As Dodgers and Lakers win, coronavirus spreads at celebrations, alarming health officials

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 11: Los Angeles Lakers fans gather near the Staples Center to celebrate the Lakers 106 - 93 game 6 over the Miami Heat on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles Lakers fans gather near Staples Center in downtown L.A. to celebrate the Lakers NBA Finals win over the Miami Heat. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Southern California counties are reopening their economies at a slower pace than other parts of the state, and officials blame celebrations. Lakers and Dodgers viewing parties and public events are keeping coronavirus infections high enough to hold the region back, officials warn.

California has avoided the substantial spike in coronavirus cases seen across the country this fall, but some of the state’s most populated counties — Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino — remain in the most restrictive reopening tier.

That means indoor dining rooms are shut, as are indoor operations of gyms and houses of worship. San Diego County, now in the red tier, is teetering on backsliding into the most restrictive category.

Public health officials have identified gatherings as a significant source of virus transmission in Southern California, where young adults are driving the spread of the highly contagious disease.

There are also troubling signs of a potential increase in coronavirus cases. Even after accounting for a backlog, Los Angeles County has gone from about 940 daily new cases at the beginning of October to nearly 1,200 new cases each day as of last week, based on the date of a positive test or the first onset of symptoms, said Barbara Ferrer, the county’s director of public health.

Officials are worried that the post-season success of the Lakers and the Dodgers may be playing a role in the increased coronavirus cases.

“Gatherings in large crowds to watch games indoors, people aren’t wearing their face coverings, people are yelling a lot — that’s just not sensible,” Ferrer said.

Even congregating at outdoor restaurants, while shouting and cheering and hugging strangers without wearing masks, makes it “so easy to spread this virus,” she said.

About 55% of people who knew of a possible exposure to the virus also attended a gathering where two or more people were sick, the county said, based on interviews with the newly infected or people who were in contact with them over the last three weeks.

Coronavirus cases, dated by the date of a positive test or symptom onset, have been rising in recent weeks in L.A. County.
New coronavirus cases, dated by the date of a positive coronavirus test or onset of symptoms, have been rising in recent weeks in Los Angeles County. (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health)

Other parts of Southern California are seeing similar trends.

“We’re seeing more spread at family and friend gatherings,” said Corwin Porter, public health director for San Bernardino County. “It seems to be more prominent in our younger populations — our under-40 crowd, for the most part.”

Among newly infected people who said they attended some kind of large gathering in the previous month in San Bernardino County, 61% attended gatherings of friends or family in the previous month, according to data from the second full week of October.

In Riverside County, public health officer Dr. Cameron Kaiser expressed dismay about a crowd of more than 1,000

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Alarming new data shows the UK was the ‘sick man’ of Europe even before Covid

Our health is determined by far more than a single virus. This week, a team of scientists in Seattle, together with thousands of contributors around the world, assembled 3.5bn pieces of data to construct what they are calling the Global Burden of Disease. The story this data tells us about Britain is alarming. On some of the most important measures of health, the four nations of the United Kingdom perform worse than our nearest neighbours. Even with coronavirus out of the picture, Britain is the sick man, woman and child of Europe.

a person talking on a cell phone screen with text: Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

The headline findings from the report are clear. In 2019, life expectancy at birth in the UK was 82.9 years for a woman and 79.2 years for a man (the average for both was 81.1 years). These numbers look good, especially when compared with historical figures. In 1950, for example, the average life expectancy at birth for a UK citizen was 68.9 years. The combined effects of economic growth, better education and an improved NHS have delivered an extra 12 years of life. Impressive.

That is until you start comparing the UK with other European countries. When you do this, you find we have seen smaller increases in life expectancy than the western European average – 5.3 years compared with 5.7 years. Spain and Italy, for example, both had an average life expectancy at birth of 83.1 years in 2019. In France, it was 82.9 years, Sweden 82.8 years and Germany 81.2. The western European average life expectancy was a whole one year longer than in the UK.

Another important measure is what’s known as healthy life expectancy – the years of life we spend in good health. The average healthy life expectancy for the UK in 2019 was 68.9 years, meaning that people in the UK spend an average 12.2 years living with some kind of illness. And again, when one compares the UK with other European nations, we perform poorly.

In fact, Britain has the worst healthy life expectancy of any other European country. We come bottom of the league table, alongside Monaco. We’ve seen a slower improvement in healthy life expectancy (3.6 years) than the western European average (5.8 years). And the situation for children is equally bad: the under-five mortality rate in the UK in 2019 was 4.1 deaths per 1,000 live births – one of the worst performances in western Europe, second only to Malta. Whatever metric one chooses, the UK’s health performs worse than comparable European nations.

a person talking on a cell phone screen with text: I’t’s no accident that Liverpool, which scores high on the list of the UK’s most deprived places, was the first region to be classified as very high risk.’

© Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters
I’t’s no accident that Liverpool, which scores high on the list of the UK’s most deprived places, was the first region to be classified as very high risk.’

There’s a similar pattern at play across the four nations. Scotland has the lowest life expectancy (79.1 years), followed by Northern Ireland (80.3 years), Wales (80.5 years), and England (81.4 years). What’s going on?

Related: Liverpool Covid admissions will ‘devastate’ other hospital care

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3 Alarming Signs That Indicate You Need to Visit the Dentist Immediately

When symptoms arise, you should never wait for too long before you visit the doctor’s office. This is necessary because the doctor can always conduct tests to tell you if there is anything you should be worried about. In the same way, you need to make sure you go for regular dental check-ups to monitor your oral health. There are many dental complications that can be solved when they are still in the early stages. However, if you are not a professional dentist, you might not be able to notice any changes happening to your oral health. There are certain warning signs that you should look out for when it comes to oral health. When individuals ignore these signs, the problem could become more and more serious. Whenever you notice anything strange pertaining to your oral health, you need to rush to the dentist. Here are some of the obvious signs to look out for;

  1. Pains and swelling

The body experiences different types of pain. There are times you might experience stomach aches and other times you could have headaches. This pain requires attention before it gets worse. Your teeth and gums could also experience pain from time to time. The question is how you should handle it. You should never ignore any type of pain around your dental structure. When this happens, you should seek medical help immediately. The other concern you shouldn’t ignore is the swelling of your gums. This is a serious problem that shouldn’t be ignored. The swelling could be the reason why you are in pain. So, if you notice any unusual swelling of the gum, you need to visit your dentist immediately.

  1. You no longer smile or laugh

How often do you laugh? If you are naturally a jovial person, you will notice that you are always smiling from time to time. If you have started to become ashamed of your smile, then this is an indication that your dental problems are affecting your self-esteem. This could be as a result of bad breath or even tooth decay. Whatever the problem is, you need to make sure you visit a dentist. They could recommend possible solutions like partial dentures or any other solutions that may work for you.

  1. Eating has become a challenge

Your body needs to grow. Your bones need strength so that they can support your weight. This is made possible through the food you consume on a daily basis. So, if you are having problems eating, then it means your body will become weaker and weaker over time. Sometimes you might not be eating because of the problems you are experiencing with your teeth. If you are having any problems with your teeth such as excessive sensitivity, tooth decay or even bleeding gums, you should visit your dentist immediately.

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