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A call for hope during a time of pain: Nunavik looks for solutions to suicide crisis

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As people in Kuujjuaq prepared to bury two young people Tuesday — the latest victims of apparent suicides — the town’s mayor called for hope.

Some 60 people from across Quebec’s Inuit territory of Nunavik gathered in the Kuujjuaq Forum, a community gymnasium, for the first of two days of meetings to address a recent spike in suicides in the region, and to try to find a solution.

“I am proud to say Inuit are the only people to survive in this harsh country before we had modern conveniences like electricity and vehicles,” Mayor Tunu Napartuk told the meeting.

“We have forgotten where we come from.”

Message of hope amid the pain

In his message of finding hope and pride, Napartuk speaks from experience.

He says as a teenager growing up in Kuujjuaq, he contemplated ending his life.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have people around me such as my mother and my father who were understanding enough to make me know that ‘yes, this pain and suffering that you’re feeling right now is going to come to pass. It will finish. It will end,'” said Napartuk.

“I’m 46 years old right now, and that sense of hopelessness — oh wow, I’m just so happy I had someone around me who cared about me.”

Napartuk says it is now his responsibility to be attentive to his six children and pass on to them his sense of hopefulness.

“It sounds very simple, and I may not be the best to give that to my children at times because of my own issues, but I’m doing the best I can with what I have.”

Kuujjuaq Mayor Tunu Napartuk said he grappled with his own suicidal impulses as a teenager and credits his parents for helping him find hope and pride. He says that’s what needs to be instilled in Inuit young people across Nunavik.

It’s like our heart turned to rock

No sooner had it begun than the meeting to address suicides was suspended for two hours Tuesday afternoon, so that many gathered there could attend the funeral for those who died last week.

About 200 mourners filled the pews of the brand-new Anglican church, singing a hymn in Inuktitut as a musician played guitar.

Napartuk, himself the son of an Anglican minister, read a passage from the Book of Psalms, standing not far from the two caskets laid out, end to end, at the front of the church.

One of them held the remains of Gaétan David’s nephew Jimmy.

David, a southerner who has lived in Kuujjuaq for 23 years, is married to an Inuk woman and has children growing up in the village of 2,800. Jimmy, he says, is the sixth or seventh member of his extended family to commit suicide.

“My nephew was a fine young man. He had lots to live for. He had a three-year-old daughter,” said David. “It’s kind of hard on the family, and we wish things like that would not happen, you know?”

David says the number of suicides that his family has had to deal with have a lasting impact.

“It’s like our heart turned to a rock,” said David. “Yes, we cry. We get hurt. Without talking to each other, the family all said the same thing: ‘too much is too much.'”

His own 14-year-old son is left confused and worried by Jimmy’s death, David said.

Gaétan David has lived in Kuujjuaq for 23 years and is married to an Inuk. He says he’s lost half a dozen members of his extended family to suicide, including his nephew Jimmy, whose funeral was one of two held Tuesday.

Hope for a solution

The participants at the meeting spent the day in workshops, answering questions about what they can do as individuals to help their communities and how they can make a positive change.

Today they will work toward presenting solutions to stop the wave of suicides. The Kativik Regional Board of Health and Social Services will also present the work of its regional suicide-prevention committee.

Napartuk says leaders in Nunavik have had meetings to deal with one suicide crisis after another for many years.

He says there’s a lot riding on this one.

“We’ve gone to these meetings representing different organizations and different groups, and it’s been hard to get away from that responsibility and the limitations that each of the organizations may have in terms of funding, regulations, programs,” said Napartuk.

“I may be the mayor of Kuujjuaq, but I have to [work for a solution] as a father, as a husband, and as an individual.”

Asked about Tuesday’s funerals for the two young people, and the emotional toll the deaths have on people in Nunavik, Napartuk paused for a moment to compose himself.

“You have to keep going,” he said.

“I have a responsibility as a local leader. I have a responsibility as a father and as a husband. You have to take a moment to pay respects to those affected. But you have to keep going.”

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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