If you have a question or comment related to BU and its response to the COVID-19 crisis, regarding moving, distance learning, personal belongings recovery or anything else, please visit the site special from Boston University. COVID-19 website. Specific departments respond to questions in a timely manner. Thank you.
—Doug Most, editor-in-chief, BU today
Quote of the day:
Instead of the coronavirus, hunger will kill us.
Stat of the day:
Drinking too much during the pandemic? Read it
People joke about the damage being locked up at home in the middle of the pandemic is doing their livers – too many “quarantinis” – but that’s no fun for some. “One thing we have noticed is that people can increase their alcohol consumption, in part because there is less structure in the day” during the pandemic, says Todd farchione, associate research professor at the College of Arts and Sciences and member of the BU Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (MENU).
“Going to the office, driving, having the same responsibilities – these things helped people who had a hard time dealing with their behavior on their own,” he says. “But now they don’t have that anymore. So it’s a bad situation for people with drug addiction or drug addiction issues. And what is open? Grocery and liquor stores. “
Farchione is a principal investigator on two CARD studies that investigate methods of reducing alcohol abuse. One offers a trial drug to help participants reduce their alcohol consumption, the other uses cognitive behavioral therapy for those who abuse alcohol in relation to anxiety.
Ironically, alcohol can weaken people’s immune systems and put the drinker at risk engaging in dangerous behaviors that could cause the virus to contract. Farchione is recruiting participants over the age of 21 for both studies, which will last three to four months. And for those who fear to venture outside these days, both studies are conducted entirely by telehealth. Eligible participants may be compensated. Register or find more information here.
Ask an SPH expert on young adult mental health
Sarah lipson, an assistant professor of health law, policy and management at the School of Public Health, will do an I / AmA (Ask Me Anything) Reddit discussing how to support the mental health of student populations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, at noon on Thursday. Register now here; scroll down the schedule on the right side and click on its event. Lipson is the co-principal investigator of the Healthy Minds Study and associate director of the Healthy Minds Network. His research focuses on understanding and addressing inequalities in mental health among adolescents and young adults, particularly college students.
(Again) talking about mental health
The guest of today’s installment of Spot On! Real health and wellness podcast is Dori Hutchinson (Sargent’85, ’96), Clinical Associate Professor and BU at Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences Psychiatric rehabilitation center director of services. The subject? “Quarantined: Time to be kind to yourself.” The podcast is hosted by Joan salge blake (Sargent’84, Wheelock’16), associate professor of nutrition at Sargent College, and you can check it out here or here.
News from Boston and beyond
Mayor Martin J. Walsh talks about reopening higher education
The mayor of Boston said in his daily briefing Wednesday that reopening colleges and universities may point the way to other areas. “Colleges and universities are essential to the identity and economy of our city,” he said, noting a conference call Tuesday with local higher education leaders, including the president of the BU , Robert A. Brown. “We talked about what the reopening looks like and what the campuses will look like. We talked about the challenges of closing campuses. He thanked college and university leaders for committing to work together. “This work will provide valuable models for other sectors, and we will do everything possible to support our colleges and universities, so that we can return to some sort of normal university experience.
And Governor Charlie Baker details the student loan relief program
The Massachusetts Division of Banking (DOB) has joined a multi-state initiative to secure payment relief options for Massachusetts student loan borrowers, Baker announced Wednesday. The DOB has secured relief options with 15 private student loan managers to expand the protections the federal government has provided to federal student loan borrowers. These new options are expected to benefit more than 182,000 Massachusetts borrowers through private student loans.
This response builds on the federal CARES law, which provides much-needed relief to students receiving federal loans, including the suspension of monthly payments, interest, and involuntary collection activities until September 30, 2020, as well as the recently announced Deferral of payments from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education under its interest-free loan program until August 1, 2020.
As part of this initiative, borrowers with commercially-owned Federal Family Education Program loans or private student loans who are struggling to make their payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible for a extended help. Borrowers should contact their student loan manager to identify their options, including:
- A minimum of 90 days of abstention
- Waiver of late payment charges
- Ensure that no borrower has negative credit reports
- Stop debt collection proceedings for 90 days
- Work with borrowers to enroll them in other borrower assistance programs, such as income-based repayment.
Additional information and resources, including a full list of participating private student loan administrators, can be found in the Notice to DOB Consumers.
Swoosh, here’s the EPP
Nike, Inc., has donated thousands of face shields and powered air purifying respirator lenses to Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Carney Hospital, the Boston Globe reports. Personal protective equipment was produced at Nike facilities in Oregon and Missouri, and donations were organized through the Boston headquarters of Nike’s subsidiary, Converse.
US and Global News
Tired of your quarantine menu? Read it
Globally, 135 million people were already facing acute food shortages before the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With the pandemic, 130 million more might be hungry, said Arif Husain, chief economist at the World Food Program, a United Nations agency New York Times. In the poorest parts of Kenya, India, Colombia and countless other countries, social distancing and loss of meager income are rapidly increasing the poverty index.
Latest count of coronavirus cases
United States, 835,316; Massachusetts, 42,944.
Distraction of the day:
The BU Alumni Association’s development communications team asked its dispersed student employees to send some thoughts on the video from their home (and in one case, a dormitory), wherever they are in the world or they are emerging from the pandemic. the resulting video includes lots of pets (watch the look at 1:52 – we smell you, puppy) and talks about missing friends, Boston, and “BU madness”.
Find BU today ‘s latest pandemic coverage here. The University’s hotline for faculty, staff, students and academics asked to call for referral for their virus-related medical issues is 617-358-4990.
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