Updated Monday, February 22, 2021
Here is more good news to kick off your week and share with your team.
1. Progress on many fronts. Continued good news in the battle against COVID-19. US vaccinations continue and over 43 million people, 13.2% of the population have received at least one dose (13.4% in Florida). Reports from Israel are showing real-world effects of the vaccine is matching the very positive clinical trial results. Pfizer reported this week that their vaccine can be safely distributed with standard freezer storage which could speed up distribution. And there’s more – for those who have had the virus, Science magazine just released results of the latest study on immunity and found “substantial immune memory is generated after COVID-19.” They report 95% of subjects retain immunity at 6 months after infection, and that antibody tests are not reflecting the durability of the response in memory B cells, CD8+ T cells, and memory CD4+ T cells. They report robust immune memory in most individuals, and show “durable immunity against secondary COVID-19 disease.” Cases continue to decrease globally, and in the US hospitalizations are at the lowest levels since early November. Experts are quick to point out the decline is likely about people using appropriate habits like masks and social distancing more than vaccinations. And the precautions are creating another silver lining – it has been enough to virtually wipe out this year’s flu. Through January 30, the CDC says there have been just 1,316 flu cases since September, compared to last year’s tally in the same time frame of 129,997 positive cases. Cases down, vaccines up, immunity lasts and flu season a non-starter Lets keep these trends going please!
2. Take advantage of the Florida beaches. It’s the time of year when we all feel a bit guilty about our fabulous Florida weather, especially with the extreme winter challenges happening elsewhere. But you should still tap into the amazing health advantages of living close to the seashore and hit the beach. There is a calming effect of the sun, sand and water to relieve your stress and improve your sleep. There are plenty of opportunities for exercise, and you can absorb your daily dose of Vitamin D in 10 minutes and then store some to be used later. Vitamin D is a key to boosting immunity, and the beach provides plenty of options for outdoor social distancing so it is a great place to enjoy now. The forecast for New Smyrna Beach for the next two weeks includes highs in the 70s and low 80s and lots of sunshine. Go get some sand between your toes.
3. Perseverance pays off. Last summer when we were overwhelmed by crises, NASA sent a magic vehicle 126 million miles across the solar system to Mars. Six and a half months later, Perseverance arrived at the edge of the Martian atmosphere traveling at 12,000 miles an hour. The Perseverance rover was designed to explore the delta of a former river on Mars searching for microbes. And it comes equipped with Ingenuity, an experimental helicopter that will attempt the first controlled flight on another world. After ‘seven minutes of terror’ in which the spacecraft decelerates, heats, deploys a huge parachute while still at supersonic speed, sheds the heat shield so cameras can navigate, and fires rocket engines to slow its descent, Perseverance was lowered at the end of a cable beneath a rocket-powered jetpack to safely reach the surface. An infinite number of things could have gone wrong, but they didn’t. NASA engineers cheered, and we are all awestruck.
This year keeps getting better, so this week enjoy the beautiful Florida weather, be inspired by the progress that happens when we dream big, and keep the momentum going!