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5 practical tips to stay healthy working from home – Thrive Global

Mar 24th, 2020
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Working from home (or, indeed, Anywhere) is no longer a niche business practice. In fact, telecommuting has grown 115% in the past decade. To anyone already working outside the office, this will come as no surprise. A recent FlexJobs survey revealed that 90% of people working Anywhere plan to continue to do so for the rest of their careers.

The benefits to employees are well-known. 65% of workers stated they would be more productive in a home office than in a traditional office space. And thats not just wishful thinking; of those already working from home, 75% say they are more productive now than when they worked onsite at a company.

But those benefits come with new responsibilities. Working outside the traditional office environment requires creating a safe, comfortable workspace. Staying healthy within that workspace, however, can be challenging. Thats why weve put together our top five tips on staying healthy when working from home.

Keeping fit and working from home are by no means mutually exclusive. In fact, flexible working can free you up to pursue an exercise plan that you wouldnt otherwise have time for.

Try to develop a sensible, safe exercise regime you can follow in your home. There are hundreds of five-minute workout sessions available online to keep you fit during work breaks.

Exercise doesnt have to be particularly physical; it could be as simple as taking a walk around your local park. The key focus is to keep routines safe, achievable and manageable. Short exercise breaks also help break up the day, creating a healthy balance between physical and mental activity.

Of course, the benefits of staying healthy working Anywhere extend beyond the team. A recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that running 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour reduces the risk of depression by 26%. Leaders also gain from the increased happiness and productivity that comes from employees in good physical and mental health.

Without going into the several small meals vs breakfast/lunch/dinner debate, its vital to maintain a healthy diet when working from home. Our diet plays a significant role in our mental and physical health.

Keep food separate from your workspace to avoid snacking throughout the day. The trick is to make eating a conscious aspect of your daily routine. That means assigning pre-designated times for meals and sticking to them. The same goes for staying hydrated. Keep a bottle of water by your workspace at all times and remember to top it up throughout the day.

Of course, team leaders cant dictate what their team eat. When your team works from home, all you can do is promote the virtues of a healthy, balanced diet. And its in both the interest of the individual and the business. In fact, a study by the British Journal of Health Psychology found that people who eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables 4 days a week show 25% higher job performance than those who do not.

So, youve got your diet and your exercise routine down. Now its time to make sure your workspace is safe. That means removing trip hazards, ensuring your work area is well-lit and verifying all devices are powered safely.

Safety isnt limited to protecting yourself from immediate danger. Its also important to ensure your workspace and equipment are ergonomic. For instance, is your computer at a comfortable height? Does your chair provide proper lumbar support? It might seem like a minor inconvenience now, but it could develop into a long-term health issue if left unchecked.

For team leaders, ensuring the safety of your team when they work Anywhere comes down to one thing: education. Establishing the best practices for safe workspaces fosters trust and creates a more relaxed atmosphere. In turn, this enables people to focus on working to the best of their abilities. This also reduces the risk of physical injury or impairment, meaning less time off.

Buffer, a fully-distributed team, published a report last year into employee attitudes to working from home. 21% of those surveyed say the biggest challenges are collaborating, communicating and finding company.

So how do you stay connected without a centralised shared office? Setting aside time to leave your home workspace is essential. Even taking your laptop to a nearby cafe can be enough to mix up your work environment and interact with new people.

Its not always possible to interact with new people in person. But, with the right collaboration tools, you can work from home and engage with people across the world, without the carbon footprint. These meet-ups are essential to team cohesion, but more importantly, they decrease isolation.

To that end, consider pairing up team members in a buddy system. Employees can check in on each other, while employers enjoy improved team communication and happier, healthier employees.

A recent survey by Premiere Global Services, Inc. of their telecommuters found that 82% reported lower stress levels when working from home. But thats only when employees have a clear idea of whats expected of them.

Working from home can blur the lines between work time and leisure time, so its vital you establish boundaries before starting work. This way, you have clear time frames in which you know you should be at your computer. Simultaneously, you have a clearer definition of me-time in which to relax.

Team leaders must recognise the boundaries between work and leisure time. Sending an email at 11 pm to request work (unless agreed in advance) infringes on other teammates personal time. By blurring the boundary between work and leisure, you also risk encouraging the view that working hours are optional; something that invariably leads to missed deadlines and inefficient time management.

This article originally appeared in AnywhereWorks.

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Extreme Weight Loss: Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment …

Mar 24th, 2020
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1 Extreme Weight Loss Summary

Changes in body weight, with slight increase or decrease, is common over time. Weight loss can be intentional or involuntary. Involuntary weight loss refers to a loss of weight without diet or any other efforts to lose it.

Involuntary weight loss is of concern when a person loses more than 10 pounds. For people with a comparatively smaller structure, this criteria is more than 5% of their body weight.

This extreme, involuntary weight loss may be an indication of an underlying physical or mental disorder. In such cases, people may have other symptoms like loss of appetite, fever, night sweats, or pain.

Symptoms of weight loss may vary with the underlying condition. The most common ways by which somebody notices a change in weight is through fitting of clothes or by the shape of the face.

Extreme weight loss is very obvious. In children, involuntary loss of body weight is associated with a change in appetite, fussiness over certain food, abdominal pain, and fever.

An unintentional loss of body weight is very distressing, particularly when there is a significant loss. It may be caused by multiple factors ranging from a stomach virus to a serious underlying disease.

It is most commonly seen in people who have some medical conditions including cancer, depression, or even AIDS.

Some of the common causes of unintentional weight loss are diarrhea, depression, mouth ulcers and viral infections. Some less common causes are hyperthyroidism, abdominal infection, depression, celiac disease, gastroenteritis, and dementia.

In addition to physical examination and medical history, the doctor may look at the recent changes in lifestyle and also other symptoms, to diagnose the underlying cause of extreme weight loss.

Information on changes in diet, recent illnesses, recent travels, digestive problems, and new medications may all be helpful in finding the most probable cause of the loss in weight.

Nutritional assessment helps to evaluate the diet or digestive disorder if any. Blood tests are also suggested to check out deficiencies of minerals and vitamins, and also anemia. Hormonal disorders can also be detected using blood tests.

Unintentional weight loss caused by nutritional deficiency is treated with the help of a dietician who will be of help to chart out a diet plan for correcting the deficiencies.

Digestive disorders like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is treated with the help of medications and specialized diet that provides the additional nutrients. Hormonal disorders are corrected by medications.

Increasing fluid intake, adequate bed rest, and medications are helpful in managing during general illnesses like influenza and the common cold. If left untreated, weight loss may lead to complications. The risk of infections and depression increase with extreme weight loss.

Stressful events in life often result in involuntary weight loss. This includes bereavement, divorce or mental trauma of some kind. Significant loss of body weight may also occur due to eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.

In some cases, it is difficult to pinpoint an underlying cause for the loss of weight. Some of the most common causes of the disease are depression, hyperthyroidism, and cancer.

Nutritional deficiency deficiency results when the body fails to absorb nutrients from food. Malnutrition results in unintentional weight loss. This is one of the most common causes of extreme weight loss.

Cancer lung cancer remains undetected in the early stages. This cancer also results in extreme weight loss, one of the symptoms of the condition. Cancer originating in the liver also leads to a loss in body weight.

Cancer of esophagus inhibits the movement of food through the food pipe, affecting the digestion and absorption of food. Stomach cancer originates in the cells lining the stomach. It remains undetected until the cancer is more advanced and leads to loss of body weight.

Cancer of endometrium, the uterine lining, also results in severe weight loss. Laryngeal cancer affects the throat and inhibits the easy movement of food into the esophagus, leading to loss of body weight.

Stomach ulcer painful ulcers in the stomach affects digestion and absorption and is a common cause of weight loss. Peptic ulcers in the lining of the intestine is also a common health problem that leads to malabsorption and weight loss.

Tuberculosis or TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria and mainly affects lungs. Fatigue, fever, night sweats and involuntary weight loss are the main symptoms of the condition.

Cirrhosis inflammation and scarring of liver tissue due to toxins, alcohol or viral infections is known as liver cirrhosis. Extreme weight loss is one of the symptoms of the condition.

Crohns disease this disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of digestive tract. It is associated with symptoms like abdominal pain and diarrhea, in addition to weight loss.

Colitis as the name indicates, it relates to inflammation of the colon. In addition to the many symptoms that lead to malabsorption of nutrients, weight loss is also seen as a symptom.

Hormonal disorders hyperthyroidism is a condition in which thyroid gland produces excess hormones. Increased metabolic rate and weight loss are symptoms of this disorder. Addisons disease is characterized by abnormal functioning of adrenal glands resulting in reduced production of steroid hormones.

Achalasia abnormal functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter is referred to as achalasia. It often leads to extreme weight loss.

Parasitic infections infection by hookworms that affect the lungs and small intestine often lead to significant weight loss. Amebiasis is a parasitic infection common in tropical regions caused by a protozoan. Diarrhea and weight loss are characteristic symptoms of this infection.

AIDS AIDS is an infectious disease characterized by severe weight loss, night sweats, persistent skin rashes, and mouth sores.

Depression this mood disorder is characterized by sadness and extreme hopelessness. People suffering from depression often have severe weight loss.

Gastroenteritis viral gastroenteritis, also known as the viral flu, has weight loss as a major symptom.

Symptoms and medical history of the patient are important in identifying the probable causes of weight loss.

Information on changes in diet and food intake, difficulty in swallowing, changes in bowel movements, other accompanying symptoms, the onset of symptoms, history of weight loss, other medications were taken, and recent changes in the living situation or life will all help in identifying the cause of the sudden and involuntary weight loss.

Physical examination also reveals clues regarding the cause of loss. Vital signs are checked for fever, blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing rate. The condition of organs like lungs and heart, liver, joints, and skin are all evaluated during a physical examination.

Body weight and height are measured to calculate the body mass index (BMI). Other investigations are based on the suspected cause of the condition.

Blood tests are conducted to look for probable causes like fungal infection, giant cell arteritis, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease, liver function abnormalities, infections, adrenal gland underactive, diabetes mellitus, and thyroid function.

A biopsy is suggested if alcoholism or fungal infection are the probable cause of the condition. Stool testing is suggested when malabsorption or worm infection are implicated in the development of the symptom. Imaging studies like CT are used for checking specific diseases. Organ-specific tests are recommended for different types of cancer.

Treatment depends on the underlying disorder that causes weight loss. Nutritional deficiency is treated with the help of a dietician who helps in devising a healthy diet plan to compensate the deficiency.

Specialized diet is suggested for digestive disorders like IBD, so as to obtain all the nutrients from food. Over-the-counter supplements are suggested in some cases. Behavioral measures are suggested in some conditions so that the patient is encouraged to have a healthy and balanced diet.

When behavioral therapy is not effective, food rich in nutrition or supplements is suggested. In some eating disorders, feeding with the help of a tube inserted into the stomach is suggested.

Hormonal disorders are treated with the help of medications. Many general illnesses like influenza, common cold, and food poisoning also cause weight loss. In these conditions, adequate bed rest, enough fluid intake, and medications are the best methods to control the symptom.

One can get back to a normal diet once the condition is resolved. If unintentional weight loss is caused by more serious conditions like cancer, appropriate treatment methods are suggested. This may include surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Depression and dementia are treated with psychotherapy and medications. Nutritional supplements are suggested for elderly people. The supplements are given after nutritional assessment and given between meals. It may also be given at bedtime so that it does not affect the appetite of the person.

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Emotional Eating May Soar Due to Coronavirus Anxiety and Nationwide Shutdowns – Benzinga

Mar 24th, 2020
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Los Angeles, CA, March 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- At the present time, America is facing unprecedented lockdowns due to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As the military begins to roll out in cities like New York and Los Angeles, store shelves are ravaged and job losses become imminent, many people may be experiencing increased anxiety and depression in the face of these national uncertainties. In times like these, it's important that while you prepare your household for the days, weeks and months to come, you also take measures to protect your mental and physical health. Being on lockdown in the home can increase stress and cabin fever, leading people to take on potentially harmful habits such as emotional or stress-based eating to cope with the constant unfolding of events.

The biggest consequence of emotional eating is of course weight gain. A quick, total gain of 10-20% can increase blood pressure markers, blood sugar markers and cholesterol markers. One thing you don't want to do at a time like this is further damage your health, particularly considering how weight gain can lower your immunity and ability to fight diseases. This is especially true if the diet you're following is made up of primarily processed foods and sugars. Here are some tips to keep your and household healthy at this time:

Buy fresh produce rather than processed items when you shop Due to the stockpiling of items and need to remain indoors. Many people are choosing processed items in masse. If you're already going to the store to restock 1-2 times per week, grab more fresh vegetables, fruits and produce instead.

Take walks Lacking sunshine (Vitamin D) can have a range of health problems from increased inflammation to decreased immunity. As long as you're practicing social distancing, getting out for a brief 20-30 minute walk can keep your weight down and provide great health-saving benefits.

Eat on a schedule It can be very tempting to consistently snack while at home. If you're an emotional eater, snacking can become a major source of unnecessary calories. Try to restrict your meals to 2-3 times per day.

Use an appetite suppressant or start a diet plan Diet Doc is one of the nation's leading medical weight loss specialists in the country, offering remote-based diet plans for patient's in need. Their weight loss coaches are licensed and trained to deal with emotional eating habits in order to develop easy strategies you can implement right from your own home. If approved, prescription appetite control suppressants and emotional eating support can be shipped to your home within three days and all consultations are conducted by phone or computer for your ultimate convenience.

Interested in how medical weight loss can help manage your emotional eating and anxiety? New Diet Doc patients can call or easily and effortlessly visit https: https://www.dietdoc.comto complete an initial comprehensive, yet simple, health questionnaire and schedule an immediate personal, no-cost consultation. DietDoc's physicians all received specialized training in nutritional science and fast weight loss. DietDoc reviews each patient's health history to create a personalized diet plan geared for fast weight loss, or that addresses life-long issues causing weight loss to slow down or stop. Nutritionists work personally with each patient and use their own algorithm to craft meal and snack plans that are compatible with each patient's age, gender, activity level, food preferences, nutritional needs and medical conditions. They combine these state-of-the-art diet plans with pure, prescription diet products that enable their patients to resist the temptation to reach for sugary snacks, eliminate fatigue and curb the appetite. Over 97% of DietDoc patients report incredible weight loss results with the majority losing between 10-15 lbs. or more pounds per month.

At Diet Doc, all patients gain unlimited access to the best minds in the business. Their staff of doctors, nurses, nutritionists and coaches are available six days per week to answer questions, offer suggestions, address concerns and lend their professional guidance and support. Because of this, more and more people are turning to Diet Doc for their weight management needs. Diet plans are tailored to be specific to the needs of those of any age, gender, shape or size and for those who are struggling to lose that final 10-20 pounds to those who must lose 100 pounds or more. Call today to request a private, confidential, no-cost online consultation.

About the Company:

Diet Doc is the nation's leader in medical, weight loss offering a full line of prescription medication, doctor, nurse and nutritional coaching support. For over a decade, Diet Doc has produced a sophisticated, doctor designed weight loss program that addresses each individual specific health need to promote fast, safe and long-term weight loss.

Diet Doc Contact Information:

Providing Care Across The USA

Headquarters:

Escondido, CA

(800) 581-5038

info@dietdoc.com

Homepage

Disclaimer: The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.

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Know-How: Be Bossy With The Boss Hen – American Hunter

Mar 24th, 2020
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Have you ever noticed the more you raise your voice, the more your antagonist raises theirs? Before you know it youre in a face-to-face, chest-bumping standoff. That shouldnt be your goal at the local brewpub, but you can make it your goal during spring turkey season. You want to attract a tom blinded by testosterone, but to do that, it oftentimes hinges on ticking off the boss in an ever-increasing lead-up to a fight.

In most flocks, one hen leads the group with the boss-hen designation. She leads the flock after fly down. She starts a new course after feeding, and she steers everyone back to an evening roost. Shes the one in charge and the one you need to target in addition to the tom. Catch her attention and increase your odds of catching him.

Despite going up against the best in bossiness, you shouldnt begin this overbearingness at daybreak under the roost. This is a time of day when a little goes a long way. Soft yelps to direct a tom to the landing strip in front of you could seal the deal. Nevertheless, as limb chatter increases you can slowly match the tone of the lead hen. This gives the tom something to think about. Should I glide over to a sure thing or wait up here with a loudmouth? Your antagonistic approach could lead to notching a tag before sunrise.

Of course, your bullish attempt may cause the lead hen to fly another direction. No worries. Shut up, reconnoiter the possible next pit stop and circle ahead. Once you feel youre in the general area of where the flock is heading, consider switching calls to sound like a different hen. Then start again with a subliminal hello. If the hen responds you now have the green light to converse with a freelance approach. If she maintains a friendly demeanor theres no reason to ratchet up the rhetoric. You can, however, tempt her with the sounds of a more jovial crowd.

Employ multiple calls and mimic the chatter of a loitering flock. Soft yelps, clucks and purrs, plus the sound of scratching, could sway the hen your way. Tone your response accordingly and continue the watercooler chat. She may show up out of curiosity with the boys in tow. Of course, your happy home could also amplify her anger as the conversation continues. Stay ready to match her mood.

Lightweight and compact decoys are easy to haul into the field, and hens can be just as effective as a jake or tom.

Louder yelps and lengthy cadences from the matriarch signify your unappreciated presence from the boss. If you sense irritation, its time to once again turn up the volume and add a touch of arrogance to your answers. In addition to intensifying volume, consider interrupting her yelps and add in the excitement of cuts to the dialog.

Staking decoys ahead of your conversation starters provides a visual provocation. A lone hen decoy has plenty of power at the crack of dawn if your yearning yelps muster enough lust in a roosted tom. On subsequent setups, two hens in the presence of a tom or jake could charm a lustful longbeard watching from the sideline. It also could infuriate the boss hen into a fuming frenzy.

This spring, keep your attention on the tom prize, but keep a focus on the boss hen. If honey doesnt drag her your way, browbeat her into a chest-bumping brawl.

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OPKO Health’s BioReference Laboratories and City of Detroit Provide Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – The Trentonian

Mar 24th, 2020
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ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., March 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- BioReference Laboratories, Inc., an OPKO Health company (NASDAQ: OPK), today announced a collaboration with the City of Detroit to provide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing. BioReference will provide COVID-19 testing at drive-through locations for Detroit residents by appointment.

"The impact that expanded testing will have on residents of the City of Detroit is immeasurable," said Mike Duggan, Mayor of the City of Detroit. "Myself, and the residents of this great city are grateful for our relationship and partnership with BioReference."

"This is another example of BioReference assisting local governments around the country to provide COVID-19 testing," said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories. "In addition to providing the residents of Detroit increased access to testing, there are first responders in the city who are waiting to get tested and we are privileged to support the exposed men and women on the front-lines in Detroit."

The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) established a COVID-19 hotline for anyone with questions regarding the virus. DMC COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-DMC-3370.

Providers should refer to the most current CDC guidelines for further information on appropriate testing of patients, available here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html.

About COVID-19 Testing at BioReference Laboratories, Inc.BioReference Laboratories is accepting specimens for COVID-19 testing from healthcare providers, clinics and health systems throughout the United States to promote earlier diagnosis of the coronavirus and to aid in limiting spread of infection. In addition to its nationwide COVID-19 testing offering, BioReference has partnerships with the New York State Department of Health, the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (NYC Health + Hospitals) and the State of New Jersey to provide COVID-19 testing.

BioReference is offering a real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) assay with expected 24-48 hour turnaround time. The Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 test has been made available pursuant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for diagnostic testing in CLIA certified high-complexity laboratories. All tests are conducted in BioReference's main laboratory in Elmwood Park, N.J., which currently has a capacity to run up to 15,000 COVID-19 tests per day. For more information, visithttps://www.bioreference.com/coronavirus.

About BioReference Laboratories, Inc.BioReference provides comprehensive testing to physicians, clinics, hospitals, employers, government units, correctional institutions and medical groups. The company is in network with the five largest health plans in the United States, operates a network of 10 laboratory locations, and is backed by a medical staff of more than 160 MD, PhD and other professional level clinicians and scientists. For more information, visitwww.bioreference.com.

About OPKO HealthOPKO Health is a diversified healthcare company. In diagnostics, its BioReference Laboratories is one of the nation's largest full-service clinical laboratories; GeneDx is a rapidly growing genetic testing business; the 4Kscore test is used to assess a patient's individual risk for aggressive prostate cancer following an elevated PSA and to help decide about next steps such as prostate biopsy; Claros 1 is a point-of-care diagnostics platform with a total PSA test approved by the FDA. In our pharmaceutical pipeline, RAYALDEE is our first pharmaceutical product to be marketed. OPK88003, a once-weekly oxyntomodulin for type 2 diabetes and obesity - reported positive data from a Phase 2 clinical trial. It's among a new class of GLP-1/glucagon receptor dual agonists. OPK88004, a SARM (selective androgen receptor modulator) is currently being studied for various potential indications. The Company's most advanced product utilizing its CTP technology, a once-weekly human growth hormone for injection, successfully met its primary endpoint and key secondary endpoints in a Phase 3 study and is partnered with Pfizer. OPKO also has research, development, production and distribution facilities abroad.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "plans," "projects," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates," and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding BioReference's plans to begin testing for COVID-19 in Detroit and the timing of and availability of the test, the turn-around time for testing and test capacity, as well as other non-historical statements about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in the OPKO Health, Inc. Annual Reports on Form 10-K filed and to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, reagent and supply shortages, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA

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OPKO Health's BioReference Laboratories and City of Detroit Provide Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - The Trentonian

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OPKO Health’s BioReference Laboratories and City of Miami Provide Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – The Trentonian

Mar 24th, 2020
Comments Off on OPKO Health’s BioReference Laboratories and City of Miami Provide Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – The Trentonian

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., March 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- BioReference Laboratories, Inc., an OPKO Health company (NASDAQ: OPK), today announced a collaboration with the City of Miami to provide coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing. BioReference will provide COVID-19 testing at drive-through locations for Miami residents by appointment.

BioReference is also announcing that they are providing testing for drive-through testing centers in South Florida, Hialeah and Hollywood through a collaboration with Larkin Community Hospital.

"We all are responsible for helping to control the spread of this virus," said Francis Suarez, Mayor of the City of Miami. "As an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, I have a duty to the City of Miami to bring my city's residents access to testing and information, and through our partnership with BioReference, we can help address this public health crisis."

"BioReference continues to prioritize expanding public access to COVID-19 testing across the nation," said Jon R. Cohen, M.D., Executive Chairman of BioReference Laboratories. "The importance of high-quality, reliable, scalable laboratory tests available is a critical part of the response in the effort to contain COVID-19."

If you demonstrate symptoms related with COVID-19, please call the Florida Department of Health immediately: 1-866-779-6121 or call the City of Miami COVID-19 Center: 1-305-960-5027.

Providers should refer to the most current CDC guidelines for further information on appropriate testing of patients, available here https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/clinical-criteria.html.

About COVID-19 Testing at BioReference Laboratories, Inc.BioReference Laboratories is accepting specimens for COVID-19 testing from healthcare providers, clinics and health systems throughout the United States to promote earlier diagnosis of the coronavirus and to aid in limiting spread of infection. In addition to its nationwide COVID-19 testing offering, BioReference has partnerships with the New York State Department of Health, the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (NYC Health + Hospitals), the State of New Jersey and the City of Detroit to provide COVID-19 testing.

BioReference is offering a real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) assay with expected 24-48 hour turnaround time. The Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 test has been made available pursuant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Emergency Use Authorization for diagnostic testing in CLIA certified high-complexity laboratories. All tests are conducted in BioReference's main laboratory in Elmwood Park, N.J., which currently has a capacity to run up to 15,000 COVID-19 tests per day. For more information, visithttps://www.bioreference.com/coronavirus.

About BioReference Laboratories, Inc.BioReference provides comprehensive testing to physicians, clinics, hospitals, employers, government units, correctional institutions and medical groups. The company is in network with the five largest health plans in the United States, operates a network of 10 laboratory locations, and is backed by a medical staff of more than 160 MD, PhD and other professional level clinicians and scientists. For more information, visitwww.bioreference.com.

About OPKO HealthOPKO Health is a diversified healthcare company. In diagnostics, its BioReference Laboratories is one of the nation's largest full-service clinical laboratories; GeneDx is a rapidly growing genetic testing business; the 4Kscore test is used to assess a patient's individual risk for aggressive prostate cancer following an elevated PSA and to help decide about next steps such as prostate biopsy; Claros 1 is a point-of-care diagnostics platform with a total PSA test approved by the FDA. In our pharmaceutical pipeline, RAYALDEE is our first pharmaceutical product to be marketed. OPK88003, a once-weekly oxyntomodulin for type 2 diabetes and obesity - reported positive data from a Phase 2 clinical trial. It's among a new class of GLP-1/glucagon receptor dual agonists. OPK88004, a SARM (selective androgen receptor modulator) is currently being studied for various potential indications. The Company's most advanced product utilizing its CTP technology, a once-weekly human growth hormone for injection, successfully met its primary endpoint and key secondary endpoints in a Phase 3 study and is partnered with Pfizer. OPKO also has research, development, production and distribution facilities abroad.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is defined under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA), which statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "plans," "projects," "will," "may," "anticipates," "believes," "should," "intends," "estimates," and other words of similar meaning, including statements regarding BioReference's plans to begin testing for COVID-19 in Miami and the timing of and availability of the test, the turn-around time for testing and test capacity, as well as other non-historical statements about our expectations, beliefs or intentions regarding our business, technologies and products, financial condition, strategies or prospects. Many factors could cause our actual activities or results to differ materially from the activities and results anticipated in forward-looking statements. These factors include those described in the OPKO Health, Inc. Annual Reports on Form 10-K filed and to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in its other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition, forward-looking statements may also be adversely affected by general market factors, reagent and supply shortages, competitive product development, product availability, federal and state regulations and legislation, the regulatory process for new products and indications, manufacturing issues that may arise, patent positions and litigation, among other factors. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date the statements were made, and we do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements. We intend that all forward-looking statements be subject to the safe-harbor provisions of the PSLRA

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OPKO Health's BioReference Laboratories and City of Miami Provide Testing for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) - The Trentonian

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Congress at war over third coronavirus package – Politico

Mar 24th, 2020
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With help from David Lim

House and Senate divided on coronavirus drug payments and testing requirements.

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New York begins trials for two potential treatments, heralded by Trump.

Gileads antiviral gets a rare disease nod ensuring 7 years of market exclusivity.

Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Prescription Pulse! Do you work for a hospital? What's the status of your personal protective gear? Is your hospital able to perform its own testing? Tell us what you're seeing. This survey is for our reporting only. We wont publish your name without contacting you for permission. And keep sending pharma/device news and tips Sarah Owermohle ([emailprotected] or @owermohle), David Lim ([emailprotected] or @davidalim) and Arthur Allen ([emailprotected] or @ArthurAllen202).

Sign up for POLITICO Nightly: Coronavirus Special Edition, your daily update on how the illness is affecting politics, markets, public health and more.

CONGRESS AT WAR OVER THIRD CORONAVIRUS PACKAGE A new rescue plan from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would, among other things, require insurers to eliminate co-pays on coronavirus treatments and bolster test reporting.

While Pelosi's draft bill has no chance of being enacted, it provides a laundry list of the kind of measures Democrats are pushing as talks over a historic stimulus package hit a rough patch in the Senate. Heres how the Senate Republican plan and Pelosis differ on pharma and devices:

Paying for drugs. While health plans would have to fully cover coronavirus treatments at no extra expense, theyd be reimbursed for their patients cost-sharing. But in addition to waiving treatment costs, Pelosis bill also orders plans to leave out certain barriers to accessing medicines, like prior authorization requirements, that could slow down use of coronavirus-targeting drugs.

House Democrats had struggled to get drug affordability language into the first stimulus package in the face of GOP opposition. The Senate version shields patients from out-of-pocket payments for tests but does not make the same assurances for medicines. Nothings been approved for Covid-19 yet, so its unclear what the bill for treatment would even be.

Tracking tests. The House bill would require states and local governments, labs and health systems to report real-time data coronavirus testing results. Democrats also want specific details from severe outcomes to be reported a step public health researchers say is needed to have a better understanding of how the disease is affecting different patient populations.

It is unclear if the House bill provides $5 billion in funding that commercial labs have sought. The Senate version did not contain such money, much to chagrin of groups like the American Clinical Laboratories Association.

ANTIBIOTIC MEASURE DROPPED FROM SENATE VERSION Meanwhile, a provision to boost payments for much-needed antibiotics has been dropped from the Senate GOP stimulus package, aides and lobbyists confirm. A corresponding measure was not in the House bill.

Conversations are ongoing, but its looking pretty grim, said one policy expert close to negotiations. The provision, drawn from the bipartisan DISARM Act, S. 1712 (116), would have boosted Medicare payments for antibiotics.

Proponents of the measure say its not just about bolstering the beleaguered antibiotic industry, which has been wracked by bankruptcies and mergers. The ongoing pandemic is about a virus but many people who contract a virus actually end up dying from secondary infections, especially if they are in the hospital on a ventilator that can be susceptible to bacteria, argued the policy expert.

Is that the case with coronavirus? Too early to say, the experts say. But a few research papers are starting to give us that smoke.

TRUMP TOUTS NY TRIALS President Donald Trump is hanging big hopes for defeating the coronavirus on a drug trial starting soon in New York, touting the potential benefits of an experimental combination that is only in the early stages of research.

That therapy probably is looking very, very good, and the trial could start as early as Tuesday, Trump said at a Monday night press briefing on the coronavirus.

Two clinical trials are set to begin in the state as early as this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday morning ahead of the president's briefing.

Cuomo and Trump have clashed in recent weeks over the federal response to the pandemic and states needs, but Trump on Monday pointed to New Yorks upcoming trials as evidence that swift progress was being made against the virus that has infected nearly 40,000 people in the country so far. New York, now considered the U.S. epicenter of the outbreak, has reported nearly 21,000 known cases.

We are dealing there well together, Trump said of Cuomo on Monday night, later adding that the governor has been working very hard."

One trial would combine the antibiotic zithromax and the decades-old drug hydroxychloroquine, originally developed to fight malaria. The president has named-checked the drug in recent press conferences as a promising option for treating patients who contract the virus, despite research being in the early stages.

Bioethicists and policy experts have warned against overpromising on chloroquine, which is also used against lupus and arthritis, because it's not yet clear how effective it is against the coronavirus and its side effects could be serious.

The second trial could begin as early as this week to test infusing a serum from recovered Covid-19 patients into current patients to boost their immunity to the virus, Cuomo said.

The plasma technique, first used in the 1890s, is still occasionally employed in critical situations Chinese scientists have used it in the current pandemic as well. But it has had a mixed record: In a trial using plasma against the Ebola virus, 31 percent of participants died, compared to 38 percent who died while receiving only supportive care, with researchers reporting that the technique "was not associated with a significant improvement in survival."

CORONAVIRUS A RARE DISEASE? Apparently so, according to an FDA decision Monday to designate Gileads experimental antiviral remdesivir an orphan drug. The designation gives Gilead seven years of market exclusivity and a 25 percent tax credit if it makes it to market. But Covid-19 has already infected 375,000 people worldwide and at least 39,000 people in the U.S., with no signs yet of abating. Some governors have warned that 40 percent to 60 percent of people could be infected if certain measures are not taken hardly the definition of rare.

The designation, in fact, does not take projected figures into account so even though public health experts expect many more domestic cases, coronavirus is still a rare disease, for now. And the FDA cannot rescind the designation just because case load grows over 200,000, its benchmark for the classification.

The intellectual property NGO Knowledge Ecology International quickly slammed the decision. "Everyone wishes this was a rare disease, but unfortunately, it isnt, and the testing will certainly confirm that shortly," the organization wrote in a statement.

House Democrats also might not be thrilled. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform last year grilled Gilead CEO Daniel ODay over the drugmakers patents and prices for HIV medicines. Some argued that the government should ignore the exclusivity on patents on a prevention drug, Truvada, that they said federally funded scientists at the CDC had a role in developing.

INSULIN GOES BIOLOGIC Grandfathered biologic drugs officially transitioned to a new regulatory pathway on Monday, a move aimed at opening the door to more affordable insulin as well as certain fertility drugs, human growth hormone and other substances.

New versions of insulin will now be classed with vaccines and therapeutic proteins and can be fast-tracked when shown to be similar to or interchangeable with FDA-approved biologics. There is no true generic insulin on the market now, partly because the conventional pathway made it difficult to make identical products.

FDA published a final rule Feb. 20 outlining the application process for the new pathway for biological products. In a release Monday, FDA deputy commissioner Amy Abernethy and drugs chief Janet Woodcock called it a historic day and a landmark moment.

FDA IS WARNING CONSUMERS ABOUT FAKE TESTS The agency says that while it is working with developers on coronavirus tests that may include at-home sample collection, there is no FDA-approved at-home test to date, and consumers should be wary of any product making such a representation.

Fraudulent health claims, tests, and products can pose serious health risks, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement Friday.

PUBLIC HEALTH LABS GET SWAB REFRESH The labs are receiving more than 200,000 swabs from the Strategic National Stockpile in response to a supply crunch for basic testing materials, Scott Becker, the CEO of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told POLITICO on Sunday.

A backlog of samples to be tested for coronavirus at commercial labs will be resolved by mid-week, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Sunday.

Pence also said the administration would give all commercial labs guidance to prioritize in-patient testing, so that patients who have been checked into hospitals for the coronavirus or coronavirus-like symptoms could be tested more quickly.

MEETING THE VENTILATOR DEMAND CPAP devices can be converted into ventilators during the coronavirus outbreak, FDA said in guidance over the weekend.

The policy allows hospitals to repurpose existing products to meet major shortages in the United States during the coronavirus outbreak.

ResMed Chief Medical Officer Carlos Nunez told POLITICO that modifications to its in-market CPAP machines to support more advanced modes of respiratory aid requires careful assessment to ensure risk is acceptable.

We have an opportunity to convert the manufacturing resources typically used for PAP devices to support manufacturing bilevel and non-invasive ventilation devices that are more suited to the care of COVID-19 patients, Nunez said. The company is in the process of doubling its normal manufacturing levels for invasive-capable and non-invasive ventilators.

Ventilators normally used in other environments, such as ambulances, could be used for long-term care, the guidance says.

Still, groups including the American Hospital Association and state leaders like Cuomo argue the federal governments actions are inadequate and that Trump should use the Defense Production Act to compel manufacturers to boost supply of ventilators, personal protective equipment and testing supplies.

We cant just wait for companies to come forward with offers and hope they will, Cuomo tweeted Monday. This is a national emergency.

HOW DO YOU DOLE OUT IN A PANDEMIC? Two articles in the New England Journal of Medicine on Monday examine the question of how to ethically allocate scarce medical resources and ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rationing is already here. In the United States, perhaps the earliest example was the near-immediate recognition that there were not enough high-filtration N-95 masks for health care workers, prompting contingency guidance on how to reuse masks designed for single use, the medical ethicists wrote. They also note that hard decisions about which patients get intensive care beds and ventilators during a severe outbreak are on the horizon.

STATES STRATEGIZE ON TESTING New York is shifting its remote testing away from worried well residents and New Yorkers experiencing mild Covid-19 symptoms to prioritize the sick, the de Blasio administration said Sunday. The city canceled a remote testing site at Pier 88 the same day and shut down one of the public hospital systems sites in the Bronx on Monday, Amanda Eisenberg reports.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that NYC Health + Hospitals is about 10 days away from reaching its capacity for Covid-19 patients. He also warned of looming equipment shortages.

I think were about 10 days away now from seeing widespread shortages of really fundamental supplies, from ventilators, surgical masks the things that are absolutely necessary to keep a hospital system running, de Blasio said during an interview on CNN. And we have seen next to nothing from the federal government at this point.

Meanwhile in Florida, a small battalion of University of Florida researchers will be at The Villages, a sprawling retirement community north of Orlando, where they will administer 400 to 500 coronavirus tests daily to eldery patients even asymptomatic Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.

ANGRY STATE LEADERS PUSH BACK ON MASK SHIPMENT CLAIMS Governors, mayors and front-line health care workers confronting rising numbers of critically ill coronavirus patients said Sunday they have not received meaningful amounts of federal aid including the shipments of desperately needed masks and other emergency equipment that administration officials say they have already dispatched.

Several Democratic governors are demanding a more coordinated national response to get supplies as fast as possible to where they are needed most critically, Alice Miranda Ollstein reported. But Trump hit back at the governors' televised pleas, tweeting Sunday that they "shouldn't be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings." He told the governors the federal government's role is to be there "to back you up should you fail, and always will be!"

HHS OIG put out a fraud alert Monday warning the public of coronavirus schemes like telemarketing calls seeking personal details such as Medicare information.

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Congress at war over third coronavirus package - Politico

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Setting up the third, ‘ultimate historical edition’ of Muchnick’s CHRIS & NANCY – Canoe

Mar 24th, 2020
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Setting up the third, 'ultimate historical edition' of Muchnick's CHRIS & NANCY

ByIRVIN MUCHNICK

ONE OF THE GOALS of this third "ultimate historical edition" is to reestablish the known -- not speculative -- record of what happened to Chris Benoit and his family in June 2007. Another is to introduce this wicked story to a new generation of readers. My fellow author Greg Oliver, who runs the SLAM! Wrestling news and feature site, told me that when he tables his books at places like wrestling fan conventions, there is palpable renewed interest in Benoit: Wrestling With the Horror That Destroyed a Family and Crippled a Sport, the volume of instant essays Greg co-wrote with Steven Johnson, Heath McCoy, and myself. Initially that book drew interest from people who were news consumers trying to make sense out of the event and its aftermath. Today, Greg said, he detects something different: curiosity, from scratch, on the part of those who have only heard about Benoit in passing and want to nail down the fundamentals. My hope is that this renewed footprint of CHRIS & NANCY will help.

As for what has gone down in the intervening dozen years, you can choose your own jumping-off point. Mine is related to Benoit only in one important sense: It is the most recent parallel wrestler's suicide by hanging. On May 16, 2019, former WWE "diva" Ashley Massaro took her own life in this fashion. She was 39 and one of the two seemingly premature ex-WWE fatalities that year. The other, Rick Bognar, the one-time "fake Diesel," died suddenly at 49 of unknown causes.

Obviously, this collective annual toll of two was a tiny fraction of the 20-plus in Benoit's 2007, which occurred at the peak of major wrestling promotion early fatalities. Many of that generation's untimely deaths could be traced, though not in any reliably direct, one-to-one correspondence, to some combination of drugs and what we now better understand is the insidious accumulation of traumatic brain injury. The drugs involved were at least as likely to be painkillers and antidepressants as either the steroid family or recreational "street" drugs. They now fit neatly into what we know as a society-wide opioid crisis.

Meanwhile, the detection of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused by both dumb stunt impacts and lots of completely routine ones, is still foolproof only postmortem. More interested in elevating discussion of the overall problem than in constructing a perfect pie graph, I called both drug excess and brain trauma, twin occupational hazards in varying measures, the ingredients of wrestling's "cocktail of death."

This turn of phrase makes for a punchy subtitle but may be too anodyne for a fantasy industry that is almost, by definition, unequipped to deal with the realities of mental illness in general -- something the world at large is just starting to come to grips with. You could say that some of the inherent self-medication in wrestling is the symptom of another cocktail ingredient.

Today, giving due credit for constructive changes, I must record that the industry's bedrock health and safety record has improved from its unimaginably very worst. Performers in this spectacle-sports hybrid still die young at a low roar, but at rates consistent with a more expected rhythm as a consequence of the extreme risk-taking of what the Taylor Swift lyric calls "the young and the reckless." The clear and present danger highlighted by Congressional investigations -- half-hearted though those investigations were -- has abated. In place is the somewhat normalized human sausage factory that is a byproduct of late-empire America's inexhaustible entertainments.

But let's not take too large a leap from this qualified good news. I, for one, am not about to declare the WWE Wellness Policy a success, except on its own narrow terms. I have some skin in this game, both in general and as a figure who, in caricature, was featured in the pages of American Lawyer magazine in 2011, juxtaposed against WWE mouthpiece Jerry McDevitt for a post-Benoit debate. (See it here.)

Please do not try to sell me on the notion that today's drug tests are administered, and their associated disciplines meted out, with scientific neutrality. WWE vice president of talent Paul "Triple H" Levesque, husband of Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie, still performs occasionally at age 50, and he looks mahvelous. (One of Levesque's early personal trainers and "nutritionists," Dave Palumbo, who at one point was imprisoned for selling fake human growth hormone, was renowned for counseling his clients on how to beat drug tests.) I don't know, maybe movie star Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson really was forced to pee into a cup before parachuting back into WWE rings for cameo appearances. John Cena lost time to a torn pectoral in the years just before he, too, was mostly detached to Hollywood. Pec and triceps ruptures are injuries not found in the sports medicine literature prior to steroids.

Aside from the smell test for specific eyebrow-raising performers, the basic point is that WWE contracts with a drug-testing lab but still runs the show. This is not a genuinely independent review system. In legit sports, the system is also less than perfect and transparent, but it's inching closer -- in part because the scrutiny is greater and in part because the standards for regulating performance enhancement are more objective and compelling.

Again: What WWE is doing today in the area of preventing future Benoits is considerably better than nothing, no matter what motivates the powers-that-be -- a genuine concern for health and safety, or simply public relations -- and no matter how large the remaining gap between the real and the ideal.

In addition, a couple of new factors on the contemporary wrestling industry landscape have done a lot to mitigate against future Benoits. The main one: WWE, in the way of every global corporate franchise, has grown progressively more homogenized. Despite the occasional exception who proves the rule (see Brock Lesnar), no individual wrestler is any longer meaningfully the superstar of the company. The superstar is, rather, the "brand" itself. "Superstar" is itself a contrived term of art. Mad marketing genius Vince McMahon has concocted a complete dedicated, and somewhat creepy and Orwellian, vocabulary, led from the top by "WWE universe." In the past, when a Benoit got out of control, it was a feature, not a bug. (A better example from history would be Brian Pillman, who unlike Benoit was a genuinely crazy character, not merely self-destructive.)

All of this combines to make someone like Ashley Massaro more of an isolated tragedy in the brave new world.

Of course, today's WWE boasts big people, men and women, larger than life, yadda yadda yadda. But they are also more carefully domesticated, to round out and fill in the potholes of the overall roster of this preconceived "universe." By and large, a "talent" recites scripted promos. The talents dress professionally in public and have the expectation of behaving like ambassadors. From where I sit, the quintessential 2020s WWE dude is someone like Adam "Braun Strowman" Scherr. Son of a slow-pitch softball legend who himself gained notoriety in strongman events before migrating to WWE's development program, Strowman was groomed in accordance with a very particular corporate definition of superstardom. Not only comfortable inside the squared circle, he can be relied on to deliver articulate pre-Fox SmackDown premiere promo interviews from the broadcast booth of a nationally televised baseball game.

The other new factor is a bit more complicated. For a long time after squashing rival WCW, WWE had almost undiluted hegemony over wrestling's North American market, as well as a vast majority of global revenues. But then this resilient and ever-evolving art form found renewed energy, creativity, and popularity at its local independent roots. For a long time this translated into an unofficial feeder system for WWE and its Florida developmental operation and third-wheel circuit, NXT.

But the indie talent surge became not just steady but unsinkable, and not just as a platform for someone like Bryan "Daniel Bryan" Danielson to land in WWE and enjoy due notice and income. Plenty of wrestlers, like the Young Bucks, became two-continent brands in their own rights. The 2018 All-In show in Chicago scrambled the playbook of indie ambition. A new promotion, All Elite Wrestling, has truly competitive capitalization and a substantial national television package, and seems the entity best equipped in many years to give WWE at least a little bit of a run for its money.

With competition comes a better prospect for taking care of the talent, theoretically -- but this positive development comes with a caveat. WCW gave WWE competition, too, but the higher pay coming out of the welcome competition was accompanied by less drug-testing, more risky behavior. Because wrestlers don't want to be encumbered in their quest to get "over," they made a no-testing regime one of the lures of a better deal.

Will 2020s pro wrestling competition -- some of it based more on stunt set pieces than on classic quasi-athletic storytelling -- ultimately embrace longer-life industry practices or simply another form of the "cocktail of death"? We'll see.

THESE ARE LIKELY TO BE AMONG THE LAST WORDS of my career on the larger meaning of the pop culture phenomenon of professional wrestling -- a subject that has obsessed me for more than 35 years. In recent years I largely moved on to other subjects, notably the public health deficits of football and the systemic coach sexual abuse and cover-ups embedded in swimming and other youth sports. Accordingly, I reach here toward some finality or legacy for my wrestling reportage and commentary. Finding such a theme turns out not to be that hard, since the evidence assaults us 24/7.

It is spelled T-R-U-M-P.

Trump. Donald John Trump, long ago labeled "the thin-fingered vulgarian" by the late, great Spy magazine. In 1988 and 1989, his since bankrupted casino in Atlantic City hosted WrestleManias 4 and 5. Of course, on January 20, 2017, Trump became the unlikely, though in retrospect eminently fitting, populist demagogue 45th president of the United States.

Trump the table-overturner of norms. Trump the bad king. Trump the race-baiter. Master of crudely unethical non-compliance with the Constitution's emoluments clause. Russia election interference colluder. Ukraine military aid shakedown quarterback. "Individual-1" unindicted co-conspirator in campaign finance law violations that resulted in the payout of hush money to a porn star and a Playboy model he had screwed. Ultimate opportunist, hype artist, con man, compulsive liar, exhibit of incurable narcissistic personality disorder and megalomania. The man his narrowly triumphant electoral, decidedly popular-vote minority, base loves to love and everyone else loves to hate.

And all this before the corona virus crisis, which is unfolding as this edition is being published, and promises to be the closest thing to apocalypse any of us will ever experience.

In other words, the all-time wrestling heel. To say that Trump epitomizes or encapsulates or illustrates or emblemizes or legitimizes WrestleWorld is to engage in rare understatement for a field of human endeavor that aims low and little, while expressing itself low and large.Should I make myself even more clear? By asserting that the election of Donald Trump, undisputed world champion of the deterioration of American civic life, brought the chickens home to roost, I do not intend indirection, analogy, or metaphor. I mean that, literally, poultry animals of the foulest sort now perch up and down Pennsylvania Avenue. They are found in degraded United States embassies, installations, and institutions from Jerusalem to Jakarta, Bern to Bonn, London to Lusaka. Also in hitherto at least nominally science-based entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Most to the point for our purposes, they include some of the specific characters who brought us the "WWE universe."

An old commercial for a brand of audiotape once asked, Is it live or is it Memorex? How quaint. In 2020, on the cusp of possibilities ranging from Trump's ejection from office to his designs on presidency for life, we are magnitudes of meta-reality beyond mundane literary contemplation. The spectacle of wrestling's cartoonishly masculine and verbally blustery advocates of violent gesture, as entertainment and catharsis, has been cited time and again as a model for the decline of civility in the public square. But that was then. This is now: Mainstream pundits routinely deconstruct presidential rhetoric, Twitter tactics, and chaotic distractions with the term kayfabe, carny code for the somewhat comically guarded inside industry secret that wrestling is not a straight athletic competition. Nowadays, commentators of the affairs of state toss around kayfabe as though it were the accepted shared vocabulary for a citizenry reduced to the chatter of wrestling fans trying to decide whether they are marks or smart or smart marks.

Because, it seems, that's what we have all been reduced to. The painstaking design of the American democratic experiment by Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and Hamilton evidently didn't account for this.

In a memorable scene from The Godfather, Michael Corleone's girlfriend is aghast at the idea that politicians might be operating out of the same playbook as mobsters. In reply, Al Pacino's Michael says to Diane Keaton's Kay, "Now who's being naive?"

Donald Trump, ultimate practitioner of wrestling style, has obliterated the concept of naivete, just as he has steamrolled science, facts, and truth. He is living, breathing, walking dystopia -- not as prophecy but as reality TV once and for all exerting temporal power. To the Sinclair Lewis question of whether "it can happen here," Trump has provided the answer: yes. To the question of whether such a devolution would entail either George Orwell's paradigm of fear or Aldous Huxley's paradigm of state-induced lethargy or Hannah Arendt's paradigm of bottom-line banality, Trump has provided another answer: yes. Yes! All of the above! With a Pier Sixer of a schmazz thrown in for good measure!

But CHRIS & NANCY doesn't rebrand itself merely to recycle these commonplaces. I also want to continue my larger mission as a reporter who tries to connect the dots between the pigs from the fringe and the men from the mainstream (again borrowing from Orwell), and to challenge readers to the task of telling one from the other.

In the original edition, Trump was found only in a footnote. By the end of the book, Linda McMahon -- wife of WWE potentate Vince McMahon -- was just becoming a real working Republican politico, the governor-appointed and state legislature-confirmed member of the Connecticut Board of Education. In 2017 Linda would be in the Trump cabinet as administrator of the Small Business Administration. Shrugging off the baggage of a drunk-driving episode, Raj Shah -- the communications director for Congressman Rob Simmons, McMahon's Republican primary opponent roadkill in her first unsuccessful run for a U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut in 2010 -- became President Trump's deputy press secretary.

David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post won a Pulitzer Prize for his comprehensive coverage of the fraudulent, self-dealing Donald J. Trump Foundation, which dissolved before accepting a $2 million fine after being prosecuted by the state of New York. The largest contributors to the foundation, to the tune of $4 million in 2007 and $1 million in 2009, were Vince and Linda McMahon. These donations accounted for 95 percent of the foundation's intake through that period (Trump himself didn't contribute a dime). This money was basically a payout for Trump's participation as a sideshow attraction to the main event of WrestleMania 23.

During the 2016 election cycle, Linda McMahon also donated $200,000, the third largest individual sum, to the anti-Hillary Clinton political action committee (PAC) Future45. Taking leave of her cabinet post in 2019, McMahon became chair of America First Action, perhaps the most important "super PAC" supporting Trump's reelection.

While the Trump and McMahon families trod parallel paths, some things about them are different. For example, in my estimation Stephanie McMahon and Paul Levesque contribute far more substance to their family enterprise than do First Daughter Ivanka Trump and First Son-in-Law Jared Kushner.

IN CHRIS & NANCY I DISCUSS possible contradictions or inaccuracies in WWE's public statements following the double-murder suicide of one of its best-known talents. This question had first come up with the televised shtick in which Trump executed a "hostile takeover" of the Raw TV show -- whatever that was supposed to mean. WWE put out deadpan press releases to promote the storyline and boost ratings.

Material misstatements by publicly traded companies run afoul of Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and laws. But we all know how regulations and laws work in the plutocracy. Wrestling observers have known since all the way back to the then-WWF's exploitation in the mid-1980s of a ploy called "barter syndication" to get its taped matches on local television stations at the expense of those of old-line promoters from the territorial Mafia era. Federal Communications Commission rules say it is illegal "payola" for a disk jockey or radio station employee to accept a bribe for pushing a piece of recorded music. However, when a company does the same thing, systematically and wholesale and from the top, it is called business.

In 2007, just before Chris Benoit went on his rampage, WWE doubled down on its Trump antics with a storyline in which "Mr. McMahon" was murdered by a car bomb in his limousine. I was in my hometown of St. Louis, for a couple of author events promoting my book Wrestling Babylon, when I got a call from a producer for Darren Rovell, then the sports business specialist at CNBC. The producer asked me to hustle to a local studio for a remote satellite interview.

In the way of TV news, I was mostly a prop as Rovell churned his own coverage questioning whether the SEC would look into the faked public death of the chair of a company traded on the New York Stock Exchange:

But I still think there's a possibility the organization could be sued by a shareholder. By announcing that he is "presumed dead" on their official Web site, they could be charged with misleading stockholders. There's no evidence that a slew of people bought the McMahon news on Wall Street. As of Monday's close, WWE stock is down only 1.8 percent since the "accident." You'd think if McMahon really died, the thing would plummet. That being said, I think there could still be a claim.

Here was WWE's tongue-in-cheek response:

Never make the mistake of taking Donald John Trump or Vincent Kennedy McMahon "literally." But do take them "seriously." Not all that much is at stake, admittedly. Only the state of the nation and of the world.

So here we are in 2020: The lessons of CHRIS & NANCY have jumped the shark, traversing from memory to American history. I hope you enjoy the book and reflect on it. In the second edition a few years ago, I undertook the good-faith exercise of correcting a few typos and mostly inconsequential glitches, and duly footnoting the revisions. With this third historical edition, I'm going for the hermetically sealed and authoritative gusto; I took myself out of the penalty box and removed the errata footnotes. The changes are still few and trivial.

What remain for curious readers seeking guidance are just a few basics.

Who done it? Answer: Chris Benoit. Not Kevin Sullivan. Not Vince McMahon. Not a crazed fan. (But I must say that the last would have been a higher-level suspect than either Sullivan or McMahon.)

When did McMahon know Chris done it -- not Nancy, not a home invader? Answer: Unquestionably, well before WWE aired the on-the-fly Raw tribute to Benoit that night on the USA cable network.

What's your point? Answer: Life goes on. In America, life is defined by making money. Corporations and their soulless stewards enjoy an uncanny knack for compartmentalizing everything, even double murder-suicide. They deny, they spin, they manipulate, they run out the clock -- whatever it takes to keep the masses mesmerized and their eyes off the ball of measures that would hold secondary forces accountable and make repetitions of our worst history less inevitable.

Irvin MuchnickMarch 2020

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Setting up the third, 'ultimate historical edition' of Muchnick's CHRIS & NANCY - Canoe

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How the Hairy Bikers lost a load of weight and their USP – The Guardian

Mar 24th, 2020
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If you were to define the TV chefs in one word Jamie: pukka; Gordon: angry; Delia: mumsy; Hugh: posh; Nigella: saucy; Heston: bonkers; Floyd: pickled you would define the Hairy Bikers as jolly. Their concept is simple. They are hairy (Si King, 53, sports the bushier face-fuzz; Dave Myers, 62, is more coiffured). They ride big, angry motorcycles. They are northern (King is from County Durham, Myers from Cumbria). They are lovable in a larky, Ant & Dec way, and not frightening in an about-to-get-kneecapped-with-a-pool-cue-for-asking-to-use-the-toilets-in-a-strictly-bikers-only-pub, Sons of Anarchy way. And they like their grub. Boy, do they like their grub. Best served by the trough-full and as physically close to a park as possible.

The HBs first appeared on our screens in 2004 in The Hairy Bikers Cookbook, where Si and Dave two-wheeled around the world, only stopping to stuff their faces with whatever the local cuisine had to offer. Nothing was off-menu, from crocodile satay in Namibia to goat penis in Vietnam (yum). The boys lapped it up. If theyd run it over, theyd probably have had it for lunch in a baguette. The Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain saw them scoff their way from Lands End to John O Groats, pitting their culinary skills against local chefs, and rustling up Lincolnshire plum breads, Norfolk dumplings and Welsh black beef wellingtons. In Best of British, the duo crammed their cakeholes with the history behind traditional British cuisine, from steak and kidney puddings to faggots and spotted dick. In Mums Know Best, they ding-dong! gatecrashed families trying to eat their tea to half-inch mothers top-secret recipes for paella, pavlova and mulligatawny soup.

Their recipes such as Shropshire Fidget and Sultans Delight may have sounded more like definitions from Roger Mellies Profanisaurus than food. On a difficulty rating of Ainsley to Heston, the Bikers happily sit around the Tim Lovejoy mark, ie about the level of your mate whos much better at cooking than you. Then, in August 2012, all hell broke loose. After one too many mud pies in Mississippi Adventure they returned in Hairy Dieters: How to Love Food and Lose Weight. Laudably, King n Myers shifted 2st each in three months. But, more boringly, they decided wang on about it. So it was out with the motorbikes and in with the pedal cycles and new entries to the Hairybiketionary like (gasp) HEALTHY sweet and sour chicken, (yikes) LOW FAT beef and potato pie and (gulp) SKINNY lemon cupcakes. Alas, the jolly TV chefs just werent as jolly any more.

Half travelogue, half cookery programme, the shows appeal had always been in watching Myers work his fingers through a bowl of 94% fat suet and King getting bits of battenberg stuck in his beard. The lads have kept the weight off through Hairy Bikers Asian Adventure, Mediterranean Adventure and Route 66, but watching them politely turn down that third chocolate brownie isnt the same. If music be the food of love, play on, wrote Shakespeare. What Shakespeare doesnt mention is that dieting can turn you into an eternal bore.

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How local athletes are staying in shape until, and if, spring sports resume – Chicago Daily Herald

Mar 24th, 2020
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This was the season Neuqua Valley senior thrower Matt Appel had been building toward.

After placing third in discus and fourth in shot put at last year's Class 3A state track and field meet in Charleston, Appel had his sites set higher.

"I was thinking this was my year to, hopefully, be double state champ," he said Monday.

The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemics has changed the landscape. The closing of all schools meant the postponement of interscholastic competition. For now.

Like so many athletes involved in spring sports or offseason training, Appel -- committed to Yale since November -- is doing his best to stay in shape while keeping fingers crossed he gets the chance to pursue his goal.

"I'm just trying to stay positive and keep on going as if a state championship is still going to happen, which I really hope it does," Appel said. "I'm really happy that the IHSA hasn't canceled anything prematurely."

Neuqua Valley throws coach David Ricca set up a Google classroom for his athletes. It included a link to a body-weight workout the throwers could do at home in place of their usual weightlifting routines. The workout includes exercises like push ups, body-weight squats, squat jumps, lunges, lunge switches, step-ups with knee drive, planks and pullups, among others.

"Pretty much anything you can think of," Appel said. "Some of the muscles in that workout get hit a little bit harder than the ones that we do in the weight room. I've actually felt a little sore in places. As long as I'm pushing myself, I feel like I'm getting a good workout no matter what. I feel pretty good."

Batavia brothers Quinn and Trey Urwiler are both committed to college football programs. Quinn, a senior football and baseball player committed to play linebacker at North Dakota, is scheduled to leave for training camp on July 6. Trey, a junior wide receiver, recently committed to Northern Illinois.

Quinn said he is borderline obsessed with maintaining his fitness level. "If something doesn't seem right, I always have to fix it," he said. "My cousins are freakish with working out, too. It runs in the family."

In fact, their father, Gary Urwiler, is a CrossFit coach in addition to being the Executive Director of Mooseheart Child City & School.

Gary said he has been doing his CrossFit workouts on the driveway of his home. Meanwhile, his sons are doing lots of push ups, sit ups and running. Quinn is also trying to stay in baseball shape in case someone says play ball.

"Right now we're just going outside and throwing and finding a spot where you could possibly get some hitting in," he said. "We play catch but someone always ends up throwing it over someone's head. Then it's like, 'No, you go get it.' "

Social distancing keeps players from working out in groups. Palatine baseball coach Paul Belo said the unique circumstance gives athletes "an opportunity to grow within their own household."

Belo should know. His son, Bryan, is the returning shortstop at Jacobs, which reached the Elite Eight of the Phil Lawler Classic last summer. He said his son is doing his best to stay fit.

"He's down in the basement trying to make the best of what he has," Paul Belo said. "We do have a medicine ball and a physio ball down there, a Dyna Disc and bands and cords, so he does the best with what he's got. He continues to move his body with front squats, back squats, anything he can do with body weight or maximum resistance."

As for batters looking to stay sharp, the veteran coach offers some advice: "Sometimes it's a matter of getting in your garage and doing it like we used to in the old days. Get your tee out, hang a carpet from the rafters and hit into it. (Bryan) is not beyond doing that since all the facilities are shut down."

The weight room at St. Edward High School in Elgin closed along with the school on Friday, March 13. That meant the end of weightlifting for junior baseball player Johnny Jimenez, who had been working out six days a week. His routine has been scaled back.

"I have some weights at home so I'll do as much as I can," the 16-year-old Elgin resident said. "I'll go outside to keep my arm loose and hit off the tee. Basically, I'll do as much as I can to stay in shape for the summer season if it doesn't happen this spring. But we're just all hoping to be a team again before the year ends.

"I'm trying to mentally stay focused because you never know if you're going to get the call."

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