Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Oct 2021

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Melbourne to ease world's longest COVID-19 lockdowns as vaccinations rise

Melbourne, which has spent more time under COVID-19 lockdowns than any other city in the world, is set to lift its stay-at-home orders this week, officials said on Sunday. By Friday, when some curbs will be lifted, the Australian city of 5 million people will have been under six lockdowns totalling 262 days, or nearly nine months, since March 2020. Australian and other media say this is the longest in the world, exceeding a 234-day lockdown in Buenos Aires.
17th Oct 2021 - Reuters

New Zealand faces growing calls for ‘circuit breaker’ Covid-19 lockdown

The nation of 5 million was largely virus-free until mid-August, when it was hit by an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant. Health ministry data shows cases have been concentrated among people from the indigenous Maori community, who are also the least likely to be vaccinated
16th Oct 2021 - South China Morning Post

Fully vaccinated travellers entering Malaysia to serve shorter quarantine period from Oct 18

Fully vaccinated travellers entering Malaysia will undergo a shorter quarantine period of seven days from Monday (Oct 18), Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced on Friday. They can serve their quarantine at home, if suitable, or at quarantine stations, said Ismail Sabri after a meeting of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Management. “Travellers who are not vaccinated or have not been fully vaccinated will have to undergo 10 days’ quarantine at the quarantine station,” he said. The quarantine period for close contacts will also be reduced to seven days at home for those fully vaccinated. It will be 10 days for those unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.
16th Oct 2021 - Channel NewsAsia Singapore

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Oct 2021

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Melbourne set for COVID lockdown exit despite record cases as vaccinations spike

Melbourne will exit months of COVID-19 lockdown next week helped by a faster-than-expected vaccine uptake, Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said on Thursday, ahead of schedule even though daily infections hit a record the same day. In the worst day of an outbreak of the Delta variant coronavirus that began in early August, Victoria logged 2,297 new cases on Thursday, up from 1,571 the day before and the highest for any Australian state or territory since the pandemic began. Eleven people died, bringing the total toll in the latest outbreak to 125.
14th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Oct 2021

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WHO advisers recommend 3rd COVID vaccine dose for highest-risk groups

The group, called the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE), said people in the immunocompromised groups should be offered an additional dose in the vaccine series, since they are less likely to respond adequately to vaccination with the standard series and are at high risk for severe disease. WHO leaders have previously urged countries to postpone broader use of booster doses to free up more vaccine for countries that had much less access to supplies. SAGE said its third-dose recommendation applies to all vaccines that the WHO has approved for emergency use. They include Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sinopharm, and Sinovac. For Sinopharm and Sinovac, two inactivated vaccines from China, SAGE said a third dose should be offered to people ages 60 and older as part of an extended primary series. It added that a third dose of a different vaccine could be considered, based on vaccine supply and access. However, SAGE urged countries to prioritize 2-dose coverage in that age group, then administer third doses, starting with the oldest age groups.
12th Oct 2021 - CIDRAP

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 13th Oct 2021

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Covid-19 Australia: Chief Minister Andrew Barr confirms ACT will lift its lockdown this week

The ACT is set to end its harsh lockdown restrictions by the end of the week, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has confirmed. The territory's leader announced Canberra will officially emerge from lockdown at 11.59pm on Thursday as the state increases its vaccination coverage. 'Case numbers are expected to increase as restrictions are eased, but being fully vaccinated provides you with protection,' he said.
12th Oct 2021 - Daily Mail

COVID-19 curbs in Sydney could ease early amid surge in vaccinations

New South Wales could ease more restrictions in Sydney a week earlier than planned on Oct. 18 as Australia's most populous state races towards its 80% double-dose vaccination target, the government said on Wednesday. The southeastern state is expected to hit the mark over the weekend, beating forecasts, and officials previously promised to relax further restrictions on vaccinated residents on the first Monday after reaching that milestone. "If we hit 80%, we've always said it will be the Monday following," state Premier Dominic Perrottet told ABC Radio. "We will have this discussion with our team on Thursday and we will make a decision to be announced on Friday."
12th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 12th Oct 2021

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Virus czar ‘optimistic’ about COVID-19 decline, but says restrictions to remain

Falling coronavirus infection rates are an encouraging sign that a recent wave is coming to an end, national virus czar Salman Zarka said Monday, but warned against the country dropping its guard too soon. Zarka held a video press briefing in which he reviewed the declining coronavirus infections and plans to ease the quarantine regime for school children who are exposed to virus carriers. He said health officials are “optimistic that we are exiting the fourth wave” but cautioned, “we are not there yet.”
11th Oct 2021 - The Times of Israel

Indonesia cuts quarantine to 5 days as borders reopen further

Southeast Asia’s largest economy will allow arrivals from 18 countries and reduce the minimum quarantine period to five days, from eight previously, said Luhut Panjaitan, coordinating minister for maritime and investment affairs who’s overseeing the pandemic response. He didn’t specify which are the 18 countries. The country has gradually eased border restrictions, starting with the resumption of offshore visa applications and followed by the reopening of tourist spot Bali to foreign visitors this week. People’s mobility has started to bounce back as cinemas and gyms are reopened, with daily Covid-19 case and fatality numbers continuing to ease to the lowest since June 2020.
11th Oct 2021 - Bangkok Post

Sydney opens to vaccinated after 100-plus days of lockdown

Sydney hairdressers, gyms, cafés and bars reopened to fully vaccinated customers on Monday for the first time in more than 100 days after Australia’s largest city achieved a vaccination benchmark. Sydney planned to reopen on the Monday after 70% of the New South Wales state population aged 16 and older were fully vaccinated. By Monday, 73.5% of the target population was fully vaccinated and more than 90% have received at least one dose. Some businesses opened at midnight due to demand from people impatient to enjoy their freedom. More pandemic restrictions will be removed at the 80% benchmark, and New South Wales residents will be free to travel overseas for the first time since March last year.
11th Oct 2021 - The Associated Press

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 11th Oct 2021

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As Sydney readies to exit lockdown, doctors fret re-opening is moving too fast

Australian doctors warned a too-rapid easing of COVID-19 curbs in Sydney could put pressure on health systems and risk lives, as the city prepares for key restrictions to be relaxed next week after more than 100 days in lockdown. Stay-at-home orders are due to be lifted on Monday after New South Wales state this week hit its 70% target of full vaccination for its adult population, and owners of restaurants and other public venues are now scrambling to arrange supplies and staffing. While an easing of restrictions on travel for Sydneysiders outside of their local government areas had previously been flagged, authorities on Thursday also decided to bump up permitted limits for home gatherings, weddings and funerals - earning the ire of the Australian Medical Association (AMA).
9th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Coronavirus: as Australia plans border reopening, stranded citizens wait with anxiety, trepidation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to ease strict controls on overseas citizens returning home within weeks and to cut quarantine for those who have been vaccinated to seven days at home – rather than 14 at a hotel But with promises of being able to return home for Christmas 2020 still ringing in their ears, many stranded Australians dare not hope the ordeal is over,
8th Oct 2021 - South China Morning Post

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 8th Oct 2021

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Lone, remote workers and business travellers

The UK’s successful vaccination programme means employees are now starting to return to offices and travel more on company business. However, even with this hybrid and agile working pattern, employees continue to work alone more than ever before. This means that, as we move into a post-lockdown environment, it’s now more important than ever to protect the safety and well- being of employees. However, the new and different working landscapes present further challenges to employers and employees alike. Here is the conundrum for the pharma and life sciences sectors: whilst employers have always had long-standing health and safety at work and duty of care obligations to protect their lone/remote working staff – historical evidence shows that in practice, this employee population has been overlooked by employers.
7th Oct 2021 - PharmaTimes

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 7th Oct 2021

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The Psychological Benefits of COVID-19 Boosters

Scientists don’t agree on whether approving COVID-19 boosters for certain non-elderly Americans, as the CDC did recently, was the right move. The president, the CDC, and the FDA have issued a series of conflicting statements on the issue. Some experts have indignantly resigned. Others have published frustrated op-eds. President Joe Biden, who got a booster shot this week and called on other eligible Americans to do the same, remains enthusiastic. The split between Biden-administration scientists, such as Chief Medical Adviser Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, and other scientists over boosters might seem confusing. One possible explanation for it has largely escaped notice: Vaccinated Americans seem to really want boosters, which means that the shots could have benefits that go well beyond extra protection against COVID. Those benefits could be psychological and economic—and, for the president, political.
6th Oct 2021 - The Atlantic

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 6th Oct 2021

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'It's Like There's No Covid': Booster Shots Bring Tel Aviv Back to Life

Tel Aviv’s mayor has a message for cities struggling to reopen: Covid booster shots are allowing his city to roar back to life. The mass distribution of third shots in Israel has driven down new cases and hospital admissions, allowing restaurants and shops to fill up with customers. New variants of the disease could change the pandemic’s trajectory again, but for now, the boosters are working, Mayor Ron Huldai said in an interview with Bloomberg News. “On the streets of Tel Aviv now, it’s like there’s no Covid,” said Huldai, 77, who has run Tel Aviv for more than two decades since he was elected in 1998. He said 99% of city workers are vaccinated.
5th Oct 2021 - Bloomberg

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 5th Oct 2021

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New Zealand drops COVID-19 elimination strategy under pressure from Delta

New Zealand on Monday abandoned its long-standing strategy of eliminating coronavirus amid a persistent Delta outbreak, and will instead look to live with the virus and control its spread as its vaccination rate rises. The Pacific nation was among just a handful of countries to bring COVID-19 cases down to zero last year and largely stayed virus-free until an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant in mid-August frustrated efforts to stamp out transmission. "With this outbreak and Delta the return to zero is incredibly difficult," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference in a major policy shift.
4th Oct 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 4th Oct 2021

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New Zealand widens Covid lockdown as Delta spreads outside Auckland

New Zealand’s Delta Covid variant outbreak has spread beyond Auckland, prompting the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to put additional regions into a snap lockdown. There were 32 new coronavirus cases on Sunday in the country’s largest city, which has been in lockdown since mid-August, and two cases in the Waikato region, some 147km (91 miles) south of Auckland. Ardern announced on Sunday that parts of the region will go into a five-day lockdown. She added that the government will decide on Monday whether Auckland’s 1.7 million residents will remain sealed off from the rest of New Zealand.
3rd Oct 2021 - The Guardian

S.African president Ramaphosa eases COVID-19 restrictions to lowest level

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has eased restrictions aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic to the country's lowest alert level, the second such loosening this month as the country looks to open up its economy ahead of the summer holiday season. In a televised address, Ramaphosa announced the country would move down one level in a five-tier system of restrictions, where five is the highest, to an 'adjusted level 1' as South Africa emerges from its third wave dominated by the Delta variant of the virus.
1st Oct 2021 - Reuters

US, UK adults report pandemic-related distress, disruptions

Yesterday in JAMA Network Open, Johns Hopkins University and University of California Los Angeles researchers analyzed self-reported health and psychological status among nationally representative survey respondents worried about eviction or foreclosure in November 2020. Among 1,218 study respondents, 128 (12%) reported that they were behind on rent or mortgage payments or didn't know if they could afford the next payment. Just over half (51%) of all participants were women, 46% were 30 to 54 years old, 45% were 55 and older, 69% were White, and 13% each were Black or Hispanic. Of the 128 housing-insecure respondents, 42 (34%) said they were behind on rent or mortgage payments, 55 (38%) said they had little to no confidence that they could afford the next payment, and 31 (28%) reported both. Of all participants, 46% reported moderate to severe psychological distress, and 18% said they were in fair to poor health. Respondents with unstable housing reported more distress (57% vs 45% in housing-secure participants) and poorer health (30% vs 16%).
1st Oct 2021 - CIDRAP

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 1st Oct 2021

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Melbourne cases hit record despite two months of lockdown

Melbourne's COVID-19 cases surged to record levels on Thursday with officials blaming illegal home gatherings to watch a key sporting event for the spike as a hard lockdown to combat the spread of the Delta variant neared two months. Authorities in Victoria, home to Melbourne, estimated nearly a third of Thursday's 1,438 new infections could be traced back to home parties last weekend to watch the Australian Rules Football Grand Final on television.
30th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Sep 2021

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Women followed lockdown rules more closely than men, study shows

The first Covid lockdown showed that women followed rules more closely than men, according to a new study which branded the restrictions a ‘live social experiment’. Researchers looking at 15% of the Austrian population’s behaviour said that everyone tended to make significantly longer phone calls during the crisis. Men were found to be less likely to accept having their movements restricted by lockdown measures and tended to return to normal more quickly, along with younger people. Scientists looked at anonymised mobile phone data from 1.2 million Austrians between February and June 2020, to study the impact of the first lockdown on behaviour in the central European country.
29th Sep 2021 - Metro

Sri Lanka to lift quarantine curfew on Oct. 1 as COVID-19 cases decline

Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Wednesday instructed related authorities to lift the existing nationwide quarantine curfew over COVID-19 on Oct. 1 as the South Asian country has seen a decline in coronavirus infections.
29th Sep 2021 - Xinhua

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 29th Sep 2021

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Sydney's unvaccinated warned of social isolation when COVID-19 lockdown ends

Sydney residents who are not vaccinated against COVID-19 risk being barred from various social activities even when they are freed from stay-at-home orders in December, New South Wales state Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned. Under a roadmap to exit lockdown in Australia's biggest city, unvaccinated people are already subject to delays in freedoms that will be gradually granted to inoculated residents between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1. Berejiklian said people who choose not to be vaccinated could be barred entry to shops, restaurants and entertainment venues even after the state lifts all restrictions against them on Dec. 1.
28th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Japan to lift emergency COVID-19 curbs, but gradually

Japan will lift a coronavirus state of emergency in all regions on Thursday for the first time in nearly six months, as the number of new cases and deaths falls and the strain on the medical system eases, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said. Daily cases have fallen nationwide from more than 25,000 last month to 1,128 on Monday, but the opening will be gradual with some curbs on restaurants and large-scale events staying in place for about a month.
28th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 28th Sep 2021

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New Zealand to begin letting people isolate at home as it looks to ease border curbs

New Zealand is to begin allowing small numbers of vaccinated travellers to isolate at home instead of in state-run quarantine facilities as part of a phased approach to re-opening its borders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday. The pilot project starting next month will be open to 150 people, who must be New Zealand citizens or residents and are fully vaccinated, Ardern said at a news conference. "While this is a pilot, it gives you a sense of where we intend to go on our borders," Ardern said, adding that the government was working on a wide range of options for allowing people back in safely.
27th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Sydney's COVID-19 lockdown to end sooner for the vaccinated

Australian authorities announced plans on Monday to gradually reopen locked-down Sydney, unveiling a two-tiered system that will give citizens inoculated for COVID-19 more freedoms than their unvaccinated neighbours for several weeks. Movement restrictions across New South Wales, the country's most populous state and home to Sydney, will be lifted gradually between Oct. 11 and Dec. 1 as vaccination rates push through 70%, 80% and 90%. However, people who are not fully inoculated will be barred from joining the vaccinated to resume community sports, dining out, shopping and other activities until the final date.
27th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 27th Sep 2021

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Birds Flocked to Pandemic-Silenced Cities

As Covid-19 spread through the United States in the spring of 2020, previously bustling cities fell silent. A new study shows that the dip in noise in the early months of the pandemic led to an increased abundance of birds, like hummingbirds, warblers and raptors, in cities. The study published today in Science Advances is the latest to suggest that even a moderate drop in noise pollution could allow some animals to better thrive in urban areas. The flock to cities included "everything from birds like hawks and eagles all the way down to small songbirds and even hummingbirds," says Michael Schrimpf, study co-author and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Manitoba's Natural Resources Institute, to NPR’s Scott Neuman. "The actual physical environment didn't change," Schrimpf says. "What did change was the activity of people in those spaces."
25th Sep 2021 - Smithsonian Magazine

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 24th Sep 2021

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Australians find silver lining in lockdowns as wealth booms

Australians are finding a silver lining to lockdowns as super-cheap credit lifts the value of homes and shares to record highs, a windfall of wealth that gives consumers the means to spend big once restrictions ease. Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics out on Thursday showed net household wealth surged A$735 billion ($531.48 billion) in the June quarter to A$13.3 trillion, or A$522,032 for every man, woman and child. "Aussie households have never been wealthier," said Ryan Felsman, a senior economist at CommSec.
23rd Sep 2021 - Reuters

Ukraine tightens coronavirus lockdown curbs

Ukraine tightened coronavirus lockdown curbs on Thursday, restricting large events and occupancy at gyms, cinemas and cultural sites, after a recent steady increase in new infections. Ukraine imposed a nationwide "yellow" code after cases dropped over the summer, allowing it to lift lockdown restrictions. This week, however, the government extended a state of emergency that allows authorities to impose curbs until year-end to rein in infections. The health ministry has said it plans compulsory coronavirus vaccinations for those in occupations such as teaching and employment in state institutions and local governments.
23rd Sep 2021 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 23rd Sep 2021

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Birds Thrived During Covid-19 Lockdowns, New Study Shows

From hummingbirds to eagles, birds across North America flocked to once frenetic urban areas that had locked down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study based on millions of observations by amateur bird-watchers. Populations of dozens of bird species rose significantly around city centers, major roads and airports apparently in response to the lull in human activity, a research team led by scientists at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg found. Some species were as much as 14 times more numerous during the lockdowns than before pandemic restrictions were imposed.
22nd Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 22nd Sep 2021

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Ukraine tightens COVID-19 lockdown restrictions from Sept 23...

A Ukrainian government commission decided on Tuesday to tighten coronavirus lockdown restrictions from Sept. 23 as the number of new infections has increased sharply, Prime Minister Denys Shmygal said. Ukraine lifted lockdown restrictions as cases dropped over the summer but has now imposed a nationwide "yellow" code which restricts mass events and limits the occupancy rates of gyms, cinemas and other culture venues.
21st Sep 2021 - Thomson Reuters Foundation

India asks UK to revise COVID quarantine rules, warns retaliation

India’s foreign minister has urged the United Kingdom for an “early resolution of quarantine issue” in the wake of a new British rule requiring Indians visiting there to quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated. England and Scotland will ease pandemic restrictions from early October, but the list of countries with approved vaccines does not include India, despite the country using a locally made version of the AstraZeneca vaccine developed in the UK.
21st Sep 2021 - AlJazeera

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 21st Sep 2021

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New Zealand eases coronavirus curbs in Auckland amid hope Delta variant outbreak now under control

New Zealand eased coronavirus curbs slightly in Auckland on Monday, as the government expressed confidence that there was no widespread regional transmission of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. But tough restrictions will continue even after midnight on Tuesday, when the alert level drops to 3 from 4 in the city of about 1.7 million at the centre of the latest Delta outbreak. Schools and offices must still keep closed, for instance, with businesses limited to offering only contactless services.
20th Sep 2021 - Evening Standard

Vietnam capital Hanoi to ease coronavirus curbs this week

Vietnam's capital Hanoi will further ease its coronavirus restrictions from this week, the government said, with new cases on the decline and the majority of its adult population partially vaccinated. Most construction projects can resume from Wednesday, authorities said late on Sunday, adding further easing would follow, with average new daily cases down to just 20.
20th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 20th Sep 2021

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New Zealand, Australia travel bubble suspended for longer amid Delta outbreaks

New Zealand suspended quarantine-free travel with Australia for a further 8 weeks on Friday, extending a halt in the so-called travel bubble between both countries, as they deal with fresh outbreaks of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
17th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Melbourne Expects to Exit Its Sixth Lockdown in Late October

Melbourne will exit its sixth lockdown since the pandemic began once 70% of Australia’s Victoria state is fully vaccinated, authorities said Sunday as they outlined plans to unwind virus measures next month. Limits on “reasons to leave your home and the curfew will no longer be in place” once that target is met around Oct. 26, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews told reporters. “Lockdown will be off.” Pubs, clubs and entertainment venues in the nation’s second-most populous city will be allowed to operate outdoors with up to 50 people who have received two shots. Schools are expected to start reopening on Oct. 5.
19th Sep 2021 - Bloomberg

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 17th Sep 2021

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The government’s winter Covid plan can prevent another UK lockdown – if we all work together

Prof Devi Sridhar is chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh. He writes: 'To avoid a lockdown, we need the various components of the system – vaccination, behavioural changes and widespread testing – to work together. Covid-19 is still here, and we are still in the midst of a pandemic. Let us hope this autumn brings a move away from a divided society arguing over how serious Covid-19 is, to one where we collectively work towards managing this problem, slowing the spread of the disease, and saving lives and livelihoods.'
16th Sep 2021 - The Guardian

Covid-19 Australia: Queensland health to send text messages to track people in home quarantine

Australians in home quarantine will soon receive timed text messages to ensure they are isolating or face a visit from the cops as part of a compliance crackdown in Queensland. The texts are part of the state's new Covid-19 laws - which come into effect immediately - that give people in home quarantine a ten minute window to respond as part of a real-time check in system. Health Minister Yvette D'Ath told parliament on Thursday residents who are isolating at home after returning from to the state will receive daily text messages at random times of the day from Queensland Health.
16th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 16th Sep 2021

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Sydney nightly curfew to end as COVID-19 vaccinations hit fresh milestone

A curfew imposed on more than two million people in the 12 Sydney suburbs hardest hit by the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant will end on Wednesday night, authorities said, stopping short of easing more lockdown restrictions. Officials said first-dose COVID-19 vaccination levels have reached 80% of the New South Wales (NSW) adult population, while the dual-dose rate in Sydney's home state stands at 48% now. That's above the national average of 43%, but well below the 70% level that will trigger the easing of other curbs first imposed three months ago. Authorities expect to achieve the 70% rate around the middle of next month, and plans to relax more restrictions once it has climbed to 80%.
15th Sep 2021 - Reuters

China imposes local lockdowns as COVID-19 cases surge

China tightened lockdowns and increased orders for mass testing in cities along its east coast Wednesday amid the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. Checks have been set up in toll stations around the city of Putian in Fujian province, with a dozen of them closed entirely. The nearby cities of Xiamen and Quanzhou have also restricted travel as the delta variant spreads through the region. The National Health Commission on Wednesday said an additional 50 cases had been diagnosed in various parts of Fujian, most of them in the Putian region.
15th Sep 2021 - The Independent

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 15th Sep 2021

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Covid-19 hotel quarantine could last 'three or four years' in Australia

Covid-19 hotel quarantine could be in place for three or four years but Australians returning from overseas may be allowed to isolate at home by Christmas. Jane Halton, a former public servant who conducted a review of the quarantine system last year, said hotel quarantine could last even longer if a new Covid-19 variant evades vaccines. 'In three or four years' time I'll be quite surprised if we're using these kinds of arrangements unless for example there's a very nasty new variant,' she told ABC radio
14th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Philippines to test localised lockdowns in capital region

The Philippines' capital region will exit wide-scale coronavirus restrictions from Thursday, as the government launches a pilot test of localised lockdowns, amid efforts to balance reopening the economy and containing the spread of the coronavirus.
14th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 14th Sep 2021

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South Africa loosens COVID curbs as third wave eases

South Africa will ease COVID-19 restrictions and shorten its nationwide curfew from Monday after a decline in infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a televised address. Authorities will also extend the hours of alcohol sales, the president said, further relaxing restrictions introduced in June to combat a third wave of cases caused by the Delta variant. "While the third wave is not yet over, we have seen a sustained decline in infections across the country over the last few weeks," Ramaphosa said.
13th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Vietnam's biggest city to keep virus curbs, flight resumption sought

Vietnam's coronavirus outbreak epicentre Ho Chi Minh City will extend its restrictions, state media reported on Monday, as the capital Hanoi and several provinces sought an easing of curbs and the aviation authority proposed domestic flights resume.
13th Sep 2021 - Reuters

COVID lockdowns only used as last resort, says UK PM's spokesman

Britain's government will only introduce a new COVID-19 lockdown as a last resort, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, after the country's health minister signalled he did not expect to see them used again. "The ability to do that is retained as you would expect, but it would only be done in a last resort and as I said we are in a very different position thanks to the strength of our vaccination programme than where we were when it was necessary to take those steps previously," the spokesman told reporters.
13th Sep 2021 - Reuters UK

New Zealand keeps Auckland in strict lockdown to beat Delta

New Zealand extended a strict lockdown in its largest city on Monday, requiring 1.7 million people living in Auckland to remain indoors for at least another week to snuff out small outbreaks of the highly infectious Delta variant of coronavirus. Health authorities recorded 33 new cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 on Monday, all in Auckland, which was higher than 23 and 20 cases reported over the weekend.
13th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Covid-19: Pupils will not have to 'routinely self-isolate'

Pupils in the same class as a positive Covid case "will not routinely be asked to isolate and book a test", ministers have said. Health Minister Robin Swann and Education Minister Michelle McIlveen said the Public Health Agency (PHA) would take a "more targeted approach" to contract tracing.
11th Sep 2021 - BBC News

Auckland COVID cases drop again as New Zealand presses on with Delta curbs

New Zealand reported 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, all in locked down Auckland, its biggest city, as the country looks to limit the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus.
10th Sep 2021 - Reuters

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 10th Sep 2021

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How to help a remote coworker through a tough time

Because life is full of bumps in the road, often employees must navigate personal challenges and work. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, divorce, caregiving demands, or illness, when someone in your office is facing tough times, the signs are typically visible. And coworkers may rally around the individual with comforting words, gestures of kindness, and other means of help. But in remote and hybrid worlds, the signs can be harder to spot and the support harder to give. With so many employees onboarded remotely over the past year and a half, you may not feel as if you know your colleagues well enough to offer a personal word of support or other gesture. But there are still ways you can tune in to your coworkers’ needs and help them when they’re going through tough times.
9th Sep 2021 - Fast Company

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Work From Home? 6 Ways to Stay Focused and Avoid Burnout

As we edge toward remote-work burnout, it’s getting harder to stay focused and productive. Even our diversions are digital—“breaks” to play phone games bloat into 30-minute lapses—exacerbating our lack of human connection and our minds’ tendencies to wander. According to Kirsten Clacey, a remote-work expert who co-founded the Remote Coaches, spontaneous interactions can help combat the unfocused WFH malaise some folks are feeling. To create “playful moments,” she recommends beginning each meeting with five minutes spent “connecting as humans.” But you also have to carve out a personal life within your work life.
8th Sep 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

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Hong Kong relaxes Covid quarantine rules for travellers from mainland China

Hong Kong will allow people from mainland China to visit without having to face its quarantine procedures in the city’s first serious relaxation of its strict Covid-19 entry requirements for tourists. But critics of the Hong Kong government’s quarantine policies, which will begin on September 15, said it was another sign the Asian financial centre was prioritising a travel bubble with mainland China over the international links important to executives living in the city.
7th Sep 2021 - Financial Times

Sweden to lift most remaining restrictions this month

Sweden will push ahead with easing Covid-19 restrictions at the end of this month, removing most curbs and limits on public venues such as restaurants, theatres and stadiums, the government said. With most adults vaccinated, Sweden has gradually eased some restrictions during a summer lull in the pandemic. While it has seen infections mount in recent weeks amid the rapid spread of the more contagious Delta variant, deaths from the disease have remained low.
7th Sep 2021 - RTE.ie

Philippines defers new COVID-19 plan, maintains capital curbs

The Philippines capital region will remain under the second strictest coronavirus containment measures, a senior official said on Tuesday, despite a day earlier announcing a relaxation of curbs to spur business activity. Imposition of the more relaxed "general community quarantine" in Metro Manila has been deferred, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said, without giving a reason.
7th Sep 2021 - Reuters

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Emergency covid-19 mental health pop-up clinics set up in Sydney

Ten new pop-up mental health clinics have opened to assist NSW residents. Most are in the hard-hit western Sydney suburbs ravaged by coronavirus. Anyone in distress can seek advice and support through Lifeline (13 11 14)
6th Sep 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19: Ireland takes next step in easing of restrictions

Ireland will continue with a major easing of Covid-19 restrictions on Monday, with live music returning and larger crowds allowed at indoor venues. The Irish Government confirmed last week that it would be embarking on a phased easing of Covid-19 restrictions, which will eventually see the removal of the vast majority of public health regulations by the end of October. The numbers permitted to attend outdoor sports events increases from Monday, while restrictions on indoor venues will be eased, with larger crowds permitted.
6th Sep 2021 - Belfast Telegraph

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Schools grapple with thousands in isolation or quarantine as delta variant rages

In the U.S., schools that have opened their doors to students amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus already are grappling with how to best continue teaching students when hundreds and sometimes thousands of them are in quarantine. Some schools have sent students home with packets of self-guided work to submit at the end of each day or when on-campus classes resume. Others have temporarily switched to virtual learning. And in some cases, schools have canceled classes altogether while campuses are closed or kids are in quarantine.
4th Sep 2021 - NBC News

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New Zealand says fall in COVID-19 cases shows Delta lockdown working

New Zealand reported a drop in new COVID-19 infections on Thursday, which authorities said was a sign that a nationwide lockdown was helping to limit spread of the infectious Delta variant.
2nd Sep 2021 - Reuters

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In Indonesia, drone deliveries provide lifeline for isolating COVID patients

A group of drone enthusiasts in Indonesia are using their aerial skills to help during the pandemic by providing a contactless medicine and food delivery service to COVID-19 patients isolating at home. Armed with five drones, the seven-member team have been working around the clock in Makassar, the capital of the South Sulawesi province, since early July to provide deliveries.
1st Sep 2021 - Reuters

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New Zealand COVID-19 cases drop for second day in a row

New Zealand reported 49 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, dropping for a second day in a row since the latest outbreak forced the country into a tight lockdown this month. The total number of cases in the outbreak is 612, with 597 in Auckland and 15 in Wellington.
30th Aug 2021 - Nasdaq

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Australia’s Melbourne to extend sixth COVID-lockdown

Lockdown in Melbourne was due to end on Thursday, but authorities say this is no longer possible due to rising cases.
30th Aug 2021 - Al Jazeera English

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Parents, experts say students pay the price for hybrid model of schooling

With a new school year underway next month, several school boards in Ontario are returning to the so-called hybrid learning model, where one educator simultaneously teaches students in class and those logging in from home. In certain cases, even remote students learning on their own schedule are part of the class. The system was tested out widely in K-12 schools last year as a remote learning option during the COVID-19 pandemic and is back on the table this year after the province announced online learning would continue. But critics say it forces a teacher to do too many things at once and compromises the quality of learning for students
29th Aug 2021 - CBC.ca

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New Zealand's Ardern says lockdown working to limit Delta spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the strict nationwide lockdown enforced to stamp out COVID-19 was helping limit the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, even as the number of new cases rose on Thursday. New Zealand reported 68 new cases on Thursday taking the total number of people infected in the latest outbreak to 277. Of the total cases, 263 are in Auckland and 14 are in the capital Wellington.
26th Aug 2021 - Reuters

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From ‘quarantine academies’ to virtual substitutes, how schools are teaching students in isolation because of COVID-19

As Illinois schools welcome students back to fully reopened classrooms this month amid another coronavirus surge, educators face a thorny question: How do you teach students who are quarantined by COVID-19? The dismantling of pandemic-era remote and hybrid instruction programs across the U.S. this fall arrives by state proclamation and on the urging of U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. Remote instruction can be offered to students while they are under quarantine, Illinois State Board of Education Superintendent Carmen Ayala said earlier this summer. But despite pleas from some parents who want a full-time e-learning option to continue, districts including Chicago Public Schools are reserving their virtual programs for students who qualify as medically fragile and have documented health conditions.
25th Aug 2021 - Yahoo News

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Government-approved PCR provider claims firms are being left to self-regulate

There is 'no regulation' governing Covid testing companies, one boss warns. No one is checking up on the firms, which Brits must use if travelling abroad. And nearly 20% of Government-approved providers charged misleading prices
24th Aug 2021 - Daily Mail

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Millennial women want remote work, but many fear they'll miss opportunities if not in office, according to report

As companies start to map out their return-to-office work plans, many millennial women are feeling conflicted about the pros and cons of working remotely, according to a recent survey by theSkimm. Of the more than 1,600 participants in the survey, theSkimm found that nearly two-thirds of millennial women view remote work as a priority, including 43% who said remote work is very important or extremely important moving forward and 22% who said they would no longer consider working for an employer if work-from-home wasn’t an option in the future.
23rd Aug 2021 - CNBC

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East Belfast community worker calls for communities to come together to combat loneliness

A East Belfast community worker has said he was shocked to see the levels of loneliness among elderly and vulnerable people during the pandemic. Gareth Wright, 21, has led a Covid support group in the Ardcarn area where he and a group of 12 volunteers have helped people with shopping and food deliveries as well as making reassuring phonecalls to keep in touch with those they are helping. However, during that time he says that he was shocked to see how lonely and vulnerable some in his community had become and wanted to encourage others to try and make an effort to tackle this in their areas.
22nd Aug 2021 - Belfast Live

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Isolation alerts from Covid-19 app continue to fall following ‘logic’ tweak

The number of people instructed to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app has continued to fall, reaching its lowest number since the week to June 23. A total of 261,453 alerts were sent to users of the app for England and Wales in the week to August 11, down by 18% on the previous week when 317,519 were pinged. The latest Government figures cover the first full week when the “logic” behind the tool was tweaked to alert fewer people who have been in close contact with someone that tested positive for coronavirus.
19th Aug 2021 - Evening Standard

Singapore to pilot home isolation for fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients

Singapore would pilot a home isolation for fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms soon, the Ministry of Health said in a press release on Thursday. With much more local and global data showing that fully vaccinated COVID-19 patients have a much lower risk of developing severe disease, "we are piloting a home-centric care model" for the management of COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms from Aug. 30, said the ministry in a statement. These patients will spend the first few days in a medical facility before moving to home isolation. By then, the viral loads of vaccinated patients would have dropped, said MOH.
19th Aug 2021 - Xinhuanet

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Covid-19 news: New Zealand begins nationwide lockdown

New Zealand has begun a nationwide lockdown in a bid to contain the delta variant of the coronavirus. So far 10 cases have been confirmed in the outbreak, but modelling suggests the numbers could rise to between 50 and 100. “From the experience of what we’ve seen overseas, we are absolutely anticipating more cases,” prime minister Jacinda Ardern said. The level 4 alert, the highest level, means people other than essential workers can only leave home for groceries, healthcare, covid-19 tests and exercise. The lockdown will cover the entire country for at least three days, and remain in place in Auckland for a week. New Zealand had been free of local covid-19 infections since February, and only 21 per cent of the total population has been fully vaccinated.
18th Aug 2021 - New Scientist

'Covid made things worse for me': Older people felt lonely and neglected during pandemic

Hope and optimism are returning for older people but a new report also shows the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic led to loneliness and a feeling they were being neglected. The report, published by the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (Tilda), uses the experiences of 4,000 older people involved in the project to outline just how the pandemic has affected them since March 2020. According to the report, entitled In Their Own Words: The Voices of Older Irish People in the Covid-19 Pandemic, a fifth of respondents said they felt they had the capacity to cope or demonstrated resilience to the challenges of the public health emergency, while a similar percentage of people referred to increased feelings of social isolation or loneliness. Many said their greatest challenge was coping with the loneliness brought on by the pandemic, while others voiced their frustration at feeling neglected and disregarded by the media or public health commentators
18th Aug 2021 - Irish Examiner

Brain fog: how trauma, uncertainty and isolation have affected our minds and memory

Before the pandemic, psychoanalyst Josh Cohen’s patients might come into his consulting room, lie down on the couch and talk about the traffic or the weather, or the rude person on the tube. Now they appear on his computer screen and tell him about brain fog. They talk with urgency of feeling unable to concentrate in meetings, to read, to follow intricately plotted television programmes. “There’s this sense of debilitation, of losing ordinary facility with everyday life; a forgetfulness and a kind of deskilling,” says Cohen, author of the self-help book How to Live. What to Do. Although restrictions are now easing across the UK, with greater freedom to circulate and socialise, he says lockdown for many of us has been “a contraction of life, and an almost parallel contraction of mental capacity”.
18th Aug 2021 - The Guardian

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Covid-19: Hong Kong to halt shorter quarantine for those tested with antibodies, as new rules trigger travel plan chaos

Hong Kong will no longer allow incoming travellers who test positive for Covid-19 antibodies to undergo a shorter compulsory quarantine, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday. Following the advice of a scientific committee under the Centre for Health Protection (CHP), fully vaccinated travellers entering Hong Kong from “medium-risk” and “low-risk” areas who test positive for antibodies will have to undergo at least 14 days of quarantine, said Lam.
17th Aug 2021 - Hong Kong Free Press

Japan to extend COVID-19 emergency lockdown

Japan was set on Tuesday to extend its state of emergency in Tokyo and other regions to Sept. 12 and widen curbs to seven more prefectures, as COVID-19 cases spike in the capital and nationwide, burdening the medical system.
17th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Over-60s struggle with loneliness during lockdowns, research finds

Coping with loneliness during lockdowns was the greatest challenge many over-60s dealt with, new research has found. Many older people said the longer the period of loneliness, the harder the experience, and the more sorrow expressed at being forced to adjust to the restrictions. Many described how as time passed, they felt less connection to the wider community and were more likely to report feelings of fear. The findings emerged from a report compiled by researchers at the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (Tilda) at Trinity College Dublin.
17th Aug 2021 - the Irish News

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Covid-19: Relaxation of NI self-isolation comes in effect

Fully-vaccinated close contacts of people who have Covid-19 no longer need to automatically self-isolate. Instead, they should get a PCR test on day two and day eight of what would have been their 10-day isolation period. A number of changes to Covid-19 restrictions made by the NI Executive last week come into effect on Monday. More than six people can now sit together in pubs and restaurants and conferences can resume.
16th Aug 2021 - BBC News

Australia extends COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne, reinstates night curfew

Australian authorities reinstated a night curfew and extended COVID-19 lockdown measures in Melbourne for another two weeks to contain an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant.
16th Aug 2021 - Reuters

Sydney records deadliest day of COVID-19 pandemic, Melbourne lockdown extended

Sydney lockdown extended statewide as Australia faces 'worst' COVID episode Sydney lockdown fines raised as Australia faces 'worst' COVID-19 situation
16th Aug 2021 - Reuters

What are England and Northern Ireland’s new rules on self-isolation?

England and Northern Ireland have, from Monday, followed Scotland and Wales in relaxing rules so that people who are fully vaccinated no longer have to self-isolate if they are close contacts of people testing positive for Covid-19. They are advised to get a PCR test – the more reliable method of determining whether they have Covid-19. It will not be compulsory and they will not have to self-isolate while they wait for the result. The new guidance will apply to people who had their final dose of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before coming into contact with a positive case.
16th Aug 2021 - The Guardian

Scots with mental health issues more anxious about Covid easing

Scottish adults who are living with physical or mental health conditions are significantly more anxious about the easing of coronavirus restrictions, a study has found. In a survey of more than 2,000 people, the Mental Health Foundation found around 61 per cent of those who had long-term physical or mental health problems were “fairly” or “very” anxious about the easing of restrictions. This compared to 45% of the general population of Scottish adults who said they felt this way.
16th Aug 2021 - Herald Scotland

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Postcard initiative aims to send ‘message of love and thanks’

Postcards embedded with seeds are being delivered to people who did neighbours a good turn during the pandemic in an attempt to combat loneliness caused by Covid-19. The biodegradable cards, administered free of charge by the Great Care Co-op in Dalkey, south Dublin, can be planted in pots or directly into the soil and are emblazoned with the message: “Just to say I care”. Danielle Neilson, a carer with the Great Care Co-op, said the initiative was about reaching out to the many people – particularly among older age groups – feeling lonely and isolated as a result of the pandemic. “The intention is to send a message of gratitude to a loved one or neighbour that has been helpful or kind to you throughout the pandemic,” she said
15th Aug 2021 - The Irish Times

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Covid-19 Australia: Canberra to go into a seven day lockdown after confirmed Covid case in the ACT

Canberra will go into a snap seven day lockdown after a confirmed case of COVID-19 emerged in the ACT. The territory has confirmed its first case of Covid-19 in over a year as ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced a strict seven day lockdown during a media conference on Thursday. Minister Barr said the seven day lockdown will begin from 5pm on Thursday as shoppers fled to supermarkets eager to stock up on supplies ahead of the deadline
12th Aug 2021 - Daily Mail

France to strengthen COVID-19 lockdown in Guadeloupe island

France will strengthen lockdown rules in the overseas territory of Guadeloupe to rein in the spread of COVID-19, government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday, as spikes in infections in its Caribbean islands overwhelm hospitals. The French overseas territory of Martinique on Tuesday entered a tougher lockdown for three weeks to tackle the pandemic with the closure of beaches and shops selling non-essential items and restrictions on people's movements. Authorities in Martinique have also advised tourists to leave the island.
12th Aug 2021 - Reuters

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Covid: Self isolation for double-jabbed close contacts to end on 16 August in England

Self-isolation for fully vaccinated people who come into contact with a person who tests positive for Covid will end on August 16, the Government has announced. Double-jabbed people contacted by NHS Test and Trace currently have to self-isolate for 10 days if they come into contact with someone who has the virus. But the government have been keen to alter the rules after vast amounts of people have been “pinged” by the app in recent weeks, causing businesses to complain that staff were unable to return to work. Health secretary Sajid Javid has now said if fully vaccinated people are contacted by NHS Test and Trace do not have to self-isolate are instead advised to get a PCR test from August 16 onwards.
11th Aug 2021 - The Independent

What Covid rules mean for shared accommodation — and how to survive self-isolation

More than a year into the pandemic, almost every student in the UK has either experienced self-isolation or knows somebody who has. With a large portion of young people still unvaccinated by the end of the 2020/2021 academic year, students were especially vulnerable to infection. In recent weeks, horror stories about students charged for living in rented households past their lease because they were required to isolate there have made headlines as cases sharply rose throughout campuses with the lifting of restrictions.
11th Aug 2021 - The Times

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Australia expands Covid-19 lockdown as Sydney records its highest daily case count

Australia's most populous state has expanded its Covid-19 lockdown to include a rural town and the coastal region of Byron Bay, as the city of Sydney recorded its highest daily case count since the beginning of the pandemic. There were four deaths and 356 locally transmitted Covid-19 infections confirmed in New South Wales on Monday, almost all of which were in Sydney, state premier Gladys Berejiklian said during a press conference on Tuesday morning.
10th Aug 2021 - CNN

France's Martinique island imposes tougher COVID-19 lockdown

France’s overseas territory of Martinique will enter a tougher lockdown for three weeks from Tuesday to tackle a COVID-19 outbreak on the West Indian island, a local government official said on Twitter. Authorities in Martinique also advised tourists to leave the island. Martinique had already imposed an evening curfew but the tougher lockdown, set to start from 7 p.m., will shutter shops selling items that are not essential, close beaches and clamp down on people’s movements.
10th Aug 2021 - Reuters

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Covid-19: Quarantine-free travel from France resumes as UK rules change

Fully vaccinated people can now visit France without quarantining on their return to the UK, after travel rule changes came into force at 04:00 BST. Brittany Ferries said it had received a "surge" of bookings following the rule changes announced on Thursday. But travel agents said the relaxation of quarantine for one of the UK's most popular destinations came "too late to save the summer". Meanwhile, travellers in Mexico had to rush back to avoid hotel quarantine. Under the latest changes to the UK's traffic light system for travel, the rules have been relaxed for a dozen countries
9th Aug 2021 - BBC News

Australia expands COVID lockdown over concern virus has spread from Sydney

Australia expanded a COVID-19 lockdown to a rural town and the coastal region of Byron Bay on Monday, as fears grew that the virus has spread from Sydney to the northern tip of the country's most populous state.
9th Aug 2021 - Reuters

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Isolation, anxiousness, depression: What it's like becoming a mother during the COVID-19 pandemic

Considering the uncertainty, stress and isolation of the past year, there are lots of reasons to be concerned about the impact that might have had on the mental wellbeing of new mums. Dr Darby Saxbe, Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Southern California, researches how becoming a parent affects people. But when COVID-19 hit, Dr Saxbe's regular research stopped and she quickly turned to studying how the pandemic was affecting expectant parents. Her research found that expectant mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic had elevated levels of psychological distress, perceived stress, loneliness, and other behavioural changes.
7th Aug 2021 - ABC.Net.au

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Israelis told to 'stop embracing', elderly urged to get booster as Covid-19 cases spike

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is warning that Israelis over 60 are at risk unless they go get their third booster shot immediately.
5th Aug 2021 - CNN on MSN.com

Australia's second most populous state Victoria to enter seven-day lockdown

Australia’s second most populous state, Victoria, will enter a seven-day lockdown on Thursday after a fresh outbreak of COVID-19, state Premier Daniel Andrews said
5th Aug 2021 - Reuters

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Vietnam to halve quarantine time for fully vaccinated visitors

Vietnam will slash the duration of mandatory quarantine for foreign visitors from two weeks to just seven days, its health ministry said on Wednesday, as the Southeast Asian country battles its biggest COVID-19 outbreak yet. Vietnam successfully contained the virus for much of last year using a targeted testing and centralised quarantine programme but has since late April been faced with a surge in cases fuelled by the highly contagious Delta variant. The country's borders are closed to all visitors apart from returning Vietnamese citizens, foreign experts, investors or diplomats, all of whom were subject to 14 days of quarantine at centrally-managed facilities.
4th Aug 2021 - Reuters

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French territory of Guadeloupe to go into new lockdown to tackle COVID-19

France’s overseas territory of Guadeloupe will to go into a new lockdown for at least three weeks to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, said the local Guadeloupe authority on its Twitter account, as France battles a fourth wave of the virus. The authority said the French West Indian island’s new lockdown would start on Aug. 4, with the re-introduction of a curfew running from 8 p.m. (0000 GMT) until 5 a.m. (0900 GMT) the following day, and limitations on people’s movements.
3rd Aug 2021 - Reuters

Sydney COVID Lockdown Could Be Eased if Vaccination Rate Hits 50%

Australian authorities said they could ease a COVID-19 lockdown that demands Sydney's five million people stay home until the end of August if half the population is vaccinated, even as new infections linger near a 16-month high.
3rd Aug 2021 - U.S. News & World Report

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Indonesia extends COVID-19 restrictions for outside Java

Indonesia extended restrictions outside Java island by another week in efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus, local media reported on Sunday citing an interior ministry senior official. The highest level of restrictions was extended until Aug. 9 for regions outside Java categorised as "Level 4" areas, or areas that have a high level of infections and hospital's bed occupancy rate, Safrizal Z.A., a senior official at the Home Affairs Ministry, told local media. Workers employed by non-essential businesses will continue to work from home and shopping malls will remain closed.
2nd Aug 2021 - Reuters

Australia tightens COVID curbs as Brisbane extends lockdown, army patrols Sydney

Australia's Queensland state on Monday extended a COVID-19 lockdown in Brisbane, while soldiers began patrolling Sydney to enforce stay-at-home rules as Australia struggles to stop the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus spreading. Queensland said it had detected 13 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours - the biggest one-day rise the state has recorded in a year. The lockdown of Brisbane, Australia's third-biggest city, was due to end on Tuesday but will now stay in place until late on Sunday. "It's starting to become clear that the initial lockdown will be insufficient for the outbreak," Queensland state Deputy Premier Steven Miles told reporters in Brisbane.
2nd Aug 2021 - Reuters

Thailand and Vietnam extend COVID measures

Still in the grips of COVID-19 surges mainly fueled by the Delta (B1617.2) variant, Thailand and Vietnam extended lockdowns and other measures for the worst-hit parts of the countries. In other global developments, an outbreak in Australia's Queensland state flared again, and the greater Sydney area continues to report high daily case totals.
2nd Aug 2021 - CIDRAP

Millions under strict lockdown in China after Covid outbreak

Millions of people have been confined to their homes in China as the country tries to contain its largest coronavirus outbreak in months with mass testing and travel curbs. China reported 55 new locally transmitted coronavirus cases on Monday as an outbreak of the fast-spreading Delta variant reached more than 20 cities and more than a dozen provinces. Local governments in major cities including Beijing have now tested millions of residents, while cordoning off residential compounds and placing close contacts under quarantine.
2nd Aug 2021 - The Guardian

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End isolation for people with two Covid-19 vaccines, says Labour

Labour has called on the government to bring forward the date exempting double-vaccinated people from self-isolation rules by more than a week. Under current plans the exemption comes into force on Monday August 16 but Sir Keir Starmer says he wants to see the rules to change on Saturday August 7 in an attempt to end the “summer of chaos” caused by the pingdemic.
30th Jul 2021 - The Times

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Sydney under strict new lockdown rules as cases soar

Millions in Sydney began their harshest lockdown since the pandemic began on Friday as COVID-19 cases spiked to record levels in Australia's largest city with state and national leaders set to meet to discuss the country's reopening plans. With Sydney, the capital of New South Wales state, struggling under record surge of cases, officials toughened curbs across eight local council areas, where most new infections were being reported, and sought the military's help to enforce lockdown rules.
30th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Cambodia to impose COVID-19 lockdowns in areas bordering Thailand

Cambodia is set to launch a lockdown in eight provinces bordering Thailand from midnight on Thursday, in a bid to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in the Southeast Asian country.
29th Jul 2021 - Reuters

India's Kerala state orders lockdown as COVID-19 infections rise

India's southern state of Kerala on Thursday announced a two-day lockdown as federal authorities planned to send experts to fight the spread of infections in the country's leading COVID-19 hotspot.
29th Jul 2021 - Reuters India

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Covid-19: Quarantine risk grows for British tourists as Spain infections soar

A sustained surge in Covid-19 cases in Spain, driven by a big increase in Delta-variant infections, is threatening its tourist industry. Although the rate shows signs of stabilising, with the total standing at 702 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period — up from 700 on Monday — it remains well over the “very high” threshold rate of 500 per 100,000. The latest figures will do little to ease fears that Spain could soon be on the amber-plus list for the UK, which would mean British holidaymakers having to quarantine on their return.
28th Jul 2021 - The Times

Norway again postpones end to COVID lockdown

Norway postponed for a second time on Wednesday a planned final step in the reopening of its economy from pandemic lockdown, due to the continued spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19, the government said. “A new assessment will be made in mid-August,” Health Minister Bent Hoeie told a news conference. Measures that will be kept in place to halt the spread of COVID-19 include bars and restaurants being limited to table service and limits of 20 people on gatherings in private homes.
28th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Mental illness tied to higher risk of COVID hospital care, death

The first study, published yesterday, was led by researchers from the CEReSS-Health Service Research and Quality of Life Center in Marseille, France. It consisted of 16 observational studies from seven countries involving 19,086 patients with COVID-19 and mental illness from December 2019 to July 2020. The countries were Denmark (1 study), France (2), Israel (1), South Korea (3), Spain (1), the United Kingdom (1), and the United States (7). Regardless of the primary medical risk factors for severe COVID-19, patients with mental illnesses (eg, addiction, depression) were more likely to die of COVID-19 than their peers in pooled crude and adjusted analysis (crude odds ratio [OR], 1.75; adjusted OR [aOR], 1.38). Patients with the severe mental illnesses included in the study—schizophrenia and bipolar disorder—had the highest ORs for death, with a crude OR of 2.26 and an aOR of 1.67.
28th Jul 2021 - CIDRAP

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Covid-19: Relief at the lifting of restrictions from a widow who spent lockdown alone

Earl Sewell was one of the first to die with coronavirus in Birmingham. His widow, Jean, spoke about being plunged into lockdown almost straight after his death, and her relief restrictions are being lifted. Earl Sewell died on 16 March 2020, just as England was realising the ferociousness of the pandemic. His family, who had visited him in hospital just before his death, had to isolate immediately, leaving them facing challenges they could not have expected.
27th Jul 2021 - BBC News

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Virtual contact worse than no contact for over-60s in lockdown, says study

Virtual contact during the pandemic made many over-60s feel lonelier and more depressed than no contact at all, new research has found. Many older people stayed in touch with family and friends during lockdown using the phone, video calls, and other forms of virtual contact. Zoom choirs, online book clubs and virtual bedtime stories with grandchildren helped many stave off isolation. But the study, among the first to comparatively assess social interactions across households and mental wellbeing during the pandemic, found many older people experienced a greater increase in loneliness and long-term mental health disorders as a result of the switch to online socialising than those who spent the pandemic on their own.
26th Jul 2021 - The Guardian

Covid quarantine to be dropped for some Britons vaccinated abroad

Some Britons who have been double-vaccinated abroad will soon be able to travel to the UK more easily as the government prepares to recognise jabs administered overseas. Current restrictions mean only those who have been fully inoculated by the NHS are able to take advantage of avoiding quarantine if coming from countries graded amber under the traffic light system.
26th Jul 2021 - The Guardian

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Sparked by pandemic fallout, homeschooling surges across US

Although the pandemic disrupted family life across the U.S. since taking hold in spring 2020, some parents are grateful for one consequence: They’re now opting to homeschool their children, even as schools plan to resume in-person classes. The specific reasons vary widely. Some families who spoke with The Associated Press have children with special educational needs; others seek a faith-based curriculum or say their local schools are flawed. The common denominator: They tried homeschooling on what they thought was a temporary basis and found it beneficial to their children.
25th Jul 2021 - Associated Press

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Pets And Pet Owners Face Separation Anxiety As Workers Return To The Office

The phenomenon of the pandemic pet was one of few positive triumphs of 2020. Demand for pets surged. Americans, working from home or furloughed, sought out animal companionship. Some shelters struggled to keep up with it. For many workers, though, the cozy days of remote working are coming to an end. And separation anxiety looms. Over 30% of owners have sought advice from veterinarians on making the transition to in-person work easier for their pets, according to a March survey from Banfield Pet Hospital. Upon returning to the office, 68% of Gen Z owners and 42% of millennials plan to hire dog walkers or reserve spots in doggy day cares.
22nd Jul 2021 - NPR

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Australia, under lockdown, sees worrying jump in COVID-19 cases

Australia's two largest states reported sharp increases in new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, a blow to hopes that lockdown restrictions would be lifted with more than half the country's population under stay-at-home orders. New South Wales (NSW) state, home to the country's most populous city Sydney, reported 110 new cases, up from 78 the day before, nearly four weeks into a lockdown of the city and surrounding areas to contain an outbreak of the virulent Delta variant.
21st Jul 2021 - Reuters

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Iran orders week-long shutdown in Tehran amid fifth COVID wave

Iran imposed a one-week lockdown in the capital and a nearby province on Tuesday as daily COVID-19 caseloads hit a record high amid a fifth wave of the pandemic, state television reported. The lockdown affects Tehran and Alborz provinces, with only essential businesses allowed to stay open. Most offices, theatres and sports facilities must shut down in an effort to prevent the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus, the TV said.
20th Jul 2021 - Reuters

More than half of Australia's population under COVID-19 lockdowns

South Australia joins Victoria and Sydney in lockdown. New cases ease slightly in New South Wales, Victoria. 21 NSW cases spent time in community while infectious.
20th Jul 2021 - Reuters

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Hanoi tightens restrictions as COVID clusters spread in Vietnam

Vietnam's capital Hanoi urged its citizens to stay at home from Monday and ordered a halt to all non-essential services due to new clusters of COVID-19 infections in recent days, the authorities said on Sunday. The city, which had already halted indoor restaurant service and closed salons as well as gyms, also stopped rail and bus passenger services to and from provinces in the south which have seen the biggest increases.
19th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Singapore advises unvaccinated people to stay home as cases rise

Singapore's health ministry on Sunday "strongly" advised unvaccinated individuals, especially the elderly, to stay home as much as possible over the next few weeks, citing heightened concerns about the risk of community spread of COVID-19. The country reported 88 new locally-transmitted coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest daily toll since August last year, driven by growing clusters of infections linked to karaoke bars and a fishery port.
19th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Australia prolongs COVID-19 lockdown in Victoria amid Delta outbreak

Australian authorities said Victoria state would extend a COVID-19 lockdown beyond Tuesday to slow the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant, despite a slight drop in new infections in the state and nationwide.
19th Jul 2021 - Reuters

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Covid-19: PM and chancellor to self-isolate in U-turn

In U-Turn, UK's Johnson to Quarantine After COVID-19 ContactU.S. News & World ReportCoronavirus latest news: Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak reverse decision to not self-isolate after getting 'pinged'Telegraph.co.ukBoris Johnson and Rishi Sunak WILL self-isolate after being 'pinged'Evening StandardView Full coverage on Google News
18th Jul 2021 - BBC News

Thailand expands lockdown areas as COVID-19 cases surge

The Thai government on Sunday announced plans for a tighter lockdown in Bangkok and high-risk provinces next week, suspending most domestic flights and expanding curfew areas after the country reported a third straight day of record COVID-19 case numbers. Thailand reported 11,397 infections and 101 deaths on Sunday, bringing the cumulative total to 403,386 cases and 3,341 fatalities, the vast majority from an outbreak since early April that is being fuelled by the highly transmissible Alpha and Delta COVID-19 variants.
18th Jul 2021 - Reuters

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Covid-19: Quarantine rules for double-jabbed 'should be eased faster'

People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in the UK will no longer have to self-isolate when they arrive into Northern Ireland from an amber country from Monday, 19 July. The NI Executive previously set 26 July as the date for easing travel rules. The latest relaxation of coronavirus travel restrictions was announced by Stormont's Department of Health. But it also announced that the Balearic Islands and British Virgin Islands are to be added to the amber list.
15th Jul 2021 - BBC News

Australia's Melbourne to begin COVID-19 lockdown Friday night -ABC

The Australian state of Victoria was ordered into a five-day lockdown on Thursday following a spike in COVID-19 infections, joining Sydney as the country's two main population hubs battle an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.
15th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Delta strain prompts Spain’s Catalonia to restore curfew

Barcelona and the surrounding northeast corner of Spain are curtailing public activity again to stem an outbreak of the delta variant of the coronavirus that is running wild among unvaccinated younger people and placing hospitals under growing pressure. Regional authorities in Catalonia were waiting for a judge to sign off on restoring a nightly curfew in towns with populations over 5,000 which surpass the rate of 400 infections per 100,000 inhabitants over 14 days. The curfew is intended to discourage social gatherings where the virus spreads.
15th Jul 2021 - The Associated Press

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What working from home means for women

Women may be more likely to want to work from home than men. They’ve also had a harder time doing so, reporting higher rates of stress, depression, and sheer hours worked — especially if they have kids. This paradox is a result of women trying to do the best thing for their careers while also navigating an unfair role in society and at home. In other words, women need more flexible work arrangements, because women have more to do. While the ability to work from home has been a godsend for working parents who were able to keep their children and jobs safe during the pandemic, it’s also exacerbated deeply ingrained gender inequality.
14th Jul 2021 - Vox.com

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COVID-19: PM's easing of England's restrictions is 'irresponsible', BMA says

Boris Johnson's decision to press ahead with easing coronavirus restrictions in England is "irresponsible", senior doctors have said - although a government minister has admitted COVID rules could return this winter. The prime minister announced on Monday that most of the last remaining restrictions in England would be axed from 19 July. This was despite modelling showing that there could be 1,000 to 2,000 hospital admissions per day, with deaths reaching between 100 and 200 per day by mid-August, when the peak of the current wave is expected.
13th Jul 2021 - Sky News

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Dutch PM apologises for easing of COVID-19 curbs as cases soar

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte conceded on Monday that coronavirus restrictions had been lifted too soon in the Netherlands and he apologised as infections surged to their highest levels of the year.
12th Jul 2021 - Reuters

Sydney braces for extended lockdown amid COVID-19 outbreak

The prospect of an extended lockdown in Sydney loomed on Monday as Australian health officials reported yet another record daily rise in COVID-19 cases for the year, fuelled by the highly infectious Delta variant. New South Wales state reported 112 new locally transmitted COVID-19 cases, almost all in Sydney, despite the country’s biggest city entering its third week of lockdown. Case numbers have been at record levels for at least three days. There was, however, a glimmer of light as the number of newly-infected people who were out in the community while infectious dropped to 34 from 45 on Sunday.
12th Jul 2021 - Reuters Australia

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Locked-down Sydney warned worse may be ahead, COVID-19 cases at 2021 high

Australia's New South Wales state reported its biggest daily rise in locally acquired coronavirus infections this year on Saturday, with authorities warning that worse may yet to come for Sydney, which is in a three-week hard lockdown. There were 50 new cases of community transmission in the country's most populous state, up from 44 a day earlier, the previous 2021 record high. This brings the outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant to 489 cases.
10th Jul 2021 - Reuters

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WHO warns of ‘epidemiological stupidity’ of early Covid reopening

As England moves towards an anticipated “big bang” lifting of coronavirus restrictions on 19 July, a senior World Health Organization official has warned countries to lift their Covid-19 restrictions slowly so as “not to lose the gains that [they] have made”. The comments from the UN global health body’s head of emergencies, Mike Ryan, were not aimed directly at Boris Johnson’s much-trumpeted reopening. However, they will be interpreted as grist to the mill of those health experts who have been arguing that England is moving too fast at a time when infections are surging.
8th Jul 2021 - The Guardian

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What are the Covid-19 symptoms for people who are fully vaccinated?

People who have received two doses of a Covid vaccine are less likely to be fall seriously ill or die from the virus, but they may still feel unwell if they become infected. The symptoms commonly associated with coronavirus are a high temperature,
7th Jul 2021 - The Independent

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‘It isn’t over’: WHO warns against easing COVID curbs too soon

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned governments around the world against easing COVID-19 restrictions too soon, saying countries that did so risked paying a heavy price for rushing back to normality. Speaking at a press briefing on Monday, the UN health agency’s top emergency expert Mike Ryan said a new wave of infections could be round the corner and noted that for much of the world, the pandemic was just getting started.
6th Jul 2021 - Al Jazeera English

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COVID-19: Care home visits will not 'completely go back to normal' following the final stage of lockdown easing, says minister

Care home visits will not "completely go back to normal" after the final stage of England's roadmap out of COVID restrictions, a minister has said. Social care minister Helen Whately said the country is "on track" to ease restrictions on 19 July in line with the government's plan but warned that there will still have to be "some precautions" around care homes.
5th Jul 2021 - Sky News

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The Zoom Revolution Empowers Women to Speak Up

After 14 months working from home, I have mastered the art of digital collaboration. What began as a clumsy series of video chats from my kitchen counter—plagued by technological difficulties and unfamiliarity—quickly became the most efficient and effective way to connect with colleagues and clients across the globe. I am proficient in BlueJeans, Teams, Webex, Meet, Chime and 8X8, but I have a black belt in Zoom, my preferred videoconferencing tool. I personalize my background, admit participants, put up my hand, pull up presentations, and mute and unmute myself as needed.
2nd Jul 2021 - The Wall Street Journal

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Italy to enforce 5-day quarantine for England soccer fans

Italy intensified its warnings to England soccer fans on Thursday to stay away from the European Championship quarterfinal match against Ukraine on Saturday, saying they shouldn’t count on getting into the Stadio Olimpico unless they can prove they have observed five days of quarantine since arriving from Britain. In addition, the state police imposed a mandatory block on the sale and transfer of any tickets starting Thursday and the cancellation of coupons sold to British residents starting last Monday.
1st Jul 2021 - The Associated Press

Covid-19 lockdown left NI young people in limbo, says research

Lockdown left many children and young people "feeling like they were in limbo", according to research carried out for Stormont's Education Committee. Many said that not seeing friends and family, not being in school and not playing sport had been the most difficult aspects of lockdown. A lot said they "loved" being back at school. Hundreds of children and young people's views were received as part of the "My life and learning in lockdown" project.
1st Jul 2021 - BBC News

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'The effects will linger': US kids’ long-term health in jeopardy after pandemic schooling

After more than a year of isolation, widespread financial insecurity and the loss of an unprecedented amount of classroom time, experts say many of the youngest Americans have fallen behind socially, academically and emotionally in ways that could harm their physical and mental health for years or even decades. “This could affect a whole generation for the rest of their lives,” said Dr. Jack Shonkoff, a pediatrician and director of the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University. “All kids will be affected. Some will get through this and be fine. They will learn from it and grow. But lots of kids are going to be in big trouble.”
30th Jun 2021 - USA Today

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Google is giving Brits incorrect Covid-19 advice

Google shows incorrect answers to queries on self isolation, investigation says Users have been told they don't have to self-isolate when the NHS says they do Google is reportedly fixing the problem after a request from the UK government
29th Jun 2021 - Daily Mail

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I tested positive for Covid-19 twice in two cities. The responses were vastly different

Pauline Lockwood is a Senior News Editor for CNN, based at the network's Asia-​Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong. She writes: "As someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 in both Britain and Hong Kong, I've experienced the worst of both worlds. In one, I fell victim to the complete failure to check the disease's spread, and in the other I got caught up in a zealous system intended to completely eradicate Covid-19. The pandemic's true tragedy is that the virus has killed nearly four million people worldwide, but it has also come with widespread repercussions. After undergoing four quarantines, the one when I actually had Covid-19 was the least traumatic. For me, pandemic measures have been far harder to deal with than the disease itself."
28th Jun 2021 - CNN

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Do children and people with two Covid vaccines need to self isolate?

Yes, people who are fully vaccinated still need to self-isolate and need to keep doing so for the duration of the 10 day quarantine period. This is because you can still be a carrier, even if you have received both doses of the jab. The government website states: ‘If you are instructed to self-isolate you must do so because there is still a risk that you might spread infection to others, even if you have been vaccinated and feel entirely well yourself.’ Failure to self-isolate for 10 days can result in a fine of £1,000, increasing to £10,000 for repeat offences under the current rules.
27th Jun 2021 - Metro.co.uk

HEE launches virtual training for NHS on loneliness and social isolation

Staff across the NHS and care sectors can now access a range of evidence-based interventions and information on how to refer or signpost people who may be at risk of loneliness and social isolation. A new e-learning resource has been developed by Health Education England (HEE) in collaboration with Public Health England and the Campaign to End Loneliness.
23rd Jun 2021 - Nursing Times

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Covid-19: 'Not yet appropriate' to ease care home visiting rules

Visiting at care homes cannot be eased any further yet, Northern Ireland's chief nursing officer has said. Charlotte McArdle contacted care home providers and trust officials with the news, in an email seen by BBC News NI. Public health colleagues have decided it would "not yet be appropriate" to move to the next stage of relaxing restrictions, the email read. Visiting at care homes has been restricted to try to protect residents from Covid-19. A four-stage plan for easing was launched at the beginning of May 2021.
24th Jun 2021 - BBC News

Vaccinated Israelis may need to quarantine because of Delta variant

Israel empowered health officials on Wednesday to quarantine anyone deemed to have been exposed to an especially infectious variant of COVID-19, even if they were previously vaccinated or recovered from the disease with presumed immunity. The decision followed a warning by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday over new outbreaks caused by the Delta variant, with daily infections rising after weeks of low plateau credited to Israel's record mass-vaccination drive.
24th Jun 2021 - Reuters

Should schoolchildren still have to self-isolate?

More than a quarter of a million children are absent from school in the UK because of coronavirus, prompting calls for a different approach to testing and quarantining of pupils that puts children's needs first. With children at extremely low risk from the virus and more than three out of every five UK adults now fully vaccinated, is it time for a change in policy?
24th Jun 2021 - BBC News

A perfect storm: the impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of young people

Mental health services for children and young people were struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic, but data suggest they are now reaching crisis point. NHS figures, analysed by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and published in April 2021, show that 80,226 more children and young people were referred to mental health services between April 2020 and December 2020, up by 28% on 2019​. In addition, the analysis revealed that the number of children and young people needing urgent or emergency crisis care — including assessments to see if someone needs to be sectioned because they or others are at risk of harm — had increased by 18% compared with 2019.
23rd Jun 2021 - The Pharmaceutical Journal

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HEE launches virtual training for NHS on loneliness and social isolation

A new e-learning resource has been developed by Health Education England (HEE) in collaboration with Public Health England and the Campaign to End Loneliness. It is intended to provide information to help health and care staff to recognise people who may be at risk from loneliness and social isolation and to understand the potential negative outcomes for health. The resource includes training on “handling conversations and interactions” with people at risk, said HEE in a statement.
23rd Jun 2021 - Nursing Times

Covid: Parents concerned about impact of isolation on learning

Pupils are facing "huge" disruption to their learning in Greater Manchester and Cheshire due to spikes in Covid-19 cases in schools, parents have said. More than 170,000 pupils are self-isolating across England, with thousands in the North West areas. One mother said providing home learning was "really difficult", while another said remote lessons were a "poor substitute for being in the classroom". Head teacher Simon Kidwell said schools "urgently need a plan for September". The two areas have some of the highest Covid infection rates in England and have seen thousands of pupils needing to self-isolate due to sharp rises caused by the Delta variant.
30th Nov -0001 - BBC News

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'Stolen moments': Families anguish over separation from dying COVID patients

In-depth interviews with 19 adult family members of patients lost to COVID-19 during the first pandemic wave in France uncover difficulties forging a bond with intensive care unit (ICU) staff, being separated from their loved ones at the time of greatest need, and grief over "stolen moments." Led by researchers at Saint Louis University Hospital in Paris, the study involved semi-structured, in-depth phone interviews conducted with family members of COVID-19 patients who died in one of 12 ICUs in seven regions of France in April and May 2020. The interviews took place 3 or 4 months after the patients' deaths, and the results were published yesterday in JAMA Network Open.
22nd Jun 2021 - CIDRAP

Quarter of a million children in England missed school last week due to Covid

A quarter of a million children in England missed school last week because of Covid infections, self-isolation or school closures, making it the most disrupted week since schools fully reopened in March and prompting calls for pupils to be vaccinated. The upsurge has been most marked in northern centres such as Oldham, where Covid-related absences in schools are more than double the national rate. Andy Burnham, the mayor of Greater Manchester, said that self-isolation rules for children needed to be reformed to avoid further disruption to their education. The national figures from the Department for Education (DfE) showed that one child in every 30 at state school was out of the classroom on 17 June, including 9,000 pupils with confirmed Covid-19 cases, 16,000 with suspected cases and more than 7,000 whose schools had shut entirely because of Covid outbreaks.
22nd Jun 2021 - The Guardian

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Dublin charity urge public to reach out and combat loneliness being felt by elderly during Covid pandemic

A Dublin charity is urging the public to reach out and combat loneliness being felt by older people. ALONE encourages members of the public to change one person’s day by reaching out to an older person in their lives whether it’s an neighbour, friend, relative or someone they don’t really know that well in order to #ChangeOneDay. They are calling for the public to: “Call 1 – Nominate 1 – Change 1’ – call one older person, nominate a friend to do the same, and change one person’s day for the better.
21st Jun 2021 - Dublin Live

Covid-19: Matt Hancock hopes to scrap isolation for double-jabbed contacts

Plans to ease Covid restrictions in England on 19 July are "looking good", the prime minister has said. Boris Johnson said that was based on the efficacy of vaccines against identified variants. But he warned there could be a "rough winter for all sorts of reasons", including a resurgence of flu. It comes as the health secretary said he hoped to exempt fully vaccinated people from the requirement to isolate for 10 days when contact-traced. Asked during on a visit to a laboratory in Hertfordshire whether he could rule out further lockdowns this winter, Mr Johnson said: "You can never exclude that there will be some new disease, some new horror that we simply haven't budgeted for, or accounted for.
21st Jun 2021 - BBC News

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Vaccinated people set to be exempt from self-isolation rules if they take Covid-19 test every day instead

People who have had two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine could become exempt from self-isolation rules later this year, one of the Government’s leading scientific advisers has confirmed. Susan Hopkins of Public Health England said 15,000 people were already enrolled in a trial under which they take daily coronavirus tests after coming into contact with a Covid-19 patient or returning to the UK from abroad. The health service is hoping to recruit another 25,000 volunteers to gather evidence on whether the testing regime can remove the need to quarantine, without creating an unacceptably high risk of spreading new infections.
20th Jun 2021 - iNews.co.uk

English councils refuse six in 10 requests for Covid self-isolation pay

Almost two-thirds of workers in England seeking grants to help them self-isolate are being refused help, sparking warnings from trade unions that a key policy to limit Covid-19 is “failing” in the face of rising infections. Councils are continuing to refuse more than six out of 10 applications despite the government increasing funding for the vital anti-Covid system in March to £20m a month, freedom of information requests by the Trades Union Congress found. One council, Hackney in east London, said it had rejected 91% of requests for the £500 payments. saying that the government’s criteria were “extremely tight”. It had to reject some requests because they did not produce the right paperwork even though it acknowledged it can be difficult if families are ill or self-isolating.
19th Jun 2021 - The Guardian

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Treasury accused of 'recklessly' suppressing information relating to covid isolation sick pay

The Treasury has been accused of “recklessly” suppressing information relating to a sick pay scheme for people forced to self-isolate during the height of the second wave of the Covid pandemic. According to emails at the start of 2021 between civil servants seen by Politico, the department instructed government officials not to publicise how furlough could be used to access payments during the isolation period. Supporting people – particularly those in low-paid jobs – has been a major point of contention during the crisis, with scientists and opposition MPs repeatedly criticising the amount of financial support on offer for those required to self-isolate.
17th Jun 2021 - The Independent

Having a strong life purpose eases loneliness of COVID-19 isolation, study finds

Why can some people weather the stress of social isolation better than others, and what implications does this have for their health? New research found that people who felt a strong sense of purpose in life were less lonely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
17th Jun 2021 - Science Daily

£500 self-isolation payments to be widened to more low-income workers in Harrogate

Self-isolation payments of £500 are to be made available to more low-income earners in the Harrogate district. The one-off payments were introduced by the government and administered by Harrogate Borough Council from September to compensate for any loss of earnings workers may suffer as a result of having to self-isolate because of Covid. More than £119,000 has been allocated to the council but as of this month around £68,000 remains unspent so officials have proposed to widen the rules around who can apply.
17th Jun 2021 - Harrogate Advertiser

Covid-19: UK and Japan connect to tackle loneliness

Britain and Japan on Thursday announced joint plans to overcome the stigma of loneliness accentuated by the Covid-19 pandemic, highlighting the need to put in place policies that help to ‘connect’ people and communities. Britain appointed the world’s first minister for loneliness in 2018 and Japan recently appointed its first minister for loneliness and isolation, Tetsushi Sakamoto. Officials said the measures include regular meetings on the issue between the UK and Japan, sharing knowledge on loneliness measures and policy, and raising awareness in the United Kingdom (UK) and Japan, and within the global community.
17th Jun 2021 - Khaleej Times

COVID-19: Home quarantine rule for travellers to UK 'just doesn't work', says Professor Neil Ferguson

A home quarantine rule for travellers to the UK "just doesn't work", a top epidemiologist advising the government has warned. Professor Neil Ferguson, part of the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), suggested that anything other than the tough border restrictions imposed by countries such as Australia and New Zealand was "window dressing". The government has been facing calls to scrap its "amber list" of countries, from which people returning to the UK have to quarantine for 10 days at home.
17th Jun 2021 - Sky News

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Easing of Covid isolation rules on care home resident trips welcomed

Moves by the government to ease restrictions covering the movements of care home residents in England have been largely welcomed by organisations representing the social care sector. Residents will be able to spend more time with family and friends, including overnight stays, without needing to isolate, as part of an easing of visiting rules announced on Monday by the prime minister. They can currently only leave their care home for a visit if it is outdoors or for high-priority reasons, such as a GP appointment, but will soon be able to do so for more social reasons without isolating.
15th Jun 2021 - Nursing Times

How to help employees dealing with loneliness

Lockdown has precipitated a huge shift in our understanding of how and where employees can work, and hybrid working has gained momentum as a way to benefit from a more autonomous and agile workforce. However, remote working has not been a panacea. While enhanced autonomy has benefits for both employers and employees, the loss of in-person collaboration and networking opportunities risks remote workers being left isolated, feeling disconnected from friends and colleagues. The UK government has recently released guidance for employers, which it hopes will act as the starting point of a wider conversation about what organisations can do to address loneliness.
15th Jun 2021 - People Management

TransPennine Express Join The Fight To End Loneliness

TransPennine Express (TPE) has joined the fight to end loneliness in the UK by partnering with the Campaign to End Loneliness. The announcement of the partnership comes during Loneliness Awareness Week (14th-18th June) and TPE is taking steps to inform customers, colleagues and people who live in and around the places they serve about support services and tips to help tackle loneliness. There are more than 9 million people who suffer from loneliness in the UK and this figure has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as people have struggled to see family and friends. Now the train company is aiming to be part of the solution and to help bring people together.
15th Jun 2021 - Business Up North

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Why Covid has left us at a crossroads over loneliness - Kenneth Watt

After over a year of restrictions on how we work, socialise and interact with the rest of the world, many of us have endured periods of intense loneliness and even more experienced feelings of isolation. The impacts of loneliness are well documented. It is not just bad for our mental wellbeing, it can be devastating for our physical health and productivity, as well as communities and public services. As restrictions lift and we see groups of people back playing sport in parks and catching up with friends in beer gardens, loneliness is not going away for all. In fact, there is a risk that as some parts of society start to connect again, loneliness is further locked in for others.
14th Jun 2021 - The Scotsman

Befriending services could help tackle Scotland's loneliness crisis

In the last year, the levels of loneliness across Great Britain have grown. The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics found 7.2 per cent of people “often” or “always” felt lonely, up from five per cent before the pandemic. That’s around 3.7 million adults. But at the same time, the pandemic has also encouraged community spirit. Between March and June last year, 2.2 million people in Scotland volunteered as a befriender, either formally or informally, according to Volunteer Scotland.
14th Jun 2021 - Holyrood.com

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Office connections a lifeline for workers

For all the complaints and comedies about office politics and getting along with co-workers, it seems most Australians missed going into a workplace during COVID lockdowns. New research has found 70 per cent of Australians say they find their most meaningful and regular social connections at work - outranking even their homes and community. And when it comes to which location they prefer to do jobs from, the data is clear: most do not want to work from home all the time. The desire to return to a group workplace is strongest among Gen-Z workers (aged 18 to 26), who also report the most impact on their mental health of coronavirus-related isolation.
13th Jun 2021 - 7News.com.au

Suicide Attempts Among Teen Girls Spiked During the Pandemic, CDC Finds

Suicide attempts among adolescent girls spiked as the coronavirus pandemic raged, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in a study released Friday. May 2020 marked the beginning of a rise in emergency room visits for suspected suicide attempts in teenagers ages 12-17 generally, but especially among girls. From Feb. 21 to March 20 2021, suicide attempts were up 50 percent from the same period in 2019 among girls 12 to 17 and 3.7 percent among boys of the same age.
11th Jun 2021 - Daily Beast

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People’s odds of loneliness could fall by up to half if cities hit 30% green space targets

One in four Australians feel lonely on three or more days a week. Our longitudinal study, just published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, finds adults in neighbourhoods where at least 30% of nearby land was parks, reserves and woodlands had 26% lower odds of becoming lonely compared to their peers in areas with less than 10% green space. For people living on their own, the associations were even greater – in areas with 30% or more green space the odds of becoming lonely halved. This is good news for cities around the world – including Barcelona, Canberra, Seattle and Vancouver – that have set targets of 30% green cover.
9th Jun 2021 - The Conversation US

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Opinion: Isolating during the covid-19 pandemic warped our brains. It’s time to confront that.

Need advice, after a year in isolation, on how to make small talk, how to get dressed after a year in soft pants or how to turn down invitations? Advice writers at major publications, including this one, have you covered. But for many the trickier challenge will be figuring out how the time they spent alone has distorted their views of the world. A new movie and comedy special may be helpful starting points for that process of self-examination. Netflix’s thriller “The Woman in the Window” had the good fortune to be delayed from 2019 to this May, which made it timely, if not very good. A lot of the potential audience has spent a year locked away like the film’s agoraphobic protagonist, troubled psychologist Anna Fox (Amy Adams), trying to draw conclusions based on limited firsthand knowledge of the world outside. If “The Woman in the Window” is about the way physical isolation cuts off firsthand experience, Bo Burnham’s Netflix comedy special, “Bo Burnham: Inside,” is about how much the Internet falls short as an alternative for real-world interaction.
9th Jun 2021 - Washington Post

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Covid canvas: Chennai artist uses self-portraits to describe illness, isolation

When Bala Govind Kumar, a 25-year-old visual artist, contracted Covid-19 and had to be quarantined, he decided to use his skills for self-portraits, conveying what he was going through. Bala, who works as an assistant art director to a production designer, tested positive for Covid-19 in April and was in home isolation. This was when he began recording himself, and used the videos for his portraits. Bala says he wanted to unburden himself of his pain and hence channeled his negative emotions into art. The pictures he produced during this period describe his experience of isolation and illness.
8th Jun 2021 - The Indian Express

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Red Cross Red Crescent warns of the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people in Europe

The mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will have far-reaching impacts for entire generations, warned the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Several studies by Red Cross and Red Crescent societies across Europe show an alarming pattern, which requires increased efforts to tackle inequity and assist those most in need. Antónia de Barros Mota, head of Mental Health/Psychosocial Support for IFRC Europe, said: “The mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are like invisible scars or hidden wounds. Young people and children are suffering stress, bereavement and loneliness, which can worsen as time passes. Their parents may have lost their jobs. Lockdowns and other restrictions continue to hamper their access to education, training and work.”
7th Jun 2021 - ReliefWeb

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The cure for pandemic loneliness? Friends of a different generation.

Research from Washington University in St. Louis and John Hopkins University School of Medicine shows that intergenerational volunteering is good for older people’s mental health and physical functioning (including improved mobility, stamina, and flexibility). A meta-analysis of 16 studies, published by Mikaela B von Bonsdorff and Taina Rantanen in “Aging Clinical and Experimental Research,” showed that volunteering in old age predicted better self-rated health, functioning, physical activity and life satisfaction, as well as decreased depression and mortality. The intergenerational friendship movement had been gaining momentum long before the pandemic. But one legacy of the pandemic could be creating more opportunities for young adults to bond with their elders, connections that could play an important role as we work to reimagine elder care in the United States
4th Jun 2021 - Washington Post

Coronavirus affecting mental health 'the norm,' research shows

Mild cases of Coronavirus can impact mental health just as much as severe cases, research by University College London (UCL) has found. Scientists analysed 215 studies from 30 countries, which found that 23 per cent of people who had contracted Covid-19 went through depression. Anxiety was also experienced by 16 per cent of patients.
4th Jun 2021 - LBC

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‘Ugliest phase of my life’: How Covid is leaving a permanent scar on mental health of elders

“My body was falling apart, it was very weak, the feeling of fatigue was intense. I did wonder at some points whether I would survive this,” said 73-year-old Prabir Chakravorty as he recalled his 25-day isolation period after testing positive for Covid on April 26. With over 28 million cases of Covid reported in India alone, self-isolation and self-quarantine are crucial to minimise the spread and among the first recommendations to patients. However, the negative physical, psychological, and social effects of isolation are apparent among the elderly population, especially those suffering from pre-existing mental illness.
3rd Jun 2021 - The Indian Express

Overcoming loneliness during COVID-19 and onward

The World Health Organization (WHO) says although we need to stay apart physically, we need to connect with one another now more than ever. When feelings of loneliness happen too often, it can become chronic and have a negative impact on physical and emotional health. Since the start of the pandemic, Canadians — more specifically, seniors — have been feeling lonely. Becoming more social might sound hard at first, but if you’re retired, you may have more free time than you used to — and more opportunities to improve your social well-being. One key to overcoming feelings of loneliness is to think about ways you can start feeling connected to others. Consider the tips below to help you feel connected.
3rd Jun 2021 - SaltWire Network

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After COVID, research on social isolation and loneliness is needed more than ever

With nearly 70% of Americans over the age of 65 now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, many older Americans are once again safely hugging their (fully vaccinated) loved ones and returning to regular activities after more than a year’s hiatus. We’re all glad to see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, but in addition to the tragic loss of life, COVID-19 magnified the already-dire problem of social isolation and loneliness among older adults. NIA has a robust history of promoting research to help understand how we can reduce loneliness and enhance social connection among older adults to improve physical and mental health outcomes. The pandemic underscored that rigorous research on the health impact of social isolation and loneliness — and the development of interventions to prevent or address these conditions — are needed now more than ever.
2nd Jun 2021 - nia.nih.gov

Parents: Kids are clamouring for great outdoors after Covid

Most parents see outdoor play as the key to combating loneliness that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused children. New research suggests more than half believe their children have been more lonely amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to the report from the NSPCC. Two in three parents believe play has become more important for their children since the start of the pandemic, and 79 per cent think playing outside will be vital for children's wellbeing.
2nd Jun 2021 - Worcester News

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Mental health of mothers more negatively affected by Covid school closures than fathers, research finds

Researchers have found that mothers experienced worse mental health while schools were closed during lockdown. Meanwhile, there was no impact on the mental well-being of fathers. Research by the University of Essex’s Institute for Social and Economic Research, in conjunction with the universities of Surrey and Birmingham, found that the mental health of mothers suffered as schools were forced to shut. In addition to their day jobs, women were tasked with childcare and homeschooling during this time, which led mothers of pre-teen children to feel more lonely, lose confidence and have difficulty sleeping.
1st Jun 2021 - The Independent

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Concerned that returning to work will impact your mental health? Here's how to set boundaries

It’s no surprise that mental health has taken a hit during the Covid pandemic. A December survey from the U.S. Census Bureau found that 42% of U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 11% in previous years. But there are aspects of pandemic life — working remotely, staying home and opting out of social situations, for instance — that have made life and managing their mental health easier for some. While many are struggling to balance childcare or feeling overwhelmed by isolation, others prefer the flexibility of remote work and telemedicine, and are grateful not to have to participate in social functions.
31st May 2021 - CNBC

COVID lockdowns have made young Germans more lonely — report

The coronavirus pandemic has contributed to an increase in loneliness among Germany's young people, according to a study published Sunday in the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. A total of 56% of people aged between 16 and 29 years who took part in a survey reported that they have "frequently" felt lonely since the onset of the pandemic Since March 2020, Germany has implemented far-reaching restrictions on private and public life in a bid to slow the spread of the virus, which have included curfews and forbidding gatherings, although there have been periods where these have been loosened.
30th May 2021 - Deutsche Welle

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Australian State Probes Pandemic’s Loneliness Impact

Containing Covid-19 has been Australia’s North-eastern state, Queensland’s priority during the pandemic, and now the state will investigate how lockdown and limits on visitors affected mental health. Social isolation and loneliness are the subjects of a parliamentary Inquiry amid a pandemic in which one of the most effective weapons has been limiting contact between family and friends. “In 2020, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that the personal stressor most experienced by Australians during the Covid-19 pandemic was loneliness,” Communities Minister Leeanne Enoch said on May 27.
27th May 2021 - The Tennesse Tribune

Covid-19: Nova Scotia safe isolation program has put up hundreds of people throughout pandemic

Since the pandemic first began, Nova Scotia has provided accommodations to nearly 500 people to help them isolate safely away from other people after contracting COVID-19. “They’re primarily hotels, mostly used in the Central Zone,” said Health Minister Zach Churchill about the voluntary safe isolation sites. The province currently has 60 sites available and 44 people are using them right now to isolate. Self-isolation is a key tool in our toolbelt to fight back against the spread of COVID-19,” said Churchill.
27th May 2021 - Global News

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Vaccines minister confirms self-isolation won't end on 21 June for fully vaccinated

In England, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has confirmed that fully vaccinated people will likely still need to self-isolate if they come into contact with someone with Covid once all restrictions are removed on 21 June. Zahawi told MPs today that “even if you have had two doses of either vaccine – and I have had this in my own family – you can still contract Covid, and therefore you should be isolating and quarantining”.
25th May 2021 - City A.M.

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Feeling lonely? Try cranking up the volume

With COVID-19 keeping many people isolated and alone, one way to combat the loneliness is by cranking the volume up on your favourite song, show or movie, new research suggests. Researchers at Australia’s James Cook University found that people who felt socially isolated preferred higher volumes, from music to background noise, compared to those who felt they were socially accepted. “Loud noises are not only desired following social exclusion, they are also effective at mitigating the negative psychological effects of social exclusion, such as social pain, feelings of anger, loneliness, and worsened mood,” lead author Adam Wang from James Cook University said. Wang and his colleagues think this breakthrough could help people who are struggling through continued isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
25th May 2021 - CTVNews

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England pilots new support initiatives to boost self-isolating in higher COVID areas

New support initiatives will be piloted in nine areas of England with higher COVID rates, including from variants, as part of government efforts to boost testing and self-isolation, the health ministry said on Monday. The incidence of infections in Britain is still low but clusters of the Indian variant, believed to be more transmissible than the dominant Kent variant, are growing, and could derail plans to further ease lockdown measures. A total of 12 million pounds ($17 million) will be provided by government for accommodation for those in overcrowded households, social care support and communications assistance for those who don’t have English as their first language, among other steps.
24th May 2021 - Reuters

A million over-65s ‘still at risk of loneliness as UK lockdown eases’

A review by 10 leading charities has found that a million people over 65 in the UK are likely to remain at risk of chronic loneliness despite the easing of coronavirus restrictions. Loneliness, social isolation and living alone are all associated with an increased risk of early death, the Older People’s Task and Finish Group has said. The group, part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Tackling Loneliness Network, also says that so many support organisations closed for good during lockdown that millions of older people are continuing to suffer loneliness, depression and deteriorating physical health.
24th May 2021 - The Guardian

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How to conquer loneliness and social isolation

Over the last year, we isolated from each other to avoid a potentially deadly virus. Sadly, however, many older people had plenty of practice with social isolation well before COVID-19 entered the lexicon. As we age, loneliness is a risk factor for physical and mental decline. Add anxiety and depression to the mix and you’re looking at the possibility of a shorter lifespan. “Prevention needs to be the mantra,” said Marc Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist at Miami Jewish Health in Miami. Taking proactive steps to combat loneliness engages the brain and raises the odds that you’ll tend to your personal needs—from maintaining good hygiene to taking your prescribed medications as directed.For starters, devise a plan to resist the pull of isolation. Realize that if you don’t do anything—if you wait around for others to contact you—you’re likely to perpetuate the status quo.
23rd May 2021 - Marketwatch

England pilots new support initiatives to boost self-isolating in higher COVID areas

New support initiatives will be piloted in nine areas of England with higher COVID rates, including from variants, as part of government efforts to boost testing and self-isolation, the health ministry said on Monday. The incidence of infections in Britain is still low but clusters of the Indian variant, believed to be more transmissible than the dominant Kent variant, are growing, and could derail plans to further ease lockdown measures. A total of 12 million pounds ($17 million) will be provided by government for accommodation for those in overcrowded households, social care support and communications assistance for those who don't have English as their first language, among other steps.
23rd May 2021 - Reuters UK

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Charity warns of lasting impact of pandemic on children and young people

The  coronavirus pandemic could leave a legacy of anxiety and poor mental health and wellbeing among  British  children and  young people, Barnardo’s has warned.  Polling by the UK’s children’s charity shows the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in Britain could still be worsening a year on after the pandemic first struck. In an online poll conducted by YouGov, Barnardo’s asked more than 4,000 children and young people aged eight-24 across Great Britain about how they were feeling now compared to before the pandemic. “Barnardo’s has consistently warned that the negative effects of the pandemic could last a lifetime if children and young people don’t have the right support. Our survey adds further weight to the argument that children must be front and centre of the Government’s plans for the post-COVID period."
20th May 2021 - Charity Today

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COVID-19: A crisis for 'years to come' - How lockdowns put children under 'unprecedented' levels of distress

Nicole Renshaw is a mental health nurse and is doing a routine and increasingly frequent part of her job - seeing children who have arrived in hospital after they have self-harmed. Before the pandemic, A&E attendances by children with psychiatric conditions had tripled in the last 10 years. Now, month on month, the numbers arriving at hospital are continuing to rise. Nicole works for the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) at Pennine Care NHS Trust. The CAMHS team is dealing with a surge in referrals - self-harm, suicide attempts, anxiety - a grim but growing list of troubles. "There is going to be a section of people in our society who are kind of surviving through this now and are in total survival mode," said the trust's lead clinical psychologist, Dr Chantal Basson. "And as we come out of the pandemic, we're more likely to see the mental health impact on those young people and families. I think we might be feeling the tremors, but I think the impact may well yet to be seen."
19th May 2021 - Sky News

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Warning of continued isolation despite May 17 Covid rules easing

The easing of coronavirus restrictions from today has been welcomed as a "positive step to starting to rebuild our communities" - but there are still fears people will be left isolated. Jo Reeder, chief executive of BSEVC - which runs services such as community transport for those at risk of isolation - said: “The easing of lockdown is of course a positive step to starting to rebuild our communities and to encourage individuals to start to re-engage. "Many people will relish this - but we need to be mindful that there will also be people that may find this new found freedom daunting after such a long time and with this could come feelings of anxiety and uncertainty."
18th May 2021 - East Anglian Daily Times

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'Covid has created huge amounts of hidden emotional distress'

Much has been written and said already about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our mental health. One of the hidden side effects of this is emotional distress and Dr Ann-Marie Creaven from the University of Limerick and mental health specialist Dr Harry Barry recently joined the Today With Claire Byrne show on RTÉ Radio One to discuss this topic. It's important that we accept it's the situation and not us that's abnormal. "It's OK to feel like crap sometimes, which we all do", says Barry. "I think it's really important that we work hard on the lifestyle changes. Make sure you get enough sleep. Do the alcohol detox. Don't drink from Monday to Friday. Try and get out for your bit of exercise. Try and for example, limit your technology. Shut down technology. Stop answering all your emails.
17th May 2021 - RTE.ie

Telangana Covid-19 patient builds himself an isolation bed on tree

An 18-year-old tribal student from Telangana’s Nalgonda district, who tested positive for Covid-19 on May 4, built himself a makeshift isolation chamber atop a tree-- where he stayed put for 12 days-- to protect his family from the virus since his family house didn’t have a separate room to quarantine him.
17th May 2021 - Hindustan Times

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Lockdown has encouraged older people to embrace technology, reconnect and build new relationships

The COVID-19 lockdown was a catalyst for many older people to embrace technology, reconnect with friends and build new relationships with neighbors, according to University of Stirling research. Understanding the coping mechanisms adopted by some over 60s during the pandemic will play a key role in developing interventions to help tackle loneliness, isolation and wellbeing in the future.
14th May 2021 - News Medical

If people don’t get paid to self-isolate, UK Covid cases could rise again

The British government has failed to provide adequate support for people self-isolating during the pandemic. Too many still fear they won’t be able to afford time off work should they need to stay at home. Compliance with self-isolation has been worryingly low, with some surveys showing that only around a half of people with Covid-19 symptoms stick to the legal requirement to self-isolate. Evidence suggests that financial barriers are a key reason people don’t comply, but the government has failed to fix this blind spot by protecting people from lost earnings when they are required to isolate. With social restrictions set to ease further, now is the time to address this critical flaw in the government’s pandemic response. Any failure to provide vital self-isolation support could undermine the government’s entire roadmap out of lockdown, putting paid to everything from the vaccine rollout to the expensive test-and-trace system.
14th May 2021 - The Guardian

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COVID-19 Loneliness

As the world slowly sheds the weight of COVID-19, there is an opportunity for psychiatrists to pause and consider the role they are about to play in the coming months and years. Never before has the entire modern world been subjected to such collective feelings of fear, uncertainty, anxiety, and sorrow—and loneliness. Psychiatry often relies on pharmaceuticals to treat mental illness; this pandemic serves as a good reminder that the best cure for loneliness can be as simple as kindness and compassion.
13th May 2021 - Psychiatric Times

Covid patients in Karnataka to get home isolation kits within one hour of test results

In order to help Covid-19 affected patients in the state, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwath Narayan announced medical kits will be sent to those under home isolation. According to the DCM of the state, five lakh kits will be procured, and measures will be taken to see that they reach the doorstep of the infected within 1 hour of getting the Covid-19 positive test result. He said authorities had been directed to ensure the systematic delivery of home isolation medical kits starting from May 15.
13th May 2021 - Livemint

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Covid Support Buddies launch to tackle loneliness and give support

A new county-wide Covid Support Buddy scheme is being launched by local charity Community Action Suffolk (CAS). The project, funded by Suffolk County Council, will develop a network of specialist "Buddies" to help people impacted by Covid-19. If people need to self-isolate, a buddy could help with tasks such as shopping or dog-walking or just make contact to reduce loneliness. The aim is for existing community groups to add a Covid-Support buddy to their ranks, supported by the Covid Support Development Officers at CAS
12th May 2021 - East Anglian Daily Times

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Health experts: Vaccinated people can relax about their Covid-19 risk

White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said he will not go into restaurants or movie theaters, even though he’s vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccinated people should continue masking up indoors and avoiding large gatherings. News outlets have reported on “breakthrough infections” of Covid-19 among the fully vaccinated. All of this can make it seem like getting vaccinated may not be enough to liberate people from the fear of getting sick and the precautions they’ve taken to avoid the coronavirus in the past year. So I posed a question to experts I’ve talked to throughout the pandemic about Covid-related precautions: How worried are you about your personal safety after getting vaccinated? They were nearly unanimous in their response: They’re no longer worried much, if at all, about their personal risk of getting Covid-19. Several spoke of going into restaurants and movie theaters now that they’re vaccinated, socializing with friends and family, and having older relatives visit for extended periods.
11th May 2021 - Vox.com

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Covid’s cruellest blow? Keeping the dying from their loved ones

No other disease in our lifetimes has required hospitals to be almost completely purged of visitors, even at the end of life. In place of the deathbed vigil – families clustered round the one they love, watching, waiting, clasping, holding – Covid has torn parent from child, sister from brother, husband from wife, grandparent from grandchild. We have been forced to exile the one group of people who matter more than anyone else when death draws near. This particular cruelty of Covid disrupts a fiercely primal need. Across cultures, eras and institutional settings, what we crave in extremis is the same. Someone to cling to, preferably someone we love, their presence an antidote to fear and pain.
10th May 2021 - The Guardian

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Covid-19: UK's minister for loneliness funds new plans to tackle isolation

Diana Barran, who is the third minister for loneliness in the United Kingdom since the portfolio was carved out in January 2018, has allocated £4 million to tackle the modern scourge of isolation and loneliness, as Covid-10 restrictions ease following a considerable decline in new viral infections. The Boris Johnson government said on Saturday that the fund would support a series of projects to bring people together. Officials said the amount would be shared among charity and community groups and grassroots organisations involved in tackling social isolation. Projects across England, include songwriting workshops in Devon, dance classes in Bedfordshire, and online chat services in Durham, are in the works.
8th May 2021 - Khaleej Times

As the Covid-19 crisis ebbs in the U.S., experts brace for some to experience psychological fallout

The end of the emergency phase of the pandemic is in sight in the United States, at least for now. But as the weight of the crisis is lifted, experts are also anticipating a long-term impact on people’s mental health. For some people, the feelings of anxiety and depression that emerged during the pandemic will resolve as routines resume — people go back to the office, social connections are reformed, the seeming danger of activities dissipates. But others will face new or worse mental health issues that persist or even appear down the road, a number that could be quite large given the magnitude of despair and disruption. That burden, however big, stands to put an even greater strain on an already stretched mental health system.
7th May 2021 - STAT News

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Children’ Mental Health Took A Massive Hit During Lockdown, Says UK Study

Children’s mental health took a serious hit during lockdown, according to a new Oxford University study. And younger children were particularly affected, with those aged four to 10 experiencing a much greater range of difficulties throughout the pandemic than older children. The highest levels of mental health issues were seen when restrictions were at their most stringent, while reported difficulties have decreased in line with children returning to the real, as opposed to the virtual, classroom. The findings emphasize the need to focus on mental health - rather than catching up on ‘lost learning - as the priority for children re-emerging from lockdown
6th May 2021 - Forbes

Precautions to take when you have COVID-19 patient at home

The second wave of coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc in India. And this time the disease is even more contagious than the last wave. It becomes increasingly difficult to protect oneself from the virus when you have someone at home who has tested positive. Most people are advised to isolate themselves at home until they have any serious complications. Apart from taking care of the patient, one has to protect themselves from catching the disease. From wearing a mask inside the home to washing hands frequently, there are some simple things that one must do to stay safe
6th May 2021 - ETimes

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Could you have ‘Covid-19 anxiety syndrome’? 7 tips for coping

After more than a year of restrictions and paranoia about the killer virus in our midst, it’s only natural that people are still feeling a little anxious about Covid-19. But some people aren’t just a little anxious – new research suggests one in five may have ‘Covid-19 anxiety syndrome’, where they’re locked into a state of continuous anxiety and fear of contracting the virus. The research, by London South Bank University ( LSBU ) found one in five of 286 UK-based survey participants scored highly on the Covid-19 anxiety syndrome scale in February and used forms of coping such as a constant attention to threat, worry, avoidance and excessive checkin
5th May 2021 - The Independent

Health bosses’ advice to tackle lockdown loneliness and anxiety

In England, health bosses have said it’s “ok to take small steps” if you’re anxious about heading out after lockdown restrictions are lifted. The Campaign to End Loneliness has also warned that those particularly affected by lockdown and left feeling lonely could be left behind. A recent ONS study between October 2020 to February 2021 put North and North East Lincolnshire among the places with the highest rates of reported loneliness.
5th May 2021 - The Lincolnite

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Covid-19: Care home residents can go on outdoor trips without isolating

Care home residents in England can now go on low-risk trips - such as to relatives' gardens or a local park - without having to self-isolate for 14 days when they return. It comes after some families say they have felt "powerless" because of "restrictive" visits. One woman said her mother had not been outdoors for more than 12 months and it would be "amazing" to take her outside. Campaigners now want the rule change to become law, rather than just guidance.
4th May 2021 - BBC News

Fire-juggling at home? Lockdown easing a relief for Hungarian circus artists

After months of practising aerial acrobatics suspended from the ceiling in her tiny apartment in Budapest with only her cats for an audience, Hungarian circus artist Eszter Kovacs is relishing the prospect of performing in front of people again. With COVID-19 restrictions beginning to ease in Hungary, where 40% of the population are now vaccinated, outdoor shows in parks and at cafe terraces are now possible and hopes are rising for a vibrant summer of festivals and concerts. Kovacs, whose skills also include fire-juggling, maintained her fitness during lockdown through a daily regime of yoga, long walks and acrobatic exercises using two flexible hoops hanging from the ceiling of her 24-square-metre living space.
4th May 2021 - Reuters

I am suffering from depression. How should I deal with Covid isolation?

When one tests positive for Covid-19, the first thing they are asked to do is isolate themselves. However, it is not easy to do so if the person is diagnosed with depression. IndiaToday.in got in touch with doctors to ask them what a person suffering from depression should do to deal with Covid isolation.
4th May 2021 - India Today

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Anxiety around socialising again is very real – so how can you tackle it in the moment?

Given the pandemic has made socialising in person near enough impossible for the past year, it’s understandable some people may be feeling nervous about restrictions easing and going back to our old routines. Social anxiety isn’t just about feeling a bit nervous around mingling with strangers though, it’s a mental health disorder that can affect work, school, and your other day-to-day activities. If you suffer from it, the thought of a packed pub garden can quickly set you on edge. There are some quick tips for easing social anxiety you can adopt if you find yourself feeling worried
3rd May 2021 - The Independent

Covid: Care home isolation rule axed for low-risk trips in England

Care home residents will be able to leave their home for low-risk trips without having to self-isolate for 14 days afterwards, the government says. The rules will be relaxed in England from Tuesday, allowing for walks or garden visits without self-isolation. The government says a fall in Covid cases means it is "much safer" for care home residents to go outside. The charity John's Campaign says it is a "chink of light" for residents and their families. But co-founder Julia Jones said she wanted to see the full guidance before making a decision about the charity's threat of legal action against the government's 14-day self-isolation requirement.
2nd May 2021 - BBC News

Covid: Daily tests could replace quarantine for those exposed to virus

Self-isolation requirements for individuals who have been in contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus could be relaxed as a result of a major new study utilising rapid testing. Daily lateral flow tests will be given to as many as 40,000 people who have a positive Covid-19 contact in the government-backed research announced on Sunday. Instead of the 10 days of quarantine currently required, the participants will be sent a week’s worth of tests and will be able to go about their lives as before, as long as the results are negative.
2nd May 2021 - ITV News

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Calgary senior overcomes loneliness by spreading simple gestures of love

Helen Jusic, 84, has called Calgary’s community of Bridgeland home for almost 35 years. But once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she felt lonely and isolated in her home. As a people person, she craved connection. She went out to find happiness and discovered she had something extraordinary to give. Her daily routine includes one hour to spread joy to her neighbourhood. Every day, she stands at an intersection near her home giving countless strangers good wishes. She blows them kisses, sends them air hugs and tells them, “I love you.” She said her simple gestures of love have taken away her anxiety and endeared an entire community.
29th Apr 2021 - Global News

Social networks as an antidote to loneliness

The coronavirus pandemic is having a significant impact on young people’s mental health. Youth care researcher Levi van Dam suggest with international colleagues that mentors chosen by young people themselves from their own social environment could be used to help them. Van Dam and his colleagues set out the tried and tested benefits of this form of support in the leading scientific journal ‘JAMA Psychiatry’. Various studies alarmingly report the major impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the mental health of young people and increased loneliness, depression and anxiety. It’s not only youth care and mental health care professionals that can help in this regard, say Van Dam and his colleagues, young people’s social networks can also be used as a buffer to help them.
29th Apr 2021 - Mirage News

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Online friendships helping Americans battle pandemic loneliness

Ever since the pandemic started, 67% of Americans feel more alone than ever before, says new research. A poll of 2,003 Americans found that 55% feel like they've completely lost their sense of community in the past year, too. A study conducted by OnePoll aimed to see how COVID-19 has affected Americans and discovered the sad fact that 62% felt like they had absolutely no one to talk about their loneliness or isolation with during the quarantine period. As people began feeling more and more isolated and alone in the past year, Americans turned to the internet for a source of comfort and community. Over half of those polled say online friendships take much less energy to maintain than real-life ones, with 52% saying they actually feel more comfortable opening up to people they only know online.
28th Apr 2021 - Yahoo News UK

No, Remote Therapy Hasn't Worked For Everyone During The Pandemic

Privacy problems, tech issues and fears of being overheard by family or housemates have been just some of the hurdles people with mental health issues have faced when attending therapy remotely during the pandemic. After the March 2020 lockdown was announced, many saw their face-to-face therapy appointments swiftly moved online or conducted over the phone. A year on, while some have benefited from this way of communicating, more than a third (35%) of people surveyed by the mental health charity Mind said online or phone-based support from NHS was difficult to use, while a quarter (23%) said their mental health had actually got worse as a result.
28th Apr 2021 - HuffPost UK

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I am Covid positive in home-isolation. What to eat? Dietitians answer

If you are suffering from Covid-19 and are in home-isolation, it is imperative that you follow a balanced diet apart from consuming prescribed medicines in order to recover soon. Weakness is one of the major side-effects of battling the deadly virus and the loss of taste and smell often forces patients to refrain from eating. However, that can hinder the recovery process as proper nutrition is an absolute must in order to defeat the virus if you contract it. IndiaToday spoke to two dietitians, who prescribed several dos and don'ts that caregivers must keep in mind while looking after Covid-19 patients at home.
27th Apr 2021 - India Today

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Covid-19: Preparing to leave lockdown with social anxiety

Life may appear to be returning to a new "normal" as the Covid-19 lockdown eases. While many relish the idea of going back to their more usual routines, some with pre-existing anxiety may find the changes challenging. Naomi Quinn, 45, is anxious about a reduction in restrictions. "My fear is, as soon as things go back to normal people won't wear their masks, sanitise their hands and they might disregard the rules," she explained. Naomi, who lives with her daughter, Megan, in Swatragh, a small village in County Londonderry, has been dealing with anxiety for years. She said: "When you're in the middle of a panic attack, it's so real. In that moment, I believe I'm having a heart attack or a stroke.
26th Apr 2021 - BBC News

I Successfully Made It Through Two Weeks Of COVID-19 Isolation. Here’s How You Can Too

Kashish Malik writes about her experience of isolation and has tips on how to get through it: "Some of us, like me, who are innately positive human beings pull through by making routines while there are many more who stay isolated with their thoughts which more often than not are unhappy ones. In the middle of this crisis, and being a patient myself if there is one thing I have learned then it is that all COVID-19 struggles are different. So instead of comparing our situation with one another, we should learn from each other. By sharing our stories, we may end up giving valuable information which someone somewhere can use to cope with their own situation."
26th Apr 2021 - shethepeople.tv

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Self-Compassion Is Key To Survive Working From Home

As the world moved en-masse to remote working as a result of Covid-19 there was initial bonhomie of a world stripped clean of the much-unloved aspects of working life, such as the commute and the open-office distractions. Over a year on, however, and the sheen is beginning to wear off, with people suffering from burnout, an eroding work-life balance, and isolation as social contact with one's peers is restricted to Zoom socials. New research from York University suggests that the key to coping with remote working is to exhibit high levels of self-compassion. The researchers specifically looked at how the loneliness that is almost an endemic part of remote working life at the moment might impact not only our mental health but also our behavior at work.
25th Apr 2021 - Forbes

COVID-19 took mental health to a dark place. The healing work starts now

The coronavirus pandemic has wrought mental health havoc across the world. "As the pandemic struck, there was a large and immediate decline in mental health in many countries worldwide," reads the 2021 World Happiness Report. Mental health improved after the initial shock but, the report cautions, "a significant proportion of people had mental health [in 2020] that was persistently and significantly lower than before COVID-19." In the US, 42% of respondents to a CDC survey in December reported anxiety or depression symptoms, an increase of over 200% from the 2019 average. In the UK, 31% of respondents to a September study reported depression severe enough to justify "high-intensity psychological support." One positive sign is that online therapy sessions done through tools like Zoom have become far more common. It's not just that people have gone from the therapist chair to the lounge room, but rather "underserved and underrepresented" groups that normally shun in-person therapy feel comfortable opting for e-therapy done in their own home
23rd Apr 2021 - CNet.com

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Feelings of isolation worse now than at any point during pandemic: report

A year into the pandemic, a new report by HR company Morneau Shepell says that feelings of isolation are taking their greatest toll yet on Canadians. The company released its monthly Mental Health Index report, showing a negative mental health score among Canadians for the 12th consecutive month. “The past year has been defined by relentless change and drastic declines in Canadians’ wellbeing, as individuals across the country were forced to constantly shift their way of living,” said Stephen Liptrap, president and chief executive officer. “One year into the pandemic, it’s clear that while there have been many changes to our routine, the declining state of Canadians’ wellbeing remains a constant.”
22nd Apr 2021 - CTV News

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‘It could result in a pandemic of loneliness’: Peers report on how digital Covid lives altered wellbeing

Despite the obvious perks that the online world brought when our world changed overnight, there are long-term implications of moving to a digitised world – especially when many are still lacking basic access to the internet and thus risk being further shut out down the line. To presume that technology is universally the great leveller is a mistake. The House of Lords today publishes a report, “Beyond Digital: Planning for a Hybrid World”, looking at our digital futures. The report highlights the risk that this could have in developing a “pandemic of loneliness”. This is already well reported. According to a survey of UK adults by the Mental Health Foundation, which took place nine months into Covid-19 restrictions in late November, one in four (24 per cent) said they had feelings of loneliness in the “previous two weeks”. Figures from ONS suggested that in the first lockdown about 2.6 million adults felt lonely “often” or “always”.
21st Apr 2021 - The Independent

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Should you tell people you got the Covid-19 vaccine? Here's what to consider

Sharing your vaccine status with friends and family and on social media can mean an outpouring of support -- and it also can mean unwanted scrutiny, questions or even backlash. There are also concerns around social life. Sharing your status could mean unwanted social pressures to hang out when you don't feel comfortable returning to life before Covid-19. Some who qualified to get the vaccine earlier than others worry about jealously or judgment from friends or acquaintances if they disclose their status. Some worry their employers may force them back to the office before they feel safe returning if they share their vaccine status.
20th Apr 2021 - CNN

Covid-19: Suicide rate 'did not rise during first lockdown'

The number of suicides in England did not rise following the first national lockdown in 2020, research has found. Charities had reported more people seeking mental health support, leading to fears the number of suicides would also increase. But University of Manchester scientists found a broadly similar rate from April to October 2020 to that seen between January and March. The findings are in line with research from other high income countries. Using real-time surveillance data, which records suicides as they occur but before an inquest is held, academics studied suicides in areas of England covering some 13 million people - around a quarter of the population.
20th Apr 2021 - BBC News

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Amid raging second COVID-19 wave, the elderly battle loneliness and anxiety

In India, the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly difficult for people who have been living independently and are elderly. Besides being highly susceptible to the virus, their old age has also made it difficult for them to commute and socialise, adding to their loneliness and anxiety. "Though I manage to get essential items, it is the loneliness and anxiety that has been really bothering me," said Sarin, who became eligible for anti-coronavirus vaccination last month after the health ministry said people aged 45 and above account for about 88 per cent of all COVID-19 deaths in India making them the most vulnerable section of society. The septuagenarian said, "I am not very tech-savvy but I learnt to buy basic items online."
18th Apr 2021 - Economic Times

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Young adults' coping strategies against loneliness during the COVID-19-related quarantine in Greece

COVID-19 and the related quarantine disrupted young adults’ academic and professional life, daily routine and socio-emotional well-being. This cross-sectional study focused on the emotional and behavioural responses of a young adult population during the COVID-19-related quarantine in April 2020, in Greece. The study was conducted through an online survey. A total of 1559 young adults, aged 18-30 years, completed Steele’s Social Responsibility Motivation Scale and the De Jong Gierveld Loneliness Scale, and answered questions about compliance with instructions, quarantine-related behaviours and coping strategies. According to the results, participants displayed a relatively high sense of social responsibility and a trend towards moderate feeling of loneliness; young women reported significantly higher levels of loneliness than men.
18th Apr 2021 - DocWire News

Loneliness won't end when the pandemic ends

In 2018, nearly half of Americans reported sometimes or always feeling alone. Recent findings suggest that during the pandemic, over one in three Americans face "serious loneliness." The "loneliness epidemic," as some experts call it, was a problem well before Covid-19. And while physical reunion is now in sight, it'll take more than dinner parties to reach the marrow of a complicated and deeply cultural problem. There is a distinction between loneliness and the social isolation that Covid-19 has required over the past year. While isolation is more quantitative and objective -- the reality of fewer social contacts -- loneliness is a feeling. "Loneliness is thought to be more of a subjective, distressing feeling," Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University, told CNN. "It's often defined as the discrepancy between one's actual and desired level of connection." And because loneliness is a feeling, it varies widely.
18th Apr 2021 - CNN

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One in three say self-isolating has negative effect on wellbeing

More than a third of adults in England have found self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19 has had a negative effect on their wellbeing and mental health, new figures suggest. Some 36% of adults surveyed said self-isolation had a negative impact, while 59% reported no effect and 4% said it had a positive effect. Around three in 10 people (28%) reported a loss of income, while 14% of those who had been working prior to self-isolating – either in or outside their home – said they were not paid during the self-isolation period.
15th Apr 2021 - Shropshire Star

Covid-19 pandemic likely have 'profound' effect on mental health

Mental health problems associated with the Covid-19 pandemic are "likely to be profound and felt for many years". That is according to a newly-published research paper on suicide from the Northern Ireland Assembly. It said there was "emerging" evidence the mental health of younger people in particular had been "disproportionately affected". The paper warned, though, conflating declining mental health with suicide and suicide risk should be avoided. It said to do so could increase the risk of normalising suicidal behaviour.
15th Apr 2021 - BBC News

How Working From Home Changed Wardrobes Around the World

Have months of self-isolation, lockdown and working from home irrevocably changed what we will put on once we go out again? For a long time, the assumption was yes. Now, as restrictions ease and the opening up of offices and travel is dangled like a promise, that expectation is more like a qualified “maybe.” But not every country’s experience of the last year was the same, nor were the clothes that dominated local wardrobes. Before we can predict what’s next, we need to understand what was. Here, eight New York Times correspondents in seven different countries share dispatches from a year of dressing.
15th Apr 2021 - The New York Times

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Loneliness is rampant. A simple call, or hug, may be a cure

Rampant loneliness existed long before COVID-19, and experts believe it’s now worse. Evidence suggests it can damage health and shorten lives as much as obesity and smoking. In addition to psychological distress, some studies suggest loneliness may cause physical changes including inflammation and elevated stress hormones that may tighten blood vessels and increase blood pressure. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who has called loneliness a public health crisis, points out that much of the world including the U.S. ’’was struggling with remarkably high levels of loneliness before COVID-19.” “The pandemic has shed new light on this struggle and reminded us of an unmistakable truth: we need each other,” he said in an emailed statement.
14th Apr 2021 - Associated Press

Young People Hit Hardest By Loneliness And Depression During Covid-19

Loneliness can be a risk factor in a range of health issues, including depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and domestic abuse. All problems that are unsurprisingly increasing as we continue to remain isolated during the pandemic. However it would appear that one demographic is feeling the effects of isolation more than others. A CDC online survey indicates that young people between the ages of 18-24 are more likely to suffer mental health problems during the pandemic than any age group. According to this survey, 63% of young people are suffering significant symptoms of anxiety or depression. Weissbourd and his team argue that tackling loneliness and associated mental health issues would require a “robust social infrastructure” and suggests that key social and cultural institutions including workplaces, schools and colleges, and religious and secular community organizations, can be far more intentional and systematic about connecting us to each other through events and initiatives.
14th Apr 2021 - Forbes

Farmers turn to technology as pandemic increases social isolation

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a rise in social isolation and loss of community engagement among farmers, while a significant majority want online buying and selling in the marts to continue post-pandemic, a major report on the sector shows.
14th Apr 2021 - Irish Times

Brain fog: how trauma, uncertainty and isolation have affected our minds and memory

Before the pandemic, psychoanalyst Josh Cohen’s patients might come into his consulting room, lie down on the couch and talk about the traffic or the weather, or the rude person on the tube. Now they appear on his computer screen and tell him about brain fog. They talk with urgency of feeling unable to concentrate in meetings, to read, to follow intricately plotted television programmes. “There’s this sense of debilitation, of losing ordinary facility with everyday life; a forgetfulness and a kind of deskilling,” says Cohen, author of the self-help book How to Live. What to Do. Although restrictions are now easing across the UK, with greater freedom to circulate and socialise, he says lockdown for many of us has been “a contraction of life, and an almost parallel contraction of mental capacity”.
14th Apr 2021 - The Guardian

Beware the ‘last mile, first smile’ syndrome when we near the end of the Covid-19 pandemic

As frontline health care workers emerge from the work that has consumed them since March 2020, they will be shading their eyes to accommodate to the optimistic sunlight of a post-Covid world. For many doctors, nurses, and other frontline health care workers, this transition may be challenging in ways that might expose them to profound risk of burnout, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even suicide. Fighting Covid-19 day in and day out, being exposed to the danger of infection and worrying about bringing the virus home; the psychological trauma and moral injury sustained while treating patients who died alone with health care workers playing the role of family members; having to prioritize care while balancing a shortage of medical gear, time, and attention — all of these can induce a heavy emotional toll. Transitioning medical teams into the post-Covid-19 era needs to be planned, supported, and done with the precision of a delicate surgical procedure
14th Apr 2021 - STAT News

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Lockdown loneliness: How Fife mum’s Covid-safe group helped new parents beat the baby blues

In Scotland, a Fife mum struggling with lockdown loneliness has formed a new group to help other parents in the same situation. Kiri Stone gave birth to baby Tove in March last year, just a week before lockdown was imposed. Baby groups suddenly stopped and socialising with friends was banned, leaving Kiri feeling isolated. The first-time mum decided to take matters into her own hands and began looking at Covid-safe ways to meet other people with babies once restrictions eased. And within weeks, she launched Wild Fife Babies and Bairns which meets outdoors for socially-distanced walks. The group has proved immensely popular and now has a waiting list of people who want to join.
13th Apr 2021 - The Courier.co.uk

New Catalent sponsorship kicks Town foundation's loneliness support scheme up a notch

The community foundation funded by Swindon Town Football Club is tackling loneliness with the help of sponsorship from Catalent. STFC's charitable arm launched the Tackling Loneliness Together initiative in summer along with 72 other English Football League clubs. So far, more than 600 people aged 60 and above have been contacted over the phone and through socially-distanced doorstep visits to provide a bit of friendship and social contact during the months of lockdowns and shielding.
13th Apr 2021 - Swindon Advertiser

COVID-19: Lockdown is main reason for drop in coronavirus cases and deaths - not vaccinations, says Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson has warned that the reduction in coronavirus infections, hospitalisations and deaths "has not been achieved" by the rollout of COVID vaccines. The prime minister, speaking the day after the latest easing of lockdown restrictions, instead said it was the national shutdown that had been "overwhelmingly important" in driving down COVID rates.
13th Apr 2021 - Sky News

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Pets eased children's loneliness in Covid lockdown

Family pets help children better manage feelings of stress and loneliness, which have been greatly exacerbated by virtual schooling as a result of the pandemic, shows a new survey. According to UNICEF, at least one in seven children — or 332 million globally — has lived under nationwide stay-at-home policies for at least nine months since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, putting their mental health and well-being at risk. The Mars Petcare survey of parents reveals that more than eight in 10 parents found that their family pet helped their child feel less lonely during lockdown, with more than three-quarters feeling that day-to-day interactions with their cat or dog reduced their child's stress and anxiety.
12th Apr 2021 - freepressjournal.in

What Covid-19 Taught Us About the High Cost of Isolation

If we didn’t know it or believe it before the pandemic, the hard reality is now unavoidable: Social isolation cripples and it kills. As a doctor I knew the science of social isolation before the pandemic. But the pandemic has opened our eyes to the tragic consequences of loneliness in a way that was impossible before. Now, as life slowly returns to normal, let’s not close our eyes to what we’ve learned. Let’s acknowledge that despite our best efforts and technology, there is a missing element to living life by text, phone and video chat that must be illuminated and studied. And let’s make sure to take the lessons of the past year and apply them to our post-pandemic world.
10th Apr 2021 - Wall Street Journal

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'Lockdown loneliness' in Reading revealed

A third of people in Reading who say the coronavirus pandemic has affected their well-being put it down to “lockdown loneliness”, new figures suggest. Mental health charities have called for people's mental health and wellbeing to be made a priority in the recovery from Covid-19. Tom Madders, director of campaigns at mental health charity YoungMinds, said young people have experienced loneliness and isolation as Covid-19 has limited their social lives, education, or led to job losses. “It’s important that young people know where to go to get support for their mental health if they are struggling and that they can access help as soon as they need it,” he added.
10th Apr 2021 - Reading Chronicle

Students crushed by stress, depression are back in class. Here’s how schools are meeting their needs

Americans of all ages say the pandemic has taken a toll on their mental health, but the trend has been especially pronounced among young people. The rate of children ages 11 through 17 who were screened last year for anxiety and depression was 9% higher than it was in 2019, according to a Mental Health America report. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows the number of children sent to emergency rooms for mental health conditions skyrocketed from April to October last year. For high schoolers, the biggest stressors have been the sense of disconnect from friends and loved ones and difficulties focusing on school or work, according to survey data by YouthTruth. But the mental health challenges won't magically disappear once students trickle back into school buildings.
11th Apr 2021 - USA Today

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Are remote workers bottling up their stress?

Research suggests remote workers are more likely to bottle up their stress than their office-based peers, with disastrous consequences. A recent survey of more than 1,000 employees found remote employees are more likely than in-person employees to not speak with anyone regarding their workplace stress. To determine how stressed employees are at the moment, researchers used the Perceived Stress Scale (PPS). The scale showed that almost three-quarters of those polled are experiencing moderate or high levels of overall stress. Around one in three respondents said they are very or extremely stressed by work specifically. In addition, people were more likely to say they won’t talk to anyone about their work-related stress when working remotely.
8th Apr 2021 - Yahoo News UK

After COVID-19, post-traumatic growth could bring creativity, joy back into your life, but perhaps not until 2024

To achieve post-traumatic growth, sufferers of trauma must first recognize and accept the ways in which core beliefs have been shattered by an event, said psychologist Richard Tedeschi, who along with colleague Lawrence Calhoun defined and began to research the phenomenon back in the mid-1990s. Accepting that an emotional earthquake has occurred, he said, allows humans to grow in five specific domains: appreciation of life, relationships with others, new possibilities in life, personal strength and spiritual change.
8th Apr 2021 - USA Today

Lockdown loneliness rates in Leicester are one of the worst in England

Lockdown loneliness rates were about twice the national average in Leicester during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new study. 14.3 per cent of people in the city felt lonely between October 2020 and February of this year - almost twice England's average of 7.3 per cent, reveals data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The problem is worse in areas with high concentrations of younger people and higher rates of unemployment. Loneliness rates were almost always lower in the countryside compared with urban areas.
8th Apr 2021 - Leicester Mercury

'Heartbreaking': How Nurses In Brazil Are Helping Covid Patients Handle Their Loneliness Amid Isolation

Nurses in a Brazilian Covid isolation ward have come up with an innovative idea to help isolated patients deal with their loneliness. The nurses have created a sense of artificial touch by using two disposable gloves filled with hot water. They tie them together around patients’ hands. A photo of the same has gone viral after it was shared by Sadiq Sameer Bhat of the Gulf News. Along with the image, he wrote, "'The hand of God' - nurses trying to comfort isolated patients in a Brazilian Covid isolation ward. Two disposable gloves tied, full of hot water, simulating impossible human contact. Salute to the front liners and a stark reminder of the grim situation our world is in!" Many Twitter users have shared the tweet and described the image as being ‘heartbreaking’
8th Apr 2021 - abpLive

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How can you make friends while learning virtually at university?

One of the biggest challenges that face university students who are studying virtually is how to make friends and connect with fellow students. With most classes and social events occurring on Zoom, opportunities to meet new people can be limited. However, making friends isn’t impossible. Here, current international students share ways in which they have made friends through their screens.
7th Apr 2021 - Times Higher Education

Your guide to avoiding Covid-19 when visiting extended family

They can also "visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing masks or physical distancing." But there are exceptions. If, for example, you're fully vaccinated and visiting ...
7th Apr 2021 - CNN

Loneliness during pandemic ‘greater in areas with more young people’

Levels of loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic have tended to be greater in areas with high concentrations of younger people and higher rates of unemployment, new figures suggest. People in areas with higher crime rates or with higher levels of anxiety were also more likely to report feeling lonely. Loneliness rates were lower in countryside areas compared with urban and industrial locations, however.
7th Apr 2021 - Evening Standard

3.7m over-16s in Britain often or always feel lonely, ONS finds

Almost one in 14 people aged 16 or over in Great Britain say they are lonely, up 40% since last spring, according to the Office for National Statistics. Between April and May last year one in 20 people aged 16-plus surveyed said they felt lonely “often” or “always”, and that increased significantly between October and February this year to a proportion equating to 3.7 million people. Vivian Hill, the chair of the British Psychological Society Covid-19 isolation and confinement group, said: “The pandemic has just brought it [the loneliness epidemic] into really sharp focus, and it’s exacerbating the situation."
30th Nov -0001 - The Guardian

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Call for more social prescribing to tackle pandemic loneliness

Access to social prescribing services must be expanded to help tackle the mental health consequences of loneliness and isolation caused by Covid-19, according to a report published by two medical royal colleges. The report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists shows that many people who would benefit from social prescribing stand to miss out as services are not evenly available across the country, largely due to variability in priority and spending between local areas.
6th Apr 2021 - Personnel Today

Mental health must be an essential part of the Government’s levelling up plan

As the impact of Covid on physical health thankfully starts to ease, the long-term implications of the pandemic on the mental health of the population is something that we can’t ignore. While many of us have been keeping in touch with others virtually, the absence of real human interaction can lead to increased stress levels and feelings of isolation. Older and vulnerable people may have felt this isolation hardest, with many having to shield for the best part of a year. But loneliness – and the mental health issues that stem from it – are not just a problem for older generations. The Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness found that loneliness can affect anyone, regardless of age or background but it particularly impacts carers, refugees and disabled people. Backed by £500 million of funding, the Government recently launched its Mental Health Recovery Action Plan. It is welcome news but to be effective, it’s absolutely vital that funding is focused and targeted at the most deprived communities
6th Apr 2021 - iNews.co.uk

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UK to ease restrictions to allow care home residents two visitors

Britain will allow care home residents in England two visitors later this month, giving some grandparents the chance to meet their grandchildren for the first time, the government said on Saturday. To stop COVID-19 being spread in care homes which were badly hit during the initial outbreak of the disease last year, the government imposed tight restrictions on access during the latest strict lockdown which began in January. Last month, measures were eased to allow each care home resident one indoor visitor, and from April 12, this will be doubled. Parents will be allowed to bring babies and very young children, allowing some people the chance to meet the newest members of their family for the first time.
3rd Apr 2021 - Reuters

Covid: Many students say their mental health is worse due to pandemic

Almost two-thirds of university students in the UK say their mental health is worse because of the Covid pandemic, a survey suggests. The Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) report says ministers must "take heed" of the poll as restrictions ease. A total of 56% are not expecting any more face-to-face teaching in this academic year, but 66% of them are living in their student accommodation. The Department for Education has given £70 million to help students in need. Although school pupils across the UK have now returned to their classrooms, and other restrictions imposed because of the pandemic are being eased, university students are still mainly being taught online.
3rd Apr 2021 - BBC News

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Covid-19: Few people with symptoms are self-isolating, study finds

Fewer than one in five people request a Covid-19 test if they have symptoms, while the number who follow full self-isolation rules is low, a large study of the test and trace system has found. The report, published in the British Medical Journal, also found only half of people knew the main Covid symptoms. These include a cough, high temperature and loss of taste or smell. Experts said the findings suggested the impact of the £37bn NHS Test and Trace system was "limited". The Department for Health and Social Care said test and trace had saved "countless lives", adding that the latest ONS data found the "overwhelming majority" self-isolated when asked to.
1st Apr 2021 - BBC News

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Loneliness in Mid-Life Linked to Higher Odds for Alzheimer's

Middle-aged folks who feel persistently lonely appear to have a nearly doubled risk of developing dementia or Alzheimer's disease, a new study reports. If you take steps to counter your loneliness, however, you might actually reduce your dementia risk, the researchers found. It might be that people who can recover from loneliness are more psychologically resilient and better able to respond to age-related brain changes, said senior researcher Dr. Wendy Qiu, a professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine.
30th Mar 2021 - HealthDay

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Covid jab: One dose in care homes gives 'substantial' protection

A single dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine was effective at stopping 62% of coronavirus infections in care homes, a study has found. A team at University College London (UCL) looked at data from 10,000 adults in England with an average age of 86. The research also suggested those who did catch the virus after vaccination may be less infectious. "Our data suggests that both vaccines are effective in frail, older adults," said UCL's Dr Maddie Shrotri. The study analysed coronavirus test-result data for 10,412 long-term residents, all aged over 65, at 310 care homes.
29th Mar 2021 - BBC News

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Covid-19: Importance of touch and other lockdown lessons

As society begins to gradually emerge from this latest lockdown, what have people learned in the past year? BBC News NI put that question to three people who had vastly different experiences of lockdown. Maria, who is originally from County Cork and now lives in Belfast, also started online cafes for adults with learning difficulties. While technology provided a lifeline, it was denial of touch which proved the hardest part for Maria. "Just not being able to reach out and touch another human being."
28th Mar 2021 - BBC News

Self-isolation after Covid contact will be necessary for ‘years’, government adviser warns

People will have to self-isolate after coming into contact with Covid-19 for many years as the UK learns how to “live with this virus”, a government adviser has warned. Mark Woolhouse, a professor of epidemiology, said the test-and-trace system is here to stay – as are some social distancing measures. He also admitted to being “nervous about a full relaxation in June”, calling the idea of emerging from the lockdown “in one great bound” wide of the mark. “I still suspect that looking forward – and I am talking now right through 2021 and into the years ahead – that we are still going to have to be alert to coronavirus,” Prof Woolhouse said.
28th Mar 2021 - The Independent

Spaniards cut back on drink, took more sedatives during pandemic - study

Spaniards cut back on alcohol and almost halved their binge-drinking during the pandemic as the lockdown shuttered bars and nightclubs, a survey by Spain’s Observatory for Drugs and Addiction found on Friday. At the same time, the consumption of unprescribed sedatives increased and internet use jumped, as people spent more of their leisure time browsing, and more youngsters turned to online gambling, the survey showed.
26th Mar 2021 - Reuters

France's lockdown vice? Cheese

French households feasted on cheese last year as they turned to home cooking and sought gastronomic comfort during coronavirus lockdowns that shuttered the restaurant trade. The amount of cheese purchased by French shoppers for at-home consumption increased by more than 8% in 2020, compared with just 2% the previous year, according to figures from farming agency FranceAgriMer and market data firm Kantar. That was part of a shift in food consumption in many countries last year as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, with households initially bulk buying staples like pasta and flour, and later settling into home-eating habits with extra purchases of products like butter. In France, mozzarella saw the steepest rise in demand among major cheese categories, with a 21% volume jump, followed by a 12% increase for raclette - a winter favourite eaten melted with potatoes and cured meats.
26th Mar 2021 - Reuters

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Focus - Covid-19 pandemic leaves lasting toll on mental health in France

Successive lockdowns, social distancing and travel bans have sparked a global mental health crisis, with global rates of anxiety and depression soaring in recent months. To mark one year since France entered its first Covid-19 lockdown, our reporters visited psychiatric wards in the centre of the country to get a better understanding of the impact of the pandemic on citizens' mental health.
25th Mar 2021 - FRANCE 24

‘Shielding isn’t the right word – the Government isolated us’: Covid shielders reflect on a year of quarantine

This week marks a year since health authorities began contacting 1.3 million people across England considered clinically extremely vulnerable and told them to shield from Covid-19. The guidelines, advising those affected to stay at home, were originally expected to last no longer than 12 weeks. Instead, increasing numbers of people were included under the guidelines, reaching around 2.2 million by the time shielding advice ended in August last year. But when England went back into lockdown in January millions of people were told to shield again. Some hadn’t ever stopped over fears of contracting the virus, and in February the sheilding criteria was changed causing a further 1.7 million people to be added to the list.
25th Mar 2021 - iNews.co.uk

The High Cost Of Loneliness: The Other Price Older Adults Are Paying For Covid-19

For months, families and operators of long-term care facilities have been telling me about the indirect toll the covid-19 pandemic has taken on residents. Not on those who have sickened or died from the virus, but on those whose quality of life has been severely harmed by the social isolation it caused. Now, we are beginning to learn more about the devastating consequences for seniors who may have been spared by the virus but suffered nonetheless. An important new study by the research firm Mathematica for the Connecticut Dept of Public Health finds that during the early months of the pandemic, nursing home residents were significantly more likely to become depressed, lose substantial amounts of weight, suffer incontinence, and lose cognitive function. And most striking, these conditions occurred at high rates even among those residents who did not contract the virus.
25th Mar 2021 - Forbes

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COVID-19: How a year in lockdown has affected young people's mental health

In January, ten months into our year of lockdowns, a Yale university study found that frequent and longer face-to-face social interactions are associated with lower loneliness rates. But physical contact has reduced by 74% compared with pre-pandemic levels, a study by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine found. Studies in Luxembourg and the US concluded similar drops. One way to see how our social interactions have decreased is to look at the journeys we made since that first lockdown a year ago.
24th Mar 2021 - Sky News

Action needed to tackle post-Covid 'loneliness emergency', MPs say

Britain needs more benches, public toilets and street lighting to encourage lonely people to start mixing socially again once the lockdown ends, MPs and peers say. Action is needed to tackle a “loneliness emergency” that the Covid pandemic has exacerbated by denying people contact with family and friends, the parliamentarians say. The call comes as new polling by the British Red Cross shows that more than a third (35%) of Britons feel less connected to their community than they did before Covid-19 struck and 39% do not think their feelings of loneliness will go away once the restrictions on everyday life lift.
24th Mar 2021 - The Guardian

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Lockdown's unlikely friendship between French pensioner and British student

For Jacqueline Tolu, a 98-year-old French woman, and Elliot Bellman, a 20-year-old student living in his parents’ house in England, the COVID-19 pandemic upended their lives but also led to an unlikely friendship. Tolu has endured isolation in her care home near Paris because visits are restricted during the pandemic, while Bellman’s plans to be in France this year studying French were torpedoed by the virus. For the past six months, the two have been having weekly chats over Skype, brought together by a scheme called Shareami that pairs elderly people with language students.
23rd Mar 2021 - Reuters

Covid: More walking and family chats post-lockdown - poll suggests

Working from home, walking and shopping locally are among the lockdown behaviours that look likely to remain popular after pandemic restrictions are lifted, according to a new survey. The study for BBC News and King's College London, conducted by Ipsos MORI, suggests virus regulations may have a lasting impact after Covid. Some 40% of 2,200 people surveyed said they expected to walk more than before. And staying at home appears to have connected people to their neighbours.
23rd Mar 2021 - BBC News

A lonely planet

The peer-reviewed literature on the topic of social isolation and loneliness during COVID-19 is prolific, with Google Scholar returning close to 20,000 results on the query. And while, for the most part, these research papers are centred on the impact of quarantining and isolating on the elderly and/or on people who live alone (irrespective of age), there is wide acknowledgement that we do not know the full impact of COVID-19 on social isolation and loneliness. And it may be years before we do.
23rd Mar 2021 - PMLiVE

One year on: Shielding Brits describe agony after 12 months of loneliness and fear

Two young disabled women recount their experience of being locked indoors for the past 12 months as activists warn the disabled face a "cliff edge" if support ends with shielding on April 1 in England
23rd Mar 2021 - The Mirror

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UK less anxious but more lonely than a year ago, a study into the emotional impact of lockdown reveals

The UK will emerge from lockdown a less anxious but more lonely nation according to a landmark study which paints a mixed picture of the pandemic’s deep emotional impact on adults. Anxiety about the pandemic has become less common, falling from 62 per cent of those surveyed in March 2020 to 42 per cent in February 2021. However, loneliness has become much more common, increasing from 10 per cent of those surveyed in March last year to 26 per cent last month. Feelings of loneliness have not returned to their pre-lockdown levels at any point over the past year, including when most restrictions were lifted over the summer.
22nd Mar 2021 - iNews.co.uk

Scots report rise in loneliness levels rise as Covid anxiety decreases

Feelings of loneliness and hopelessness have increased among Scottish adults in the past year, new research has found. There was also a rise in the number of people who thought about suicide, according to the Mental Health Foundation’s Mental Health in the Pandemic study. Researchers found that feelings of loneliness have become much more common over the past year, increasing from 11% of those surveyed in March last year to 29% in February this year. However anxiety about the pandemic has fallen, from 64% in March last year to 44% last month.
22nd Mar 2021 - The National

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A year of Covid-19 has made us lonelier – now’s the time for connection

According to a survey of UK adults, taking place nine months into Covid-19 restrictions, one in four adults in the UK said they experienced feelings of loneliness. The levels of loneliness, according to the Mental Health Foundation, ‘were higher in young people, people who are unemployed, full time students and single parents’. If you are feeling lonely, psychologist Andrew Bridgewater adds that right now, the best thing someone can do to seek support during these times — realistically — is to talk about how you’re feeling with someone who will listen and not judge.
20th Mar 2021 - Metro UK

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COVID-19: Isolation increases risk of immunological disorders, immunologist says

As Canada continues to weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many have been concerned with the potential impact that extended isolation could be having on the mental wellness of our youth as continued lockdowns, distanced learning and gathering limits leave children with significantly less time interacting with others and their typical environments. One viral immunologist is aiming to bring attention to what he calls the “underappreciated effect” our pandemic is having on the physical health of children, as time spent in isolation has been amplifying an already present epidemic of allergies, asthma and even auto-immune diseases in the country.
18th Mar 2021 - ElliotLakeToday.com

Elderly with hearing difficulties experienced memory loss, loneliness during Covid-19 lockdown

People aged over 70 years with hearing difficulties experienced heightened depression, loneliness and memory problems during the COVID-19 lockdown, according to an online survey conducted by UK health experts. "The impact of social isolation has been massive on the elderly population, but our survey shows that people with hearing impairment have been more substantially affected," said Professor Annalena Venneri from the University of Sheffield's Neuroscience Institute. Venneri, who is also the co-author of the study, said measures put in place to help limit the spread of the virus —such as face coverings and social distancing — have limited the social interaction of the elderly people to a greater extent.
18th Mar 2021 - Firstpost

GPs in England should prescribe art and gardening to combat Covid issues - study

Thousands more people should be prescribed art classes, group gardening projects and nature walks on the NHS in a bid to improve physical and mental health, it has been claimed. A report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists says patients are missing out on “social prescribing”, even though it could help combat the mental health fallout from the pandemic. Social prescribing can include activities such as attending a new skills workshop, playing football in a local team, taking some form of education or training, or helping local elderly residents with their gardening. It can be used to help deal with loneliness and improve physical and mental conditions.
18th Mar 2021 - Wales Online

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Loneliness may be the biggest threat to productivity right now

As companies prepare for the logistics of returning to work, the mental-health crisis of their employees looms large. Surveys show anxiety and stress affect productivity and retention; TELUS International says 80% of workers would consider leaving their current employer for one that focuses more heavily on mental health. How can workers and managers solve for burnout and loneliness as a part of our transition to the workplace of the future? The twin pandemics are hitting workers hard, but also represent an opportunity to rethink and reconnect dynamics among teams. That’s the message of two new books on the subject.
17th Mar 2021 - Fortune

Don’t lose sight of senior loneliness now that some restrictions are lifted

With social activities and events consistently delayed or canceled for almost a full year, seniors have become increasingly vulnerable to feelings of depression and isolation. Many already struggled with isolation from others, but it only increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For those with access to technological tools like Zoom, FaceTime or Skype, video communication has helped to ease (if not completely alleviate) the pain of separation from family. But for seniors in skilled nursing facilities who may not have ready access to computers or technical assistance, continued estrangement and isolation during ongoing or sporadic COVID-19 outbreaks will cause secondary concerns that care providers must keep front of mind as the pandemic continues. Providers must be nimble and remain ready to again rely on technology options and other tools they’ve used to engage and serve residents since last March.
17th Mar 2021 - McKnights Long Term Care News

How to protect your physical and mental health while staying home during the pandemic

While it may be necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic for a person to stay home to protect themselves and others, there are ways to lessen the potential adverse mental and physical health effects. In this article, we discuss why staying home all the time during quarantine or lockdown can prove difficult. In particular, we focus on how to treat or lessen the mental and physical health impacts of staying home.
17th Mar 2021 - Medical News Today

Coronavirus shielding advice to end on 1 April - Hancock

More than 3.7 million vulnerable people in England will no longer have to shield from the coronavirus from 1 April. It comes as the numbers of Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions have declined for the past couple of weeks. Letters will be sent out to this group in the next two weeks. In them, people will still be advised to keep social contacts at low levels, work from home where possible and stay at a distance from other people. Since 5 January, they have been asked to stay at home as much as possible to reduce their risk of being exposed to the virus. But at a Downing Street press conference, Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed shielding guidance, which had been extended to 31 March for all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, would end on 1 April.
17th Mar 2021 - BBC News

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Can Nextdoor Cure Loneliness?

Loneliness and other pandemic-related factors have catalyzed a mental health crisis across the U.S., contributing to depression and substance abuse. As we do everything the CDC advises to keep our bodies safe, we must remember to protect our mental health as well. This includes combatting loneliness, an underlying issue that could have devastating consequences. Nextdoor is trying to do just that, and its growing popularity is a testament its urgent relevance. The hyper-local social networking app connects people in the same community (common conversation themes include lost cats and restaurant recommendations) and saw massive growth as everyone sequestered in their homes and maybe for the first time realized that... yes, they have neighbors. The platform became a hub for community news and local entertainment during the pandemic, a virtual way to feel intimate connection with those down the block.
16th Mar 2021 - Marie-Claire

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Mitigating Covid’s unequal impact on the workforce’s mental health

When the Covid crisis hit in March 2020, many claimed the virus didn’t discriminate but, as the pandemic has swept over the nation, it’s clear the impact is being felt differently. Nuffield Health’s recent white paper, for example, discusses how several societal groups are at greater risk of experiencing mental ill-health in the wake of Covid. However, the situation marks an opportunity to bring about permanent positive change. So how can businesses make sure their mental health support offering is relevant and accessible to address the challenges now and in the future?
15th Mar 2021 - People Management

Mid and East Antrim network’s new tackling loneliness campaign

In Northern Ireland, a new seven-week awareness campaign to help combat isolation in the community has been launched by the Mid and East Antrim (MEA) Loneliness Network. The network is a collaboration of organisations committed to addressing vulnerabilities in people of all ages and from all walks of life. The initiative comes when the impact of loneliness has been more widely felt right across society during the Covid-19 crisis with the British Red Cross recently calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to develop a cross-departmental strategy to tackle the problem.
15th Mar 2021 - Larne Times

Campaign to tackle loneliness in Staffordshire launches

The new ‘Let’s Beat Loneliness Together’ campaign by Staffordshire County Council will help raise awareness of the issue and promote the services available to those affected by it. The campaign will also support those individuals or volunteers who want to do something themselves to help reduce loneliness in their local community. A residents survey carried out by the county council in January 2021 about the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted that loneliness over the past twelve months and the restrictions was a concern for many. 80% of those questioned said that not seeing wider family and friends was an issue and 55% said they felt concerned about vulnerable family and friends.
14th Mar 2021 - Tamworth Informed

Covid singles are supposedly lonely and miserable. But some of us are thriving instead

Bella DePaulo is the author of “Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After”. She writes: "I’m single. I always have been. I also live alone. Because of the pandemic, I have not stepped foot in a restaurant or even a grocery store for nearly a year. Apparently, I am supposed to be suffering." "I fully acknowledge that for some single people, the pandemic has been a miserable experience (as it also has for many couples and families). But I am not one of them. Sure, I miss meeting my friends at restaurants and movie theaters and meandering through crowded farmers markets, and I would love to go get my own damned groceries. I have also lost a substantial chunk of income. But in other ways, I am doing fine, and nothing about the pandemic, not even after all this time, has made me yearn to be coupled or to even live with other humans."
13th Mar 2021 - NBC News

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8 tips to try to maintain health while working from home

Working from home can be beneficial in many ways, but it can also present several physical, mental, and social challenges. Health tips for those working from home include wellness fundamentals, such as eating a nutritious diet and getting regular exercise. However, it is also important to address the psychological and social challenges of remote working, such as loneliness and blurred lines between a person’s job and home life. In this article, we explore how to maintain optimal wellness while working from home.
14th Mar 2021 - Medical News Today

Half of COVID survivors note lingering signs of depression

More than half of a sample of US COVID-19 survivors reported symptoms of major depressive disorder months after recovery, a research letter today in JAMA Network Open reports. A team led by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University analyzed internet-based nonprobability survey and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) responses from 82,319 adult coronavirus survivors delivered in eight waves from June 2020 to January 2021. The PHQ-9 is a nine-question depression screening tool with 0 to 27 possible points; 10 or more points indicate moderate depression.
12th Mar 2021 - CIDRAP

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Experts warn of loneliness epidemic worsening alongside COVID-19

A growing epidemic of loneliness is affecting large swaths of the U.S. population, exacerbated by isolation measures advised by health officials during the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say the country needs to be addressing the massive public health concern now, particularly as widespread vaccination is still months away. Researchers for years have recommended standardized guidelines to address social isolation and loneliness, similar to those offered for diet and exercise. People with balance — in activities including family time, sleep, diet, exercise and work — tend to be less lonely.
11th Mar 2021 - The Hill

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Coronavirus: Women struggling with more anxiety and loneliness than men

Women are suffering from more anxiety and loneliness than men as a result of the pandemic, which has hit their well-being hard, latest data by the Office for National Statistics revealed. The study said women were more likely to be furloughed, and consistently spent more time on unpaid childcare and unpaid household work throughout the pandemic. But women are trying to remain positive through it all. Trudy Simmons, founder of The Daisy Chain Group, which provides mentoring for women entrepreneurs, noted that "it's been an anxious and overwhelming twelve months for so many but as a community of women entrepreneurs, we have leant on each other for support, encouragement and that all-important motivation to keep going."
10th Mar 2021 - Yahoo News

Women did nearly TWICE the amount of housework and childcare as men during the first Covid-19 lockdown, survey reveals

Researchers gathered housework and childcare data from UK men and women during the first lockdown last year. On average, women did nearly twice the amount of both chores as men.
10th Mar 2021 - Daily Mail on MSN.com

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Thailand introduces 'yacht quarantine' in tourism revival bid

Travellers to Thailand will be able to spend mandatory two-week Covid-19 quarantine on a yacht. The Bangkok government hopes that the new initiative will bring 1.8 billion baht (£42 million) in yacht tourism revenue. The initiative is aimed at reviving the country’s struggling tourism industry, which was hit hard by the pandemic.
9th Mar 2021 - Travel Weekly UK

State to indemnify quarantine hotels against Covid-19 related legal action

Hotels used for the new mandatory quarantine regime will be indemnified from any legal actions taken by people who catch Covid-19 on the premises under a scheme approved by Cabinet on Tuesday. Under the plans which were brought to Cabinet by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, the State will indemnify hotel providers and subcontractors working on site for risks that don’t form part of their normal business operations. The Irish Times understands that hotels will be indemnified from any legal actions taken by people staying at the facility who catch Covid-19 on the premises.
9th Mar 2021 - The Irish Times

'We knew so little': the young film-makers who captured early quarantine life

While New York plunged into survival mode, the three aspiring documentarians, all involved with the youth film-making program DCTV Youth Media, picked up their cameras. Their short films, collected along with two others in HBO’s Covid Diaries NYC, observe the dizzying freefall days of early quarantine, from the corrosive fear of sending off loved ones to frontline jobs to the toll of isolation, the family strain of sudden unemployment to the summer’s electric charge of protests for racial justice. The six-minute films are all the more impressive in their brevity, each memorializing, in casual, stripped-down fashion, an individual thread of the generational catastrophe spinning through New York.
9th Mar 2021 - The Guardian

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East Devon school's virtual playground boosts pupils' mental health in lockdown

An East Devon Primary School created a virtual playground during lockdown in a bid to boost pupil mental health. Broadclyst Community Primary School (BCPS) used digital technology to set up an after-lessons online socialise space, saying the wellbeing of its youngsters was ‘high on the agenda’. The school created the online space to enable children to mix with chat with their friends, classmates and support staff after lessons ended. Beth Schoter, a teacher at Broadclyst Community Primary School, was recently asked to speak at Discovery Education’s Learning for Now — an online conference to help educators use technology and digital media as support in the classroom during the coronavirus.
8th Mar 2021 - East Devon News.co.uk

COVID-19: Care homes allow indoor visits from nominated friends and family

Care home visits from a nominated friend or relative will be permitted in England from today - but hugging and kissing residents is still off limits. Every care home resident will be able to nominate someone to visit them indoors, while residents with the highest care needs can receive more frequent visits from a loved one who will provide essential care and support. Visitors will have to carry out COVID-19 tests prior to the visits, wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and be asked to keep physical contact to a minimum.
8th Mar 2021 - Sky News

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Covid: Mental health money for children's services

In England, money to support children and young people's mental health after the "disruption" of the pandemic has been cautiously welcomed. It is part of a £500m pot for mental health services across the board, announced in November. The government confirmed £79m would be allocated to support children in school and in the community. Charities and campaigners said the pandemic had significantly impacted young people's mental health. One in six young people are now estimated to have a mental health problem, according to Emma Thomas, head of charity Young Mind.
6th Mar 2021 - BBC News

COVID-19 lockdown has significantly increased loneliness, social issues among women

Social distancing guidelines have reduced the spread of COVID-19, but lockdowns and isolation also have created or aggravated other well-being concerns, reports new research. Mayo Clinic investigators found a significant increase in loneliness and a decrease in feelings of friendship during the pandemic. The study, published Feb. 20 in the journal Social Science & Medicine, also showed disproportionate negative effects among women and those with poorer health. The researchers say that while physical distance is important during the pandemic, distance within and among relationships can cause undue harm to a person's mental health and well-being.
7th Mar 2021 - News Medical

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COVID-19 pandemic has increased loneliness and other social issues, especially for women

Social distancing guidelines have reduced the spread of COVID-19, but lockdowns and isolation also have created or aggravated other well-being concerns, reports new research. Mayo Clinic investigators found a significant increase in loneliness and a decrease in feelings of friendship during the pandemic. The study, published Feb. 20 in the journal Social Science & Medicine, also showed disproportionate negative effects among women and those with poorer health. "A conscious effort should be made to make meaningful social connection with others," says Jon Ebbert, M.D., a Mayo Clinic internal medicine physician and senior author of the study. "During times of social strain and stress, it is important to not only be helpful to one another, but also be present."
4th Mar 2021 - EurekAlert

More than 90% of students ‘struggling with loneliness and stress in pandemic’

More than 90% of students say they are struggling with loneliness, stress and feeling disconnected, a Sinn Fein survey has found. The Student Wellbeing Survey found that four out of five students say their college experience is negatively impacting their mental health in the pandemic. More than 90% reported feeling increasingly lonely, while some 93% of students have found it difficult to stay connected with friends. The survey of 600 students reveals how many are struggling to receive an education while living and studying in “inappropriate environments”.
4th Mar 2021 - Belfast Telegraph

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Countering the Stress and Loneliness of Covid-19

Stay-at-home orders, quarantining, and other public health measures have forced people indoors, leading to increases in loneliness and mental health issues. While the stress persists, it is important for people to maintain both their physical health and their mental health, says Jocelyn McDonnell, a therapist at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. Even though it can be hard to work up the motivation, exercising and maintaining physical health can relieve anxiety. “With the uptick of anxiety and depression due to isolation, exercise is a proven way of decreasing both of these diseases,” says Kristen Neisler, clinical assistant faculty in exercise science at DePaul University. McDonnell says it is imperative for people to have a balance when following the news and pandemic developments in order to maintain their well-being and prevent extra anxiety and stress. She recommends that people set timers and be intentional about how much news they consume, as well as how much time they spend on social media.
3rd Mar 2021 - Chicago Health Magazine

The Detail: Covid-19 lockdowns make us lonely, but why does it matter?

It's Auckland's fourth time locking down because of Covid-19, but for many it's not just about being locked inside; it's being locked out of meaningful, face-to-face connections. Today The Detail's Jessie Chiang looks at the impact of loneliness for different communities and why it's such a big issue.
3rd Mar 2021 - Stuff.co.nz

Teens' mental health claims skyrocket in pandemic

Mental health insurance claims for US teens roughly doubled early in the COVID-19 pandemic over the same period in 2019, according to a Fair Health report released yesterday. The white paper, the New York nonprofit's seventh in a series on the pandemic, is the result of analysis of more than 32 billion private healthcare claims filed on behalf of people aged 0 to 22 from January to November 2020 compared with those filed during the same period in 2019. The study found that mental health claims for patients aged 13 to 18 skyrocketed 97.0% in March and 103.5% in April 2020. In contrast, medical claims fell 53.3% in March and 53.4% in April.
3rd Mar 2021 - CIDRAP

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Talking on the phone for 10 minutes a day can help beat loneliness, says new study

Talking to a loved one on the phone for 10 minutes a day could help to ease the pangs of loneliness, new research has found. According to a study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, those who received brief phone calls over the course of a month reported feeling 20% less lonely on average. While the way we communicate with others has changed since the start of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, this research highlights just how important picking up the phone is.
2nd Mar 2021 - Country Living

Public Health England launches free Psychological First Aid training course for caregivers, to help protect children and young people

Public Health England has launched a psychological first aid training course for anyone who works with or cares for children and young people aged up to 25. The COVID-pandemic has had a huge impact on children, with many reporting that it has made them feel more stressed, lonely, and worried. The online Psychological First Aid (PFA) course offers training on how to provide practical and emotional support to children and young people affected by emergencies or crisis situations. Commenting on the training course, Clare Perkins, Director of the Mental Health Programme at PHE explained how children are amongst the worse impacted by the significant disruption caused by the pandemic, due to being stuck at home and unable to interact with friends.
2nd Mar 2021 - fenews.co.uk

Why kids are hitting the pandemic wall

As we near the one-year anniversary of the pandemic and associated social distancing measures, kids and parents alike are grieving the end of how our lives used to be. It doesn't even matter how dramatically kids' lives have changed, experts say. The fact that disruption has become normalized is traumatizing enough. Leslie Forde, founder of Mom's Hierarchy of Needs, a think tank in Boston that researches how mothers can reduce stress and prioritize self-care, has surveyed or interviewed more than 1,600 families about the effects of the pandemic on school-age children since Covid-19 began. Her takeaway: Navigating constant change has gotten old for all of us.
1st Mar 2021 - CNN

Therapists Say A Year Of Isolation Has Taken Its Toll On Many Chicagoans’ Mental Health

As the world begins to return to normal, many people remain mentally scarred by the seismic life changes caused by an ongoing pandemic that has already left a death toll not seen since the 1918 influenza outbreak. Therapist John Hughes, co-founder of the Chicago Center for Relational Health, said it’s important to reach out to friends and family who live alone and might be struggling with isolation — and make sure to follow up. He also suggested avoiding text messages that ask questions like “how are you doing?,” which can be “burdensome” if it forces an explanation of struggles. Instead, Hughes suggests acknowledging that a friend or relative is having a tough time at the outset of a conversation and then go from there.
2nd Mar 2021 - WBEZChicago

Covid-19: Quarantine hotels 'unsafe' for returning pupils

Parents and teachers have called for international pupils to be allowed to self-isolate at their school, rather than in a "quarantine hotel". In a letter to the government on behalf of 500 schools, the Boarding Schools Association said hotel accommodation was unsafe for pupils. James Davidson said the thought of his daughter quarantining on her return to school from Abu Dhabi made him anxious. The government said parents should accompany children during quarantine.
2nd Mar 2021 - BBC News

COVID-19: Pair fined £10,000 each for avoiding hotel quarantine after Dubai trip

In the UK, a man and woman have been fined £10,000 each for failing to quarantine after returning from Dubai, police have said. Merseyside Police said fixed penalty notices for failing to comply with travel regulations were handed to two people from the Wirral after they avoided a direct flight back from the country, which is currently on the foreign travel red list, to one of the specified ports of entry required for quarantine.
2nd Mar 2021 - Sky News

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St David's Day launch for new Gwynedd service to combat loneliness

A new virtual support service is being introduced in Wales. The new bilingual virtual befriending service, developed by Eryri Co-Operative Cyf, is available for people living in Gwynedd and aims to help those impacted by loneliness and isolation, who're socially excluded from their communities. E-Sgwrs/E-Chat has been developed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as a way of reaching out and communicating with people that have been affected. The team will offer regular contact (weekly, fortnightly, or monthly as required) through a virtual chat so that the individual can see the person they are talking to, thus providing a friendly face whom they can trust to make a difference in their lives.
1st Mar 2021 - inyourarea.co.uk

Covid: How many people get self-isolation payments?

About two-thirds of people in England and Wales trying to access the £500 self-isolation support payment are being rejected, according to figures obtained by BBC Reality Check. The government announced the payment in September, saying it would "ensure that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances". It estimated just under 4 million people would be eligible. The government's scientific advisors, Sage, have warned repeatedly that concerns over money could lead to people breaking the rules on self-isolation
1st Mar 2021 - BBC News

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Councils to provide grocery shopping to stop people breaking Covid self-isolation rules

People forced to self-isolate with coronavirus will be given help with day to day chores, such as food shopping and care provision for family members, under a shake up of the Government’s test and trace programme. Rishi Sunak is expected to announce millions in additional funding for local authorities to provide extra assistance to ensure people remain at home when asked to self-isolate in his Budget next week. It follows growing concerns within the government over the persistent failure to ensure people remain in quarantine when they test positive for Covid-19 or if they come into contact with someone who has.
27th Feb 2021 - iNews.co.uk

Experts notice pandemic's mental health toll on German youth

A recent survey by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf found that about one child in three is suffering from pandemic-related anxiety or depression or is exhibiting psychosomatic symptoms like headaches or stomach aches. Children from poorer and immigrant families are disproportionally affected, according to the survey. Pollina, who immigrated from Russia with her family in 2019, worries about forgetting much of her German since she only speaks Russian at home. She’s one of 150 youngsters from underprivileged families who, before the pandemic. regularly spent time after school at a youth support program on the eastern outskirts of the German capital.
27th Feb 2021 - Associated Press

Mindfulness, laughter and robot dogs may relieve lockdown loneliness – study

Robotic dogs, laughter therapy and mindfulness could help people cope with loneliness and social isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic, researchers at the University of Cambridge have found. The team at the university’s School of Medicine, led by Dr Christopher Williams, reviewed 58 existing studies on loneliness and identified interventions that could be adapted for people living in lockdown or under pandemic-related social distancing measures. Several of the studies involved initiatives to combat loneliness and isolation in nursing and care homes, likely to be hit hard under lockdown. Psychological interventions seemed the most effective overall
17th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

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'Zoom fatigue': Like being in an elevator with people staring at you nonstop for 8 hours a day

Video apps like Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, and Google Meet have been used for many different things during the pandemic, including job interviews, work meetings, school, yoga classes, check-ins with friends and family. It can feel exhausting to sit and talk in front of a camera. Researchers at Stanford University looked into the science behind people’s collective “Zoom fatigue.” Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, says “Zoom fatigue” is a generic term for feeling drained after sitting in front of any kind of video conference for much of the day. He says Zoom has become the generic term for videoconferencing, and he’s not trying to vilify the company. They should even be thanked for making their software free and easy to use, he points out.
25th Feb 2021 - KCRW

COVID-19: New ad campaign urges people to keep staying at home despite coronavirus transmission rates declining

An advertising blitz has been launched to encourage people to keep staying at home until COVID-19 restrictions can be lifted. The campaign also urges them to continue with mask wearing, social distancing and hand washing. And it appeals to people to understand the importance of remaining in lockdown, despite declining coronavirus transmission rates, the success of the vaccine rollout and the launch of the roadmap out of lockdown.
25th Feb 2021 - Sky News

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Lockhart: Mental health impact of COVID-19 ‘significant’

Local health experts say the mental health impact of COVID-19 on the Cayman Islands community is “significant” – even as scientific data continues to be collected. “Viktor Frankl said that an abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation is normal behavior. So what we’re going to be looking for as the norm over the next 18 to 24 months or so is a lot of dysfunction. How severe that dysfunction is going to be… I don’t want to be an alarmist… we will find out,” Mental Health Commission Chairman Dr. Marc Lockhart said as he addressed the Alex Panton Foundation’s 4th Annual Youth Mental Health Symposium Saturday. However, Lockhart said he’s confident the country will not be defeated by the challenges ahead.
21st Feb 2021 - Cayman Compass

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Remote working: What the UK’s last lighthouse keepers can teach us about isolation

If there is anyone that knows what it’s like to spend long periods of time alone, it’s lighthouse keepers. Serena Coady gets advice from former custodians about how to weather the loneliness of the pandemic
23rd Feb 2021 - The Independent

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Don't ignore 'lockdown fatigue', UK watchdog tells finance bosses

Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday. Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists. Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.
22nd Feb 2021 - Reuters

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Hold my hand: English care home visits allowed from March 8

Care home residents in England will be allowed one regular visitor from March 8, the government said, as it starts to ease COVID-19 lockdown measures, underpinned by the rollout of vaccines to older and clinically vulnerable people. Older people living in care homes have been offered the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as part of a programme that has seen almost 17 million shots given to date.
20th Feb 2021 - Reuters

Mental anguish in COVID-19 survivors, young US adults

A research letter by Italian investigators published yesterday in JAMA Psychiatry details a study of 381 patients in Rome who had sought emergency care for COVID-19 and were given a psychiatric assessment 1 to 4 months after recovery, from Apr 21 to Oct 15, 2020. One-hundred-fifteen of 381 patients (30.2%) were diagnosed as having PTSD, while 17.3% had depression, 7.0% had generalized anxiety disorder, 0.7% were hypomanic, and 0.2% were psychotic. Women made up 55.7% of the PTSD diagnoses, and patients with PTSD reported higher rates of a history of psychiatric disorders (34.8%) and delirium or agitation when ill (16.5%) and the persistence of more than three coronavirus-related symptoms after recovery from infection (62.6%).
19th Feb 2021 - CIDRAP

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How have COVID-19 pandemic school closures impacted the health of children globally?

As the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to challenge public health, most recently by the emergence of new variants of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), schools in many regions of the world continue to be largely closed. It has been estimated that from March to May 2020, this affected up to 1.5 billion children and young people (CYP). A new study by researchers in the US and the UK explores the damage caused by school closures to educational progress, health, and well-being in CYP globally. Surprisingly, the damage appears to be far less than was originally thought. The team has released their findings on the medRxiv* preprint server.
18th Feb 2021 - News-Medical.Net

COVID-19: Parents who lost teenagers to suicide in lockdown issue warning - 'there's going to be a lot of PTSD'

As authorities wrestle with how to safely reopen schools, there is evidence in the US that closures have taken a huge mental health toll on students and their families. "450,000 people and counting in the US have died of COVID, and that's a terrible thing," said Dylan's father Chris. "I'm fortunate in that I don't know any of those people. But I do know one person who committed suicide.
18th Feb 2021 - Sky News

Associations between feelings/behaviors during COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and depression/anxiety after lockdown in a sample of Chinese children and adolescents.

Children and adolescents may be more susceptible to mental disorders due to COVID-19 pandemic than adults. This study aimed to identify correlated factors for depression/anxiety among children and adolescents after COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. An online survey by cluster sampling was conducted after lockdown in 5175 Chinese children and adolescents with informed consents from their parents. The 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire and the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scales with 10-point cutoff were used to measure depression and anxiety, separately. Stepwise logistic regression was conducted. Stata 15.1 Version was used.
18th Feb 2021 - Physician's Weekly

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Lockdown may have boosted well-being for some

A study of people who care for children finds that COVID-19 lockdowns have provided some unexpected benefits. Survey respondents report four areas of personal growth that have been given an opportunity to flourish when busy lives were interrupted. People reported positive changes in their family relationships, spiritual well-being, and more. The study suggests ways we may emerge from the pandemic strengthened by the experience.
17th Feb 2021 - Medical News Today

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What is ‘lockdown fatigue’ and how can you beat it?

When it was confirmed the UK would enter a third national lockdown in January, people had prior experience so it might not have felt like as big a shock. However, a shared sentiment by users of social media and the general public is that there’s been an overwhelming sense of struggle this time, with many finding it harder to cope. This lockdown fatigue manifests in different ways. What are the signs of lockdown fatigue and how can you try to beat it?
16th Feb 2021 - Metro

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Covid-19: Five ways to avoid lockdown eye strain

Millions of people are using screens more than ever before. Many who are working or studying from home are staring at laptops and other devices all day. Most schoolchildren currently have no other way of accessing classes. For some, the new ways of working are taking a toll on their eyes. Itchiness, blurry vision and headaches - or eye strain - are among the common problems. More than a third (38%) of respondents to one survey, carried out for the charity Fight for Sight, said their eyesight had worsened since the start of the pandemic. Another survey put the figure at 22%. Eyesight experts say people with persistent problems should visit an optician, which are open in lockdown. But there are things that many of us can do to keep our eyes healthy.
14th Feb 2021 - BBC News

Despair Deepens for Young People as Pandemic Drags On

Life seemed promising last year to Philaé Lachaux, a 22-year-old business student in France who dreamed of striking out on her own in the live music industry. But the onset of the pandemic, leading to the loss of her part-time job as a waitress, sent her back to live at her family home. Now, struggling to envision a future after months of restrictions, Ms. Lachaux says that loneliness and despair seep in at night. “I look at the ceiling, I feel a lump in my throat,” she said. “I’ve never had so many suicidal thoughts.” “The pandemic feels like a big stop in our lives,” she added. “One that puts us so low that I wonder, ‘What’s the point?’”
14th Feb 2021 - The New York Times

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Children need screen time balance during days of virtual learning

As COVID-19 continues to spread, social distancing remains a reality for Americans, Linda Inmon, Cooperative Extension Program associate of the Family and Consumer Sciences for the University of Arkansas, said. Because of this, everyone’s screen time has greatly increased. “Some parents are understandably anxious about the amount of time their children are spending in front of the computer screen,” Inmon said. “They wonder how much screen time is too much. They also want to find ways to better manage their children’s habits when it comes to computers and telephones.” First and foremost, parents should not stress too much as they figure out how to solve the problem. They can sort out issues related to household screen time by following these tips
14th Feb 2021 - Times Record

Coronavirus: Germans' mental health worse in second lockdown — study

People living in Germany are struggling with their mental health more during the current shutdown than they had during the first, according to interim research results published by Saarland University on Saturday. Researchers at the university have been monitoring 1,500 men and women for a year to measure the psychological and social consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. The time period has spanned two lockdowns — the first in mid-March to mid-April 2020 and the second, which began in mid-December and is ongoing. Both lockdowns have seen much of public life curtailed, including the closures of schools, public institutions as well as shops and gastronomy businesses except for takeaway.
13th Feb 2021 - DW (English)

Covid-19: How England's hotel quarantine will differ from Australia's

England's rules on quarantine hotels for travellers arriving from Covid "red list" countries are less stringent than those enforced in Australia. The BBC has seen a copy of the government's official requirements for hotel operators ahead of the policy starting on Monday. It spells out the rules for handling travellers for 11 nights of quarantine. The UK government said its hotel quarantine measures were "in line with those in other countries". And it promised to update guidance for hotels "imminently".
13th Feb 2021 - BBC News

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Working from home boredom: how to cope with monotony

Here’s how to break up your daily routine if you’re finding working from home monotonous, according to an expert. Although you’ve probably dealt with boredom at some point or other before the pandemic, this kind of sustained monotony can be detrimental to your mental health. It’s one of the reasons why so many people are feeling unmotivated, lethargic and experiencing low mood at the moment. Without the stimulation of ‘normal’ life to keep you going, its understandable if you’re hitting a wall. Within Covid-19 restrictions, there are a number of things you can do to break up the day and make your current arrangement seem more exciting (many of which don’t involve more screen time).
11th Feb 2021 - Stylist Magazine

CDC: people who have received two Covid-19 vaccine doses can skip quarantine

People who have received the full course of Covid-19 vaccines can skip the standard 14-day quarantine after exposure to someone with the infection as long as they remain asymptomatic, US public health officials advised. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said late on Wednesday the vaccines have been shown to prevent symptomatic Covid-19, thought to play a greater role in the transmission of the virus than asymptomatic disease. “Individual and societal benefits of avoiding unnecessary quarantine may outweigh the potential but unknown risk of transmission (among vaccinated individuals),” the CDC said.
11th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

You’re not lazy — Why you need to stop feeling guilty in lockdown, according to an expert

Retailers are calling for more financial support from the government after the UK’s Covid lockdowns in 2020 cost £22bn in lost non-food sales. The high street was hit by its biggest fall in sales for non-food stores on record – down 24% – as footfall decreased by two-fifths, according to data from the trade body the British Retail Consortium (BRC). While many retailers continued to sell online, that did not make up for sales lost from shops. Profits were also affected by the cost of setting up and operating home delivery systems.
11th Feb 2021 - CNBC

Quarantine hotel chaos as booking website crashes minutes after launching

In the UK, the government's plan to quarantine international arrivals in hotels has today been thrown into chaos as its booking website crashed minutes into its launch, while travellers were not allowed to reserve rooms for the first two days. Arrivals from a 'red list' of 33 countries - who will only be allowed to fly into one of five airports - will be expected pay £1,750 to quarantine for 10 full days (11 nights) in designated hotels from Monday. Those who attempt to evade quarantine by providing false information face a fine of up to £10,000, and up to 10 years in prison, while those who do not book a hotel place before arriving in England face a £4,000 fine. But as the booking website for the scheme was launched, searches at Birmingham, Glasgow and Heathrow airports showed they weren't 'any applicable hotels' for passengers to stay in.
11th Feb 2021 - Daily Mail

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Australia tennis chief urges strict quarantine for Tokyo Olympics

Making the Olympics safe from coronavirus will be difficult for Tokyo without stiff quarantine measures that will also inspire athletes and spectators with the confidence to attend events, Australia’s top tennis official said on Wednesday. The Japanese capital is expected to welcome 11,000 athletes at the end of July, when it holds the summer Games postponed from last year because of the virus, but is not currently considering wholesale quarantine for them. Speaking on the sidelines of the Australian Open, the first major Grand Slam event to host crowds, the chief executive of Tennis Australia said his experience of organising the contest suggested the Olympics needed rigorous quarantine measures.
10th Feb 2021 - Reuters

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Study to examine psychological impact of lockdown

A new study looking at the psychological impact of Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns is under way at Dundalk IT. The study is being led by University College London and is being carried out in 23 countries, including Ireland, the UK, Australia, USA, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Turkey and Norway. Researchers say there is no research on how lockdown during a pandemic, involving restrictions to freedom of movement, is perceived by the general population.
9th Feb 2021 - RTE Online

Covid: Domestic abuse victims 'may be stuck' in lockdown with abusers

More support is needed to reach domestic abuse victims trapped in lockdown with their abusers, charities have warned. In August, Dyfed Powys Police received 900 reports of domestic abuse compared with 350 incidents a month in 2017. While reports have risen, there are fears many victims in rural areas are not seeking help. The West Wales Domestic Abuse Service (WWDAS) said many could not reach out for help while stuck at home. Chief Executive Michelle Pooley said that while the charity had seen more people referred for support, people living in tight-knit rural communities were less likely to seek help.
9th Feb 2021 - BBC News

‘Covid-19 is wrecking people’s mental health’

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic is destroying our ability to connect with friends and family, disrupting our routines and consequently damaging our mental health, a professor of psychology has said. “If you had designed a disease that was specifically figured out to wreck our mental health, Covid would be it,” Prof Laurie Santos told BBC Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur. Humans hate uncertainty, but the pandemic is seeing constantly changing lockdowns and a continued flux about when things will improve, all of which is bad for our mental health, she explained.
9th Feb 2021 - BBC News

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I've been in Covid quarantine in South Korea – there's a lot Britain can learn

The UK government’s decision to require overseas arrivals from “high risk” countries to self-isolate in hotels has triggered a debate on the effectiveness of enforced quarantine in government-run facilities. Some have balked at its cost and restrictive character while others have dismissed the measure as half-baked and too little, too late. My experience in a quarantine facility for Covid-19 patients in South Korea might be illuminating in this regard. Last November, I flew into South Korea to spend a holiday with my family. To sum up the complicated arrival process at Seoul: I was required to download a Covid-19 tracking app, had my temperature checked and was whisked away by pre-approved taxis to the public clinic nearest to my home to take a PCR test. I was then required to self-isolate for more than two weeks at home.
8th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

Bad online experiences for children ‘invisible’ to parents during lockdown

When Australia’s online safety investigators are investigating coercive child sex abuse material, which involves children being urged to perform sexual acts for the camera, there is often a concerning common factor: parents are having a conversation just metres away. “Our investigators can hear the parents’ voices in the next room,” said Julie Inman Grant, the country’s eSafety commissioner. “This is happening under parents’ noses, in the home.” The commissioner is ramping up calls for parents to improve awareness of their children’s digital lives, as young people’s reports of negative online experiences – including unwanted contact, cyberbullying and harassment – have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic.
8th Feb 2021 - Sydney Morning Herald

Sharp rise in smoking linked to loneliness in lockdown

People who felt distressed and lonely during the country's lockdown last autumn were three times more likely to smoke more, a new study has found. The results of the survey, undertaken by University of Otago, Wellington researchers professor Janet Hoek, Dr Philip Gendall, associate professor James Stanley, Dr Matthew Jenkins and Dr Susanna Every-Palmer, have been published in the international journal, Nicotine and Tobacco Research. Dr Every-Palmer said people who felt lonely or isolated almost all the time were more than three times more likely to increase their cigarette intake than those who were never lonely
8th Feb 2021 - New Zealand Herald

Inspire the kids: the best culture for children in lockdown

Actors, authors, musicians and Observer critics share tips for filling the after‑homeschool hours – from uplifting family films to creative apps, dance tutorials and sonic journals
8th Feb 2021 - The Guardian

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Nadhim Zahawi: Coronavirus vaccine refuseniks face visit from the persuaders

People who have not accepted vaccination offers could get knocks on the door from council staff in an attempt to convince sceptics “home by home”, the vaccines minister has suggested. Nadhim Zahawi said the NHS was already trying to “identify to individual level the people that we need to reach” to ensure that all over-70s had a chance to get a jab by February 15.
5th Feb 2021 - The Times

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How to heal the 'mass trauma' of Covid-19

When the pandemic is over, how should we process the memories of what happened? Ed Prideaux discovers counter-intuitive answers from the science of trauma. "After the pandemic ends, the effects of the mass trauma it has inflicted will linger across societies for years. How might we understand this mental fallout? And what does the science of trauma suggest that we should – and shouldn't – do in order to heal?" "Covid-19 is a mass trauma the likes of which we've never seen before. Our most complex social extensions, and the building-blocks of our personal realities, have been coloured indelibly. The ways we live and work together, and view each other as common citizens: everything means something different in the viral era, and with potentially traumatic effect. All pandemics end, however. And this one will. But to forget the trauma, move on, and pay it no mind, won't help. It'd be a disservice to history and our own minds. Maybe to the future, too. "
4th Feb 2021 - BBC News

COVID's mental-health toll: how scientists are tracking a surge in depression

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its second year, new fast-spreading variants have caused a surge in infections in many countries, and renewed lockdowns. The devastation of the pandemic — millions of deaths, economic strife and unprecedented curbs on social interaction — has already had a marked effect on people’s mental health. Researchers worldwide are investigating the causes and impacts of this stress, and some fear that the deterioration in mental health could linger long after the pandemic has subsided. Ultimately, scientists hope that they can use the mountains of data being collected in studies about mental health to link the impact of particular control measures to changes in people’s well-being, and to inform the management of future pandemics.
4th Feb 2021 - Nature.com

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COVID-19: SEND children suffered 'profound disruption' during first lockdown, report

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) experienced "profound disruption" to their well-being and family life during the first lockdown, according to new research. The study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, paints a "concerning picture" of teachers and professionals struggling to support pupils and their families. Almost all (98%) providers said they had pupils who would find it hard to keep to social distancing, while 75% had pupils who require personal care which involves close contact with others.
3rd Feb 2021 - Sky News

The rise of parental burnout in lockdown

On top of usual household duties, for the last 10 months parents have been educating children, working remotely and keeping relationships intact - so it's no wonder they’re feeling the strain of lockdown. Even Kate Middleton has urged parents to seek help when they need it. Dr Punam joins us to discuss the warning signs of parental burnout and what you can do about it.
3rd Feb 2021 - ITV News

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Latest lockdown is leading to more of us looking for help

More couples are seeking relationship counselling as extended Covid lockdowns take their toll on household harmony, with one psychologist reporting a 30pc increase in calls for help. The stresses of homeschooling, working from home, job losses, financial worries and possible addictions and mental health deterioration can be devastating to even the healthiest of relationships. “When Covid caused the first lockdown last March there was a feeling that the country was all in it together and put their shoulders to the wheel, that it would be over soon. But now nearly a year later people are tired and exhausted,” said Mary Johnston, specialist in counselling with Accord CLG.
2nd Feb 2021 - Independent.ie

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Home workouts: Why you should reconsider your fitness goals this lockdown

In the UK, a survey's found that two fifths of us are doing less exercise in this lockdown compared to the first one in Spring 2020. "If you cast your mind back to April, it was pretty beautiful every day, whereas now there are less daylight hours," Dr Ian Taylor says. He's a psychologist at Loughborough University and specialises in what motivates us when it comes to sport and exercise. Ian says there are a few things you can do to try and get into a positive mindset about exercise and make it seem a lot less daunting. "Remove barriers as you'll be surprised how many of them mount up against your motivation," he says. "Going for a walk is very easy because you don't need to change your clothes or move furniture out the way for example, or worry about your [gym] kit being spread all over the house".
1st Feb 2021 - BBC News

No gym required: How seniors can exercise during lockdown

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it's crucial for homebound older adults to find safe and effective ways to exercise, an expert says. At-home workouts can help strengthen muscles, improve balance, increase blood flow to the heart, boost the immune system and reduce stress, according to Summer Cook, an associate professor of kinesiology and an expert on senior fitness at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham.
1st Feb 2021 - Medical Xpress

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Martin Lewis urges everyone to claim £124 for working from home

In England, those who are working from home are being encouraged to go online and claim up to £124 they are entitled to. The advice comes from Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis who has explained that money is available to home workers even if they have worked from home for only one day since last April. Many people have been unable to return to their offices due to the pandemic and could be missing out on Government cash. The available money is a reduction in the amount of income tax a person pays, and is designed to help those who work from home with their overheads
31st Jan 2021 - Chronicle Live

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Why Couch to 5k has kept us on the run for 25 years and especially in lockdown

If you started in January you might be on week three, or you may be just about to begin. Perhaps you’ve completed the whole thing and feel like Mo Farah, or you’ve come to an impasse and are going back to the start. Of course, you may have no intention of doing Couch to 5k, but you’re likely to know somebody who has, as a million people downloaded the running app in 2020. The premise is simple: download the free, NHS-endorsed app and, over nine weeks, it guides you through a programme of three runs a week, starting in week one with a few minutes of walking alternated with a few minutes of running, for half an hour, and ending in week nine with a solid 30 minutes of running
28th Jan 2021 - iNews.co.uk

Blue-chip UK employers try to soothe parental lockdown pain amid fears of burnout

From unlimited paid time off to laptops for children, some of Britain’s blue-chip employers are trying to persuade parent employees juggling jobs and childcare during the pandemic that they have their backs. A third British lockdown from Jan. 5, that shut schools to most children and confined many workers to their homes, has exacerbated a childcare crisis that unions warn could herald a drain of talent that disproportionately impacts women. On Wednesday, the government said schools will remain largely closed for at least another six weeks. Some banks, professional services firms, law firms and insurers are offering staff flexible working arrangements, reduced hours and increased emergency leave alongside benefits such as free counselling and parent buddy schemes.
28th Jan 2021 - Reuters

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Lockdown cabin fever? 56 tried, tested and terrific ways to beat the boredom

Shaun Ryder keeps chickens, while Mel Giedroyc organises chutney tastings. These small, affordable suggestions won’t end lockdown misery – but they might help: 56 ideas for stuff to do in lockdown
27th Jan 2021 - The Guardian

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Lockdown exercise: why getting outside can boost your wellbeing

Encouraging people to walk has long been on the agenda of public health bodies and air pollution campaigners, but it took a national lockdown for many of us to build a habit. There’s hope that it could have a long-term positive impact on both our health and London’s notoriously dirty air. While anecdotal evidence and data collected by organisations such as Breathe London appeared to show a dramatic reduction in air pollution during the first lockdown, a new international study led by University of Birmingham found that while there were significant reductions in urban air pollution levels around the world, these were smaller than expected.
26th Jan 2021 - Evening Standard

Why you need to give yourself a break right now (and how to do that)

This time around, we're tired of lockdown. Just getting through each day is a victory in itself. Of course, the long, dark evenings and miserable weather don't help - alongside not knowing exactly when this is going to end - and a lack of any obvious results or reward is prompting many to break the lockdown restrictions. Such difficult circumstances call for more effective coping mechanisms. Whether you're struggling with working from home, worrying that your homeschooling isn't up to scratch, or are giving up your time to protect and support others as a key worker, chances are you're probably feeling low, unmotivated and a little helpless. Perhaps you're finding it difficult to stay positive, or are convinced that everyone's doing a better job than you are. Maybe you feel overwhelmed with how much you have to deal with, or are in despair over the constant barrage of bad news. The answer, first and foremost, according to executive coach Lisa Quinn, is to give yourself a break.
26th Jan 2021 - harpersbazaar.com

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Young people on growing up in lockdown: ‘All we want is to be heard, not ignored’

Throughout the pandemic, decisions made by adults have had a significant impact on all aspects of young people’s lives, yet some teenagers feel their voice and experiences during the pandemic have not been heard. The political has become personal for many, leading some young people to become increasingly engaged with politics and involved in community action. Research undertaken by my colleagues and I at the University of Huddersfield and consultancy Ecorys, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, has been exploring young people’s experiences during lockdown, including their engagement and involvement with politics. The research project, Growing up under COVID, involves 70 young people aged 14-18 in the UK, Italy, Lebanon and Singapore.
25th Jan 2021 - i on MSN.com

How to deal with nightmares about working from home

While the loss of the super-early morning wake up and commute could be seen as a positive thing, for some the bad is definitely starting to outweigh the good. Unfortunately, working in our pyjamas is no longer quite such a novelty. According to the NHS, losing that clear divide between work and home coupled with the lack of co-worker camaraderie, teamwork and support is causing a lot of people to feel stressed, bored and anxious. According to a recent survey of 1,000 people, carried out by online printing specialists instantprint, workplace dreams have been on the rise during the pandemic. Needless to say, they really haven’t been all that sweet. In fact, it was found that a massive 75% of those surveyed said work-based dreams have been nightmares recently. And, with more than half (52%) of people dreaming about work more than ever, its causing distress.
25th Jan 2021 - Metro.co.uk

Why it's ok to miss your workmates - and how to keep friendships going remotely

The shift to home-working has been the silver lining of the pandemic for a lot of people, but there are downsides. Loneliness is becoming a big problem for people spending all their time at home, instead of heading into the office. For many people, co-workers are their main course of social interaction during the day. And for some, work friendships go beyond having someone to join you on the coffee run — and extend beyond the 9-5. In a 2018 survey conducted by researchers at Olivet Nazarene University, 82% of respondents reported having at least one work friend. Nearly 30% said that they had a work best friend. According to a recent survey of 2,000 people by the behavioural science consultancy Mind Gym, more than half of said they miss office “small talk” and building relationships with colleagues (59.7%).
25th Jan 2021 - Yahoo Finance UK

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Covid-19: Five ways to avoid lockdown back pain

Millions of people are less physically active than they were before Covid-19. For those working from home, the morning walk to the bus stop has gone. Days on end can be spent hunched over a laptop without ever leaving the house. A survey of people working remotely, by Opinium for the charity Versus Arthritis, found 81% of respondents were experiencing some back, neck or shoulder pain. Almost half (48%) said they were less physically active than before the lockdown. Another study by the Institute for Employment Studies found 35% reporting new back pain while working from home. Physiotherapists and other back pain experts say those with serious or persistent problems should seek professional help, but there are things that many of us can do to help ourselves.
24th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Six ways to stop burnout as working from home set to become 'new norm' for many

As much as some of us might miss the office, it’s definitely time to accept that working from home isn’t going anywhere. After three lockdowns, it’s easy to start feeling burnt out with working from home and dreading the morning ‘commute’ from your bed to your desk. To help keep things fresh, we've come up with six practical ways you can stop the burnout and keep your work/life balance in order – even when your work and your life are both stuck inside.
24th Jan 2021 - Lancashire Telegraph

UK to quarantine visitors from nations with high COVID-19 risk, Daily Mail says

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government is preparing to force travelers from countries where there is a high risk of COVID-19 to go into quarantine for 10 days after arriving in Britain, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday. Travelers from Brazil and South Africa, and neighbouring countries, will be met on arrival and escorted to hotels to quarantine, under plans being discussed by UK ministers, the Daily Mail said
24th Jan 2021 - Reuters on MSN.com

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Having plants at home improved psychological well-being during lockdown

An international study coordinated by the Research Group for Urban Nature and Biosystems Engineering (NATURIB) from the University of Seville's School of Agricultural Engineering emphasises that having plants at home had a positive influence on the psychological well-being of the dwelling's inhabitants during COVID-19 lockdown. Researchers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece), the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (Brazil) and the University of Genoa (Italy) participated in the study along with representatives from the University of Seville. This study, published in the scientific journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, evaluated the role played by plants at home during the first COVID-19 lockdown.
21st Jan 2021 - EurekAlert!

Sick of lockdown? Fancy some culture? Here are the best events online this week

A few suggestions to Irish readers and others for cultural highlights online this week
21st Jan 2021 - Irish Times

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Lockdown, quarantine and self-isolation: How COVID restrictions affect our mental health

In the year since the city of Wuhan, China, went into the world's first coronavirus lockdown, we have all had to live under some form of pandemic-related restriction. Some countries have opted for strict national lockdowns, like the one currently in place in the UK, while other countries such as Taiwan have opted for border closures and mandatory quarantine for overseas arrivals. Such different approaches to restricting movement have different effects on our well-being.
20th Jan 2021 - Medical Xpress

The silent epidemic: Abuse against Spanish women rises during lockdown

Fewer Spanish women were killed by their partner or ex-partner in 2020 than in previous years, but that statistic masks a rise in gender-based violence as COVID lockdowns left victims confined with their abusers, rights groups and officials say. Emails to abuse helplines soared nearly six-fold in April, the first full month of Spain’s lockdown. “Control-based violence - which doesn’t murder, but is insidious and devastating - grew, because violent partners already had women under their physical control,” Victoria Rosell, the ministry’s top official on gender abuse issues, told reporters on Wednesday. In 2020 overall, calls to the government’s abuse helpline rose 15% while emails increased more than 230%, but contact with victims was often lost as enforced cohabitation pushed women to seek help silently to avoid partners’ reprisals.
20th Jan 2021 - Reuters

Having plants at home improves psychological well-being during lockdown

An international study coordinated by the Research Group for Urban Nature and Biosystems Engineering (NATURIB) from the University of Seville's Escuela Técnica Superior of Agricultural Engineering emphasizes that having plants at home had a positive influence on the psychological well-being of the dwelling's inhabitants during COVID-19 lockdown. Researchers from the Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece), the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco (Brazil) and the University of Genoa (Italy) participated in the study along with representatives from the University of Seville.
20th Jan 2021 - Medical Xpress

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Six practical ways to stop the ‘working from home burnout'

There are plenty of good things about working from home. Our hair has enjoyed a break from dry shampoo abuse, we’ve been able to live perpetually in pyjama bottoms and setting an alarm for five minutes before we log on has meant more time snuggled under the sheets. But while commutes might be a thing of the past for many of us, sometimes the journey from bed to desk is a tough challenge in and of itself. So how can you stop the burnout and keep your work/life balance in order? Video conference call provider PowWowNow has five practical ways to change things up
19th Jan 2021 - Wales Online

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Make your kitchen more 'working from home' friendly during lockdown

With more of us working from home, the kitchen can double up as a home office and cooking space with a little planning and preparation. Here are some top tips to make your kitchen working from home (WFH) friendly. The amount of people working remotely has skyrocketed in 2020, with 47 per cent of the UK workforce mostly WFH in April 2020 compared to 5 per cent of the population mainly working from home in 2019 according to an ONS Government survey].
18th Jan 2021 - Newbury Today

Get smart: the best online courses to become an even better you this lockdown

This year hasn’t started the way we’d hoped, but there are silver linings to finding ourselves at home again. This time round, we know what we’re doing (more running at lunch, fewer Zoom quizzes), which frees up space for new activities. If we have to be cooped up for the first few months of the year, we may as well do something useful with it. That guitar gathering dust at the back of the wardrobe? A chance to dig it out. That children’s book you told yourself you’d start in lockdown 1.0? Third time lucky. From (finally) learning to fix a puncture, to perfecting your handstand, this is your ultimate self-improvement guide.
18th Jan 2021 - Evening Standard

Wristband that tracks the wearer's emotional state could let bosses monitor employees' wellbeing while working from home in lockdown

A £50 wristband created by a British health technology firm is helping people track the wellbeing of their friends, family and employees in lockdown. Moodbeam features two buttons that the wearer simply has to press throughout the day depending on their mood – yellow for happy and blue for unhappy. This is logged alongside both sleep and activity and is available for other people to view on an associated app. It means users can view the moods of their loved ones during lockdown on their smartphone and know when to check in with them with a quick message. Companies could also buy the wristbands in bulk for their employees while they're working from home and may feel isolated.
18th Jan 2021 - Daily Mail

Covid-19 having 'devastating effect' on children

Northern Ireland's mental health champion is among child health experts warning of the "devastating effect" of the coronavirus pandemic on children. Professor Siobhan O'Neill was among more than 50 signatories to a letter calling children's welfare "a national emergency". It was published in the Observer newspaper on Sunday. Professor O'Neill was appointed Northern Ireland's interim mental health champion in June 2020. She is also professor of mental health sciences at Ulster University (UU).
18th Jan 2021 - BBC News

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Covid-19: Lockdown could 'lose a generation' of young people

A "whole generation of young people" could be lost to education during the Covid-19 lockdown because they do not have access to digital learning, a leading charity warned. Schools have been closed to most children, meaning remote-learning at home with lessons via the internet. Rae Tooth, of the Villiers Park Education Trust, is concerned about children without computers. The government said it was providing thousands of laptops for pupils. Ms Tooth, chief executive of the Trust, told BBC Politics East that "digital poverty" hits the ability of children to learn if they have no access to the internet, (or can only access if via smartphones with small screens).
17th Jan 2021 - BBC News

Covid-19: Rise in suspected child abuse cases after lockdown

The number of reported incidents of children dying or being seriously harmed after suspected abuse or neglect rose by a quarter after England's first lockdown last year, figures indicate. The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel received 285 serious incident notifications from April to September. This is an increase of 27% from 225 in the same period the previous year. The data also includes children who were in care and died, regardless of whether abuse or neglect was suspected.
17th Jan 2021 - BBC News

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Embrace green spaces, shut screens to keep lockdown blues at bay

If you want to beat lockdown and social distancing blues, head to green spaces and switch off TV, computer and smartphone as this will dramatically improve your mental health, say researchers, as several countries impose fresh restrictions amid surge in Covid numbers. Being outdoors, particularly in green spaces, can improve mental health by promoting more positive body image, and lowering levels of depression and anxiety. A new study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, said that spending time outdoors and switching off our devices is associated with higher levels of happiness during a period of Covid-19 restrictions.
14th Jan 2021 - The Statesman

Coronavirus lockdown: 1 in 4 people in the UK drinking more than usual under Covid restrictions

A quarter of people in the UK drank more than usual during the first lockdown, with younger women and those suffering from anxiety especially prone, a UCL study has found. More than 30,000 adults were questioned about their drinking behaviour between 21 March and 4 April for the study, published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Just over a third (34.3 per cent) were not drinking but among people who drank, 48.1 per cent reported drinking about the same, 26.2 per cent reported drinking more and 25.7 per cent reported drinking less than usual.
14th Jan 2021 - iNews

Covid-19: Mysterious cluster in Brisbane a warning to stop using hotels for managed isolation, experts say

Australian health authorities have evacuated a Queensland hotel and are considering alternative isolation facilities – including mining camps – following an outbreak of the highly contagious UK strain of Covid-19, prompting questions about New Zealand's response. On Wednesday 129 hotel guests were transferred from the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane to an undisclosed facility and required to isolate for another 14 days after six previously identified cases from the hotel were found to be linked. Australian-based New Zealand epidemiologist professor Tony Blakely said the guests were moved from the building because the cause of the outbreak had not been confirmed. The further isolation was needed because they could have been exposed to the virus through the hotel’s ventilation system.
14th Jan 2021 - Stuff.co.nz

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To thrive in lockdown, keep looking forward

A recent study, by researchers at the University of Surrey in the UK, has explored some strategies for maintaining emotional well-being during lockdown. It suggests that the most effective strategy for managing the emotional burden of lockdown may be to train one’s perspective forward — toward positive aspects of the future. In their study, the researchers investigated the value of three emotional strategies for dealing with lockdowns: nostalgia, or sentimentally looking back toward previous, better times; gratitude, or thinking about the good things currently in one’s life; best possible self, or picturing good things in the future
13th Jan 2021 - Medical News Today

Lockdown gives us time to learn the art of letting go

Maturity and experience have a way of helping us to move on but what do we do when the art of letting go becomes difficult? Or when the situation, as the world currently stands, becomes so unmoving that we must accept a loss of control? We are at a time in our lives when letting go is proving terrifying considering we have already lost so much control over our lives and our environment with restrictive, unprecedented measures. In any situation where letting go and moving on is beneficial to our mental health, we are ultimately faced with a challenge to let go of a huge amount of control over our own lives. Susan McKenna, social care advocate and author at Bookhub Publishing, says: “This is a time of profound uncertainty with the global Covid-19 pandemic. It is a time when we have all been forced to look into ourselves and draw from our own resiliency. We are given an opportunity to reimagine how and why we engage as we do with the world and our communities.”
13th Jan 2021 - Irish Times

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Covid: Eyesight risk warning from lockdown screen time

An eye health charity is recommending people learn the "20-20-20" rule to protect their sight, as lockdown has increased people's time using screens. Fight for Sight advises looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes you look at a screen. Out of 2,000 people, half used screens more since Covid struck and a third (38%) of those believed their eyesight had worsened, a survey suggested. Opticians remain open for those who need them, the charity said.
12th Jan 2021 - BBC News

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Covid: Are lockdown rules changing? Public Health England answers your questions

As coronavirus cases continue to rise and strong restrictions continue across the UK, people are wondering how it will all end. Vaccinations centres have opened across the UK, but who will get the jabs, and when? Restrictions are being reviewed, but what if people don't follow them? We're watching very carefully, it is early days. We won't really know until next week, or maybe the week after whether these restrictions have had the effect that we very much hope for. Every single day these things are reviewed. It's a balance between the need for what human beings want to do with what they we need to do to keep people protected. It will be kept under review. Radio 1 Newsbeat put your questions to Professor Yvonne Doyle, who is Public Health England's medical director and director for health protect
11th Jan 2021 - BBC News

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Five tips to get reading again if you’ve struggled during the pandemic

Like many people, you may have resolved this New Year to read more in 2021 and spend less time on your screens. And now you may be wondering how to find the time to do it, especially in lockdown conditions, with different time constraints and anxieties pressing on us. One solution is to go with shorter bursts of reading. Our Summer 2020 pop-up project, Ten-Minute Book Club, was a selection of ten excerpts from free literary texts, drawn from a wide range of writing in English globally. Based on our larger project, LitHits, each week the book club presented a 10-minute excerpt framed by an introduction from an expert in the field and suggestions for free further reading. We found that the top two things people responded to were the core idea of brevity and the quality and diversity of the literature.
8th Jan 2021 - The Conversation

Lockdown 3.0: an opportunity to join up thinking

As we embark on what may be the very early stages of Lockdown 3.0, our fears for the future are made darker both by a real uncertainty about the course of the next few months and by the knowledge that it did not have to be like this. It is tempting to attribute such comment to hindsight, but in fact we have been led by a government which has egregiously disregarded what is actually little more than common sense. A health emergency of this potential scale required a strategic and systems-based approach from the start. This approach should have led early on to the production of a coherent plan with clear purpose. It should throughout have shown itself nimble to adapt in real time to new circumstances and to new knowledge.
9th Jan 2021 - The BMJ

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COVID-19: What a winter lockdown means for mental health - and tips for coping

After two national lockdowns in the spring and autumn of 2020, England is preparing for another - but this time it will fall in the darkest days of winter. Experts have raised concerns about the impact less sunlight, uncertainty about the new coronavirus variant and more restrictive measures coming into force again could have on people's mental health. Sky News unpicks the problems and looks at some tips for coping
7th Jan 2021 - Sky News

How to mitigate the impact of a lockdown on mental health

The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting people's mental health. But what helps and hinders people in getting through a lockdown? A new study led by researchers at the University of Basel addressed this question using data from 78 countries across the world. The results hint at the pivots and hinges on which the individual's psyche rests in the pandemic. At the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, little was known about the impact of population-wide governmental lockdowns. What was known was taken from restricted quarantines of small groups of people. "On the one hand, such drastic changes to daily routines can be detrimental to mental health," explains Professor Andrew Gloster from the University of Basel, co-leader of the study now published in PLOS One. "On the other hand, because the entire population was more or less equally affected during the lockdown, it remained unclear whether this impact would occur." To address this question, Gloster and his international colleagues conducted an online survey in 18 languages. Almost 10,000 people from 78 countries participated, giving information about their mental health and overall situation during the Covid-19 lockdown.
7th Jan 2021 - EurekAlert!

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COVID risk 'extraordinarily high' if lockdown rules ignored - official

The risks for Britons without COVID-19 vaccinations were extraordinarily high if people don’t follow the current lockdown rules, England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said on Tuesday, adding that the risks will not disappear in the spring. “If people don’t take the ‘stay at home’ seriously, the risk at this point in time, in the middle of winter with this new variant, is extraordinarily high,” Whitty said. “We shouldn’t kid ourselves ... this just disappears with spring.”
6th Jan 2021 - Reuters UK

Working from home? You can claim £125 back from the tax man with no strings attached

In England, millions of people who have been sent home due to lockdown restrictions could be in line for a £125 rebate from HMRC. A little known 'working from home' tax rule means anyone who has been told to work from home during the pandemic can claim financial relief, up to the value of £125, to spend on bills and other home working essentials. Even better, you only need to have worked one day from home to claim the refund - meaning millions of people could be eligible. The money can be used to pay for items such as office equipment, stationary and even printer paper.
7th Jan 2021 - Mirror Online

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Varadkar urges employers to facilitate remote working

In Ireland, the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment has asked employers to facilitate their staff to work from home wherever possible at this "critical time" in the ongoing fight against Covid-19. "Christmas and New Year have passed and the vast majority of people are now back at work," Leo Varadkar said in a statement today. "We are now in the middle of a third wave of the virus and the increase in infections, hospitalisations and numbers in ICU is extremely concerning," Mr Varadkar said. Mr Varadkar said he was asking employers to encourage and accommodate their employees to stay at home unless they are essential workers.
6th Jan 2021 - RTE.ie

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How to be a successful remote employee

In the US, many offices remain closed in anticipation of vaccine distribution, and a significant number of people who acclimated to working from home during the pandemic will decide to stick with it indefinitely. That makes it more important than ever for companies and employees to get remote onboarding right.
5th Jan 2021 - Quartz

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What can we learn from the great WFH experiment?

...I mention this because we are at a turning point in the pandemic. Many people, myself included, have largely been working from home. For months it has been hard to shake the feeling that this will last for ever. Now we are contemplating a vaccine-fuelled return to normality — maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. What the 2014 Tube strike teaches us is that temporary disruptions can have permanent effects. Sometimes there are scars that do not heal; sometimes a crisis teaches us lessons we can use when it has passed.
31st Dec 2020 - Financial Times

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How to fight loneliness in lockdown

After months of lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders, some experts worry about a rise in the number of people feeling alone, especially young people and older adults. But resilience is also widespread, and studying loneliness can reveal a variety of ways to combat it. “In light of the pandemic, there are ways that we can increase that sense of connection or reduce feelings of loneliness in ways that we may be able to do safely at a distance,” says Julianne Holt-Lunstad, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Brigham Young University. “One of the things that research has shown is that social support is incredibly helpful in times of stress.”
29th Dec 2020 - The Independent

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Two million elderly facing Christmas alone to get 'greatest gift' of someone to chat to

Elizabeth is just one of the two million older people who will be spending Christmas alone this year. The pensioner has been housebound because of the pandemic – but a new phone service set up by Age UK is helping to spread some festive cheer. The charity estimates that more than half of elderly people won’t see their friends or family this Christmas. So with that in mind, I joined their team of trained volunteers for a day to see how the phone service is helping to combat loneliness among the over-60s. Elizabeth was first on their list of people to call and it was easy to imagine her face lighting up at the sound of a friendly voice. In a chat with volunteer Clare, she says: “It’s been a difficult week but I feel so much better today.
22nd Dec 2020 - Mirror

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Five things I learned about working remotely as an introvert

From boosting your leadership presence to protecting your mental health, now is as perfect a time as any to learn how to truly thrive as an introvert in the remote or hybrid workplace.
22nd Dec 2020 - The Guardian

Loneliness could worsen as COVID-19 disrupts Christmas, UK charities warn

Tighter restrictions across Britain at Christmas are an “abject disaster” for mental health and could drive many into further isolation, charities said on Monday. Mental health experts and charities warned that loneliness and mental health problems arising from months of lockdowns could worsen as Britain banned millions from meeting after the discovery of a more infectious strain of the coronavirus. “There’s no escaping that it will be a difficult time both in the Christmas period and in January,” said Antonis Kousoulis, director of the Mental Health Foundation, who is researching the impact of COVID-19 on people’s mental health.
21st Dec 2020 - Reuters

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Covid vaccine: More than 130,000 vaccinated in UK in first week

More than 130,000 people have been vaccinated in the first week of the UK's vaccination programme. Minister Nadhim Zahawi, who is in charge of vaccine rollout, tweeted 137,897 people had been given their first doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech jab between 8 and 15 December. He described it as a "really good start" for the programme. The figure only captures the start of the community vaccination programme run by GPs which launched on Monday. About 200 of these local vaccination clinics are expected to be up and running by the end of the week.
19th Dec 2020 - BBC News

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Don’t see grandparents over Christmas if possible, Priti Patel says

Millions of people across Britain should not see their grandparents if possible over the Christmas period, a Cabinet minister said today. Home Secretary Priti Patel also urged families to “change their plans” if they were planning to travel long distances to see relatives during the festive season after surges in Covid-19 cases in parts of the country, including London. Asked on Times Radio if the Government guidance now boiled down to not meeting up with elderly relatives this Christmas where possible, Ms Patel said: “I think it does as we are seeing rising infections across the country.
17th Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

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Covid: Minister 'hopes' Christmas relaxations won't lead to January lockdown

A senior Cabinet minister has said he hopes the relaxation of coronavirus rules at Christmas won't lead to a rise in Covid-19 cases that force the UK into another lockdown in January. Robert Jenrick urged the public to be cautious at Christmas, with Boris Johnson confirming at Prime Minister's Questions that the rules would not change, saying all four UK nations had agreed to continue "in principle" with the easing of restrictions. But the communities secretary added that Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty "has been very clear that there are risks of families coming together and people need to be very careful".
16th Dec 2020 - ITV News

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Pets Help Counter Lockdown Blues

The UK’s reputation as a nation of animal lovers has strengthened even further over the course of 2020, with a surge of new pets helping to comfort owners against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Sainsbury’s Bank, almost a quarter (24%) of UK adults say they have either welcomed a new pet into their home since March 2020 or are planning to do so before Easter 2021. Findings from the bank revealed that around half (47%) of those people who have taken in a new pet have done so for reasons of companionship and improved mental health support. Other positive advantages also emerged from the research. In addition to lifting the spirits through lockdown, about a fifth of owners (22%) pointed out that their health had improved thanks to exercising with their pet.
15th Dec 2020 - Forbes

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Kids and COVID isolation & stress: What parents need to know

Experts voice concern over how children are relating to the world outside their homes during the pandemic, as well as the stress they are feeling from their parent’s COVID-related financial struggles.
14th Dec 2020 - Al Jazeera English

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Grief in the Covid era will weigh on the American psyche for years to come

The rituals of grief and mourning are as old as time: the swift Jewish burial and seven days of sitting shiva to honor the dead; the Muslim washing and three-sheeted shrouding of a body; the solemn Mass of Christian Burial with Holy Communion and the promise of an afterlife. All these — and other rites of faith and community across the globe — have been brutally curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic, with effects on the mental and physical health of those left behind that have yet to be grasped.
12th Dec 2020 - STAT

Fears of new Covid restrictions as councils struggle to fund self-isolation

More than 17 million people are living in areas under tier 2 restrictions that have seen infection rates rise over the last three weeks, new research has revealed amid growing concerns that councils are struggling to help people with the costs of self-isolation. With the government due to review the Covid-19 measures across England this week, an assessment of official data found that more than half of councils in which tier 2 restrictions are in place – or “high alert” areas - have seen infection rates rise since the last week of November. The areas cover some 17.5 million people. The research, carried out by Labour, found that 100 local authorities have seen an increase in cases since 24 November, compared with 87 that have seen a decrease. It has raised concerns that more areas could face the most restrictive tier 3 measures from this week. London is in danger of entering tier 3, with some boroughs suffering from the highest rates of the disease in England.
13th Dec 2020 - The Guardian

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Coronavirus: NHS Covid-19 app starts offering self-isolate payments

An update to England and Wales's NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app is adding a way to apply for a £500 grant if it gives a self-isolation order. Until now, those on low incomes were only offered the payment if they had been told to stay at home by human Test and Trace operators. The move comes at a time when the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus is on the rise again. Experts have suggested following the app's guidance could help reverse that.
10th Dec 2020 - BBC

Student mental health remains a priority as pandemic lingers

Whether you call it virtual, digital or non-traditional, one aspect of learning remotely in the middle of a pandemic is constant. It can be stressful. JCPS Counseling Support Specialist Michelle Sircy said some students in the district are experiencing high levels of chronic stress and loneliness. She said their peers across the country are seeing that, too. Fear and anxiety are still present for many, even as positive developments about the fight against COVID-19 arise. “Our increased level of supports will have to continue,” Sircy said. “(Counselors) will have to shift and pivot as we see the climate change from going into an area of isolation to where we’re trying to transition back to some sense of normalcy.” Sircy said school counselors are meeting with virtual classrooms, small groups and individuals.
9th Dec 2020 - WAVE 3

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Covid: Self-isolation and quarantine period to shorten in Wales

All people who need to self-isolate or quarantine will only need to do so for 10 days from Thursday, the Welsh Government has announced. The current period for those without the virus is 14 days, which has been changed after medical endorsement. It will now apply to people who have tested positive for the virus or are at risk of having it, including those returning from non-exempt countries. It means Wales will have a shorter isolation period than England.
9th Dec 2020 - BBC News

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What Has Lockdown Done to Us?

Drew Holden is a public affairs consultant in Washington, D.C., and a former Republican congressional staff member. He writes: " Research suggests that, to mitigate negative side effects, lockdowns should be well communicated and as short as possible. In many cities and states, one or both of these guidelines were ignored. When lockdowns seemed wanton and capricious, many Americans felt deceived. If new lockdowns are absolutely needed — something that the World Health Organization and some health experts believe is inadvisable — then policymakers must avoid both the reality and appearance of hypocrisy. This is particularly true because, unlike many other wealthy countries, the United States is not providing any type of ongoing direct aid to those who are struggling."
8th Dec 2020 - The New York Times

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Every week coronavirus lockdowns drag on increases odds Americans will binge drink by nearly 20%

Researchers surveyed nearly 2,000 US adults between mid-March and mid-April They found that 34% of participants reported binge drinking during coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. About 60% of binge drinkers increased their alcohol consumption during the pandemic compared to non-binge drinkers. The odds of heavy alcohol consumption among binge drinkers increased 19% for every week of lockdown. Binge drinkers were more likely to have their job status 'negatively impacted,' to be essential workers or to have a history of depression
7th Dec 2020 - Daily Mail

‘It’s a silent epidemic’: Mental health in newsrooms needs more attention

Heightened anxiety, feelings of isolation and depression, these are just a few of the knock-on effects felt by many as a direct result of the enforced workplace changes introduced to cope with the coronavirus. For journalists reporting on the crisis, or producing editorial products from their sofas, kitchens, and bedrooms, the last nine months have been an unrelenting slog. But the toll taken on the mental health of editorial staff isn’t front and center enough, according to media experts and seasoned journalists spoken to for this article.
7th Dec 2020 - Digiday

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More people signed off sick with mental health problems during lockdown, analysis reveals

The proportion of people applying for fit notes from their GP for mental health reasons jumped 6 per cent during lockdown in England, according to new research. It adds to growing concern the UK will see a surge in mental health problems as a result of the pandemic and the impact on society and the economy. The latest data on the number of statements of fitness to work signed by GPs, published by NHS Digital, shows mental health problems now account for almost four in 10 of all sick notes signed by GPs. The Centre for Mental Health think tank has warned the government needs to prepare for the aftermath of Covid-19.
6th Dec 2020 - The Independent

How Melbourne and Victoria eliminated Covid-19 cases with a lockdown

In July and August, the Australian state of Victoria was going through a second Covid-19 wave. Local leaders set an improbable goal in the face of that challenge. They didn’t want to just get their Covid-19 numbers down. They wanted to eliminate the virus entirely.By the end of November, they’d done it. They have seen no active cases for a full four weeks. Melbourne, the state’s capital and a city with about as many people as the greater Washington, DC, area, is now completely coronavirus-free. Victoria’s Covid-19 restrictions were controversial with some residents, but Australia in general enjoys more political homogeny than the US does. That must make it easier to build solidarity for these extraordinary measures.
6th Dec 2020 - Vox.com

Coronavirus: Care homes to receive Pfizer vaccine within two weeks, says regulator

Care homes are set to receive deliveries of coronavirus vaccine within the next fortnight, after the UK’s medicines regulator gave approval for packs received by the NHS to be broken down into smaller batches for distribution. Residents and staff at care homes have been placed top of the priority list for the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, but prime minister Boris Johnson said that logistical difficulties were likely to delay the delivery of the life-saving vaccine. But now the chief executive of the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), June Raine, has said that doses will “definitely” arrive at homes within the next two weeks. The problem arose because the vaccine shots arrive from manufacturers in Belgium in pizza box-style cases each containing 975 vials, which must be kept below -70 degrees celsius before use
5th Dec 2020 - The Independent

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Astronauts’ lessons on how to cope — in lockdown and beyond

If lockdown and social distancing are not enough of a challenge, how would you like to be confined to a research lab with your colleagues for three weeks — 19 metres under the sea? Or perhaps you would prefer to be left in a cave system, isolated from the outside world with no natural light, minimal privacy and limited equipment for hygiene and comfort? Welcome to the world of astronaut training. Both Nasa and the European Space Agency run field studies in locations with similarities to working in space: a “dangerous and unfriendly” place, according to Nasa’s website. Hazards include isolation and confinement, while behavioural issues are “inevitable”
3rd Dec 2020 - Financial Times

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Joy as Britain's care home residents share first hugs with relatives since March

Residents of Britain’s care homes shared their first precious hugs and kisses with relatives since March on Wednesday, after homes were able to give visitors rapid tests for COVID-19 which give results in 30 minutes. Bob Underhill, an 84-year-old retiree, was reunited with his wife Patricia, 82, who has Alzheimer’s. Both were overcome as they met, then hugged and kissed through their face masks. “I’ve only seen her twice since March because they had a shutdown here, and we just had to sit and wait,” said Underhill.
2nd Dec 2020 - Reuters UK

Only working age care home residents allowed to leave for visits over Christmas

Only residents of working age should be allowed leave care homes for Christmas, according to Government guidance. An exemption can be made in exceptional circumstances, such as visiting a loved one at the end of their life. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the risks are usually significantly greater for older people than for those of working age. The guidance says that residents, their families and care homes should very carefully consider whether making visits out from the home is the best thing to do, or whether a visit at the care home would provide meaningful contact in a safer way.
2nd Dec 2020 - Evening Standard

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Businesses must ensure that working from home does not equate to working in isolation warns YFM head of growth

When lockdown first brought a necessity to work at home many employees welcomed the opportunity to simplify their working day and support their families as they adjusted to a new normal, but as working from home moves into the long-term, for many businesses there is a risk that some of the workforce becomes isolated and less engaged, leading to health and well-being issues and a fall-off in productivity, according to Victor Christou, partner and head of growth at YFM Equity Partners (YFM).
1st Dec 2020 - Bdaily

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Japan's aged care facilities remain locked down amid a COVID-19 third wave, and now there are fears residents may develop dementia

The only contact Yuumi Matsuno has had with her mother since coronavirus reached Japan has been over the phone, separated by a pane of glass. For 10 months, the nursing home Hisako lives in has limited all visitors from the outside, except staff, in part to prevent any potential spread of COVID-19. While it has largely been successful, it has come at a cost. "She [my mum] doesn't talk as much as before," Ms Matsuno said. "When you speak on the phone, sometimes it's hard to hear and perhaps she feels it is troublesome, so she speaks less.
28th Nov 2020 - ABC News

Japan and South Korea see surge of suicides among young women, raising new questions about pandemic stress

Suicide rates among young women have increased notably in Japan and South Korea, raising possible links to the prolonged coronavirus pandemic as it amplifies stress levels, worsens economic woes and aggravates feelings of loneliness and isolation. No comprehensive global studies are yet available on whether the pandemic has caused higher suicide numbers or how it may have affected different age groups and genders. But Japan and South Korea are among the few countries to issue current data on suicides, with most nations taking a year or two to issue their numbers. Experts worry that the emerging trends in the two countries could be an early warning for the rest of the world as the pandemic and lockdowns take a toll on mental health.
30th Nov 2020 - The Washington Post

Global pandemic has led to chronic loneliness in young people, study finds

The global pandemic has caused chronic loneliness and social isolation in young people. Adolescents are also reporting high levels of anxiety about their future in terms of the impact of Covid-19 on their education, careers and family life. A major new global UNESCO study on the toll Covid-19 has had on young people is being spearheaded by NUI Galway, Professor Pat Dolan. Professor Dolan, Director of the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre at NUI Galway is leading the research project with over 100 countries taking part. It is among the first global studies to have adopted the Youth As Researchers model.
30th Nov 2020 - Independent.ie

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Pandemic inflames violence against women

No country has been spared the coronavirus epidemic, nor the scourge of domestic violence, which has surged during lockdowns. From a spike in rapes in Nigeria and South Africa, increased numbers of women missing in Peru, higher rates of women being killed in Brazil and Mexico and overwhelmed associations in Europe: the pandemic has aggravated the plague of sexual violence. According to UN data released in late September, lockdowns have led to increases in complaints or calls to report domestic abuse of 25% in Argentina, 30% in Cyprus and France and 33% in Singapore. In essentially all countries, measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in woman and children being confined at home. “The house is the most dangerous place for women,” Moroccan associations noted in April as they pressed authorities for “an emergency response”.
28th Nov 2020 - The Japan Times

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Coronavirus lockdowns contributing to faster deterioration in dementia patients, research finds

Forced into lockdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus, families of people with dementia have been left heartbroken that being isolated appears to have contributed to the deterioration of their loved ones. For Verity Jausnik, coronavirus restrictions meant she was unable to spend quality time with her elderly mother, Vivien "Viv" Russell. Ms Russell, 72, has lived with early onset dementia for a decade but an accelerated deterioration of her condition during the lockdown of her aged care home has meant she has lost her ability to remember her family, particularly her grandchildren.
26th Nov 2020 - ABC News

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We asked over 2,000 Australian parents how they fared in lockdown. Here's what they said

Parents have faced unprecedented stress during the pandemic as they care for children while juggling paid work from home. However, very little research so far has focused on family well-being during the pandemic. So we asked more than 2,000 parents to tell us in their own words about the pandemic’s impact on their families. We did this in April 2020, during Australia’s first lockdown. Our published study is the largest of its kind in Australia, and one of very few internationally looking into families’ experiences of the pandemic.
25th Nov 2020 - The Conversation AU

Young people's anxiety levels doubled during lockdown: Study

New research adds to a growing body of evidence that young people's anxiety levels doubled during Covid-19 lockdown. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, revealed that the number of young people with anxiety doubled from 13 per cent to 24 per cent, during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
25th Nov 2020 - Times of India

Gender-based violence was predictable, and preventable, fallout of lockdown

The National Commission for Women sounded an alarm in early April that domestic violence cases had spiked in just the first week of the Covid-19 lockdown, as had distress calls. This was echoed by the UN Secretary-General who used the term 'shadow pandemic.' Since then, across the world, police, shelters and helplines have confirmed that although the incidence of domestic violence was always higher than we would like to admit, ther was an alarming increase in its frequenct during the panemic.
25th Nov 2020 - The Indian Express

Coronavirus: Domestic abuse offences increased during pandemic

The number of domestic abuse offences recorded by police in England and Wales has increased during the pandemic. But the Office for National Statistics said such offences gradually rose in recent years so it cannot be determined if it was related to the pandemic. Police recorded 259,324 domestic abuse offences between March and June - 7% up on the same period in 2019. During and after the first lockdown in April, May and June, roughly one-fifth of offences involved domestic abuse.
25th Nov 2020 - BBC News

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Making headlines: COVID-19 and gender inequality

We have repeatedly heard about how COVID-19 disproportionately affects women. While men are more likely to die from the virus, in many other respects, women are bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s impact. The effects on women have been multiple: violence against women has increased, with incidents of domestic violence soaring. School closures, overburdened healthcare systems and social distancing measures have significantly increased many women’s unpaid care and domestic loads at home, which, in turn, has made them less able to balance these responsibilities with paid work.
24th Nov 2020 - Al Jazeera English

Child protection referrals surge after first lockdown as councils report rise in mental health issues

Child protection referrals have surged in the months following the UK’s first lockdown as local councils report an increase in demand for mental health and family services, The Independent can reveal. New data shows more than 630 vulnerable young people a day were being referred to councils’ children’s services in July, August and September – marking an increase of 15 per cent – or 7,518 referrals – compared to the three previous months when schools and services.
24th Nov 2020 - The Independent

Covid-19: England arrivals to be able to cut quarantine with private test

People arriving in England from abroad will be soon able to reduce their quarantine by more than half if they pay for a Covid test after five days, the transport secretary has announced. The rules will come into force from 15 December and the tests from private firms will cost between £65 and £120. Grant Shapps said the scheme would "bolster international travel while keeping the public safe". The travel industry welcomed the policy but described it as "long overdue". It follows Boris Johnson's announcement that England will come under "toughened" three-tiered regional restrictions when the lockdown ends on 2 December.
24th Nov 2020 - BBC News

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Pandemic inflames violence against women

No country has been spared the coronavirus epidemic, nor the scourge of domestic violence, which has surged during lockdowns as the day marking such violence approaches on Wednesday. From a spike in rapes in Nigeria and South Africa, increased numbers of women missing in Peru, higher rates of women being killed in Brazil and Mexico and overwhelmed associations in Europe: the pandemic has aggravated the plague of sexual violence. According to U.N. data released in late September, lockdowns have led to increases in complaints or calls to report domestic abuse of 25 percent in Argentina, 30 percent in Cyprus and France and 33 percent in Singapore. In essentially all countries, measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in women and children being confined at home.
23rd Nov 2020 - Japan Today

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How to measure your child's progress during virtual learning

Blackboard out, laptop screens on and turning to online assignments- children, along with their parents have got accustomed to a new learning pattern in these past six or seven months. While it may have been an initial struggle for many, virtual classes and education is the way to go for many younger kids, with most schools still being shut off due to COVID fear.
22nd Nov 2020 - Times of India

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Here’s seven tips to become a more sustainable UoB student in isolation

During the first national coronavirus lockdown, vital environmental changes occurred and triggered a huge surge of hope for the recovery of the planet’s ecosystems. Although it was amazing to see nature re-claiming the environment, its important to continue doing our bit for the planet outside of simply staying at home and not using our cars as much. Earlier in the year, people gathered in Birmingham City Centre to protest against climate change – and in January this year the UK’s first citizens climate change assembly was held in Birmingham with Sir David Attenborough making an appearance. Unfortunately, some of these things aren’t currently feasible, but there are still a number of ways to do your bit. Here is a list of seven tips to being a sustainable student, particularly during isolation…
20th Nov 2020 - The Tab

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'Students feel vulnerable': how Covid-19 has put a strain on mental health

From self-isolation with flatmates they barely know and halls of residences emptying out over lockdown to struggles to get the wifi to work for Zoom lectures, the start to the 2020 term has been riddled with uncertainty for most university students. Just one thing’s for sure: it’s been a strange few weeks. It’s perhaps unsurprising that students across campuses have been grappling with loneliness, anxiety and depression as a result of their experiences. “Students aren’t just disappointed that their university experience looks different in terms of teaching and learning, they’re also asking: ‘What does it mean for all the other things I wanted out of uni? The people I could have met? The sports and societies I could have joined?’” said Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, vice-president for higher education at the National Union of Students.
18th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown loneliness reaches record levels

The week after the clocks went back saw Britain's highest levels of acute loneliness in the pandemic, Office for National Statistics figures suggest. The start of November, with darker evenings, saw 8% of adults who were "always or often lonely" - representing 4.2 million people. This was the peak in this measure of loneliness since the lockdown in March. Loneliness Minister Baroness Barran says the next few months will be "incredibly challenging"
18th Nov 2020 - BBC News

One in 10 parents experienced severe burnout in lockdown - Canterbury University study

Parenting can be a demanding and stressful job at any time, but a pandemic can pile additional pressure on parents, new Canterbury University research shows. UC's Dr Cara Swit surveyed parents in New Zealand as part of a global study conducted in 15 countries to assess levels of parental burnout during Covid-19 lockdowns. She found that 10.5 per cent of parents in this country experienced high levels of parental burnout, which is defined as a combination of chronic stress, exhaustion, feeling like their parenting is not as good as it was, loss of pleasure or fulfilment in parenting, and emotional distancing from their children. “Any levels of parental burnout are concerning, so we need to understand the influences behind these figures and what can be done to support parents who are struggling,” Swit said.
18th Nov 2020 - Otago Daily Times

New Zealand had great success in containing Covid-19, but public wellbeing paid a price

People worldwide have been experiencing high levels of distress during the Covid-19 pandemic. A New Zealand survey shows that, despite eliminating the virus, people's mental health took a knock. Researchers are encouraging governments to prioritise mental wellbeing during this time
18th Nov 2020 - Health24

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Learning the lessons of Covid-19

Each country is trying to find a route through winter which will disrupt life as little as possible while still safeguarding health. There’s also a wish, as the UK’s Prime Minister put it, to “save Christmas”. And each country has a slightly different approach. Here in Switzerland the government has opted for a “slowdown” rather than a lockdown. Neighbouring France has gone into another “confinement” with strict rules around movement. To our east, Austria is beginning a “hard lockdown”, with schools closed and a daytime as well as a nighttime curfew. There is increasing debate, and confusion, about which measures are most successful. In most parts of Switzerland we can still go out for dinner. Our friends in France cannot. But since the introduction of the Swiss slowdown and the French confinement, cases of Covid-19 in both countries have begun to fall
17th Nov 2020 - swissinfo.ch

Lockdown has not led to more Queensland suicides, research finds

Queensland’s suicide rate did not change during lockdowns, however the pandemic contributed to a handful of people taking their own lives, research has found. The stress of pandemic lockdowns forced many people to face mental health issues for the first time, or exacerbated existing conditions.
17th Nov 2020 - Brisbane Times

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'There's nothing to keep a lid on it': is lockdown making us eccentric?

“Not sure if it’s because of recent times of lockdown etc but Christ I talk to myself a lot these days.” So tweeted the actor and presenter Emily Atack – and she is not alone. Confined to our homes and freed from the judgments of others – perceived or otherwise – growing numbers of us are admitting to quirky behaviours, from talking to ourselves to singing more loudly in the shower or living out the fashion eccentricities we’d never have dreamed of in the office. Psychologists told the Guardian that people are likely to become more eccentric over lockdown, displaying new or accentuated behaviours ranging from unusual mannerisms and daily routines to discovering unconventional interests.
15th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Teenage pregnancies rise in parts of Kenya as lockdown shuts schools

Jackline Bosibori wept when she found out she was pregnant. The 17-year-old’s mother, who is raising six kids alone, collapsed in their one-room home. They had been repeatedly threatened with eviction and couldn’t afford another mouth to feed. “If I was in school, this could have not happened,” said Bosibori, who wants to become a lawyer. With school closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and her mother out selling vegetables on the roadside, Bosibori got involved with a man in his twenties. When she told him she was pregnant, he stopped answering her calls.
16th Nov 2020 - Reuters

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New Zealand Study Reveals The Complex Psychological Toll of Pandemic Lockdowns

2020 has not been a good year for mental health. The emergence of a global pandemic has left many people fearing for their lives, stressing over their finances, panicking over the news, and yearning for their loved ones. While we're still not sure what the mental health toll will be, the World Health Organisation expects levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behaviour to rise.
14th Nov 2020 - ScienceAlert

After COVID-19 Diagnosis, Nearly 1 In 5 Are Diagnosed With Mental Disorder

New research has found that nearly 1 person in 5 diagnosed with COVID-19 is diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder like anxiety, depression or insomnia within three months. The analysis was conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford, using electronic health records for 69.8 million patients in the U.S. — including more than 62,000 diagnosed with COVID-19. Compared with patients who had experienced certain other health events this year — such as influenza, kidney stones or a major bone fracture – those diagnosed with COVID-19 were more likely to have a subsequent psychiatric diagnosis in the following 14 to 90 days. "The incidence of any psychiatric diagnosis in the 14 to 90 days after COVID-19 diagnosis was 18.1%," the study found, including 5.8% that was a first diagnosis. The research was published Monday in Lancet Psychiatry.
11th Nov 2020 - NPR

Shock new figures fuel fears of more lockdown domestic abuse killings in UK

Calls to the UK’s largest domestic abuse helpline are rising “week on week” as new figures reveal that almost 50 suspected killings may have occurred during the first lockdown. The charity Refuge, which runs the National Domestic Abuse helpline, said it was “very concerned” by the continuing upward trend in demand for its services, with England a little over a week into its second lockdown. Separate data from Counting Dead Women, a project that records the killing of women by men in the UK, identified 35 murders, with another 12 strongly suspected cases between 23 March and the start of July, when Covid restrictions were largely lifted. The rate of killings, conspicuously steep in the opening period of the first lockdown, gradually lowers to levels similar to those recorded in previous years.
15th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

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Call for ‘designated visitors’ to tackle coronavirus care home loneliness

Care home providers and relatives today called on the Government to urgently allow each resident to have a “designated visitor” to help tackle “heartbreaking loneliness”. The plan would mean that each resident has at least one designated visitor who, like care home staff, would be tested for Covid-19 weekly and wear protective PPE, allowing them to make regular visits safely. This would alleviate the isolation of residents, some of whom have been denied visits for nine months. The Government agreed to pilot the approach in October but there are claims it is dragging its feet.
12th Nov 2020 - Evening Standard

Pandemic and lockdown fuelled domestic violence, new study confirms

Australia’s pandemic and lockdown fuelled a significant rise in domestic violence, according to a new study published yesterday by the Australian Institute of Criminology. Researchers explored the relationship between social isolation, time spent at home, financial stress and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic – with some startling results. The paper found that most women who were victims had not experienced violence by their partner prior to the pandemic, for example. Of those who had, two-thirds experienced further violence during this period.
12th Nov 2020 - Australian Times

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5 ways to identify a child in need during virtual learning

Teachers have many jobs these days—educator, IT professional, custodian, and mentor, just to name a few. But arguably one of the biggest jobs for teachers in today’s distance learning environment is being able to provide a sufficient level of support for students’ social, emotional, and mental wellbeing. Children have been isolated from their peers and teachers, and many are in homes where there is trauma from COVID-19 or the economic crisis. Strong, supportive relationships not only help keep students engaged, but also provide a foundation for building a classroom community where all children, including a child in need of help, feel safe and secure. Safety and security are especially important for children who may be experiencing the effects of violence, abuse, or addiction in the home. While child abuse reports are down nationally by 40 percent since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, experts fear that it has actually risen behind closed doors.
11th Nov 2020 - eSchool News

Many taxpayers could face surprise bill over remote work misconceptions, study finds

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up much of Americans’ financial lives this year – and it could bring tax surprises next year for many workers who are not aware of the repercussions teleworking can have. More than half of taxpayers who have been working remotely throughout the pandemic are not aware of any tax-related consequences that could apply to them if they do not update their withholding to reflect their work location, according to a new study by The Harris Poll and the American Institute of CPA’s. Another 47% were not aware that each state had separate laws governing its remote work liabilities, while 71% did not know working out of their state of residence could impact taxes owed.
11th Nov 2020 - Fox Business

Social workers' efforts to protect children in lockdown have gone unnoticed

The news that the numbers of babies in England that have suffered serious injury or neglect during the pandemic has increased by a fifth compared with the same period last year and eight have died from their injuries has been met with understandable shock and public concern. It is perhaps all the more shocking because so little public attention has been given to child protection during the coronavirus lockdown and particularly to what is happening to babies and children who aren’t old enough to be at school. The same public invisibility applies to social work, the only profession consistently going into homes since the pandemic began to try to safeguard children and help families.
11th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

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Lockdown children forget how to use knife and fork

The pandemic has seen most children in England slipping back with their learning - and some have gone significantly back with their social skills, says Ofsted. A report from the education watchdog warns some young children have forgotten how to use a knife and fork or have regressed back to nappies. Older children have lost their "stamina" for reading, say inspectors. The Department for Education says it shows the need to keep schools open.
10th Nov 2020 - BBC News

What it's like to be on vacation in a country on lockdown

On the evening of October 31, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the return of an England-wide lockdown, designed to stem an alarming second wave of coronavirus. American traveler Elizabeth Prairie, recently landed in the UK for a four-week trip, watched the national address from her Airbnb in London's Notting Hill neighborhood. She'd arrived in the UK capital almost two weeks prior and was about to come out of her 14-day compulsory quarantine. Prairie had planned a four-week vacation in London, accounting for quarantining while also allowing time to explore, work remotely and enjoy her break. When she boarded her British Airways flight from JFK airport, Prairie knew England had instituted a 10 p.m. closing time on all bars and restaurants, and London was entering stricter "Tier 2" restrictions that limited access to them.
10th Nov 2020 - CNN

Lockdown sparks addiction surge in Australia – 3AW

Over one million Australians have an addiction, with fears that number has soared during the COVID-19 lockdown period. Professor at Monash University and Executive clinical director at Turning Point Rehabilitation Centre, Professor Dan Lubman, told Dee Dee Dunleavy Australia needed to pay more attention to addictions. “We’ve seen significant changes in behavior in the last year due to coronavirus,” he said. “A lot of people have reported an increase of drinking, a shift to gambling, an increase of uncertainty and stress. “Addiction is a health disorder that is treatable, it’s a solution to former underlying problems normally associated with trauma, mental health and isolation. “People use it as a way to cope.”
10th Nov 2020 - 3AW

Significant psychological toll from New Zealand COVID-19 lockdown

Research has confirmed the nationwide Alert Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown had a significant toll on New Zealanders' well-being, especially for younger people - but the results were not all negative. Researchers from the University of Otago conducted a demographically representative survey of adult New Zealanders between 15 and 18 April, corresponding to days 19 to 22 of the 33-day lockdown. They found almost a third of participants experienced mental distress during the lockdown, but that many people also experienced some form of 'silver linings'.
10th Nov 2020 - EurekAlert

Spotlight on domestic abuse: How lockdown created a 'perfect storm'

Domestic violence and abuse is at a 15-year high in Northern Ireland, with more than 32,000 incidents reported to the PSNI from June 2019 to July 2020. Restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid-19 have forced people to spend much more time at home and created the "perfect storm" for abusers.
10th Nov 2020 - BBC News

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Covid-19 Quarantine Debate Shifts From Hotels to Homes

One of the most in-depth examinations of hotel quarantines since the coronavirus crisis began has concluded that some travellers should be allowed to self-isolate at home. The recommendation, from a government panel in Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, could offer lessons to other countries seeking ways to reopen their borders. The panel was set up by state-level authorities to investigate the hotel-quarantine program after a second-wave outbreak in Melbourne was linked to hotels, where the virus spread from travellers to personnel such as security guards. Allowing people to quarantine at home could make travel more palatable for those who can’t afford pricey hotel bills, or don’t want to spend weeks cooped up in a hotel room. It would also ease the workload for health care workers at quarantine hotels and allow more inbound travellers if hotels are full.
9th Nov 2020 - The Wall Street Journal

Covid: Wales has lessons for England on surviving lockdown

When Covid struck, no-one quite understood how ruinous its ripples would be. As England begins a new lockdown, Michael Buchanan has been in Wales, which has emerged from a short, sharp shutdown, to see the effect of the economic shock. While thousands of families grieve lives abruptly ended by Covid, others mourn the lives they once led. For Dorne Williams, the pandemic has been calamitous. "It has cost me my relationship, my mental health and my friends, who are too frightened to visit." We're talking on the doorstep of her small terraced house in Pontypool. First came the "nasty" virus, she says.
9th Nov 2020 - BBC News

The real cost of lockdown: Australia faces a mental health crisis

Psychiatrist has warned Australia faces a dangerous new mental health crisis Called for policy-makers to turn society upside down to flatten the new curve The COVID-19 pandemic has left many unemployed and struggling to cope
9th Nov 2020 - Daily Mail

Covid 19 coronavirus: Later lockdown could have spelt 200 deaths

Two hundred Kiwis may have died had the Government held off ordering our nationwide lockdown for another three weeks - while nearly 12,000 people may have been infected. That's the stark upshot of newly-published modelling that's underscored how crucial New Zealand's "go hard, go early" response to Covid-19 was in sparing the country a calamity - and putting it on path to elimination. The paper, by researchers at University of Auckland-based Te Punaha Matatini, also suggested a slightly earlier lockdown may have spared several hundred infections - but added that might have been impractical at the time anyway. The modelling took a sweeping look at New Zealand's initial approach to the pandemic, to find that the lockdown proved a much stronger driver in bringing down daily cases than border closures.
9th Nov 2020 - New Zealand Herald

UK making good progress on travel testing to cut quarantine - minister

Britain is making good progress with a plan to allow COVID-19 tests to cut a 14-day quarantine period for those returning from abroad, a change which could help fuel a travel recovery once current lockdowns end, the transport minister said. Airport bosses welcomed the update from the minister, Grant Shapps, at an online conference but said more needed to be done. The top priority for them is that the government eliminates the requirement for quarantine through testing for the coronavirus. “We’re making very good progress on a ‘test to release programme’ to launch once we’re out of this lockdown,” Shapps said on Monday. “Once we emerge from the lockdown, we can roll out new systems to help get people flying and travelling again.”
9th Nov 2020 - Reuters

NSPCC warns of lockdown's toll on children's mental health

Rising stress levels have taken a toll on the mental and emotional health of young people since the first coronavirus lockdown was imposed in March, children’s charity the NSPCC has warned. Calls to the charity’s ChildLine service reached nearly 43,000 between March and October, with mental health worries making up more than a third of all its counselling sessions, new figures showed. The NSPCC said its counsellors had heard from children who were feeling isolated, anxious and insecure after being cut off from their usual social support networks. Some children had developed eating disorders such as binge eating and bulimia for the first time, while others with existing eating disorders had reported worse symptoms or had relapsed, the charity found.
9th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

One in five COVID-19 patients develop mental illness within 90 days: study

Many COVID-19 survivors are likely to be at greater risk of developing mental illness, psychiatrists said on Monday, after a large study found 20% of those infected with the coronavirus are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within 90 days. Anxiety, depression and insomnia were most common among recovered COVID-19 patients in the study who developed mental health problems, and the researchers also found significantly higher risks of dementia, a brain impairment condition. “People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings ... show this to be likely,” said Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Britain’s Oxford University.
9th Nov 2020 - Reuters

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Covid: How to survive a winter lockdown, from those who've done it

Lockdown in Tromsø began in March 2020, when the average temperature was -1.1C, with lows of -8.9C. It rained or snowed almost every day. Ida Solhaug says coping with a winter lockdown is all about mindset. The mindfulness researcher at the University of Tromsø says my line of questioning - about how to "get through" the cold months - is a big part of the problem. She says Brits often see winter as "something to endure" rather than "really embracing winter for what it's worth".
7th Nov 2020 - BBC News


As Police gear up to enforce the second coronavirus lockdown, Island Echo has put together an easy-to-read list of all the reasons you are permitted to leave your home address over the next 4 weeks.
7th Nov 2020 - Island Echo

Coronavirus lockdown childcare bubbles and linked households explained

Lockdown version 2.0 has officially begun, with the biggest difference between the first set of restrictions being the fact schools and nurseries are able to remain open this time. And while everyone is instructed to stay indoors unless they have to go out for work, essential shopping, or exercise, juggling childcare and the often complicated arrangements many families have around who looks after whose kids when and where is made even more complicated by another coronavirus lockdown. But this time things seem to be slightly more relaxed in terms of who can look after the children or where they can go, than the lockdown in March.
7th Nov 2020 - Bristol Live

Second French lockdown less severe for the economy one week in

One week into France’s second coronavirus lockdown this year, the euro zone’s second-biggest economy is holding up much better than the first time, data ranging from traffic congestion to electricity use show. High-frequency data bear out anecdotal evidence that there are many more people on the streets and businesses open this time, compared to March and April when major French cities were ghost towns. France’s experience one week in offers an initial glimpse of what the economic fallout will look like from a second lockdown for other European countries that have since or will soon follow.
8th Nov 2020 - Reuters UK

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Multifold spike in domestic violence complaints during lockdown

As soon as schools were shut due to the lockdown, 16-year old Ashi (name changed), who was studying at a Gurukul school in Karimnagar district, was asked to go back to her home. She had never imagined that the four walls of her home will become unsafe for her. After being allegedly sexually and physically harassed by her father for months, in around April, terrified and confused, she mustered the courage to reach out to the police who, with the help of the Sakhi team, rescued her. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, data from the State Women and Child Department shows that domestic violence, including physical and sexual assault against women and girls, has risen.
5th Nov 2020 - The New Indian Express

Significant psychological toll from COVID-19 lockdown

Research published today has confirmed the nationwide Alert Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown had a significant toll on New Zealanders' well-being, especially for younger people—but the results were not all negative. Researchers from the University of Otago conducted a demographically representative survey of adult New Zealanders between 15 and 18 April, corresponding to days 19 to 22 of the 33-day lockdown.
5th Nov 2020 - Medical Xpress

Isolation of elderly at Christmas must form part of lockdown lifting decision

Isolation of elderly people at Christmas must be considered when deciding to ease lockdown restrictions, a leading member of Nphet has said. Dr Colm Henry of the HSE said the Government and public health bosses must consider the “sense of isolation and hopelessness” they feel. While the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Ireland has fallen dramatically, the HSE warned this progress must not be lost.
5th Nov 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

Nearly a third of New Zealanders felt badly distressed in Covid lockdown

The wellbeing of New Zealanders plummeted during the country’s nationwide lockdown, research has found, with nearly a third experiencing “moderate to severe psychological distress” – especially young people. On 15 March Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, ordered the total closure of the country’s borders and on 26 March the entire population of five million entered a strict lockdown. From an infection point of the view the lockdown worked, but the social toll is continuing to be understood, including higher rates of depression, anxiety, and domestic abuse, as well as widespread sleeping problems.
5th Nov 2020 - The Guardian

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Covid: Nine ways England's lockdown is different from last time

In March, you could only meet others from outside your household in a very limited set of circumstances. Meeting another person socially wasn't allowed until May. This time, you can catch up with a friend in an outdoor public place, like a park or beach, as long as you socially distance and neither of you is self-isolating. And this time, children of pre-school age are not included in the two-person limit, so those looking after youngsters can still have social contact.
4th Nov 2020 - BBC News

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New Zealanders coming home for Christmas warned isolation hotels may be full

New Zealand’s isolation hotels are approaching capacity as the military warns there may not be room to house Kiwis planning to return home for Christmas. Some 65,000 people have passed through New Zealand’s isolation accommodation since the borders closed in mid-March. Despite the facilities generally being four- and five-star establishments, there have been numerous escape attempts from them, and they have been denounced by a conservative US television host as “Covid camps”.
2nd Nov 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus: More than 7,000 people given wrong dates for self-isolation by Test and Trace

More than 7,000 people have been given the wrong dates for self-isolation by Test and Trace, Sky News can reveal, raising further questions about the competence of the troubled service. An error in the software used by Test and Trace meant that the contact-tracing service gave contacts of people who had tested positive for coronavirus the wrong dates for the start and end of their quarantine.
3rd Nov 2020 - Sky News

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France fears fresh wave of domestic violence amid second Covid-19 lockdown

During its first Covid-19 lockdown in the spring, France saw a steep rise in domestic abuse cases. As the country’s 67 million have now entered a second lockdown, women’s rights groups fear that the isolation will spark a new wave of domestic violence, and have put a number of safety measures in place to try to help victims.
2nd Nov 2020 - FRANCE 24 English

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Coronavirus: Lockdown contributing to rise in mental illness in children, NHS says

One in six children in England has a probable mental disorder, according to an NHS study. The Mental Health and Young People Survey highlights how the coronavirus lockdown has made conditions like depression, anxiety and sleeping problems worse among boys and girls. The study is based on data collected in July from 3,570 children and young people, who took part in a similar survey in 2017.
31st Oct 2020 - Sky News

National Union of Students issue Covid mental health warning

Half of students in Scotland said money worries or financial pressures had affected their mental health - before the Covid pandemic struck. Research by the National Union of Students also found 72% of undergraduates said they had most concerns in their first year. The union argues the effects of the pandemic on the sector make these issues more important than ever. Universities Scotland said the mental health of students was "paramount." The NUS research, which was carried out in January and February, involved 3,097 college and university students. It found almost half of students claimed coping with course workload had a negative impact on their mental health.
31st Oct 2020 - BBC News

COVID-19 pandemic threatens young Australians' mental health: survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected the mental health of 75 percent of Australians aged 18 to 24, according to a poll published by Ipsos and Nine Entertainment newspapers on Friday. By comparison, 65 percent of those polled aged 25 to 39 said the pandemic and restrictions have impacted on their mental wellbeing, 49 percent of those aged 40 to 54 and 35 percent of those aged 55 and over. Ian Hickie, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Sydney, said the education and social lives of young people have been most disrupted by the pandemic worldwide. The University of Sydney has published modelling that projected a 30-percent rise in the suicide rate for Australians aged 18-24 over the next five years. In Victoria, the state hardest-hit by the pandemic, it was projected to rise 36.7 percent.
31st Oct 2020 - Xinhua

First mental health trust signs up to Nursing Times wellbeing campaign

Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust has become the first mental health provider to sign a pledge supporting the principles of the Nursing Times Covid-19: Are You OK? campaign. The Yorkshire mental health trust signed up to support the campaign, after its director of nursing, Cathy Woffendin, responded to a call made by Nursing Times to an initial group of trusts. It becomes the fourth trust overall to back Covid-19: Are You OK? and the third one from Yorkshire to do so.
31st Oct 2020 - Nursing Times

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Covid-19 coronavirus: Lockdown blamed for immunisation rate drop

A drop in infant immunisation rates during the Covid-19 lockdown has health workers scrambling to catch up. They fear "fake news" about vaccinations during the election campaign could add to the problem. The rate of vaccination among 6 month olds dropped 2.4 per cent to 76.2 per cent in the April to June quarter, which captured most of the level 4 lockdown and gradual lowering of restrictions, compared to the same time last year. The latest Ministry of Health data showed there was also a 4.4 per cent drop in those with the greatest socio-economic deprivation and a 5.6 per cent decline in Maori infants.
29th Oct 2020 - New Zealand Herald

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9 tips for surviving quarantine and staying sane

Fourteen days of quarantine will be part of relocation for many international teachers for the foreseeable future. At the point of writing, my family and I are coming to the end of our own quarantine in Kuala Lumpur and will shortly join our new school community. If it’s a reality you are facing, it could be off-putting – no one really likes the idea of being forced into isolation for so long.
25th Oct 2020 - TES News

7 tips for staying safe as COVID-19 cases rise and colder weather heightens the risk

The U.S. isn’t anywhere close to herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2, estimated to be reached when about 60% to 70% of the population has been infected – likely more than 200 million people. Without a vaccine, hospitals would be overwhelmed by the illnesses and hundreds of thousands more people would die. We also don’t know how long immunity lasts. Since we don’t have an approved vaccine in widespread use yet, protective measures are still essential. As a nursing school dean, I recommend taking these seven simple steps to protect yourself and your loved ones and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
19th Oct 2020 - The Conversation US

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Juggling act: Tips for balancing remote work and home life in 2020

Any remote worker can tell you how office demands have invaded the home in 2020 and started creeping into every corner of the day. But Jessica DeGroot is no ordinary worker. She is an expert in work-life balance as head of the consultancy ThirdPath Institute. “Work was taking over entirely, and I was becoming less and less efficient,” said DeGroot, who is working from her home office in Philadelphia, while her husband has commandeered the kitchen as his own workspace. “I just thought, I gotta do something different here.” Almost six in 10 employees say the pandemic has made their workdays less defined, according to a Pulse of the American Worker survey conducted by Prudential Financial.
27th Oct 2020 - Reuters

Covid: toddlers from UK's poorest families 'hit hardest by lockdown'

Babies and toddlers from poorer backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, with less access to books and outdoor space during lockdown than children growing up in wealthier families, research has found. The developmental impact of the coronavirus crisis on children aged 0-3 has been largely undocumented, but early findings from the new study suggest young children from disadvantaged backgrounds have missed out on activities during lockdown which play a vital part in child development. The study, conducted by researchers at five UK universities and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, surveyed more than 500 parents of children under three about the sort of activities they enjoyed with their child before and during lockdown.
27th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

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Australia's COVID-19 lockdown also prevented about 400 deaths from other illnesses - research paper

Social distancing and lockdowns in Australia not only slowed the spread of COVID-19, they saved the lives of about 400 people who would have been expected to died in June from respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, a research paper published on Monday showed. Examining Australia’s most recent official fatality data, the Actuaries Institute said there was a shortfall between verified deaths and the number expected during the mid-winter month, which it concluded was due to a decline in respiratory illnesses.
26th Oct 2020 - Reuters

How Australian renters have suffered through the lockdowns

Australians stuck living in share houses during pandemic share their struggles Many renters faced relationship break-ups, tough landlords and fears of eviction At least 20 per cent of Australian renters chose to move back with their parents
26th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

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Navigating the Transition From Classroom to Online

Training connects people. It connects people to ideas and new ways of thinking. It connects people to growth and attainment of goals. It connects individuals to a larger purpose and helps move organizations forward. One of the most wonderful things about classroom learning is seeing those connections form right before your eyes. When you read the body language of participants who experienced a paradigm shift, you can almost see the lightbulbs glowing above their heads. Watching them make the connection between the concept and how it may be directly applied to their lives is an adrenaline rush like no other. Until, of course, a pandemic closes your training room. When our workforce was sent home, people were scared. They experienced every level of anxiety for themselves, their families, their friends, the people they serve, and the world at large. They heard heartbreaking stories and worked hard to offer their assistance. This new remote work, however, often left them emotionally drained and disconnected from the support system inherit in their physical workplace.
25th Oct 2020 - ATD

'Generation Covid' hit hard by the pandemic, research reveals

Young people, particularly those from deprived backgrounds, have had their earnings and job prospects hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, adding to fears for the long-term impact on their futures. BBC Panorama found people aged 16-25 were more than twice as likely as older workers to have lost their job, while six in 10 saw their earnings fall, according to new research. It also highlighted the impact of school closures on young people and added to growing evidence that students from poorer backgrounds have fallen behind their more privileged peers. A quarter of pupils - some 2.5 million children - had no schooling or tutoring during lockdown, the survey by the London School of Economics (LSE) suggests. But, the study adds, nearly three quarters of private school pupils had full days of teaching (74%) - almost twice the proportion of state school pupils (38%).
26th Oct 2020 - BBC News

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The number of older people getting coronavirus in Europe is rising again. That's really bad news

Europe is deep in the second wave of the coronavirus epidemic, and a particularly worrying trend is beginning to emerge: More older people are becoming infected. Over the summer months, the continent saw infection clusters popping up mostly among younger people who were venturing out into bars, restaurants and other public spaces. While that wasn't ideal, it meant the death rate stayed relatively low, since younger people are statistically less vulnerable to the virus and most avoid getting seriously ill. However, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has warned that more older people are now becoming infected. According to the ECDC's latest situation report, at least 13 countries in Europe saw new infection rates among people aged 65 or over rise to what ECDC defines as "high" last week -- between 64 per 100,000 in Croatia and 206 per 100,000 in the Netherlands.
22nd Oct 2020 - CTV News

Lockdown made life worse for two in five children, NHS report says

Two in five children aged 11 to 16 feel the coronavirus lockdown has made their lives worse, an NHS report on mental health suggests. They said their biggest anxieties were about missing school and family and friends contracting Covid-19. Mental disorders have risen in boys and girls since 2017 and now affect 16% of children, a large survey suggests. The children's commissioner for England said the increase was "extremely alarming". Anne Longfield said a properly-funded children's mental health service was needed and every school should have its own NHS-funded counsellor. Mental health charities say the pandemic has put a huge strain on children, parents and carers.
22nd Oct 2020 - BBC News

Care home staff 'worried' amid Covid-19 second wave

Care home staff are "very tired and very worried" amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, a group representing care providers has said. Stormont's Health Committee has heard morale is low among workers who fear that the "system is now working against" their efforts to keep Covid out. Pauline Shepherd of the Independent Health and Care Providers outlined concerns around "no safety net" of re-testing residents on returning to care homes from hospital, staff shortages and increased visitors. She said Department of Health guidance for care partners for residents to be in place by November 5 left staff feeling very worried that the work they were doing to keep the virus out could be jeopardised by increased footfall.
22nd Oct 2020 - ITV News

Dying of loneliness: How COVID-19 is killing dementia patients

Teresa Palmer is sitting on the back porch of her home in San Francisco when the mobile phone in her hand starts to buzz. A kind, raspy voice inquires from the other end of the line: “Did I wake you?” If the question surprises Palmer, she does not show it. Her reply is plain and swift. “No,” she says: It is past one in the afternoon. She has been awake for hours.
22nd Oct 2020 - Al Jazeera English

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Covid: Lockdown had 'major impact' on mental health

Lockdown had a major impact on the UK's mental health, including increased rates of suicidal thoughts, according to new research. The study, led by the University of Glasgow, examined the effects of Covid-19 during the height of the pandemic. Certain groups are said to be particularly at risk, including young people and women. The Department of Health in England said it was increasing investment in mental health services.
21st Oct 2020 - BBC News

A lockdown with insufficient financial support is the worst of both worlds

Greater Manchester will enter tier three, but without agreement on the extent of the region’s financial support package, while Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield will enter tier three on Saturday (24 October). Although the gap between the British government and Greater Manchester is small in cash terms at £5m – an essentially meaningless sum in the context of government spending – the difference is large because of what the two sides want to spend it on. Andy Burnham wants to be able to top up the furlough scheme to its current level of 80 per cent. The Conservative government, particularly the Chancellor Rishi Sunak, meanwhile, want to avoid having to resume the furlough scheme at a nationwide level.
21st Oct 2020 - New Statesman

Suicidal thoughts increased among UK population during lockdown, study finds

One in 10 people had experienced suicidal thoughts by the end of the first six weeks of lockdown, according to new research. The study, which looked at three “waves” of lockdown between March 31 and May 11, found the restrictions had a major impact on the UK population’s mental health. It found young people, women, those from more socially disadvantaged backgrounds and individuals with pre-existing mental health problems reported the worst mental health outcomes in the initial phase of the national restrictions. The research, led by the University of Glasgow, found suicidal thoughts increased over the first six weeks of lockdown, with one in 10 people reporting them (9.8%) by the end of this period.
21st Oct 2020 - Belfast Telegraph

newsGP - Pandemic's mental health impact on young people a 'national crisis'

One in two. That is the number of young people that were unable to carry out their daily activities due to a decline in wellbeing, up from two in five in 2018. That is among the findings from headspace’s 2020 National Youth Mental Health Survey of more than 1000 Australians aged 12–25. Conducted between 25 May and 21 June, when much of the country was in or emerging from enforced lockdown restrictions, the research has confirmed concerns over the pandemic’s impact on the wellbeing and mental health of young Australians. The survey found that psychological distress among young people remains high, with one-third (34%) reporting high or very high levels of distress, particularly among 15–17-year-old young men, at 29% up from 20% in 2018.
21st Oct 2020 - RACGP

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COVID-19 shielding measures on hold in England

Shielding measures will not be reintroduced in England although those considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” should take practical steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19. The Department of Health and Social Care said it will write to people who have increased vulnerabilities with tips on how they can keep safe.
20th Oct 2020 - Diabetes.co.uk

Coronavirus: Homes for the elderly find ways to avoid lockdown

The doors are still open at the Lore Malsch Protestant care home in Munich, albeit to the surprise of some visitors. "Now we're getting phone calls — lots of calls," says the home's manager, Jan Steinbach. People are asking whether they are still allowed to visit loved ones as the nationwide caseload in Germany ticks upwards. Whether to limit visitors during the pandemic is a real quandary, with no correct answers for care homes. Let visitors in, and risk bringing COVID-19 into a facility full of at-risk people. Keep them out, and deny residents contact with their loved ones, potentially damaging their health through isolation itself.
20th Oct 2020 - DW (English)

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28 Things To Help Cheer Up A Student Who Hates Doing School At Home

1. A comfy memory foam pillow to give their neck and back the reprieve they deserve while they're studying or learning in bed or on the couch. 2. Tiny, adorable, and helpful animal cable bites that can bring a smidge of extra excitement to their workspace and protect the part of their charger cables that gets beat up the most with regular use.
19th Oct 2020 - BuzzFeed

Toddler behaviour hardest hit during Covid-19 lockdowns, survey finds

Charlotte Gurnell’s three-year-old daughter regressed in her potty training and invented an imaginary friend. The tantrums of Olivia Rysenbry’s normally sweet-natured, 3-year-old daughter intensified. Victoria Gray’s 3-year-old son switched to a short attention span and didn’t play as well with his little brother. If you noticed a drastic and negative change in your toddler's behaviour during a Covid-19 lockdown, you’re not alone.
19th Oct 2020 - Stuff.co.nz

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Remote but Inclusive for Years, and Now Showing Other Companies How

From her home in Beaverton, Ore., Jamie Davila leads a team of eight engineers in seven states for the technology start-up Ultranauts. Like millions of other people during these work-from-home times, she relies on popular communication tools like Zoom and Slack. But Ms. Davila and Ultranauts also work remotely in ways that make them different from most companies. They follow a distinctive set of policies and practices to promote diversity and inclusion among employees. All video meetings have closed captioning, for workers who prefer to absorb information in text. Meeting agendas are distributed in advance so people who are uncomfortable speaking up can contribute in writing beforehand. Employees are asked daily for feedback, like whether they believe their strengths are valued and if they feel lonely at work.
18th Oct 2020 - The New York Times

UK ‘sleepwalking’ to mental health crisis as pandemic takes its toll

Britain is sleepwalking into a mental health crisis as the government struggles to deal with the monumental effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Health experts and charities have told the Observer the coming winter will devastate the mental wellbeing of the nation as lockdown uncertainty, fear, isolation and loneliness are exacerbated by the colder and darker months ahead. In England, the Centre for Mental Health has predicted that up to 10 million people – almost a fifth of the population – will need mental health support as a direct consequence of Covid-19, with 1.5 million of those expected to be children and young people under 18. The effect on patients with pre-existing mental health problems and on those from underprivileged backgrounds is even greater, painting a bleak picture for those already suffering.
17th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

Coronavirus and care homes: The pensioners suffering through isolation

It's now seven months since care homes first shut their doors, denying many residents not only the precious touch of loved ones but also the regular comfort of a song and dance, or a hair cut. Some are now facing the prospect of a winter isolated from their friends and families as a second wave of Covid-19 gives way to fresh restrictions. At the age of 89, Blumah Samuels still loves singing and dancing to the old classics. She used to dance around her care home's lounge, shaking a maraca to Carmen Miranda's I Like You Very Much. Now, Blumah - who has Parkinson's dementia - is simply "existing", says her daughter, Lesley Lightfoot, 61. Back in March, care homes - which house about 400,000 elderly people in the UK - shut their doors as the coronavirus pandemic surged. Their aim was to keep infections down
18th Oct 2020 - BBC News

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Ready, Set, Gold! Launches Enhanced Eight-Week Virtual Classroom Series featuring Top Olympians and Paralympians

Ready, Set, Gold! today announced the launch of a new, eight-week digital classroom series designed to help kids stay active while distance learning from home. The series will be made available for free online to all students through the support of The Foundation for Global Sports Development and Sidewinder Films and will also feature standout Olympians and Paralympians, including gold medalists John Naber and Rudy Garcia-Tolson.
15th Oct 2020 - Benzinga.com

For a ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown to work in the UK we need to be honest about what it’s for – buying time

The pressure is mounting on the Government to introduce a two-week national lockdown, or “circuit breaker”, to limit individuals’ contacts and thus suppress transmission of coronavirus. Such a lockdown will inevitably cause even more economic and social hardship to the country. But as unpalatable as it is, and as much as I hate the idea, I am reluctantly coming to the same conclusion.
15th Oct 2020 - iNews

Coronavirus UK: Student lockdown so they can go home for Christmas

Universities across the UK will reportedly be plunged into a two-week lockdown before Christmas to allow students to return home to their families. The lockdown will take place from December 8 to December 22 and will involve classes being taught online only. The plans are said to be in their ‘early stages’, reports the Guardian. Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously said ‘plans are being put in place to allow students home safely for Christmas’ as many hundreds of students across the country have been forced to self-isolate due to soaring coronavirus cases.
15th Oct 2020 - Metro.co.uk

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WHO Warning About Covid-19 Coronavirus Lockdowns Is Taken Out Of Context

As you can see, Nabarro said, “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus.” Note the word “primary” here. He did not say, “do not advocate lockdowns as a means of control of this virus.” Nabarro continued by saying, “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.” Note the words “rather not do it” as opposed to “should not do it” or “will not do it.” Nabarro went on to describe how “lockdowns just have one consequence that you must never, ever belittle, and that is making poor people an awful lot poorer.” He added, “Look what’s happened to smallholder farmers all over the world. Look what’s happening to poverty levels. It seems that we may well have a doubling of world poverty by next year. We may well have at least a doubling of child malnutrition.” So basically, Nabarro was pointing out the potentially serious negative consequences of lockdowns. That, of course, makes sense. So, where exactly was the “reversal” of the WHO’s position? Did Nabarro actually “admit” something new? Not really. Again, pay attention to the words “primary” and “rather not do it.” Nabarro really never said that lockdowns should not be used at all and that everything should be opened now and kept open forever.
14th Oct 2020 - Forbes

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Coronavirus: 'Stay home' advice to change for vulnerable groups in England

The 2.2 million mainly elderly people on the shielding list in England are to be sent letters telling them they do not need to stay in their homes to keep safe. Instead, they will be given advice linked to the COVID alert level for their postcode, ranging from "meet others outside where possible" for Tier 1 areas, to "ask people in your household, support bubble or volunteers to collect food and medicines" for those whose homes are in Tier 3.
13th Oct 2020 - Sky News

Talking about how lockdown affects mental health doesn't make you a Covid-denier

Owen Jones talks about the toll on our mental health taken by covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns. "Young people in particular have formed a cordon sanitaire around their older and more vulnerable fellow citizens, an unprecedented peacetime act of generational sacrifice – and at such cost to themselves. According to the Lancet, children’s mental health deteriorated in lockdown more than any other age group, while eight in 10 young people reported that the pandemic had made their mental health worse, with one in four opting for “much worse”."
13th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

Mental health crisis: One million ‘lost’ in coronavirus lockdown

More than a million Australians have sought mental health treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic, while ongoing lockdowns in Victoria have sparked a social crisis, with a 30 per cent rise in cases in the past four weeks. The first official data revealing the depth of the mental health disaster in Victoria since the second wave outbreak reveals access to some crisis services has risen by up to 67 per cent in the space of four weeks. Demand for children’s mental health has also skyrocketed in Victoria, with access to services jumping more than 30 per cent since September.
13th Oct 2020 - The Australian

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COVID lockdown 'fatigue' is rapidly developing

Recent polls have shown a “real lockdown fatigue” is developing across the nation with people becoming more disillusioned with the pace of restrictions being eased, according to Sky News contributor Catherine McGregor. A Newspoll conducted exclusively for The Australian shows “the once strong support for stopping the spread of the virus as a priority over economic recovery has swung significantly over the past few months,” The Australian’s Simon Benson writes. Falling from 76 per cent, now only 54 per cent of voters claim to be “most concerned” about governments moving “too quickly” to relax state-imposed restrictions.
12th Oct 2020 - Sky News Australia

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WHO says want to avoid 'punishing' coronavirus lockdowns

The World Health Organization's top emergencies expert said on Friday that authorities should try to avoid punishing lockdowns, as many countries see a sharp rise in the number of Covid-19 infections Read more at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/78579160.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
10th Oct 2020 - Times of India

World Mental Health Day: New Red Cross survey shows COVID-19 affecting mental health of one in two people

Half of all respondents – 51 percent – in a seven-country survey said that the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected their mental health, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) survey found. In a new report – "The greatest need was to be listened to: The importance of mental health and psychosocial support during COVID-19," – the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement demonstrates how the pandemic is adding an extraordinary level of stress and suffering on communities around the world. The outbreak is worsening existing mental health conditions, triggering new ones, and making access to mental health services even more scarce. It calls for urgent and increased funding for mental health and psychosocial support within humanitarian responses.
7th Oct 2020 - Red Cross

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 9th Oct 2020

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We can’t survive remote working if no one is forcing us to get dressed

There was a big moment in our pandemic household last week when the younger of the two nieces residing with me since lockdown had her first day at work. It wasn’t, however, anything like the first days you and I may remember, spent struggling to learn a bunch of new names and getting lost on the way back to your desk. Instead, having expressed a lethal amount of perfume, she simply moved ten feet, from the sofa she had been sleeping on, to her laptop on the living room table.
8th Oct 2020 - The Times

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Shocking Impact Of Lockdown On Vulnerable Children And Families Revealed

Shocking data released today reveal the dramatic impact the Covid-19 lockdowns had on vulnerable children and families in New Zealand. For the first time, statistics from the Family Court in Auckland, and the Police and Oranga Tamariki nationwide, have been brought together to give a true picture of what happened while the country was in lockdown. The information has been compiled by K3 Legal Director and specialist family law practitioner Toni Brown, who has more than 20 years’ experience working with children and families, and well-known QC Kate Davenport, the former president of the NZ Bar Association.
7th Oct 2020 - Scoop.co.nz

newsGP - Australia's COVID-19 response may have saved more than 16000 lives

The University of Sydney-led research, published by the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA), is based on modelling that used the UK’s COVID-19 response as a template. Led by Dr Fiona Stanaway, a clinical epidemiologist at the University of Sydney, researchers used data on all-cause mortality from England and Wales over the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak from March to May to directly estimate the number of excess deaths that may have occurred if the outbreak in Australia had been of a similar extent. ‘This resulted in an estimated additional 16,313 deaths in Australia: 9295 men and 7018 women,’ Dr Stanaway and her colleagues wrote.
7th Oct 2020 - RACGP

How virus lockdowns have triggered a surge in domestic violence across Australia

Coronavirus lockdown triggered a surge in domestic violence across Australia. About 13.2 per cent of women living with partners experienced a form of abuse. Poverty and financial stress often limit women from fleeing violent situations. Experts have warned reduced welfare payments may force women to stay.
7th Oct 2020 - Daily Mail

Working Remote Leads To Mental Health Challenges: Here’s How To Cope

Working from home has a lot of benefits. Who doesn’t love dressing in sweatpants every day, avoiding the commute and enjoying quality time with their dog? But working from home also has plenty of drawbacks—and some of those are related to a significant negative impact on mental health. In April, a large study found 75% of people were experiencing social isolation and this was correlated with working from home. The more people worked from home, the more they felt socially isolated. Now, another just-released study is highlighting the same challenges, but with even greater reports of mental health challenges.
7th Oct 2020 - Forbes

Handling Mental Health While Working Remotely

After months of millions of people working from home for the first time, it has become clear that there are both pros and cons to this work arrangement. The benefits have always been highlighted, such as no commutes, dressing casually and being able to complete home-related tasks in between meetings. However, a new study of 12,000 people across 11 countries conducted by Oracle and Workplace Intelligence revealed the downsides of remote working. The research found that 78% of respondents saw a negative impact to their mental health this year. Additionally, 41% said they are feeling challenged due to blurred lines between home and work lives.
7th Oct 2020 - AllWork.Space

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Lockdown hit food security of children, says rights body

The Covid-19 pandemic has likely exacerbated hunger and malnutrition among communities most vulnerable to food insecurity, especially children, an experts’ committee set up by the National Human Rights Commission has said. In an advisory, the rights watchdog has asked the Union ministries of food and public distribution, women and child development and education to urgently restore and expand coverage under various food handout programmes.
6th Oct 2020 - Hindustan Times

Coronavirus: How lockdown has affected mental health

Covid-19 may be a physical illness but it has also hit mental health hard. In August, a group of NHS leaders said they were seeing a rise in people reporting severe mental health difficulties while charities including Mind, Samaritans and Calm have all said they have seen an increase in people coming to them for help. The BBC's Unusual Times podcast spoke to people around the country about the impact the pandemic and lockdown has had on them.
6th Oct 2020 - BBC News

India saw spike in mental health cases due to lockdown: AIIMS doctor

In India, the ratio between psychiatrists and patients still remains poor and amidst the pandemic, issues pertaining to mental health and depression have witnessed a rise across all age groups. In order to bridge this gap and make mental health care accessible to all, the MHFI (Mental Health Foundation India) launched a web portal MiHOPE that will have medical experts across the country, directly communicate with those who need counselling via telepsychiatry, tele-counseling and holistic individual wellness (emphasising on yoga, physical activities, and nutrition among others).
6th Oct 2020 - The New Indian Express

Isolating students offered food, toiletries but no financial support by UK universities

Students in lockdown must have access to food and basic toiletries, university leaders have said, as the government made deliveries of just one litre of hand sanitiser to campuses in England. Universities UK (UUK), which represents 139 higher education institutions, published a “checklist” of measures for universities supporting students who were self-isolating after Covid-19 exposure, several weeks after teaching restarted at some sites. But the checklist makes no mention of financial support or refunds for costs incurred during lockdowns ordered by university authorities. It was also criticised as too late to help thousands of students already self-isolating, including 824 confirmed Covid cases at Manchester University, more than 770 at Northumbria University, and 800 among students at Sheffield’s two universities.
6th Oct 2020 - The Guardian

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Most Covid infections are mild - so what if you're infected? Some 'common-sense' tips for recovery

There's no magic bullet for recovering from Covid-19. If you have a mild case and can recover at home, it's best to treat it like you would the flu. Professor Christine Jenkins, a respiratory disease expert from UNSW Medicine, says you should apply "common-sense rules" to your recovery. Here are some of them:
6th Oct 2020 - Health24.com

Do you have a self isolation plan sorted? ask Isle of Wight council

Be prepared in case you need to self-isolate. That’s the message from the Isle of Wight Council in the week it became law for people to self-isolate if they test positive for Coronavirus or are contacted by the test and trace service — otherwise risk being fined. To support the community through this difficult time, the council has produced a helpful self-isolation guide — an online toolkit containing advice, support and signposting information to ensure residents are well prepared.
5th Oct 2020 - Isle of Wight News

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Could home coronavirus quarantine really get more Australians to come home from overseas?

In Australia, completing two weeks of quarantine in a small hotel room has been the norm for returning travellers for months, but home quarantine is apparently on the horizon. The announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that some international travellers may soon be able to quarantine at home has given hope to plenty of Australian expats and may encourage more to come home. But with only returning travellers from some "safe" countries set to be eligible, where does that leave the others? And what of interstate travellers?
3rd Oct 2020 - abc.net.au

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 2nd Oct 2020

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Coronavirus: Scientists warn of new Covid-19 symptom

Scientists have warned a new symptom could be added to the official list of coronavirus symptoms. They said suddenly feeling confused and delirious is a common symptom of Covid-19 among frail older people. Officials in the UK don't recognise any symptoms other than coughing, fever and a lost sense of taste or smell, but there are many others that people suffer regularly. Experts who run the Covid Symptom Tracker app, from King's College London, have now found that large proportions of elderly people get delirious when they're ill.
1st Oct 2020 - This is Local London

Cats spread Covid-19 and must self-isolate, scientists warn

It’s been known for a while that cats are capable of carrying and spreading the coronavirus to each other. And scientists in the US have now publicly stated that our feline friends should stay inside and self-isolate if they live with a person who has tested positive for Covid-19. What’s more, if the owner has to be admitted to hospital the researchers from Colorado State University in the US say whoever is left looking after the cat should observe social distancing just as if it was a person. ‘Infected pet cats should not be allowed to roam freely outdoors to prevent potential risk of spreading infection to other outdoor cats or wildlife,’ the scientists said.
1st Oct 2020 - Metro

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Confusion 'is a major symptom of Covid-19 in frail older people'

Frail people more likely to become breathless, delirious and tired with Covid-19 Vital to spot most common symptoms because they are the most at-risk group Virus may be able to cross blood-brain barrier and infect the organ, they said
30th Sep 2020 - Daily Mail

Lockdown could worsen hearing woes for U.S. seniors

Isolation due to the pandemic and failure to get hearing aids checked has fueled anxiety, depression and more hearing loss for many seniors. "This has been a very difficult time as senior facilities and individuals try to balance poor health outcomes related to COVID-19 versus poor health outcomes related to social isolation," said Catherine Palmer, president of the American Academy of Audiology.
30th Sep 2020 - Medical Xpress

Doctors plead with Victorian Premier to ease lockdown over 'disturbing' mental health concerns

A group of doctors has written to Victoria's Premier, describing "disturbing" mental health concerns among school children and pleading to have the state's lockdown eased. The letter, signed by 10 Victorian GPs, details a number of serious mental health concerns arising as a result of the state's harsh stage four lockdown rules. "Due to the continuing harsh lockdown, the children, young adults and new mothers I mainly treat are in anguish, despair and have no hope," Dr Stacey Harris said in the letter.
30th Sep 2020 - 9News

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 30th Sep 2020

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Seven tips for managing stress during the pandemic

Our mental health is taking a beating. Here are several ways to regain control and feel better.
29th Sep 2020 - Channel3000.com - WISC-TV3

Should We Have Corona Lockdowns Just for the Old?

The mayor of Moscow just ordered all Muscovites older than 65 to stay at home. This idea of restrictions imposed on just one category of citizens — those most at risk of dying from Covid-19, which mainly means the elderly — will come up a lot more now that the second wave is here. To put it bluntly: Should we lock down the old, or is that like locking them up, and thus unethical? This isn’t meant to be a “modest proposal” in the tradition of Swiftian satire. We need to discuss our options, because going back into general lockdowns isn’t one. Renewed shutdowns wouldn’t be accepted by the population. They’d crush our traumatized economies and cause so much second-order suffering that an honest accounting against the relative harm from Covid-19 would become elusive.
29th Sep 2020 - Bloomberg

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Coronavirus: Psychiatrists' tips to get through university during COVID

University is meant to be a time for meeting new people, freedom from parents, embarking on a new chapter - and of course, learning. For students starting or returning this year, COVID-19 has dramatically changed things, with several universities already placing students into self-isolation after outbreaks. Maintaining good mental health is an integral part of getting through university during these unusual and unsettling times.
25th Sep 2020 - Sky News

Covid-19: Up to £10,000 fine for failure to self-isolate in England

Refusing to self-isolate when told to is now illegal in England, with fines of up to £10,000. Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19, or has been told they have been in contact with someone who has, now has a legal duty to quarantine. It comes as a study commissioned by the government found just 18% of people who had symptoms went into isolation. Meanwhile, the government has promised an "uninterrupted supply" of PPE for front-line workers over the winter. Four-month stockpiles of PPE - personal protective equipment such as masks, visors and gowns - will be available from November, the Department of Health has said.
28th Sep 2020 - BBC News

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Coronavirus: Sea swims help with lockdown mental health

A sea swim before dawn to help those struggling with mental health issues has been attracting more than 100 people every week. Chris Reeves set up the Win the Morning, Win the Day group on social media six weeks ago, offering to meet up in Gosport with anyone wanting to get some exercise and talk about their problems. The group meets every Friday at 05.30 BST and Chris has imposed coronavirus safety measures, such as splitting people into groups of six and enforcing staggered starts to the walk. The idea is now gaining popularity, with groups also starting in Leeds, Manchester and Bahrain.
26th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Coronavirus: Students 'scared and confused' as halls lock down

Students have spoken of their worry and confusion at being locked down in their university halls, in a situation described by unions as "shambolic". Up to 1,700 students at Manchester Metropolitan University and hundreds at other institutions, including in Edinburgh and Glasgow, are self-isolating following Covid-19 outbreaks. In Manchester, students are being prevented from leaving by security. Universities UK said the wellbeing of students was "the first priority". Robert Halfon, the conservative chairman of the Education Select Committee, said 3,000 students were in lockdown at universities from Dundee to Exeter. He called for the government and its scientific advisers to reassure students and families by setting out the policy for England - and warned having students in lockdown at Christmas would cause "huge anguish".
26th Sep 2020 - BBC News

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 25th Sep 2020

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Explained: Updated Covid-19 quarantine rules across Indian states

The changing dynamic of the Covid-19 pandemic in India has seen states revising their quarantine and self-isolation guidelines for travellers from time to time to control the spread of the novel coronavirus. On Thursday, Kerala became the latest state to relax the mandatory home quarantine for passengers arriving in the state to seven days from 14 days. While some states have relaxed quarantine rules for international passengers on short business visits, some have eased guidelines for certain other categories of passengers as well. Moreover, the government has also reduced the duration of institutional quarantine for international passengers to seven days followed by home isolation for another 7 days.
24th Sep 2020 - The Indian Express on MSN.com

Gov't requires facility isolation for mild, asymptomatic COVID-19 patients

Facility-based isolation is now required for all mild and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients in the country, except if they are considered vulnerable. The government’s inter-agency task force (IATF) approved this directive on COVID-19, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement Thursday night.
24th Sep 2020 - philstar.com

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Covid ban on care home visitors risks premature deaths, experts warn

Sweeping bans on visiting at thousands of care homes risk residents dying prematurely this winter as they give up hope in the absence of loved ones, experts in elderly care have warned. More than 2,700 care homes in England are either already shut or will be told to do so imminently by local public health officials, according to a Guardian analysis of new government rules announced to protect the most vulnerable from Covid-19. Care groups are calling for the government to make limited visiting possible, including by designating selected family members as key workers. Since Friday any care homes in local authority areas named by Public Health England for wider anti-Covid interventions must immediately move to stop visiting, except in exceptional circumstances such as end of life. It also halts visits to windows and gardens and follows seven months of restrictions in many care homes that closed their doors to routine visits in March.
23rd Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Australian teenager to address UN about Covid hardship among young women

A 16-year-old Australian student, Mayela Dayeh, will address the United Nations general assembly on Wednesday night to present the findings of a survey that shows young women and girls are shouldering a greater economic, domestic and emotional load and working harder during the Covid-19 pandemic. The study, released by humanitarian organisation Plan International as part of a report called “Halting Lives – The impact of Covid019 on girls and young women”, surveyed more than 7,000 15-to-24 year-olds across 14 countries. “I think Covid has exacerbated issues we already knew were there, which we had either become complacent about or comfortable with, especially in terms of the gender divide,” Dayeh, a secondary school student, said.
23rd Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Life in lockdown: health-wise, it's not as bad as you think

While Victorians continue to endure restrictions from a second wave of COVID-19, new research from the University of South Australia is providing much-needed good news about people’s overall health and wellbeing following lockdown. In preliminary findings from UniSA’s ongoing Annual Rhythms in Adults’ lifestyle and health (ARIA) study, researchers found that effect of lockdown on people’s lifestyle and wellbeing was not as bad as we might have expected. Assessing people’s sleep, physical activity, diet, weight and psychological wellbeing, the lockdown period showed that, on average people: slept 27 minutes longer - got up 38 mins later - did 50 mins less of light physical activity - drank a bit more alcohol (0.9 per cent energy intake, equivalent to two standard drinks a week) - ate a little less protein (0.8 per cent energy intake, equivalent to three eggs a week).
23rd Sep 2020 - Newswise

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Flu and Covid-19 at same time significantly increases risk of death

The evidence for the double whammy is currently limited and comes mostly from a study with small numbers – 58 people – carried out in the UK during the early phase of the pandemic. “As I understand it, it’s 43% of those with co-infection died compared with 26.9% of those who tested positive for Covid only,” said England’s deputy chief medical officer, Prof Jonathan Van-Tam. These were people who had been hospitalised and had been tested for both viruses, he said, and so were very ill – but the rate of death from Covid alone in the study between January and April was similar to the known rate of Covid hospital mortality generally of around 25% or 26%.
22nd Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Colds Nearly Vanished Under Lockdown. Now They’re Coming Back

Data from Australia and across Europe indicate a surge of at least one other ailment that has been lying mostly dormant: the common cold. Colds are caused by many viruses, but the culprits, at this point, are largely rhinoviruses. That isn’t especially surprising. Rhinoviruses are ubiquitous bugs that normally spread this time of year as schools and day care centers reopen, which in many places they have. “This is exactly what we’d expect during a normal back-to-school season,” says Catherine Moore, a virologist at Public Health Wales.
22nd Sep 2020 - WIRED

Australians stranded overseas 'betrayed', says a man telling of months of injury, illness and homelessness

For months Mr Hargreaves had been seriously ill, basically homeless, and stranded in a nightmare — unable to return to his home in Berry on the New South Wales South Coast. Mr Hargreaves and his wife travelled to France to house-sit in January. As concern around the pandemic spread in February his wife returned home, but he felt obliged to stay a few more weeks to honour his commitment.
22nd Sep 2020 - ABC News

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'She was left with no one': how UK mental health deteriorated during Covid

When Lily Gardiner’s sister took her own life at the end of July, Gardiner was left feeling as though her sister’s mental health struggles and death had gone unnoticed during the pandemic. The loss is even harder for Gardiner (not her real name) to bear, given that in February her sister’s life seemed back on track. After she experienced paranoid delusions and was sectioned in 2019, she had been discharged, was on medication and had regular support from mental health services. That disappeared when lockdown set in.
21st Sep 2020 - The Guardian

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'A lifesaver': US seniors turn to Zoom to connect with friends and family

As the pandemic persists, older adults who are at higher risk of contracting Covid-19 are moving their lifestyles – from classes to coffee chats – online
18th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Isolation Tips - Connecting Communities for COVID19 News - 18th Sep 2020

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Study results show elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19

Social isolation. Financial worries. They're two unfortunate realities causing great anxiety for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic. They also may raise the risk of death by suicide. While no definitive data exists yet on suicide rates during the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted a study in late June on mental health, substance use and suicidal ideation in U.S. adults. The results showed elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19. Thirty-one percent of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression and 11% reported having seriously considered suicide in the 30 days prior to the study.
18th Sep 2020 - News Medical

Should seniors take extra precautions against COVID-19 this fall? Experts weigh in

As the coronavirus pandemic continues and flu season begins, leading to concerns of a "twindemic" in the United States, health experts are urging those who are high-risk for either or both illnesses to limit their social bubbles to stay healthy. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the country, said on Sept. 10 that people needed to prepare to "hunker down and get through this fall and winter." “We've been through this before,” Fauci said. “Don't ever, ever underestimate the potential of the pandemic. And don't try and look at the rosy side of things."
17th Sep 2020 - YAHOO!

Loneliness doubled among older adults in first months of COVID-19, poll shows

Staying close to home and avoiding crowded places can help older adults reduce their risk of COVID-19. But a new national poll suggests it comes with a cost, especially for those with health challenges. In June of this year, 56 percent of people over the age of 50 said they sometimes or often felt isolated from others -- more than double the 27 percent who felt that way in a similar poll in 2018.
17th Sep 2020 - Science Daily

Tips for managing mental health during COVID-19

Months in, the pandemic continues to take a toll on mental health. As part of our #AskReuters Twitter chat series, Reuters gathered a group of experts to share their tips on coping with isolation, caregiving and more. Below are edited highlights. How does isolation affect mental health? What are some strategies we can use to find community during a lockdown? “Before the pandemic, we were already in the middle of a mental health crisis. And the pandemic has only made that more urgent. An August survey from the Centers for Disease Control found that over 40% of adults reported experiencing mental health challenges, including anxiety and depression.”
17th Sep 2020 - Reuters UK

Crittenton Children's Center offers tips for student mental health during pandemic

A lot of school districts in the greater Kansas City metro area are beginning their second week of school Monday. The combination of virtual learning and isolation at home is really taking a toll on children. Studies have found social isolation can cause mental health challenges for students. Licensed clinical social worker, Brit Broshous with Saint Luke's Crittenton Children's Center, said it's important to check any behaviors that may seem out of the ordinary.
17th Sep 2020 - KSHB

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Stress, anxiety and depression levels soar under UK Covid-19 restrictions

Restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus in the UK has driven stress, anxiety and depression far above normal levels and may do again in coming months if widespread lockdowns are re-imposed, researchers say. A major study into the mental health impact of the pandemic found that in the early stages of lockdown 57% of those who took part reported symptoms of anxiety, with 64% recording common signs of depression. While the mental health problems improved as restrictions eased, scientists warn they may worsen again as infections rise and more aggressive nationwide lockdowns are considered over the autumn and winter.
16th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Children living in more costly homes have fewer mental health problems – study

Children who are brought up in more expensive homes have fewer mental health problems than those from cheaper houses, research has found. They are less likely to suffer from anxiety and low mood and also more likely to get on well with their peers, researchers at University College London (UCL) found. While the link between overall wealth and mental wellbeing is well established, the findings highlight the key role that the value of a family’s home plays in a child’s development. Dr Ludovica Gambaro and Dr Vanessa Moulton, from UCL’s Centre for Longitudinal Studies, looked at a range of wealth indicators of the families of 8,500 children, all born around 2000, who are taking part in the internationally respected Millennium Cohort Study.
17th Sep 2020 - The Guardian

Lockdown child sexual abuse 'hidden by under-reporting'

A significant drop in the number of chi