|News & Information for February 8-9, 2020
Basic Key to Successful Living
THE BASIC KEY TO SUCCESSUL LIVING: With my marvelous guests, psychiatrist Pinar Miski MD and nutritionist/physician Pam Popper PhD we discuss perhaps the single most important key to success in life: Identifying our feelings of helplessness, then refusing to become helpless and finally determining instead taking charge of our lives. As a corollary, we discuss becoming a person who does not impose helplessness on others—a person who encourages people to be strong and self-determining. These are not just words or slogans. Nothing is more important life that learning to identify feelings of helplessness that can overcome us at critical moments in life when we must marshal all of psychological and intellectual resources in order to overcome emotional and real-life obstacles. And few things matter more in life than also empowering the people in our lives to overcome helpless and to become self-determining.
Coronavirus is bad. Comparing it to the flu is worse
The whataboutism of infectious disease is as dangerous as it is hackneyed. There’s a deadly virus spreading throughout China right now, but SELF Magazine has a calming message for Americans: “For perspective,” the publication tweeted Thursday, “the flu is a bigger threat in the U.S.” This was just the latest in an epic run of such comparisons: “The virus killing U.S. kids isn’t the one dominating headlines,” the Daily Beast advised; “Don’t worry about the new coronavirus, worry about the flu,” said Buzzfeed. Even the U.S. Surgeon General has gotten in on this idea. There are as many as 5 million severe cases of flu worldwide each year, and 650,000 deaths; in other words, says Axios, “If you’re freaking out about coronavirus but you didn’t get a flu shot, you’ve got it backwards.” Call it “viral whataboutism.” The appeal to hypocrisy has long been endemic to our political discourse; and in recent years the pox has spread. Now this mutant form of rhetoric has come into discussions of what could be a massive epidemiological threat. Is the new coronavirus something to worry about? Yeah, sure, but so’s the flu… and you don’t seem to care too much about that! For goodness’ sake, stop.
Thread by virologist (click through thereto), he points out the widow within which international spread needs to be stopped, now until late March.
2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update
Ian: The official death rate from nCov in China is ~ 2%. The international death rate right now is 0.3% (1 death among 315 cases, a rate 3x normal flu), but this rate is likely biased low as early-phase cases stream into the count faster than severe cases have termianted in death. On the high side, a JAMA study mentioned in the video above examining one hospital in Wuhan reports at least 4.3% fatality among 138 cases (see below), most of whom are still in hospital.
Clinical characteristics of 138 hospitalized patients with 2019 Novel Coronavirus
Importance In December 2019, novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, China. The number of cases has increased rapidly but information on the clinical characteristics of affected patients is limited. […] Conclusions and Relevance In this single-center case series of 138 hospitalized patients with confirmed NCIP in Wuhan, China, presumed hospital-related transmission of 2019-nCoV was suspected in 41% of patients, 26% of patients received ICU care, and mortality was 4.3%.
Department of Homeland Security Pandemic check list
Before a Pandemic
- Store a two week supply of water and food.
- Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.
- Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.
- Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.
- Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
Urban forest bathing debuts exclusively at Mandarin Oriental Boston Spa
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Boston, the only Forbes Five-Star spa in Massachusetts, has an exclusive new Forest Therapy Journey ritual inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing. The concept of forest bathing is traced back to the 1980s in Japan, where it was promoted by the government as an antidote to the daily stressors of modern life, particularly in urban areas. Studies have showed that immersive nature walks are beneficial for lowering blood pressure and cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone. Furthermore, chemicals called phytanyls that are released by trees and plants reportedly have been found to help boost the immune system. […] The therapist customizes aspects of the treatment to your specific needs, so he or she can “freestyle” and target particular problem areas. […] “The oil has lots of phytanyls, which you absorb when you are in nature, and this helps reduce stress and lower cortisol levels in the body,” Toth says. “It’s anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which is beneficial, especially at this time of year when immune systems get attacked.”
Having a hard time remembering when you ever felt happy? Here’s why
Depression makes you more likely to remember negative events than positive events, compounding the whole “life sucks” feeling. Depression can also make it hard to remember upcoming appointments, what you did last weekend, or the next step in baking those chocolate chip cookies you really hoped would make you feel better. Read on to find out what the connection is between depression and forgetfulness. […] In a 2018 report, researchers wrote that overgeneral memory is connected with longer duration of depression, possibly because of impaired executive function and problem-solving. The researchers also noted that memory problems can in turn worsen depression, stating “a bias to repeatedly retrieve painful memories could clearly sustain a depressive episode…” In another study from 2017, researchers found a connection between depression, inflammation, and memory loss. The study showed that depression and inflammation can each individually worsen memory, but together, they have an even bigger impact on memory. People with depression may have trouble with their “working memory,” the short-term memory process for holding information while you actively complete a task.
Study says toddlers are getting too much screen time.
Today’s toddlers are spending more time watching phones, tablets and TV than ever before, according to a recent study. The study looked at more than 1,000 two and three-year-old children. Researchers found most of the children exceeded recommended screen-time guidelines, which call for a daily maximum of one-hour of screen time per day. “They found that 79 percent of two-year-olds and 97 percent of three-year-olds actually exceed those guidelines,” said Eva Love, M.D. […] “But, the most striking finding, was that the most common variable between those two age groups, leading to excessive screen time, was actually maternal screen time use, meaning how much mom was looking at her screens.” […] “Excessive screen time can actually directly impact cognitive and physical development,” said Dr. Love. “It’s important to understand that when kids are on a screen, and they’re sitting – they’re not walking, they’re not running, they’re not engaging with motor skills, and they’re also not having those social exchanges with their caregivers.”
Mindfulness helps obese children lose weight
Mindfulness-based therapy may help reduce stress, appetite and body weight in children with obesity and anxiety, according to a study published in Endocrine Connections. They reported that obese children on a calorie-restricted diet alongside mindfulness therapy lose more weight and are less stressed and hungry, than children on a calorie-restricted diet alone. These findings suggest that mindfulness has potential to help obese children lose more weight through dieting and may reduce their risk of serious health issues, such as high blood pressure or stroke, although further research is needed to confirm this. […] “Our results suggest that restricted diets may in fact increase anxiety in obese children. However, practicing mindfulness, as well dieting, may counteract this and promote more efficient weight loss,” Dr López-Alarcón comments. These findings provide evidence that mindfulness may have potential for managing anxiety and weight in obese children on calorie-restricted diets, by reducing appetite and stress hormones. The increased levels of anxiety observed in the calorie-restricted only group, suggest that current weight loss strategies should consider psychological factors, as well as physical and lifestyle factors, in order to achieve better results.