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Binghamton University, State University of New York

Changing the value of life for COVID-19 victims is harmful to society

The coronavirus has killed hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, but placing special emphasis on these victims compared to people who have died from other causes can get in the way of making the right decisions, according to Subimal Chatterjee, SUNY distinguished teaching professor at Binghamton University’s School of Management.

“One of the most fascinating things that I have seen is how people are able to quickly differentiate one life from another. So for example, if somebody dies on a ventilator while struck with the virus, we somehow think that this life lost is more tragic compared to say, a person who died at home from a heart attack because the ambulance could not come in time. We always shy away from valuing a life, and yet we now seem very comfortable putting a label on it.  Sweden, for example, took a conscious decision to keep the country open knowing that there would be lives lost, but they reasoned that the lives lost would be predominantly among their elderly population. They too are putting labels on life, it would seem," Chatterjee says.

"What makes one life more special than another? There is a literature on the ‘identifiable victim effect’ which suggests that once the victim has a name that life is more precious. The coronavirus seems to be giving an identity to strangers. Is this a good thing? Certainly, if it makes us more caring as a society. Certainly not, if it makes us less caring towards others. That is something policy makers would need to think about as they make the very painful tradeoffs in the days ahead.”

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VIDEO
Released: 11-Aug-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Give and Take during the Pandemic
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The pandemic sent shockwaves through the academic community. Some institutions are weathering the storm better than others. At Lewis University (LU), Professor Jason Keleher and his students, Carolyn Graverson, Abigail “Abby” Linhart, and Katie Wortman-Otto, are optimistic. In our series, The ECS Community Adapts and Advances, they share their COVID-19 experiences and hopes for the future.

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Released: 11-Aug-2020 11:55 AM EDT
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Recently, several physicians hosted a press conference in which one physician claimed that the combination of hydroxychloroquine, the antibiotic azithromycin and the mineral zinc could cure COVID-19. The video footage of that press conference went viral on social media, and soon many social media platforms removed the videos for providing inaccurate, non-scientifically backed claims. But questions from the public may still remain.

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Released: 11-Aug-2020 11:45 AM EDT
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International League Against Epilepsy

Telemedicine for epilepsy care is more popular than ever. It has many advantages—but can it sustain itself into the future?

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Released: 11-Aug-2020 11:20 AM EDT
Managing Children’s Back-to-School Anxiety
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

A Rutgers mental health expert discusses how to prepare children to return to school, signs of emotional distress and benefits of virtual learning

Newswise: NYC shoppers 4 times more likely to frequent stores adhering to social distance guidelines
Released: 11-Aug-2020 11:15 AM EDT
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Cornell University

New York City residents are four times more likely to choose a store where shoppers respect 6 feet of distancing than one where no one is social distancing, according to a Cornell University experiment using 3D simulation.

Newswise: Why Does COVID-19 Impact Only Some Organs, Not Others?
7-Aug-2020 10:55 AM EDT
Why Does COVID-19 Impact Only Some Organs, Not Others?
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In severe cases of COVID-19, damage can spread beyond the lungs and into other organs, such as the heart, liver, kidney and parts of the neurological system. Beyond these specific sets of organs, however, the virus seems to lack impact. Ernesto Estrada aimed to uncover an explanation as to how it is possible for these damages to propagate selectively rather than affecting the entire body. He discusses his findings in the journal Chaos.

Newswise: Masks, PPE Materials Should Be Hydrophilic
5-Aug-2020 10:05 AM EDT
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American Institute of Physics (AIP)

Since the COVID-19 virus spreads through respiratory droplets, researchers in India set out to explore how droplets deposited on face masks or frequently touched surfaces dry. Droplets can be expelled via the mouth or nose and studies have shown a substantially reduced chance of infection once they dry. In Physics of Fluids, the researchers publish their findings that surface wetting properties to reduce the drying time of droplets could help lessen the risk of infection from coronaviruses.

Released: 11-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
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Binghamton University, State University of New York

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Newswise: Researchers Create Mask Filtration Effectiveness Hierarchy
11-Aug-2020 9:00 AM EDT
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University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Infection prevention experts at the UNC Medical Center set out to gather evidence on the fitted filtration efficiency of dozens of different types of masks and mask modifications, including masks sterilized for reuse, expired masks, novel masks sourced from domestic and overseas sources, and homemade masks.

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Released: 11-Aug-2020 8:40 AM EDT
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Previously, scientists have determined that entry of SARS-CoV-2 into cells occurs through a receptor on the cell surface, known as ACE2. But the McMaster-Waterloo team has found that the ACE2 receptor is at very low levels in human lung tissue.


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