How COVID-19 Impacts Women and Their Health

The truth is... there is still a lot of research to be done on Coronavirus and its impact on women's health.

We're breaking down the latest information and research about Coronavirus and its effect on women at every stage, so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your family - and continue to stay safe and healthy during this time at home.

Woman at home

The truth is... there is still a lot of research to be done on Coronavirus and its impact on women's health.

We're breaking down the latest information and research about Coronavirus and its effect on women at every stage, so you can make informed decisions for yourself and your family - and continue to stay safe and healthy during this time at home.

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The fertility years or trying to conceive...

First thing’s first, should I try to get pregnant right now?


Let’s be real, the global coronavirus pandemic has interrupted a lot of plans. From vacations to weddings to the ability to spend time with family, we have had to adjust. If you had plans to start trying for a baby, you might be wondering if this is still a good time. 


The most recent update from the ASRM, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends continuing any fertility treatments like normal, while putting added measures in place for disease prevention, like social distancing and wearing masks at the office of your healthcare provider.


I was in the middle of fertility treatment when lockdown began. What should I do?


At the beginning of the pandemic, the ASRM created a Coronavirus Task Force to issue recommendations regarding carrying out fertility treatments as we navigate this new normal. At first, they recommended stopping all but absolutely necessary or time sensitive fertility services until we knew if hospitals had the resources to support all their patients. Over time, the Task Force has begun to lift these restrictions.


In their most recent update, the ASRM designated fertility as an essential health service. They emphasized that while we must take care to preserve local healthcare resources in the face of a national resurgence of cases, many fertility treatments are time sensitive. They are now calling for providers and patients to take steps to mitigate the risk of contracting COVID-19, but to continue treatments if they are able.


If you were in the middle of fertility treatments, you should check in with your healthcare provider. As if they are continuing to take appointments, and what measures they are taking to protect their patients and workers. If you can, you should try to stick to your treatment schedule.

I was about to start fertility treatment before lockdown began. What should I do?


This is a trickier question. With so many unknown factors, and being aware of how time sensitive and expensive fertility treatments can be, this decision becomes much more complex. Yes, there is a lot of uncertainty right now, but at the same time we have no idea if or when things will return to normal, and this is not always a decision you can afford to delay. 

When evaluating whether or not to begin fertility treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is a good idea to think about the following factors:

  1. We still do not know very much about how COVID-19 affects pregnancy, or if contracting the virus while pregnant puts you or your baby at risk. 
  2. Fertility issues are often highly time sensitive. If you don’t start your treatment now, could that have a longer term impact on your ability to have a child? 
  3. We do not know how long the pandemic will last. If you put off treatment until it’s over, we have no way of knowing when that will be. Could that have a longer term impact on your ability to have a child?
  4. Your experience of being pregnant might be very different than you initially imagined it. Social distancing and isolation procedures might make it more difficult to rely on people in your support network, like friends or family members, to help you once the baby arrives. 
  5. As of now, the ASRM’s recommendation is that fertility treatments should continue, but that could change. It’s possible that the number of cases in the US begin to rise to a point where we have to stop elective procedures, which may be in the middle of your treatment. 

How can supplements help support immunity?

Check out this video for Nurse Suzie's tips for staying healthy and well as we navigate this pandemic.

Covid-19 wellness tips video

If you do decide to start fertility treatment, it’s a good idea to get vigilant about preventive measures to limit your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Click here for more information. 

Ultimately, the decision on whether or not to begin fertility treatment is a deeply personal one. If you need someone to talk to or want a second opinion, you can always schedule a fertility consult with one of our healthcare professionals here


What are the long term effects of coronavirus on fertility for women?


So far, we don’t have a definitive answer for if or how COVID-19 affects long term fertility. It is possible that it could have some negative effects on the female reproductive system.


The first possible factor is the high fever commonly associated with symptoms of COVID-19. One small study found that when women were undergoing ovarian stimulation, which is the process used during IVF and egg freezing to encourage egg growth, having a fever was associated with with a lower number of eggs retrieved, a longer cycle, and a higher level of required medication. 

However, there‘s no reason to believe that these effects would be long-term; there’s no evidence that having a fever one time could damage your reproductive health forever.


Another big question with coronavirus is how the virus interacts with your cells. Scientists are asking questions about ACE2, which is the protein the virus latches onto in order to infect your cells. ACE2 can be found on the surface of cells all over the body, including your ovaries and uterus. Some researchers are concerned that this means the virus may affect the female reproductive system. 

Fortunately, a recent study found that the female reproductive system has a low amount of ACE2, meaning that it’s less likely to be susceptible to infection from coronavirus. As a result, we can tentatively conclude that COVID-19 is unlikely to negatively affect female fertility.


What are the long term effects of coronavirus on fertility for men?


The story is a little different for men. First, fevers and symptoms of the seasonal flu are known to have an effect on male fertility. Fevers raise your body temperature, which can make it too warm to produce healthy sperm. In the case of COVID-19, reports indicate a decrease in sperm concentration and motility for up to 90 days after contracting coronavirus. 


However, this effect is likely temporary. From studying illnesses like the seasonal flu, research has found that patients typically begin producing normal sperm again in the 50-70 days after the fever goes away. 


That being said, researchers are concerned that male fertility could be permanently impacted by COVID-19, particularly due to the way it seems to cause inflammation in the testicles, impacting sperm production. One study found that even though coronavirus was not detected in the testes of subjects, patients with coronavirus still experienced significant injury and inflammation in their testicles. There’s no evidence yet that this injury is permanent, but more research is needed to determine the long term effects of the virus. 


Similarly to women, scientists are also concerned about how ACE2 affects male reproductive organs and functions. It’s possible that the presence of ACE2 could damage the ability of a man to produce healthy sperm, as ACE2 is found in the male reproductive system, although again, more research is needed to be sure. 

If you are currently pregnant...

How does coronavirus affect pregnancy?


According to the WHO, so far there are no known differences in the way coronavirus manifests for pregnant versus non-pregnant women, but remember, a lot of important research is currently ongoing. Researchers are turning to what we do know about other coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, to predict possible effects of COVID on pregnancy. 


Preliminary research seems to indicate pregnant women are more susceptible to developing COVID-19. One study looked at the immune response of pregnant women, and determined that pregnant women are indeed more at risk for COVID-19 because of the way their immune system responds to threats. This means that being pregnant puts you in a higher risk category for getting the virus, so it’s even more important that you are following CDC guidelines about isolation social distancing procedures. 


That being said, the severity of COVID-19 symptoms does not seem to differ for pregnant women. In one study, a hospital screened pregnant women entering their labor and delivery unit for the virus. Of the women who tested positive for COVID-19, 90% of them were asymptomatic. Most pregnant women with the virus experienced a fever and a cough, but only very rarely did they require hospitalization. If you are pregnant, you might be more likely to catch coronavirus, but just the fact that you are pregnant does not seem to have an impact on how severe your symptoms are. 

Could coronavirus hurt my baby?


It doesn’t seem like it, but again, research in this area is still very much in the early stages. We still don’t know if having coronavirus while pregnant could lead to long-term effects on your baby. We have no data about how the virus affects a baby in the first or second trimester. However, so far in most cases where pregnant women have contracted the virus, they have recovered and their baby has not been harmed. 


That being said, preliminary research indicates that having COVID-19 might complicate your pregnancy. One study found that having COVID-19 led to a higher risk of preterm birth and needing a C-section. Another study confirmed this conclusion, noting that in ⅕ of cases studied, mothers with COVID delivered their baby preterm. Keep in mind, these studies used pretty small sample sizes, so the results aren’t necessarily generalizable. Also, these preterm births usually happened because the mother was sick, not the baby, and in the vast majority of cases, babies born to mothers positive for COVID-19 still tested negative. 

I am pregnant during the pandemic, what do I need to know?


First of all, you got this. We know it must be overwhelming to be growing a tiny human AND dealing with these crazy times, but we are here to help and support you as best we can.


Binto's Top Tips:


1. Keep up with your prenatal appointments


This is critical. Many providers are switching to virtual appointments wherever possible, to protect patients and their staff from any sort of exposure. 


When you do go to an in person meeting, most visits will be limited to just you to prevent virus spread, so your partner likely won’t be able to come with you to the OB/ultrasounds. In most cases, your total number of prenatal visits should remain the same -- these are important opportunities to check in with your doctor about your pregnancy, which is key for you and your baby’s health.

Should you postpone your prenatal visits?

Check out this video for Andi's tips on navigating prenatal appointments and annual check-ups during the pandemic.

COVID-19 pregnancy tips with Andi from Binto

2. Stock up on prenatal vitamins and medicines


As we mentioned above, being pregnant does seem to put you at higher risk for contracting the virus, so you want to try and limit how often you are out and about. Make sure you stock up on any medicine you need, and especially, your prenatal vitamins. With the virus making a comeback in many states across the country, there’s no telling what will happen in the future, and it’s possible your area may enter another period of lockdown. 


Our advice? Sign up for a Binto prenatal package. We will ship your vitamins right to your door once a month, sending you individually packaged supplements so you never miss a day, and you never have to worry about running out. Click here to get started. 


3. Manage stress levels


Let’s be real, being pregnant is stressful enough without the added pressure of a global pandemic. You have a lot going on! Your body is changing and you’re preparing to bring a new life into the world during the most unprecedented time in human history. While it’s normal to feel stressed, research shows that prenatal stress can have a significant impact on the long-term health of you and your baby. It’s really important to make a conscious effort to destress. 

Need a good place to start? Make sure you are eating healthy foods, getting a good night’s sleep, and getting regular exercise (try Nurse Suzie’s Daily Yoga for Stress Relief!). We also recommend trying a meditation or mindfulness practice. Meditating is a great way to maintain the holistic health and wellness of your mind and body (more on this here!).

Lastly, talk to someone about how you are feeling. Whether it’s your partner, a family member, a friend, or a mom support group on Facebook, know that you don’t have to carry your anxiety alone. There are also therapists and mental health professionals across the country who specialize in helping women navigate pregnancy, birth, and beyond! Ask your OBGYN for a recommendation, or click here to schedule a consultation with one of our Binto healthcare professionals. We can answer any questions you have and point you  in the right direction. 

4. Protect yourself.

If you are pregnant during this pandemic, you need to be especially vigilant about protecting yourself from the virus. Read, digest and follow the CDC’s guidance for preventing the spread. Wash your hands often, with soap and water, for 20 seconds, especially if you have been in a public place. Avoid contact with people who are sick or who may have been exposed to the virus. Try to stay inside and away from other people as much as possible. When you do see other people, make sure you are socially distancing from them. Wear a mask any time you leave your home. It’s also a good idea to check in with anyone who lives with you, and to make sure that everyone is on the same page about how important it is to protect you from the virus.

Preparing for delivery during COVID-19...

For obvious reasons, giving birth during a pandemic is going to look a little different than you may have expected. Even with the pandemic ongoing, the hospital is still the safest place to give birth, for you and your baby. Maternity and labor wards have had to make some adjustments to minimize exposure to the virus, but they are still ready to take care of you and your baby. That being said, here are some possible changes you might run into:


1. You might be asked to wear a mask while you’re in the hospital and giving birth. Keep in mind, your doctors and nurses will probably be wearing masks and full protective gear. 


2. It’s likely that the hospital will limit the amount of people allowed to come into the delivery room with you. Most places are sticking to a one guest policy, whether that’s your partner, doula, family member, or friend. Visitor rules will vary by hospital.

3. You might be discharged earlier than usual and sent home to finish recovering. Some hospitals are trying to shorten the amount of time patients stay in the facility, and get healthy mamas and babies home safely as quickly as possible. 


4. Your guest might not be able to come in and out of the hospital like normal. In many places, cafeterias and dining services are not in operation. Make sure you have a hospital bag packed and ready to go with changes of clothes for you, whoever is coming with you, and plenty of snacks. 

What does delivering in a hospital look like during COVID-19?

Check out this video for more information on how hospital protocol has changed during the pandemic.

How to prepare for delivery during COVID-19 video

If you already know where you plan to give birth, it’s a good idea to call ahead or check their website for the most up to date information about visitor policies and birth procedures. Remember that at the end of the day, the doctors and nurses in the hospital are there to help you bring a new life into the world. You can always call your healthcare provider with questions about preparing for delivery. You can also chat with us! We are happy to help.

Planning for postpartum...

We’re here for you, mama! In this section, we’ll walk through what you need to know about navigating postpartum life during this pandemic, and how to protect you and your baby.


I just had a baby, what now?


First, make sure you are keeping up with your baby’s early doctor’s appointments. Typically you’ll want to identify a pediatrician prior to birth. In this virtual age, you should still be able to meet with doctors and “shop” for the right one, but those appointments will likely be virtual. Your doctor can also explain the special precautions they are taking for COVID. 


Early pediatrician appointments are still so important. Your doctor will track your baby’s weight to make sure they are developing properly, and keep them on a vaccine schedule. Remember, your baby’s immune system is brand new. Especially during this pandemic, it is more important now than ever before to make sure your baby is properly protected from illnesses. 


Is my baby at risk for COVID-19?


According to the CDC, it is very rare for babies to contract coronavirus. In the few cases so far where newborn babies have developed COVID-19, they got it through respiratory droplets during the postnatal period when they were exposed to either mothers or other caregivers with the virus. Symptoms of COVID-19 in babies so far have manifested as fever, fatigue, cough, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing and feeding. 


So, in short, your baby is probably not at risk for COVID-19, unless you or one of your baby’s caregivers has the virus. Even then, the risk of transmission from you to your baby is very low. The CDC recommends that if you even suspect you may have the virus, you and your baby should be tested. 


All of that being said, babies can still contract the virus, even if it is rare. Babies have developing immune systems and small airways, which research indicates can contribute to respiratory issues or trouble breathing if they do get sick. To best protect your baby, it’s important that you and anyone living with the baby is following CDC guidelines for social distancing and mask wearing. It is a good idea to limit your interactions with people who do not live with you. 


That being said, do not put a mask on your baby. Cloth face masks should not be placed on children under 2 to prevent suffocation. 


Breastfeeding & coronavirus


Breastfeeding during a global pandemic is probably not something you ever thought you would be thinking about when you first got pregnant. We spoke with lactation specialist Alison Ahern, BSN, RN, IBCLC to answer all your questions (you can check out the full article here!).


First, it is safe to continue breastfeeding and pumping as you normally would. Breast milk is the best source of nutrition for most infants, it’s super important for your baby’s immune system, and the CDC has indicated that it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted through breast milk. How and when and if you choose to start or continue breastfeeding is ultimately up to you, and is a decision you should make in conversation with your family and healthcare provider. 

Another one of Alison’s big tips is to sanitize. Wash your hands before breastfeeding or pumping, and make sure you clean your pump parts properly, with warm soapy water, after each use. Wash your hands before touching or picking up your baby, and be sure to clean high touch surfaces in your house like kitchen counters, doorknobs, and your phone. If you order new items online, be sure to clean them thoroughly before bringing them near your baby.


According to Alison, “Now is the time for the freezer stash.” If you are planning to breastfeed during COVID-19, it’s a good idea to pump and store your breastmilk. This is largely in case formula becomes difficult to find, or shipping times for online orders are delayed. It’s just a good idea to have a backup supply of breastmilk for your baby.

If you have COVID-19, there are still ways you can breastfeed safely. The first is to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before each feeding and wear a face mask while breastfeeding your child. The other option is to pump your breast milk and ask a healthy caregiver, who is not at high risk for serious illness, to feel the baby from a bottle. Make sure to wear a mask while pumping and to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before touching any pump, bottle parts, or breast milk. 


If you have any questions about breastfeeding, you can always schedule a telehealth appointment with one of our lactation consultants here.


Covid-19 and postpartum depression


If you just gave birth, you might be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions, hormones, and sleep deprivation. Bringing a new life into the world is hard enough without the added stress of a global pandemic. With isolation procedures and practices, you might not have access to your support network in the way you thought you would. Friends and relatives who would usually be around to help you might not be able to be physically there for you. At such an important and stressful time in your life, this could take a much bigger toll on your mental wellbeing than you may anticipate. It’s important to make sure you are monitoring yourself for signs or symptoms of postpartum depression. 

How? First, know the signs. Symptoms of postpartum depression will be more intense, last longer, and may even interfere with your ability to perform daily tasks and care for your baby. If you find yourself experiencing severe mood swings, severe anxiety, excessive crying, difficulty bonding with your baby, changes in sleep or eating habits, increased irritability, or reduced interest in activities you used to enjoy, you should call your healthcare provider. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare professionals here, and we can help point you in the right direction.


Remember, most new moms experience “baby blues” as your body recovers from giving birth. Mood swings, crying spells, anxiety and difficulty sleeping are all to be expected. It’s important to pay attention to the intensity and duration of your emotions. If your baby blues don’t clear up within two weeks of giving birth, it’s a good idea to check in with your healthcare provider.


Your OBGYN will have a screening procedure they can use to help you make sure you’re getting the support you need. 

Bringing home a baby during COVID-19?

Check out this video for Andi's tips to keep your family safe and healthy throughout the pandemic.

Postpartum and baby care tips video


Please know that you don’t have to carry your anxieties and burdens alone. Postpartum depression is a condition that can be managed and treated with the right mix of therapy, and in some cases medication. Know that these feelings do not bear any weight on your ability to be a good parent and take care of your baby. They might get in the way at times if left untreated, but that is why it’s so important to actively seek out the help you may need. If you want to talk to someone right now, shoot us a message using the chat portal on the bottom right side of your screen. 


How to avoid postpartum depression during COVID-19


Since your baby came into the world it may seem like every waking minute is spent feeding, burping, changing, etc. The best way to care for your mental health after giving birth is to actively schedule some time for self-care. We recommend establishing some form of a self-care routine, which can be as simple as setting a designated time each day to take a shower, or change your clothes. You will take the best care of your baby when you take care of yourself. 


Another great way to make sure you’re caring for your mental health is to stay connected to your support network. While friends and family might not be able to come over and meet your new little one in person, try scheduling a virtual meet and greet with the whole family, or if you have the ability, invite family and friends to come see your baby from a safe distance.


We also recommend getting regular exercise. Take your baby for a walk around the block, or sit outside and get a little sunshine. Studies have shown that spending time outside can decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety, especially for new moms.


Everyday wellness tips for COVID-19

Curious what else you need to know? This section will walk through our general wellness tips for keeping yourself safe and healthy during this pandemic. 


How can I protect myself from coronavirus?


Right now, we don’t have a vaccine to prevent you from getting coronavirus, so the best way to stay safe is to make sure you are doing what you need to do to prevent exposure. 


First, a quick fact check. According to the CDC, this virus is thought to mostly spread by respiratory droplets exchanged during person to person contact. These droplets are produced when someone with the virus talks, coughs, sneezes, or sings, and can land in the mouth and nose of people nearby. 


Binto’s Top Tips:


1. Wash your hands

And we mean regularly! Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially if you have been in public, coughing, or sneezing. It’s also important to wash your hands before eating any food, before touching your face, after caring for someone sick, changing a diaper, and before handling a newborn. Need a trick to know how long to scrub? Sing the Happy Birthday song twice! If soap and water aren’t available, you can use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and rub your hands together until they are dry. 


2. Social distancing!

The golden rule: stay six feet away from anyone who is sick or who does not live in your house. If you and the other person were to hold out your arms towards each other, they shouldn’t be able to touch. Remember, even people who don’t seem sick can still spread the virus. If you are a high risk individual, this is especially important. 


3. Wear a mask

Again, you can still spread the virus even if you don’t feel sick. You should wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose in public places and around anyone who doesn’t live in your house. While masks might not prevent you from catching the virus, they are very important for preventing the spread. If you’re getting bored of the standard blue disposable mask, check out Etsy, or other retailers for cute masks that will let you express a little personality! 


A few caveats:

  • Do not put a mask on children or babies under the age of 2, or anyone who is unable to remove the mask without assistance. 
  • It’s important to wash your masks regularly as well. If they irritate your skin, try hand washing them with face soap and leaving them to air dry.
  • Try not to use masks that are intended for healthcare workers. Studies show that cloth masks provide more than adequate protection against the virus when used correctly, and masks like N95s are in short supply. Unless you are a healthcare worker, save the surgical masks and N95s for the people who really need them. 
  • If you are using disposable masks, make sure to cut the strings before you throw them away so wildlife creatures don’t get stuck in or strangled by them!
  • Wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing! It’s important to make sure you are still keeping 6 feet away from other people


4. Clean high-touch surfaces

While person-to-person contact is the most common mode of transmission, the CDC believes that it is possible to catch COVID-19 by picking up the virus from a surface. It’s a good idea to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like countertops, cellphones, door handles and light switches. You can clean with soap and water, and then it’s a good idea to disinfect these surfaces with one of these EPA-registered disinfectants.


5. Monitor your health

Ultimately the person who can most effectively protect you from coronavirus is yourself. Stay on alert for possible symptoms of the virus, including a fever, shortness of breath, a cough, new loss of taste or smell, body aches, nausea, or diarrhea. There is really a big range of potential symptoms, so if you are feeling at all unwell, it’s a good idea to take precautions and begin isolating to see if they develop further. Especially if you are leaving your house to go to work, to the grocery store, etc., it’s incredibly important to monitor yourself. 

If you don’t feel well, don’t leave your house. Call your healthcare provider or local contact tracing number to ask for advice on next steps. Depending on the symptoms you are feeling and your potential exposure levels, they might recommend that you go get tested, or that you wait for a few days to see if the symptoms persist. 


How can I boost my immune system?


So, as we’ve mentioned in previous posts, the idea of “boosting” immunity is a little misleading. Your immune system is a carefully balanced system that relies on an equilibrium to limit the ability of harmful bacteria to multiply in your body. You don’t necessarily want a “boost” across the board, as this could upset this system. That being said, there are ways you can improve the function of your immune system to keep it in tip top shape.


Vitamin D


Vitamin D works on the cellular level, monitoring your immune system and making sure it responds to threats properly. One Cambridge study found that it plays a particularly important role regulating immunity in your lungs and upper respiratory tract. Another NIH study found that taking a Vitamin D supplement is associated with decreased general mortality rates. 


While you can get Vitamin D from the sun, most women don’t get enough, particularly those with more melanated skin. Consider adding a Vitamin D into your supplement regime, like our Bare Essential Multivitamin! Other sources are fatty fish, like tuna and salmon, egg yolks, and fortified products like dairy products or orange juice. For more info on Vitamin D, click here




Zinc is critically important for cell reproduction in your immune system, and it fights viruses. Taking a zinc supplement can improve the immune response of people with a deficiency, and also stop a virus from replicating in your body, and help manage infection-related symptoms. One study found that taking a zinc supplement could even reverse the effects of a deficiency, improve immune cell development and immune response. 


You can find zinc in oysters, red meat, and upholstery, as well as whole grains and milk products. We also carry a zinc supplement here at Binto! Message us in the chat if you would like to add it to your Binto pack. 




Omega-3s help regulate your immune system by forming part of the cell wall in immune cells. As a result, they direct many immune activities, telling your body how much or little to activate various immune functions. 


You can get Omega-3 from most fish, especially salmon, walnuts and chia seeds. We have two forms of DHA/Omega-3 supplements here at Binto, one derived from fish oil and another vegan option made from algae. Omega-3 plays a lot of important roles in your body (more on this here!) so it’s very important to make sure you are getting enough. 


Vitamin C


Antioxidants like Vitamin C are the building blocks of a healthy immune system. When a virus or bacteria enters your body, it causes what is known as oxidative stress. Antioxidants stabilize these areas of your body and help protect you from future infection. Taking a Vitamin C supplement can help reduce inflammation and reduce the intensity of respiratory infections. 


We get Vitamin C from a good mix of citrus fruits, leafy greens, and our Binto Bare Essentials Multivitamin!




We cannot emphasize enough how important your gut health is for immune function. Your body has to balance fighting infection and protecting the bacteria in your gut that keeps you healthy. Taking a probiotic supplement helps your body properly filter out toxins, chemicals, and pathogens that could cause infections, while also making sure you have a good store of all the flora that keeps you healthy. 


At Binto, we love our synbiotic supplement, which combines all the pre and probiotic bacteria your body needs to stay in tip top shape. Want to add it to your Binto pack? Just shoot a message to our nurses in the chat!


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