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It Might Be Time To Upgrade Your Mask; CDC To Upgrade Recommendations On Face Coverings

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is set to update its mask advice this week to best reflect the available options and the different levels of protection they provide, a CDC official told CNN.

Many experts say cloth and surgical masks don’t provide enough protection, and instead encourage N95 or FFP2 coverings.

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Upgraded masks are already the norm in much of Europe. Germany mandates FFP2 coverings in stores, on public transport and in other public places. Neighboring Austria made FFP2 masks mandatory outdoors on Tuesday, when it is not possible to keep a minimum two meters from people outside one’s household, and they have been required indoors since last month.

Italy mandated the heavy-duty masks to enter stadiums, museums, cinemas and theaters, and use public transport from December. And in Greece, anyone who has left self-isolation must wear them in any public place for five days.

The differing terminology for the masks can be confusing, but all the terms refer to the level of filtration offered by the covering — and there’s no doubting that FFP2, N95 or KN95 models offer better protection than those made from cloth or other fabrics.

Cloth masks — encouraged earlier in the pandemic — can stop large droplets, while more effective masks can also filter smaller aerosols or particles potentially laden with airborne virus.

Properly fitted N95 respirators that are approved by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health can filter up to 95% of particles in the air, according to the CDC.

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A cloth face covering, by contrast, also has 75% inward and outward leakage, which the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists defines as the “percentage of particles entering the facepiece” and the “percentage of particles exhaled by a source exiting the facepiece,” respectively.

People concerned about the best way to protect themselves and their loved ones during this surge of Omicron variant cases should “get the highest-quality mask that you can tolerate and that’s available to you,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Tuesday, signaling a switch in the official advice.

The issue thus far is that filtration masks are generally more expensive, a bit less convenient to wear and earlier in the pandemic they weren’t always widely available.

That explains why the CDC has until now actively encouraged members of the public against buying N95 masks — currently stating on its website that they should be “prioritized for healthcare personnel.”

But Fauci told CNN that “right now, [there] doesn’t seem to be any shortage of the masks that some time ago were not available.”

“What the CDC has said — and it gets misinterpreted — they’re saying, wearing any mask is better than no mask at all,” Fauci said. “But there is a gradation of capability of preventing you from getting infected and from you transmitting it to someone else. So we should be wearing the best possible masks that we can get. That’s a fact.”

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(©2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company, contributed to this report.)

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Disney, Universal visitors suffered heart issues, seizures after rides, report shows

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Thank you for supporting our journalism. This article is available exclusively for our subscribers, who help fund our work at the Orlando Sentinel.

Visitors at Walt Disney World and Universal experienced cardiac issues, seizures and other conditions after riding attractions at the parks over the past three months, the state’s latest theme park injury report reveals.

The report, made publicly available Thursday, lists all guest injuries between October and December that required at least 24 hours of hospitalization, as reported by the theme park companies themselves.

The parks avoid state inspections by self-reporting injuries through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, but descriptions of these injuries can be vague and omit important details.

Thursday’s report shows visitors experienced a couple of heart-related issues after riding Disney attractions, and guests at Disney and Universal had seizures after various rides.

SeaWorld, Legoland and Busch Gardens Tampa had no reported injuries over the same timeframe.

Walt Disney World reported nine injuries over the three months. Universal Orlando reported one.

Disney reported seven of those incidents in October alone.

On Oct. 6, a 58-year-old woman felt dizzy and fell while leaving Toy Story Mania! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At the Magic Kingdom, a 39-year-old man had a seizure on Oct. 9 after riding Splash Mountain.

Two days later, an 81-year-old man with an undisclosed pre-existing condition had “stroke-like symptoms” after leaving Pirates of the Caribbean. A 20-year-old woman had a seizure after riding The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh at the same park later that month.

On Oct. 13, an 82-year-old man passed out on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. A day earlier, a 57-year-old woman had “cardiac symptoms” after riding the Expedition Everest — Legend of the Forbidden Mountain roller coaster at the park.

On Oct. 27, an 18-year-old man lost consciousness and fell after leaving Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios.

Two guests reported injuries after riding Avatar Flight of Passage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in December. On Dec. 18, a 69-year-old man felt “unwell” after riding the attraction, and three days later a 69-year-old woman felt “disoriented.”

At Universal Orlando, a 27-year-old woman had a seizure after riding the Fast & Furious — Supercharged simulator at the Universal Studios park.

krice@orlandosentinel.com and @katievrice on Twitter

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FKA Twigs’ ‘Caprisongs’ highlights English singer’s vocal prowess and master production

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Following up 2019’s “Magdalene” is a tough ask for FKA Twigs. With two albums since 2014, both garnering massive acclaim, Twigs’ album releases are a musical event. The latest project from the Grammy winner, “Caprisongs,” breaks from Twigs’ artistic past and thrives by not continuing “Magdalene,” but separating itself entirely.

The first track, “ride the dragon” is more than an intro — it’s an incredibly meta acknowledgement of what the project will be. The closest track to “LP1” sonically, its opening lyrics, “Hey, I Made you a mixtape…/I’m still that mysterious b*tch/no one does it like I do” couldn’t give a clearer mission statement for a fun side project.

No Twigs project is complete without magnificent vocals and stellar production. Twigs is one of the best vocalists in modern music and “Caprisongs” delivers some of her more unique performances. Tracks like “minds of men” and “thank you song” show this, as her vocals shine despite bouncing between genres.

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“Caprisongs” production matches this vocal excellence. While longtime collaborator Arca returns and Kendrick Lamar’s go-to producer Sounwave provides production help, “Caprisongs” deviates from Twigs’ formula.

Previous projects double as a collection of the producing worlds A-List, but Twigs’ first mixtape takes the production work into its creators own hands, along with help from underground producers.

Twigs’ first mixtape also dabbles in a more accessible sound than previous albums. The project’s lead single “tears in the club” is an incredible collection of talent, featuring The Weeknd with Arca’s one-of-a-kind electropop production that makes it an incredible hit.

Normally a curator of her own style, Twig’s influences are the driving force instead. An England native, the British music scene is a key inspiration for the project. Charli XCX-inspired hyperpop and the booming British rap scene are among the most notable influences.

Charli’s influence can be extremely noticeable at times and not for the better —“meta angel” is just too on the nose. The added rap elements were stronger and Shygirl and Pa Salieu were great features.

Far from the only influences, Ariana Grande style ad-libs are noticeable throughout and some of the slower moments have Pharrell Williams production influence. With so many outside styles seemingly influencing “Caprisongs,” the tape does unfortunately dilute some of Twigs’ signature art pop sound.

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Features can dictate song styles more than they should. It is a testament to Twigs’ talent just how easily she can outdo artists at the sounds they’ve spent years creating.

The interludes on “Caprisongs” commit a common slip that most artists who drift into mixtape territory make.

There’s no need to force three interludes and several spoken word intros/outros on the world. Just put the various “the universe is so powerful,” astrology stuff on one track.

With a much looser and poppier approach than Twigs’ past releases, “Caprisongs” does not meet its creators high bar, but that’s the point. Twigs’ first mixtape is still a delight and enjoyable enough to hold audiences over until a third album is ready and few will make a better project than this in 2022.

Featured image “FKA Twigs” by Falling Outside The Normal Moral Constraints is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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‘The Great Resignation’, A Look At Where Workers Are Going

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s being called “The Great Resignation,” but the ongoing question is where are the workers?

Where did they go? Here’s a clue on how to navigate the issue.

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“It is the vowels we learned in elementary school, A-E-I-O-U. These five letters stand for the five things that explain what’s going on,” said entrepreneur and author on branding Bruce Turkel

For example, “A” stands for assets. Workers who have money and or property income can live off that while shifting priorities or just live off their portfolios.

“They can use their assets to help them change their lives,” said Turkel.

“E” stands for expectations. Workers today have far different hopes for the future.

“They do not expect to have a job, keep a job and retire after 20 years. They want to live life now, not wait 20-30 years for a gold watch,” said Turkel.

“I” stands for investment. There are many new ways to make money besides traditional work.

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“People have seen enormous growth in cryptocurrency. I don’t understand it but that doesn’t mean lots of people have made lots of money,” said Turkel.

The vowel “O” represents opportunity. All kinds of jobs are out there that are non-traditional and flexible.

“People are driving for Uber, Door Dash, selling crafts on Etsy, selling video of themselves and partners on Only Fans, Turkel pointed out. 

Finally, “U” stands for URLs – yep, the internet. People are selling services and seeking gig jobs online. Think Angi or Nextdoor. Need a plumber or electrician, go online, there’s no need to call a plumbing or electrical company.

“There are so many new ways to generate income that the idea of going to the traditional 9 to 5 job no longer makes sense,” said Turkel.

He said today’s younger workers are not bound by loyalty and want flexibility.

“Because of lower expectations they are happy to leave,” said Turkel 

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The bottom line answer to the question “Where are the workers?” Many of those so-called “disappeared workers” are working, just not in the jobs they previously held.      

Hank Tester

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