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Heard On Sundial: Broward County's Response; Coronavirus Vaccine; Staying Sober During Isolation

Miami Herald
People recovering from addiction have turned to virtual platforms for treatment during this coronavirus pandemic.

On this Tuesday, April 14, episode of Sundial:

Broward sheriff’s response to coronavirus

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony is facing many challenges to his leadership.

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In a memo earlier this week, Jeff Bell, the president of the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association, called for a ‘vote of no confidence’ after Tony’s office suspended and accused him of corrupt practices.

Bell claims the sheriff has not done enough to keep his deputies safe. Many BSO employees tested positive for COVID-19 and the department recently lost one deputy to the virus.

“The last thing we want to do is dial 9-1-1 and hope that the federal government can answer our needs,” says Tony. He talked to host Luis Hernandez on Sundial about Bell’s suspension, the growing number of coronavirus cases within his department and protective gear for his deputies. 

Research facility gets closer to coronavirus vaccine

Floridians should social distance until a coronavirus vaccine exists, said Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees.

“As long as we’re going to have COVID in the environment, we’re going to have to practice these measures so that we are all protected,” Rivkees said in a press conference before being removed by the governor's spokeswoman.

The Scripps Research Facility in Jupiter is developing vaccines to address the coronavirus pandemic. Scripps is looking at “convalescent serum,” which can be used in the short-term to treat COVID-19 patients and forms of therapeutics, including biologics and engineered antibodies.

Dr. Michael Farzan is the co-chair of the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps and joined Sundial to talk about the latest updates.

How are people battling substance abuse doing it in a world of social distancing?

The coronavirus pandemic has uprooted every sense of normalcy. 

Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous often meet in person, but as the state of Florida urges residents to stay-at-home and social distance, those struggling with alcohol and substance abuse are facing an even more challenging time. 

Some AA groups are doing their best to adapt. They're continuing meetings online, but are faced with threats like zoombombing. 

“Some people are trolling the internet and are trying to find out where meetings are where they don’t have security in place and they put porn images,” says Sam H., an AA member since 2005 and who has been attending meetings online and wants to remain anonymous. “Others come into meetings and type racial slurs. They are bad actors looking for attention.”

Sam H. talked to host Luis Hernandez on Sundial about he’s handling this coronavirus pandemic and the importance of still attending AA meetings. Dr. Felicia Gould, a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who’s been working with people who live with substance and alcohol abuse, also joined the discussion to share some ways people can cope during these uncertain times. 

24-hour Alcoholics Anonymous Helplines

Palm Beach County: 561-655-5700

Broward County: 954-462-0265

Miami-Dade County: 305- 461-2425

Monroe County: 305- 296 -8654 

WLRN Sundial producer Chris Remington helped in the production of this episode.