The state’s weekly COVID summary: 1,005,712 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, with 3,109 testing positive over the last 7 days; the 7-day positivity rate is 9.21%, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) reported. The state reported 15,852,942 PCR/NAAT tests, with 33,752 residents testing positive over the last 7 days. Hospitalizations total 413. The state reported 15 deaths, bringing the death total to 11,587. DPH is releasing weekly COVID reports on Thursdays.
As more states like Connecticut legalize cannabis, there’s been a sharp rise in use by women, data show. Stats complied by Flowhub, a cannabis tech company, report that from early 2020 to late 2021, cannabis sales to female customers increased by 55%. When it came to new customers, 48% were female in 2021, a 10% increase from 2018, when the study was first conducted. Americans are now smoking more marijuana than cigarettes, Gallup reported. In a 2022 Gallup poll, 16% of Americans currently smoke marijuana, while 11% reported smoking cigarettes, which is a new low compared to the mid-1950s, when 45% of Americans smoked cigarettes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) marijuana, which can also be called cannabis – was used by 48.2 million people in 2019.
Colleges statewide have taken steps to educate and raise awareness about monkeypox, a virus with over 21,900 cases nationally. At Wesleyan University, for example, an e-mail was sent to all students that provides links to the university’s health services website explaining the virus and how to access counseling and vaccines, if needed. Other colleges, such as Yale University, the University of Connecticut and Southern Connecticut State University, have web pages dedicated to information on monkeypox. Nationally, there have been a handful of cases reported at various colleges, but none among Connecticut college students. Overall, as of Sept. 12, there were 21,985 cases of monkeypox reported in the U.S., and 113 cases in Connecticut, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and other states, students on some college campuses can purchase the “morning-after” pill from vending machines. But students in Connecticut don’t have that option because Connecticut is the only state that prohibits the sale of any over-the-counter medications in vending machines, according to the American Society for Emergency Contraceptives. The emergency contraceptive, commonly called Plan B, has been approved for purchase for those 15 and older without a prescription since 2013. Before that, a prescription was required for teenagers 17 and younger. With the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June, there’s been a flurry of activity across the country to protect reproductive rights.
Sleep professionals say they are treating young adults stuck in endless cycles of poor sleep habits developed as teenagers. The wake-up call to seek help comes when life changes around them and their poor sleep habits impact most aspects of their life, including their mood and productivity at work or school. “If you don’t sleep the right amount or are too sleepy, you usually become cranky, irritable. So, sleep disorders really impact every factor of a person’s life,” said Meir Kryger, MD, Yale professor emeritus of medicine and editor of Principles and Practice of Sleep Medicine who retired in June from clinical care after 51 years. Even in the classroom, Kryger lectured his students on the importance of good sleep habits.
Madeline Kizer of Wallingford hosts clothing swaps to promote second-hand shopping, aiming to raise awareness of fast fashion’s impact on the environment. A documentary on the fashion industry sparked Kizer’s interest to learn more about fast fashion. So, she decided to do her own research. Fast fashion is based on a low-cost, high-volume business model that has come under fire in recent years for its impact on the environment and workers in the supply chain, Quartz Magazine reports. The mass production of clothing contributes water pollution and emits large quantities of greenhouse gases, and according to a Vogue Magazine report “20% of global water waste is caused by the fashion industry.”
According to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, “The textiles system
operates in an almost completely linear way: large amounts of non-renewable
resources are extracted to produce clothes that are often used for only a
short time, after which the materials are mostly sent to landfill or incinerated,” under-utilizing recycling.
On average, people 18 and older check their cell phones 344 times a day, that’s every 4 minutes, a survey from Reviews.org reported earlier this year. And, 47% of participants said they were addicted to their cell phones and 74% felt uneasy leaving their phone at home. For many it’s hard to break the screen time habit. If this applies to you, now with longer days and warmer weather, it’s a good time to put down that phone and increase your productivity. Here’s 10 tips on what you can do:
1. Explore nature: Take a walk outside by yourself or with a friend.
Sixty percent of LGBTQ youth wanted mental health care in the past year but were unable to get it, The Trevor Project 2022 national survey reported. The survey found that the top three reasons for not receiving mental health care were fear of discussing mental health concerns, afraid to obtain parental permission or fear of not being taken seriously. The Trevor Project conducted a national survey among 34,000 participants, ages 13 to 24, who identified as part of the LGBTQ community. Other major survey findings include:
• Among all participants, the rate of those considering suicide increased from 40% in 2020 to 45% in 2022. • 50% of participants, aged 13 to 17, considered suicide in the past year.
For decades, scientists and public health officials have warned that the warming climate is the greatest threat to human health globally. But efforts to address the issue have been hampered by, among other things, climate change deniers. Those who do not view climate change as a significant problem driven mainly by human activity and the continued use of fossil fuels are also often associated with a partisan divide. But a June 2021 Pew Research Center poll found that millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) and Generation Z adults (born between 1997 and 2012) showed “high levels of engagement” in addressing climate change, regardless of party affiliation or ideology. The poll found that among Republicans, generational differences in views about climate change are “quite pronounced.”
The study found that 49% of Gen Z and 48% of millennial Republicans say that action is needed now to reduce the effects of climate change, compared to only 37% of Gen X (born after 1964) and 26% of baby boomers (born after 1946) who say it should be a top priority.
Myriad Genetics claims its Prequel Prenatal Screening tests are almost 100 percent accurate in determining if a fetus has potential serious medical or mental issues. But a February California federal lawsuit claims that in 85 percent of the time, the tests result in false positive results in parents facing the possibility that they should end the pregnancy or undergo painful follow-up tests. “As a result of these false positive screenings, women are forced to undergo the very invasive testing that Defendant claims its Tests help women avoid, including amniocentesis and CVS,” the suit says. Read more of this column here.