extreme heat, avoiding heat stroke, recognizing heat stroke and first aid

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Dan­ger­ous Heat Wave in the West; Fol­low Red Cross Tips

In recent years, exces­sive heat has caused more deaths than all other weather events, includ­ing floods. A heat wave is a pro­longed period of exces­sive heat, gen­er­ally 10 degrees or more above aver­age, often com­bined with exces­sive humidity.

Dur­ing a Heat Wave:

Never leave chil­dren or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.

Stay hydrated by drink­ing plenty of flu­ids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caf­feine or alcohol.

Avoid extreme tem­per­a­ture changes.

Wear loose-​fitting, light­weight, light-​colored cloth­ing. Avoid dark col­ors because they absorb the sun’s rays.

Slow down, stay indoors and avoid stren­u­ous exer­cise dur­ing the hottest part of the day.

Post­pone out­door games and activities.

Use a buddy sys­tem when work­ing in exces­sive heat. Take fre­quent breaks if you must work outdoors.

Check on fam­ily, friends and neigh­bors who do not have air con­di­tion­ing, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.

Check on your ani­mals fre­quently to ensure that they are not suf­fer­ing from the heat.

Heat Stroke: Symp­toms and Treat­ment at WebMD

the micro-​politics of “shadow mothering”

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Book Review – Shadow Moth­ers: Nan­nies, Au Pairs, and the Microp­ol­i­tics of Moth­er­ing by Susan Sapiro at Care Work Live

One of the inspi­ra­tions for Macdonald’s book comes from a per­sonal care­giv­ing expe­ri­ence. When she was 16, she was a sum­mer babysitter/mother’s helper for a fam­ily. She had worked with the fam­ily for some time and had grown close to their chil­dren, espe­cially the baby. One day, some­thing hap­pened that upset the baby and she reached for Mac­don­ald for com­fort, not her mother. Almost imme­di­ately, Mac­don­ald was “frozen out” by the mother. Shortly after, the fam­ily paid her for the sum­mer but let her go from the job. It wasn’t until many years later, as she started the research that became Shadow Moth­ers, that she under­stood the mother’s reac­tion and the com­plex emo­tions and rela­tion­ships between moth­ers and their children’s caregivers.

corporate healthcare vs. physician guided healthcare

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Shut Up and Sell — the Cor­po­rate Physician’s New Motto? by Roy M. Poses MD at Health­care Renewal

Physi­cians who go to work for big cor­po­ra­tions have to real­ize that they may be forced to put cor­po­rate exec­u­tives’ vested inter­ests ahead of their patients. Patients whose physi­cians work for big cor­po­ra­tions must real­ize that their health care will now be cor­po­rate, with all that entails.

As I have said before, we need to chal­lenge the notion that direct health care should ever be pro­vided, or that med­i­cine ought to be prac­ticed by for-​profit cor­po­ra­tions. I sub­mit that we will not be able to have good qual­ity, acces­si­ble health care at an afford­able price until we restore physi­cians as inde­pen­dent, eth­i­cal health care pro­fes­sion­als, and until we restore small, inde­pen­dent, com­mu­nity respon­si­ble, non-​profit hos­pi­tals as the locus for inpa­tient care.

sociology and the “self-​made man”

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The Myth of the Self-​Made Per­son by Peter Kauf­man at Every­day Sociology

The notion of the self-​made per­son is arguably the most anti-​sociological sen­ti­ment that we hear about in a soci­ety that often fails to grasp the soci­o­log­i­cal imag­i­na­tion. By invok­ing such a claim we are ignor­ing and dis­count­ing the whole array of social influ­ences that make us who we are. The self-​made myth dis­re­gards the indis­putable fact that our lives are shaped by a myr­iad of social forces such as the peo­ple with whom inter­act, the resources (or lack thereof) at our dis­posal, and the for­mal and infor­mal rules that gov­ern behav­ior. Soci­ol­o­gists often refer to this expla­na­tion as the issue of agency (our capa­bil­ity to act a cer­tain way) and struc­ture (the fac­tors that enable or con­strain behavior).

The myth of the self-​made per­son also rejects another foun­da­tional premise of soci­ol­ogy: inter­de­pen­dence. As I explained in a pre­vi­ous post, inter­de­pen­dence is the idea that all life is con­nected; none of us exist in a vac­uum. Many of us like to believe that we blaze our own trail largely free from the influ­ence of oth­ers. In truth, the val­ues we hold dear, the norms we fol­low, the behav­iors in which we engage, and even the thoughts that go through our minds result from the inter­de­pen­dent web of rela­tion­ships in which we exist.

orthodox Judaism and sexual segregation in Israel

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Israel Faces a New Front of Seg­re­ga­tion at Fem­i­nist Law Professors

When Israel was estab­lished, Prime Min­is­ter David Ben Gurion agreed to release a hand­ful of reli­gious men from the mil­i­tary. Instead, these men would study torah full time, car­ry­ing the torch of the pre-​Holocaust Yeshiva life. Over the decades, this waiver became the way out for most ultra ortho­dox men – about 70,000 per year. Lapid’s demand, then, struck a sen­si­tive chord. Many Israelis are enraged by the idea that some groups are cat­e­gor­i­cally exempt from the risk of death and the expen­di­ture of pre­cious youth in mil­i­tary ser­vice. The bit­ter­ness towards the ultra-​orthodox grows even deeper due to their low par­tic­i­pa­tion rate in the labor force, and the fact that many live on gov­ern­ment wel­fare. Lapid’s vot­ers, the mid­dle class pro­duc­tive tax­pay­ers who strug­gle to make ends meet, are thus seek­ing a more bal­anced dis­tri­b­u­tion of national effort.

One fac­tor goes almost unno­ticed in the gov­ern­men­tal efforts to inte­grate the ultra-​orthodox: the severe dam­age to sex equal­ity that such inte­gra­tion sup­pos­edly requires. Pol­i­cy­mak­ers believe that in order to draw the ultra-​orthodox into the mil­i­tary and the labor mar­ket, they must be pro­vided with con­di­tions that meet strict reli­gious demands: namely, sex-​segregated environments.

The broad assump­tion that sex seg­re­ga­tion is a nec­es­sary evil has prompted the mil­i­tary to estab­lish “women-​sterile” units for ultra-​orthodox men. These men nei­ther serve along­side women nor sta­tioned in co-​ed bases. They also never receive instruc­tions from women through the mil­i­tary radio, for women’s voices may lead to sin­ful thoughts. Iron­i­cally, this sidelin­ing of Israeli women comes just when they begun achiev­ing sub­stan­tial equal oppor­tu­ni­ties in the mil­i­tary, with more com­bat and com­mand­ing roles open to them.

Acad­e­mia is another area in which sex seg­re­ga­tion is expand­ing. In recently years, almost every pub­lic uni­ver­sity and col­lege in Israel has opened sex-​segregated degree pro­grams. Such pro­grams, which often receive gov­ern­men­tal sub­si­dies, are deeply troubling.

translational gender vertigo and “traditional marriage roles”

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by Kim­berly Kay at the Amer­i­can Soci­ol­ogy Association

Tram, 27 years old and adorned with bracelet, rings, and a dia­mond neck­lace, was a model of suc­cess and eco­nomic mobil­ity. She lived in a brand-​new lux­ury condo with two ser­vants, a full-​time house­cleaner and a cook who pre­pared West­ern foods for her new Amer­i­can hus­band. Tram had come from a poor vil­lage, she told me, where the only jobs were in the rice fields. In Ho Chi Minh City, she worked first as a maid and then in a cloth­ing fac­tory. But after two years of earn­ing no more than the equiv­a­lent of US$70 a month, Tram had saved no money, could barely cover food and rent, and saw no hope for improve­ment. “Life in the city is so expen­sive,’’ she said. She saw sex work as her best route out of poverty.

Tram met William, 70, as a client, and quickly began to develop a more inti­mate rela­tion­ship with him, hop­ing that her emo­tional labor might lead to ongo­ing eco­nomic sup­port — in a remit­tance rela­tion­ship, or mar­riage. Many West­ern men come to Viet­nam seek­ing wives, or they become attached to women they hired once there, sym­pa­thiz­ing with their plight, and want­ing to take them out of the sex trade and care for them. Six months after they met, William asked Tram to marry him and move to North Amer­ica. They were mar­ried in 2007.

She had hoped to move to the United States, and had dreamed of liv­ing in Los Ange­les or New York, “a big city, like the movies.”In 2009, I recon­nected with Tram, along with William and their three chil­dren at an air­port out­side of Mon­treal, Canada. As we drove the three hours to their home, pass­ing lum­ber farms, acres of unde­vel­oped land, and pas­tures sprin­kled with sheep, I com­mented on its beauty and tran­quil­ity. But Tram expressed no such sen­ti­ments. She had never intended to escape small town Viet­nam, she said, only to end up in another small town in rural Canada. She had hoped to move to the United States, and had dreamed of liv­ing in Los Ange­les or New York, “a big city, like the movies.”

normalizing abortion

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Abor­tion is not a ‘bad’ thing by Linda Prine at the Repro­duc­tive Health Access Project

We really need to reframe how we talk with patients about abor­tion. That means telling teens, whether they come for birth con­trol or a URI, that we can help them if they get preg­nant by mis­take. We can list it like any other part of heath care that we pro­vide: pap smears, pre­na­tal care, IUDs, abor­tions, immu­niza­tions, blah blah. Make it nor­mal! We need to let teens, their moms, and as many of our patients as we can know that abor­tion is incred­i­bly com­mon and a nor­mal part of life.

While we are at it, we need to let our patients know that we think mak­ing deci­sions to fin­ish high school or col­lege or to find a sta­ble part­ner or get a good job before hav­ing chil­dren is a totally ratio­nal and healthy approach to life (duh!). It’s amaz­ing how many women have had abor­tions already and are car­ry­ing around a tiny piece of shame that we can lighten for them by just nor­mal­iz­ing it all, once they have had us clear the way for them to talk about it. ”Well, I would say that hav­ing that abor­tion when you were 17 was a good thing, because look at what you would not have been able to do for the fam­ily you have now.” Or, “It’s enough of a strug­gle to be work­ing and going to school, you made a good deci­sion back then to post­pone hav­ing chil­dren. You’ll be a great mom when you are ready for it.” Amaz­ing how often tears flow when just a few sen­tences like this are spo­ken. We for­get how much our patients look up to us (deserved or not), so it’s impor­tant to put that power to good use by giv­ing respect to those hard deci­sions women made. And by the same token, when they do have kids and are in your office for their well child checks, telling the moms what a great job they are doing, how healthy their kids look, thanks to their huge efforts, is also super impor­tant. This world that shames women hav­ing abor­tions doesn’t really do much to help moth­ers when they do have kids, so hear­ing from their doc­tors that the tough job they are doing is acknowl­edged and appre­ci­ated and praised is very spe­cial and needed.

The only moral abor­tion is my abor­tion by By Joyce Arthur at The Pro-​Choice Action Network

Tes­ti­monies of abor­tion doc­tors who dealt with anti-​abortion activists seek­ing abortion