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Is there a link between coronavirus and vitamin D deficiency? This startup just raised cash to find out – GeekWire
Posted: May 14, 2020 at 6:06 pm
Solius light therapy kiosks use a narrow spectrum of ultraviolet light that can stimulate the production of critical hormones and peptides, and increase vitamin D levels. (Solius Photo)
New research shows a potential correlation between severe vitamin D deficiency and COVID-19 mortality rates. A Northwestern University study released last week found that patients from countries with high death rates had lower levels of vitamin D compared to patients in countries with fewer mortalities.
Seattle-area startup Solius, which sells light therapy kiosks that can help people increase vitamin D levels, suddenly finds itself in a unique position amid the global pandemic.
The company today announced additional investment from Human Longevity Inc. as it explores how its technology could play a role in the fight against COVID-19 by strengthening the immune system and reducing the severity of the disease.
Further studies will be needed to validate this connection and we are working to engage in clinical trials that will prove the efficacy of our device on this devastating disease, said Solius CEO Bob Wise.
Researchers from Northwestern cautioned that vitamin D levels wont prevent contraction of COVID-19, but could make a difference in how the body fights the disease. They found a correlation between vitamin D levels and cytokine storm, a condition caused by an overactive immune system.
Cytokine storm can severely damage lungs and lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and death in patients, Ali Daneshkhah, a postdoctoral research associate at Northwestern, said in a press release. This is what seems to kill a majority of COVID-19 patients, not the destruction of the lungs by the virus itself. It is the complications from the misdirected fire from the immune system.
Another study from Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K. found an association between low average levels of vitamin D and high numbers of COVID-19 cases and mortality rates across 20 European countries.
Some experts criticized the Northwestern study which has not been peer-reviewed for not controlling major confounding factors, among other reasons, Inverse reported.
Solius published its own white-paper this week about the impact of vitamin D on COVID-19. The company cited cytokine storms and studies that show vitamin D combating respiratory infections. It also quoted former CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, who said in March that regular physical activity and adequate vitamin D levels probably have the most scientific evidence to increase resistance to COVID-19 infection.
Solius is working with leading phototherapy and vitamin D experts to develop and execute its own trials to study how the companys kiosks could treat and/or prevent COVID-19.
Foundational research strongly suggests a link between vitamin D and COVID-19 outcomes, Wise said. We look forward to adding to this body of research and investigating the impact our technology may have on supporting human health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Solius light therapy uses a narrow spectrum of ultraviolet light that can stimulate the production of critical hormones and peptides. In 2018 it started rolling out light therapy kiosksin Vancouver, B.C., that help users increase vitamin D levels.
The therapy is an alternative to vitamin D pills, a solution that Soliuspreviously told GeekWireisnt sufficient to address the problem of vitamin D deficiency.
An estimated 1 billion people worldwide have inadequate levels of vitamin D, according toHarvard University, and research shows that deficiency is a more pressing problem than once thought.
Wise said the company expects FDA approval for its kiosks next year.
We are excited to invest in SOLIUS as its mission is to provide the benefits of the sun without the harmful rays to unlock the healing powers of the human body, Wei-Wu He, executive chairman at HLI, said in a statement.
Solius has raised $18 million to date. The 7-year-old company has seven employees. Wise replaced former CEO Rick Hennessey, who relocated to Florida for family reasons.
Posted: at 6:06 pm
Whats the largest organ in the human body? The heart? Perhaps the kidney? Nope, think again. The largest organ in the human body is the skin. In fact, the average adult human skin spans 21 square miles and contains 11 miles of blood vessels. To put it in perspective, thats twice the height of Mt. Everest. No wonder skincare is such a booming economy!
Besides fascinating fun facts, your skin plays a crucial role in ensuring your optimum health. It provides proper regulation of body temperature and acts as a defense mechanism against invaders such as toxins and allergens. While skin plays a significant role in protecting the body, it is also the most vulnerable organ. There are at least 3,000 documented skin disorders. It is for this reason that taking care of your skin isnt a luxury its a necessity.
A google search on good skincare will reveal an almost dizzying variety of tips and tricks. Cutting through the clutter and finding what works for you can be frustrating. Thats why well make it easy for you. Lets do a deep dive into the proven steps to proper skincare. Before that, however, lets conduct a mind surgery.
For a good number of people, healthy and glowing skin is only a daydream or a reserve of pop stars and celebrities. Others consign themselves to the notion that natures genetic lottery hasnt been too kind to them. Nothing could be further from the truth. No matter the type of skin you have, good skincare can make it look better and healthier.
Of course, you may not glow like your favorite celebrity or model, but youd certainly look better than when you started. All it takes is consistency, dedication, and patience. Dont expect to see results right off the bat. Just like any organ in the body, the skin needs time to demonstrate results. One of the most common reasons people dont give extra attention to their skin is because they think their efforts wont make a difference. Breaking this barrier is the first step to achieving good skincare. Here are other proven steps to making your skin glow.
Any dermatologist worth their salt would tell you that skincare is not a one-size-fits-all solution. What works for one skin type may not necessarily work for another. Many factors play a role in determining how the skin looks. These factors include age, skin disorders, and DNA, amongst others.
One of the key factors is the type of skin in question. Its vital you know your skin type as it would have far-reaching effects on what products and procedures you can use. Some estimates peg the number at seven or even more, but there are at least five different skin types. Lets examine what each of these skin types entails.
This type of skin lacks oil. It is usually flaky and often gets cracked. Its not what you would call an ideal skin. Its pores are typically small with visible lines and it hardly stretches out. This skin type is likely to sport some red patches.
Oily skin features a greasy and shiny appearance. Oil glands naturally produce oil on the surface of every skin. With oily skin, the glands go into overdrive secreting more than necessary. This skin type usually has large pores and is prone to breakouts, particularly acne breakouts.
Normal skin straddles the line between dry and oily skin. It has little or no blots. Its sensitivity is just right, and its pores are almost invisible. It can handle most irritations without breaking out. Some people refer to normal skin as healthy skin, and it is considered the most desirable skin type.
Sensitive skin is one that typically overreacts to almost anything. You can develop this skin if you over-scrub or do not take care of your original skin type. One of the skin types that can quickly morph into a sensitive one is the dry skin. Sensitive skin is prone to skin diseases such as acne or contact dermatitis. If you have this skin type, be sure to avoid triggers that may cause irritation or inflammation. Some of these triggers include alcohol, stress, and even smoking.
As the name suggests, combination skin is a mixture of different skin types. In other words, one person can have varied skin types in different places. One part may be dry while another may be oily, particularly the T-region. It means youll need a combination of solutions to keep the skin healthy and moisturized. You can read this article to find out more about skin types and how to take care of them.
Proper skin cleansing is fundamentally about removing any material that clogs the pores of the skin. Substances like dirt, dead skin cells, and makeup can clog the surface, but a good cleansing regime helps the skin breathe. In a general sense, bathing is the way to cleanse your skin. You must bathe or shower at least once or preferably twice a day to keep your skin moist and refreshed.
The first place most people look at when they meet you is your face. So, your cleanup should start from there, and your face should always feature prominently in any cleansing routine. But how hard could it be? Doesnt it just involve splashing some water over the skin and scrubbing a bit? Well, not quite. Theres more to facial cleansing. Here are a few helpful tips to follow:
It is for good reason that medical personnel often prescribe water as the first response to many diseases. In fact, medical practitioners regard water as the best medicine. It has several benefits to the body, and listed below are some of them.
If youre a water addict, your immune system will benefit greatly. Your immune system is essentially your bodys defense against diseases and toxins. Without a healthy immune system, youre vulnerable to many diseases, and your skin will suffer for it. Earlier, we mentioned that there are at least 3000 diseases associated with the skin. A robust immune system is a surefire way to ward off all intruders.
No one needs to tell you when you stand before a glowing skin. When it isnt glowing, everyone will know. Your skin will betray you if youre not taking in enough water: it will be cracked, flaky scaly, and dry. On the other hand, the skin surface of a person who drinks enough water is likely to be soft and supple.
Studies show that taking in water has a direct bearing on weight loss. If youre overweight, your body is likely to suffer stretch and strain. Maintaining a healthy weight is key to ensuring healthy skin, and gulping down glasses of water is a natural and safe way to shed the extra pounds.
Imagine your stool without water. How about urination? How would you even sweat without water? Hard to imagine, isnt it? Thats because water is such an essential part of our bodys processes. Additionally, guzzling on water helps the skin maintain a stable temperature, a process known as homeostasis. All these benefits of drinking water ultimately have far-reaching effects on the skin. In addition to drinking water, eat foods that can help you stay hydrated.
Its no surprise that some have labeled collagen supplements as the fountain of youth. To understand the reason for that statement, youd need to appreciate what collagen is. Collagen is the bodys most abundant protein. It makes up 75% of the average adults dry skin mass.
Others refer to collagen as the scaffolding of the skin. It ensures the integrity of the bodys tissues, bones, and tendons, and it plays a vital role in promoting skin health. As the body ages, it supplies less and less collagen. By the age of 30, the bodys collagen supply begins to decrease. This situation creates a deficit that needs addressing. Thankfully, there are supplements like collagen peptides that are an excellent resource to help you gain and maintain a glowing skin.
Whether you have oily, healthy, sensitive, or dry skin, you have to keep your skin hydrated. As mentioned earlier, water helps to moisturize the skin. However, it is not the only moisturizer for your skin. Look for moisturizer products with a hyaluronic acid-base. The acid is known to have an excellent hydrating ability. You can also opt for a humidifier. Such products help keep the air and atmosphere humid, thereby keeping your skin moist.
As much as youd want to take the first steps to get good skin by yourself, a dermatologist brings so much more to the table. These skin doctors are trained over several years to know how to preserve and take care of any skin type. Look for one who is trained, appropriately licensed, and can make time for you. If youre looking for cosmetic solutions, you can go to a specialist cosmetic dermatologist. Theyd examine your skin and make treatment recommendations for you.
Even if you dont want to have skin that gets the glares and the stares, you wouldnt want any skin disorder disturbing your skin. To understand how to take care of your skin, youd need to understand the complicated nature of the skin. Know your skin type so you can use the right remedies. Clean your skin regularly through bathing and facial cleansing to keep your youthful glow. Drinking lots of water is a fool-proof strategy for gaining good skin health.
Additionally, collagen supplements have a way of shoring up your skin and keeping it youthful. However, dont forget to consult your dermatologist for expert opinion and advice. Take advantage of all of the steps listed in this article to give your skin a worthwhile treat.
Posted: at 6:06 pm
Research Report onAnti-Senescence Therapy Market size | Industry Segment by Applications (Cardiovascular Diseases, Neural Degenerative Diseases, Ophthalmology Disorders and Others), by Type (Gene Therapy, Immunotherapy and Others), Regional Outlook, Market Demand, Latest Trends, Anti-Senescence Therapy Industry Share & Revenue by Manufacturers, Company Profiles, Growth Forecasts 2025.Analyzes current market size and upcoming 5 years growth of this industry.
The Anti-Senescence Therapy market size report is an intrinsic study of the current status of this business vertical and encompasses a brief synopsis about its segmentation. The report is inclusive of a prediction of the market scenario over the forecast period Anti-Senescence Therapy market size with respect to valuation as sales volume. The study lends focus to the top magnates comprising the competitive landscape of Anti-Senescence Therapy market, as well as the geographical areas where the Anti-Senescence Therapy industry extends its horizons, in magnanimous detail.
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Key players analysis provides brief profiles of major players in the Anti-Senescence Therapy market. The report contains a snapshot of their corporation, financial performance and business highlights, providing an insight into the existing competitive scenario.
Anti-Senescence Therapy Market Analysis Report Scope at its various segments are as follows:
Anti-Senescence Therapy market competition by top Manufacturers:
Anti-Senescence Therapy Market Outlook by Applications:
Anti-Senescence Therapy Market Statistics by Types:
An outline of the Anti-Senescence Therapy market share segmentation:
Key highlights of Anti-Senescence Therapy market analysis report:
The Anti-Senescence Therapy market report enumerates quite some details about the factors impacting the industry, influence of technological developments on the vertical, risks, as well as the threats that substitutes present to the industry players. In addition, information about the changing preferences and needs of consumers in conjunction with the impact of the shifting dynamics of the economic and political scenario on the Anti-Senescence Therapy market has also been acknowledged in the study.
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AgeX Therapeutics Reports First Quarter 2020 Financial Results and Provides Business Update – Business Wire
Posted: at 6:06 pm
ALAMEDA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AgeX Therapeutics , Inc. (AgeX: NYSE American: AGE), a biotechnology company developing therapeutics for human aging and regeneration, reported financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2020.
The human tragedy of this pandemic has long tentacles that effect numerous businesses including AgeX, said Greg Bailey M.D., Chairman. Given the current global economic landscape, and the changes that businesses will need to make to accommodate to a post pandemic world, we feel that new business model aligns well to be able to function in this new environment. We see enormous opportunity to license and joint venture PureStem and HLA-G while implementing a definitive plan to begin preclinical trials on tissue regeneration under the leadership of Michael West and Michael May. We will update you in the future as these plans progress.
AgeX has completed a company restructuring to help set it up for success in the future. The combination of company priorities, cash position and the COVID-19 pandemic led to employee lay-offs designed to support the evolution of AgeX's current team to execute on strategic business goals going forward and to ensure cash is directed at near-term priorities to deliver maximum shareholder value. AgeX has a dual business strategy to diversify risk and maximize opportunities. It plans to continue to pursue its licensing and collaboration strategy for its two primary technology platforms, UniverCyte immunotolerance technology for the generation of universal cells, and PureStem cell derivation and manufacturing technology for the production of therapeutic cells with potential advantages, including industrial scalability and lower manufacturing costs. Since the launch of its licensing and collaboration strategy in January 2020, AgeX has delivered a research collaboration in Japan focused on developing universally transplantable cells for therapeutic use based on UniverCyte, entered into a neural stem cell therapy research collaboration for neurological disorders utilizing PureStem at a California University, and AgeX licensee ImStem Biotechnology received the first-ever clearance of a cell therapy derived from AgeXs embryonic stem cells by the FDA to enter human studies.
In addition, AgeX remains committed to pursuing in-house cell therapy product development and plans to raise money to build the optimal team to deliver on its products, AGEX-BAT1 for metabolic diseases such as type II diabetes and AGEX-VASC1 for tissue ischaemia. AgeXs budgetary and personnel adjustments will result in the deferral of in-house product development and may also lead to AgeX seeking arrangements with other companies in the cell therapy or biopharma industry for the development of its product candidates and technology, or outsourcing of some of that work to service providers until further funding can be obtained to rebuild in-house research and development staff for one or more of those programs. Development of AgeXs iTR technology may be done at AgeXs subsidiary Reverse Bioengineering, Inc. subject to successful financing of the subsidiary.
Upwards of 80% of healthcare expenditures in the United States relates to chronic degenerative disease and aging is a principle underlying cause of such conditions, said Michael D. West, Ph.D., AgeXs Chief Executive Officer. Therefore, the ability to manufacture to scale young clinical-grade cells capable of regenerating functionality in diverse tissues of the body has the potential to transform healthcare as we know it today. Perhaps even more noteworthy is the potential of reversing developmental aging in the body itself through AgeXs iTR technology. Our goal in the coming year is to advance the development of our intellectual property with the goal of bringing value to our shareholders.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
AgeX is in need of additional capital to finance its operations. On March 30, 2020, AgeX entered into a Secured Convertible Facility Agreement (the New Loan Agreement) with Juvenescence Limited pursuant to which AgeX may borrow funds from time to time. On April 1, 2020 AgeX drew the initial $500,000, and may draw additional funds from time to time subject to Juvenescences discretion, prior to the contractual repayment date on March 30, 2023. AgeX may not draw down more than $1 million in any single draw. More information about the New Loan Agreement can be found in AgeXs Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30, 2020 and May 14, 2020, respectively.
On April 13, 2020, AgeX obtained a loan in the amount of $432,952 from Axos Bank under the Paycheck Protection Program (the PPP Loan). The PPP Loan will bear interest at a rate of 1% per annum. No payments will be due on the PPP Loan during a six month deferral period commencing on the date of the promissory note. Commencing one month after the expiration of the deferral period, and continuing on the same day of each month thereafter until the maturity date of the PPP Loan, monthly payments of principal and interest will be due, in an amount required to fully amortize the principal amount outstanding on the PPP Loan by the maturity date. The maturity date is April 13, 2022. The principal amount of the PPP Loan is subject to forgiveness under the PPP to the extent that PPP Loan proceeds are used to pay expense permitted by the PPP, including payroll, rent, and utilities (collectively, Qualifying Expenses), during the time frame permitted by the PPP. AgeX intends to use the PPP Loan amount for Qualifying Expenses. However, no assurance is provided that AgeX will obtain forgiveness of the PPP Loan in whole or in part.
During April 2020, AgeX initiated staff layoffs that affected 12 employees, primarily research and development personnel. AgeX has paid approximately $105,000 in accrued payroll and unused paid time off and other benefits and expects to recognize approximately $194,800 in restructuring charges in connection with the reduction in staffing, consisting of contractual severance and other employee termination benefits, substantially all of which are expected to be settled in cash. The staff reductions followed AgeXs strategic review of its operations, giving consideration to the status of its product development programs, human resources, capital needs and resources, and current conditions in the capital markets resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Going Concern Considerations
As required under Accounting Standards Update 2014-15, Presentation of Financial Statements-Going Concern (ASC 205-40), AgeX evaluates whether conditions and/or events raise substantial doubt about its ability to meet its future financial obligations as they become due within one year after the date its financial statements are issued. Based on AgeXs most recent projected cash flows, and considering that loans from Juvenescence in excess of an initial $500,000 advance under the New Loan Agreement will be subject to Juvenescences discretion, AgeX believes that its cash and cash equivalents, the $500,000 loan under the New Loan Agreement, the PPP Loan and reduction in staff in May 2020 would not be sufficient to satisfy its anticipated operating and other funding requirements for the twelve months following the filing of AgeXs Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2020. These factors raise substantial doubt regarding the ability of AgeX to continue as a going concern.
First Quarter 2020 Operating Results
Revenues: Total Revenues for the first quarter of 2020 were $515,000 as compared with $388,000 for the first quarter of 2019. AgeX revenue is primarily generated from subscription and advertising revenues from the GeneCards online database through its subsidiary LifeMap Sciences, Inc. Revenues in 2020 also included approximately $86,000 of allowable expenses under its research grant from the NIH as compared with $15,000 in the same period in 2019.
Operating expenses: Operating expenses reported for the three months ended March 31, 2020 were $3.7 million as compared to $3.4 million for the same period in 2019. On an as-adjusted basis, operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2020 were $3.2 million as compared to $2.8 million for the same period in 2019.
The reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP operating expenses is provided in the financial tables included with this earnings release.
Research and development expenses increased by $0.3 million to $1.6 million during the three months ended March 31, 2020 from $1.3 million during the same period in 2019. The increase was primarily attributable to an increase of $0.2 million in scientific consultants, $0.2 million in laboratory facilities and equipment related expenses and maintenance, $0.1 million in personnel related expenses allocable to research and development, and $0.1 million in depreciation and amortization of laboratory equipment and improvements. These increases were offset to some extent by a decrease of $0.3 million in shared services from Lineage Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (Lineage) with the termination of the Shared Facilities and Services Agreement on September 30, 2019.
General and administrative expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2020 remained consistent with the same period in 2019 of $2.1 million despite bearing the full lease and facilities related costs since April 2019, and an increase in head count with the employment of AgeXs own finance team since October 1, 2019. These increases were offset by a decrease in shared facilities and services fees from Lineage following the termination of the Shared Facilities and Services Agreement on September 30, 2019.
About AgeX Therapeutics
AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: AGE) is focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics for human aging. Its PureStem and UniverCyte manufacturing and immunotolerance technologies are designed to work together to generate highly defined, universal, allogeneic, off-the-shelf pluripotent stem cell-derived young cells of any type for application in a variety of diseases with a high unmet medical need. AgeX has two preclinical cell therapy programs: AGEX-VASC1 (vascular progenitor cells) for tissue ischemia and AGEX-BAT1 (brown fat cells) for Type II diabetes. AgeXs revolutionary longevity platform induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR) aims to unlock cellular immortality and regenerative capacity to reverse age-related changes within tissues. AGEX-iTR1547 is an iTR-based formulation in preclinical development. HyStem is AgeXs delivery technology to stably engraft PureStem cell therapies in the body. AgeXs core product pipeline is intended to extend human healthspan. AgeX is seeking opportunities to establish licensing and collaboration arrangements around its broad IP estate and proprietary technology platforms and therapy product candidates.
For more information, please visit http://www.agexinc.com or connect with the company on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube.
Certain statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements that are not historical fact including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as will, believes, plans, anticipates, expects, estimates should also be considered forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the business of AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. and its subsidiaries, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in more detail in the Risk Factors section of AgeXs most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commissions (copies of which may be obtained at http://www.sec.gov). Subsequent events and developments may cause these forward-looking statements to change. AgeX specifically disclaims any obligation or intention to update or revise these forward-looking statements as a result of changed events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release, except as required by applicable law.
AGEX THERAPEUTICS, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(IN THOUSANDS, EXCEPT PAR VALUE AMOUNTS)
Cash and cash equivalents
Accounts and grants receivable, net
Prepaid expenses and other current assets
Total current assets
Posted: at 6:06 pm
Farmers have always been connected to several aspects of a healthy lifestyle. As food producers, were closely connected to the lifecycle of food, from field to fork.
Were also early pioneers of the concept of community, which happens to be a primary factor for self-reported happiness. But as agriculture has evolved, have we lost aspects of health in our daily lives?
A farm business is only as healthy as its operators and neglecting a healthy lifestyle can result in a vulnerable farming operation and food supply. At the forefront of most health-related topics is physical health.
Farmers often consider themselves to be in good physical condition. Many arent anymore, notes Mike Raine, managing editor of The Western Producer.
There are many reasons for this, but many of them boil down to technology, isolation and automation.
City folks often referred to us as farmer-strong because we grew up lifting bales or twisting and bending to get under or onto equipment. It was heavier work then. The farming lifestyle that the country was built on mostly doesnt exist anymore, and now farmers need to supplement with fitness, says Raine.
Whats less obvious to many is the impact that our psychological health has overall health. And while COVID-19 has only infected a small percentage of the population, the virus that has infected nearly everyone is the virus of fear. Fear is highly contagious, and farmers arent immune.
Whether its the fear of getting sick or the fear of losing a family farming operation due to the economic downturn, this fight or flight response to danger has substantial impacts on immune response. There is strong evidence indicating that healthy individuals respond to COVID-19 more favourably than unhealthy individuals. Much of this can be traced back to the bodys psychological state, which affects the body on a biochemical level.
When we perceive stress, the body produces cortisol. Cortisol is the fight-or-flight response hormone responsible for regulating blood pressure and inflammation. During this process, the body also produces a less desirable hormone called norepinephrine, what is more commonly known as adrenaline. This hormone causes increased heart rate and blood pressure. In situations of chronic stress, the body is unable to produce cortisol and the result is unopposed norepinephrine. The link between mental and physical response to stress, whats referred to as mind-body connection, is more relevant than ever before.
Whats also less mentioned is how closely related anxiety is to asthmatic symptoms and other respiratory conditions. While mild stress can most often be managed, situations of chronic stress often results in physical ailments later on in life. Our mental state, has significant impacts on how the body responds to physical stress.
A prime example of this is the impact that the human mind can have on the outcome of major surgeries. Research has found that viewing a surgeon in a favourable light can have a positive impact on the outcome of surgery.
Certainly, fear isnt always a bad thing; doctors can also use this technique to motivate patients to make positive lifestyle changes to improve overall health.
The dominant factor responsible for increased longevity and happiness is not diet or exercise, its the feeling of being a part of a community. While farmers have always been community-based, they are also incredibly isolated in some circumstances. The possible result of this is loneliness.
Current research suggests the perception of loneliness is the greatest indicator of premature mortality, and isolation can increase this by up to 45 percent. As humans, we are hardwired to be with other humans and these social connections are one of the greatest indicators of health and happiness.
As humans, we are constantly exposed to threats in various forms. Yet somehow it seems as though we believe our health is something that will be gifted to us.
How often does an individual visit their doctor while they are actively working to stay healthy, as opposed to when a significant health-related crisis is occurring?
Arguably, COVID-19 has prompted more people to consider their own health and explore ways to improve their lifestyle. And for good reason, especially considering that many farmers take great satisfaction in having the ability to farm into their 90s.
Staying healthy is critical to our worlds food supplies and the sustainability of the family farm. Health is not merely the absence of illness, but a long-term strategy to building a more sustainable future. Healthy individuals manage profitable family farms and, as an industry, we need to support this.
Katelyn Duncan, PAg, BSA, is a Saskatchewan farmer and agrologist.
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COVID sheds light on importance of health on the farm - Western Producer
Posted: at 6:06 pm
From its simple beginnings as a metering conference African Utility Week, along with its trusted official host publication ESI Africa, has spent the past two decades closely mirroring the growth of the continents energy, power and water value chains.
This article first appeared inESI AfricaIssue 2-2020.Read thefulldigimaghereorsubscribe to receive a print copy here.
As the continents water and power systems grew and became more sophisticated, the conference and exhibition expanded into one of the largest events on the continent, morphing into African Utility Week and POWERGEN Africa (AUW & PGAF).
David Ashdown, Managing Director Africa for Clarion Events, in conversation with ESI Africa chalks up AUW & PGAFs longevity to its ability to mirror the development and evolution of the market. With the expo weve done well to deliver a premium audience of professionals, representing more than 90 countries. The conference brings together a good cross section of speakers from the continent and abroad while being focused on solution-providing and knowledge-sharing, says Ashdown.
He is curious and excited to see what the future holds for AUW & PGAF as it enters its third decade. While it is too early to tell how a sudden burst of digitisation brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic will affect the event industry as a whole, Ashdown thinks it isnt so much that the digital world is encroaching on live events but that the two are finding a way to blend: Clarion Events has been working across the two forms of media for the past ten years and we have seen a steady convergence. The reach we have through our digital media now culminates in live events as a meeting place.
Enforced lockdowns around the world have changed how Clarion Energys entire global workforce operates: Ultimately, we have to support the industry we serve; however, we can now provide support in the development plans of our stakeholders, to work with them to achieve real results in the power and energy sector.
It is going to be challenging, bouncing back from the pandemic crisis. Our products are well positioned and the discussions at AUW & PGAF in November will be about the resilience of the industry sector and the future outlook. How does Africa manage a crisis situation? I think the situation will accelerate the digitalisation of the sector, of the energy space in Africa and the infrastructure, smart city and IoT elements.
In terms of the traditional conference and exhibitions space, Ashdown does not foresee a move away from face-to-face engagement, as we are human; it is the way we interact.
He adds that through the events media arm, we can communicate with an industry for 365 days a year and connect industry professionals to the benefit of their business, its that element that makes us very valuable. We provide a wide range of media content through our journals platforms, which range from a webinar where individuals speak on a curated topic to a panel bringing industry experts together or a debate on a web portals news story where you can take the conversation into a whole new direction.
Webinars have a huge role to play but rather than replace a physical conference, he believes there will eventually be a blended approach a simulcast where a person who cannot travel can still participate in a virtual way to attend a live conference.
Again, Ashdown points out that one simply cannot remove the human need to connect. There are people who will take a more conservative approach in the short term and the fear and anxiety created by COVID-19 might limit peoples comfort zone. It is our responsibility as event organisers to recognise that and to bring in measures in November to create a safe space.
Is the future of event conferencing virtual, though? That is the holy grail of questions, isnt it? What is the model and what would it look like? That debate could go on for many hours and end with different conclusions. But, what you lack in a purely virtual exhibition is the human connection. A virtual handshake is not the same as President Cyril Ramaphosas elbow greeting, says Ashdown. ESI
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Twenty years of power and energy engagement goes on | ESI-Africa.com - ESI Africa
Posted: May 11, 2020 at 11:16 am
Adele is a global superstar, with her amazing voice earning her an Oscar, 15 Grammys as well as multiple world records. Its clear that shes a successful woman, and we all know it. However, the soulful singer has been making headlines lately, not because of her unmatchable talent, but because of her visible weight loss.
Her weight loss was first noticed last year at musicians Drakes birthday bash on October 25 but its her most recent social media post that has got fans talking. Making her first Instagram post of 2020 where she thanked essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic as well as gave thanks for her birthday well wishes, fans were surprised at her weight loss. In the past, Adele once revealed to People Magazine that shed refuse to work with anybody who had an issue with her weight, stating: Even when I was signing a contract, most of the industry knew if anyone ever dared say: Lose weight to me, they wouldnt be working with me.
Adele has yet to publicly discuss her weight loss, and she really has no reason to. The fact of the matter is, Adele is a beautiful and talented woman, regardless of how she looks and what she weighs. Her weight loss pales in comparison to the other incredible things that shes achieved in her young life, and it really shouldnt be framed as the most incredible thing shes done in recent memory. That said, for those on a weight loss journey, they are curious as to how the star did it.
In addition to her incredible figure, fans also noticed that the singers face also looked a little different.
As a result of her weight loss, Adele has lost volume and fat in her face. As a result, her features have become more prominent with her jaw and bone structure appearing sharper and more chiseled. Additionally, its clear that she changed up her diet as she appears to have a much healthier glow. The fact is, your skin is what you eat and when you consume a nutrient-dense diet rich anti-oxidants, your skin will definitely thank you for it.
The seventh most Googled diet in 2019, its clear thats theres some buzz surrounding The Sirtfood diet, and with Adeles weight loss, the buzz is certain to grow.
The Sirtfood diet was created in the United Kingdom by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten, after they published a guide and a recipe book in 2016. The diet focuses on sirtuins, a group of seven proteins found in your body that help to regulate a variety of functions, which include preventing cell death, regulating metabolism, inflammation, as well as the aging process. The diet requires one to consume foods rich in sirtuins, known as sirtfoods, in an effort to activate the sirtuins that will boost fat burn and speed up metabolism.
As mentioned, the Sirtfood Diet encourages the consumption of foods that contain Sirtuins. These Sirtfoods are nutrient-dense and healthy to eat regularly. They include:
Photo by Jim Smeal/Shutterstock (8344889me)Adele59th Annual Grammy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA 12 Feb 2017
The diet is broken down into two phases, and if you should do it whenever you feel that you need a bit of a weight-loss boost.
This phase lasts for seven days and its also split up. For the first three days, youre limited to a total of 1000 calories a day. Your diet consists of three Sirtfood green juices (containing kale, arugula, parsley, celery, green apple, lemon juice, and green tea) and one Sirtfood-rich meal. A mean can include miso-glazed tofu, the Sirtfood omelet, or a shrimp stir-fry with buckwheat noodles.
On days four through seven, youll then allowed two green juices and two daily meals for a total of 1,500 calories a day.
Phase one is aimed at jump-starting your weight loss (apparently, youre expected to lose 7 pounds during phase one). The diet does recommend that you stop exercising, or at least cut back on your usual fitness routine during this period as you wont be taking in many calories.
The second phase lasts for two weeks and it is known as the maintenance phase. Its purpose is to encourage weight loss in a steady, sustainable, and manageable way.
There is no calorie limit but you are encouraged to eat three balanced meals that are rich in Sirtfoods, as well as drink one green juice, during this phase. The meal recipes include soy yogurt with berries and stir-fried prawns with kale and buckwheat noodles.
Once youre done with the phases, you can continue with the Sirtfood diet, all you have to do is tweak your meals a bit, and include as many Sirtfoods as possible. Additionally, once youve adopted the Sirtfood lifestyle, youre encouraged to stay active.
Considering the fact that youre consuming way fewer calories than usual, yes, youll probably lose weight adopting this diet. However, whether this particular method is healthy is debatable. This is because super-restrictive eating is rarely healthy or sustainable.
If you consider the fact that 1,000 calories per day is only appropriate for a child between the ages of 2 and 4, I wouldnt exactly call this diet plan healthy. Yes, the diet may enable weight-loss, but living on this kind of calorie restriction for too long would be questionable.
Yes, theres no denying that the foods in the Sirtfood diet are good for you. Plenty of research has shown that green tea, turmeric and even dark chocolate can provide the body with a number of health benefits that include reduced risks of heart disease, diabetes and other inflammation-related diseases. However, actual research into the long-term benefits of increased sirtuin levels in humans is still in its early stages. Additionally, calorie restriction is not how you want to be living your life.
Yes, Adele looks amazing but if she is following the Sirtfood diet, shes more than likely tweaked it in a manner that is sustainable and safer for her health. That said, its advisable that you reach out to a certified dietitian and get their thoughts. Our bodies are each different, and adopting this particular diet does not mean that youll get Adele-results.
According to the Daily Mail, the singer has taken up Reformer Pilates after being introduced to it by close friend Ayda Field, X Factor judge and wife of singer Robbie Williams.
We already know that Pilates is a great exercise for the body, and the same can be said for Reformer Pilates. Reformer Pilates is a more technical version of regular Pilates, requiring practitioners to do Pilates moves on special machines, using ropes, springs, and a carriage. The exercises provide a high intensity yet low-impact full-body workout. Reformer Pilates helps to improve posture, strength, and flexibility as well as build a stronger core and tone your muscles.
Adele has never shied away from being herself and being confident in her skin. While the star is known for her heart-wrenching ballads, its clear that self-love is a huge priority of hers. Last year, Adele celebrated her 31st birthday, and she shared an Instagram post that hinted at prioritizing self-love.
For the first time in a decade, Im ready to feel the world around me and look up for once. Be kind to yourself, people, were only human, go slow, put your phone down and laugh out loud at every opportunity, she shared. Learning to REALLY truly love yourself is it, and Ive only just realized that that is more than enough.
It may hard to do, especially during these times, but self-love can do wonders for your health. Aside from making you happier, research published in the Health Psychology journal found that self-love can help you make better decisions about your health.
Whats more, a separate study published in the Psychological Science journal found that recently divorced individuals who were kinder to themselves were better at bouncing back in the months following the separation than those who regularly self-criticized. Considering the fact that the award-winning singer is currently going through a divorce, its safe to say that shes definitely practicing a lot of self-love.
He, Y.; Yue, Y.; Zheng, X.; Zhang, K.; Chen, S.; Du, Z. (2015). Curcumin, Inflammation, and Chronic Diseases: How Are They Linked?Molecules.20, 9183-9213.
J Clin Hypertens(Greenwich).2014;16:101106. DOI:10.1111/jch.12223.
Shuang, Z., Xiaoqiang, T., Hou-Zao C. (2018). Sirtuins and Insulin Resistance. Frontiers in Endocrinology. 9. https://www.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fendo.2018.00748
Sirois, F. M., Kitner, R., & Hirsch, J. K. (2015). Self-compassion, affect, and health-promoting behaviors.Health Psychology, 34(6), 661669.https://doi.org/10.1037/hea0000158
Posted: at 11:16 am
Dont touch your face."Avoid hugging." Stand 6feet apart."
So many rules about preventing the spread of the coronavirus warn against touching other people. For the last two months, grandparents have been advised against holding their grandchildren while sick patients cannot grasp a relatives hand.
What kind of effect does this lack of human touch haveon people?
Related:COVID-19 interrupts fertility plans for hopeful couples in the United Kingdom
Amanda Whitlock, 39, a photo editor in Chicago, describes herself as a natural introvert. She lives on her own, with her cat Mr. B, and a newly adopted kitten and says shes usually very content in her own company. Whitlock went into a self-imposed lockdown in early March and hasnt had any physical contact with another person since. She says its all starting to get to her.
"I'm someone that has anxiety anyway. The last few days, I think it's really been pretty heavy on me. You know, it would be nice to be able to go out and hang out with someone and hold their hand. You know, something as simple as that, she said.
Theres a good reason why Whitlocks anxiety is on the rise. Studies show physical contact with other people reduces feelings of stress. British evolutionary psychologist and professor Robin Dunbar says it can all be traced back to our monkey ancestry. Grooming each others fur is how apes build friendships. Humans have substituted that grooming with stroking and cuddling, he says and that act of physical touch has a profound effect on our health.
Related:Mourning in the midst of a pandemic
Not only does [touch]build friendships directly and indirectly, but those friendships have a dramatic effect on your well-being, your general health, your ability to recover from illnesses and even your longevity.
"Not only does it build friendships directly and indirectly, but those friendships have a dramatic effect on your well-being, your general health, your ability to recover from illnesses and even your longevity.
Its too early to tell whether the absence of human touch during the pandemic will have long-term consequences. Some groups are particularly vulnerable, like older people living alone, Dunbar says. Playwright Eve Ensler, who now goes by the name V, is worried about how the virus is changing the way we view our bodies. She fears that people are linking human touch with illness.
I think there's something about going out and seeing people being afraid of each other and afraid of each other's bodies.Touch is becoming something equated with sickness and death, and that scares me deeply."
I think there's something about going out and seeing people being afraid of each other and afraid of each other's bodies.Touch is becoming something equated with sickness and death, and that scares me deeply, she said.
The pandemic reminds V of the 1980s when the AIDS virus first became known. Fear of contracting HIV changed attitudes toward sex, and she worries the coronavirus will alter our behavior, too.
[AIDS] definitely changed our relationship to sex and to freedom.Drastically. I so don't want COVID-19 to do this to our relationship to touch. That would be a huge loss for human beings, she said.
Sexual intimacy is off the tablefor many people right now. But for some in the sex industry, its business as usual. Charlotte Rose, an advocate for sex workers in Britain,says many in the industry are still working because theyre not entitled to government support.
There is a large percentage that are still working because they can't claim benefits.A lot of sex workers especially migrant sex workers arent eligible either. So, unfortunately, people are still offering skin-on-skin contact.
Rose used to work in the industry and many of her clients had disabilities. She says for them, it was often not just about sex, but about simple physical contact with another person.
For probably about 90% of my clients,it wasn't even about the intercourse side of it, it was just skin-on-skin contact.I mean, I was predominantly seeing people with disabilities. And, you know, they're already a very marginalized and vulnerable group, and they're the ones that are suffering incredibly at this particular time, she said.
Rose has maintained contact with some of those clients and says a number of them are really struggling with social isolation right now.
Related:Many people arent putting love on hold during COVID-19
Sports and remedial massage therapist Ruth McKinnon knows the importance of human touch in her work, too. Originally from Toronto, McKinnon moved to London in 2017 and began working as a registered massage therapist in the citys financial district.
While many of her clients had physical injuries, McKinnon says theres no question that stress is what brought a lot of people to her clinic. A massage fires up the dopamine in the brain, helping you to relax and ultimately sleep better, she says. But McKinnon hasnt been able to work since mid-Marchwhen the British government announced that all clinics must close because of the pandemic.
McKinnon says shes feeling the effect of the lack of physical contact, too.
Even for myself, not having that regular touch with lots of different people is hard. My husband has noticed an increased amount of touching that I'm doing with him. It's so vital, she said.
McKinnon has no idea when her clinic will open again, but is hopeful she will be able to get back to work soon even if it means wearing protective clothing.
In the meantime, its not all gloom. There are some things you can do to ease the skin hunger you may be feeling. Professor Dunbar says connecting with someone over Skype or Zoom doesnt compare to a good hug but it helps. He jokes that its probably why we have these enormous great white eyeballs."
Theres something about being able to stare into the whites of other people's eyes that seems to be really important in creating that sense of intimacy. On Skype, you stare into the eyeballs and you can see the smile breaking on their face before you even finish the punchline of the joke you're telling them, he said.
In Chicago, Whitlock has been FaceTiming a man she met through a mutual friend. They havent been on a real-life date yet. This week, theyre planning to act out Shakespeares "The Tempest" together on FaceTime. But Whitlock says she longs for the day they can meet in person.
I would love to be able to text him and be like, Hey, let's meet up. Or, you know, since we can't really go anywhere, lets find a safe way in one of our places to meet. That would be awesome, she said.
But Whitlock says she doesnt think its going to happen anytime soon. For now, its just Mr. B and SP, her two cats that are keeping her company.
I think that if I didn't have my pets they're my family. If I didn't have them, I would definitely be climbing the walls right now for some human contact.
Posted: at 11:16 am
There are No 1 pop songs you hear everywhere you go and soon hope never to hear again; and then there are pop songs that, to quote the critic Robert Christgau, actually reveal themselves to you in that kind of saturation. Nearly 20 years ago, he gave the examples of the Backstreet Boys I Want It That Way and Chers Believe songwriting so irresistible, it withstands not only play after play but years of changing tastes and production.
Call Me Maybe is another song you are still glad to be reminded of, even after hearing it a gazillion times. As Justin Bieber tweeted to his many millions of Twitter followers, after hearing it on Canadian radio in late 2011: it is possibly the catchiest song Ive ever heard lol. His endorsement prompted his manager, Scooter Braun, to sign the artist, one Carly Rae Jepsen then best known as the third-place runner-up on 2007s Canadian Idol.
Bieber had never jumped out and promoted an artist like this before, Braun told Rolling Stone. Months later, in April 2012, Bieber still hadnt got Call Me Maybe out of his head. A video of him larking about and miming the lyrics with then-girlfriend Selena Gomez, Ashley Tisdale and a host of other tweenage celebrities went viral. Their enthusiasm was as infectious as the song, inspiring everyone from Katy Perry to US armed forces in Afghanistan to follow suit.
You could not have planned Call Me Maybes path to No 1 better had you tried. Within weeks it had hit the top spot in 16 countries with more than 10m copies sold and 355m views on YouTube. It was the kind of rocket-fuelled, felicitous ascent that today might suggest an industry plant but social medias instant embrace of Call Me Maybe was organic and real, a human response to something so moreish.
On first listen, the song seemed deceptively featherweight. The strings sound like ringtones; the guitar parts as though they were lifted from a PlayStation 2 game. But even the most synthetic production cant detract from songwriting this ironclad. It is telling that Call Me Maybe was intended as a folk song; it would be catchy played on a kazoo, or underwater.
Its power lies in its compulsive karaoke quality: you cant sing along to the chorus without also twirling your finger at your temple and miming a phone. And at three minutes and 13 seconds, it leaves you wanting more, and more until you eventually succumb to the repeat button.
But most of Call Me Maybes charm has to do with its singer. At 26, Jepsen was older than most pop stars are at the time of their breakout hit, and certainly past the point of thinking an exchange of phone numbers crazy but she buys into the bubblegum romance with such enthusiasm and warmth, and what could be corny is purely endearing.
It speaks to persistent snobbishness about mainstream pop that Call Me Maybe is often spoken of today as a novelty record or guilty pleasure, rather than as an enduring classic. But its precisely the songs candy-floss lightness that has sustained its longevity. Even when Jepsen achieved indie cred with her 2015 album Emotion, it wasnt with the sense of now this is the music Ive always wanted to make. Now 34, she continues to perform Call Me Maybe with the same infectious delight as she gave it a decade ago. And why wouldnt she? Its still every bit as good.
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The 100 greatest UK No 1s: No 20, Carly Rae Jepsen Call Me Maybe - The Guardian
Posted: at 11:16 am
Restrictive measures aimed at curbing the new coronavirus pandemic have changed the lives of people all over the world in drastic ways. For this Special Feature, we have asked readers and contributors to share their best coping strategies.
People from all over the world have been reporting that current restrictive measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly altered the daily course of their lives.
In April, dozens of respondents told Medical News Today about the impact the current public health emergency has had on the well-being of themselves and their loved ones.
But what are people doing to cope? A survey from March, 2020 indicates that in the United States, at least, many individuals have turned to unhealthful coping strategies, such as increased alcohol consumption or the use of other recreational substances.
The same survey also suggests that a majority of U.S. respondents were actively seeking to improve their situation by taking affirmative action.
So what are some helpful coping strategies? To find out, Medical News Today asked readers on social media to tell us what they do make their lives better at this uncertain time.
We also spoke to contributors from all over the world about their top coping tips.
In this Special Feature, we give you an overview of some top coping strategies. We also look at why scientists agree these actions can help improve our well-being.
Many people told MNT that exercising indoors or outdoors, as well as practicing yoga, meditation, or forms of prayer have helped to keep them grounded and focused.
One reader told us that, for them, walking and running [are] [g]reat stress reducers after long days at work, while another mentioned yoga, books, and praying as their go-to in these uncertain times.
Diana, from France, told MNT that it is thanks to regular exercise that she now feels less anxious and more optimistic. I have been exercising every morning with my neighbor, so for the past few days or past week, I have been feeling super positive, and everythings been O.K., she said.
We are permitted 3 hours for any activity, either alone or with one other person, Christina, from Greece, told us. I use this option to go out every day for a run. Therefore, physically and mentally, I feel very good.
It is not surprising that these activities have benefited the mental and physical well-being of people worldwide during the pandemic.
Numerous studies have demonstrated that physical activity, yoga, meditation, and prayer are all linked to better overall health.
Researchers have shown that exercise could prevent depression, boost aspects of our memory, reduce inflammation, and even increase lifespan.
Yoga and meditation could have a direct impact on physiological drivers of stress and resilience to hardship, while the simple presence of religious faith in someones life has ties to longevity.
In countries with less stringent public health emergency measures in place, many people have been taking advantage of the opportunity to take walks in nature.
One reader, reaching out to MNT on social media, said: I go for a walk every day, and I really appreciate nature [and] fresh air.
Researchers have linked walking, as a form of casual, non-strenuous exercise, to a variety of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, improved psychological well-being, and a longer lifespan.
Some of our readers have also said that they try to take advantage of nature and fresh air in any way they can. This might be by stepping outdoors for a while or just sitting out on the balcony.
Since the weather got warmer, [my family and I] have started going out on occasional walks in the forest near our house, Mihai, from Romania, told us.
During the day, [our young son] stays out on the balcony for a while, he tries to [entertain himself by spotting] cats, dogs, pigeons, he added.
One of the main lifelines for me has been reading in the garden in the sunshine, another MNT reader commented on social media.
Many readers have also told us that they have taken up gardening as a means to enjoy the fresh air and sunny weather, if they have access to a garden or a balcony.
While gardening can certainly be calming, it may bring many health benefits besides stress reduction. An older study published in The Medical Journal of Australia associated gardening with a 36% lower risk of developing dementia.
And a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that gardening also has associations with a lower risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.
But even just taking a moment to admire nature can do wonders for our well-being whether that be in the form of a potted plant, a fresh crop of cilantro grown on the window sill, or observing newly hatched baby ducks at the park.
A research paper published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2017 found that simply stopping to notice a bird or a tree has associations with a heightened sense of overall happiness.
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the current pandemic has been of the physical distancing measures adopted by many countries.
Readers from all over the world have told MNT that they are worried about family members and friends whom they cannot see in person. They mention how they miss being able to meet up and engage in fun activities with those they love.
Yet many of them have expressed a strong determination in maintaining that human connection despite all the obstacles.
Almost all of the people reaching out to MNT have said that they have regular phone calls or video calls with friends and family. Some have found ways of replicating the interactions they would typically have with their loved ones over the internet.
Martina, who lives in Belgium, told us that she has been grateful for all the creative get-togethers that the people in her life have been planning:
To cope, I take advantage of the many initiatives organized by friends and family to keep us together. I do yoga online with a friend who is a teacher every day.  I see my boss and my colleagues every Tuesday for a virtual coffee that [replaces] the ritual of our usual Tuesday lunch together. I have lunch with my family on Zoom almost every Sunday.
Some of the people we spoke to also noted that their employers have been taking steps to maintain their employees team spirit, and an atmosphere of collegiality.
For example, Mihai, in Romania, said that his company has been organizing 2-weekly meetings of 30 minutes each, in which we discuss anything aside from work.
[That is] to reduce our sense of isolation, he explained.
Studies suggest that long, deep conversations help us feel more connected and can enhance peoples sense of well-being. Social interaction may also help protect memory, according to some researchers.
Some experts have also linked lasting friendships and a good social life with better overall health and longevity.
Given all this, it is no wonder that frequent calls with friends, family, and colleagues provide a tangible sense of relief.
Readers who happen to be living with partners, family, or housemates, have also reported that playing board games helps them cope. Others play board games or computer games online with friends.
That, for instance, is the case of Ramona and Simona, who live in Sweden, and Stephen, in Canada, who told us that: Socially, weve been doing video calls and playing online board games and video games with friends and family. We even took part in a Zoom pub quiz.
Researchers have shown that playing and playfulness can help reduce stress levels in adults and increase their overall sense of well-being.
Some people have even linked board games to better brain function, and some studies have suggested that romantic partners who play together stay together, as the excitement and fun of board games help strengthen their bond.
Another favorite coping strategy from respondents all over the world is learning a new skill.
I also spend a lot of time teaching myself web coding through a free online course, taking and editing photos, and brushing up on my French with Duolingo, Stephen also told us, and other readers have sent us similar comments.
Research suggests that learning activities in adulthood may help improve life satisfaction and that learning new languages could help rejuvenate the brain.
All of these activities suggest that growth and adaptability have been key in facing the often life-altering circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to everyone.
By scheduling frequent video calls with friends and sticking to a regular exercise routine, people have been doing their best to recreate their usual lifestyle at a different scale while relegated to their home environment.
Some, indeed, have gone to some lengths to do so. Misato, from Japan, told MNT that what she misses most is working from her favorite caf, a place that stimulates her focus and creativity. So she has recreated it at home.
[C]afs used to be one of my favorite places to refresh my thinking and mood but, by analyzing  why cafs made me comfortable, I made [a] caf section in my room, which eventually reduces my stress, and I currently dont feel any stress not going to cafs.
Some researchers think the pandemic may kickstart a boom of creativity, not just in individual contexts but also in diverse economic fields.
While challenging in many ways, the current pandemic may end up proving that humans have what it takes to find a way out of any crisis. Perhaps all that we need, in the end, are some creative strategies.
For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.