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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Fearful Cleveland Clinic Nurse On Hospital's PPE Policies: "The Clinic Should Be Creating the Standard of Care, Not Lowering It"

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 11:31 AM

The Cleveland Clinic - WIKIPEDIA
  • Wikipedia
  • The Cleveland Clinic

As the calendar turns to April and, as Dr. Amy Acton has said, we exist in the "calm before the storm" of impending surges of coronavirus cases, Ohio's hospital systems are struggling with shortages of personal protective equipment, including N95 masks.

That's factoring in what was already on hand, what's been donated, and this week's shipment from the Strategic National Stockpile (271,450 N95 masks, 672,100 surgical masks, 131,808 face shields, 107,670 gowns, 483,575 pairs of gloves, 552 coveralls), which Dr. Acton called insufficient on Tuesday night.

“The supplies we received, and the state’s reserve will not meet the immediate or future needs of Ohio’s healthcare providers and first responders,” she said.

Different models put Ohio's peak at different levels and at different times, but they generally range from a minimum of 6,000 new cases a day up to 10,000 with a peak in late April or early May. The storm is not only coming, but it's going to be unlike anyone's ever seen.

So, yes, there is fear among healthcare workers — who make up almost 20% of confirmed coronavirus patients in Ohio thus far — for their patients, for themselves, for their families. And there's fear of talking about that fear.

Bloomberg this week rounded up the long list of hospital systems across the country that have threatened, and in some cases gone through with threats to fire any staff members who talk to the media. The guiding principle, at least before the coronavirus pandemic, was that all requests are best handled and approved by a hospital's communications department, both to protect the image and reputation of said hospital but also to create and operate by a codified process to protect patient confidentiality. As Bloomberg noted, it's a different world now, and those processes, and threats, are not in the interest of preserving patient confidentiality but in making sure that nurses and doctors don't give honest evaluations of their workplace safety to the public.

And they're asking anyone who can help get the information out. Via Bloomberg's story:

Nisha Mehta is a 38-year radiologist from Charlotte, North Carolina, who runs two Facebook groups for physicians with around 70,000 members. She’s fielded numerous requests from health-care workers hoping to get their stories into the public arena.

“I’m hearing widespread stories from physicians across the country and they are all saying: ‘We have these stories that we think are important to get out, but we are being told by our hospital systems that we are not allowed to speak to the press, and if we do so there will be extreme consequences,” she said.

Which is why when you read a story about PPE and precautions in Ohio hospital systems, you'll rarely see a nurse quoted by name. You might see nurse's unions, where they exist, advocating for their members — like Rick Lucas of the Ohio State University Nurses Organization did in this Columbus Dispatch article where he said critically low supplies of protection equipment mean nurses are “going to work every day in fear” — but you'll see nurses themselves having to resort to anonymous quotes, like the two interviewed for that very same Dispatch report, out of fear of repercussions.

The same problem exists here.

"I have to remain anonymous. I am risking my career," said one Cleveland Clinic nurse who spoke to Scene about the hospital system's current policies and supplies, information that they thought the public should know.

"Nurses were initially eager and proud to do their part in fighting the pandemic and caring for patients and we were reassured we would be provided with adequate protection," the person said. "But days later leadership announced we would no longer get N95 masks, just surgical masks. N95 masks would only be supplied while conducting aerosolizing procedures, which is only a tiny fraction of what caring for a COVID-19 involves. When a person infected with COVID-19 coughs, a terrifying amount of aerosolized viral particles are hurled into the air for bystanders to inhale and become infected. Health care personnel are inches from these patients’ faces providing them with around-the-clock care. A simple face mask will not protect health care personnel from inhaling viral particulate. Many will soon become infected and thereby spread the infection to otherwise healthy individuals."

When some nurses have complained, this person said, leadership has replied, "This is what you signed up for."

"Nurses and other health care personnel did not sign up for caring for patients in unsafe working conditions," the person said. "As nurses, we love our jobs and our patients. Our patients deserve the best possible care that we can provide. The Clinic has always provided us with the resources necessary to meet that goal. These policy changes, however, are uncharacteristic of the values and mission. We are not unionized and have little power to influence leadership. Health care workers are dying trying to care for patients across the globe. We will be next if the Cleveland Clinic does not provide their employees adequate equipment. We will continue to infect ourselves, patients, and our families. The Clinic should be creating the standard of care—not lowering it." 

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Heinen's Pepper Pike Store Reopened After Deep Cleaning Following Employee's Positive COVID-19 Test

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 9:43 AM

HEINEN'S FB
  • Heinen's FB
Update: An overnight deep cleaning and Heinen's in Pepper Pike is back open this morning, the chain announced.


April 1, 2020

Dear customers,

We were pleased to be able to reopen our Pepper Pike store this morning at 8 a.m. EDT. We had closed due to an associate having a positive test for COVID-19, and we have finished our cleaning and sanitizing based on CDC guidelines. We will continue our already stringent sanitation practices and are happy to welcome you back.

Thank you,
Tom and Jeff Heinen

***

(Original story 3/31/2020): Heinen's announced today that the Pepper Pike store is temporarily closed for a deep cleaning after an associate tested positive for COVID-19. The employee hadn't worked since March 25. The announcement, which you can read below, was shared by Heinen's on its various social media pages.


Dear Customers,

We want to let our Cleveland-area shoppers know we had a Heinen's associate at our Pepper Pike store test positive for COVID-19. We were informed today and then followed our process of closing the store. The associate is in self-quarantine and has not worked at the store since Wednesday, March 25.

The store will remain closed while we do a deep clean performed by a professional crew using a food-approved antiviral cleaner. We will be cleaning the sales area and the backroom areas in accordance with CDC guidelines. We will post on our website and social media when the store is reopened.

In all of our stores, we will continue to follow our already stringent sanitation practices and have increased the frequency of our cleaning to continue to protect the safety of our customers and associates.

Tom & Jeff Heinen

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Savage Love: Having Sex With People You Don't Already Live With Is Canceled for the Duration of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted By on Wed, Apr 1, 2020 at 9:35 AM

JOE NEWTON
  • Joe Newton
My husband and I got married in August of 2019, and we were together for over five years before getting married. I'm very happy and love him with all my heart. I want to have his kids and support his entrepreneurial efforts as he supports mine. We don't fight, we just have some tiffs here and there. The kicker is that I have a tough time feeling him during sex, and he doesn't last as long as I would like him to. We're adventurous enough to try different things, i.e., toys and different positions, but I find myself sexually unfulfilled. He also isn't very willing/interested in going down on me; in fact, he has not once gone down on me. I'm also finding myself attracted to and fantasizing about other men. In addition to being honest with my husband, I don't know what the solution is. I'm not opposed to opening up a marriage, but I worry that I'm just being selfish and that it's too soon to try or even discuss it at any length. I did bring up a crush I have on a coworker, and my husband said, "There's nothing wrong with having a snack." What did he mean by that? Do you have any other insights or suggestions on what to do?

—Married Not Dead

P.S. I hope you, your family, and your friends are holding up OK during this pandemic. It's a scary time so I hope you're all OK.


I shared your letter with Tristan Taormino, author of Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships. Through her books, lectures, and podcasts ("Sex Out Loud Radio"), Taormino has helped countless couples navigate the transition from monogamy to non-monogamy. But before we dive into the specifics of your situation, MND, there's something Taormino and I want to make clear to all.

"In this time of a global pandemic, thinking and talking about non-monogamy is all you can do right now," says Taormino. "This goes for everyone: no new sex partners until public health experts say we can go back to standing closer than six feet apart. Even then, we're going to have to proceed with caution."

Listen up, people: the woman who literally wrote the book on open relationships says open and poly relationships are canceled for the time being. "Yup, canceled," says Taormino, "unless every one of your partners lives with you."

While COVID-19 isn't classified as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), having sex with someone who has coronavirus would almost certainly result in transmission. And since people who get infected typically don't show symptoms for up to two weeks, the fact that someone appears to be healthy doesn't mean they're corona-free. Someone can look and feel great and be both infected and infectious. So for the time being, we should only be having sex with a sex partner we live with. If you have more than one sex partner and you're all staying in the same place, great! Poly isn't canceled for you and your partners. But we shouldn't be hooking up with new partners in person or going to see established partners we don't live with. That goes double for meeting up with non-cohabiting partners who have other partners and whose other partners have other partners of their own. But the good news is that sext messages and dirty video chats are both allowed and encouraged, kids, so we can get off online with new people, as well as established partners who live on the other side of town or the other side of the world. Hell, get the whole polycule together on Zoom — just don't actually get together (or get under) anyone you don't live with.

OK! With that out of the way, MND, we're going to answer your question. But bear in mind that some of our advice — our advice about opening up your marriage — won't be fully actionable until after COVID-19 is brought under control.

"I'm glad MND is being honest with her husband about her desires, but let's take that further with even more specific talk about what's missing in her sex life," says Taormino. "In her letter, I heard: pussyeating, intense enough sensation from intercourse, and longer sex sessions. I'll translate that: she's missing pleasure, reciprocation, and orgasms for her. She is NOT being selfish for wanting these things. They are pretty fundamental aspects of a sexual relationship, and she needs to address them with her husband first."

Backing way the hell up: assuming you knew about my column five years ago, MND, it's telling you didn't ask for my advice back when you realized your new boyfriend was never going to eat your pussy. (Spoiler: I would've told you to dump him.) Since you chose not to break up with your boyfriend over the lack cunnilingus back then and you don't want to divorce your husband over it now, MND, it would seem that going without oral — at least going without at home — is the price of admission you're willing to pay to be with this guy.

As for your other issues about your sex life with your husband — you don't "feel him" during penis-in-vagina (PIV) intercourse and it's over too quickly — the right toys could certainly help. But if your husband ruled out penetration toys that were bigger than his cock, MND, or if you didn't order any that were bigger than his cock to avoid hurting his feelings, you're gonna have to broach the subject of buying some larger toys, MND — ones you can really feel. And since experimenting with new positions didn't help your husband last longer, you should try alternating between toys and his cock during PIV, which will make both the sex (and the husband) last longer.

"If MND's husband is really in this relationship, he should be open and willing to give most anything a try," says Taormino. "MND really needs to see that he's as interested in her pleasure and satisfaction as he is in his own. And if there's something she wants to try or something that really turns her on and gets her off that her husband doesn't know about, now is the time to share the juicy details."

As for opening up the relationship, MND, I wouldn't advise most people to initiate that convo at this moment. Because if the conversation goes badly — and they often do at first — that could mean sheltering in place with an angry person. But based on your husband's reaction when you confessed having a crush on a coworker, MND, I think you could risk discussing opening up while you're locked down. Your husband didn't say there was nothing wrong with fantasizing about a snack, MND, he said there's nothing wrong with having a snack. Make no mistake: that's not a green light to immediately outsource getting your pussy eaten. But his calm, matter-of-fact reaction when you confided in him about your crush is good sign.

But first things first: you need to work with your husband on improving your sex life at home and you should have a convo about that — and a convo about ordering some new sex toys — before you make plans to open up the relationship and start getting your pussy eaten elsewhere.

"Exploring non-monogamy is one way to address sexual incompatibilities and expand our capacity for love and intimacy," says Taormino. "But the stuff between the two of them needs to get talked about first. Otherwise, you're glossing over the issues with something new and shiny."

Follow Tristan Taormino on Twitter @TristanTaormino.

I've been in love with a close friend for years. Social distancing has thrown major life "regrets" into high relief, and I would be crushed if something happened to him. We've both been distancing for two weeks and neither of us have symptoms. Can I have him come over to hang out? What if we ended up making out or hooking up? He has housemates and I don't, so he's around more people than I am, but everyone at his house has been distancing, too. I see so many questions about hooking up with randos, and that seems like a clear no-no. But what about hooking up with someone you know?

—No Regrets


Also a no-no, NR. We're not supposed to come within six feet of anyone we don't live with, NR, which means you can't invite this guy over to play cribbage and/or fuck you senseless. If you wanted to invite this guy over to stay, you could shack up and wait out the lockdown together. But you can't invite him over just to play. Instead of inviting him over and hoping for something to happen, NR, you should give this guy a call and tell him how you feel. He might feel the same way and want to be your quarantine buddy. But if he doesn't feel the same way, at least you'll know. Rejections we can get over, NR, but regrets are for life.

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Local Restaurants Are Helping the Greater Cleveland Community by Feeding the Needy and Our Frontline Healthcare Workers

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 5:08 PM

PHOTO VIA GOLDIESDONUTS/INSTAGRAM
  • Photo via Goldiesdonuts/Instagram


We're currently living through a global pandemic, affecting millions around the country and many right here in Northeast Ohio. During these tumultuous times, it can also bring out the best in some, and restaurants around town are lending a hand.

A multitude of different restaurants and establishments are donating food to those in need in addition to providing meals to frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic. Do what you can to support them or note which ones might be of service to you and yours during this tumultuous time.

Goldie's Donuts is offering 'a dozen for a dozen', meaning any time someone buys a dozen donuts in their store, they then donate a dozen donuts to a local hospital announced. On the first day of the deal, they donated 23 dozen donuts to the Cleveland Clinic main campus.

"It's a privilege for some of us to be able to stay home, in comfort and safety," said Goldie's co-owner Paloma Goldberg. "Some are not so lucky and we hope to support our community and to uplift the spirits of these individuals during these tough moments with lots of homemade donuts!"

In addition to Goldie's, these restaurants are also taking part in some sort of food donation program:

Banter is offering weekly free community lunch boxes for anyone who has been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Kids, families, industry friends and any of those in need are encouraged to come in for a free lunch.

Cocky's Bagels is dropping off bagel sandwiches to local hospitals and nursing homes. For every 60 bagel sandwiches they sell, they're donating 20 bagel sandwiches and are asking for help to identify local facilities to drop off their bagels.

Danny Boy's Pizza is doing a few different charitable programs, including 'Pass it on Pizza Day,' where you can buy a second pizza for just $5 to donate to an elderly neighbor, first responder, healthcare worker or someone in need.

Geraci's Restaurant added an option on their menu where, for $15, any customer can donate a free pizza to be dropped off at a local hospital and the restaurant will match that and donate an additional pizza.

Lago East Bank is offering Essential Meals for Essential Employees, allowing customers to purchase meals for companies and organizations that are deemed essential businesses during the shutdown. Sponsors will receive 15% of their donation back that they can use at the restaurant and the restaurant is also paying it forward by donating meals on their own.

Ohio Pie Co. is doing free pizza Monday for service industry workers and gave away 100 free pizzas yesterday. They are working on a plan to expand the giveaway going forward.

Know of others? Drop 'em in the comment section.

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DeWine Orders State Water Utilities to Halt Shutoffs, Restore Service During COVID-19 Crisis

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 3:55 PM

STATE OF OHIO PHOTO
  • State of Ohio photo
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued a statewide order Tuesday that will prevent water utilities from shutting off connections due to non-payment and will require them to restore service to those customers whose water has been disconnected.

The statewide policy has been in effect locally for several weeks. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson announced a moratorium on water shutoffs, alongside electric power shutoffs, on March 13. As of Monday evening, the Cleveland Water Department had restored service to 575 customers. 

DeWine said that water utilities will not automatically restore connections. It will be the responsibility of customers to contact their local service provider. But utilities will be required to restore connections regardless of a customer's payment history. (DeWine said that customers will still be required to pay their bills.) 

The goal of the order is to ensure that Ohioans, who have been ordered to remain in their homes for all but essential trips, have access to basic necessities.

DeWine also announced a new order that will require all organizations in the ventilator supply chain to provide regular updates about the number and location of available machines so that medical providers can easily locate devices that provide breathing assistance.

Manufacturers, distributors, hospital systems and all others who own or sell these devices will be required to report them every Wednesday at coronavirus.ohio.gov/ventinventory. (Individual ventilators owned for personal use are exempted from the order.)

Ohio's health director Dr. Amy Acton provided daily updates on the spread of COVID-19 in the state. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 2,199 confirmed cases of the virus in Ohio, with 585 hospitalizations and 55 deaths. Cuyahoga County led all state counties in total cases (527) and hospitalizations (129). Mahoning County has recorded the most deaths in the state, with nine. 

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Federal Judge Temporarily Halts Ohio Order Banning Surgical Abortions During Coronavirus Crisis

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 9:45 AM

PHOTO VIA PROGRESS OHIO/FLICKR
  • Photo via Progress Ohio/Flickr
A federal judge has put a temporary hold on an order by Ohio officials to cease surgical abortions during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ohio Department of Health issued an order on March 18 telling medical facilities to cease elective surgeries whenever possible to conserve scarce personal protective equipment and medical capacity.

That, state officials later clarified, included surgical abortions that weren't necessary to save the life of the mother.

"You and your facility are ordered to immediately stop performing non-essential and elective surgical abortions," Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost wrote in a March 20 letter to clinics. "Non-essential surgical abortions are those that can be delayed without undue risk to the current or future health of a patient."

But U.S. District Court Judge Michael Barrett yesterday paused that part of the order for 14 days in response to a motion from Ohio abortion providers claiming that the ban would effectively end abortions taking place 10 weeks after conception or later.

In his ruling granting the temporary restraining order, Barrett wrote that Ohio officials pushing for the ban on surgical abortions during the coronavirus crisis didn't demonstrate that the conservation of medical supplies it would achieve would be significant enough that it "outweighs the harm of eliminating abortion."

"Enforcement of the Director’s Order as applied to surgical abortion procedures will result in an unconstitutional deprivation of Plaintiffs’ patients’ Fourteenth Amendment right to substantive due process because enforcement creates a substantial obstacle in the path of patients seeking pre-viability abortions, thus creating an undue burden on abortion access,” Barrett wrote.

Women's health providers Preterm, Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, Women's Med Group and the Northeast Ohio Women's Center filed the motion.

Yost says he will appeal Barrett's ruling. He says the only reason the state issued the order is to save lives during the COVID-19 crisis.

Abortion providers disagree, saying that anti-abortion officials are using the crisis as an excuse to limit abortions.

“Planned Parenthood knows our patients’ health care cannot wait," Planned Parenthood Greater Ohio Executive Director Iris Harvey said in a joint statement with Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio CEO Kersha Deibel. "That’s why we took action quickly. Abortion is an essential, time-sensitive medical procedure. Today’s ruling is a victory no health care provider should have to fight for in the middle of a pandemic. Anti-abortion activists are creating dangerous distractions when we need public officials to be focusing on the crisis at hand."

A federal judge in Texas issued a similar order for an abortion ban related to COVID-19 there. U.S. District Court Judge Lee Yeakel said Texas' ban would do "irreparable harm" to abortion providers there.

Yeakel also wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court must ultimately decide whether or not banning abortion during a pandemic is constitutional. It is unclear if the high court would take up the cases.

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Ohio Shelters Aren't Built for Social Distancing

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 at 9:38 AM

ADOBESTOCK
  • AdobeStock

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio is starting a new effort to focus on the collision of two public health crises: coronavirus and homelessness. Gov. Mike DeWine announced the creation of a new task force that will examine how to best help homeless programs that are struggling to meet local, state and federal guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus.

According to research from the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, roughly 10,000 Ohioans are living in shelters and cannot abide by the state's "Stay at Home" order. Barbara Poppe, former executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, co-authored the report.

"Congregate shelters are not set up to support social distancing, and people who are unsheltered lack access to proper hygiene and sanitation and must go out into the community to get their basic needs met and will come in frequent contact with other people," Poppe said.

The report also found 87% of regional homeless systems lack sufficient space to isolate and quarantine clients who show symptoms of COVID-19, and 79% are unable to provide the financial assistance necessary to reduce admissions and minimize overcrowding in shelters.

The governor called on Ohio communities to include homeless shelters in their social-distancing planning.

Jessica Jenkins administers the local homeless system for Montgomery County, where she said area shelters are struggling to maintain staff levels to continue operating during the crisis. She said there's a lot of fear and uncertainty.

"There's a lot of anxiety both among providers about not feeling prepared and equipped to respond, as well as, of course, the natural anxieties of our sheltered guests that are in congregate spaces that make it challenging to have the pockets of social and physical distancing," Jenkins said.

The federal coronavirus package included $4 billion for homeless programs, and advocates in Ohio are asking state lawmakers to appropriate $20 million for emergency homeless services.

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