Several Existing Drugs May Be Effective Against COVID-19

Several Existing Drugs May Be Effective Against COVID-19

Researchers have found that several substances known as ion channel blockers may be effective against COVID-19, but currently only one such substance is approved as an antiviral treatment, and that is for influenza. (Prasesh Shiwakoti (Lomash)/Unsplash)

New research by Prof. Isaiah (Shy) Arkin of the Department of Biological Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem suggests that several existing drugs should be studied as promising treatments for COVID-19.

Arkin and his team looked for antiviral drugs that exploit a weak link in many viruses — proteins called ion channels.

Ion channels allow the virus to regulate the acidity and salinity of its internal and external environment. Blocking those channels makes it difficult for infections to spread.

So far, only one ion channel blocker is approved as an antiviral treatment, and that is for influenza.

Arkin and his group focused on the E protein ion channel in the coronavirus membrane. They scanned a small library of substances approved for use in humans and found two that block it: gliclazide (a drug used to treat diabetes) and memantine (a drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease).

Then they scanned a broader library of 2,839 substances and found eight more E protein inhibitors, as reported in the scientific journal Pharmaceuticals.

Since all the inhibitors found are already approved for use in humans, Arkin expects a swift path to regulatory approval for clinical research.

“Thirty percent of the drugs available today have been approved in this way, including the drugs currently available against the coronavirus or those recently tested against this virus,” Arkin said.

Indeed, earlier Israeli research identified several other existing drugs that could be used to treat COVID-19.

He added that it’s safe to assume inhibitors of the E protein — an essential component of SARS-CoV-2 — would be relevant to variants, even those against which current vaccines are less effective.

“The general feeling in Israel and around the world is that if there are vaccines, there is no reason to continue working on [treatments for] the virus because we have found a solution. Unfortunately, if we rely on one solution, the vaccine, we may find ourselves in a situation where a new variant [resists the vaccine],” Arkin said. “We’re not there yet, but the variants around the world are a warning light.”

His group hopes to publish another study on the effectiveness of the inhibitors against the entire virus and not just against the E protein.

“The stage is now set for in vitro and in vivo studies (in appropriate bio-safety facilities) to examine the effects of the compounds on the virus,” the researchers concluded.

Several Existing Drugs May Be Effective Against COVID-19 appeared first on Israel21C.

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Father’s Day Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Father’s Day Gift Guide From Black-Owned Businesses

Father’s Day is just around the corner and time for shopping is growing perilously short. Depending on the Dad, finding a perfect gift can be much harder than you think which is why you should start looking now. Of course, you can always ask the special man in your life directly what he wants, but when you curate a gift on his behalf, it will be more heartfelt. Instead of sticking to the played-out options of ties, pens, and golf clubs, consider choosing a unique gift from one of the Black-owned brands in our round-up.

When it comes to Father’s Day gifts, the best ones are both sentimental and practical. Think about your dad’s hobbies, habits, and secret desires. Will he love a personalized art print or perhaps is he in need of something to help him relax on the weekends? Perhaps he has been looking for a way to overhaul his wardrobe, whatever you choose, these POC businesses are sure to help you make Father’s Day 2021 one to remember.


This website is the brainchild of twin brothers, both of which are innovative Black men with a vision. There are a plethora of sustainable options to choose from for Dad’s or other meaningful men in your life this Father’s Day. Pick up some brightly colored Hammam Dot Towel sets to brighten up their bathroom or treat them to some self-care gifts from the bath and body section. No matter what you choose, the products are guaranteed to be thoughtful, high quality, and smile-inducing for the man you love.

Uncommon Goods

For the man in your life that loves customized creations, Uncommon Goods has a lot to offer. From specialty sugar cubes to create beer cocktails and “mine” liquor flask to luxury grilling utensils and beer-infused barbecue rubs, you are certain to find a gift that makes him smile. All of the products are made and sold by independent proprietors so you can pick and choose where to spend your money responsibly this Father’s Day.


Nothing says I love you more than food. Most dads are the ones manning the grill on the holidays or bringing in the bacon for the family to enjoy. This year why not treat the food-loving father figure in your life to a truly unique gift. You can order meal kits, fully cooked meals, classes, or even a meal delivery subscription for the man in your life who loves to eat. The founder, Joe Ariel understands the connection that comfort food has with emotions and makes sure that a little bit of heart and soul goes into every delivery.

Golde Superfoods

Everyone wants their day to be as healthy as possible to enjoy everything life has to offer. One way to keep your dad healthy is with delicious superfoods. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be tasteless, and with delights from Golde, you can keep him fit and full this Father’s Day. This brand was created by a woman of color who wanted to find healthier options in the urban environment. You can set your dad up with Matcha mixes to boost his energy or blueberry-flavored drinks to help reduce his stress levels. In addition to superfoods to improve his internal health, they also offer a range of skincare items that will help turn back the hands of time and give him a natural glow.

Golden Grooming Co.

For men of color, skincare and grooming is often just an afterthought. If you want to give your dad a thoughtful gift that he can use all year long, consider picking up one of the bundles. There are beard oils, body washes, moisturizers, and more that are crafted from 100% all-natural products. The items are geared towards men of color though anyone can use them with equally superior performance. If you want to make him laugh, pick up The Grown Ass Man Box which offers a mix of everything the brand has to offer. To top it off, a percentage of their profit to students at HBCUs and other programs that support entrepreneurship for Black youths in underserved communities.

Gift Ideas From The Heart 

Here at The Narrative Matters, we are dedicated to speaking about topics that matter to you and to the culture. We pride ourselves in partnering with Content Publishers to bring topics and areas of interest that impact our readers to the forefront. If you are interested in growing your audience with content that matters, you can find out more here. We cover a range of genres from pop culture, lifestyle, and emerging trends to health, politics, education, and more. 

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Keeping the machine well tuned up

Keeping the machine well tuned up

It’s a fresh start of the day and sometimes you don’t want to get started, but you know that you have to get yourself ready. Some of us have a daily mission or planned out day. Keeping the machine well tuned up is a daily, short workout session. It is a consistent 30 minute workout. 30 minutes, you may ask or wonder, “Why so short?”

Well, it doesn’t take a lot to do simple exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, or air squats. Each exercise can be a count of 15 to 30 repetitions for three to four sets. These different exercises “touch up” on the different sections of the body, and doing them correctly will help you stay toned up.

Always remember to stretch either afterwards or in between each rotation. Doing these classic exercises on a daily basis will help to keep you tuned up when you aren’t able to make it to any gym regularly. This can be useful to help maintain keeping you “well tuned up.” Also, if you integrate resistance bands or workout balls when you do not have weights, these extra tools can help keep you toned up. 

We were all given one body of all different shapes and sizes; some short and some tall, but it’s up to us to take care of ourselves. 

1 Corinthians 6:19-20: Your body is a temple so treat it right.

So glorify God in your body by taking care of yourself and keeping the machine that you are well tuned physically, mentally, and spiritually.



Healthiness equals a valuable you (HEAVY). Whether it’s eating cleaner or dieting and working out, knowing your health status matters. No one is perfect in this world and no one person has all the answers to a healthier you.

Yeah, there are millions and billions of health gurus out there, but only you can determine which plan works for you and your body type.  There are tons of different methods out there for weight loss, weight gain, and lean out that all play different roles in the game of health and wellness.

But sometimes, we just need to look at ourselves in the mirror, and at what we are placing into our bodies. Just like the old mantra goes. “Everything that looks good, ain’t good”,  meaning in the long run, if you keep eating all kinds of junk food and eating late at night, it will began to show.

So, if you’re choosing my terms of being HEAVY (healthiness equals a valuable you), get out and actively fit, eat healthy, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember God has given you a gift each day, the will to live a positive healthy lifestyle. 

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

What Is It Like To Have Lupus?

What Is It Like To Have Lupus?

Living with a chronic condition is never easy; however, there are many that are common enough that explaining them to others is simple. Other chronic conditions that are less common or simply less talked about can be confusing for those who don’t know anything about them. Lupus is one such condition. Lupus affects approximately 5 million people in the world and while that may seem like a large number, it is actually just a small percentage of the 7.7 billion people on the planet. That being said, there is still not much widely known about lupus and how it affects the human body.

What Is Lupus?

Lupus is classified as an autoimmune disease. It causes the body’s immune system to attack the brain, skin, joints, blood cells, lungs, heart, and other organs. There are many autoimmune diseases in the world, Lupus just happens to be one that is harder to diagnose. Unfortunately, there is also no cure for lupus, but some lifestyle changes can improve a person’s quality of life. Steroids and anti-inflammatory medications are also commonly used to help treat the symptoms and side effects of lupus.

Symptoms of Lupus

The symptoms Lupus triggers in the body can vary from person to person. Typically, they are fever, skin rashes, pain in the joints, and fatigue. These symptoms can manifest in small flare-ups or full-blown debilitating attacks. In most cases, they will flare, worsen, and then improve before becoming dormant again. Lupus can strike anyone regardless of age, race, or gender; however, women who are of childbearing age are the most afflicted. In fact, 90% of those diagnosed with lupus are women.

Living With Lupus

Learning to live with lupus is a challenging endeavor. Even being diagnosed correctly can often take several years and many visits to various specialists. Many symptoms are similar to common ailments that can make it hard to pinpoint lupus as the cause. However, once you are diagnosed, it is important to learn how to change your life to accommodate the side effects of the disease. Living with lupus is often much more challenging than living with other types of chronic illnesses.

An active flare-up can cause fatigue that is so pervasive even completing normal tasks like brushing your hair or making a meal seem impossible. Joint stiffness and constant pain are also common side effects of the disease. Even young lupus sufferers will face flare-ups that cause their legs, arms, and even fingers to become too painful to make even the slightest of movements. Skin sensitivity and rashes are also common in those suffering from lupus. Redness and rashes can appear anywhere on the body and even simple fabrics brushing on these areas can cause excruciating discomfort.

One aspect of lupus that is often overlooked is the mental effects the disease carries with it. Often those suffering from lupus will experience episodes of confusion that can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Depression is another common symptom that is caused by the disease. Flare-ups can cause depression to worsen, which in itself requires vigilant and dedicated care.

What Are Lupus Flare-Ups Like?

Lupus most commonly causes inflammation in the body. While lupus symptoms may vary from person to person, or even from one flare-up to the next, inflammation is a common factor. Lupus has no cure, as a result, it will always be in the body. Lifestyle changes, medication, and meditation can help reduce the severity and frequency of serious side effects. A flare-up is when the symptoms of lupus become markedly worse. These flare-ups can last a few hours or even a few months depending on the person. While general achiness, stiffness, skin irritation, and fatigue may always be present, a flare-up will cause them to become exponentially worse.

Sometimes serious flare-ups can cause organ damage or even allow secondary illnesses or infections to attack the body. Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, and even physical exertion can trigger a lupus flare-up. Regular seasonal illnesses can also cause a person to have a lupus flare, or for their inactive symptoms to become activated. While most flare-ups can be managed or even avoided with lifestyle changes, sometimes they still occur even without a trigger.

Teaching Others About The Effects of Lupus

The majority of symptoms and side effects caused by lupus are invisible. A person may seem healthy on the outside, but actually, be suffering from serious bouts of pain and fatigue. The lack of visibility makes it hard for others to know when a flare-up is active, or even how a person is feeling when they are sick. It is important to communicate your needs and your health status to those around you, especially when you are having a flare-up. Lupus has a real effect on relationships, work, and even educational commitments. Talking to those around you about the disease will help lighten the burden and help you to live a more fulfilling life.

Lupus ebbs and flows, some of the symptoms are manageable, but some are also life-threatening. When telling those you love about lupus, it is important they understand that it is not contagious and it is nothing like cancer. The best way to describe it is as a chronic autoimmune disease that is incurable with a range of unpredictable symptoms. Arming people with knowledge is the best way to help them understand what you are going through during a flare-up.

Highlighting Health Concerns In The POC Community

Here at The Narrative Matters, we are dedicated to speaking about topics that matter to you and to the culture. We pride ourselves in partnering with Content Publishers to bring topics and areas of interest that impact our readers to the forefront. If you are interested in growing your audience with content that matters, you can find out more here. We cover a range of genres from pop culture, lifestyle, and emerging trends to health, politics, education, and more.

Should mental health be a part of the school syllabus?

Should mental health be a part of the school syllabus?

According to the CDC, 7.1 percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with anxiety. 3.2% have been diagnosed with depression. Relatedly, suicide is now the 3rd highest cause of death in people aged 10-24. The millions of kids who deal with issues that have been culturally stigmatized as “adult-only” problems probably feel lost. Their parents probably don’t know what to do.

Mental health would be a significant addition to a school syllabus to address this issue. If school is intended to prepare kids for life, how can mental health be considered any less than part of that preparation? The answer to how this should be applied in all schools, however, may be a little more complicated.

What kids are being told in school

When kids are young and in school, they receive a lot of conflicting information. They are told never to bully others far more often than how to mentally deal with being bullied. They are constantly bombarded with the idea that tests scores and numbers define their careers for the rest of their lives. However, they are not told how to mentally cope with a bad grade, or deal with the pressure of being defined by a score out of 100.

Physical health is a mandated aspect of schools in the United States, intended to promote self-responsibility and, hopefully, enjoyment of physical activity for a lifetime. In response to how much information and stress modern kids have to process, curricular mental health, in theory, should be used to promote just as much self-responsibility. Kids should enjoy mental activity for a lifetime as well!

But this depends partly on what mental health in a school syllabus ends up looking like.

Source: Unsplash @Dan Meyers

The Good and bad of teaching mental health

How everyone defines “mental health” is different. This could create programs that present conflicting information, potentially creating even more distance between kids and a healthy mental state. To use the PE example, do you have a lasting relationship with enjoying physical activity due to your experiences in PE? Maybe you do, but maybe you don’t.

However, the good outweighs the bad when it comes to teaching mental health, so long as it is utilized properly. Talking about mental health can help kids release a lot of stress, promoting healthy relationships with their peers. Training teachers on how to deal sensitively with mental health issues can also go a long way. Mindfulness, relaxation, and art should be included aspects of more curriculums, giving students a break from the stress of social media and test scores.

Additionally, these programs should not forget to address the mental health of teachers as well. Valuing teachers as part of this new curriculum could go a long way to improving the stress level of their classrooms.


Due to how the statistics are stacking up, dealing with mental health in schools is hardly even a question anymore – it’s a necessity. The way it is handled, however, relies on how we teach mindfulness, how open we are to unique mental health situations, and how the programs are implemented.

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