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How Australia Tackled The Flu Season Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Australia was able to control cases of flue despite of predictions of a spiraling outburst.

Australia was apprehensive about its health care system due to the approaching flu season amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike these negative expectations, the actual results have been very promising so far.

Flue season in Australia

Being located in the Southern Hemisphere, Australia generally experiences the flu season from April to October, with the peak taking place in August.

Cases of influenza are sometimes followed by hospitalizations, with deaths occurring in severe circumstances. Being respiratory diseases, both influenza and coronavirus present similar symptoms in patients, although coronavirus is about ten times more deadly.

This year authorities were fearing the ‘dreaded duo’ to affect a large proportion of the Australian population. The estimated numbers were expected to double every three to six days. This had put healthcare systems under tremendous pressure of an unknown amount hospitalizations and ICU admissions that would likely follow.

Contrary to these anticipations, cases of influenza infections have been unusually low in Australia. According to Ian Barr, deputy director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Reference and Research on Influenza based in Melbourne, Australia, “It’s been a bit of a non-entity really. Since the end of March, the influenza season has virtually dropped off to baseline or negligible levels,”

As of August, the total number of influenza cases stood at 21,000 in the region. In contrast to this, there were about 247,000 cases reported around the same period last year.

Why have influenza cases seen a drastic decline in Australia?

According to experts, the measures that were put in place to inhibit the spread of COVID-19 helped to control influenza.

“All the measures which have been taken for COVID-19 — the social distancing, the low circulation of people, hand hygiene, now mask-wearing and one of the big ones I think is school closures,” Barr said.

In addition to this, an increased uptake of flue vaccines by the Australian population has also helped considerably. The record-breaking demand of flue vaccines from the public resulted in about 18 million vaccinations throughout the region. Earlier, in 2019, the numbers stood at 13 million only.

According to Mary-Louise McLaws, PhD, a member of the WHO Health Emergencies Program Experts Advisory Panel for Infection Prevention and Control Preparedness, Readiness and Response to COVID-19, ” It was a combination of luck during an adverse event and… Australians are now increasing their uptake of flu vaccine, which has helped considerably. We’ve been fortunate, really fortunate not to have had to deal with that, and I’m not sure that the public fully appreciates how lucky they’ve been that the uptake of vaccine has actually protected them,”

What does this mean for other countries?

Results in Australia have shown that increasing flue vaccinations can definitely help the reduce burden on the healthcare system.

According to the reports of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccination will hold a major importance this year to curb the impact of respiratory illnesses and reduce infections among the population.

From here, the health care system is highly dependent on private manufacturers of the vaccines.“The manufacturers have produced more and shall continue to do so, and every professional organization is promoting influenza vaccine. I’ve even said that figuratively speaking I’m down on my knees begging people to get their flu shots,” said Dr. William Schaffner specialist in infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Dr. William Schaffner addresses the fact that the trends seen in Australia might not necessarily translate equally effectively for other regions. “What happens in the Southern Hemisphere does not always predict what happens in the subsequent winter in the Northern Hemisphere,” he said.

Despite of this he has stressed the need to get vaccinated and follow proper SOPs. “We would like in public health to promote more of that because we really think it’s effective in reducing the transmission of these respiratory viruses in the wintertime,” he added. “We’ll see if the American public cottons to that.”

He further added, ” We don’t need a double barrel flu season. There would be, of course, much confusion because the clinical presentations are entirely similar. There would be further stress on our testing program which still is not sufficient, and, of course, there would be a big strain on our healthcare system, which here and there is keeping up but struggling.”

A graduate in Bachelors of Business Administration, Yumna Haq is an ardent researcher and a dedicated writer. Having lived in three different counties, her cultural exposure is vast, allowing her to reflect more knowledge in her work. She's currently working for Cannabis Health Insider as a news writer.

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The Legalization of Cannabis across USA; What’s the Real Reason Behind?

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Are we ready to enter the cannabis sector?

People of color are striving for decades and are discriminated against for their usage of drugs. Often facing issues of penalties and illicit charges finally is the time for them to have justice and help sustain the United States economy. The economy has suffered adversely. Back in December global cannabis stock started rising up.

The news is in the air and making a huge difference in the lives of many people. It’s a well-deserved and remarkable recovery for the cannabis industry. 2021 has definitely given them a lot of good news to survive and cheer up! This industry is fighting for a very long time for its due rights and during 2020 several events gave it the due edge. Now it seems like wrestling has resulted in the achievement of existential identity and is already set for any storm. There are several reasons for the change in the direction of the wind. Let’s recap the reasons and have a look at this major shift.

Pandemic

As flagged Covid 19’ has forced the state to legalize cannabis. It is not only the effort of Democrats but also the hole in the budget which is persuading them to take this step. This step will lead towards new employment opportunities and will help families that have lost their means of earning at the hands of the pandemic. It is estimated that billions in terms of tax will be generated to help the state and its citizens.

End to Racism

The people of color will finally get justice. They have been facing racism and discrimination issues since the war on drugs. You must know the history of the plant marijuana- which is believed to be an agent in stopping the immigration of the Mexicans from entering Texas. Initiatives taken by States: The November elections opened up a way for many cannabis companies to open up across New Jersey, Arizona, Montana, South Dakota, and Mississippi. The total addressable market expects more than 16 million new customers. According to studies, very soon, every one-in-three American citizen will live in a state where cannabis adult usage is legalized.

Also Read: Legalization of Cannabis by the Democrats in New York

Expansion of other industries

The best for last is cannabis acting as a catalyst in the generation of revenues. Not only is this legalization of cannabis acts as a fuel to empower other industries. Boris Jordan, Chairman, Curaleaf declares that New Jersey was the tipping point and when New York and Pennsylvania go recreational, 80% of the US population will have access to adult-use cannabis.

Helping Hand to Neighboring States

It will also help the neighboring states like Canada to invest in States. The leaders will look forward to trading. Constitutional developments and laws will help US operators and industrialists to trade around core positions. As soon as the legalization of cannabis takes place, multiple fund managers start to buy cannabis in the US which is of high quality. Despite the fact, there is a lot of supply of cannabis and capital raises we still need to remind ourselves that more laws need to exist. Like they have come up with the laws and decree for the growth, cultivation, supply, and possession laws they need to have laws for child-resistant packaging marijuana foods.

Also Read:Mexico Takes A Shift to Create World’s Largest Cannabis Market

What to expect now?

Once the US companies linked with cannabis are able to access capital to fuel and pump their growth and once they list on US exchanges, then the voyage will be underway. This asset will prove to be a new socio-economic engine for the US. The historic end to the war on drugs is on its way. A revolution is coming and good days for many!

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Common Ground Found For Legalizing Weed

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Common Ground Found For Legalizing Weed

Perhaps one of the most overlooked and avoided affairs in the Senate is the legalization of weed. In the past, some laws did become a reality. These include house bill 3703 that makes slight changes to Texas’ low-THC medical program.

We’ve seen about two dozen bills that address decriminalization of medical cannabis, allowing hemp cultivation, and outright legalization of carrying and using weed.

The responsible marijuana policy director Heather Fazio believes that this current push for legalization is something that was never seen.

The house bill 447 by El Paso Democratic Representative Joe Moody would permit adults in the state of Texas to purchase and subsequently possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. Moreover, 15 grams of this could be in concentrate form. The bill also allows people to grow up to 12 plants at their private residence.

ALSO READ: Mexico Takes A Shift to Create World’s Largest Cannabis Market

The bill also argues that this will facilitate in curbing the illegal movement of cannabis as prices will go down significantly and everyone related to the trade will have their records sorted.  Bill 447 also allows for retail operations under a license and a 10% sales tax.

The current suggestion will allow most of the money to go to the Public-School Teachers Fund. Another such senator, Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, brings bill 140 to the table that essentially offers an alternate way to distribute the money.

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy Director Heather Fazio believes that economic factors may also weigh heavily. She thinks that over a billion dollars per budget cycle will be added to the national exchequer. All this can be put to practice by legalizing a product that people are already using. Right now it is largely unregulated and is outside the tax net.

Increased Acceptance in People Regarding Weed Use and Distribution

The suggestions are to be a part of the constitution through amendments. Fazio sees more bipartisan common ground in their efforts related to decriminalization and penalty reduction. Even extremely conservative members like Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, wish to reduce the penalty for small-scale possession to a class C misdemeanor. This would make small-scale (under two-ounce) possession ineligible for jail time.

All these movements will allow Texas’ medical cannabis program to grow further. Senator José Menéndez, D-San Anton­io, has been a long-standing fan of the medical use of weed. Each time the house was in session since 2015; his SB 90 would allow physicians to prescribe cannabis products to their patients. This is a suggestion for any level of THC concentration, and for whatever diseases that the doctor sees fit. Menéndez believes that his bill will allow a medical doctor the right to decide about what’s the best medical treatment for them.

ALSO READ: Dealing with Insomnia While Overcoming Weed Dependency

Medicinal Usage of Weed

Menéndez is vouching for medicinal use of weed. He thinks whoever does abuse the use of weed will continue to do so with or without this legalization. Menéndez further says he wants to open weed usage up for senior citizens and law-abiding citizens who need pain relief. He wants weed legalized for people who wouldn’t dare touch weed except for medicinal purposes.

According to Menéndez,  SB 90 could easily pass in both chambers but is unsure about the take of the governor or lieutenant governor on the matter. He expects both to be on the same side as most other Texans, who have vouched for open trade and legalization of weed.

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Mexico Takes A Shift to Create World’s Largest Cannabis Market

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Legalization of cannabis in Mexico

After the drug war, violence and injustice, finally, Mexico is opening a new gateway to many opportunities. By legalizing the growth of cannabis on its soil, it has proven to provide socio-economic advantages to the State.

Research on Medicinal Cannabis in Mexico

Mexico’s health ministry has published rules and regulations for the growth of medicinal cannabis. It is broadening the horizon of the cannabis market and its related industries as well. The new decree, signed by Andres Manuel, will allow pharmaceutical companies to conduct research on medicinal cannabis and products related to it.

The legalization of cannabis has brought in many other issues under the light. For example, conduction of research of medicinal cannabis under independent laboratories under strictly controlled conditions. The therapeutic value of cannabis is significant.

Foreign state investors show interest in Mexico

Many foreign states like Canada have been looking and aiming to join hands with Mexico. They are looking forward to the trade of medicinal cannabis with a lot of interest. Many of the investors are waiting for the regulations to get finalized and published.

Mexico’s Lawmakers are in the stages of driving the bill to its final stage. It’s likely to take place in the next congress. Also, legalizing the recreational use of marijuana will bring relief to many.

Justice to people of color

It is finally good news for all the people of color who are usually selling and growing marijuana illegally. They have faced a lot of social injustice, and now is the right time for them to grow it. The State even aims to spend the generated revenue on the affected population to eliminate their grievances. The pandemic has already caused a lot of hole in the State budget. The State expects and foresees that the revenue generated from this business can help the State to cover up the loss during the pandemic.

Good news for the drug cartels

Drug cartels working illegally in Mexico for decades can finally aim and work legally in Mexico. They have terrorized the country for years, but now the country looks forward to doing something different. Finally, the drug cartels have won the war on drugs. The country is modernizing its vision of cannabis. Hence, laws have been created and are on its way to implementation for its growth, supply, distribution and consumption.

ALSO READ:Legalization of Cannabis by the Democrats in New York

What to expect?

Currently, in Mexico, one can possess up to five grams of marijuana without any issues like any fines and penalties. Since 2017 medicinal cannabis usage is legalized and benefitting several patients. In an interview, a member of President Andres Manuel Lopez said that we are committed to regulating cannabis. It is the right of the Mexicans. Activists regularly smoke and plant weeds regularly to pressurize lawmakers. Not only this, it seems like that after the legalization of cannabis, Mexico will also take a shift and become the world’s third-largest country for recreational use of cannabis.

It is an approximation that 88 million adults are looking forward to the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Mexico. The votes of Democrats have won the war on drugs, and it is on the way to legalization. Maritza Perez, director of the office of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, says that Mexico’s legalization will double the number of people who can access marijuana legally. A revolution is yet to come, and yet a lot has to come with its legalization. However, there have been several cases reported because of the drug abuse, but its usage in an inappropriate dosage can lead to a lot of benefits.

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