Category Archives: health

Challenges of dental clinics in Mexico during the pandemic

In the small town of Nogales, Mexico some dental clinics are struggling to maintain open despite orders to keep them closed until 1 June.

However, some dentists are defying the restrictions by opening their clinics only for emergency appointments. Despite health advice from the health secretary, dentists are at risk in being infected if they keep their facilities open.

This is what we heard from Dr. Ivan Gonzalez who has reopened his dental clinic and the challenges that the dental community is facing.

Dr Gonzales. Photograph by Patty Lopez

By Karina Corral

Image source: Dr. Gonzales. Photograph by Patty Lopez

Covid 19: How to make your ED recovery successful

Coronavirus is causing people a lot of additional stress and anxiety. For those people struggling with an eating disorder, or those looking after someone who has issues with such illnesses, the self-isolation process can negatively affect the recovery process.

According to the eating disorder charity Beat, around 125 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder.

Eating disorders are complex mental health problems that can be caused by various different factors. Examples include biological factors, such as genetics and psychological factors such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, issues with bullying or simply issues at work, school or personal life.

When Boris Johnson announced the lockdown on March 23, those who have struggled or are still struggling with the eating problems did not expect it to have a major impact on the way they are coping.

28-year-old nurse Ann said that having to shop for food less often triggers her eating disorder she battled with while being a nursing student, because it requires bigger product quantities for a longer time.

“I simply cannot buy many products; a full trolley is making me anxious and I feel better while purchasing smaller quantities more often.” – said Ann.

She claims to feel pressured to “stock up”, which she is not used to do. For the majority struggling from eating disorders, one of the biggest challenges is shopping for food.

The patients tend to stick to certain products only, which are considered to be “safe.” There is no room for experimenting or trying new foods.

However, some of the patients are willingly stock-piling food. It is common for those struggling with the binge-purge behaviour. For those isolating alone with no one looking after them can trigger more binge episodes.

Even though the situation is extremely challenging, you will look back on these few months and will be proud of yourself for getting through this.

In order to succeed in your journey, we present five activities to take on when the bad thoughts visit.

_Infographics
by: Monika Laimaite

(image source: Siora Photography. Unsplash.com)

Covid-19 patient in China tells of her ordeal

Report from DaLian, China

Below is a telephone interview that took place with a confirmed positive case of a student being treated in Beijing, Ditan hospital at present.

Following the discussion with the interviewee, she hoped that we would call her Tian.

Tian is a girl who are studies at one of London’s most prestigious universities. She said that once her university changed to online sessions, she decided to go back to China. Her flight back home was on the 17th of March. From London to Moscow, and Moscow to Beijing.

Jessie: When did you know you were among the confirmed cases?

Tian: I arrived in Beijing on the 18th and before you land at Beijing airport you have to complete a “Health form” to explain whether you have any existing symptoms or took any medicine in the last 14 days. I had no idea at that time that I am a positive carrier because I did not have any symptoms at all. But I did take ibuprofen for my otitis media problem. So, I wrote down I ate ibuprofen in the last 14 days. After I got off the plane, there was an ambulance take me immediately to the Ditan hospital for testing. I spent the whole night at hospital because they did not allow us to go anywhere else before the result come out and on the 19th I have received the message that I was confirmed on COVID-19.

Health declaration form

Jessie: Tell me a little me more about the environment in the hospital and your state

Tian: To be honest, I was shocked when I got the message. Because I did not feel unwell. The good thing is that the doctor told me that my symptoms are not serious. So hopefully, I can get out quickly. DiTan hospital is super busy currently, so at the very beginning I had to share a room with 3 other patients. Doctors do not allow us to leave the ward at any time of the day because this is an infectious disease. And because I went directly to the hospital all my luggage are still in the airport – I only have my phone and my passport with me.


After I spent 20 days with my three roommates, I got a chance to move to the single room because they told me I nearly recovered. During that time, my states did get worst at the end of March, I started to have a continuous cough to the point where I couldn’t even sleep at night.

Tian during her treatment

I got really depressed sometimes and that made it even more emotional with this on-going situation but gladly one of the doctors – whose name I don’t know because they all wearing the same protective suit to cover their whole body (which make me confused sometimes about who is who) – always came and spoke with me on my health. This helped me a lot with my negative thoughts.

How Covid-19 affects mental health during lockdown

Having been in lockdown for just over a month in the UK has had an effect on our health.

Being quarantined at home gives many positive traits such as time to relax and focus on ourselves. However, all this free time can start to affect one’s mental well-being no matter the age.

For some individuals, quarantine is an opportunity to bring families closer, however, for some living alone can be a challenge. Having that form of interaction and knowing that there is someone physically there, gives a sense of relief.

For those isolating alone the only form of communication is through social media or a stroll to your local grocery store.

What about the elderly?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government have regulated that people over the age of 65 are at high risk of illness from the Coronavirus and are advised to seek isolation through this lockdown.

As the elderly are at most vulnerable due to this outbreak, staying indoors means no contact with family, friends and neighbours. This can gradually develop mental health issues such as depression and anxiousness.

Photo by Matthias Zomer on Pexels.com

Interviewing Winifred Curtis, aged 89 on living alone in lockdown.

How does it feel to isolate alone?

How can isolation differ for someone who is used to living alone?

Curtis explains, that being elderly and living alone during lockdown can be tough at times, as there is no one to communicate with. Although people are just a call away, she misses psychical interaction. This pandemic has had an increasing effect on her day to day life. As she is used to living alone, she feels restricted. She exclaims that the only form of communication is through her TV.

Stay Connected

Communication is a key in surviving the lockdown. Staying connected with your loved ones will make a drastic change to their day, especially for people isolating alone. For the majority, a little phone call goes a long way. If you feel low, stressed or anxious reach out to a friend, in times like this support is needed.

Helplines

Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

If you are in a need to speak to someone who is not aware of your mental well-being the use of helplines and listening services are a good way to communicate your feelings.

Samaritans – Support for distress and despair.

Call 116 123 or email jo@samartains.org


https://www.samaritans.org/

The Mix – Support for under 25s.

Call 0808 808 4994


https://www.themix.org.uk/

Anxiety UK – Support for individuals that are diagnosed with anxiety.

Call 03444 775 774

www.anxietyuk.org.uk

SANE – Emotional support, guidance and information for people affected by mental illness.

Call 0300 304 7000

www.sane.org.uk/support

Our mental health is important.

(Image source: Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com)

Looking for a new health & fitness coach? Here are 5 things to keep in mind

MORE ABOUT WORKING OUT AT HOME:

Self-isolation gave us some extra time to work on our summer bodies. However, with all “Abs In Two Weeks” or “Toned Legs In A Month” we are left with false hopes and a major risk of failing.

Not every online fitness ‘expert’ is trustworthy, which leads us to searching for someone, who will truly support us on a getting in your best shape journey.

We gathered five most important aspects to consider while looking for you one and only online coach.

Certifications

Fitness professionals must be certified to a Level 2 (Fitness/Gym Instructors) or Level 3 (Personal Trainers) qualification. Feel free to ask to see a copy of any certification.

Industry Memberships

It is not a legal requirement for fitness professionals to be members of industry memberships, such as REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals, an independent public register which recognises qualifications and expertise of health and fitness professionals in the UK) but it’s worth asking as it signifies that the coach has met nationally agreed standards and holds recognised and approved qualifications.

certificatesam

Unsplash/Robert Anasch

Measurement & Goals

You should have a discussion upfront and then continue about your goals and how to measure you are staying on track. This holds both the coach and you accountable.

Ask your coach how success will be measured. What are some key performance metrics that will be evaluated and how often those will be reviewed?

Care of Health & Safety

The number one goal for a health and fitness coach, should be to keep you safe and reduce risk to injury or harm. A health assessment or conversation should be done before you start to train together.

They should ask you some basic questions up front, then more if you decide to work together. Any injuries, medical conditions, pregnancies, disabilities etc. True health and fitness professional will conduct detailed health, fitness or lifestyle assessment before taking on a new client. This will help them create a personalised program, which is completely tailored to and mindful of your current health, fitness and lifestyle.

If these questions aren’t being asked, that should be an immediate red flag.

Referrals & Testimonials

Ask for previous success stories or client testimonials. Examples of how they have met goals for others and over what periods of time. Perhaps asking for before and after pictures, if the goals have been centred around transformations.

New coaches may not have client success stories to share, so it’s worth asking for 1 or 2 free sessions. This allows you to get a feel for the teaching style, so you can decide if you’d like to continue.

Don’t be afraid to ask what you can expect. A certified and quality fitness coach will share realistic expectations and also discuss with you what is required, both sides, to make that happen.

Relationship is the key…

Another very important thing to consider, which is not necessarily an upfront ‘checklist’ requirement, is the relationship between the coach and client. I use the ‘push/pull’ fitness term as an analogy. It should not feel that the coach is just pushing, and you are doing all the pulling.

The relationship needs to be balanced. Often, the above 5 check’s may have been done, but you just don’t have a healthy or natural chemistry with the trainer. Don’t be afraid to tell the coach that you are looking for something you feel you could just naturally work better with.

Your coach is there to inspire, motivate and support you. It should feel they are challenging you and holding you accountable. But the ‘push/pull’ factor should be 50/50 for it to be successful and potentially long-lasting.

fitness coach

Unsplash/Luis Quintero

by Sam Tabahriti

(Image source: Sam Tabahriti)

When it’s getting too much, what you should remember

Many surprising events happened this year that humanity never thought it would have to face. Our society and its progress have been stopped in its tracks, forced to step down and limited to essential tasks. It has brought a new perspective to life and what it means to be a human.

Everyone is walking with no apparent business. Nobody is rushing anywhere, except for delivery drivers. We might encounter the same people, two or three times on our path. We come home and the day eclipses in a matter of seconds.

After the panic, the fear, the stress and anxiety, we might be in the last stage of lockdown which is in a stage of acceptance and hope.

We can learn from those who survived during wars, famine and economic crises. We can’t control the state of the world but we can improve in what’s happening around us.

Helping a neighbour or calling a friend that you think might be struggling. We can develop resilience and become stronger mentally when we face our fears directly.

Unsplash/Paul Garaizar

When we feel like the energy is being sucked out of ourselves, when we get tired of the news and the negative influx of information, it’s normal to decide to shut down from the world. The attention might be going inwards where we are faced with internal issues and questions that we might never have had the time to see before.

Unsplash/Britt Gaiser

It’s our chance to practice mindfulness to ground ourselves in the moment and appreciate whatever is in front of us.

Unsplash/Debby Hudson

If you feel alone or trapped, lay down your fears in writing and create space by imagining something new. In a world of constant pressure, choose to disconnect from the world a day or two and connect with your feelings.

Finding things, big or small to be grateful for is always possible. Remember to count a few things or people to be grateful for each day to ease the anxiety.

Things are ugly and some days are really gloomy. What we have to remember is that we are going to get through this together. We are alone together.

(image source: Unsplash, @fynnnyc)

How South Korea’s COVID-19 exit strategy is proving to be efficient

South Korea’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) reported no new domestic Coronavirus cases for the first time since February.

Out of the total 10,765 cases recorded, four new imported infections were reported – all of which were tested and tracked in the airport. Overall, 1,065 were imported cases. Among these cases, 9,059 have been discharged with a total of 247 deaths so far.

The health authorities also revealed that no local transmission of the infection occurred during the parliamentary election this month – where strict safety measures were in place for voters.

So, what makes South Korea’s COVID-19 exit strategy more efficient?

Watch our video to find out how the nation has tackled the pandemic.

The effect of COVID-19 on the deaf and hearing impaired

The government is currently facing a lawsuit, following a lack of support for the British deaf community.

Since the lockdown started the Government have been holding daily briefings, broadcasted online and on television, designed to keep the country informed on the current situation.

Yet, the UK’s deaf and hearing-impaired community have criticised the Government for failing to provide sign language interpreters during the broadcasts.

The Government responded stating that the BBC will provide BSL interpreters for broadcasts.

News 24 Channel currently have an interpreter, alongside many other news companies in other countries, but it’s the BBC’s lack of interpreters that has caught the community’s attention.

During PM Boris Johnson’s broadcast on Monday morning, no interpreter was present on the BBC, contradicting the Government’s statement.

What started as comments on Twitter have escalated into legal action taken against the government.

Members of the hearing loss community have been left feeling unsupported during this time due to the lack of interpreters.

Many appointments for tests, hearing aid fittings and routine check-ups have been cancelled, leaving some with no hearing aids at all.

Not only this, but members of the deaf community have taken to social media to express their struggles against the use of protective masks in hospitals.

Whilst they prove useful for protection against the virus, they prove difficult for individuals that rely on lip-reading for communication.

Some have been suggesting adjustments that could be made to resolve this communication barrier. For example, adjusting the design of the masks to make the lips visible.

However, there is no indication, nor conformation, that these changes will happen.

BSL are currently raising money to cover the cost if the case is lost and there are online petitions to make sure all broadcasts have interpreters present.

If you are a member of the hearing impaired, or deaf community and are feeling unsupported and worried, there are many sites available to help including BSL Zone for adults and NDCS for children.

(Image source: Istockphotos royalty free images)

Social Distancing is a Social Project

The facts, the do’s and the don’ts

As the government renews its plea in the fight against COVID-19, are the measures in place encouraging a positive change?

The UK government has highlighted that critical weeks lie ahead with ‘absolutely no room for complacency’ at this time. As well as this, the NHS has been promised ‘life-saving equipment, testing strategy and contact tracing’.

Recent reports highlight that the government is developing an app to ensure accurate information is spread regarding the pandemic and how the UK is handling it.

Britain has also ordered 10,000 ventilators – of which the first batch will be delivered to the NHS next week.

Cabinet office minister Michael Gove told reporters that: “This weekend the first thousands of new ventilator devices will roll off the production line and be delivered to the NHS next week, from there they will be rapidly distributed to the front line.”

A doctor at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn commented that: “There are new cases everyday. There have been talks of deploying doctors from different specialities to treat COVID-19 patients. Although, with the lack of protective equipment at the moment it is proving to be a difficult task to set in motion.”


Sources: NHS, UK GOV, The Next Web, Reuters

COVID-19: The urgency to ‘flatten the curve’

What do we mean by ‘flatten the curve’?

When dealing with a pandemic like COVID-19, the ultimate goal is to stop the overall spread of the virus. In order to do so, the slowing down of the spread is a critical phase in achieving this. Hence, the social distancing measures in place across the world.

To ‘flatten the curve’ means to reduce the growth in the number of cases – giving medical professionals, institutional bodies and government officials more time to prepare and respond. As well as this, it accommodates for effective planning in a stressful situation as such.

For hospitals to function – doctors must be readily available to treat patients. However, with an influx of patients they must quickly adapt to the escalation of cases. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 cases through measures such as social distancing will not only save lives but ensure that we continue to progress ahead.

What do the curves on the graph represent?

‘Flatten the curve’

The curves represent the number of cases and how they are increasing/decreasing over time. A steep, higher curve signifies that cases are increasing fast. The lower curve indicates that cases are emerging slower, and that the virus is not spreading as faster.

By keeping the curve low, it allows for added time and preparation in controlling the spread of the virus.

How will social distancing determine the outcome of this pandemic?

The spread of the virus depends on how contagious it is, who is more vulnerable to it and how fast it impacts our immune systems. According to the World Health Organisations (WHO) COVID-19 is an ‘infectious disease’ primarily spreads through ‘droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose’ when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Seasonal flu has a lower fatality rate because people have been vaccinated against the virus or developed immunity. Coronavirus, on the other hand, does not have a vaccine and is known to have vigorous symptoms. As a result, people are more vulnerable to it.

Social distancing measures such as self-isolation and quarantine will decrease chances of transmission and consequently the spread of the virus.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine estimated that prior to the lockdown – one positive person would infect 2.6 other people. However, after social distancing measures were implemented – the figure reduced to 0.62. This means that the virus is being detained and should eventually burn out given the measures in place are strictly followed.

How should we go about this situation as individuals?

NHS guideline

In these uncertain times, it is natural to be overcome with anxiousness and self-awareness. Essential workers, doctors and patients are battling a wide-scale pandemic that is challenging day-to-day routines. As individuals of society, we have the duty to protect the most vulnerable of people amid this pandemic. By staying home, maintaining our hygiene and social distancing – we can encourage a safer, less disastrous outcome.

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