AA Homepage Articles | Environment |

Glossary of Terms for COVID-19 Outbreak

6 minute read

A slew of terms has been introduced in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak. Let’s go from A to Z with new people and terms to help you understand the unfolding situation.

COVID-19 Glossary

Adams

  • Jerome Adams is the 20th Surgeon General of the United States. He served as the Indiana State Health Commissioner before being sworn in as the Surgeon General in 2017. His role is to advance the health of the American people and he has been instrumental in COVID-19 response.

Bans

  • The United States has issued a travel ban from Europe to the United States as of March 16th and most companies have grounded all non-essential travel domestically and internationally for the next several weeks.

COVID-19

  • COVID-19 or coronavirus is a virus in the same family as the common cold and flu. It has turned into a pandemic and has been compared to the 1918 Spanish Flu. The 19 is in reference to the year it was discovered

Diamond Princess

  • The Diamond Princess Cruise ship was for COVID-19. Passengers were quarantined on the ship and left to their rooms and many health officials have criticized the decision saying that it allowed the virus to rapidly spread. Passengers and crew were eventually allowed to leave the ship after a month total on board and nearly two weeks after reports of the first case.

Epidemiology

  • Epidemiology is the study of infectious diseases and how they spread, occur, and are controlled.

Flattening the Curve

  • The term refers to reducing the exponential growth of an infectious disease if people start distancing themselves from other people. Reducing gatherings with people through quarantining and other social distancing practices can drastically reduce the number of cases. The practice is especially important in alleviating the burden on hospitals.

Source: Britta Jewel/MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analysis/New York Times

Gatherings

  • Late Sunday on March 15th, multiple governors and health officials called for social gatherings to be limited to 50 people or less. President Trump has asked for people to limit social gatherings to 10 or fewer people to continue to reduce the spread of the disease. This practice has led to the closing of bars, restaurants, and retail stores across the country.

Handwashing

  • Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water. All health organizations have advocated for everyone to wash their hands often to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Here are some fun

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    Immunocompromised

    • A group of people, young and old, who have weakened immune systems due to underlying conditions such as HIV/AIDS, Down Syndrome, or heart disease A person with an immunocompromised system who contracts coronavirus may result in hospitalization. Those who are not immunocompromised may be asymptomatic (without symptoms) or experience mild symptoms.

    January

    • On January 17th, the CDC and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol started health screenings at all S. airports for passengers returning from Wuhan City, China. On January 23rd, the United States reported the first case of coronavirus.

    Killing the virus

    Leisure time

    • Find ways to relax during the COVID-19 outbreak and to take a break from social media and the news. Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. The CDC has several recommendations to manage stress and anxiety.

    Mike DeWine

    • The Governor of Ohio, Republican Mike Dewine, was one of the first governors to initiate school closures, public gathering bans, and the closing of restaurants and bars. He recently decided to postpone the Ohio Democratic primary election as a result of COVID-19.

    Novel

    • According to the World Health Organization, the coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to MERS and SARS. COVID-19 is a novel, or new, viruses in the coronavirus family. It was not previously identified in humans until November 2019.

    One percent

    • One percent is considered to be the mortality rate for the coronavirus, according to many science and public health officials. The percentage has ticked higher in places where hospitals have been overwhelmed by sick patients who are unable to get the care they need. Current mortality rates in the US are hovering at 0.5 percent.

    Pandemic

    • An epidemic is an outbreak of a disease that attacks many peoples at the same time in one area. A pandemic is a disease that spreads across many countries and affects a large number of people. COVID-19 was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020, by the World Health Organization.

    Quarantine

    • Quarantine refers to the restriction of movement for people. Currently, the United States is asking people to self-quarantine to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Other countries such as Italy and China have established national quarantines to slow the rate of infection. In isolation, healthy people are separate from the sick but with COVID-19 it’s hard to know who is and is not a carrier.

    Response Supplemental Appropriations Act

    The United States enacted $8.5B in aid to combat the outbreak of COVID-19 titled the Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. President Trump initially asked for $2.5B. The bill includes money for research, public health funding, medical supplies and to help fight the disease internationally. The bill was enacted on March 6th by President Trump. Senators and other members of Congress have asked for another round of efforts of economic relief for small businesses, middle and low-income families, and the travel industry.

    Social Distancing

    • Social Distancing refers to maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people, in addition to minimizing contact, public transportation, and other large gatherings. The strategy has been used to help save lives during other pandemics. You can still go outside, but you must avoid close contact with people even if they appear to be healthy. A person can still be a carrier even if they are asymptomatic.

    Toilet Paper

    • Toilet paper became one of the first products to fly off the shelves. Many people on social media have spread pictures of empty aisles in Target, Kroger, and other major department store chains. Despite the empty aisles, producers say they have plenty of food and supplies in stock.

    U.S. Public Health Service

    • The U.S. Public Health Service is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services and is the largest public health program in the globe helping staff the local health departments throughout the country. The coronavirus is being monitored by the public health service at both the local and federal levels. Check with your community’s public health department to see what restrictions are being implemented.

    Virulence

    • Virulence refers to the severity of the harmfulness of a disease. Many epidemiologists are still trying to quantify the virulence of COVID-19. To keep up with the current outbreak, the World Health Organization has an interactive map to track cases worldwide.

    Work from home

    – Working from home has become the new reality for millions of workers across the country as many offices have shut down and school closings have kept many parents home. It’s unclear how long offices will remain closed as health and government officials determine the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak, but working from home might be the new normal for many workers.

    (e)Xtra time

    – One of the benefits of being home and quarantined is spending more time with your family and loved ones. Most of the time, we are bustling from school to work to other activities, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has allowed many of us to spend more quality time with our families.

    Yellow fever

    • Yellow fever is an infectious disease spread by mosquitos was catalyzed by trade as infected patients traversed between Europe, America, and Africa. Many doctors initially hypothesized that you had to come in contact with an infected patient as widespread epidemics occurred in major port cities in the United States such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and New Orleans. Many more Americans who fought in the Spanish-American war died of Yellow fever as opposed to combat. A vaccine was developed in the 1940s, but there are still cases of yellow fever throughout Africa and Central America resulting in approximately 30,000-60,000 deaths annually. Pandemics such as yellow fever have created the modern medical system we know now and spurred the creation of the National Quarantine Act in 1878. COVID-19 does not have a vaccine and while it should not take hundreds of years to create, it is expected to be another year or so, although preliminary testings have started.

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    Celebrate-Earth-Day-2022

    AA Homepage Articles | Environment |

    Celebrate Earth Day with Energy Saving Tips

    2 minute read

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    Earth Day is celebrated every April 22nd. This year, that falls on a Friday—so let’s celebrate!

    The official Earth Day website has some excellent ways to get involved in this year’s events, and they include this description of the mission for 2022:

    This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, and our livelihoods.

    For Earth Day 2022, we need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.

    Do your part by participating in events like garbage cleanup, tree planting, or climate change activism and awareness. If you’re unable to get outside that day, you can spread the word about Earth Day and the importance of caring for the planet on social media with the official hashtag #InvestInOurPlanet.

    Reducing Energy Consumption

    Earth Day brings renewed awareness around preservation and sustainability. It’s a great chance to start new habits that will reduce our energy consumption and have a positive impact on the planet.

    Here are some everyday ways you can use less energy, especially during the upcoming summer months:

    • Lay Off the A/C
      Air conditioning accounts for 17% of the average American household’s annual energy usage. That’s understandable with extreme summer temperatures becoming more common, but most of us can stay comfortable at slightly higher indoor temperatures.
      The S. Energy Department recommends setting your thermostat to 78°F when you’re home, and 85°F when you’re away to save up to 10% on your energy bill.
    • Wash Cold and Hang Dry
      Washing clothes uses large amounts of water and electricity, and can add heat to your home. Hot water washing machine cycles require a lot of energy, so save them for killing germs on soiled towels or clothes, especially when there’s someone sick at home and you don’t want the germs to spread. When it comes time to dry, hang clothes on an outdoor clothesline or indoor drying rack when possible. Again, the heat of the dryer can be useful for killing germs, so use it when needed.
    • Use Light Sparingly
      Depending on the amount and location of the windows in your home, extended sunlight hours can keep you from using indoor lighting for much of the day. You can also employ what’s called “task lighting,” which trades energy-hungry diffuse lighting like ceiling lights for efficient, focused lights like LED table lamps and track lighting.
    • Install Efficient Appliances
      Check for the ENERGY STAR® certification on large appliances like your air conditioner, refrigerator, washing machine, and dishwasher. AprilAire whole-home e-series dehumidifiers (Models E080, E100, and E130) were awarded the ENERGY STAR® certification in 2022, showing they deliver 23% energy savings compared to uncertified units. Plus, using a dehumidifier helps reduce the burden on your air conditioner.
    • Cook Smart
      Take advantage of pressure cookers, slow cookers, and toaster ovens for smaller baking and toasting tasks. These appliances save time, keep the house cool, and consume less energy compared to a large conventional oven.
      Plus, there are lots of summer-friendly, no-bake recipes that the whole family can prepare and enjoy.
    drought-indoor-air-quality

    Environment |

    How Drought Impacts Your Air Quality

    2 minute read

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    Is drought a concern in your region of the country?

    About half of the contiguous United States is currently experiencing moderate to severe drought, and studies are showing that conditions for the past two decades are worse than they’ve been in 1,200 years.

    While precipitation levels play a role in the severity of droughts, the factor that has an even bigger impact is the temperature of a given region. This is because hotter air pulls more moisture from the ground level. And as our climate continues to change and temperatures generally rise, increased evaporation can lead to droughts of higher severity.

    According to the National Centers for Environmental Data, droughts have the second-highest economic impact of any weather-related phenomena (behind hurricanes). And the negative effects of drought don’t end there.

    Dry Air

    Drought conditions can impact everything from water levels to soil hydration to air moisture.

    Relative humidity (RH) is a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air relative to how much moisture the air can hold. One study showed that RH can plummet by as much as 25% during a “dry year” as compared to a “wet year.”

    During the dry conditions of a drought, it’s important to ensure you have ideal, balanced humidity inside your home. Ensure your humidity level is between 40–60% to keep your home environment healthy during inclement outdoor conditions. An AprilAire whole-house humidifier makes it simple to control humidity throughout your living space.

    Dust Storms

    Soil and cropland can lose moisture during a drought, making them more likely to blow away in severe winds to form dust storms. These conditions can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, and vary by geographical region.

    Breathing in dust over an extended period of time can lead to coughing, wheezing, runny nose, chronic breathing problems, and lung issues. When dust storms make it unsafe to go outdoors, they can also impact your indoor air environment. During these times, it can be unsafe to ventilate your home by opening windows or using mechanical ventilation, meaning you should rely on indoor air purification. An AprilAire whole-house air purifier paired with a MERV 16 filter can keep your HVAC system running efficiently and maintain Healthy Air in your home.

    Wildfire Smoke

    Wildfires are another likely side effect of drought, especially in the western United States. Wildfires create a handful of air quality issues like fine particulate matter, ozone, and ash, and need to be treated similarly to dust storm conditions.

    When wildfire smoke impacts your area, it’s important to turn off in-home ventilation systems to protect your Indoor Air Quality and rely on AprilAire whole-house air purifiers with MERV 16 filters to remove fine particles. Also, open or drafty windows and foundation cracks can allow airborne contaminants to enter your home, making an air purification system essential in both areas near wildfires and in faraway areas where smoke and ash can end up.

    To support your whole-house air purifier, you can employ an AprilAire room air purifier in bedrooms, living rooms, or other areas for a supplemental boost of Healthy Air.

    Interview with the American Lung Association

    AprilAire Partners Logged In Homepages |

    Breathing Healthy Air: Interview with the American Lung Association

    4 minute read

    At AprilAire, we encourage breathing Healthy Air because we know it benefits your overall health. The American Lung Association knows it too. That’s why AprilAire air filters are the National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association*, playing a key role in the fight to improve lung health and prevent lung disease.

    We got to interview National Senior Vice President of Development Sally Draper about the importance of Healthy Air and how both AprilAire and the American Lung Association are working together to help you Breathe the Fullness of Life.

    Could you introduce yourself for the readers and tell us about why you chose a career with the American Lung Association?

    “I joined the Lung Association in 2014 because I was attracted to its comprehensive mission—to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Every day we help Americans breathe easier through our efforts to fund innovative research, advocate for policies that protect our lungs, and educate patients, caregivers, providers, and the public with science-backed information. We were founded more than 115 years ago, and the needs are greater today than ever before, including the youth vaping epidemic, climate change, and COVID-19!”

    Can you tell us about the American Lung Association’s mission?

    “The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease. Our work is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; champion clean air for all; improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and create a tobacco-free future. Whether it’s searching for cures to lung diseases, keeping kids off tobacco, or advocating for laws that protect the air we breathe, the work of the American Lung Association helps to save lives every day.”

    How did AprilAire and the American Lung Association come to work together in the first place? What does that relationship look like presently?

    “AprilAire and the American Lung Association forged a new relationship in 2018. We quickly realized how much we had in common. Our partnership was developed as we saw an opportunity to educate and help more consumers improve the air in their homes to create a healthier environment.

    Since 2020, AprilAire has been a Proud Partner of the Lung Association with its 4” residential air filters. Additionally, AprilAire joined the Lung Association as our FY20 National Fight For Air Climb Partner For Healthy Air. The company has also supported the Lung Association’s “Stand Up For Clean Air” campaign. As part of this initiative, we are driving conversations around air quality, climate, and health. The Lung Association invited people to share their #MyCleanAirStory—knowing that when people realize climate and air quality are impacting the health of their neighbors, friends, and loved ones—they are more willing to act. AprilAire provided prizes for the #MyCleanAirStory contest, including one grand prize of a whole-home Indoor Air Quality upgrade (the AprilAire Healthy Air System™) and nine AprilAire Room Air Purifiers. This year, the company stepped up once again to sponsor the Wisconsin Fight For Air Climb in Milwaukee. Also in 2021, the Lung Association welcomed Dale Philippi, President and CEO of Research Products Corporation, AprilAire’s parent company, to the Lung Association’s Wisconsin Leadership Board of Directors.”

    Tell us about the Fight For Air Climb.

    “The American Lung Association’s Fight For Air Climb is the nation’s premier stair climbing challenge. At 38 events nationwide, children and adults of all ages participate in this celebratory stair-climbing adventure. Pre-pandemic, the Fight For Air Climb was held in several of our country’s most iconic skyscrapers. This year, the Lung Association invited participants outdoors for a one-of-a-kind adventure to support healthy lungs and clean air. In fact, Dale was among the company’s team of more than 50 employees that climbed the stairs at Milwaukee’s American Family Field on May 22nd, proving he puts his feet, time, and talent behind causes he supports.

    AprilAire has been a stalwart partner in the Fight For Air Climb, promoting the event to employees, customers, trade partners, family, and friends. Through this unique vehicle, the company is engaging individuals of all ages to understand and celebrate the importance of Healthy Air.”

    AprilAire’s air filters are a National Proud Partner of the American Lung Association. How do you feel our mission aligns with yours?

    “Our CEO, Harold Wimmer, has said, ‘Breathing should not be an uphill battle, but for many it is… no one should have to fight for air on a daily basis.’ Similarly, Dale has declared, ‘We believe everyone deserves to breathe Healthy Air.’ As a National Proud Partner, AprilAire’s mission to enhance everyone’s health by improving the air in their homes aligns very closely with that of the American Lung Association, champion of clean air for all.”

    What are the benefits of breathing Healthy Air and what are everyday things that people can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life?

    “Clean air is essential for healthy lungs. The American Lung Association works to ensure that the air we breathe is clean and safe from harmful pollution. In fact, every year we publish our State of the Air Report, which looks at two of the most widespread and dangerous air pollutants, ozone and fine particulate matter. Our 2021 State of the Air Report found that more than 4 in 10 Americans—over 135 million people—are living in places with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution.

    One of the most important things you can do to Breathe the Fullness of Life is to keep sources of pollution out of your home. Check out these commonsense tips on Lung.org. Additionally, ventilation helps reduce indoor air pollution, but it works best if paired with keeping known sources of air pollution out of the building. For tips on how to use ventilation to protect your lung health, check out our section on Ventilation: How Buildings Breathe.”

    Fight for Healthy Air

    At AprilAire, we believe everyone deserves to Breathe the Fullness of Life, and we’re not the only ones that feel this way. Through our Proud Partnership with the American Lung Association, we aim to fill every home with Healthy Air. Both AprilAire and the Lung Association believe that breathing Healthy Air should be available to everyone, and maintaining healthy Indoor Air Quality is an important step for your lung health. Read more about our partnership and the efforts of the American Lung Association on their website.

    *Disclaimer: The American Lung Association does not endorse any product, device, or service.

    St. Vincent de Paul

    AA Homepage Articles |

    2021: AprilAire’s Good Neighbor Values

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    We take the importance of caring for others to heart at AprilAire. We believe we have a purpose beyond the individual work we do and that being a successful company also means “Being a Good Neighbor.” It’s one of our core values, and something we put into action each year.

    We remain committed to helping our local communities in a number of ways, including financial contributions and volunteering. In the past, we’ve raised funds to provide pack-n-plays to mothers in need, volunteered at local blood drives, and held various donation drives throughout the year.

    While our partnership opportunities may look different in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re excited to continue our work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, whose mission statement reads:

    “A membership organization, the Society began working in Madison in 1925 with two parish-based groups of members serving their neighbors in need. Today, programs the Society operates in Dane County include a large customer-choice food pantry, a charitable pharmacy, storage for the goods of persons who are homeless, seven thrift stores offering direct charity, housing at Port St. Vincent de Paul and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton House, and several other forms of assistance for people struggling with poverty.”

    We’ve been working with St. Vincent de Paul – Madison since 2014, giving us a number of incredible opportunities to give back and live out our mission of being Good Neighbors.

    We believe the work they’re doing to provide assistance for our community is more important than ever right now, which is why it’s our honor to be a 2021 Platinum Sponsor for St. Vincent de Paul’s 6th Annual Care Café fundraising breakfast on May, 5th 2021. The theme is “Love Made Visible.”

    They’re going virtual this year, which means they have unlimited capacity to reach their goal of $140,000. If you live in Dane County, we encourage you to attend the virtual event and support our neighbors in need through your contributions to the food pantry, free pharmacy, and housing programs.

     Click here for more information on St. Vincent de Paul – Madison to see how you can get involved.

    Or find a charity in your area that you may be able to connect with to make an impact.

    Healthy-Exercise-Space-at-Home

    AA Homepage Articles | Wellness |

    How to Create a Healthy Exercise Space at Home

    2 minute read

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    Summertime offers endless opportunities to get active in the great outdoors. But sometimes things like extreme heat and high allergen levels will keep you indoors. On those days, you may not be able to run through a park or jump in the water, but you can still get the benefits of exercise with an indoor workout. Let’s make sure your home environment is optimized for safe and healthy indoor exercise.

    Healthy Home Gym

    Whether you’ve converted your entire garage into a gym or have just enough space for a stationary bike in the corner of your home office, a few key measures will ensure you’re getting the most out of your workout space.

    Regular Cleaning

    Don’t forget about your workout space when dusting, mopping, and vacuuming around the home. Keeping dust and grime at bay will help with odors and make it easier for you to breathe fresh air for all your workouts.

    Start a habit of wiping down your equipment with a wet cloth and disinfectant spray after each exercise session. If you sweat onto a yoga mat or exercise pad, wipe them down and let them air out before rolling them up.

    Air Purification

    While regular cleaning is an essential step, it can also add chemicals to your space and kick dust up into the air. Air purification systems can remove those pollutants and work around the clock to make sure you and your family are breathing clean air.

    An AprilAire whole-house air purifier works all through the home to remove pollutants and return fresh air.

    If you want a boost to air quality in your exercise space, try out an AprilAire room air purifier, which uses a 4-stage filtration system to remove pollutants, allergens, and odors.

    Balanced Humidity

    Breathing and sweating add moisture to the air, which can exacerbate the high humidity levels of the summer months and increase the chances of mold and mildew growth.

    An AprilAire whole-house dehumidifier delivers humidity control to your workout area and throughout your home, keeping moisture levels at a safe and comfortable level. Humidity between 40–60% is ideal for overall health and wellness.

    Plus, a dehumidifier can reduce the burden on your air conditioning system, saving you money on energy and maintenance costs.

    Deodorizing

    Some gyms are easy to locate by smell—don’t let yours be one of them.

    The battle against odors starts with fresh air ventilation, and because opening a window isn’t a great option in the summer, mechanical ventilation is a must-have in your space.

    AprilAire whole-house fresh air ventilators remove stagnant air and bring in fresh, purified air. They reduce the concentration of indoor pollutants, and help kick out lingering smells. You can also use products that naturally absorb odors without disrupting your air quality, like baking soda or activated charcoal.