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Opinion

Adults and children with a history of malnutrition have worse COVID outcomes

Adults and children with a history of malnutrition have worse COVID outcomes

Opinion
Balanced nutritional intake during the progression of and recovery from any illness is important for improvement in health outcomes. In addition, acute and chronic malnutrition predispose patients to significantly increased risk of bacterial and viral infection and increased severity of these infections. Therefore, it is expected that malnutrition can worsen the prognosis of COVID. A recent study published in Scientific Reports indeed showed that adults and children with a history of malnutrition are more likely to die of COVID or need mechanical ventilation.  The researchers looked at 8,604 children (mean age, 6 years) and 94,495 adults (mean age, 53 years) hospitalized with COVID-19 across 56 US hospitals from March to June 2020 and compared those with maln...
State of media 2021: Coming together under crisis conditions

State of media 2021: Coming together under crisis conditions

Opinion
By National Union of Journalists of the Philippines NUJP photo A few days after decisively winning the 2016 elections, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said: “Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch.” These words set the tone for the Duterte administration’s relationship with the press, fueling impunity and attacks against our ranks; actions reminiscent of the Marcos dictatorship, if not, as some commentators say, worse. Five years after Duterte’s stinging rebuke, 20 journalists, mostly members of the community media, have been killed. The latest victim, Renante Cortes, was shot right after his program on radio dyRb on July 22, just outside the radio station in Mambaling, Cebu City where he hosted his show. It m...
The fifth loaf

The fifth loaf

Opinion
Today’s gospel narrative continues that of last Sunday’s wherein Jesus is met by a vast crowd as he and his disciples reach the other side of the lake. Mark comments that Jesus’ heart is moved with pity at the sight, and he begins to teach the people. From hereon the story is picked up by the gospel of John. For the next five Sundays, we shall be reading from Chapter 6 of John. The chapter opens with today’s familiar story of Jesus feeding 5,000 people by multiplying five loaves of bread and two fish. Enthralled by the miracle, the people want to make Jesus king which prompts him to flee to the mountain. Eventually, Jesus meets them again in Capernaum where he delivers his discourse on the “Bread of Life.” The story of the multiplication of the bread is told in all four gospels ...
People with long COVID-19 reported lower quality of life

People with long COVID-19 reported lower quality of life

Opinion
Globally, there are now over 190 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 4 million deaths. While the majority of infected individuals recover, a significant proportion continues to experience symptoms and complications after their acute illness.  Patients with "long COVID" experience a wide range of physical and mental/psychological symptoms.  A review led by University of Birmingham researchers in the United Kingdom, was recently published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine and showed that the most common symptoms were fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, headache, altered smell and taste, chest pain, cough, and diarrhea.  Other symptoms included cognitive dysfunction, memory loss, sleep disorders, and anxiety. ...
Local conservation initiatives

Local conservation initiatives

Opinion
The power of the local government units to establish and manage conservation sites has been clearly demonstrated in several cities and municipalities in Negros Occidental. While numerous concerns are still hanging when it comes to the environment and natural resources management in the province, somehow it is motivating to see local governments at the forefront of conservation efforts. I am highly attributing these initiatives to the personnel of LGUs who, in spite of changes in the local political leaderships and landscapes, remain steadfast and committed to work for environmental protection and conservation of natural resources through the years. I’m particularly referring to personnel, especially those holding career positions, of planning and environment offices of some local g...
The Shepherd’s compassionate heart

The Shepherd’s compassionate heart

Opinion
Today’s readings revolve around the common theme of shepherding, which culminates in the figure of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. In the first reading, God rebukes the self-serving leaders of Judah, who “mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture.” He then promises that he himself will shepherd his own people by raising up a “righteous shoot to David as king [who] shall reign and govern wisely.” This promise is finally fulfilled in Jesus Christ, son of God and son of David. The responsorial psalm (Psalm 23) is a lyrical description of how the Lord lovingly tends his flock. In the second reading, St. Paul presents Jesus as the shepherd who gathers the scattered children of Israel. Moreover, Jesus also breaks down the wall that divides Jews and Gentiles so that all may be united and g...
CoronaVac: Effective and safe according to 2 large studies

CoronaVac: Effective and safe according to 2 large studies

Opinion
The World Health Organization (WHO) gave emergency use approval to the vaccine on June 01, 2021 yet some people continue to regurgitate the narrative that “the vaccine is not effective.”  Two new large studies of Sinovac’s CoronaVac inactivated vaccine showed good efficacy against symptomatic infection and severe disease. Perhaps now we can stop saying “we need more published data on CoronaVac.”  However, if your issue is because the vaccine is from China or you are simply against everything recommended by authorities, no amount of data will be enough for you so don’t bother reading the rest of the article. But if you are truly interested to know why WHO and 37 countries (so far) approved the vaccine, please continue reading.  First study published in The Lancet:...
‘Tatay taught us not to give value on material things, but rather in human connections’

‘Tatay taught us not to give value on material things, but rather in human connections’

Opinion
BY MAYUMI LIWAYWAY ESPINA Photo from Mayumi Liwayway Espina I can clearly remember one night. There was power interruption and the whole family stayed outside. We were blessed with a bright full moon and what other way to pass the time than to bring out tatay's old Yamaha acoustic guitar and sing out some tunes. I played some songs while he serenaded the night. He then told me in his usual nonchalant way "Mas maayo ka pa mag gitara sa akon." That was the one time that tatay gave me a compliment without me needing to try hard for it. And it stuck up to this day. As most of you know, tatay always had a way with words. May it be written, spoken, or thought of, he surely leaves a lasting mark on anyone he meets. I can't even begin to fathom the ripples of change that he had on the...
Hulao-hulao conservation area

Hulao-hulao conservation area

Opinion
It is interesting to know that what was once a pilot site for the Coastal Environment Program (CEP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Negros Occidental is now a locally declared conservation area. The Hulao-hulao Reef in Barangay Caliling, Cauayan, and the Carbin Reef in Sagay City were identified as priority areas when then Secretary Angel Alcala introduced this coastal program to the DENR, which he headed during the incumbency of former President Fidel Ramos. Alcala is familiar with the Hulao-hulao Reef since he is a marine biologist and more so he originally came from Caliling, while he also worked with the local government of Sagay for the establishment and management of Carbin Reef Marine Sanctuary, which was declared by the LGU. These two sites were...
A prototype of mission

A prototype of mission

Opinion
With the rapid and upsetting changes we are experiencing in our time, the call for new evangelization has never been more urgent. The present pandemic, for instance, has practically forced us to explore new ways of bringing the word of God and the sacraments to our people. The unsettling shifts in the psychological, social, cultural, and practically all aspects of our life present formidable challenges for the Church to be more relevant and effective in carrying out its mission. While we recognize the need for new evangelization (new ardour, new methods, new expression…), we are also aware that the subject and content of evangelization is Jesus Christ, who remains “the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hb 13:8) In today’s gospel, Jesus gives instructions to his apostles as...
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