With the new year around the corner, will your workplace change next year to be more inclusive and supportive of better mental health action in the workplace?
Giving Tuesday 2021
Today is Giving Tuesday & please consider to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education programs carried out by wonderful nonprofits, such as one developed and implemented by The Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center.
What are you grateful for? Do you know how to cultivate gratitude in your life?
With upcoming holidays and end of the year reflection, feeling appreciation and being thankful tend to be on our minds – well at least for me. It has been a long, challenging and roller coaster year, especially with COVID-19 pandemic, and it can be tough to see the ‘good’ over the ‘bad.’
The enforcement of COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses is now suspended by U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, pending further court order.
Timeline of events: less than 2 months ago, news emerged about President Biden’s plans for large businesses (>100 employees) to have employees vaccinated for COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing. Less than 2 weeks ago, U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced January 4, 2022 as deadline to meet this requirement, labeling it as an Emergency Temporary Standard (https://publichealthdisasters.com/2021/11/12/new-us-covid-19-requirement-for-100-employees/).
Only a month or so ago, news emerged about President Biden’s plans for large businesses (>100 employees) to have employees vaccinated for COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing. Recently US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR OSHA announced January 4, 2022 as deadline to meet the new requirement (link).
The global death toll of the COVID-19 pandemic reached 5 million people today, roughly under 2 years since first identification of novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 (https://time.com/6112287/5-million-covid-deaths/). The pandemic is still not over until it is over everywhere.
The U.S., European Union, Britain and Brazil account for one-eighth of the global population, but almost half of reported deaths from the coronavirus. For example, US leads the world in the number of confirmed deaths from the virus with more than 745,800 people dead from COVID-19, then Brazil (with more than 607,000 deaths) and India (with more than 450,000 deaths) [https://www.npr.org/2021/11/01/1051020063/the-covid-19-pandemic-has-killed-5-million-people-globally].
What role does corruption play in worsening so-called ‘natural disasters’? (Hint – there are no natural disasters!) With recent “bomb cyclone,” natural hazards could create disasters but in many cases, corruption in development and infrastructure exacerbate the situation with buildings and houses that collapse (which shouldn’t).
Colleagues and I from UNSW, UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, Harvard Medical School, & SEEDS explored this question while systematically reviewing the academic literature concerning the degree to which corruption worsens naturally-triggered disasters in the built environment. The early view of our research is now published at Wiley ODI Disasters scientific journal (link).
How informed are you with your flood risk and the flood risk of your community’s essential infrastructure?
New report by First Street Foundation found flood risk in United States to grow exponentially in upcoming years due climate change.
Climate disasters have already caused at least 388 deaths and more than $100 billion in damage this year in the United States (The Wall Street Journal).
What will cut the tensions over COVID-19 vaccines and various mandates placed by governments, businesses and institutions?
With many returning to the office, the growing tensions between the ‘vaxxed and unvaxxed’ continue to build. Spilling over this tension is now the decisions made by governments, businesses and institutions in instilling COVID-19 vaccine mandates. For example, 40% of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents in the nation’s airports and thousands of pilots have not reported their status with the deadline just weeks away (NBC News).
Could politics, healthcare, and business decisions still provide good health outcomes to communities?
Implementation of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for federal contractors has now caught companies in between politics between State-level and National-level. The Governor of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott, has signed an executive order this week to now ban COVID-19 vaccine mandates given by companies. This is in-contest to the President Biden’s executive order given on September 9. 2021 about COVID-19 vaccine requirement.