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On the front line of a crisis, overdose-prevention staff could use some help

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Kelly White kicks used needles to the side of the path where she walks to work in Toronto’s east end. Nearby, she can see people tucked behind cars, in alleyways, and even out in the open using drugs at all times of the day.

White is one of four front-line workers at an overdose-prevention site in the Moss Park neighbourhood at the crossroads of Sherbourne Street and Dundas Street East. The temporary site is operated by a non-profit organization called Street Health, which provides nursing care and harm-reduction services from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Every day she hopes to bring drug users off the streets and into safer spaces, where they can use under the supervision of both medical professionals, and support workers like herself who have been trained on the job. But unlike safe-consumption sites, which are permanent and offer a wider range of support, overdose-prevention sites across Ontario were emergency, pop-up solutions to an escalating crisis that were never meant to be long-term.

In December 2017, Health Canada announced that it would allow temporary prevention sites like Street Health’s to operate across the country. The sites were given limited provincial funding for up to six months. But White says sites like hers are understaffed and under resourced given the size of the crisis they face.

As a result, the job can be stressful and demanding for those who work there. And when it comes to dealing with the mental toll of being on the front line of an opioid epidemic each day, workers like White say it feels like they’ve been left to help others without much help for themselves.

The reality is that it’s constant loss. It’s tough for this community. It’s tough for the people that work here.— Kelly White

“A lot of people that talk to me about the work that I do always ask how I do it,” said White from inside the small room where she sees clients everyday, surrounded by stockpiles of clean syringes and drawers labelled ‘crack pipes.’ “Honestly, to me, the hard part is bashing your head against a system that isn’t designed to help people.”

Although the Ontario government recently announced a new plan to replace existing overdose-prevention sites with more permanent safe-consumption sites, it’s not clear that it will provide any more support for front-line workers.

Reality is ‘constant loss’

White was one of the four original workers at the volunteer-run Moss Park tents that popped up last summer during a spike in overdose deaths. She has seen the devastation the Toronto community has faced with the continued loss of life to unsafe drug use.

Since the Street Health overdose-prevention site opened at the end of June, White said it has helped over 500 users by giving them access to a safe space and clean supplies. As the co-ordinator of the facility and one of the hands-on workers tending to clients, she’s also responsible for greeting visitors, prepping tables and responding to medical emergencies.

Street Health provides sterile injection supplies, overdose prevention and intervention, nursing and other services for clients. The site has served over 500 people since it opened in June. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

Workers like White respond to overdoses daily, and some of the losses have been personal.

Holding back tears, she talks about her frustration and the difficulty of taking on an avalanche of problem that she believes requires more government intervention. Data from the federal government shows that, on average, more than 11 Canadians die because of opioids each day.

In Toronto alone, more than 300 people died of opioid overdoses in 2017, and the city has recorded 120 suspected deaths this year.

“The reality is that it’s constant loss. It’s tough for this community. It’s tough for the people that work here,” she said. “But at the same time, we wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.”

Donations only go so far

How do front-line workers cope with the work they do everyday? White says, “I’d say that primarily our support comes from being united in this battle, the relationships we build with clients and each other.”

Street Health has extended comprehensive benefits coverage to overdose-prevention site staff so that that they can get coverage for things like prescription drugs and dental care, White said.

Not all front-line workers are as lucky. In lieu of more comprehensive support, a GoFundMe page was set up to support staff at other Toronto area sites. The donations can be used toward massages, counselling, and acupuncture, but donations can only go so far.

“I’ve lost people to overdose, and one of the hardest parts is that people are not talking about this. … We need to bring things out of the shadows,” White said.

The Ontario government announced that it will allow 21 supervised drug-consumption facilities province-wide. The existing overdose-prevention sites will be expected to re-apply to become permanent facilities. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

She has tried to hold daily briefings to help process what staff witness. She said some days they barely have time to debrief because the demand to meet client needs is so high.

“One of the more difficult things here is that the work is so precarious. We’re only funded for six months,” she said. Funding for Street Health’s overdose-prevention site ends Nov. 30.

New model, new concerns

Last month, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott announced that it is capping supervised drug-consumption facilities at 21 sites province-wide, and will spend just over $31 million a year to fund these sites.

But how these sites will be distributed across Ontario is unknown. Also missing from the new model is any mention of support for front-line workers.

The current overdose-prevention sites will be expected to re-apply under the new provincial model to become permanent supervised-consumption sites, and White fears that will force established overdose-prevention sites like Street Health to compete for one of the limited spaces.

Open drug use is an issue in the Moss Park neighbourhood. Shortly after CBC News journalists interviewed White, they saw a man lying on the ground after what appeared to be a drug overdose. He was given CPR and taken away in an ambulance. (Craig Chivers/CBC)

“We are currently worried about losing the flexibility, responsiveness, lack of bureaucracy and red tape, and client-centredness that we have worked hard to maintain,” White said.

Steady funding would allow Street Health to hire more staff, and perhaps operate more than two stations for safe drug consumption. It would also allow a facility like Street Health’s to be open more days — like weekends — and later at night.

‘It’s extremely stressful’ on front line

One health industry expert suggests that going a step farther and putting safe-consumption sites under the umbrella of the Canadian health-care system would alleviate some of the stress that front-line workers experience, and provide them more help.

Paul-Emile Cloutier is the CEO and president of Ottawa-based HealthCareCAN, an association representing health-care providers in Canada. ​He says that if front-line workers burn out, the health-care system would be there to take care of them.

Cloutier says the injection site in Ottawa on Murray Street receives over 45,000 patients a year and cares for about 135 people a day. He says this safe-consumption site deals with about four to five overdoses a day.

“Front-line providers always work in a crisis environment and of course it’s extremely stressful,” he said. “We have to ensure that they are also well taken care of.”

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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