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Watching Television in a Pandemic - Los Angeles Review of Books
DURING THIS TIME of COVID-19’s pandemic spread — when worries for ourselves and others can be all-consuming — we need jokes along with much else.
Pocket  friends  pandemic  television 
1 hour ago by j-l-r
Cities after coronavirus: how Covid-19 could radically alter urban life | World news | The Guardian
Victoria Embankment, which runs for a mile and a quarter along the River Thames, is many people’s idea of quintessential London. Some of the earliest postcards sent in Britain depicted its broad promenades and resplendent gardens.
cities  covid-19  pandemic  society 
3 hours ago by jeffhammond
302 Found
There’s a strange, sad, and grim truth that needs to be told right about now: Western governments have, by and large, badly bungled the response to Coronavirus.
collapse  covid-19  pandemic  society  stories  by  umair  haque  on  usa 
3 hours ago by jeffhammond
A Brain Hack to Break the Coronavirus Anxiety Cycle - The New York Times
Sometime in the last million years, humans evolved a new layer on top of our more primitive survival brain, called the prefrontal cortex. Involved in creativity and planning, the prefrontal cortex helps us think and plan for the future. It predicts what will happen in the future based on past experience. If information is lacking, our prefrontal cortex lays out different scenarios about what might happen, and guesses which will be most likely. It does this by running simulations based on previous events that are most similar.

Enter anxiety.

Without accurate information, it is easy for our brains to spin stories of fear and dread.
So how do we not panic? Too many times, I’ve seen my anxious clinic patients try to suppress or think themselves out of anxiety. Unfortunately, both willpower and reasoning rely on the prefrontal cortex, which isn’t available at these critical moments. Instead, I start by teaching them how their brains work, so that they can see how uncertainty weakens the brain’s ability to deal with stress, priming it for anxiety when fear hits.

To hack our brains and break the anxiety cycle, we need to become aware of two things: that we are getting anxious or panicking and what the result is. This helps us see if our behavior is actually helping us survive, or in fact moving us in the opposite direction — panic can lead to impulsive behaviors that are dangerous; anxiety is both acutely mentally and physically weakening and a slow burn that has more long-term health consequences.

Once we are aware of how unrewarding anxiety is, we can then deliberately bring in the “bigger better offer.” Since our brains will choose more rewarding behaviors simply because they feel better, we can practice replacing old habitual behaviors — such as worry — with those that are naturally more rewarding.

For example, if we notice that we have a habit of touching our face, we can be on the lookout for when we act that behavior out. For example:

If we are starting to worry: “Oh no, I touched my face, maybe I’ll get sick!”,

Instead of panicking, take a deep breath and ask: “When was the last time I cleaned my hands?”

Think. “Oh, right! I just washed my hands.”

Just by taking a moment to pause and ask the question, we give our prefrontal cortex a chance to come back online and do what it does best: think.

Here, we can leverage certainty: If we’ve just washed our hands, and haven’t been out in public, the likelihood that we’re going to get sick is pretty low.

When our prefrontal cortex comes back online, we can compare anxiety to what it feels like to be calm. To our brains, it’s a no-brainer. It simply takes a little practice so that the bigger, better offers become new habits.
psychology  anxiety  panic  corona  pandemic  covid 
3 hours ago by emmacarlson
How WHO Became China's Accomplice in the Coronavirus Pandemic
While the novel coronavirus is changing the world, China is trying to do the same. Already a serious strategic rival of the United States with considerable international clout, it’s now moving into a new field—health.
china  covid-19  pandemic 
6 hours ago by jeffhammond
Pandemics Depress the Economy, Public Health Interventions Do Not: Evidence from the 1918 Flu
April 2020 MIT working paper
The 1918 Flu first arrived in the eastern U.S., where cities like Philadelphia did not know much about the disease and suffered from a high death toll. The rest of the country was then alerted, and western cities like Seattle reacted with harsher measures as soon as their first cases emerged. The government of that time enforced similar non-pharmaceutical interventions(NPIs) as today: businesses and schools were closed, public gatherings are banned, and people were asked to stay home if they felt sick. Arguably, these NPI orders saved lives at the cost of accelerating the economy shutdown, as both supply and demand are hurt.

Instead, the authors show that early and forceful NPIs did not worsen the downturn. Cities that intervened earlier and more aggressively would have a relative increase in multiple economic indicators after the end of the pandemic. Cities that reacted 10 days earlier after the first case increased manufacturing employment by around 5% after the pandemic. Likewise, implementing NPIs for an additional 50 days increased manufacturing employment by 6.5% in the post-period. Figure 1 shows that cities that enforced NPIs for the time length above the median (in green) have a better outcome in both mortality and economy than those below the median (in red).
MIT  global_health  economy  pandemic 
7 hours ago by strohps
트위터 단어 수집을 통해 알아보는 전염병 시대의 행복 지수, Hedonometer
Hedonometer라는 사이트는 2008년부터 영문 트윗에서 사용되는 단어를 수집
동성혼 합법화와 같은 뉴스가 뜨거나 주말이 다가오면 행복감을 나타내는 단어 사용이 증가
총기 난사 사건이나 테러, 트럼프 당선 같은 소식이 나오면 불행한 표현이 증가
코로나19가 터진 후 사상 최악으로 행복 지수가 낮아짐
미국이 코로나19를 진지하게 받아들이기 시작한 다음날인 3월 12일 가장 낮은 행복 지수를 기록
twitter  happiness  pandemic  coronavirus  2020  kottke 
9 hours ago by yun
Professional Responsibility in a Pandemic | North Carolina State Bar
As health concerns mandate social distancing and other precautions due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, many lawyers and their staff will find themselves working from home. The necessity to work remotely brings new challenges for lawyers as they continue to be governed by the Rules of Professional Conduct. However, despite the changes in the world around us, the Rules of Professional Conduct have not changed. Lawyers must continue to pursue their clients’ matters “despite opposition, obstruction, or personal inconvenience to the lawyer,” Rule 1.3, cmt. 1, and must otherwise strive to maintain as normal of a lawyer-client relationship as possible. This article examines professional responsibilities that demand special consideration during this unprecedented time. Lawyers may contact the State Bar’s Ethics Staff for further guidance, if needed, by emailing
pandemic  ethics  clients 
10 hours ago by JordanFurlong
A dark sense of humor
1918 Spanish flu pandemic: Here's what the deadly H1N1 virus looked like a century ago
photography  spanishflu  pandemic  history 
10 hours ago by mirthe

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