Perspectives on the week’s headlines
By Liza Horan, Editor
Covid-19 remains the lead health story across the world, as more than 1.5 million confirmed cases and nearly 100,000 deaths have been reported by the World Health Organization. While people have largely adapted to living under lockdown, there are pockets where social distancing guidelines are flouted.
The U.S. national government has issued recommendations, but President Trump has taken the route of allowing each state to govern themselves. “And in at least eight states, religious organisations have been granted exemptions from stay-at-home orders as essential services, some after legal and political battles. In Kansas lawmakers revoked the governor’s order to limit religious gatherings to 10 people,” BBC reports. “Much of the pushback is from those who see any ban on church services as a violation of religious liberties guaranteed by the constitution, although there’s debate about the legal basis for this claim.”
Meanwhile, Sweden and Belarus have been criticised and mocked for their inaction. Sweden is trusting its population to practice good hygiene, which has been called an experiment that is cynical, naive, risky and crazy. Belarus’ president stated that vodka, saunas, ice hockey, and other pursuits would help people resist coronavirus. Chloroquine, touted as a “miracle drug” by President Trump, has been abandoned as a treatment for the virus in Sweden after patients experienced major side effects.
While facts and best practices are being knowingly resisted by choice, there still are persistent fake rumours and news about the virus. The WHO updated its “myth busters” this week to include the misnomer that 5G spread coronavirus, after a bunch of people damaged mobile signal towers. Other myths debunked include that hot weather prevents the virus and holding your breath for 10 seconds is no guarantee one hasn’t contracted it.
In other news…
Mindfulness film launch: Deepak Chopra and Jewel are executive producers of “The Mindfulness Movement,” a documentary film launched yesterday. This launch weekend only, viewers can get 15% off the rental or purchase price with code: first15. The feature film, which includes Jon Kabat-Zinn among the interviews, covers “the who, what, where, when, why and how of secular, science-based mindfulness.”
Helping others helps us: Science shows that generosity and feeling responsible for others improves one’s wellbeing and ability to cope, Tara Parker-Pope writes in The New York Times. And there’s been a lot of that through the global Covid-19 crisis as people volunteer with organisations, help neighbours in need, publicly and collectively applaud care workers, and donate to relief efforts. “There is a lot of evidence that one of the best anti-anxiety medications available is generosity,” she quotes Adam Grant, a psychologist and author of “Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.” One study Parker-Pope cites demonstrated that, “People who had higher levels of felt obligation — meaning they were the type of people to sacrifice for others — coped better with their own life challenges.” Spiritual teacher and acupuncturist Deganit Nuur’s agrees: “Giving places us in a power position, which is a nice antidote to feeling a little helpless” and “Giving keeps you focused on solutions rather than problems,” she advises on Goop.
Therapeutic benefit of fur: “A five-minute interaction with a therapy dog and handler had a significant reduction in self-reported anxiety” among emergency care workers, according to research published this week in Academic Emergency Medicine.
Natural health boosters: Even if travel plans have been cancelled, it’s possible to experience the best in healing practices with Conde Nast Traveller India edition. Today’s story contains natural health tips from top international wellness retreats from Austria to New Zealand. Among the secrets shared are various Yogic breathing techniques, food and detox drink recipes, and body posture and movement.
Supercharged skies: This was a powerful week in the heavens, as two significant events occurred: A global peace meditation with more than 1 million participants was said to have occurred during a window of Age of Aquarius energies beaming to Earth to raise collective consciousness. There are two more occurrences like this happening in 2020. Tanaz at Forever Conscious puts the Jupiter-Pluto connection in eloquent perspective. The pink supermoon happened just a few days later. Astrologically speaking, “This luminary will force us to come face to face with some hard realities in life regarding love, money, and relationships,” Lisa Stardust writes on Refinery29. “Social distancing has made us think about partnerships on a whole new scale. This Super Full Moon is giving us the chance to see situations and relationships on a different level, which will force us to commit or let go.”
Free online events: Take care of yourself with these events offered free online by mind-body-spirit practitioners. Special one-time events this week include Thursday’s GetWell webinar on Movements to Power up Your Immune System, and Friday’s Free Art Journaling Session for NHS Workers, hosted by Healing Therapy Centre. Other on-going free events are daily, like Alchemy of Life’s Tantric yoga, while others are weekly like Joan Frew’s Crystal Chat and Tai Chi with Kevin Brown, both on Tuesdays; plus there are on-demand experiences for your convenience. View all free online events.