Does The Sun Help Spread Respiratory Diseases?

Iowa Climate Science Education

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Why do most viral epidemics spread cyclically in autumn and winter in the globe’s temperate regions? According to an interdisciplinary team of researchers of the Italian National Institute for Astrophysics, the University of Milan, the Lombardy regional agency for the environment and the Don Gnocchi Foundation, the answer is intimately related to our Sun: their theoretical model shows that both the prevalence and evolution of epidemics are strongly correlated with the amount of daily solar irradiation that hits a given location on the Earth at a given time of the year. The work of the Italian team was recently published in the iScience journal.

“Our model offers a simple answer to an important, yet still unsolved, scientific question”, says Fabrizio Nicastro, INAF researcher and PI of the work. “Why do many viral respiratory epidemics, such as influenza, develop cyclically during autumn and winter only in the temperate regions of the globe’s northern and southern hemispheres, while they seem to be present at all times – albeit with lower prevalence compared to the seasonal cycles in the temperate regions – in the equatorial belt? And what triggers and determines such seasonality? In our work, we propose that what causes the seasonality of airborne-transmitted epidemics is exactly the same mechanism that causes seasons on our Planet: the amount of daily solar irradiation on the Earth”.

It is well known that ultraviolet (UV) light is able to deactivate viruses and bacteria of many different kinds. The solar UV light that reaches the Earth must therefore have some disinfecting power on the exposed parts of the Planet. The efficiency of the UV deactivation of a particular virus or bacterium depends on the virus or bacterium itself, but, for a given location on Earth, it is undoubtedly greater when the solar irradiation is stronger (summer) and lower when the solar irradiation is weaker (winter). Such cyclicality of the solar disinfecting action, with annual frequency, is able to constructively resonate with another frequency typical of epidemics: the loss of immunity of the virus’s host due to its antigenic shift/drift. The combination of these two mechanisms triggers the seasonality of epidemics, on timescales that range from a few years to tens of years, depending on the antigenic frequency.

The model proposed by the Italian researchers reproduces the seasonality observed in different locations of the Earth accurately for epidemics with an intrinsic reproductive number (R0) lower than about 2 – an influenza typically has R0~1 – and is also able to model epidemics with a much larger intrinsic reproductive number, such as the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic with R0?3-4. These models predict high-intensity intermittent initial cycles, which eventually stabilize (on timescales that depend on the antigenic-shift frequency) onto seasonally-synchronized, moderate-intensity annual cycles.

“From an epidemiologic point of view, these models clarify an important and long-standing mystery: why do influenza epidemics disappear every year when the number of susceptible individuals is still very far from that needed to trigger the herd immunity mechanism?”, adds Mario Clerici, Immunologist at the University of Milan and the Don Gnocchi Foundation.

“The Italian data of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemics can also be described accurately by our model – concludes Nicastro – but the predictive power of the model depends critically (other than on the implementation of new restriction measures) on the exact UV-B/A lethal doses for the Covid-19 virus, which our collaboration is about to measure”.

“Serious” Leaders Need Self-Care, Too

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The benefits of self-care are well known. Yet when I work with my leadership clients, I often get major pushback around the whole idea. Why are many leaders so resistant to taking a bit of time for themselves?

It usually boils down to misperceptions around what good leadership is, what self-care is, and how self-care actually works. Luckily, I’ve also found that with some thoughtful introspection, it’s possible for even the most skeptical among us to overcome those misconceptions and learn to reap the benefits of self-care. Below, I consider the three most common excuses my clients give for their resistance to self-care, and offer some solutions to help leaders overcome that resistance.

“Self-care is just a bunch of new-age, hippy-dippy nonsense”

Some of my clients find the entire concept of self-care to be antithetical to their image of what a “serious” leader looks like. They roll their eyes at the whole idea of meditation, mindfulness, chants, “anything that involves candles,” nature walks, and “slowing down.” Others trivialize taking time for yourself as an “indulgence” — maybe others enjoy it, but it’s a luxury they feel they can’t afford.

How can we start to challenge these limiting beliefs? To start, I work with my clients to reframe self-care as an investment that can increase their overall productivity and effectiveness as a leader. A data-driven approach is often the most convincing, and the research is clear that diet, exercise, sleep, and emotional regulation promote health and well-being.

Specifically, a healthy diet has been linked to better moods, higher energy levels, and lower levels of depression. Aerobic exercise increases blood flow, boosting both learning and memory. Getting good sleep has been linked to increased focus, improved cognitive function (including creativity and innovation), greater capacity for learning, and improved empathy.

To refocus on the tangible benefits of self-care, I’ll often ask clients the following questions:

  • If instead of focusing on “self-care,” I invited you to focus on diet, sleep, exercise, and emotional regulation, how would you feel differently?
  • What could you stop, start, or continue doing right now to improve your mental and physical health?

“I don’t have time!”

More often than not, when I broach the topic of self-care or even taking a break, my clients respond with some version of, “Are you kidding me?!? I’m already way beyond capacity looking after my team and my family, trying to organize home schooling, emotionally supporting my friends, colleagues, family … I don’t have time for that!”

This feeling of constant stress is sadly all too common among today’s endlessly busy leaders. Unfortunately, when we’re stressed, neuroscience tells us that our amygdala — the area of the brain responsible for our evolutionary fight-or-flight response — kicks in, diverting resources from the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for logical reasoning, problem solving, decision making, and willpower. In other words, it is precisely when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed that we would most benefit from slowing down in order to think big, innovate, and solve the problems that are stressing us out.

This too is thoroughly backed by research. Studies show that taking breaks can help prevent decision fatiguerenew and strengthen motivationincrease productivity and creativity, and consolidate memory and improve learning. Even short “micro-breaks” can improve focus and productivity.

As we think about the stress-induced “I don’t have time” objection, it’s useful to ask:

  • What are the key priorities in your life? Can you achieve them without health and well being?
  • How much time could you save by responding from a place of control rather than reacting from a place of stress?
  • What is one thing you can choose to say no to today that will give you back at least five minutes? (Hint: You probably spend longer on social media than you want to!) How you could you use this time to improve your own well-being and performance?

“Leaders need to be strong. If I’m a good leader, I shouldn’t need self-care.”

Some of my clients come in to coaching thinking that as a leader, they must never show any vulnerability. Recently, I worked with a client who explained that she expected herself — and any “self-respecting” leader — to have all the answers. “Otherwise,” she asked, “why would anyone follow me?!” The belief that practicing self-care is a sign of weakness combines with the notion that showing weakness makes you a bad leader to create serious resistance to even exploring these practices.

To combat my client’s limiting beliefs, we needed to explore her preconceptions about what it meant to be a leader, delving into the power of vulnerability and the opportunities we can create when we rely on others. As she began to acknowledge the importance of delegation and asking for help, she was able to see that self-care was actually the key to becoming a more effective leader.

If you’re struggling to shift your notions of what “good” leadership looks like, try asking yourself these questions:

  • If the strongest leader you knew was struggling with stress, what would you advise them to do?
  • How has taking some time for yourself benefited you or your team in the past?
  • If you didn’t need help, but you just wanted to recharge your battery — how would you do that?

Once you begin to overcome your initial resistance, it’s time to start thinking about how to integrate self-care into your daily routine. Here are a few strategies that have been effective for my clients:

Make peace with self-care (or whatever you want to call it). Acknowledging your resistance is the first step to overcoming it. For example, one leader I worked with associated self-care with long meditations sitting cross-legged on the floor, complete with incense and chants, which he found completely repellant. Once we got past that misconception, we were able to arrive at a more meaningful understanding of self-care — for him, it consisted of a morning journaling exercise, a brief afternoon nature walk, and 15 minutes of kid-free jazz in the evening.

Make it your own. Understand that self-care is as individual as the person practicing it, so it can take many different forms. You may not be a spa person, but perhaps you get a boost from nature. Talking on the phone may be draining, but pulling out a sketch pad or a crossword puzzle might reenergize you (or vice versa!).

Make it micro. Short diversions can provide a powerful boost. One of my clients sets a daily alarm for a five-minute loving kindness meditation, which he finds centers him amidst his “many storms brewing.” Try an online mindfulness meditation to improve emotional regulation, journaling to promote self-awareness, creative writing to increase well-being and creativity, reaching out to someone you haven’t spoken with in a while to increase your social connectedness, a gratitude exercise or an act of kindness to promote positivity, or a walk around the block to get your blood flowing.

Make time in your agenda. Once you’ve come up with a plan, put it in your calendar to make it official! If you’re not sure what exactly you want to do, you can start by simply identifying two 10-minute blocks every day, setting your alarm, and then choosing a new self-care activity to try out during each time block.

Experiment. You’ll never get it exactly perfect the first time. Once you’ve started, think about what’s working for you, and what you might want to change or add to your routine. You can also look to your peers and colleagues for inspiration. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel — if something they’re doing sounds appealing to you, borrow it and make it your own.

Once you’re got it, share it. As a leader, you set the tone for your people. So share what’s worked for you, and make it clear through both words and actions that you know the importance of taking care of yourself. If you’re open about your investments into self-care, your team and your entire organization will follow your lead.

Self-care begins with you. It comes in many shapes and sizes, but done consciously and consistently, it gives you the tools you need to become a better leader and a happier, healthier person. If you want to become the best version of yourself — and inspire those around you to do the same — investing in your own well-being is worth making time for.

Getting Your Voice Heard in Meetings

Contribute and Get Noticed in the Room or Online

How to Get Your Voice Heard in Meetings - Contribute and Get Noticed in the Room or Online

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Have confidence in the value of your contributions to meetings!

Maybe it’s the oversized table. The looming presence of your manager. Or the loud co-worker who hogs the mic. Whether your meeting is face-to-face or online, it’s easy to feel anxious, self-conscious and lost for words.

Worse still, when you do speak up and share your thoughts, you’re ignored or “shot down” by bigger voices. Although it can feel like you’re the only one struggling at meetings, you’re not alone. And just as others overcome their self-consciousness and speak up, so will you!

Why Make Your Voice Heard?

. When you “hold your own” in a meeting, you show that you’re confident and proactive, and this can mark you out as a future leader.

Unfortunately, your colleagues can’t read minds. So no matter how many great ideas you have in your head, they’re useless to you and to your team until you express them.

When you don’t speak up at meetings, your organization loses out on your knowledge and experience. What’s more, you’ll likely feel demoralized if you do contribute but no one listens.

Let’s look at seven ways to build your confidence and gain a sense of control that will allow you to make a valuable contribution to your next meeting.

How to Get Yourself Heard

1. Have Confidence in Your Own Value

Chances are, you’ve been invited to the meeting because you have something to offer. You’re wanted and valued – so be confident! You’ll likely have expert knowledge or skills related to the topic being discussed. Or perhaps your manager thinks that it’s a good learning opportunity for you, and they’re interested to see how you perform in this situation.


If the reason for your attendance is unclear, ask your manager or the meeting’s organizer. If you don’t have to be there, have the confidence to politely decline. After all, unnecessary meetings are time-consuming and expensive – consider the hourly rate of everyone present!

2. Ask Questions

If putting your own idea or view across is too nerve-racking, begin by asking questions about what other attendees are saying. This shows that you’re attentive, engaged and interested.

To avoid any tendency to go blank with fear in meetings, come armed with a few questions. But be careful that you don’t ask so many that you delay the meeting.

3. Speak up for Others

Learning to push yourself forward can be hard, but most of us tend to find helping and praising others easier. So start building up your confidence by looking out for fellow attendees.

For example, if someone says something that you agree with, say so. After giving them credit for their idea, you might want to build on it by adding your own ideas. Also, you could steer attention back to someone who got interrupted. It can be as simple as saying, “Ayesha, what were you going to say?”

When you become confident about speaking up for others, you’ll feel less self-conscious about speaking up for yourself.


Remember that your nonverbal cues

speak volumes. Maintaining eye contact with the person speaking and nodding in agreement shows that you’re alert, engaged and respectful. Later in this article, we explore tips for picking up these signals in virtual meetings.

4. Be One of the First to Speak

By speaking early in the meeting, you can have your say and feel more relaxed, receptive and positive during the rest of it. If you hold back, you’ll likely become more nervous and someone else may put forward your best idea. It can also be difficult to find a gap in the discussion for you to say what you wanted to say – so take the lead and be assertive


Be aware that assertive isn’t the same as aggressive, and that being early to speak doesn’t mean always being the first!

5. Embrace the Skills of Introversion

If you’re an introvert, you’ll likely be reflective, strategic, thoughtful, a good listener, and observant. You can draw on these attributes in two ways. In the lead-up to the meeting, research the subject under discussion and plan what you want to say or ask. And once you’re in the meeting, you can use your active listening skills

. So, summarize what’s being said, show that you value others’ opinions, and offer your own considered point of view.

6. Give Your Idea the Advantage

If you can, get yourself on the agenda

so that you’ll have a guaranteed opportunity to speak. If this isn’t possible, let everyone know in advance that you have something you want to share.

If you use apps such as Asana or Mural, for example, you can post questions and ideas ahead of the meeting. Writing these out will also help you to articulate your thoughts.

7. Keep It Short, With No Apology

Start and end your contribution with conviction. Avoid opening with an apologetic “I’m sorry, but…” This will immediately weaken your position. Start strongly but politely with, “I’d like to say…” or “Can I just add…?”

Once you’ve said what you want to say, simply finish speaking. Or if you’re on a virtual call, close with, “Over to you, Susan.” People will appreciate your efficient delivery.

What? Dems collude with CIA to launch intelligence operation that ALTERS voting machine results in Pennsylvania and other swing states?

Sunday, November 01, 2020 by: Mike Adams

Image: RED ALERT: Dems collude with CIA to launch intelligence operation that ALTERS voting machine results in Pennsylvania and other swing states

(Natural News) Dave Janda of Operation Freedom ( has unleashed a bombshell story with huge implications for Tuesday’s elections. Janda’s guest in his latest broadcast is a former high-level intelligence official (Lt. Gen. Tom McInerney) who warns that the Dems and the CIA have put in place a mechanism which can alter the voting results of electronic voting machines in key swing states (like Pennsylvania) that will determine the outcome of the election.

This covert technology is called Operation Scorecard, and it was built by the CIA to surreptitiously steal elections in targeted countries. Now, that technology is being turned against the United States of America and is about to be activated on Tuesday to steal the election for Biden, explains Janda’s guest.

OmegaManRadio, a pro-liberty, pro-Christian podcast channel, has reposted portions of the Dave Janda interview at this link on Start listening around the 20 minute mark to hear the bombshell segments.

The original interview from Dave Janda is currently available via YouTube but is likely to be blacklisted soon. Here’s the YouTube embed:

As McInerney explains in the video, after the closing of polls in Pennsylvania and other swing states, the voting machines will be intercepted and then altered using complex algorithms to alter the votes in a way that evades detection, handing a victory to the pre-designated “winner” (Joe Biden).

In the interview, he explains that a covert app called “Scorecard” steals votes by making sure Democrats always stay about 3% ahead of their Republican rivals. “Scorecard steals the elections by tampering with the computers at the transfer points,” he adds.

This also explains why Joe Biden recently said, with great clarity, “We have put together I think the most extensive and inclusive voter fraud organization in the history of American politics.”

Here’s the video of Biden bragging about the massive voter fraud system that’s being used to try to to steal the election for him:

This might also help explain why Joe Biden told voters at a recent (small) rally that he didn’t “need their vote” to become President, and why Nancy Pelosi says Biden will win no matter what the votes say on Nov. 3rd.

The deep state has a plan in place to steal this election by altering votes in key swing states. And if Trump challenges the fraud, he will be condemned for “refusing to accept the outcome” of the rigged election. This is the narrative trap that has been set by the treasonous mainstream media.

Keep in mind that just over the last two days, Trump campaign officials were asking for detailed information about how voting machines are handled in Pennsylvania. According to the anti-Trump Washington Post (a deep state propaganda mouthpiece):

…the Trump campaign asked officials in Cumberland County for the names of people who transport ballots and voting machines once polls close, the names of people who have access to the ballots afterward, and the precise locations where the ballots are stored, including room numbers.

It seems that Trump’s people are already aware that Dems are working to fraudulently steal this election by altering votes in Pennsylvania, and they’re trying to stop it.

Be aware that unless Trump receives an overwhelming wave of votes on Tuesday — beyond the margin of Democrat fraud — the Dems have a mechanism in place to steal the election, condemn Trump for challenging the vote theft, and seizing control of the White House from this day forward.

Communicate with Employees In Times Of Crisis

By Lolly Daskal

These are hard times. The pandemic, its associated economic problems and political tension are all raging on with no end in sight, and now the coldest, darkest season of the year is fast approaching. If your employees are like most people, they’re feeling exhausted and stressed even when nothing specific is going wrong. At times like these, the way you communicate with your people is more important than ever. Here are some reminders:

Communicate with care. When people are working through difficult times—and especially when they’re working remotely and you can’t be in the same room to pick up on subtle cues of expression and body language—you need to communicate everything with great care. Keep in mind that people will be listening especially closely and analyzing what you say in more detail.

Don’t expect too much of people. We often ask people to reach beyond their usual role in times of crisis, and most employees are willing to go the extra mile. But remember too to be mindful of their need for balance and self-care. Don’t let the crisis become a reason to ask for nonstop overwork, but keep expectations as reasonable as possible.

Involve people in the decision-making process. People don’t want to just be told what to do; they want to know they have a say in what is happening, especially in challenging situations. Make room for wide involvement wherever you can, and make sure to let people know they matter and their ideas are valuable. When people feel they have ownership, they care more about outcomes.

Acknowledge your employees’ emotions. Take the time to seek out and listen to your employees’ perspectives and let them know they’re heard and valued. Reassure them that they’re safe in expressing their feelings, and be candid in expressing some of your own emotions to help reinforce that point. Acknowledge and validate what you hear from your people. Express understanding—and look for ways to help if you can.

Create an empowering culture. In crisis it’s especially important for people to feel they have control, and how you communicate and what you say is important. You don’t want employees to feel they’re being spoken at, so make sure they understand that they’re the authors of their actions and have the power to make choices through this time of uncertainty. Encourage self-initiation and participation; avoid controlling language and minimize coercive controls like unrealistic deadlines. Instead, find ways to motivate people through involvement, encouragement and positive feedback, Be transparent by providing the rationale behind your requests.

Communication is key in a crisis, and how you communicate as a leader can make the difference between thriving or barely surviving in these tough times.

Lead from within: It is the leader who takes the time to understand their people who people respect the most and who inspires them to give their best through times of crisis.

Overwhelming Majority of MS-13 Defendants are in U.S. Illegally?

Corruption Chronicles

October 26, 2020 | Judicial Watch

Sticking to its commitment of dismantling the nation’s deadliest street gang, the Trump administration has criminally charged 127 members of the famously violent Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) this year and half a dozen face life in prison after being convicted. It’s a start but, shockingly, it barely puts a dent on the problem since the MS-13 has an estimated 10,000 members in the U.S. and tens of thousands more abroad, according to Department of Justice (DOJ) figures. Back in 2012 the Obama administration issued sanctions against the MS-13, officially classifying the Latin American gang as a Transitional Criminal Organization (TCO) for its involvement in serious criminal activities, including drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, sex trafficking, murder, racketeering, blackmail, extortion and immigration offenses.

MS-13 has long operated in the U.S., but it was Obama’s open border policies that energized the international gang domestically with new recruits provided by a steady flow of illegal immigrant minors. In fact, the DOJ reveals that around 74% of MS-13 defendants prosecuted by the agency in the last four years are in the U.S. illegally. Lax immigration enforcement is largely responsible. When the Obama administration started welcoming a barrage of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) in 2014, Homeland Security sources told Judicial Watch that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including MS-13 and the 18th Street gang—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing the minors. The Texas  Department of Public Safety subsequently confirmed that the MS-13 is a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that crossed into the state under Obama’s disastrous program, which saw over 60,000 illegal immigrants—many with criminal histories—storm into the U.S. in a matter of months. Tens of thousands more have entered since then.

When Donald Trump became president he issued an Executive Order directing several agencies, including the departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security, to coordinate an effort to restore safety for the American people by extinguishing TCOs such as MS-13. The order states that the criminal groups have spread throughout the nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens. “These organizations derive revenue through widespread illegal conduct, including acts of violence and abuse that exhibit a wanton disregard for human life,” the president’s order reads. “They, for example, have been known to commit brutal murders, rapes, and other barbaric acts. These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery.” The commander-in-chief gives federal agencies 120 days to report progress in combating the criminal organizations as well as recommended actions for dismantling them. In August 2019 Attorney General William Barr launched an initiative known as Joint Task Force Vulcan (JTFV) to address MS-13 with a coordinated force of federal law enforcement agencies and the DOJ. Less than a year after its formation, the task force recorded big successes. Over the summer the DOJ announced a number of significant JTFV cases, including for the first time an MS-13 member being charged with terrorism-related offenses, the take down of the MS-13 Hollywood leadership and the Attorney General’s decision to seek the death penalty against an MS-13 operative.

This month the DOJ released a report documenting the government’s achievements in pursuing MS-13 members nationwide. Since fiscal year 2016, the agency has charged 749 MS-13 defendants and obtained 504 convictions, including 37 life sentences. In 2020 federal prosecutors have charged 127 MS-13 gang bangers with six facing life sentences after being convicted. Additionally, the DOJ is seeking the death penalty in two MS-13 cases, in New York and Virginia. The feds will keep at it because MS-13 is a barbaric and well-organized criminal enterprise that continues to intensify in the U.S. and internationally. “For decades, MS-13 has exploited weaknesses in U.S. immigration enforcement policies to move its members in and out of the United States and to recruit new members who have arrived in the United States illegally,” the DOJ writes in its recently issued report. “MS-13 recruited and utilized foreign nationals, most often from Central America, who were in the United States illegally.” A tiny portion, around three percent, of MS-13 criminal defendants are in the country legally, according to DOJ figures.