Archive | January 2021


“As parents, while we certainly want our children to have fond memories of snow days, we know that they often come at a cost. They slow productivity, both in our children’s lives but also in our own when we have to leave work on their behalf. And when snow days are frequent, they can threaten the peace of our homes.

Yet, they can truly provide a space for families who want to use them personal growth and relational connection to do so. As with other areas of life gone right, the key to snow day success is found by approaching them with thought and a bit foresight. Just as we buy chains for our vehicles as the temperature drops, so can we also take steps to ensure that our extra time together, is time well spent.”

Cyber Parent

Tips for when real snow weather reaches your area and prevention measures for a cold including COVID.

getting ready for the winter 4  winter

In winter, bad weather can strike unexpectedly, causing roads to be iced over and snowy. But staying safe at home doesn’t mean you must give up being physically active. Here are some ideas to get your heart pumping at home:

  • Do some activity with the lungs. You ask how in this terrible cold weather; well here are some tips: Take a couple laps around the living room – you’ll engage your thigh and buttock muscles.
  • Try stretching. Stretch your whole body, focusing on legs, then arms, then abdomen and back having music on or wathing T.V.
  • Do pushups and crunches. Do three sets of 10 each while watching a movie or listening to music. Before you know it, you’ll be done!
  • Climb up and down stairs. Start by climbing one step at a time, then move up to two.
  • Enjoy workout videos. Check the Web, websites stream workout videos that you can watch for free.
  • Play holiday charades. Get the whole family involved with a holiday themed game of charades or if passed the holidays do regular charades based on average similar likes from TV to foods to movies, etc… Use characters like reindeer (gallop), Santa (riding his sleigh) or elves (working in the toy shop). Act out.

Ward Off the Sniffles including prevention of COVID19 by doing the following:

Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue instead of your hand. Remember to throw your tissue away and wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitizer.

  • Wash your hands. This is one of the best ways to avoid catching a coldogerms or giving one to someone else.
  • Drink up! Be sure to stay hydrated; drink plenty of water is what I mean by drink up.
  • Get some shut-eye. Stay a step ahead of illness by getting plenty of sleep (about eight hours a night). You’ll see a difference for I surely do when I can get 8 hours sleep.
  • Even wearing the mask now helps in prevention to avoid cold, certain infections and including COVID-19.




“It is a Felony punishable by up to ten years in prison if a person engages in a pattern of stalking against one victim or household.  A pattern of stalking includes, but is not limited to, committing two or more of the following acts within a five year period:

  • any stalking offense
  • making terroristic threats
  • committing domestic assault
  • violating a harassment restraining order or order for protection”

Mr. Keith Ellison The office of Minnesota Attorney General


Part II Child Stalking and tips for safety!


Dual and Single parents worry about their kids’ safety constantly. Protect your kids by teaching them about situational awareness and avoiding dangerous situations. From safeguarding your home to equipping your kids with knowledge, you can take steps to keep them safe.

  1. Safety Tips for Walking to and from School or the Bus Stop

Kids of single parents often walk to the bus stop or school because their parent is working its always better when a second parent is available who can walk with the child. Unfortunately, there are several dangers for kids who walk to and from school or the bus stop alone. In fact, according to Children’s Health, unintentional pedestrian injuries are the fifth leading cause of injury-related death in the U.S. for kids between the ages of five and 19. If your kids are under the age of 11, arrange for a neighbor or older student to walk with them and hold their hand when they cross the street.

Single parents also should model appropriate pedestrian rules for your kids. Teach them to walk on a sidewalk or the left side of the street when there is no sidewalk. Practice looking left, then, right, then left again and to continue looking for cars while crossing streets and crossing in front of buses only when the driver says to do so. Teach them to make eye contact with drivers before crossing and to rely on crossing guards for help.

  1. Stranger Danger and Kidnapping Tips

The walk to and from school also puts your kids at risk of kidnapping. Be sure to teach them about stranger danger and remind them that most kidnappers don’t look scary. Some have puppies or kittens with them, and some have ice cream or candy.

Make sure your kids know that anyone could harm them, even people who seem nice or who look like helpers. Reassure them that kidnappings are rare, but that not all kidnappers look dangerous or scary. Work with them to observe people and be prepared for someone to approach them. Instruct them to scream for help, fight back, and escape by any means possible should someone grab them.

  1. Home Safety Tips

Whether your kids are home alone frequently or not, teach them about home safety. Parents understand the importance of baby-proofing when their children are young, and you need to keep safety in mind as your kids age. Keep medications and cleaning supplies in secure areas. Store unloaded guns in a safe and store ammunition in a separate, secure location. Teach older kids how to safely use appliances and knives. Remember, common sense home safety for you may not be so common to your kids if you don’t teach them about it.

It’s also important to teach kids the importance of keeping doors and windows locked at all times. One of the best ways to keep your kids and your home safe is to keep it locked. Check your door and window locks and make sure they are in working order. Purchase window locks that secure them when open.

Also, teach your kids to keep your garage doors down and to lock all entryway doors at all times. Of course, teach kids not to open the door to anyone other than a known family member or friend when you are not home.

  1. Online Safety Tips

According to HomeAdvisor, “Today, parents have a lot more to worry about than fire hazards and strangers coming to the front door. Computers and TV can introduce a number of dangerous elements into the home.” Keeping older kids safe online is a priority for single parents, and hiring a computer professional to ensure your computer has advanced safeguards is one way to put your mind at ease.

It’s also imperative for you to talk to your kids about your expectations for their online behavior and to remind them that strangers lurk online more easily than they do in person. Teach them never to share their personal information, photographs of themselves, or other sensitive information with anyone online.

Teaching your kids to avoid dangerous situations is imperative to their safety. Model safe walking rules and stranger danger tips. Teach them about home safety and don’t assume they know common sense rules. Finally, ensure your kids know how to stay safe online.


“1 out of every 12 women will be stalked during her lifetime and 1 out of every 45 men will be stalked during his lifetime.  On average victims report the stalking lasted 1.8 years.  In cases involving intimate partners, the duration for the stalking increased to 2.2 years.”

Police & Public Safety | UNC Charlotte (http//

Stalking Awareness Month



Stalking is a serious crime that can take a long-term emotional, physical, and financial toll on survivors. Despite the high-profile or celebrity cases involving stranger stalkers, stalking is most often perpetrated by someone the survivor knows and is defined as a patter of behavior directed towards a specific individual causing them to feel fear.

Stalking affects millions of women and men in the United States.

Stalking occurs when someone repeatedly harasses or threatens someone else, causing fear or safety concerns. Most often, stalking occurs by someone the victim knows or with whom they had an intimate relationship.

Help prevent stalking by knowing the warning signs and how to get help.

Stalking tactics can include:

  • Unwanted phone calls
  • Unwanted emails, instant messages, text messages, voice messages, or social media messages
  • Approaching a victim or showing up unwanted, such as at the victim’s home, workplace, or school
  • Leaving strange or potentially threatening items for the victim to find
  • Watching, following, or tracking a victim
  • Sneaking into the victim’s home or car and doing things to scare the victim or let them know the perpetrator had been there

According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS):

  • Stalking is common. About 1 in 6 women and 1 in 17 men have experienced stalking in their lifetimes.
  • Stalking starts early. Nearly 54% of female victims and 41% of male victims experienced stalking before the age of 25.
  • Stalking impacts the physical and mental health of victims. Research shows stalking can lead to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. About 68% of female and 70% of male victims experienced threats of physical harm during their lifetime.

Child Stalking

Many times, we hear young adults say that they “Facebook stalked” someone, which simply means they looked through someone’s profile and photos for certain information. This is meant in a joking manner, but stalking is a scary and real thing. It happens more often to young adults, and is becoming easier with modern day technology.

  • Over 85 percent of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know, (many times it is a current or former intimate partner).
  • In the U.S., 7.5 million people are stalked each year.
  • Young adults ages 18-24 experience the highest rates of stalking. 
  • Women are stalked 2x higher than men

What Can You Do?

If you feel like you or your child are being stalked:

  • Document it. Whether it’s happened twice or 20 times, jot down the incidents and note the date, time, location and any other details that you remember.
  • Contact your local police department or stalking unit to report it. Having documented proof of the stalking could assist you in receiving a protection order. A legal advocate will be available to help you through the court process.
  • Notify a friend, family member, employer or any other organization with whom you are involved.
  • Contact a local agency, such as The Center for Family Safety and Healing, to get help in creating a personalized safety plan.
  • If you feel you’re in immediate danger, call 911.
  • Get a protection order. Contact your local prosecutor’s office for information on the process for filing.

Everyone can work together to know, name, and stop stalking by:

  • Helping others define and recognize stalking behaviors
  • Mobilizing men and boys as allies in prevention efforts
  • Creating and supporting safe environments within relationships, schools, and communities through programs and policies that promote healthy relationships


“Mad Cow Disease is a progressive, fatal neurological disease in cattle, believed to be caused by prions — irregular protein particles that are hard to destroy. Because they can survive being cooked, prions can be passed on to humans who ingest infected tissue or food products containing such tissue.”

Edmonton Journal

Part II MAD COW DISEASE=bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BS & in humans called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).


Brain Results that were exposed to Mad Cow Disease making the brain a  spongy like appearance.  This is how it got the name BSE.

U.S. Drug and Food Administration states, “People can get a version of BSE called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). As of December 4, 2017, 231 people worldwide are known to have become sick with vCJD according to the University of Edinburgh’s National CJD Research & Surveillance Unit. It is thought that they got the disease from eating food made from cows sick with BSE. Most of the people who have become sick with vCJD lived in the United Kingdom at some point in their lives. Only four lived in the U.S., and most likely, these four people became infected when they were living or traveling overseas.

Neither vCJD nor BSE is contagious. This means that it is not like catching a cold. A person (or a cow) cannot catch it from being near a sick person or cow. Also, research studies have shown that people cannot get BSE from drinking milk or eating dairy products, even if the milk came from a sick cow.”

Unfortunately, there are currently no treatments for prion diseases, brain-wasting diseases that are invariably fatal. The most common human prion disease is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), better known as mad cow disease.  This disease is rare in humans.

Symptoms of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) can resemble those of other dementia-like brain disorders, such as Alzheimer’s. But Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease usually progresses much more rapidly.

CJD captured public attention in the 1990s when some people in the United Kingdom developed a form of the disease — variant CJD (vCJD) — after eating meat from diseased cattle. However, “classic” Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease hasn’t been linked to contaminated beef.

Although serious, CJD is rare, and vCJD is the least common form. Worldwide, there is an estimated one case of CJD diagnosed per million people each year, most often in older adults.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is marked by rapid mental deterioration, usually within a few months. Initial signs and symptoms typically include:

  • Personality changes
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Impaired thinking
  • Blurred vision or blindness
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sudden, jerky movements

As the disease progresses, mental symptoms worsen. Most people eventually lapse into a coma, first dementia to death. Heart failure, respiratory failure, pneumonia or other infections are generally the cause of death. Death usually occurs within a year.

In people with the rarer vCJD, psychiatric symptoms may be more prominent in the beginning, with dementia — the loss of the ability to think, reason and remember — developing later in the illness. In addition, this variant affects people at a younger age than classic CJD does and appears to have a slightly longer duration — 12 to 14 months.

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease & its variants belong to a broad group of human & Sanimal diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The name derives from the spongy holes, visible under a microscope, that affect the brain tissue.

How its transmitted?  The risk of CJD is low. The disease can’t be transmitted through coughing or sneezing, touching, or sexual contact.

1-Heredity: 15 percent of people with CJD have a family history of the disease or test positive for a genetic mutation associated with CJD. This type is referred to as familial CJD.

2-Exposure to contaminated tissue. People who’ve received human growth hormone derived from human pituitary glands or who’ve had grafts of tissue that covers the brain (dura mater) may be at risk of iatrogenic CJD. .

3-The low risk of contracting vCJD from eating contaminated beef.

Regulating potential sources of vCJD

Most countries have taken steps to prevent BSE-infected tissue from entering the food supply, including:

  • Tight restrictions on importation of cattle from countries where BSE is common
  • Restrictions on animal feed
  • Strict procedures for dealing with sick animals
  • Surveillance and testing methods for tracking cattle health
  • Restrictions on which parts of cattle can be processed for food



“The word BSE is short but it stands for a disease with a long name, bovine spongiform encephalopathy.  “Bovine” means that the disease affects cows, “spongiform” refers to the way the brain from a sick cow looks spongy under a microscope, and “encephalopathy” indicates that it is a disease of the brain. BSE is commonly called “mad cow disease.”

U. S. Food and Drug Administration / FDA

Part I MAD COW DISEASE=bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) & in humans called Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD).

Mad Cow Disease (Spongiform Encephalopathy or BSE)

Mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), is a disease that was first found in cattle. It’s related to a disease in humans called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Both disorders are universally fatal brain diseases caused by a prion. A prion is a protein particle that lacks DNA (nucleic acid). It’s believed to be the cause of various infectious diseases of the nervous system. Eating infected cattle products, including beef, can cause a human to develop mad cow disease.

What is mad cow disease?

Mad cow disease is a progressive, fatal neurological disorder of cattle resulting from infection by a prion. It appears to be caused by contaminated cattle feed that contains the prion agent. Most mad cow disease has happened in cattle in the United Kingdom (U.K.), a few cases were found in cattle in the U.S. between 2003 and 2006. There were 4 more reported up to 2018.  Feed regulations were then tightened.

In addition to the cases of mad cow reported in the U.K. (78% of all cases were reported there) and the U.S., cases have also been reported in other countries, including France, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Canada. Public health control measures have been implemented in many of the countries to prevent potentially infected tissues from entering the human food chain. These preventative measures appear to have been effective. For instance, Canada believes its prevention measures will wipe out the disease from its cattle population by 2017.

What is variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)?

Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) is a rare, fatal brain disorder. It causes a rapid, progressive dementia (deterioration of mental functions), as well as associated neuromuscular disturbances. The disease, which in some ways resembles mad cow disease, traditionally has affected men and women between the ages of 50 and 75. The variant form, however, affects younger people (the average age of onset is 28) and has observed features that are not typical as compared with CJD. About 230 people with vCJD have been identified since 1996. Most are from the U.K. and other countries in Europe. It is rare in the U.S., with only 4 reported cases since 1996.

What is the current risk of acquiring vCJD from eating beef and beef products produced from cattle in Europe?

Currently this risk appears to be very small, perhaps fewer than 1 case per 10 billion servings–if the risk exists at all. Travelers to Europe who are concerned about reducing any risk of exposure can avoid beef and beef products altogether, or can select beef or beef products, such as solid pieces of muscle meat, as opposed to ground beef and sausages. Solid pieces of beef are less likely to be contaminated with tissues that may hide the mad cow agent. Milk and milk products are not believed to transmit the mad cow agent. You can’t get vCJD or CJD by direct contact with a person who has the disease. Three cases acquired during transfusion of blood from an infected donor have been reported in the U.K. Most human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is not vCJD and is not related to beef consumption but is also likely due to prion proteins

The Risk of getting Mad Cow Disease in the US, based on CDC-Centers for Disease Prevention and Control show the following statistics:

On December 23, 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a presumptive diagnosis of the first known case of BSE in the United States. It was in an adult Holstein cow from Washington State. This diagnosis was confirmed by an international reference laboratory in Weybridge, England, on December 25. Trace-back based on an ear-tag identification number and subsequent genetic testing confirmed that the BSE-infected cow was imported into the United States from Canada in August 2001.

Because the animal was non-ambulatory (a “downer cow”) at slaughter, brain tissue samples were taken by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service as part of its targeted surveillance for BSE. However the animal’s condition was attributed to complications from calving. After the animal was examined by a USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) veterinary medical officer both before and after slaughter, the carcass was released for use as food for human consumption. During slaughter, the tissues considered to be at high risk for the transmission of the BSE agent were removed.

On December 24, 2003, FSIS recalled beef from cattle slaughtered in the same plant on the same day as the BSE positive cow.

On June 24, 2005, the USDA announced receipt of final results from The Veterinary Laboratories Agency in Weybridge, England, confirming BSE in a cow that had conflicting test results in 2004. This cow was from Texas, died at approximately 12 years of age, and represented the first endemic case of BSE by a cow in the United States.

On March 15, 2006, the USDA announced the confirmation of BSE in a cow in Alabama. The case was identified in a non-ambulatory (downer) cow on a farm in Alabama. The animal was euthanized by a local veterinarian and buried on the farm. The age of the cow was estimated by examination of the dentition as 10 years old.

It had no ear tags or distinctive marks; the herd of origin could not be identified despite an intense investigation.

In August 2008, several ARS investigators reported that a rare, genetic abnormality that may persist within the cattle population “is considered to have caused” BSE in this atypical (H-type) BSE animal from Alabama.

On April 24, 2012, the USDA confirmed a BSE case in a dairy cow in California. This cow was tested as part of the USDA targeted BSE surveillance at rendering facilities in the United States. The cow was 10 years and 7 months old and was classified as having the L-type BSE strain.

On July 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the confirmation of the fifth case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in an 11-year-old cow in Alabama. The cow was found through USDA’s routine surveillance. The cow was found to be positive for an atypical (L-type) strain of BSE. Atypical BSE usually occurs in older cattle and seems to arise spontaneously in cattle populations.

On August 29, 2018 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a confirmed atypical, H-type case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a six year old mixed-breed beef cow in Florida. USDA reported that this animal never entered the food supply and at no time presented a risk to human health.

How does the cow even get Mad Cow Disease?

The parts of a cow that are not eaten by people are cooked, dried, and ground into a powder. The powder is then used for a variety of purposes, including as an ingredient in animal feed. A cow gets BSE by eating feed contaminated with parts that came from another cow that was sick with BSE. The contaminated feed contains the abnormal prion, and a cow becomes infected with the abnormal prion when it eats the feed. If a cow gets BSE, it most likely ate the contaminated feed during its first year of life. Remember, if a cow becomes infected with the abnormal prion when it is one-year-old, it usually will not show signs of BSE until it is five-years-old or older.

Learn more tomorrow in Part II on Mad Cow Disease.