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In The News

Long covid deserves a long hard look

In a recent article, health writer André Picard suggests that “the future is especially uncertain for those with “long COVID.”

He says that studies estimate that anywhere from 5 per cent to 30 per cent of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 will end up with lingering symptoms, sometimes severe, that last six months or more.

That’s at least 3.3 million Canadians, and 436 million people around the world, have been infected (and we know those are large underestimates because we have pretty well given up on testing), the fallout could be massive.

Even in the most optimistic scenario, we’re looking at 150,000 to 400,000 more Canadians living with a chronic health condition as a result of the pandemic.

There is nothing simple about long COVID.

Picard goes on to say, “it’s difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat. More than 200 symptoms have been catalogued, affecting 10 organ systems, from the heart to the brain to the gut. Because there is no single biological cause, seemingly, no
two cases are the same.” Picard calls for better diagnosis and treatment, more compassionate care and a large investment in research saying, “we have to take this pandemic fall out as serious as the pandemic itself.”

Source: The Globe & Mail


Why life can get better as we age

Healthy aging researchers at Flinders University suggest that the feeling of “ life  getting better with age”  may be because people who are older have the wisdom and time to use mindfulness as a means to improve their well-being.

Mindfulness, as outlined by the author’s, refers to the natural human ability to be aware of one’s experiences, however temporary, and be receptive to thoughts and feelings in that moment.  Older adult may have, over their years, naturally developed the benefit of paying closer attention, being more receptive and using mindful techniques to reduce stress and promote positive psychological outcomes. According to the research, the noted characteristics of mindfulness such as focusing on the present mode, adapting to age related challenges, generating positive emotions and approaching experiences in a non judgmental way, have all been shown to pave the way to wellness and a healthier old age. In addition, this approach sees seniors worry less and reduce their need to focus on the past or worrying about the future in unhelpful ways.

At the time of the study older people also responded in more optimistic ways than those who were younger, to the challenging circumstances surrounding the spread of  COVID-19.


The cure for burn-out isn’t self care

Firstly, burnout isn’t a medical diagnosis or a mental illness.  It’s a condition related to overwhelming stress. Indeed, medical professionals tell us there is overlap between burnout and lots of other experiences such as depression, anxiety, grief and repressed rage.  

The layperson’s definition of burnout is, that feeling of being overwhelmed and exhausted by everything, while still worrying you aren’t doing enough.  It’s beyond burnout if you can’t get out of bed and do the basics. Burnout, according to experts is when you show up for work and spend you whole day fantasizing about being at a different job.

Case in point…although we are almost never chased by lions, we live in a world where the behaviors that deal with our stressors are no longer the behaviors that deal with stress in our bodies. Our stressors today are what are referred to as chronic stressors, those that are there day-after-day, week-after-week, year after year. But, what causes burnout is our inability to recognize the hard stuff that is welling up inside us. And, the solution is to be able to: • Turn towards those uncomfortable feelings with kindness and compassion. • Work all the way through it rather than get stuck in the middle. • Surround yourself with a bubble of love.

Source: TED Talks

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