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The COVID-related concerns of disabled individuals increase as health protocols are lifted.



Governments need to take action to ensure that disabled people do not get left behind during the next wave of the pandemic.

In the two years, we’ve dealt with the COVID-19 epidemic, It’s been clear how fragile the social position of people with disabilities is. With the increasing number of health care protocols being loosened and the possibility of cases increasing yet again, we, the disabled individuals, face grave concerns about our safety.

There were many concerns in the previous COVID wave, but they remain while we wait for the next. There were discussions about how handicapped people may be denied healthcare if there is an increase in severe cases. Additionally, we struggled with the lack of access to medical services and the lack of access to vaccination facilities, and limited protection for those immune-compromised, especially now that the masks are falling off. We as a community were ignored, ignored, or even dismissed by the people in authority. For people with disabilities, this absence of policy has once again highlighted the extent to which we’re invisible.

But, yet we shouldn’t be.


Disabled people constitute the largest minority group in the world. More than a billion people are disabled worldwide and make up over 20 percent of the population of working age in Canada. However, we are frequently seen as a constant addition or an afterthought in policy-making. This is mainly in the case of the pandemic.

Disability-related people pay a disproportionately large price during the entire pandemic. Numerous studies have shown that those who are disabled have a higher risk of dying of COVID. A study in The Canada Medical Association Journal suggests that of the patients admitted to hospitals suffering from COVID Ontario in the year 2020, around 22 percent were disabled. According to the study, patients with disabilities had a higher risk of dying than patients with no disability (28.1 percent against 17.6 percent). They also were hospitalized longer and had more rates of readmissions.

Disabled Canadians are not considered in the policies regarding COVID-19.

Prioritization and the possibility of discrimination and bias against disabled persons

But, the report about their demises, especially when connected to their underlying ailments, reduced their chances of survival in various ways. When news broke that a disabled person had passed away from COVID, others tried to minimize the spread of the virus as nothing more than flu cited the deaths as a further instance of Darwinism. It was acceptable to say that a disabled person passed away from this illness, as they said. In some way, our lives were less valuable.


Many of the supports and services disabled people depended on during the epidemic weren’t considered necessary. They were subsequently shut down at a time when the majority of Canadians were able to continue shopping at their favorite fabric stores or shop at their local big-box grocery store. In the case of many people with disabilities that require regular access to medical treatment and other services, the absence of access to healthcare and the increased wait times added stress. Additionally, those who relied on the limited daytime programs were left with nowhere to go after COVID shut down the schedule. Other facilities could not reopen due to insufficient staffing and protective equipment. Add that to the demise of easily accessible public facilities like libraries, which offer internet access for free, and you’ve got an entire section of Canadian society waiting in the shadows.

The provincial governments had difficulty making sure disabled residents in long-term, and personal care facilities weren’t exposed to COVID. They also acted just after having done so when setting up rules that prevented personnel working for private services from being in multiple locations simultaneously. They failed to ensure that personal care workers had adequate protective equipment when working in homes for disabled persons.

Disability-related people were already more likely to live in poverty. However, we were among the few groups to receive a single financial aid payment for the pandemic. This was only made available after intensive lobbying of disability advocacy groups. In June of 2020, the federal government offered one-time charges of $600 to disabled people to cover “extraordinary expenses incurred by persons living with disabilities.” The government, however, offered an earlier Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) months before that was paid out monthly for $2,000 and also ran in the same manner. The Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) was introduced in May. It was worth $1,250 per month. Disability was a secondary concern. The COVID phrase that was meant to unite us in the outbreak, “We’re all in this together “we’re all in this together,” is only used to draw attention to the inequities of the system for us that are disabled as we weren’t treated in the same way as everyone who isn’t.

A Statistics Canada analysis noted the various impacts of COVID on disabled people and work. A survey was conducted between June 23- June 6, 2020; around one-third of those with disabilities reported having experienced temporary or permanent loss of employment or reduced hours in the epidemic. A quarter of the disabled depended on disability benefits, with 17 percent covered by CERB and CESB. About one-third of those who participated said that their income from the household declined. The ability to eat or buy PPE was among the most frequently cut items from budgets. Nearly half of them had difficulties fulfilling financial obligations.

It is time to begin exploring the reality of systemic ableism (discrimination due to disability) regardless of how unpleasant it may sound. While the world is slowly improving its approach to various discrimination affecting the marginalized, ableism is generally not understood or acknowledged. The absence of a policy in Canada and apathy at the problem of the disabled when we were at most significant risk indicates that it’s now time to pay to the issue.


We are in the midst of another outbreak. It is likely to be another pandemic. Now is the time to focus on the implications for the lives of thousands of Canadians who have disabilities. To do this, we can refer to COVID-19 Disability Advisory Group Report for the essential suggestions. Start by making sure that every province collects and reports precise information (cases and deaths and recoveries) separated by gender, disability, race, and other interconnected variables.

Additionally, all levels of government need to develop protocols to make sure disabled people have priority when it comes to accessing the healthcare services they need to be able to function. Thirdly, policies regarding hospital visits and the essential worker classifications need to be updated to ensure that disabled individuals are not invisible again. At the very minimum, every province must be equipped with an emergency response plan to assist people with disabilities in times of emergency shortly.

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How people power drives climate-friendly business.



Before, price and manufacturer could have been king when it came to consumer decisions. But spurred by the effects of weather modification, New Zealanders increasingly want to support climate-friendly corporations that are thinking sustainably and performing their bit to donate to a minimal carbon economy and Aotearoa New Zealand.

The study highlights this shift in thinking. Based on EECA’s (the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) regular Consumer Monitor, 82 percent of New Zealanders want corporations to complete more to lessen their environmental impact. And while EECA’s Business Monitor says only 24 percent of corporations think their customers or companies are stimulating them to achieve more, the proven fact that acting on weather modification can provide an aggressive benefit does seem to be gaining ground. This isn’t precisely about the giant corporations, either. New Zealanders want SMEs to be sustainable corporations as well.

Help the planet by choosing businesses with sustainable packaging or bringing your own containers.

Auckland early childhood educator and mother-of-three Dorothy Lacey spends lots of time – and income – shopping on the internet for her family and adding items to her childcare center. As the effects of weather modification have increased, she has discovered himself wanting to see corporations prioritize their footprint.

“Oh, for certain, I look up a business and observe green it is before I get any such thing from them,” she says. “If they’re carbon-neutral or use compostable presentation or perhaps overall have a commitment to increasing things when it comes to the environment, they get my money. It starts to have quite simple to inform which are the great kinds and you then only begin encouraging them and don’t work with the others.”

The ability these customers hold is twofold. Firstly, they inspire buddies and family to follow their case by getting more carbon-conscious when it comes to purchases – EECA’s research indicates that force from buddies and family includes a better effect than a societal strain on the number of weather actions people take.


Citizen Collective beer and bread.

As it pertains to corporations themselves, some do note that lowering energy use and taking a more climate-friendly approach is an intelligent organization’s decision future-proofing them from shifting consumer preferences.

Person Combined is one organization in front of the curve. The Auckland-based opportunity takes unsold supermarket bread and converts it into beer, and then uses the mash from the beer-brewing process to change it into bread.

“After the brew, we were left with this beautiful solution, and we decided there must be a method to use it,” says Add Founder, Person co-founder.

“We’re using less water, land, and energy to cultivate, harvest and dry the barley — that is very intense from a power perception — resulting in fewer emissions.

Customers can encourage businesses to be more climate friendly.

“We’ve also got some great opinions for the very reassuring beer,” says Shepherd. “We reckon we’re performing something worthwhile, but the products have to be excellent to work.”

New Zealanders can also straight inspire corporations to produce improvements to help minimize their energy use and carbon emissions. You will find a range of easy measures we could all follow to encourage corporations to go to the talk.

Taking a more climate-friendly approach is a smart business decision.

Use your effect

Showing the others what you’re performing differently in your living to support climate-friendly corporations is among the main things you can do – so ensure you reveal your finds and ideas, and chat, article and share. Given the energy of recommendations for weather action, we’re all influencers! Keep in mind this is focused on development and not excellence, and its key corporations’ sense is reinforced in (authentically) speaking about the measures they’re taking.

Election along with your budget

Where we invest, our income is the best way to exhibit consumer power. Once a business sees income and manufacturer commitment to being climate-friendly, the others can follow suit. Furthermore, a company not succeeding on an environmentally-friendly top might be incentivized to complete better.


Customers can vote with their wallet and choose climate friendly businesses.

Knowledge is (green) power.

Be interested and stay educated about energy, emissions, and weather change.

Use the practical Manual to the Language of Environment Change on GenLess.govt.NZ to discover or ensure what the words and words about weather modification mean. It will help with speaking confidently about the difficulties with others.

Ask questions

Wondering to visit a business’s sustainability strategy or asking what they’re performing to lower their environmental influence can go a lengthy way. Only a few customers asking could be the impetus a business needs to begin with on the journey. Clients can see if a company has environmental accreditation, like the people offered by B Corp or Toitū Envirocare.

“I’ll inform my buddies and workmates about a business I came across that’s excellent green credentials,” says Lacey. “Frequently, they will be smaller operators and have been encouraged to me, so I then go and pass that info along to someone else.”

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What is Open Enrollment for Health Insurance?



Health insurance is essential no matter what stage of your life. There are some exceptions to this rule, but most insurance policies require that you stay with the plan for an entire year. You can change your coverage and enroll in a new program during the annual open enrollment period. This is everything you need about open enrollment for your health insurance.

What is Open Enrollment?

Open enrollment is when you have the opportunity to change or select your health insurance plan. The timing of registration will vary depending on which method you are enrolling in,” said Anand Shukla (senior vice president, individual markets, Aetna), a CVS Health company.

The Medicare annual enrollment period, for instance, runs from October 15 to December 7. The Affordable Care Act (ACA), Marketplace/Exchange open enrollment period starts on November 1.

“If your employer offers health insurance, you may be eligible for an annual enrollment period. During this time, you can sign up or modify your coverage. Shukla says that it is essential to verify these dates with your employer.


How to Maximize Open Entry Periods

Open enrollment can be accessed in many ways. First, find out when you are eligible. Koleen Cavanaugh (Vice President of Marketing at Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia) says that your open enrollment period will depend on where and how you buy insurance.

Next, assess your lifestyle and Health. Kyu Rhee M.D. is Aetna’s senior vice president, chief medical officer, and chief medical officer. To help you do this, Kyu Rhee recommends asking the following questions:

  • Are you currently seeing a primary care doctor, or do you see any other medical specialists?
  • Which medications are you taking?
  • What diagnostic tests such as imaging or blood tests do you require?
  • Are you due to receive critical preventive screenings such as vaccinations or cancer screenings?
  • Do you have multiple chronic conditions?
  • Are you planning any procedures or surgeries?

After you have narrowed down what you want, you can start looking at coverage options. Dylan H. Roby, Associate Professor of Health, Society and Behavior, University of California, Irvine’s Program in Public Health, suggests that you look for a plan that suits your needs for the next year, both in terms of monthly premiums in terms of your health needs.

You can also talk to a trusted broker or licensed advisor in your locality to learn more about the available plans. Shukla says that many insurers offer seminars in their local communities, which provide information on programs and allow you to ask questions.

When choosing a plan, consider the four Ds: doctors, drugs, diagnostics, and deductibles. Dr. Rhee says that you should ensure your doctors are connected, that your medications are covered, and that critical diagnostic tests such as blood tests and imaging can be accessed. Also, make sure your deductible is affordable.

He also suggests that you consider hearing, vision, and dental coverage. It is ideal to have telehealth visits or virtual care included in your health plan. He says that your health plan is your ticket for staying and getting well.


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Open Enrollment Management for Different Types of Health Insurance

Roby recommends that you consider more than just the premiums when viewing the details of any health insurance plan. He says that deductibles and copayments are significant, including coinsurance, coinsurance, and out-of-pocket limits.

These are additional tips for maximizing your open enrollment period based on your insurance plan.


The Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC) is available to anyone who decides on an ACA Marketplace plan. Open enrollment starts on November 1. Shukla says that APTC can be a significant reduction in the premium you pay for insurance coverage, depending on your household income.

Roby adds that reviewing your options at each open enrollment period is wise as the tax credits or subsidies you have may be affected by changes in your local health insurance plans and policies.


Nearly 90% of the consumers who used to get their health insurance received the APTC during the 2021 open enrollment period. The average APTC amount for eligible recipients was 85% of their premiums during the 2020 and 2021 available enrollment periods.


According to Carrie Jardine (a revenue cycle manager at Heading Health in Austin), Medicare health insurance’s initial open enrollment period covers seven months. Heading Health is a mental health clinic. It starts three months before your eligibility for Medicare, generally when you turn 65. It continues until your birthday month and ends three months later.

However, the Medicare annual enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7. Jardine says that you can either stay on the standard Medicare plan or choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan through one of many commercial payers.

Employer-sponsored insurance

Jardine explains that if you get health insurance through your employer, the initial open enrollment period is when you are eligible to enroll with the employer’s insurance carrier. This is usually determined at the discretion of the employer.

An annual open enrollment period may be offered by your employer, in which employees can choose another plan. However, this is not an obligation for all companies.


Roby says it might be good to join a low-cost, high-deductible plan, significantly if your employer contributes money to your health savings account.

What if I want to make changes outside of open enrollment?

You can’t make any changes to your coverage options after the open enrollment period. This is only possible if you are eligible for a particular enrollment period due to a qualifying life event such as a birth, marriage or adoption, loss of coverage or change of residence, income change, or becoming a U.S citizen. You may be able to enroll in a new plan within 60 days or 60 days, depending on your circumstances.

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For better mental health, add these food items to your diet.



It could be due to many factors. Scientists have identified the gut-brain connection as one explanation. Neurotransmitters are what link the brain to the gastrointestinal system.

Healthy eating is one of the best things you can do for your health. A healthy diet is good for our bodies and minds. Studies show that a healthy diet high in vitamins, minerals, and protein can improve our mental and physical health.

Sutter Health states that a healthy diet can improve our moods and help us feel happier. However, eating a lot of sugar and processed foods can cause mental problems and worsen depression and anxiety. It could be due to many factors. Scientists have identified the gut-brain connection as one explanation. Neurotransmitters are what link the brain to the gastrointestinal system. Additionally, gut microbes produce critical mood-regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric, and gamma-aminobutyric acids, which help manage anxiety, fear, depression, and other emotions.

Bad diets can cause inflammation and negatively affect our emotions. Gut-friendly foods high in fiber, healthy fats, and probiotics can make you feel happier mentally.


Mental health is directly affected by diet.

Our attention and energy levels are also affected by diet. The brain must receive a steady supply of nutrients to function correctly. If the brain does not have certain nutrients, it can cause mental problems. Depressed people tend to prefer quick and easy meals to make healthy meals. This can lead to a vicious circle.

Sutter Health says that processed foods, which are often high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, may provide a temporary boost of dopamine but can lead to long-term inflammation, leading to anxiety and depression. The rush can be followed by a crash, which can cause increased sugar cravings and create a vicious circle of addiction.

Caffeine is another factor that can affect your mood. Too much coffee can be dangerous for your health. Although this popular stimulant is well-known for its energy-boosting properties, it can also cause anxiety symptoms like restlessness, nervousness, and stomach problems. It’s not only what you eat but also how often you eat. A drop in blood sugar can lead to irritation, fatigue, and depression.

Feeling better? Protein, complex carbs, and fatty acids can all help.

Sutter Health states that the brain needs a healthy mix of lean proteins and complex carbs to be more efficient. Lean protein is found in chicken, eggs, legumes, and nuts. It also contains an essential amino acid that the brain requires to regulate emotions. Mainly Omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for nerve cell structure and brain health. A diet low in Omega-3 fatty acids can harm brain functions such as learning, cognition, memory, sleep, and aging. Fish, flaxseed, and walnuts are rich in healthy fatty acids.

Complex carbohydrates are suitable for the brain, but they can also be harmful to the stomach. Complex carbohydrates are rich in fiber and minerals. They include whole grains, brown rice, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. They are also more slowly digested, keeping blood sugar levels in control and providing uninterrupted energy throughout the day.


Try an apple or handful of walnuts instead of reaching for chocolates and chips when you feel down. You will see a difference in your brain and body. Remember that sadness is a normal part of mental health. Even renowned chefs have expressed their feelings.

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