Category Archives: health

Inside the world’s worst second wave

While the lockdown eases in the United Kingdom, there are countries like India which are suffering and going through a second wave of Covid-19.

Cases have significant increased in the past 60 days with an average of 357,040 every day. The number of cases had previously decreased to as low as 5000.

India’s health system seems to crush as it breaks global records. The difficulty to get access to oxygen, plasma and medical beds has led to a rapid increase in the death rate, with nearly 3498 deaths reported on April 29 alone.

Vaccinations are open to a majority of the population and all adults from May 1. But only 9% of the population is vaccinated with the first dose and just 1.8% is vaccinated with two.

Credit: Unsplash

This poses a threat to the entire nation as the medical facilities seem to deteriorate and are significantly insufficient for the entire population of the country.

Graphic created using information from Github

Indian author Arundhati Roy has criticised how the government have handled the pandemic. According to The Independent, he slammed Narendra Modi for his early triumph over coronavirus and described it as an “outright crime against humanity”.

Basic facilities such as oxygen and medicine are being sold in the Black Market according to ABC News at high prices. In turn, becoming unaffordable for the poor sections of the country.

Unsplash

In order to curb the virus, state governments have imposed lockdowns and night curfews in various hotspots in India. Restaurants continue to operate for takeaways and shops remain shut.

A large community of influential celebrities and bloggers have started using their platforms to help people connect with organisations that can help with getting basic facilities, according to The Quint.

Want to read more global COVID-19 news? Check out our interactive map.

Covid 19 conditions and vaccins: what do young french people think?

Photo by Matese Fields on Unsplash

While England’s condition is improving, in France (like in many other countries), young people feel like they are trapped by the current covid 19 situation, with a part of their youth “stolen.” Nonetheless, motivation, patience and hope are well present, with the vaccinations appearing as the key to get their normal life back.

“It’s true that being young now means not being able to plan and evolve professionally like we would in normal conditions. We are also very limited in the number of people we meet and places we can visit. And I think travelling and meeting people is an essential part of the health and flourishment of young people.” Tells Charlène, 26.

Photo by Elevate on Unsplash

“That’s true that we feel that we can’t live our life at the moment, but if making the sacrifice to not go out or see friends and families for a while means that it can help us get out of this pandemic, we have to do it and be patient.” Adds Jérémy, 25.

“And we are lucky to be in France during those difficult times. Help is given to young people or disadvantaged people for example. Our living conditions are much better than in other countries.” says Charlène.

Photo by Chris Karidis on Unsplash

As the vaccines arrive, many young people see the end of this dark period approaching.

“We have to get vaccinated to stop the pandemic, protect ourselves and the others.” mentions Jérémy.

“It’s a godsend. We need it to get our normal life back. Vaccins before have always proved to be efficient, why not that one?” points out Charlène.

Photo by Mat Napo on Unsplash

When seeing the massive vaccinations in England and the number of infected people decreasing, hope among young people arise even more.

“English people have started ahead of us. And seeing the efficiency of the vaccins proves us that it will do the same thing in France when we get to their point.” Thinks Christophe, 27.

Jérémy concludes: “France is a bit too passive in my opinion, we were slow to react compared to English people, but we are getting there. We’ll see in the next few weeks…”

Want to read more global COVID-19 news? Check out our interactive map.

The coronavirus pandemic’s impact on youth’s mental health in the UK

Since the beginning of a global pandemic, our regular lifestyles, despite age, gender or social class had been transformed physically, emotionally and mentally.

The media has explored how the pandemic affected us as a society but did not dive deep into how young people in the UK were impacted mentally, which is covered in this video through statistics and personal experiences of a young artist Miranda Melbourne and Samaritan Charlotte Cook.

Featured Image belongs to Engin Akyur on Unsplash

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)

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