"The severity of COVID-19 disease intensifies in patients with elevated glucose level probably via amplified pro-inflammatory cytokine response, poor innate immunity, and downregulated angiotensin-converting enzyme 2."
Sunday, February 27, 2022
Shocking Diabetes Findings
Thursday, February 24, 2022
A Judge Inducted to the College
Judge Almeyda was my mentor and a long-time personal friend. Practicing with him was anything but boring. I recall being a young lawyer, going with him to a pretrial hearing (at that time pretrial hearings were live), and him telling me to write down the defense as the “Tuesday” defense. When I asked him what the Tuesday defense was, he replied - well since we don’t have a defense, and the case was denied on Tuesday, that’s the defense. He was especially proud of a button he wore around the office that said “Kiss me I’m Cuban.” He loved boating, but the boat spent more time at the mechanic’s shop than in the water. Above all - he has a huge heart and loves his work. Congratulations Eddie on your induction to the College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers – you’ve made us all very PROUD!
Prior to joining the law firm of Almeyda & Hill in 1991, I did not have any knowledge or experience in workers’ compensation. My law school did not offer a course in it and my experience was limited to insolvencies.I had two interviews for the Associate position: the first one with Chick (Charles Hill) and the second one with Ed Almeyda and Iliana Forte. I vividly remember them although many years have passed. The interview with Chick was calm and instructive as to workers’ compensation law. My second interview was at lunch with Ed and Iliana which I felt was a whirlwind. Their thinking and discussion was at warp speed in a language (IMEs, Vocs, etc.) which I did not understand. In between their discussion, Ed would ask me general questions about medicine and the law. I left the interview in a daze and questioning whether I could withstand the training by Ed.As a new Associate, I looked to Ed for quick answers. After all, I knew he was board certified and he authored a book for proper adjusting of workers compensation cases. On every occasion, Ed would kindly respond that he did not know the answer and suggested I research it. At first I was perplexed how a legal authority like Ed did not know the answers to my simple questions. After a while, I caught on and researched the issues prior to discussing any pending questions with Ed. Ed always had time to discuss the law with me (which I enjoyed) and pushed me to grow as a lawyer.He introduced me to the workers’ compensation community and taught me that every person has a valuable role to play. He expected all the lawyers in his firm to be professional and have compassion toward other people. On one occasion, Ed and I were taking several depositions in a case going to trial within 2 days. Ed received a phone call that one of our colleague (a claimant’s attorney) was hospitalized due to a heart attack. At a break, we drove straight to the hospital. We couldn’t stay for long but our brief visit lightened our colleague’s day. At that moment, I learned from Ed that while earning a living and being successful at your profession is important, visiting a friend/colleague in need was way more important.Ed was great in dealing with mistakes. On one occasion, we were going to a doctor’s deposition in downtown Miami. We were walking and I was leading the way. I did not know where I was going and we became very lost. Ed laughed and said that I was walking with such confidence that he had confidence in me!Lastly, while we worked long hours, like many other firms, Ed fostered a family environment in our firm. We worked together and had fun together. We celebrated our successes as well as shared our disappointments. Without even knowing it (perhaps), Ed helped instill in all of us (Chick, Iliana, Millie Powell-Rodriguez-circuit court judge and I) the love for the workers' compensation law and encouraged attributes so very sought after for the position of a Judge.
Tuesday, February 22, 2022
An interesting and troubling story from the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) out of Great Britain that illustrates the potential for broader concerns from SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID it causes. This relates the circumstances of a death by suicide resulting from isolation. The headline caught my attention: Covid left Manchester student who took own life 'literally isolated'.
Recently, I noted in a post that we likely do not know what is going on in people's lives. See Starfish (February 2022). I cited a deeply troubling suicide example involving a celebrity that seemingly had everything together and epitomized success. I encouraged us in that post to strive for better awareness of the challenges that surround us, and to try to reach out more often, share more openly, and support our community and its members. The BBC story illustrates that such support may be even more of a struggle in a virtual world.
There is a great deal in our lives these days that may be virtual. In the litigation realm it appears a great many lawyers are preferring virtual discovery, some still prefer virtual mediation though they admit it is losing its luster and effect, and some even say they prefer virtual hearings. The headline struck me however, because I cannot envision "virtual isolation"; it seems that isolation might seemingly always be literal?
The young person in question had no outward signs of emotional issues. Having completed secondary school, he had an opportunity many never will and was travelling south-east Asia as part of a "gap year." Back in the day, no one I know had the money to take a "gap year," and if such had been suggested the first response from any parent would have been "get a job."
But, this student's "gap year" was truncated by COVID. He spent his summer of 2020 at home, described by his mother as "miserable." She reported that she believed he was nonetheless "looking forward to the next stage of his life" when he reported to (the) University in the fall of 2020. COVID may have a way of compounding impact upon impact. Each may be small, even inconsequential in itself: a favorite restaurant closed, a distraction such as a social club suspended, a product temporarily unavailable at the grocery store. Each may be trivial, but in aggregate troubling.
"Social isolation significantly increased a person’s risk of premature death from all causes, a risk that may rival those of smoking, obesity, and physical inactivity"
The University in the BBC story strove to maintain some level of contact. On September 30, the student attended a "Zoom session" with university academic staff. Other than that, "no evidence was provided that the 19-year-old was either seen or spoken to during his self-isolation." He was found dead on October 8, 2020 when his family raised concerns. The isolation period there was two days from concluding.
The Coroner concluded this was a suicide. There were conclusions drawn regarding the effects of the pandemic as to the student's travels, and the isolation. Notably, this student had prior emotional issues. A prior diagnosis of anxiety was not disclosed to the university on its admission paperwork, though those forms were not necessarily specific regarding inquiry into emotional issues. The focus of the forms was more akin to the issues of any existing "disability or special need." But, asked about a "special need," the student did not disclose.
The story suggests that greater university knowledge of challenges might have been more appropriate. Denying that the form wording played any role in the death, the school appears to be interested in pursuing more complete pre-admission inquiries. Some will undoubtedly see such inquiry as invasive and even abrasive. There will likely be struggle and friction between the need to predict challenges and prevent tragedy and the student right to privacy.
What it returns to is the simple conclusion that no one knows what others are going through. Whether from some event, some cascade of experiences, or otherwise, people suffering from challenges surround us. Some of them will only cross our paths virtually, and their isolation in that regard may itself be a significant challenge. To what extent will we remain conscious of that? What will we do to acknowledge that? How will community and business meet the challenges of that as normalcy nonetheless returns to the commonplace?
How do we acknowledge the challenges which people face and have overcome? As the world comes back to full activity, "normalcy," and the viral concerns fade, how do we remain conscious of what people have been through, or are perhaps going through each day?
Sunday, February 20, 2022
A Miserable Example
"the evidence is highly and substantially more likely to be true than untrue; the trier of fact must have an abiding conviction that the truth of the factual contention is highly probable. (Colorado v. New Mexico, 467 U.S. 310 (1984)."
Thursday, February 17, 2022
More Explanation of Arising Out Of
"The words ‘arising out of’ refer to the origin of the cause of the accident, while the words ‘in the course of employment’ refer to the time, place, and circumstances under which the accident occurs.'”
"does not look at the quality or quantity of the activity. 'Any exertion' means any effort in furtherance of work will do."
"medical evidence in this case established that Silberberg’s leg falling asleep could have happened anywhere, at any time; but his particular physiological phenomenon fortuitously happened at work and caused his fall."
"he had to sit for an unusually long period of time, or that the chair in his classroom was unusually hard or particularly prone to causing one’s leg to fall asleep."
Tuesday, February 15, 2022
A New Job?
"reversed and remanded for additional proceedings because the 'JCC's final order [was] inconsistent in its findings of fact and conclusions of law....' Id. at 490. Because the JCC's order issued after remand contains many of the same internal inconsistencies, we again reverse and remand for further proceedings." 3 So. 3d 12, 1278, 1279 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009.
The message is clear, seemingly, "do as you have been told."
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Thursday, February 10, 2022
"Can you tell us which faculty or staff member has made the biggest difference in your college experience?"
Tuesday, February 8, 2022
New York Man
Sunday, February 6, 2022
Never COVID Cohort
"there are multiple anecdotes of COVID cases being discovered among couples, families or groups of colleagues who have mixed closely, but where not everyone has become infected."