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How Dogs are Detecting the Coronavirus

Credit: LUM3N / Via Pixabay

Across the globe researchers are racing to find a solution to the global pandemic inducing COVID-19 . From detection to treatment, there is still much to be learned about the virus and how to prevent a second wave of the fatal strain.

Like Timmy in the Well…

Help seems to be on the way in the form of “man’s best friend”. A study published by the University of Helsinki has added one more skill to dog’s already impressive resume. The study found that scent detection trained canines have the ability to smell the virus in urine samples obtained by both positive and negative tested individuals. Upon future test results, the study hopes this information will be able to assist in the prevention of mass or cluster infection by utilizing scent detection dogs in airports, hospitals, and other high-risk exposure environments.

Credit: John Smith / Via Pixabay

Due to being equipped with approximately 100 million sensory receptors, dogs utilize both smell AND sight together to analyze things around them. While these canines can’t see the virus, the amount of space in their brain devoted to analyzing and interpreting smells is 40 times greater than their human counterpart. This kind of biology has made these animals historically supportive in almost every aspect of human life.

While all dogs have these receptors, there are breeds more frequently trained due to a particularly heightened sniffer. Breeds such as Labrador Retriever, German Shepard, and Belgian Malinois have a long history of scent detection for hunting, security, and military purposes.

John Smith / Via Pixabay / Pixabay

Protecting the Pups

As for the protection of our furry forensic investigators, those undertaking the research have utilized a distance model to expose dogs to the scent without getting them close enough to risk of infection. The CDC has confirmed dogs can carry trace amounts of the virus on their bodies, and has confirmed a few cases of dogs contracting the virus similarly to human infection.

John Smith / Via Pixabay / Pixabay

The hunt for a cure starts with detection. From researchers in universities across the world, to a seasoned trainer and former Air Force survival instructor in Florida, studies are proving over and over that dogs ability to detect the virus proves almost perfect. While still early, this type of discovery offers hope for an end of a global pandemic.

For more Good Boy Good News, check out how to video chat with a puppy during you summer social distancing.


Feeling Isolated? Video Chat with a Puppy!

One non-profit is bringing the joy of live animals straight to your home with virtual pet visits. The Animal Farm Foundation recently launched a free virtual pet visit program called Pets Together.

The program aims to brighten spirits amid the isolation and loneliness brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Video chats with puppies are just the beginning!

Kyle Hanson / via Unsplash / Unsplash

 “We designed Pets Together to adapt to these unprecedented circumstances by tapping into the power of pets to spread joy and bring people together.”

Stacey Coleman, AAF executive director, via T&L

Animal Farm Foundation is a New York based non-profit organization committed to helping people connect with animals. The Pets Together program does this with video conferencing software like Zoom, Skype, and Google Hangouts. You can book a virtual pet visit or donate at petstogether.org.

The virtual visit program is currently only open to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and certain other group settings. The program is also accepting requests for live pet visits to medical professionals and others on the front lines of the pandemic.

Solving Social Isolation

Social isolation and loneliness can have a serious negative influence on your health. The negative effects are even greater on the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Virtual visits from dogs, cats, cows, and horses can be uplifting and even therapeutic.

Ryan Stone / via Unsplash / Unsplash

The Pets Together program is helping many people get social interactions that are hard to come by during the pandemic. A valuable mental health service provided free of cost is exactly the support people need right now. So, next time you are feeling lonely just remember there’s a puppy out there waiting to video chat with you!

For more information on the program, visit PetsTogether.org.

See how people and organizations are stepping up during the pandemic, straight from The Beaks.


How Drones Help Protect Retired Communities

Just announced, two major Fortune 500 companies will team up to provide prescription delivery via drones to patients living in the USA’s largest retirement community.

Mohamed Hassan / via Pixabay / Pixabay

Global leader in logistics and business technology, UPS, issued a statement saying they would be joining forces with healthcare giant, CVS, to facilitate drone delivery of prescription medicines.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) and CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS.N) today said UPS subsidiary UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF) will use drones to deliver prescription medicines from a CVS pharmacy to The Villages, Florida for the largest U.S. retirement community, home to more than 135,000 residents. The service will use Matternet’s M2 drone system.

UPS press release 4/27/2020

Safety First

With the current global pandemic there is much more value in services that reduce human interaction. People now tend to prefer delivery options over in-store pick-up. Using drones could greatly reduce the risk of exposure of the coronavirus , especially for at-risk age groups like the elderly.

Gerd Altmann / via Pixabay / Pixabay

Past tests of the drone delivery system have proven it is a safe and efficient way to deliver goods. According to PCMag, UPS received approval from the FAA to operate a drone delivery system in 2019. The first prescription medicine delivery was completed in North Carolina a few months later.

The planned service could begin as soon as May, assuming FAA compliance. The success of this project could lead to a complete shift in medicine delivery and may prove the usefulness of drones in shipping.

“Now more than ever, it’s important that our customers have access to their prescriptions,” said Jon Roberts, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CVS Health. “In addition to our in-store pickup, free delivery services and drive through pickup, this drone delivery service provides an innovative method to reach some of our customers.”

Jon Roberts, CVS

Do you think drones are the answer to our social distancing conundrum? Comment Below!


Anonymous Donor Gives $1 Million to Hospital Employees

One southern California hospital was recently on the receiving end of a large, generous donation. An anonymous donor gave $1,000,000 to the Dignity Health Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz California to support its staff.

Dignity Health Dominican Hospital
Dignity Health Dominican Hospital / via Dignity Health

“Everyone gets a piece”

A note left alongside the donation stated how the donor intends to have the donation used. The donor wants the money to go directly to the staff, from floor cleaners to nurses. The donor wants everyone to have a piece. The note went on to say,

“Thank you for standing up (and staying up!) to care for our community… This humankindness is what makes you heroic.”

Anonymous donor

The money will be split among all employees at the hospital. Full-time employees will receive $800 and part time employees will receive $600.

Mary Tolan / via Flickr / Flickr

Hospital and healthcare workers around the world are being pushed to their limits this year with an unprecedented pandemic. Many are having to work longer hours with little to no protective equipment endangering themselves and their families in the process. This donation goes to show that outsiders recognize and respect their sacrifice.

The Dignity Health Dominican Hospital has a website accepting donations if you’d like to help them out.

Check out how governments and organizations around the world are proving support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Beaks


Tom Hanks’ Blood Contributes to Coronavirus Vaccine

In March, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson tested positive for COVID-19 while in Australia. The world has since looked to Hanks and Wilson for reassurance as they regularly posted updates on their condition.

The couple first reported on March 22nd that they had been through two full weeks since their initial symptoms had arrived and that they were finally feeling better!

This was not the end of Hanks and Wilsons’ quest to help the rest of the world make it through this crisis.

In an interview on the NPR show “Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!”, Tom Hanks was asked if he had been approached to give blood or plasma for research, he responded:

We have not only been approached; we have said, do you want our blood? Can we give plasma? And, in fact, we will be giving it now to the places that hope to work on what I would like to call the Hank-ccine.

Tom Hanks via NPR

The use of plasma therapies has proven as an effective treatment method for other outbreaks and pandemics. In fact, the chair of the Molecular Microbology and Immunology Department at Johns Hopkins, Dr Arturo Casadevall, confirmed the use of plasma in treating the 2003 SARS outbreak and the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, according to CBS.

The tremendous leadership and initiative of Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson will no doubt help the medical community work towards a “Hank-ccine” vaccine or other treatment that will benefit mankind.

Do you have ideas on how we can all contribute in these times of need? Comment below!


Free Masks For Everyone According to Government in Belgium

The Belgian prime minister, Sophie Wilmès, announced Friday that all citizens in the country would be provided with a fabric face mask, free of change. Euronews reports that each Belgian citizen will be given a mask as part of the country’s transition process from COVID-19 induced lock-down back to normal life.

Alexandra Koch/ via Pixabay / Pixabay

Belgium has about 11.5 million inhabitants and have recently tallied over 54,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,000 deaths as recently as Saturday, April 26th.

“the spread of Covid-19 has been slowed down, but the virus has not disappeared,”

Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès

Some general guidelines of the country’s reopening plan have already been announced.

The first businesses to open will be fabric stores and haberdasheries, perhaps to begin fabricating face masks. The open date for these businesses only is May 4th. All other businesses may have to wait until May 11th.

Masks will become mandatory on May 4th for all who use public transportation, however children 12 and under are not required to wear masks.

Belgian authorities have targeted reopening restaurants on June 8th, but large gatherings such has festivals will not be permitted until September.

Prime Minister Wilmès also mentioned the lock-down restrictions could be reintroduced at anytime if the situation worsens.

Do you think Countries should lift coronavirus lock-down restrictions? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


Oktoberfest Update

One of the largest festival gathering in the world , Oktoberfest, has been cancelled for 2020 according to Bavarian state premier Markus Soeder.

Pexels / via Pixabay / Pixabay

The world renowned festival draws crowds of about six million people to celebrate each year. Oktoberfest was scheduled from 19 September to 4 October, but will now be cancelled due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. The two-week-long event generates more than a billion dollars in tourism for the city, according to The Independent.

Werner Heiber / via Pixabay / Pixabay

The cancellation will be a major hit to many local and small businesses that depend on this time of year to make a great deal of their yearly revenue.

The risk of the coronavirus outbreak has proven to be too great for the city officials to proceed with the annual festival in 2020.

Many locals and tourists alike are disappointed by the news but Germany has been highly affected by the virus already. As of 20 April 2020 Germany has reported more than 143,000 active cases and over 4,500 deaths.


4 Warnings About Hand Sanitizer

Anna Earl / Via Upsplash / Upsplash

1. Hand sanitizer is meant for disinfecting not for getting you drunk!

Kelly Sikkema / Via Upsplash / unsplash.co

Sanitizer bottles may look like the perfect pump for a few sake bombs straight to the dome, but don’t be fooled!

2. Hand sanitizer may smell pretty good but it tastes horrible!!

Gerd Altmann / Via pixabay / pixabay.com

Trust me, you don’t want to end up like this guy with a mouthful of aloe moisture hand sanitizer.

3. Putting hand sanitizer under your pillow wont keep your dreams clean!

Claudio Scott / Via Pixabay / pixabay.com

Although much research is in progress, the Sanitizer Fairy still hasn’t been verified to actually exist yet.

4. Hand sanitizer and foot sanitizer are similar but not the same.

Andrea s / Via Pixabay / pixabay.com

Don’t forget to get that sanitizer in there all nice and deep like! There’s no excuse for poor hygiene, even if you don’t have hands!

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