Category: Health

Checking the Air Quality Index

Our government has created a great resource for checking the Air Quality Index. AirNow was created by the EPA, NOAA, CDC and other government agencies, and is a simple information tool, without advertisements. Visit at any time for local AQI info. And feel free to scroll down for more info on forest fires, AQI webcams and more.

But even better, we now have an AirNow app. This, too, is free and shows no ads! So for the ultimate in convenience, throw this app on your Android or Apple smartphone, so you can check the AQI on the fly.

This Is Not a Hearing Test

this is not a hearing test

For a real hearing test, consult a doctor. For a bit of novelty and learning about how your hearing changes as you age, check out this website.

Noise Addicts has posted easily playable sounds at different frequencies on that page. Try them out to see what range of sound you can (still) hear. This “test” is most enjoyable with a roomful of people of varied ages: kids, teens, adults and grandfolk — you’ll be surprised at who can hear what!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Dial 988

Starting July 16, 2022, there is a new number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988. This number will work across the entire USA.

If you are thinking about suicide, are worried about someone, or just need emotional support:

The old number, 1-800-273-8255, will also still connect to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Please read more about how the Lifeline can provide free and confidential support, and check out their FAQ, as well.

The National Baby Formula Shortage

Some info pertaining to the shortage of baby formula in the USA:

Scams abound! If you find an online vendor for baby formula that seems too good to be true, it may be. When possible, buy your formula from respected, large companies and not sketchy eBay auctions or brand-new websites.

Misinformation about buying from Amazon’s Canada website is circulating, and I want to debunk that before you try it. For the most part, you cannot buy baby formula from, unless it is from one of their 3rd-party sellers. And those may be risky to use.

Another important resource right now is the Free Formula Exchange. If you have formula that you don’t need, please donate it through this website! And if you need formula, you can sign up and possibly connect with someone nearby who has unneeded baby formula.

And you should touch base with your pediatrician for other trusted resources that can help you get through this tough time.

Free At-Home COVID Tests

UPDATE on 9/25/2023: our government, once again, is offering to send each household free at-home COVID tests. They’ll send you 4 tests, at no charge to you. If you want yours, head on over to or this website to request them.

Starting today (1/16/2022), our government will send 4 at-home COVID tests to any US household, for FREE. If you need some tests, visit their website to receive yours!


Need help getting your COVID-19 vaccine? Check out, for everyone in the USA.

Give the website your zip code and it’ll offer you a long list of pharmacies, stores and other companies nearby that offer vaccination appointments. Call any listing to check your eligibility, or to schedule. You can also search for locations offering a particular brand of COVID vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna, Janssen).

Vaccinate Virginia

If you live on the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Department of Health has launched a website to help you get the free COVID-19 vaccine. If you’ve already received the vaccine or registered through other means, then you don’t have to do anything. Otherwise, please visit this site to get pre-registered:

Vaccinate Virginia

Save this website (and your confirmation code at the end of registration) to check your registration status, going foward. And this site also offers a wealth of info from the Virginia Department Health. If for any reason you can’t use the site’s registration, please use this phone number for signing up: 877-829-4682.

Fill Your ℞ through Amazon

fill your rx through Amazon

Amazon Pharmacy is now open for business, and they will fill your prescriptions!

You don’t have to be an Amazon Prime member to use this, but it looks like a Prime membership could save you even more money. As you calculate your prescription pricing on this site, Amazon will tell you what you pay 1) when you use your insurance and 2) when you pay out of pocket, not using insurance. In some cases, Amazon may save you a lot by selling your ℞s directly to you.

Check out their site for more details about their transparent pricing and delivery practices. And their support page answers even more questions and allows for you to call them and even talk to a pharmacist.

Color Blindness & Using Color Filters

If you are color blind or have any other vision sensitivities, check out the color filters in your computer. Most operating systems offer these built-in tools, to make your screen easier to see and use.

In Windows 10, go to Start -> Settings -> Ease of Access -> Color Filters.

On MacOSX, go to Apple Menu -> System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display – Color Filters.

Besides color deficiency-specific filters, you’ll also find others for inverting colors and switching to greyscale. These can all be turned off and on without harm or needing to reboot.

On a Chromebook, you would have to install an extension from the Play Store. Dalton looks to be the best one I can find right now. And if you want to apply color filters to your Chrome browser only, I imagine you can install Dalton on any PC or Mac, as well!


UPDATE: In May 2023, this app was retired. For more info, please see:

The Commonwealth of Virginia now offers an app that will help in the fight against COVID-19. If you install and activate this free app, it will notify you if you might’ve been exposed to (someone with) the coronavirus.

For more information and links to the app downloads, go to

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