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  • #343850
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Due to precautions about the coronavirus, I don’t have gender therapist appointments for the month of March because people are practicing “social distancing” where people don’t talk in-person in closed spaces as a protective measure against coronavirus, so I won’t be able to make therapy appointments. There are currently no confirmed cases at Stockton University, but the campus is taking precautions as well by moving most interactions online until April 5th. The campus is still open, but most of the events are canceled until April 5th and some of the spaces where students gather are being closed. I am sad that the LGBTQ safe space on campus is being closed, but I have met many transgender people online through Facebook support groups and made some good friends. The career counselor that I emailed today showed me resources on how to map out a career path based on hobbies and interests and showed some online tutorials that were helpful that I am going to go through. I have an appointment with an academic advisor tomorrow online to talk about the fall semester classes and possible major options. I still prefer the Biochemistry path because I have been in it for 2.5 years and have gotten used to it. Most of the people I’ve connected with are Biochemistry and research people. My main focus is lessening the anxiety, finding more support even if it’s online and building up some resiliency so that I can handle the pressure at home. The Student Success Services program that I am a part of advisor told me that since I withdrew from classes this semester due to mental health issues I could file a medical withdrawal appeal.

    So I withdrew from my classes on March 8th due to intense anxiety that made it difficult to focus on my mental health. I talked with the Student Success Services adviser over the phone on March 16th and said that I withdrew from my classes. They said that I can file a medical withdrawal appeal, but I was reading my school’s website for information on medical withdrawal appeals and I think that they are for students who are considering withdrawing from their courses due to medical reasons and not for students who have recently withdrew. Since I recently withdrew from my classes, I’m not sure if I can apply for a medical withdrawal appeal because it seems like that the medical withdrawal appeal is supposed to be filled before a student withdraws from classes and not after. But my adviser said that since I was seeing the counselors on campus during the semester and since I recently withdrew, I can still file a medical withdrawal appeal saying that the reason I withdrew was because of mental health even though the medical withdrawal appeal was filled out after I withdrew because normally I think it’s supposed to be filled before. And since I recently withdrew, the loan that I borrowed for my classes amount was returned making the balance that I owe $927.00 which puts a hold on my account. And according to the medical withdrawal appeal instructions on my school’s website the student is not eligible for a medical withdrawal appeal if they have holds on their account. So I contacted my advisor and financial aid and both said that I could still submit the medical withdrawal appeal and see what happens. I asked the financial aid office if the medical withdrawal appeal would have any effect on my financial aid and they said that they wouldn’t know until I filed the medical withdrawal appeal. I did tell financial aid that I had a hold on my account and wasn’t sure if that would affect the medical withdrawal appeal, they told me to just submit the medical withdrawal appeal and see. I checked with my advisor as well and they said the same thing. So after going around in circles, I decided to submit a medical withdrawal appeal and it is currently being reviewed. If it is approved, then I may be able to receive a refund for my classes. Not sure if it will affect the current balance I have on my account which is $927.00 that I owe. If the medical withdrawal appeal goes through and all the financial aid can be adjusted I might not have to pay the $927.00. But if it doesn’t go through then I think that I will have to pay the financial aid amount. Or maybe it will go through and I still will have to pay the amount because maybe loans are separate. I am keeping in contact with financial aid, sent an email to my loan servicer (GreatLakes company manages the loan), and am keeping my advisor posted as well. Also I am keeping the counselors at the Wellness Center posted because the counselor I used to see before withdrawing knew I was struggling with anxiety and today I signed a release form saying that I could release the information for my medical withdrawal appeal and that might be a form of documentation. Hope you have a good rest of the week Anita.

    #343858
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    This is a tough time for all of us, the threat of the epidemic to our health and lives, the economical and financial loss, the social distancing, the closing of schools and universities. I hope the social distancing will be a thing of the past in a couple of months, I do hope so. I hope the economy recovers in the next couple of years. These are my hopes. I suppose online communication is all we have without a threat to our health. So keep connecting online with anyone who can help you at the university, including the other LGBTQ members in Stockton.

    I hope your medical withdrawal appeal is approved and that it will benefit you financially. Regarding the appointment you have tomorrow online regarding “the fall semester classes and possible major options”, think of my input regarding working in biochemistry/ genetic research, that it means working in a lab most of the time. Because you felt anxiety as a student in the context of lab work, and less anxiety in other contexts (a lecture when a professor didn’t rush with the material and explained well), it is probably better that you aim at a career that does not involve lab work.

    Have a good rest of the week yourself, keep yourself as calm as possible so that you can make better choices for yourself.

    anita

     

    #344102
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Watching the U.S. news, the president says that quarantine may last eight weeks or more as researchers work on a vaccine for the coronavirus. The coronavirus is mostly serious for people who are elderly, very young or have immune system problems but if a healthy person gets it they likely will be okay. Since researchers don’t know how the virus acts in complete details yet, they think that the research on the coronavirus will take a year to eighteen months until the research is good enough, but they are hoping to develop a vaccine by May to prevent more people getting the virus. Hope you are well and don’t stress yourself too much. I have been thinking of a neuroscience minor because the classes for neuroscience aren’t too difficult and I know some of the professors that teach them are quite helpful. Also the brain is fascinating and there are some mental  health classes in the minor concentration for neuroscience. I don’t know what major to currently switch to but I’m considering Health Sciences because all my credits transfer and it’s still relevant to a career field in the medical sciences requiring lesser lab work. But I feel like I’m still interested in Biochemistry because I’ve been studying it for three years and a lot of my career ties are there so changing it seems a bit difficult. So I have started to work on meditation for my anxieties and I find that it helps lessen it a bit and work on building my focus. I didn’t receive the approval for the medical withdrawal because my GPA was good and since I had a Bursar’s hold for having a balance owed of $927.00 due to the subsidized loan that was returned to the federal education department that hold was an obstacle for requesting the medical withdrawal appeal. I might be able to revisit the counselors the fall 2020 semester and after talking with them for a while perhaps be able to have the Learning Access Program provide me accommodations such as extended time for assignments and other things. Since my anxiety is directly linked to gender dysphoria I find that being involved in the transgender community online is helpful and once quarantine is over I hope that the LGBTQ safe space reopens so that I can spend time there while on campus.

    #344124
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    The President is talking as I am typing this, talking about vaccines and viral therapies. He says he cut off red tape to quicken the processes of finding a vaccine and drugs that will help vs harm. He insists on calling the virus a Chinese virus (pointing to a guilty party serves to direct people’s anger .. someplace else, so it is not directed at him), and he is working on getting re-elected as he speaks, currently, mentioning how great the economy was before the outbreak, and how good it will be again, as well as pointing out to what a great job he did cutting red tape. More important than any of this is indeed the developing of a vaccine and drug therapies ASAP.

    “I’m considering Health Sciences because all my credits transfer”- I think it’s a great idea. You have an excellent language ability, having explained a great variety of topics throughout your postings in your thread since Dec 2015, including in your recent post regarding the coronavirus. Combine your interest in science with your excellent use of language to explain topics so very clearly and effectively. I have the image of you working for a scientific company as a spokesperson, an educator, explaining the company’s products to groups of people.

    You received an answer then to your medical withdrawal request. I hope the Pandemic will be under control by the Fall semester and that you will choose your classes wisely as well as receive accommodations such as extended time for assignments.

    * The scientist in the ongoing press conference is talking about possible treatments. I wonder if you are listening to him as well. If you do, can you tell me what you think about his speech?

    anita

    #344360
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    I started exploring different career paths for health science majors and the field is likely to grow by 11% between 2020-2026 which is really quite cool. Some career paths in health sciences were health services coordinator which helps spread awareness about prevention and testing of diseases and they often work in hospitals or with OSHA which I find interesting. Another career path in health sciences is working in the biotechnology industry helping take the research other scientists do and running clinical trials on it and seeing how a drug or a medical device such as an ultrasound might work. The job in health science fields is expected to grow by about 20,000 in the next few years which is exciting. Another career path in health sciences is becoming a medical assistant or community health provider and they help with testing people for diseases and work with doctors on treatments with people as well as providing awareness to people about the disease and some of them are counselors that help relieve the stress people feel when they have a disease. So I have three potential career paths in health sciences: health services coordinator, clinical health specialist, or community health medical assistant. I am going to explore more because it’s so interesting. I also started reading the National Institutes of Health page on the coronavirus and it’s quite interesting. The National Institutes of Health says that they used an electron microscope to look at the SARS-CoV-2 which is the virus isolated from human cells that causes coronavirus symptoms. The National Institutes of Health states that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can last on aerosol, stainless steel and other surfaces for long periods of time (around thirty days) which is why if a person touches the surface that the virus is on there is a chance that they may get the coronavirus. Since the symptoms of coronavirus take 2-14 days to appear in a person, many people do not know that they have the symptoms which is why it has spread quite quickly.  SARS-CoV-2 stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2″ and it is the virus that is currently causing coronavirus outbreaks in the world. In 2002-2003, there was another virus called SARS-CoV-1 that caused the sars disease in China and scientists have found similarities between the sars disease and the current coronavirus disease. Since the sars disease has not been seen since 2004 due to intensive isolation measures and sanitation efforts, scientists are also asking people to practice social distancing and sanitation efforts as a way to control the coronavirus because they have found out that it is similar to the sars disease in 2004. The reason why scientists think that the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is resulting in more cases than the sars disease (SARS-CoV-1) is that the coronavirus symptoms take longer to appear and people will go out and about when they don’t show symptoms and that since the coronavirus lasts on surfaces for a long period of time it spreads more quickly.

     


    <h1>New coronavirus stable for hours on surfaces” nih.gov March 17, 2020</h1>

    #344368
    Janus
    Participant

    Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) is a virus that has been causing symptoms such as fever, dry cough, tiredness and difficulty breathing. The coronavirus is named that because the latin word “corona” means crown and the outer protein markers on the virus’s surface look like little spikes that make a crown. A virus is a nonliving entity that has a outer protein coat that surrounds a nucleic acid which can be DNA or RNA. Viruses cannot do their own metabolism so they are non-living, but they can enter a person’s body by going through the immune system’s defences and once inside the person’s body, the virus starts taking the cells of the person’s cells and injecting viral genetic material (either DNA or RNA, coronavirus has DNA as its genetic material) and the cells are exposed to the genetic material of the virus and they become viral cells and it weakens the immune system. The immune system tries to send out signals for other healthy cells to combat the viral cells and help destroy them. But the thing is that the viral cells were once the person’s own cells that became viral cells so when the healthy immune cells destroy the viral cells trying to keep the person alive, the person is losing some of their own cells in the process. But the hope is that there are more healthy cells in your body than viral cells that eventually the body will overcome the virus. However in severe cases of the virus sometimes the body’s responses are ineffective and the person ends up experiencing organ failure due to the virus. In the case of coronavirus in the severe cases, the virus has already started attacking the healthy cells of the lungs making it difficult to breathe. So in response, the walls of the alveoli sacs around the lungs thicken to provide more air sacs for you to get oxygen to your body. But as the walls of the alveoli sacs thicken more, they can cut off the oxygen supply to the lungs and without that oxygen your lungs will fail and without your lungs to carry oxygen which is important for your other organs you experience kidney failure and other organ failure and death results. Coronavirus is mostly dangerous in people who are elderly and have weak immune systems because people who are healthy often have good immune defenses that help prevent the virus from spreading to the serious stages, but people with breathing problems or weakened immune systems should take precautions because the coronavirus might become quite serious for them especially if it spreads to the lungs and makes it more difficult to breathe.

    #344374
    Janus
    Participant

    Viruses use genetic material (either DNA or RNA) which makes them difficult to treat because our body’s own cells contain DNA and RNA to make proteins which is why viruses when they enter into the body can replicate so quickly. They can also change their protein markers on their outer coat with time making them have a different structure which makes it difficult for one vaccine to combat a virus. The flu virus has a new vaccine each year because there are new strains of the flu each year since the virus can change the protein markers on its outer protein coat. The coronavirus might be the same way because it is similar to the sars disease in 2004. It may be likely that the outer protein markers on the virus changed making the virus structure different and it being the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) rather than sars disease (SARS-CoV-1 ) but the behavior of the two viruses have similar effects on the body even though the coronavirus has been more widespread.

     

    There are currently no vaccines for coronavirus but researchers think that perhaps in a year or 18 months there might be more knowledge on both the sars disease and coronavirus so that a vaccine can be developed

     
    <h1>Treatment for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) March 12, 2020 healthline.com</h1>
     

     

     

    Studying how diseases occur due to viruses, bacteria or aging (cancers) is fascinating.

    #344382
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    “Some career paths in health sciences were health services coordinator which helps spread awareness about prevention and testing of diseases”- with your language abilities, I imagine you will be excellent spreading awareness and helping people in this valuable way when people whose first experience of a pandemic is this one, following the ending of this pandemic, will be very motivated to prevent future disease.

    You wrote that The National Institute of Health looked at the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) isolated from human cells, which is the virus that causes the current coronavirus symptoms, and they say that this virus can last on surfaces for around thirty days. Back in 2002-03, it was SARS-CoV-1 that caused the outbreak of SARS in China, and the same ways that worked in stopping that outbreak (intensive isolation/ social distancing and sanitation) should work with this similar virus. Scientists think that the reason the current outbreak is greater than the previous SARS is because (1) the current virus lasts longer on surfaces, and (2) it takes longer for symptoms to appear, so  people have gone out and about spreading the virus unknowingly-

    – thank you Janus, for explaining this to me. I’ve been reading about this, but you have a gift in explaining things clearly, amazingly so. I really think that you are gifted this way and should choose a career where your gift will be put into good use.

    In your second post you explained even more: a virus is a nonliving entity that has an outer protein coat that surrounds a nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA. Once a virus is inside a person’s body, successfully going through the person’s immune system, it injects its nucleic acid, DNA in the case of the current virus (I thought it was RNA!), the human cells then become viral, the immune system then destroy the viral cells. If there are enough healthy cells left, then a person is likely survive. If viral infection is too severe, organ failure can result, like lung failure in case of the coronavirus. People with good immune systems, once exposed to the virus, are able to “prevent the virus from spreading o the serious stages”-

    – thank you again, Janus, for the excellent explanations. I think that I am more equipped now to study the issue further.

    anita

     

    #344392
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    I want to correct a couple of things, having read Wikipedia’s entry on SARS-CoV-2:

    1. it is an RNA virus, not a DNA virus.

    2. It does not stay on surfaces for around thirty days, but around three das (“Preliminary research indicates that the virus may remain viable on plastic and steel for up to three days, but does not survive on cardboard for more than one day or on copper for more than four hours”, Wikipedia.

    Everything else that you explained in your recent two posts seems to be true and it is very useful to me. To add, having looked at Wiki’s entry: “SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the broad family of viruses known as coronaviruses. It is a positive-sense single stranded RNA virus. Other coronaviruses are capable of causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It is the seventh known coronavirus to  infect people, after 229E, NL63, OC43, HKU1, MERS-CoV, and the original SARS-CoV…. Its RNA sequence is approximately 30,000 bases in length

    – what is important to remember regarding RNA viruses vs DNA viruses is that “RNA viruses generally have very high mutation rates compared to DNA viruses” (Wiki, on RNA viruses).

    Back to the wiki entry I started with, it reads: “Based upon the low variability exhibited among known SARS-Cov-2 genomic sequences, the strain is thought to have been detected by health authorities within weeks of its emergence among human population in late 2019”, the earliest case of infection thought to have been on Nov 17, 2019 in China, spread to more than 100 countries, then, on Jan 11, 2020 WHO designated it as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern”, and on March 11, 2020, WHO declared it a pandemic.

    “The basic reproduction number of the virus has been estimated to be between 1.4 and 3.9. This means that each infection from the virus is expected to result in 1.4 to 3.9 new infections when no members of the community are immune and no preventative measures are taken”.

    Regarding “basic reproduction number”, wikipedia: “In epidemiology, the basic reproduction number of an infection can be thought of as the expected number of cases directly generated by one case in a population where all individuals are susceptible to infection..(where there is) absence of ‘any deliberate intervention in disease transmission”.

    anita

     

     

    #344484
    Janus
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thank you for the insightful comments, I was reading about how scientists are trying to sequence the DNA genome of people infected with the coronavirus so they could understand how the virus spreads in the body, that may be why I got mixed up and thought coronavirus used DNA as its genetic material when it is in fact RNA instead. Thank you  for your correction. Some scientists are suggesting that people who have recovered from the coronavirus have their DNA genomes sequenced to understand how coronavirus affects the immune system cells in a person’s body and perhaps to understand why some people display more serious symptoms than others. According to Coronavirus: sequencing the “DNA of patients screened for coronavirus might save lives” article, the author says that sequencing the DNA genome of people may provide insight on specific DNA patterns in individuals that may be affected strongly by the coronavirus and it can help raise awareness of people who need to take extra precautions to prevent getting the disease which might help save lives. However, scientists are still uncertain if a person’s risks to the coronavirus are affected by their genes. But it would still be helpful to compare the DNA genomes of people who experienced severe symptoms of coronavirus with people who had mild symptoms to see if there were any genes in the person’s body that affected immune system function leading to some people having more susceptibility to coronavirus. I find this quite interesting, maybe scientists can sequence some DNA sequences of people with coronavirus and make genetic predictions to see the likelihood of certain people getting coronavirus symptoms and how severe they might be. Even though the human genome is 3.2 billion base pairs, it may be helpful to use polymerase chain reaction (pcr) to target a specific DNA sequence in human cells to determine whether some people are more likely to get coronavirus because pcr allows scientists make many copies of a specific DNA sequence that they can analyze in the laboratory to see if there are certain DNA portions that are similar in people who have severe symptoms of coronavirus in a shorter period of time. The article that mentioned sequencing DNA of coronavirus patients is from theconversation.com with the title “Coronavirus: sequencing the DNA of patients screened for coronavirus might save lives” published in March 17, 2020.

    #344486
    Janus
    Participant

    The coronavirus is an interesting virus to study and there’s something new to learn each day. The official name of the virus is SARS-CoV-2 and the disease it causes is Covid-19 (coronavirus). Coronavirus are quite common, but they recently came to the attention of the general population because of the current coronavirus outbreak that is going on in the world. Like you mentioned, there are different types of coronaviruses and some of them cause diseases like the common cold. According to the article, “2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update: Uncoating the Virus” from the American Society for Microbiology, the first human coronavirus was discovered in the 1960s. The American Society for Microbiology says there are four types of coronavirus: “alpha, beta, delta and gamma. Only alpha and beta coronaviruses are known to infect humans .”  Coronaviruses are the second most common viruses for the common cold next to rhinoviruses and both viruses have effects on the  upper respiratory system. There are seven human coronaviruses that have been discovered that you listed above (thank you for sharing) and six of them are common widespread human pathogens (agents that cause disease). The seventh one SARS-CoV-2 ( current coronavirus) is recent and starting to become widespread though.

    SARS-COV-1 (sars disease) and MERS-CoV (middle east respiratory syndrome) spread between people who are in close contact. These two coronaviruses are widespread, but the “MERS-CoV was more deadly claiming 30% of the victims that were infected as opposed to the SARS-CoV-1 which killed nearly 10% of the 8, 096 people infected” ( American Society for Microbiology article).

     

    Coronaviruses are quite fascinating to study and they have the largest known single-stranded RNA genome and they can mutate or change their structure which makes it difficult for one vaccine to treat coronavirus diseases. The information about viruses is fascinating and learning new things with more I read, thank you Anita for your insight as well. It was inspirational reading about things.

     

     

     

    #344490
    Janus
    Participant

    I was also looking at the common questions people have been asking about the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) on the World Health Organization’s article ” Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)”

    It says that the virus can survive on certain surfaces up to a few hours or up to several days (*three days on plastic or steel mentioned by the National Institutes of Health and also thanks for your sharing) depending on the temperature, or humidity of the environment. I think that the Facebook post I saw was wrong because it said that coronavirus can remain active for thirty days on surfaces, that goes to show that sometimes things posted on Facebook aren’t always completely accurate.

     

    #344492
    Janus
    Participant

    Looking at Healthline.com article “Treatment for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)” this is quite interesting:

    Chinese scientists have a drug called APNO1 which may help with the coronavirus but the FDA hasn’t approved of its use yet because it hasn’t passed enough clinical trials. APNO1 is supposed to help coronavirus patients who have had the virus affect their lungs and made it difficult to breathe by alleviating the symptoms. Since the virus uses a protein called ACE-2 to affect cells, that drug (APNO1) seeks to block some protein receptors in the body so that the virus is limited to getting into the cells and affecting them. But it’s still in clinical trials and currently there isn’t a vaccine or treatment for coronavirus yet.

     

     

    #344494
    Janus
    Participant

    Some other interesting things about the current coronavirus “The new coronavirus has killed nearly 3 times as many people in 8 weeks as SARS did in 8 months. Here’s how the 2 outbreaks compare.”:

    And it seems that the sars disease is more deadly than the coronavirus because generally sars killed 9.6 % of those affected whereas the current coronavirus seems to kill 1-2% of those affected according to Business Insider article. The sars disease took eight months to spread to about 8,000 people but the coronavirus has spread to 75,000 people in the span of eight weeks. So the coronavirus may spread more easily, but causes less mortality rates. “Both the sars and the coronavirus share 79.5% of their genome and belong in the class of betacoronaviruses and these two viruses use the ACE2 receptor that allows  the virus to enter into people’s lungs.”

    #344514
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Janus, Earth Angel and Poet:

    You are amazing, thank you for all these posts on a topic that interests me very much, a topic that is holding the world hostage. I read some of your writings, and I repeat: you do explain things very well, very clearly and it helps me understand things better. I want to re-read all your posts of today when I am feeling more refreshed,  tomorrow morning, so that I can process the information better. I will reply to you then, in about  15 hours from now.

    anita

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