A new coronavirus video for kids offers scientifically accurate information in an engaging and understandable way.
by Nardy Baeza Bickel-Michigan
“The coronavirus pandemic affects everyone, including children, who may find the complexity of the situation especially difficult to understand, researchers say.
“’Packaging evidence-based information about the pandemic in a digestible way and delivering it directly to educators and education systems will benefit children, their teachers, and their families,’ says Andria Eisman, a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
“These brief resources focus on age-appropriate content, knowledge about the virus, and how to prevent its spread to empower kids and inspire them to act with their own agency.”
by Suzanne Kane
“Loneliness is never easy to endure, yet during times of mandatory social isolation and distancing, such as millions of Americans are experiencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be particularly damaging. Among its many effects, loneliness can exacerbate and bring upon a host of mental and physical conditions.
“Social Isolation and Loneliness May Increase Inflammation
“A study by researchers at the University of Surrey and Brunel University London found a potential link between social isolation and loneliness and increased inflammation. Although they said the evidence they looked at suggests that social isolation and inflammation may be linked, the results were less clear for a direct link between loneliness and inflammation. Researchers said both are linked with different inflammatory markers and that more studies are necessary to further understanding of how social isolation and loneliness contribute to poorer health outcomes.”
Continue reading this article at Psych Central, click here.
“Affectionate touches tap into the nervous system’s rest and digest mode, reducing the release of stress hormones, bolstering the immune system, and stimulating brainwaves linked with relaxation.”
by Ashley Yeager
“It had been seven weeks since I’d touched another human being. Arms outstretched, I walked quickly toward my dad, craving his embrace. In the instant before we touched, we paused, our minds probably running quick, last-minute calculations on the risk of physical contact. But, after turning our faces away from each other and awkwardly shuffling closer, we finally connected. Wrapped in my dad’s bear hug, I momentarily forgot we were in the midst of the worst global crisis I have ever experienced.
“’Touch is the most powerful safety signal of togetherness,’ says Steve Cole, a psychiatrist and biobehavioral scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles.
“Like more than 35 million other Americans, I live alone, and with the guidelines of physical distancing set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I hadn’t been getting close to anyone to avoid being infected with (or potentially spreading) SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. I’d been working, thankfully, at home and staying connected with friends and family through Zoom and Skype, but those virtual interactions were no replacement for being with loved ones in person.”
“Newsy’s latest poll found around 1 in 10 sought out therapy since the pandemic began.”
by Lindsey Theis
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led more people to try therapy for the first time in their lives.
“‘As we stabilize their psychosis and you continue to speak with them, you get down to it and they’re like, ‘”I was really anxious, over COVID,’’ said Dr. Eric French, Medical Director of Adult Psychiatry at Colorado’s Medical Center of Aurora.
“Newsy’s latest poll found around 1 in 10 (12%) sought out therapy since the pandemic began – with 46% saying it was their first time seeking it.
“Among those who sought out therapy, men were significantly more likely than women to get therapy for the first time (63% vs. 21%). Traditionally, men are much less likely to see a mental health professional.”
“Human beings are social by nature, and high-quality social relationships are vital for health and well-being. Like many other social determinants of health, however, social isolation (an objective lack of social contact with others) and loneliness (the subjective feeling of being isolated) are significant yet underappreciated public health risks. Social isolation and loneliness are associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes, including higher rates of mortality, depression, and cognitive decline. Recent research documents the high prevalence of social isolation and loneliness among older adults. For example, data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study found that 24 percent of
community-dwelling older adults are considered socially isolated, and a 2018 survey by the AARP Foundation found that more than one-third (35 percent) of adults aged 45 and older are lonely. Additionally, a 2018 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 22 percent of adults in the United States say they ‘often or always feel lonely, feel that they lack companionship, feel left out, or feel isolated from others.’
“This report presents a comprehensive review of the impacts of social isolation and loneliness on mortality and morbidity, the risk factors for social isolation and loneliness, the mechanisms by which social isolation and loneliness impact health, the factors that affect those mechanisms, and the ways in which researchers measure social isolation and loneliness and their resultant impacts on health.
“Furthermore, the committee discusses the role of the health care system in addressing these issues, the ways in which we can better educate and train our health care workforce, and which interventions (particularly for the clinical setting) show the most promise. Finally, the committee discusses general principles of dissemination and implementation that will be important for translating research into practice, especially as the evidence base for effective interventions continues to flourish.”
Click here to download the full report: Social Isolation and Loneliness in Older Adults
“Dell Kaplan, 81, talks on her phone if front of her home in Plano, Texas Friday, May 15, 2020. For Kaplan, the offer to get calls from a stranger just to chat while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic was immediately appealing. “It gets pretty lonely here by yourself,” said Kaplan, a suburban Dallas resident who has been missing meals out with friends, family get-togethers and going to classes at a nearby college. The program being offered by the city of Plano is among those that have popped up across the U.S. during the pandemic to help older adults with a simple offer to engage in small talk.” (AP Photo/LM Otero)
by Janie Stengle
“DALLAS (AP) — For 81-year-old Dell Kaplan, the offer to get calls from a stranger just to chat while staying home during the coronavirus pandemic was immediately appealing.
“’It gets pretty lonely here by yourself,’ said Kaplan, a suburban Dallas resident who has been missing meals out with friends, family get-togethers and going to classes at a nearby college.
“The program being offered by the city of Plano is among those that have popped up across the U.S. during the pandemic to help older adults with a simple offer to engage in small talk.
“‘It’s really just to give them a social outlet that they might not have otherwise,’ said Holly Ryckman, a library support supervisor who is among about 15 staffers from several city departments in Plano who together have been making about 50 calls a week starting in April.
“Brent Bloechle, a library manager who helped organize the program, said the city plans to keep it up through at least mid-summer, and maybe permanently.”
Read this AP article in its entirety; click here.
“Virtual Connections” is “The hub for teams, individuals, senior living residents and families to access free activity and entertainment resources.”
Juniper Communities, operates senior living communities in New Jersey, Colorado and Pennsylvania — there are Juniper Village facilities in Lancaster County and in Lebanon County. Fortunately, both are Link to Aging and Disability Resources partners.
After group activities in their facilities were canceled, Juniper Communities launched a centralized website for seniors to find digital resources curated from across the internet. Check out the Virtual Connections platform: https://www.slvirtual.com/
Virtual Connections is “The hub for teams, individuals, senior living residents and families to access free activity and entertainment resources. As individuals and communities practice ‘stay at home’ and no-visitor access as a response to COVID-19, the leaders at Juniper Communities and LTC REIT have gathered these resources for all to enjoy!”
“CDC offers brief checklists to guide businesses, schools and others on reopening” – The Washington Post
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“With hundreds of millions of people still seeking advice on resuming their lives safely, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a scant six pages of recommendations Thursday to guide schools, businesses, day-care facilities and others into the next phase of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The six checklists — which also address restaurants, mass transit and camps — come days, and in some cases weeks, after many states have begun to lift restrictions on their own. The advice is less detailed than draft recommendations the agency sent to the White House for review last month.
“The nation is still awaiting that detailed technical guidance, which the White House has held up and not shared publicly. The delay has left the responsibility for decision-making about reopening to states and localities. It has also left many health experts clamoring for greater transparency.” Continue reading this Washington Post report here.
The Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources’ Berks-Lancaster-Lebanon Service Area 13 meetings will be videoconferenced via Zoom for all of 2020.
next avenue has two articles that are somewhat related to the current pandemic experience; we think you’ll like reading both.
“From Our Readers: Persevering in the Pandemic | What you told us you’ve learned and how you’re finding your way forward”
“We asked our readers on Facebook to tell us what you’ve learned due to the pandemic, why that’s been meaningful and how you’re finding your own way forward. Some of you sent photos. Others inspired us with the wise, poignant and sometimes funny things you said:
“My Father’s Frugal Habits Make Sense Now | As a child, she didn’t get her dad’s thriftiness. Why she does now.”
“Overwhelmed by bodies, funeral homes are struggling to fulfill their mission to grieving families.”
“A chapel at Farenga Brothers Funeral Home in the Bronx that has been used to store bodies during the pandemic. Credit … Philip Montgomery for The New York Times)
Photographs byText by
“Nick Farenga stood amid the body bags in a refrigerated 18-wheel trailer at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center in Manhattan. “This is him,” a hospital worker said, pointing to a white body bag among the roughly 40 others lying on wooden platforms that resembled hastily constructed bunk beds. As a funeral director in the Bronx, Farenga has spent two months on the front lines of Covid-19, picking up dozens of bodies. Yet somehow, until that day in late April, he had escaped the pain of retrieving the body of someone he loved. Philip Foglia was Farenga’s former Little League coach. He and his brother, Sal, played baseball with Foglia’s sons; the families lived just blocks apart; their fathers were longtime friends.
“In the trailer, Farenga squatted down next to a lower platform. With his gloved hand, he pulled the double zippers down the body bag to Foglia’s waist where his hands were folded. Farenga checked his hospital ID wristband before pulling the zippers up.”
“Credit … Caleb Kenna for The New York Times)
Related article: “Why Are There Almost No Memorials to the Flu of 1918?”