Study authors say, “….the relevance regarding sexual transmission remains unknown. Until this is better understood, it would be prudent to consider semen potentially infectious.”

Is Coronavirus Killing Your Sex Life?

Because social distancing cannot be used as a weapon to fight COVID transmission, experts are providing guidance for those of us who were abstinent during the lockdown and now want to get out there and…

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, iHeart Radio and a Board Certified Family Physician

Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, Health, medications, news

Is Xanax The Next Coronavirus “Cure”?

Researchers from Barcelona plan to study a slew of medications that they believe could stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus from replicating in human cells.

These medications include:

  • Perampanel (antiseizure)
  • Carprofen (antiiflammatory)
  • Celecoxib (antiinflammatory)
  • Alprazolam (antianxiety)
  • Trovafloxacin (antibiotic)
  • Sarafloxacin (antibiotic)
  • Ethyl biscoumacetate (anticoagulant)

They are evaluating the M-pro enzyme inhibition activity that some medications such as alprazolam (brand name Xanax) may possess to inhibit COVID infection.

They state, “Here, we implement an original virtual screening (VS) protocol for repositioning approved drugs in order to predict which of them could inhibit the main protease of the virus (M-pro), a key target for antiviral drugs given its essential role in the virus’ replication. Two different libraries of approved drugs were docked against the structure of M-pro using Glide, FRED and AutoDock Vina, and only the equivalent high affinity binding modes predicted simultaneously by the three docking programs were considered to correspond to bioactive poses.”

As researchers study these drugs, we need be patient to see if there is conclusive evidence that these medications could work in fighting the deadly virus.

Alprazolam belongs to the benzodiazepine family and is used by millions for anxiety and sleep disorders. Unfortunately it’s one of the more highly addictive types of medications and its dependence has been rising for decades.

Benzodiazepine Abuse Being Overlooked

Initial reports of hydroxychloroquine efficacy in treating COVID led some, including President Trump, to take the medication prophylactically. However, medications such as those to be studied by the Barcelona scientists have multiple side effects and possible addictive potential and should not be taken unless prescribed by one’s medical provider once research points to their use and safety in treating COVID-19.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, economy, Employment, Health, news

Did Your Period Change During the Lockdown? Here’s Why…..

Many women have reported their periods have been irregular since the start of the pandemic, not surprisingly though as 2020 has been one of the most unpredictable years yet.

However, some feel it’s because they lack the “syncing” that occurs when women are around other women, such as in the workplace.

The theory of women who live or work together subsequently menstruate the same time during the month has been suggested for centuries. In 1971, Dr. Martha McClintock from the Department of Psychology in Harvard tested this theory on 135 females from a college dorm and found a “significant increase in synchronization” in college roommates and/or their best friends as it pertained to their monthly cycle. This was called the “McClintock” effect.

However multiple studies since then have debunked this theory finding no major evidence of menses syncing among women who are in close proximity to each other.

So if being separated from one’s coworkers is not the cause, why would periods change?

Menstrual cycles can vary in regularity due to multiple factors. These include:

  • Stress
  • Change in exercise
  • Change in diet
  • Change in weight
  • Thyroid disorders – or issues with taking one’s medication regularly
  • Sexual activity
  • Pregnancy
  • Hormonal disorders such as polycystic ovarian syndrome

For those who had strict work, eating and exercise schedules, lockdowns prevented gym attendance and allowed for more stay-at-home-and-eat-activity.

Moreover fear of COVID, being layed off and trying to teach and entertain the kids who would have been in school all these weeks added copious amounts of stress in a short period of time.

Cycles may come every 21-35 days with a 2-7 day menstrual flow. Some women are able to consistently predict the day and time of their next period, whereas others venture a guess that could range up to a week. So menstrual cycle changes are not that uncommon throughout a woman’s reproductive years. However, if one becomes irregular after months of regularity, skips a cycle or finds their bleeding to change significantly, this should prompt an evaluation by their medical provider.

Will returning to work get you back on your schedule? It could, but then again, it could be your “new normal”…..Either way, don’t expect your female work comrades to sync your cycle anytime soon.

Great Gift!!!

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, economy, Education, Employment, Health, news, Politics, school

Trump Vows Another Shutdown Will Not Occur In the Fall – But Does He Have Control?

Image above from AP/Getty Images

Speaking at a Ford plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, President Donald Trump vowed he would not allow the country to shut down again if a second wave of COVID plagues us this Fall.

He stated, We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country. We can put out the fires.”

Although his optimism was applauded by many who have found the economic downturn from months of business closures to be irreparable, many wonder if he actually has control of stopping a second country shutdown.

In early March the Trump administration tried to contain the panic, and keep businesses open, however other powers were at play.

Schools closed down first. With school closures, many employees could not leave their children unattended and needed to stay home.

Then traffic to many businesses slowed, as many chose to “shelter in place” for fear of being exposed to COVID-19. Employees of businesses chose to stay home as well in fear of exposing vulnerable family members to the virus.

Then as death tolls were reported, Governors began to institute stay at home orders and business closures.

As businesses reopen and schools ready for the new school year, many teachers and parents are preparing for a bumpy road ahead.

Even if a COVID second wave spares us, influenza is notorious for causing death, and each year takes its toll on the pediatric population.

Concerned parents may easily call for school closure and online learning because of flu, COVID, school shootings, or any other issues that could tragically affect children.

If schools close this Fall for any reason, employees will be forced to stay home and the cycle can occur all over.

Many businesses are transitioning to work from home models, however many businesses still require traffic and in person customer service such as restaurants, salons, movie theaters, shops, etc.

I believe our healthcare system will, as Pres. Trump suggests, be able to address new COVID cases, however, whether the administration will have the ability to mitigate the panic or calls for business shutdown is entirely another issue.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.

Posted in coronavirus, Covid-19, fires, Health, news, travel

If Hand Sanitizer is “Flammable” Should TSA Be Allowing Larger Bottles on Airplanes?

A recent debate has surfaced whether hand sanitizers can explode in one’s car due to the summer heat.

Then this week, the TSA has announced new rules regarding air travel that allows each traveler to carry a 12 oz bottle onto a plane.

One box of matches or a lighter is allowed per person onboard an aircraft according to the FAA.

One book/packet of matches in carry-on or on the person. When a carry-on bag is checked at the gate or at planeside, any matches in the carry-on must be removed from the bag and kept with the passenger in the aircraft cabin. Strike-anywhere matches are forbidden.

Disposable and Zippo lighters are allowed on one’s person per the TSA as well.

So questions remain, will there be a risk of an accident or terrorist attack while in flight?

Some FAA experts believe alcohol-based sanitizers can ignite if exposed to high temperatures.

In 2010, however, a flammability test performed by the FAA found the following:

As expected, the hand sanitizer, which is approximately 60% alcohol by volume, is flammable and can easily be ignited with a common grill lighter when poured into a pan. It tends to burn relatively coolly, with peak flame temperatures between 500° and 1000°F, compared to fuel, plastic, or cellulose fires. The observed temperatures above the flame were higher for the liquid hand sanitizer compared to the gel hand sanitizer. The vapor, which is generated by heating the liquid from the bottom, is flammable. The hot liquid does not have to be present to ignite the vapor; however, the vapor could not be ignited at room or elevated ambient temperatures (up to 100°F) without bottom-heating the hand sanitizer.

So whereas a car may only reach 170 degrees, an explosion would be more likely if a bottle of sanitizer was exposed to higher temperatures such as from a flame.

Multiple sites demonstrate how kids can perform sanitizer fire tricks in their home.

Although the sites say the flame is “cool enough to touch” its still flammable and fire plus hand sanitizer means more fire.

The FAA and TSA may, therefore, need more rigorous safety protocols as it pertains to matches and lighters on planes.

Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.