Photos of readers

This is our last contribution for now, people, so I’d welcome some readers sending a few photos in (limit 3 now) and captions. Tell us a bit about yourself!

Today’s reader is William London, and his notes are indented:

I’m a professor of public health at Cal State LA. I’m glad that the California State University system committed early to delivering coursework online for the fall so that my colleagues and I won’t have to risk our lives to teach. 

I was able to make a smooth transition to teaching undergraduate introductory epidemiology online for the second half of Spring Semester and for the entire 10-week Summer Session. My lectures are now all recorded and available along with other learning resources I’ve previously made available in the online course platform (Canvas). Students can earn some points toward their final course grades for their contributions to Canvas discussion forums for each major course topic and/or in contributing to small-group Zoom breakout-room discussions of assigned exercises at regularly scheduled class meeting times. I think I’ve made the 100% online version of the course at least as good as the 100% face-to-face version I offered for years in physical classrooms.

Since January 2018, I’ve been the editor of Consumer Health Digest, a free, weekly email newsletter that includes summaries of scientific reports; legislative developments; enforcement actions; news reports; website evaluations; recommended and non-recommended books; research tips; and other information relevant to consumer protection and consumer decision-making. The newsletter has more than 10,000 subscribers. Issues of the newsletter going back to 2001 are archived online.

I write the online Consumer Health column for Skeptical Inquirer. My latest column was published last week: “Trump and COVID-19: Population Health Neglect, Hydroxychloroquine Hype, and a Gambler’s Fallacy.”

I started and I frequently update the Dubious COVID-19 Treatments and Preventives page for the Center for Inquiry (CFI). It’s a work in progress that I plan to expand, but I think it’s already informative. I’m also curating content for CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center page and working on keeping Quackwatch’sCOVID-19 Schemes, Scams, and Misinformation page up to date.

Here’s my first day test shot of the mask look. That was several months ago. I haven’t had a haircut since February, so the look is now very messy.

These photos are with Cici, a rescued maltipoo who joined my family about 7 years ago. At the time, she was about 12 months old.

 

36 Comments

  1. jezgrove
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Cute dog! Quackwatch must be keeping you busy, though!

    • Posted August 20, 2020 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank jezgrove. Stephen Barrett at age 87 still keeps Quackwatch going. I mainly edit the newsletter he launched and I sometimes review drafts of his articles.

  2. Janet
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    I just signed up for CHD newsletters, looks very informative, thank you, William. What a valuable contribution you are making with your COVID19 writing.

  3. Posted August 20, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Why would anyone desert a poor animal? If we forget for a moment French holiday makers this lockup summer…

    • Posted August 20, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know whether Cici was deserted, but, as I understood it, she wound up with a dog rescuer when there was no one available to care for her.

  4. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Most charming dogs, Malti-poos though we prefer to call them Moodles. We dog-sat one for a friend some years back. Its coat was so soft and it had a very sweet temperament.

    • Posted August 20, 2020 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

      I like “moodle” too. I used to teach using the online course platform called Moodle.

  5. BobTerrace
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    +1

  6. Posted August 20, 2020 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    It is wonderful that you are debunking the myths that are so common now about the virus. Here in Ecuador some of the treatments, particularly chlorine dioxide,are becoming mainstream.

    • Posted August 20, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      I just looked at your site’s statement about chlorine dioxide. Based on my experience arguing with its proponents, I am afraid the statements on your site only reinforce the “evil conspiracy” narrative they believe. What is needed are actual studies of cases in which people taking this rtreatment died from covid.

      • Posted August 20, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Do they really have to die would it not be sufficient to find it just doesn’t work.

        • Posted August 20, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          That’s the least ambiguous way to show that it doesn’t work.

          • Posted August 20, 2020 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

            True… too bad for the deceased…”Here Lies xxx, sorry, mistakes were made”

            • Posted August 21, 2020 at 9:13 am | Permalink

              Chlorine dioxide is being prescribed by doctors in Ecuador. It is a state-supported treatment in Bolivia. It is much bigger here than US folks could imagine, and almost universally accepted, many quoting personal experience (probably because the covid-19 death rate even if untreated is less than 2%, so many people who take this will find themselves “cured”). It would be great to follow enough of the treatment cases to be able to show that it is not a real cure. Simply repeating that some government agency is against it, with hardly any data, is not effective and just makes people here suspicious that the government is in the hands of Big Pharma.

              • Posted August 21, 2020 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

                I see, interesting what COVID19 has brought to the fore. The whole nine yards of human behaviour, the ignorant worst to the very best…
                Mix in self-serving politicians and conspiracy mongers and its little wonder confusion reigns for some, here in NZ most are following our official advice, our goal is to eradicate, not control of the spread. As far as I know, no one is taking anything like chlorine dioxide.
                Seems reason takes a dive with people believing anything because something is better than nothing, no matter the efficacy or lack of.
                Is that a leadership issue, a deep suspicion of health authorities, or ‘what’?
                Probably all three, lol, take care.

      • Posted August 20, 2020 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for the suggestion Lou Jost. If you know of any specific published case reports, I hope you’ll let me know about them so that I can cite them. In the meantime, I just added this: Health Canada has warned consumers not to use MMS and stated: “Ingestion of water treated with Miracle Mineral Solution (28% sodium chlorite solution) has been associated with two adverse reactions in Canada, including one life threatening reaction.”

    • Posted August 20, 2020 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      I would also like to chime in and thank you for this public service that you are doing.

  7. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Hey William, that is a nice looking cat. Just kidding….

  8. Posted August 20, 2020 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Very accomplished! I’ve done my best with teaching fully online, but I don’t think I can personally find a way to match in-person teaching. I will try some new things this fall semester, though.

    • Posted August 21, 2020 at 12:09 am | Permalink

      I think online teaching requires much more preparation in advance of the first day of class and much more attention to details to make it work well, especially for students who are apprehensive about online coursework. My university provides plenty of support and training to help instructors teach online

  9. rickflick
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Checking out the A Gambler’s Fallacy, I see it’s more like the nothing-to-lose fallacy. Terminally ill patients can be persuaded to part with their money if they think a quack cure might work. But, it might also worsen their outcome by shortening life.

  10. Derek Freyberg
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    On the chlorine dioxide front, see https://www.cbsnews.com/news/florida-men-accused-selling-fake-covid-cure-arrested-colombia/, which reports the arrest in Colombia last week of two Floridians selling “miracle mineral solution” (chlorine dioxide) as a COVID cure – they had left Florida when their “church” (Genesis II Church of Health and Healing) was raided.
    Thanks for your work on Consumer Health Digest, I’ve been reading it for years.

    • Posted August 21, 2020 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      Yes! Thanks for reading Consumer Health Digest. I wrote about the arrest and injunctions against the “Church” operators in this week’s newsletter.

  11. John Conoboy
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for all the interesting links. I am going to follow up on newsletters and such. I let my subscription to Skeptical Inquirer lapse a while back, but might have to subscribe again.

    • Posted August 21, 2020 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      I hope you’ll like reading Consumer Health Digest. Thanks for your interest, John Conoboy!

  12. scruffycookie
    Posted August 20, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    I love your little Cici. She’s adorable. Thank you for the links–very interesting!

  13. Posted August 20, 2020 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I love the work you’re doing.I’ll follow that site – there’s so much bs out there! Ugh.
    Makes me want to hurl pumpkins off my balcony in frustration!
    But they’re not in season. 😦

    And don’t listen to (some of – ahem!) the canine-o-phobes around these parts – a d-g is the best friend we’ll ever have!

    D.

    • Posted August 21, 2020 at 12:44 am | Permalink

      Well, David Anderson, I would never confuse a dog with Ceiling Cat. And knowing that people like you share my aversion to BS helps me to keep doing what I do.


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