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Better Living Through Well Being


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Better Living Through Well Being

More than two years in, can we yet begin to comprehend how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives? What did we give up during the pandemic that most people won’t return to doing, even when its safe to do so?

The proportion of remote workers in the U.S. declined from a peak of 80% in April 2020, but is holding steady now at 45%. Many people discovered the importance of finding work that does more than pay the bills, but brings personal satisfaction.

Because the SARS-CoV-2 virus has yet to become truly endemic, it will continue to mutate as it continues to spread. The state of the pandemic is dependent on global cooperation in the distribution of vaccines. COVID-19 is more severe and unpredictable than the flu, but the trend is evolving toward milder variants that will cause milder illness in humans.

Mask recommendations will remain in flux because the government has to adjust to emerging research and constantly-changing case counts. The habit of mask-wearing might take hold after the threat of COVID has subsided, to protect against other illnesses like the flu. But for most people in the U.S. it no longer is considered strange to be wearing one.

Virtual learning, while a safety precaution, created additional educational barriers for children in K-12 schools. Quickly enforced behavioral changes when the pandemic began, such as social distancing, masking and isolation from others were mitigation efforts resulting in weak social ties affecting communication and trust. A lot moved online during the pandemic, but social media networks have been shown to be especially vulnerable to spreading false information, especially related to health care. The misinformation that has been disseminated throughout the last two years has shaped society to be less trusting than before. It can be good to be critical, but society seems to have swung to a place where people tend to be more dismissive and cynical, especially of information provided by public health agencies and medical experts.

Lockdowns and quarantines caused many to be separated from their families, and with the unknowns of the economy, many Americans found themselves struggling with mental health. The fact that many more people are now aware of the importance of mental health is a silver lining of the pandemic, but unfortunately it is in part because people have been struggling with isolation, addiction, and grief.

All the challenges society has faced during the past two years is leading to a shift in available mental health care. The now widespread use of telehealth that has increased access for many patients, could change the way care is provided in the future.

As we get back to being together, we all have to find our own comfort levels. Some people will have an easy time integrating with others, but some will find it unsettling. The pandemic has changed us all. It has also fostered a deeper respect for how forces outside of our control can alter plans; a fact of life that has been made all so much more evident than before. As times change and the pandemic evolves, society must evolve to meet the needs of the people around us.

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New findings highlight the growing youth mental health crisis in America. Half of parents in a nationwide survey believe that missing life milestones, such as participating in graduation ceremonies and birthday parties, has negatively impacted their children’s mental health. The survey finds that a majority of parents have seen their children face significant mental and emotional challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey of 2,000 American parents found that the majority are grappling with the mental health implications of the pandemic on their children and looking for solutions; 68 percent have seen their children face significant mental and emotional challenges involved in heading back to in-person school, adjusting to remote learning, and grieving the loss of a love one, and 63 percent of parents have sought a therapist for themselves, their children, or the entire family.

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A Belgian randomized comparative clinical trial was conducted between April and October 2021 with two different groups of patients hospitalized for COVID-19. In addition to standard care, the first group received the dietary supplement Nasafytol, consisting of turmeric, quercetin, and vitamin D. The second group received vitamin D in addition to standard care.

The study showed that in the group receiving Nasafytol there was a significant reduction in the number of patients hospitalized on day 7 and day 14; there was a significant acceleration in recovery to a state of health which allowed a return home; there was a significant increase in the number of patients discharged from hospital on day 7, with an improvement in the clinical score of day 7; and no serious complications occurred (no ICU transfers of deaths). The results are unambiguous. The group who received the Nasafytol as a supplement to standard treatment showed significant progress for all evaluated parameters.

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A team of researchers discovered how obesity can change the immune system and, potentially, how clinicians might be able to better treat allergies and asthma in obese people. A recent study estimated that about half of the adults in the United States will be classified as obese by the year 2030. Researchers also know that obesity, sometimes classified as a chronic inflammatory state, alters the immune system in myriad ways. Clinicians have reported that people with obesity often seem to have different courses of disease, from infections and allergies to cancer, and respond differently to some treatments.

The study revealed how different types of T cell respond differently in the immune systems of the obese than in those who are lean. T cells help protect the body against infections but also become overactive in autoimmune disease or allergies.

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Other articles of interest in this TMIS eNewsletter for Spring 2022:

* Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind Sesame Street, launches new emotional health and wellbeing videos and resources for families grappling with effects of COVID-19.

* As cases of BA.2, the “Omicron variant of concern”, increase the world must reinvigorate its hygiene efforts or risk a springtime COVID-19 surge.

* Medicare Part B will now cover up to eight over-the-counter COVID-19 tests each month.

* Annual healthcare indicators report shows telehealth utilization grew nationally 7,060 percent since start of pandemic.

* Earth Day campaign casts David Hasselhoff in his iconic lifeguard role to share how to save the lives of sea turtles.

* Spirits and technology company Endless West partners with One Tree Planted to aide in the mission of rebuilding forests that have been burned by wildfires in the U.S.

* China intensifies efforts to plant trees nationwide as it strives to honor its pledges to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

* Martian Farms’ vertical-farming technology is changing traditional farming as we know it using its space-age technology.

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I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Your feedback is always welcome.

- Mary Michele McLaughlin


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