Posts Tagged ‘Covid’


Branyas lives in Olot, a city in Catalonia.

By Jack Guy and Al Goodman

A 113-year-old woman, thought to be the oldest in Spain, has said she feels fine after surviving a brush with coronavirus.

Video footage of Maria Branyas, who was born on March 4 1907, shows the super-centenarian speaking to the director of the care home where she lives in Olot, Catalonia.

“In terms of my health I am fine, with the same minor annoyances that anyone can have,” said Branyas in the video. It was recorded Monday, a spokeswoman for the care home told CNN.

Branyas recovered after a mild case of Covid-19. Her battle started shortly after her family visited her on March 4 to celebrate her 113th birthday, the spokeswoman said.

The family has not been able to visit in person since then. Branyas has lived for 18 years in her own private room at the Santa Maria del Tura nursing home, which is run by the Institute of the Order of San Jose of Gerona, affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, the spokeswoman said.

Branyas was born in San Francisco in the United States, where her father worked as a journalist, reports the AFP news agency.

Over the course of her long life she has survived two world wars as well as the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed more than 50 million people around the world.

Although Branyas recovered from coronavirus, two residents of the same home died of it. The situation at the care home has since improved, said the spokeswoman.

Spain’s state of emergency, in effect since March 14, has strict confinement measures that remain in place. But with the infection and death rates now declining, the government has lifted some lockdown measures in certain parts of the country, on what it says will be a gradual reopening of activity.

But the initial lifting of these restrictions did not apply to Olot, where Branyas lives.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/05/13/europe/spain-oldest-woman-coronavirus-survivor-scli-intl/index.html

by Emma Yasinski

Paul Matewele, a microbiologist who identified pathogenic bacteria on surfaces that humans contact everyday, died as a result of COVID-19 on April 7 at the age of 62.

Matewele was a senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University for 30 years and is best known for his work characterizing potentially pathogenic microbes that people are likely to come in contact with in their homes and public places, according to Úna Fairbrother, an interim head of the School of Human Sciences at London Metropolitan University.

Matewele was born in Zimbabwe in 1958 and earned a master’s degree in biochemistry from St. Andrews University and a PhD in microbiology from Southampton University.

Partially inspired by the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance, Matewele conducted studies identifying sometimes-deadly microbes living on handbags, McDonald’s touch screens, reusable water bottles, makeup, vehicle air conditioners, drinks served in cinemas, London transport systems, and coins. His work on the London transportation system led to a deep cleaning of 50 stations in the London Underground in June 2017.

But among colleagues, he was best known for the time he spent lecturing and tutoring thousands of students. “Paul was a warm, kind, intelligent and conscientious man. He was dedicated to his students and a brilliant colleague to have,” Fairbrother tells The Scientist in an email. “He was a genuinely happy, open person and will be much missed from our team on a personal and professional level.”

Several of Matewele’s students and colleagues shared thoughts and memories in a tribute on the university’s webpage describing him as a “dedicated teacher,” “a kind soul,” and someone who “never stopped smiling.”

Sean Frost, a former colleague of Matawele who is currently a lecturer at the University of Hull, writes on the university page that Matewele “took on the biggest challenges and was never afraid to fight for what he believed in, McDonalds being particularly memorable. Even up until March he was broadcasting warnings about risk of infection from cash, Paul always took the side of the little guy, be it colleagues, students or society. He was a fine example of what an academic should aspire to become.”

Matawele is survived by his 18-year-old son, William.

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/microbiologist-who-studied-deadly-bacteria-in-public-places-dies-67452?utm_campaign=TS_DAILY%20NEWSLETTER_2020&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=86856096&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8BKRYRGs_fo90ZncO_fmihHmxcb7igfgKB79gkfdKckRdyLVHnViIWWELwSyNw7QIkAcI47O7ksk1iFQ0kJDaX39xITA&_hsmi=86856096

It’s Easter Sunday, just after Passover, just after another exhausting13 hour shift. I can’t watch the news. I’m too busy and too frustrated by all the misinformation. Forgive me, but I need to debunk a few viral myths.

Myth #1: COVID-19 is a disease of the old and sick

This cannot be further from the truth. As a critical care physician, I’m caring for the sickest of the sick. I know the data. What little good data there is shows that 80% of ICU patients are under 65 (in a Wuhan study) or that 40% in ICU were under 60 (in an Italian study). The highest death age group was 60-69. The third highest was 50-59. The most common co-morbid conditions were high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. These are not weird immune-related illnesses, they’re common, and this hits close to home. I’m 53, I have high blood pressure, diabetes and, like millions of Americans, I’m a little obese. Our stats? 60% of our intubated patients are under 65. Most of my ICU patients have never been sick enough to be hospitalized before this. Sure, many who die are old and have other illnesses, but the popular narrative almost says if you’re not in a nursing home you’re safe. Nothing can be further from the truth. It’s a myth.

Myth number #2: The main concern is a lack of PPE and ventilators

Partially false. Sure, some NYC and UK caregivers have had to use cooking aprons, garbage bags, and other scraps to protect themselves, but many hospitals have all the PPE they need. Luckily, my hospital has been able keep up with all our PPE needs. But many unanticipated shortages go unreported: COVID test swabs, dialysis machines and dialysis fluid needed to keep people alive (COVID causes kidney failure), sedative medications, and we need more oxygen, we’re using so much.

But most of all, we need more amazing people. Especially nurses and respiratory therapists, because many are now sick and some have died. Over 100 doctors have died in Italy. Doctors, therapists, pharmacists, students, and others now have a new career as nursing assistants. No-one is a specialist anymore, we are all COVID care providers. Thank you to the many volunteer doctors and nurses from all across the US that have come to NYC to help. Recovery for patients can take weeks to months, so we’ll need your help and sacrifice for a while yet.

Myth #3: Hydroxychoriquine is a “game changer” and it’s safe.

This potentially false idea was launched on the back of a very small trial from France. I’ve read the paper and it has major flaws. Three larger and more recent trials were negative but they don’t get press. These “game changer” drugs have dangerous side-effects. A recent trial in Brazil was stopped early for fear that high-dose chloroquine was killing people. Other drugs, however, show promise. Watch this space but no “game changers” yet.

Myth #4: Social distancing is our only option and it’s easy to do

This is also untrue. My home, NYC, is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Many of my patients are poor and immigrated here. They live in small apartments with large families. Social distancing is impossible for many parts of NYC. And in the US more than 10% of the work force is unemployed. Sure, we’re finally flattening the curve, but as a Korean-American, I am proud to say that South Korea did it better and they didn’t shut down their economy. They tested, tested, tested, tracked, and isolated people and provided a mobile app, food, masks, and a thermometer to track their fever. This was done for visitors as well as citizens. The US hasn’t tested widely or efficiently enough. And we need to talk about the painful economic and human impacts of social distancing. Banning all hospital visitors means many terrified patients dying lonely deaths. The loss of human dignity is unimaginable.

Myth #5: We can blame China for the current US pandemic

This is false. Recent research shows that our outbreak in NYC came from Europe. And how helpful are country labels anyway? The 1918 Spanish Flu apparently didn’t originate in Spain, so should we rename it? When it comes to infectious diseases, borders mean nothing in our global economic village, but anti-Asian sentiment has spiked all over the world. Just read the online hate speech about the “KungFlu” and the “WuhanVirus”. As an Asian American, who is doing as much as I can, this is very distressing.
Andrew Yang wrote “We need to step up, help our neighbors, donate … and do everything in our power to accelerate the end of this crisis.” This is what my wife and I and so many others are doing. I work 12-15 hours days alongside residents, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and others. (BTW, many of these heroes are Asian-American.) We’re active in our local church, and my wife has a Facebook group that donates tens of thousands of dollars to food and supplies for front-line workers. Daily, she buys food from struggling restaurants, delivers it to the hospital, and I distribute it in between seeing my patients. This has been our life for months and will be our future for a while.

Does it really matter if the virus is from China, Europe or Mars? Our response would have been the same: to save as many lives as we can.

Myth number #6: This is all overblown, COVID is just like the Flu

I’m just shocked by this one. The infectivity of COVID 19 is three times that of the flu, and it is 40 times more deadly (Dr. Fauci says “10 times”). On Good Friday in NYC, 783 patients died; that’s one death every 2 minutes. In the US, it was one death every 42 seconds. Brace yourself. This is nothing like the flu. If you don’t believe me, just walk into any emergency room in New York, Detroit, Miami, LA or New Orleans.

On a final and personal note, I’m blown away by the response of my residents, my colleagues, the people around me, and all NYC hospital staff. Never have I been more proud to be a health care worker and a residency director. I’m impressed by the sacrifice and commitment of all my residents. I’m in awe of their hard work. These are the finest people on earth. I am humbled by their sacrifice and courage to go above and beyond the call of duty. Oddly, it took a pandemic to bring us this level of mass cooperation. But it’s also frightening. I have practiced critical care medicine for more than 25 years and never have I been so challenged, saddened and emotional. Almost every hour of every shift, someone needs intensive care. I’m very used to comforting patients and their families to prepare for death. I used to do this for someone weekly; , now it’s hourly. Death has become very common: every shift, every ward, and in every emergency room. It feels like a bomb went off somewhere and the whole of New York is slowly suffocating.
The 7pm cheering for health care workers moves me. Previously, at parties, I’d say “I work in an ICU and I ventilate people”. That was a big conversation killer. Now, I feel like a rock star or a military veteran. Who knows? Maybe one day I’ll get to priority board an airplane. But seriously; this experience will lead to future PTSD, pain, scars, and tears, for me and so many residents and health care workers. For now, however, we really need your prayers and support.

I hope this demystifies a few things. Thanks for reading. #columbiamedicine #columbiastrong


Across the globe, wildlife is exploring empty places usually occupied by people.

As humans are remaining indoors in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it appears that wildlife around the world took notice of our absence. There seems to be a never-ending list of animals becoming emboldened during this time to explore areas that are typically heavily populated: Buffalo have taken to the deserted highways in India. Mountain lions have rested in trees in Boulder, Colorado. Wild boar walk the streets of Barcelona while peacocks strut along open streets in Brazil.

Rats in New York City have somehow become even more confident in their quest for food. And a groundhog appeared to stare down two dogs watching through a window while eating a piece of pizza, which probably doesn’t have anything to do with the lockdown, but was a welcome distraction on social media nonetheless.

The Washington Post reports that a tribe of goats overtook the streets of Wales. Video taken by resident Andrew Stuart shows the animals nonchalantly roaming the empty streets and helping themselves to a meal of hedges and flower gardens.

According to SFGate, an employee from Yosemite National Park claims that since the park closed to the public in late March, the sightings of large animals including bears, bobcats, and coyotes have gone up fourfold.

“It’s not like [bears] aren’t usually here,” Yosemite employee Dane Peterson tells SFGate, “it’s that they usually hang back at the edges, or move in the shadows.”

In Mexico, crocodiles that generally stay hidden in lagoons near the beaches in La Ventanilla, Oaxaca, have been coming out in the open since the beaches were closed to the public about two weeks ago, Mexico News Daily reports.

Endangered sea turtles have also taken advantage of empty beaches to nest in Brazil and Florida. It’s too early to tell how lockdown measures will affect sea turtle numbers when it is time for the eggs to hatch. Decreased traffic could create less artificial light to confuse the hatchlings about which direction to go, Shanon Gann, the program manager at Brevard Zoo Sea Turtle Healing Center in Florida, tells weather.com.

A mixed bag for animals that depend on humans

In urban areas where wildlife is, for better or worse, dependent on human activity, the lockdown brings new challenges. The New York Times describes scenes in Thailand, where macaques have come to rely on humans for food. Their populations have become so dense in these areas because of that food supply that people staying home has quickly created a scarcity of resources, leading to aggressive behavior.

The same goes for duck ponds, ecologist Becky Thomas of Royal Holloway in London writes for The Conversation. Although feeding bread to ducks is harmful to their health and the water around them, there will be an adjustment as they compete for healthier resources.

Thomas notes that decreased traffic will lead to less hedgehog roadkill as well as reduced noise pollution that negatively affects the ability of bats, birds, and other animals to communicate.

The lack of human presence hasn’t benefited all animals, as the Times reports, particularly animals in African nature preserves. With fewer tourists around, poachers are killing rhinos with an increased frequency in Botswana and South Africa.

“We’re in a situation of zero income, and our expenses are actually going up all the time just trying to fight off the poachers and protect the reserve,” Lynne MacTavish, operations manager at Mankwe Wildlife Reserve in South Africa, tells the Times. “To say it’s desperate is an understatement. We’re really in crisis here.”

Some of the earliest widely shared reports of wildlife emerging in populated areas turned out to be false, according to National Geographic’s debunking of some of the more common untruths. One such tale says baby elephants in China got drunk on corn wine and passed out in a tea field, which might be very relatable during these times, but never happened. The absence of boats in the canals of Venice brought claims of dolphins appearing for the first time in decades, but the images were from the island of Sardinia, nearly 500 miles away.

There may not be dolphins in Venice, but the waters have gotten astonishingly clear, as the lack of gondolas and other boats on the water haven’t been stirring up sediment, CNBC reports.

Right now, it isn’t clear what the long-term effects of this lockdown will be on nature, primarily because this is occurring when many species in the Northern Hemisphere are mating, giving birth, or coming out of hibernation. Air pollution in some areas has been cut in half since the lockdowns began, Forbes reports, due to the lack of emissions from vehicles and factories. Some cities notorious for smoggy skies, including Los Angeles and Beijing, are enjoying some of the cleanest air they’ve experienced in decades. While the tolls of air pollution on human health are widely known, animals are also at risk, according to the National Wildlife Refuge System.

As many are still sheltering-in-places as we approach the 50th annual Earth Day, this resurgence of wildlife is giving some cause for hope that this evidence will ultimately lead to better policies to protect the environment and create a new normal.

“I am hopeful,” anthropologist Jane Goodall tells the Post. “I am. I lived through World War II. By the time you get to 86, you realize that we can overcome these things. One day we will be better people, more responsible in our attitudes toward nature.”

https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/with-humans-indoors-animals-go-wild-67434?utm_campaign=TS_DAILY%20NEWSLETTER_2020&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=86538478&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-92e5YchE_c5eEZJOR2VWChyXs-TUYFALDBiX0cEwNWRvtMhsuRr4MWSGBf0DCvU1hKkYi4eEAJ3QErLAitWrBijvumwg&_hsmi=86538478

If you’re smoking weed to ease your stress during the coronavirus pandemic, experts say it’s time to think twice.

Smoking marijuana, even occasionally, can increase your risk for more severe complications from Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“What happens to your airways when you smoke cannabis is that it causes some degree of inflammation, very similar to bronchitis, very similar to the type of inflammation that cigarette smoking can cause,” said pulmonologist Dr. Albert Rizzo, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. “Now you have some airway inflammation and you get an infection on top of it. So, yes, your chance of getting more complications is there.”

Hey wait, you might say, I’ve only just started and I’m not smoking much — so what’s the harm?
The problem, said Dr. Mitchell Glass, a pulmonologist and spokesperson for the American Lung Association, is that the last thing you want during a pandemic is to make it more difficult for a doctor to diagnose your symptoms.

“Covid-19 is a pulmonary disease,” Glass said. “Do you really want to have a confounding variable if you need to see a doctor or a healthcare worker by saying, ‘Oh, and by the way, I’m not a regular user of cannabis, but I decided to use cannabis to calm myself down.’

“You don’t want to do anything that’s going to confound the ability of healthcare workers to make a rapid, accurate assessment of what’s going on with you,” he added.

Is that cough from smoking or coronavirus?

“Chronic” marijuana smoking, defined as daily use, damages the lungs over a period of time. The end result “looks a lot like chronic bronchitis, which is of course one of the terms we use for chronic obstructive lung disease, or COPD,” Glass said.

Smokers, people with COPD and other chronic lung diseases, as well as people with moderate to severe asthma are among those at high risk for severe illness from Covid-19, including the worst-case scenario of being placed on a ventilator in order to continue breathing.

Signs of lung damage from smoking even just a few cigarettes can show up in a matter of days.

While a hit or two of marijuana doesn’t compare, there are some unique properties to a joint of weed that are definitely problematic for the lungs even if you’re a new smoker, Glass said.

Think of what happens to a cigarette when lit and left in an ashtray — it will burn quickly all the way down to the filter, with nothing left but ash.

“It’s surrounded by paper. It’s completely dried out. It is made to burn at a very high temperature,” Glass said.

Now think of how a joint burns — there’s always some weed left, the “roach,” as it is called.

“Marijuana burns at a much, much lower temperature than a commercially made cigarette,” said Glass. “Because of that, the person is inhaling a certain amount of unburnt plant material.”

That irritates the lungs in the same manner as ragweed, birch and oak pollen does for those allergic to them, he said.

“So right off the bat there are those patients who would be increasingly susceptible to having a bronchospasm or cough because they have a more sensitive airway.”

And since a dry cough is a key sign of Covid-19, any cough caused by smoking a joint of weed could easily mimic that symptom, making diagnosis more difficult.

The need for a clear head

There’s another factor as well. As we all know, weed not only calms you down, but it messes with your ability to function — and that does you no favors if you find yourself having a medical emergency during a pandemic.

“You’re reducing anxiety, but that is still a change in your thinking, a change in the way you are handling facts, how you’re grasping situations,” Glass said.

“Now there’s a healthcare worker who is gowned, gloved, possibly in a hazmat suit trying to get through to you. These are people who are trying to decide if you should be going home, coming into the emergency room, or worst case scenario, that you need to be put on a ventilator,” he continued.

“They want the person who’s agreeing and giving informed consent to be completely in control of their thought processes.”

More Americans are using weed

In 2018, more than 43 million Americans aged 12 or older reported using marijuana in the past year, according to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (PDF).

Around four million of those are people with “marijuana use disorder, meaning that this has escalated to the point where it’s a problem in their lives,” said Jessica Hulsey, founder of the Addiction Policy Forum, which advocates on behalf of patients and families struggling with substance use disorder and addiction.

“Experts at the National Institutes of Health released some guidance for our patients and our families. saying marijuana use disorder could be a risk factor for complications from Covid-19,” Hulsey said.

“Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape,” the NIH said in its announcement.

“We need to make sure that these users are aware that marijuana is in essence an underlying health condition,” Hulsey added. “They should take extra precautions by minimizing use to the extent that is possible, and even start virtual treatment and a recovery journey while everyone’s stuck at home.”

The national drug survey also found more than a third of young adults aged 18 to 25 said they used marijuana during 2018, along with more than 13% of adults aged 26 or older.

But it’s not just the young. Earlier this year, a study found use by older adults is rising sharply. In 2006, only 0.4% of people over 65 reported using marijuana products in the past year. By 2018, over 4% of those same aged seniors say they are now using, the study found.

“Marijuana use among seniors is not bouncing up and down like with other drugs. It’s a straight line up,” said study co-author Joseph Palamar, an associate professor of population health at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, in an interview in February.

Are even more Americans turning to weed during this time of crisis?

Simply put, no one knows. Each state handles reporting differently, Glass says, and sales estimates often combine both THC, the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the “high,” and CBD, the medicinal compound that is now sold over the counter.

“I made a few phone calls and the numbers ranged quite literally from a million to 30 million. So who knows how many people are getting their hands on cannabis to relieve their anxiety during this time,” Glass said.

What to do?

If you’re not a regular smoker of marijuana, don’t start, experts say.

“Don’t confound your caregivers with trying to sort out whether your dry cough and change in behavior is due to the fact that you’re a novice with marijuana or it’s associated with Covid-19,” Glass said.

“If you do need to see a caregiver, be sure you’re very honest with them about when you last used, and how often you use,” Glass said, “so they can get a good, clear story on what the impact of inhaling marijuana is on you.”

Remember the bottom line when it comes to smoking and Covid-19, Rizzo said.

“It’s common sense that anything you inhale that has been combusted and contains particles or chemicals can inflame your airways,” he said. “So you’re already making your body fight off foreign particles before it even has to fight off the infection.”

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/10/health/smoking-weed-coronavirus-wellness/index.html

When the COVID-19 outbreak started to become increasingly prevalent in Northeast Ohio, Mitchell Thom, a first-year medical student at Case Western Reserve University, and his friends were looking for ways to help. The group started discussing how much physicians and health care employees on the front lines are juggling, so they came up with simple ways to take care of providers’ regular, everyday needs.

As Thom started reaching out to more teachers and students about the idea, someone mentioned Lyba Zia, a third-year student, was doing something similar. And, with that, Cleveland Students Supporting Health Workers was born.

These two students—who have never met in person—joined forces, creating a process to match student volunteers with physicians, nurses and other health care staff needing help with errands and chores outside of work. In less than a week, they signed up more than 100 volunteers to shop for groceries; prepare meals; tutor children online; feed, walk and take care of pets; and run much-needed errands for Cleveland health care workers.

Volunteers are provided with safety guidelines developed by doctors at MetroHealth and are encouraged to drop off deliveries without direct contact, if possible, Thom said.

“We want CWRU students from all schools who want to help. The more, the better,” said Thom, noting that the majority of its volunteers now are from the medical, nursing and dental schools. Thom also noted that his group can help students away from Northeast Ohio who want to help in their own communities.

What does this group need most? “We need health workers to take advantage of these volunteers,” said Zia. “Right now, we have only 24 physicians and staff signed up, and we’re ready to take on so many more. We have an army of students waiting to take a load off those who are working overtime to treat patients and save lives.”

Health workers and volunteer students can sign up by emailing their contact information to covidvolunteer.cwru@gmail.com. When emailing, please note how you would like to help or if you need assistance.

Students launch grassroots effort to assist health care workers during COVID-19


The roads may have fewer cars on them these days, but for many truckers, the journey feels a lot longer.

by CHRISTIAN COTRONEO

There’s no shortage of people facing extraordinary adversity to help us maintain some semblance of civilization in these pandemic times.

There are the usual suspects — doctors, nurses, firefighters — who make courage under fire seem so routine.

And then there are truckers.

Rain, shine or pandemic, the U.S. relies on about 3.5 million truck drivers to keep goods — the lifeblood of an economy — in circulation.

That includes canned foods and non-perishables like tuna and rice and beans, bound for small stores and shops in every nook of the country. And yes, there’s always a need for more toilet paper on Aisle 12.

There’s also Amazon — and the unending stream of smart speakers, cordless vacuums and pretzel crackers that Americans feel they need at a time like this.

That’s to say nothing of essential medical supplies and the equipment that’s sadly emblematic of our times: masks, ventilators, disinfectant. It’s not just about distributing those goods to stores and homes, but getting the raw materials, like plastic and pulp, to the manufacturers.

All of it is literally a trucker’s burden to bear. And that burden has never been heavier.

Taking truck drivers for granted

“I think people, quite frankly, take truck drivers for granted when things are normal,” Todd Jadin, of Wisconsin-based Schneider, which boasts 14,000 drivers under its umbrella, tells USA Today. “The work they do every day is that much more important right now.”

Sure, driving is a little easier these days — thanks to the millions of Americans who are staying home and trying to social distance the coronavirus to death.

But for truckers, already accustomed to driving as many as 11 hours per day, the road has gotten even longer. That’s because, for all the miles a trucker logs, there’s always been a bright beacon at the side of just about every highway: the iconic truck stop.

Maybe it’s a diner, where a driver can get a meal and even take a shower. Or a parking lot, where the engines finally go silent, and truckers catch some much-needed shut-eye.

The thing is, as Wired reports, those gleaming lights are going dark. Side-of-the-road eateries are closing to discourage public gatherings. State authorities are even shuttering places that specifically cater to truckers — spots at turnpikes that offer showers, parking and bathrooms.

One of American’s biggest travel center operators, TA-Petro, recently closed all of its driver lounges and fitness centers, Wired also notes.

The few facilities still open are crowded and, as you might imagine, an increasingly risky proposition in these viral times.

But that’s one area where you can help. Follow the lead of police officers in Eufaula, Alabama, who help truckers who can’t fit their rigs through the drive-thru — often the only option when restaurant dining rooms are closed.

“We will either go get something for you or give you a ride to the nearest drive-thru (if you don’t mind riding in the back seat!” the department posted on Facebook. “If manpower is such that we cannot assist, we will secure someone that can.”


Truck stops are closing down, giving drivers fewer opportunities to take a load off.

Truckers are parents, too

And truckers face other hurdles unique to these times.

“If a school system closes down, our employees may not have child care,” T.J. O’Connor of Kansas-based trucking-and-logistics company YRC Worldwide, tells USA Today. “Or we have a driver go out there to make a pickup and there’s a sign on the door that says one of the employees tested positive and they’re closed. What do you do?”

But these days, too much is riding on a trucker’s cargo for them to simply stay home.

“Times like this, people need to realize that everything you have is brought to you by truck drivers. Right now, we’re the ones out there taking chances on our health and our safety to make sure there’s food in the grocery stores,” Robert Stewart, a Pennsylvania-based trucker tells CBS News.

In other words, they deserve our admiration now more than ever.

As Deb Labree, an independent owner-operator based in Missouri, tells the industry journal Freight Waves, “When this pandemic is over, I hope truckers who were a huge part of keeping America moving and the shelves stocked realize they have achieved hero status in my book.”

https://www.mnn.com/green-tech/transportation/stories/truckers-coronavirus-heroes-pandemic-economy?utm_source=Weekly+Newsletter&utm_campaign=cc33a3c162-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_WED0325_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_fcbff2e256-cc33a3c162-40844241