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Susan Pinker: The secret to living longer may be your social life

Susan Pinker: The secret to living longer may be your social life
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Coronavirus is a 'personal nightmare' for people with OCD and anxiety disorders Sarah Mergens showed signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder long before she was diagnosed with it as an adult. It initially took the shape of harmless quirks, like organizing dinosaur toys by shape and color. More debilitating symptoms crept in as she got older, such as being afraid of public doorknobs or worrying that she'd use a bad egg when baking and cause someone she loves to become ill. As an adult, Mergens, 27, held her OCD symptoms at bay through exposure and response prevention therapy, supportive friends and family and internal pep talks. "I can't think of another event that's hit me like this has," said Mergens, a psychotherapist who lives in the Minneapolis area. Her thoughts became an endless stream of "what ifs." "I'm afraid that I'm going to want to continue those when the crisis is over," Mergens said of her constant hand-washing and sanitizing, "and as a result, really take steps back in my progress." Unlike anything they've seen before Let our news meet your inbox.

Robin Joy Meyers: The Science of Loneliness and Isolation Chatbots take the strain from Denmarks emergency helplines In a health crisis medical helplines — as many people are now discovering first hand — quickly get overwhelmed. “We were worried because the call volumes more than doubled for us,” says Freddy Lippert, chief executive of Copenhagen Emergency Medical Services, who is responsible for both the emergency call line in Copenhagen and an advice line for less urgent medical problems. Both became completely jammed as people began to ring about Covid-19, even before the pandemic had really begun to spread in the country. Advertisment “We put more staff on but we couldn’t keep up with the volume. In the Copenhagen area, Lippert had around 50 staff taking calls — trained medics who were needed in caring roles. The chatbot answers people’s questions about their symptoms and advises them when they need to get additional help. “We were worried that it might lead to more calls or that it might miss people who are in real need. And it may give us some of the first clues on when lockdown can end. Future Proof

The risks of social isolation Overview CE credits: 1 Learning objectives: After reading this article, CE candidates will be able to: Identify the effects of social isolation and loneliness on physical, mental and cognitive health.Explore how loneliness differs from social isolation.Discuss evidence-based interventions for combating loneliness. For more information on earning CE credit for this article, go to According to a 2018 national survey by Cigna, loneliness levels have reached an all-time high, with nearly half of 20,000 U.S. adults reporting they sometimes or always feel alone. Such numbers are alarming because of the health and mental health risks associated with loneliness. "There is robust evidence that social isolation and loneliness significantly increase risk for premature mortality, and the magnitude of the risk exceeds that of many leading health indicators," Holt­Lunstad says. Who is most likely? Effects of loneliness and isolation Combating loneliness

Could Canada build a fairer society after COVID-19? he COVID-19 pandemic first looked like a repeat of the 2008 global financial crisis, given the market turmoil as the crisis began. Now, however, with the lives of front-line workers and citizens threatened, government controls on freedom of movement, and mass mobilization of financial, health, and commercial resources to address the crisis, commentators rightly draw comparisons with mobilization for the Second World War. Does this suggest there may also be lessons from 80 years ago that apply today, particularly in building a decent and sustainable society? One wartime precedent overlooked to date: planning for post-crisis economic and social reconstruction, something the Canadian government should do as soon as possible. Three dimensions of that wartime planning merit attention today. The first was planning for post-war social programs. Both reports laid bare inadequacies with pre-war social models. The current crisis shows our vulnerability to changes in the environment.

Loneliness and Social Isolation Linked to Serious Health Conditions Social isolation was associated with about a 50% increased risk of dementia and other serious medical conditions. Loneliness and social isolation in older adults are serious public health risks affecting a significant number of people in the United States and putting them at risk for dementia and other serious medical conditions. A new reportexternal icon from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) points out that more than one-third of adults aged 45 and older feel lonely, and nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered to be socially isolated.1 Older adults are at increased risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more likely to face factors such as living alone, the loss of family or friends, chronic illness, and hearing loss. Loneliness is the feeling being alone, regardless of the amount of social contact. Health Risks of Loneliness Immigrant, LGBT People Are at Higher Risk Health Care System Interventions Are Key

COVID-19: How Do We Re-open the Economy? With the IMF forecasting a 6.1% fall in advanced economy GDP in 2020 and world trade expected to contract by 11%, there is intense focus on the question of how and when to re-open economies currently in lockdown. But no ‘opening up’ plan has a chance of succeeding unless it commands the confidence of all the main actors in the economy – employees, consumers, firms, investors and local authorities. Without public confidence, these groups may follow official guidance only sporadically; consumers will preserve cash rather than spend it on goods and services; employees will delay returning to work wherever possible; businesses will face worsening bottlenecks as some parts of the economy open up while key suppliers remain closed; and firms will continue to delay many discretionary investment and hiring decisions. Taken together, these behaviours would substantially reduce the chances of a strong economic bounce-back even in the absence of a widespread second wave of infections.

Effects of Social Isolation on Mental Health | Newport Academy Reading Time: 4 minutes Practicing physical distancing means that teens aren’t able to interact in real life with friends and peers. Their normal routines of school, sports, and/or extracurricular activities have been disrupted, and—like everyone right now—they’re feeling abnormal levels of stress. Hence, this is an important time for parents to understand the effects of social isolation on mental health when it comes to their teenager. Whether teens are suffering from the lack of peer companionship or feeling stifled at home with siblings, social isolation can be difficult. In addition, if adults are distressed or families are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, teens’ well-being will also be undermined. What Are The Effects of Social Isolation on Mental Health?’ Social isolation is generally defined as the absence of social contact—being cut off from social support networks. Teen Loneliness and Isolation Family and Mental Health Help teens find new ways to connect.

Open the Economy Slowly, or the Second Coronavirus Wave Will Come Too Soon Text size Another wave of coronavirus cases is all but sure to arrive later this year, when colder weather returns and the regular flu season begins. The question is whether a mismanaged reopening of the U.S. economy will bring this second wave even sooner. The debate is raging over how long the U.S. economy should stay closed to contain Covid-19, and it’s understandable given the financial impact of social-distancing restrictions on businesses and consumers. Still, many economists say that trying to stem the current economic blow at the expense of public health stands to make the second wave worse from both a health and economic standpoint, and it potentially sets up rolling waves and ongoing devastation. Already, Covid-19 cases are rising again in some countries that have started to lift lockdowns. Swonk’s ideal scenario is that the U.S. reopens slowly. Even more crucial is managing public fear. “ We know there’s a second wave coming in the fall.

The consequences of socially isolating seniors - TMC News As social creatures, humans are naturally hardwired to seek companionship and social connection, but COVID-19 is forcing people to adapt to a new reality anchored by social distancing and isolation. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Looking for the latest on the CORONAVIRUS? Read our daily updates HERE. :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: Social distancing is critical to managing the coronavirus pandemic, as it will help flatten the curve and prevent the United States health care system from collapse. “They’re very worried. Assisted living facilities and senior care centers have closed their doors to visitors and non-health care workers to protect the health and safety of their residents and comply with federal mandates.

Coronavirus isolation is creating new couples - BBC Worklife ‘We missed our moment’ Mathilde Laluque, 31, Paris, France Wedding dress maker Matilde Laluque and her 29-year-old boyfriend had enjoyed a romantic six weeks exploring Parisian galleries and restaurants after meeting on Tinder in mid-January. But the couple opted to navigate the French capital’s lockdown while living apart. “We were a bit naive thinking it would only last two weeks,” says Laluque. They’ve managed to maintain their relationship thanks to “a great amount of lovely conversations” on the phone. Covid-19 crisis love: What the experts say While the global Covid-19 pandemic is unique, it’s not unusual for new couples to form or stick together in crisis situations, explains Matt Lundquist, a relationship psychotherapist based in New York. For those already in flourishing new relationships, cohabitation under these circumstances may heighten emotions and increase their connection, he argues.