Category Archives: Health affairs

One Question to Help You Practice Empathy

Instead of simply assuming everyone’s trying their best, ask: ‘What if they’re secretly suffering?’

Illustration of a swimming pool ladder going down into the galaxy of a pink person’s mind.
Illustration: dickcraft/Getty Images

When I am angry and irritated by a result I don’t want to accept, remembering to ask, “What if they are trying their best?” usually works to calm my roiling emotional heartburn. But a heated encounter at my community center pool last summer had me thinking about how I can go a step further to ask, “What if they are suffering?” Can “assuming suffering” go beyond just dissipating frustration to actually building a bridge of empathy? And should I extend this kind of personal empathy even to someone who is wielding systemic privilege?

Continue readingJane Park Jane Park‘s article:

and find out what she finds she can do as a grown-ass woman to protect herself from the anger of others

— which is likely not even about me?

Anger is the external expression of internal sadness and unprocessed grief, which we all have a lot of these days.

I wonder how it would have changed my emotional chemistry had I imagined that she had a husband with cancer, too. What if she had been suffering and sobbing silently into the pool right there with me?

The mental image of her tears immediately softens me. I like the feeling softened, because I am tired of carrying around so much anger. I’m all full up in that department. I don’t have any extra space for more. Anger is the external expression of internal sadness and unprocessed grief, which we all have a lot of these days. Finding any way to offload even a little is a welcome relief.

Now, when someone cuts me off on the road, or is otherwise unkind, I try to wonder if they are rushing to their chemo appointment. (I’m mostly not

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A letter from Kyiv

It is good for us who live in Western Europe to hear various voices from the North-East. Knowing that after the corona crisis an even more dangerous virus may now affect the world, we should not allow ourselves to be misled by propaganda, and it is, therefore, all the more important to also hear the voice of the ordinary man in the street of a country under attack from a power-hungry individual who will not hesitate to lead Europe into a third world war.

Not everyone is gifted to find a good place to shelter his or her life.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who must now face the harsh reality of the world’s most heinous acts.

 

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Additional reading

Towards a Third World War or not

the scroll

CN: war, trauma

When I woke up on 24 February, I was expecting a day like any other. I’d have breakfast, make coffee, and head to work. I’d smile at our customers, trade anecdotes with my colleagues, call my friends and family to ask them about their plans for the upcoming weekend. “Maybe we can go see a movie”, I’d suggest, or “maybe we’ll go out dancing”. I’ve always enjoyed the stability of this routine, the comfort of an ever-constant schedule. That comfort is long gone.

When I woke up on the 24 February, it was to the sound of my mother’s voice through the receiver, an audible tremor in her words as she told me that a full-scale invasion by Russian forces was no longer a threat, but a crushing reality. I wasn’t oblivious to the gravity of my country’s situation — I’d packed a suitcase…

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Pope Francis I making another passionate appeal for peace in Ukraine

The head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State since 2013, Jorge Mario Bergoglio or Pope Francis I, already mentioned this year that health care is a moral obligation. But we should not forget that health care is about the physical as well as the spiritual health and the attitude we do take in life.

In the previous years, the present pope has given his attention to people in difficulties. In November 2020, Francis named China’s Uyghur minority among a list of the world’s persecuted peoples. He wrote:

“I think often of persecuted peoples: the Rohingya [Muslims in Myanmar], the poor Uighurs, the Yazidi—what ISIS did to them was truly cruel — or Christians in Egypt and Pakistan killed by bombs that went off while they prayed in church.” {China dismisses Pope Francis’s comments about persecution of Uighurs”. The Guardian. 25 November 2020.}

As the theme for the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, to be celebrated on 25 September, Pope Francis has chosen “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.”
“Building with” means recognising and promoting the role that migrants and refugees have to play in this work of construction, because only in this way will it be possible to build a world that ensures the conditions for the integral human development of all, a communiqué explains.

If we are not careful, we shall find a new flood of people looking for safety, but this time not coming from the Southeast but from the Northeast.

Pope Francis meets participants taking part in the Plenary of Congregation for Eastern Churches

Pope Francis meets participants taking part in the Plenary of Congregation for Eastern Churches (Vatican Media)

Meeting with members of the Plenary of the Congregation for Eastern Churches on Friday the 18th of February, Pope Francis said

“humanity still seems to be groping in the dark,”

highlighting the massacres from conflicts in the Middle East, in Syria and Iraq, and the

“threatening winds across the steppes of Eastern Europe.”

During the General Audience this morning, Pope Francis made a heartfelt appeal for peace in Ukraine, saying that the threat of war had caused

“great pain in my heart.”

“Despite the diplomatic efforts of the last few weeks,”

the Pope said,

“increasingly alarming scenarios are opening up,”

with many people all over the world feeling anguish and pain.

““Once again the peace of all is threatened by partisan interests,”

he stressed. Pope Francis appealed to those

“with political responsibility to examine their consciences seriously before God, who is the God of peace and not of war, who is the Father of all, not just of some, who wants us to be brothers and not enemies.””

Though, we wonder how many of those leaders think about God! We also can see that certain people do not seem to have a conscience at all. They are taken in by their greed and want for more power.

We are even convinced that certain world leaders have long had plans in their heads to conquer various parts of the world, even though they claim that they do not want to attack or invade countries. One wonders, then, how one can name and justify the Russian army convoys entering the Donbass region. According to Putin, they may be peacekeeping forces but appear to be earlier occupation forces, giving Russia the opportunity to take Luhansk and Donetsk as their own.

For weeks we have heard about talks and have seen efforts to get to a diplomatic solution. In vain, because there is a hardliner who intends to carry out his plan, whatever the others may think. He has frightened many people in many countries and made them resort to appealing to their god to make the right decision.

The Pope also prayed that

“all the parties involved refrain from any action that would cause even more suffering to the people, destabilising coexistence between nations and bringing international law into disrepute.”

For many Catholics, there is a period of preparation towards Easter, during which they want to take time for reflection. Six and a half weeks before Easter they have their “first day of Lent,” reminding them of their mortality and the need for reconciliation with God. In Anglican, Lutheran, and some other Protestant churches such a day of fasting and abstinence can be found.

Speaking at the end of the General Audience, Pope Francis appealed to everyone, believers and non-believers alike, to put evil aside. He asked to remember the Nazarene teacher Jesus who taught us that the diabolical senselessness of violence is answered with God’s weapons, with prayer and fasting.

He proposed to make 2 March, Ash Wednesday, a Day of Fasting for Peace.

“I encourage believers in a special way to dedicate themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace preserve the world from the madness of war,”

he said.

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Preceding

A lot of talk about a war beginning soon

Risk of accidental war with Russia highest in decades, general warns

Boris Johnson warns Putin against Ukraine invasion

Britain warns Russia over Ukraine

US bolsters Europe with 3,000 extra troops

The strategic error Putin is potentially about to make

Make Ukraine A Buffer State Between Russia & the EU

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Additional reading

  1. The world on the very brink of conflict
  2. Putin plays dangerous poker game
  3. A useless but very dangerous challenge game
  4. A world leader deciding over other regions or countries
  5. Threat of an invasion of Russian troops soon a serious reality
  6. Ukraine ready for any format of talks with Russia to establish peace
  7. Will Ukraine Escape Russian Domination?

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, Health affairs, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

A serious inflammation of the liver and dark corners in American medicine

When World War II began, the US military discovered that it had a huge health problem: hepatitis. Nothing much was known about the disease and the military wanted to know how to prevent it and cure it.

So, from shortly after Pearl Harbor in 1942 to the end of the War and continuing to 1972, American biomedical researchers deliberately infected people with hepatitis. Government-sponsored researchers were attempting to discover the basic features of the disease and the viruses causing it, and to develop interventions that would quell recurring outbreaks.

A new book from Yale University Press, Dangerous Medicine: The Story behind Human Experiments with Hepatitis describes the medical and ethical issues behind hepatitis experiments.

Please read more:

Hepatitis research: more dark corners in American medicine

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Related

  1. Tips For How to Prevent Hepatitis and how to control it
  2. Hepatitis B and C: A new test protects against liver damage
  3. “Health Net” will really be “tired to bursting liver”?Doctor: Acute liver failure is not necessarily related to staying up late for a long time
  4. Hepatitis (plural hepatitides)…
  5. Liver expression of IL-22, IL-22R1 and IL-22BP in patients with chronic hepatitis C with different fibrosis stages
  6. Hypoglycemia associated with direct-acting anti-hepatitis C virus drugs: An epidemiologic surveillance study of the FDA adverse event reporting system (FAERS)
  7. Prevalence of Hepatitis B Calls for Further Intervention in Asia
  8. 3rd Death Possibly Linked To Pennsylvania Hepatitis A Outbreak Reported
  9. Nonprofit ‘Tulsa CARES’ Adds First In House Doctor To Help Patients With HIV, Hepatitis C

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Andrá Tutto Bene, Everything will be fine!

Throughout 2020 and 2021 people wondered how long their restrictions would take. In many countries doctors and nursers had to give more than their best to save lives. In the health area they were at war, daily fighting this war whose enemy is invisible.
For them, there is this message.

We keep praying for all those involved to help people to survive this crisis.

As citizens, we can all do our best to stay safe by keeping to the Corona measures. Let us not forget all those health workers and in respect of them stay protected at home stay.

Andrá Tutto Bene, Everything will be fine!

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Dear 2021,

Whichever way we turn, in 2021 we were able to experience another year that tried to undermine mankind.

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
― Mehmet Murat ildan

It was already an understatement to say that 2020 swept us off our feet, 2021 gave us a run for our money. (Perhaps even literally as well figuratively)

100 years ago another virus had after that terrible Great War tried to reduce the population by large numbers as if that horrible 4 years of war was not sufficient. It had brought down mankind to its knees by a microscopic being. And as if it has to come back every century, we too could feel what it is when a dangerous disease spreads around like mad.

But like the previous 2 years, we could find lightbulbs burning in the darkness.
Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery, many could continue their journey that started off a year before. Several people found new opportunities in this time of malaise. We could see changes in people’s lifestyles, and it was as if man now, at last, gave some rest to nature, having lesser cars driving around. In any case, the Corona period proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically.

Set against a backdrop of human loss and misery was a journey of discovery and realisation that many were just learning to undertake. It brought about a tremendous change in people’s lifestyles, perspectives and proved beneficial to the environment, with pollution rates decreasing drastically. Adoption of minimalistic living practices became the norm in view of the virus’ indefinite tenure. As death tolls rose in a staggering manner, people dwelled in a constant state of apprehension of what the future would bring….. {Dear 2020}

For many, 2021 was a difficult ride, but we all have grown and gotten through it, hopefully learning lessons and making memories in the process. And as you say, we also think, that’s something to be grateful for.

Random Specific Thoughts

In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!
―Mehmet Murat ildan

Gosh, I’m almost certainly sure I’m going blind from all the screens. I keep wanting to say it is your fault. Is it?

I’m sorry – where are my manners?

Dear 2021,

I hope you’re well and the packing is going great. You have but mere minutes before you turn into yet another history chapter. Unlike your predecessor, you weren’t cruel or a fan of surprises but you were clever and cunning. This has been quite the rollercoaster of a year and well, to be honest – I’m not going to blame you for it. I was rather harsh towards 2020 now that I think about i,t and I feel terrible about it.

You see, as humans…

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Mediterranean Diet Reduces Cardiovascular and All-Cause Mortality

Examining a variety of diet quality methodologies will inform best practice use of diet quality indices for assessing all-cause and CVD mortality:
To examine the association between three diet quality indices (Australian Dietary Guideline Index, DGI; Dietary Inflammatory Index, DII; Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, MIND) and risk of all-cause mortality, CVD mortality and non-fatal CVD events up to 19 years later.
Data on 10,009 adults (51.8 years; 52% female) from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle study were used. A food frequency questionnaire was used to calculate DGI, DII and MIND at baseline. Cox proportional hazard models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% CI of all-cause mortality, CVD mortality and non-fatal CVD events (stroke; myocardial infarction) according to 1 SD increase in diet quality, adjusted for age, sex, education, smoking, physical activity, energy intake, history of stroke or heart attack, and diabetes and hypertension status.

Results

Deaths due to all-cause (n = 1,955) and CVD (n = 520), and non-fatal CVD events (n = 264) were identified during mean follow-ups of 17.7, 17.4 and 9.6 years, respectively. For all-cause mortality, HRs associated with higher DGI, DII and MIND were 0.94 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.99), 1.08 (95% CI: 1.02, 1.15) and 0.93 (95% CI: 0.89, 0.98), respectively. For CVD mortality, HRs associated with higher DGI, DII and MIND were 0.93 (95% CI: 0.85, 0.99), 1.10 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.24) and 0.90 (95% CI: 0.82, 0.98), respectively. There was limited evidence of associations between diet quality and non-fatal CVD events.

Conclusions

Folks with diabetes have higher-than-average risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, such as heart attacks and strokes. So it’s good to know about dietary habits that enhance longevity.

Better quality diet predicted lower risk of all-cause and CVD mortality in Australian adults, while a more inflammatory diet predicted higher mortality risk. These findings highlight the applicability of following Australian dietary guidelines, a Mediterranean style diet and a low-inflammatory diet for the reduction of all-cause and CVD mortality risk.

 

The Journal of Nutrition, nxab386, https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxab386

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My perspective: Virtual v Physical church attendance

After several months having the churches being closed, people now allowed again to meet in small circles (with the Covid Safe Ticket or Pass) every individual should check for himself or herself and should examine for the family if it would already be safe to go to gatherings, be it for relaxation, Bible study or church service.

Going to “the grocery store, the restaurants, the beauty shop, the office, the classroom, the gym, and the doctor” is something totally different than going to a church, where people are sitting close together and normally also would sing and say prayers together in an enclosed space making it very easy for a virus to spread.

When people go to the supermarket, they are only limited by the amount of people allowed per square metre, and as such have to follow the red and green light indications or the stewards allowing only the right amount of people entering the wide space. To enter the shops only a regulated amount of people per square metre is allowed and often only two at a time, plus always with a mouth mask.

To go to a café, snackbar or restaurant a person has to have the Covid Safe Ticket or Pass and the same regulation is there for other places (as churches) and events.

For going to a gp or doctor one must make an appointment and maximum two people are allowed in the waiting room, which should be ventilated and normally is spacey enough to receive much more people than two.

For going to church there is in many cases no controlling system, though there should be someone at the door asking and checking your CST.

Worship and Bible class are not simply about our being fed spiritually and matters that can be done on our own or via online meetings. Such online meetings can never take in the place of an actual real-life meeting. But we must be fully aware of the present conditions and dangers for each other when coming together in real life.
For every follower of Christ and every lover of God the gathering between all members of the faith community should be very important and not negligible. But, and a great But, we should be fully aware of the situation.

We must consider one another to stimulate unto love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24), and that the best way to do that would be in connection with assembling together (Heb. 10:25), but this also can be done by going in conversation online by the present technical progress. There are Zoom, Jitsi a.o. to have interaction when meeting online.

That people would stay away from the assembly in present times does not mean that they would be less religious or would have abandoned their faith. It is essential to protect the own health as well as the health of others. This can mean that we still have to wait sometime before coming together in real-time and/or real life.

Our relationship with God and with His beloved son shall not be less or of less value. It is from the depth of our heart that the love for God should rise above all our present limitations.

 

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Preceding

Ideas about Religiosity

May we have doubts

Religious Resistance against vaccination

Covid-19 update | Covid Safe Ticket

New rules in Belgium to stop the spread of coronavirus

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Additional reading

  1. Christian in Christendom or in Christianity
  2. Daily thought for July the 8th and the Summer months
  3. Not created to be on our own
  4. No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures
  5. Fourth wave of COVID-19 a pandemic of the unvaccinated
  6. According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
  7. Did the first followers of Jesus have ‘church’
  8. Priorities for our Christadelphian community and for the spreading of Good News
  9. Worship

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Related

  1. Get Back to Church
  2. Is church attendance linked to higher rates of coronavirus?
  3. Enjoying Christian Fellowship
  4. Church attendance is often a distraction from biblical Christianity
  5. Normal Christian Doctrine Explained: Church Attendance
  6. Three good reasons to come back to church
  7. Millions skipped church during pandemic; will they return?
  8. No Family Is Too Busy for Church by Desiring God
  9. Why are people attending church less frequently?
  10. Why We’re Not Going Back to Church

OMT's Digest

This post is dedicated to all the virtual churchgoers like myself and those who are still unsure about whether it is best to worship virtually or physically in a church every Sunday. If this is the first time reading any of my blog posts and you want a straight answer, then please don’t proceed because this post is meant to get you thinking to find the answer within yourself.

Prior to COVID, I wouldn’t say I was a consistent church goer. If there was an attendance register, I am sure I would be called to ask why I get in late or why I have been absenting myself from church. COVID however resulted in a lot of churches going online because of physical safety restrictions so I guess I found it very convenient to wake up and have church right in the comfort of my living room.

Afterall, we learn…

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It stops germs!

 

Protiguous

Saw an anti-masker holding up a sign that read, “Masks trap germs!”

Um, yah dude. That’s kinda the whole point..

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Why haven’t you ended the pandemic

 

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