Latitude Margaritaville residents help healthcare workers

From News-JournalOnline: “Coronavirus: Margaritaville folks make hundreds of masks for healthcare workers

SMA Healthcare had about 185 medical-grade N95 masks at the start of March. That number has now dropped to 108.

They are not wasting away in Margaritaville.

Instead, residents of the new 55-and-older community have made hundreds of face masks out of fabric and elastic for SMA Healthcare workers who have faced a severe shortage of medical-grade N95 masks.

The effort, led by 63-year-old Margaritaville resident Gloria Hogue, has supplied concerned workers with nearly 800 masks. A group of 40 residents have sewn masks themselves or donated funds or supplies to assist with the effort.

The handmade masks — which feature printed patterns such as polka dots or stars and stripes — are worn across the faces of workers who care for people dealing with addiction, mental health issues or both.

“We’re very grateful to have them,” said Kelly Jenkins-Gregory, director of nursing for SMA Healthcare. She noted that the shortage of personal protective equipment has been a source of fear among many healthcare workers.

SMA Healthcare had about 185 N95 masks at the start of March. That number has now dropped to 108.

The much-needed masks are now used in cases where staff members have to work with a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19. There are no known such cases among SMA Healthcare patients, according to Rhonda Harvey, chief operating officer of the agency.

Oklahoma Buffett fans fall ill while vacationing in Dominican Republic

From the New York Post: “Oklahoma Jimmy Buffett fans mysteriously fall ill while vacationing in Dominican Republic

A group of Jimmy Buffett-diehards from Oklahoma were sick as hell in paradise — the latest in an ever-growing list of tourists to be sickened during a jaunt to the Dominican Republic, a report said.

Dana Flowers, a travel agent who vacationed to Punta Cana with the Buffett-loving Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association, said that four days into their April trip, he and other members came down with a mysterious illness.

“I can’t even explain how sick I was,” Flowers told Oklahoma’s News 4.

And in no time, he was wasting away, he continued. “Lost 14 pounds during that time and was really sick.”

By the end of the vacation, 47 of the 114 Oklahomans reported becoming ill, Flowers said, with many of them too sick to leave their rooms at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao.

Flowers said it’s unclear what caused the illnesses — Punta Cana doctors suggested a parasite might be to blame.