Livingston Reporting

Radio Communication Options

In crisis situations, internet and cellphone service might be unreliable. Your best bet is to communicate through radio. That’s right, the old “walkie-talkie” type radios will come in handy during times of duress. There are several different kinds of radio communication options, which we’ve outlined below.

Citizens Band Radio
Also known as CB radios, these were quite popular in the 1970s and ‘80s. Widely used for communication during that time, they are just as easy to use today. They are readily available, but have a limited range, with low attendance in terms of users. Around one to ten miles are covered through CB radio, and if your correspondents aren’t within your range, you won’t be able to communicate. Groups that plan to stick together are perfect candidates for CB radios.

Family Radio Service
FRS might be the most popular type of radio communication option and they are available in most sporting goods stores throughout the United States. Most brands like to boast a long range, but in general, ten miles is their maximum communication range, especially in forests, mountains, or cities with buildings. While hiking, backpacking, or on camping trips, these walkie-talkies are great options.

Multi-Use Radio Service
The range is one to three miles, but the Very High Frequency (VHF) band allows for external antennas to be added for an additional range. Channels are clear, but finding radios in the same band might be challenging. Finding other receivers on different bands is effortless, however. In environments where radio interference is cluttered, this radio is a great option for a clear channel.

General Mobile Radio Service
In the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band spectrum, the range starts at two miles, with a higher-wattage radio power which also translates to a greater range. Elevated, clear areas can reach up to five miles of coverage. They can also be connected to external antennas along with repeaters to gain more range. With these added, five to eight miles of coverage is easily achieved, with an additional six to ten with a mobile base. Roughly five to 25 miles of coverage can also be achieved with mobile bases added. The “catch” with this radio is that it requires a license to operate legally.

Amateur (ham) Radio
Emergency response services, search-and-rescue organizations, and other emergency groups utilize amateur radios. They are the most versatile, can cover the most distance, and are used to communicate not only voice, but also images, text, and data. A license is required to operate, and there are different levels of licenses available. The Technician Class is an entry-level permit easily obtained. Many preppers are also avid amateur radio users, and a somewhat large network of support is available to newbies.

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Medicare Coverage After a Stroke

Yearly, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. The significant problems resulting from a stroke can include problems with balance, hearing or vision, paralysis, decreased mobility, and more. To fully understand what Medicare covers during recovery, read on.

Rehabilitation Services
Medicare will cover hospital, rehabilitation center, or skilled nursing facility care for those who have suffered from a stroke.

Medicare Part A will cover any inpatient rehabilitation necessary, as long as the patient’s doctor deemed it necessary. Stroke recovery care is factored into the requirements and costs associated with a typical skilled-nursing-facility. 

Medicare Part B will cover any needed outpatient rehabilitation such as physical therapy as long as the patient’s doctor noted it is necessary.

Medical Equipment
Medicare Part B will cover durable medical equipment as long as it is medically necessary for stroke survivors. Items on this list include wheelchairs, walkers, lifts, canes, etc.

If you have high risk factors for stroke, be vigilant and discuss your Medicare coverage with your provider. It is crucial to understand your costs fully, should you suffer from a stroke in the future. Take note of equipment, charges, services, and more in the event you will need to utilize your coverage.

To speak with one of our expert representatives regarding Medicare and coverage for stroke victims, contact Senior Health Medicare today.

Senior Health Medicare is a superior resource for Medicare guidance, information, and ongoing client support. Selecting a Medicare plan is not a flippant decision. It requires annual revisiting and evaluation in order for the member to retain the most cost-effective plan. Senior Health Medicare is here to serve as your resource through all the years to come. Contact us today at 888-404-5049 or visit us on the web at www.seniorhealthmedicare.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

How Wearable Technology is Affecting Medicare

An emerging trend in the healthcare industry is wearable technology, which is reshaping how Medicare brokers advise their clients. Major carriers are not adopting policies that incorporate wearable technology.

Just what exactly is wearable technology? These devices are commonly worn as bracelets or rings and can monitor or track major health concerns among Medicare beneficiaries. Activities such as sleep health, eating habits, exercise, and more disease precursors are all monitored by the individual (and the app) who pays attention to trends and spikes.

Rosamaria Marrujo, a board member of the Sacramento Association of Health Underwriters (SAHU), says, “These factors could theoretically bring down insurance premiums and therefore change how clients choose their Medicare policies.”

Regulations on wearable technology are underdeveloped relative to the expansion they are seeing. Despite a rising concern for public health due to possible privacy violations, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not classify wearable technology as medical devices. In California, the Consumer Privacy Act went into effect in January 2020, allowing people to stop companies from selling their information upon request. With this implementation, a movement could be sparked, igniting stricter regulations for wearable technology in the health insurance market.

“Both the advancement in wearable tech and these new privacy chances are influencing how older clients are deciding on healthcare plans. The bottom line is, this trend is not stopping; it has already reached Medicare beneficiaries who have questions. The successful Medicare brokers will be able to anticipate this and explain the impact to their clients,” said Marrujo.

For more information about offering Medicare to your clientele, contact the experts at Omega Benefit Strategies today.
 

Omega Benefit Strategies provides seniors who are affiliated with credit unions, labor unions, and associations an educational resource for Medicare. Our turnkey marketing packages seamlessly integrate with existing market strategies. We can help businesses increase new member acquisitions, bolster retention, cross-sell opportunities via our “scorecard” system, and even earn an ancillary revenue stream. Accommodating any size membership, we maintain exemplary member service and offer top-notch products. Contact us today by going to www.omegabenefit.org or call 888-404-5049.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Link Between COVID-19 and Endophthalmitis Found

A possible link between COVID-19 and endophthalmitis has been suspected for quite some time; now, researchers have established a connection between the two diseases, with a further investigation being conducted.

In only two months, three COVID-19 patients in New York’s Northwell Health Hospital succumbed to extreme vision loss from keratitis. Endophthalmitis resulted, and in one instance, a patient’s eye was removed. This occurrence of keratitis leading to endophthalmitis is exceedingly rare. Typically, cases of endophthalmitis from keratitis are associated with trauma or surgery.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology 2020 virtual conference released the findings. Researchers hope to gain more support from the medical community to conduct eye evaluations when assessing the role of anti-infectious treatments.

All three endophthalmitis patients were in their 60s, reside in the same relative area, and showed signs of the disease within a two-month period, while testing positive for COVID-19. Two were outpatients, and one was an in-patient at the time of diagnosis. One of the outpatients later passed away in a hospital. The culture results all came back from each individual with different organisms: Streptococcus pneumoniae, Serratia marcescens, and Candida parapsilosis.

A 2012 study reported that out of 9,934 eyes, only 27 throughout a 15-year period experienced endophthalmitis stemming from keratitis. Having three patients express symptoms while being diagnosed with COVID-19 is alarming, and suggests an association between the two.

Sonal S. Tuli, MD, said, “The findings do not suggest that COVID-19 causes endophthalmitis but that there is some relationship between the two. It is possible that some aspect of the health of these individuals made them more liable to get infected with COVID-19 as well as a severe infection in their eye, such as poor immune system or nutritional deficiencies. It is also possible that these findings are incidental because of the large numbers of COVID-positive patients presenting to New York hospitals during the peak of the pandemic.”

For further reading, refer to the article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. To schedule an eye exam, contact the experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Hacker Tried to Poison Town’s Water Supply

In Oldsmar, Florida, a city of 15,000 people in the Tampa Bay area, a hacker remotely accessed the water treatment plant and adjusted the lye levels in the city’s drinking water, raising it to more than 100 times the normal level.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, “It’s a bad act. It’s a bad actor. It’s not just a little chlorine, or a little fluoride – you’re basically talking about lye.”

A remote access software program called TeamViewer was used to infiltrate the water treatment facility. The intruder entered the system twice: 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. It is unclear whether the hacker entered the system by the use of a password, though it is required to use the system remotely, according to the assistant city manager Felicia Donnelly.

The hacker’s efforts were immediately caught by the system’s operator, who reduced the levels within the system. No significant changes were noted in the city’s water supply; the public was never in danger. The intrusion lasted between three and five minutes, according to the sheriff. 

Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, said the attempt to poison the water supply should be treated as a “matter of national security.”

The incident highlights how critical infrastructure systems are to hackers due to online and remote-use programs. Experts have warned that these programs can be exploited by hackers looking to harm or inflict bioterrorism. Nationwide, water plant operators (including those at dams, oil, and gas pipelines) have welcomed the digital technology transformation, allowing contractors and engineers to monitor temperature, pressure, and chemical levels from remote work stations.

During the 2020 coronavirus lockdown in Israel, officials reported hackers affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps made a failed attempt to hack the country’s water supply and adjust the chlorine levels. Such attacks date back to 2007, when the United States and Israel conducted a joint attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, disabling nearly 1,000 uranium centrifuges.

The former director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Chris Krebs, said, “Unfortunately, that water treatment facility is the rule rather than the exception. When an organization is struggling to make payroll and keep systems on a generation of technology created in the last decade, even the basics in cybersecurity often are out of reach.”

Gualtieri said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the United States Secret Service are involved in the investigation, but the county itself is using an in-house lab for the forensic analysis. Officials stressed it would have taken 24 to 36 hours for the water to be fully contaminated. When levels are out of limit or range, a number of alarms will sound, alerting staff.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in offering the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

COVID-19’s Body Self-Attack is Evident through Imaging

Recent radiology findings published in Skeletal Radiology by a Northwestern Medicine team pinpointed the causes of COVID-19 symptoms. CT, MRI, and ultrasound images unmask the virus’ pathways within the body and how it prompts the immune system to attack itself.

Sore muscles and achy joints are common symptoms of COVID-19 in some people. For others, the virus can spark otherwise dormant (or managed) rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune myositis, or swollen and discolored toes, called “COVID toes.”

Corresponding author Swati Deshmukh, M.D., assistant professor of radiology at Northwestern University Feinburg School of Medicine, said, “We’ve realized that the COVID virus can trigger the body to attack itself in different ways, which may lead to rheumatological issues that require lifelong management. Many patients with COVID-related musculoskeletal disorders recover, but for some individuals, their symptoms become serious, impacting the quality of their life, which leads them to seek medical attention and imaging.”

Patients admitted to Northwestern Memorial Hospital between May 2020 and December 2020 were examined with CT, MRI, and ultrasound. Their results were analyzed and used to discover why certain people have lingering musculoskeletal symptoms post-COVID-19. 

Edema, inflammatory changes in tissues, hematomas, and gangrene were all expressed in the patients; additionally, some images showed enlarged nerves which indicate injury or blood clots.

With these scans, radiologists can better direct patient care by steering them to a rheumatologist or dermatologist for further treatment. Radiologists could also suggest a COVID-19 diagnosis in patients who might have been unaware they had the virus. Overall, radiologists can use this information to improve patient outcomes. If a radiologist is familiar with the rheumatoid arthritis-prompting effects of COVID-19, they can send a patient with visible joint inflammation to a rheumatologist for further evaluation.

The study explores several types of musculoskeletal abnormalities, including visual samples of what radiologists should look for. Imaging providers should be alert and note the likelihood that pertinent findings are lurking in those images. This was (and is) not standard practice, because many radiologists were unsure what they were looking for. Now, with the results from this study, there is a clearer picture and understanding of the COVID-19’s progression.

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems:
www.cpsmi.com.

Hot vs Cold: When to Ice or Heat an Injury

A common question doctors and physical therapists often hear from patients is whether to use hot or cold therapy on an injury. Both are inexpensive and extremely effective modalities that can assist in healing and speeding up recovery.

Hot Treatments
Heat can come in the form of heated packs, warm compresses, hot baths, or other forms of hydrotherapy. These hot therapies warm up the skin and tissue, which stimulates blood flow in the affected area. Increased blood flow improves range of motion and flexibility by delivering oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and joints. By reducing tension, muscles can relax, which helps to relieve pain. Gentle stretching and other anaerobic exercises performed at home can also increase the treatment’s effectiveness. People beginning physical or occupational therapy sessions typically benefit most from hot treatments.

Cold Treatments
Ice packs, gel packs, cold wraps, cold baths, or other forms of hydrotherapy are all viable options for cold therapy. By cooling the skin and soft tissues, inflammation is reduced, slowing down blood flow and preventing swelling in the affected area. Following exercise or therapy, cold treatments are particularly effective. People who suffer from sprains, strains, fractures, or other injuries generally benefit most from cold therapy. Also, cold treatments are useful for reducing arthritis swelling.

While both treatments are beneficial in certain instances, it is imperative to mind the following safety tips before applying either therapy.

  1. Never place either treatment directly on the skin. Always use a thin towel or cloth between the hot or cold application and your skin to act as a barrier.
  2. Always treat the affected area for 15 minutes or less. Remove the application and let your skin normalize to room temperature (about 10 minutes) before re-applying the treatment. Never fall asleep or leave either hot or cold treatment on your skin for a prolonged period.
  3. Check the temperature before applying it to your skin. Hot treatments should not be scalding, and cold should be barely uncomfortable but not unbearable.
  4.  While undergoing treatment, check your skin every five minutes to ensure there is no excessive redness, swelling, burning, freezing, or overall inadequate sensations.

For more information about hot or cold therapy or to speak with someone who can advise whether either treatment would be right for you, call the specialists at MI Hand & Wrist today.

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Women in Electrical Construction

There aren’t many women in the field of electrical construction, though there has been some outreach to attract new prospects. Training programs, high-school advisors, and contractors alike are seeking to bring diversity to the construction and electrical industry, which will benefit women to a traditionally male workforce.

The skilled labor shortage is one reason why women are being recruited for these typically manly professions. The industry will gain momentum by adding women to its roster. The strategies used by businesses and recruiters vary greatly.

Claudia Repman, manager of admin operations for the Northwest Line JATC in Vancouver, Washington, said, “We do a variety of trade and career fairs with colleges and high schools.” Often, she noted, diversity efforts are spearheaded by the contractors themselves. 

Since roughly 2000, the training program for line work includes about five women for every 100 applicants. Because line workers typically cover territory in multiple states, experts hypothesize that travel, along with other perceived challenges, might keep women away from the industry.

Most young adults who have recently graduated from high school typically have not worked with electrical components. Men and women are usually equally inexperienced in their younger years. The person’s background is important, and many women aren’t even told that working in the electrical field is an option.

Specific regional programs provide specialized training to women, such as West Virginia Women Work in Morgantown, W. VA. Their focuses include nontraditional employment, economic self-sufficiency, and poverty. The program has been around for 20 years, and the electrical portion consists of wiring receptacles, light switches, GFCIs, and becoming familiar with typical electrician tools.

The program also simulates direct onsite experience as accurately as possible. The students work eight-hour shifts twice a week while training for the hands-on portion. Their lunch break is 30 minutes; otherwise, they are on their feet lifting heavy items outside. The other two days consist of classroom training, tours, resume building, and applying to jobs.

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J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Five Trends in Bathroom Design

Whether you refer to them as bathrooms, restrooms, washrooms, or the lavatory, we all spend time in this (sometimes) fashionable room. Thanks to COVID-19, this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show and International Builders’ Show were completely virtual. Keep reading to discover what’s to come in the world of 2021 bathroom design.

Freestanding Bathtubs
You can thank COVID-19 yet again for giving us more time in the restroom during 2020. The industry saw a significant increase in the number of people utilizing bathtubs, as more prominent companies reported a rise in bathtub interest, leading to sales. People who have been spending more time at home with their spouse or children often look to the tub as a retreat; a way to unwind behind a closed door. Freestanding tubs in particular have been a popular choice, and retailers have answered the call, offering different styles, heights, colors, and finishes.

LED Lighting
While LED bulbs aren’t exactly novel, the light fixtures, chandeliers, and strip lights are continuously making style advancements. Hidden LED lights in particular have been all the rage; some turn on when you open cabinets or cupboard doors, while others light up mirrors or shelves. Certain LED strips have been used to illuminate areas above bathtubs, around mirrors, and inside vanities. When used underneath bathtubs, hidden LED lighting gives them a unique floating appearance.

Filter Showerheads
Water pollution and chlorination isn’t just a factor for drinking water. People are growing more concerned about the dangers posed by unfiltered water when it comes to themselves or family members. From water purification filters to scented in-shower boosters, showerhead manufacturers are pulling out all the stops: and consumers are happily supporting the changes. Technology has been implemented as well; some showerheads integrate with Alexa and Google for voice-activated assistance.

Bidets
Bidets are fairly standard in French homes, and many Americans are catching on to the trend. These low-mounted versions of a sink were invented in 17th century France. Though the idea isn’t unique, the technology that accompanies newer versions are. Some come equipped with heated seats, oscillating and pulsating rinse wands, deodorizer, and dryer.

Multi-Faceted Faucets
From two-tone to two-texture finishes, faucets come in a variety of colors, styles, and finishes. Some faucets boast a smooth overall finish with a wavy, water-like finish on specific areas such as handles. Matte black and antique gold are two fresh finishes to accompany the metallurgic designs.

Thinking of remodeling your bathroom or looking for a fresh, new upgrade? Contact the experts at JFC Remodeling today. We can help suggest and install new features to get your bathroom glimmering.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail: jfcllc@comcast.net, or visit us at: www.jfcremodeling.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Data Shows Information Technology Jobs Grow, Showing Recovery

In January, the United States economy struggled, adding only 49,000 jobs overall. Despite the low number of total jobs, the past two months saw 55,000 new Information Technology (IT) employment, revised from the 18,000, which was initially reported according to research from Janco Associates, Inc.

Compared to January 2020, total U.S. IT jobs have decreased by 35,800, or about one percent. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, over 100,000 IT employees were furloughed, representing roughly three percent of the entire workforce.

According to CompTIA’s press release, the IT sector saw growth of 11,500 new hires and an estimated 40,000 total new technology employees. CompTIA calculates technical and non-technical positions, whereas Janco analyzes IT positions, including software developers in all industries.

Tim Hebert, executive vice president for research and market intelligence at CompTIA, said, “With net job gains of 33,500 positions through the first two months of 2020, this is the best start to the year for the tech sector since 2017. However, we must acknowledge the possibility of a hiring lull due to the uncertainty many employers are facing.”

CompTIA calculated that an estimated 78,000 IT-related jobs were added in January across the industry sectors, including sales positions. The unemployment rate of 2.4 percent was down from three percent in December 2020. In all job areas, the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent. The number of IT-related job listings also grew in January to nearly 26,000, surpassing 232,000.

Janco CEO M. Victor Janulaitis expects eleven percent growth in U.S. IT jobs over the coming decade. He said, “Most of the growth in the IT job market will be with software developers, quality assurance, and testers. This will be driven by [work from home] as it is will be embraced by more enterprises in normal operations and internet-centric applications are developed and deployed. The projected growth for that sector alone will be almost 18 percent,” he said.

According to CompTIA, the states with the most IT job openings in January included California, Texas, Virginia, New York, and Florida. The most substantial month-over-month growth in job postings took place in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Alabama.

The top three industries for IT were scientific and technical services (51,278 job postings), finance and insurance (23,566 job postings), and manufacturing (20,581 job postings.)

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Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.