Low-Risk and High-Risk Activities Activities

On this Memorial Day, and every day thereafter, please be careful. See what activities are risky or not.

In prior posts, we looked at Coronavirus Thoughts from a High-Risk Perspective and Lighthearted Look at Possible Activities.

Now, we turn to a valuable list of low-risk and high-risk activities from NPR:

“It has been around two months of quarantine for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the summer is real. But what’s safe? We asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate the risk of summer activities, from backyard gatherings to a day at the pool to sharing a vacation house with another household.”

“One big warning: Your personal risk depends on your age and health, the prevalence of the virus in your area, and the precautions you take during any of these activities. Also, many areas continue to restrict the activities described here, so check your local laws.”

“And there’s no such thing as a zero-risk outing right now. As states begin allowing businesses and public areas to reopen, decisions about what’s safe will be up to individuals. It can help to think through the risks the way the experts do.”

“‘We can think of transmission risk with a simple phrase: time, space, people, place,” explains Dr. William Miller, an epidemiologist at Ohio State University. Here’s his rule of thumb: The more time you spend and the closer in space you are to any infected people, the higher your risk. Interacting with more people raises your risk, and indoor places are riskier than outdoors.’

To see what is low risk and what is high risk, click on an activity:

Low-Risk and High-Risk Activities
Image by Meredith Miotke for NPR

 

Let Us Out – Please

Who decides what and when for us?

At this point, the phrase “let us out – please” is a mantra for us. We’ve been self-quarantined for quite a while. And we’re yearning to get out of the house. So, what should be okay for us to do? And who should decide what we can do?

What Should Be Okay for Us to Do?

Up to this point, many of us have been limited to these out-of-the-house activities: walking/exercising by ourselves, grocery shopping, and going to the pharmacy. Some may have also used curbside pickups.

But, now what? As the number of states “opening up” hits double digits, which of these DO YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE DOING? For which will you wait? First, we focus on discretionary activities — those that we voluntarily choose to engage in.

Let Us Out - PleaseAs we noted, the above are voluntary. That is, they are our choice. However, other activities may soon be required of us. Without them being at our discretion. These include:

    • Returning to work or school.
    • Walking on busy streets.
    • Taking mass transit.
    • Using elevators
    • Using public bathrooms.
    • Being less than six feet apart from other employees/students while working or attending class.
    • Being required to wear masks/gloves for lengthy time periods during the day.
    • Staying in dormitory housing.

That leads us to our second question.

Who Should Decide What We Can Do?

Wow. This has turned into a real “hot button” question. And there are lots of possible answers.

Recently, there have been protests around the U.S. about required self-quarantining. Those protesters believe too much has been shut down. And that they should be able to choose their activities. On the other hand, the vast majority of those polled believe that mandatory self-quarantining is necessary to enforce social distancing rules.

Before outlining possible decision makers, we must address the elephant in the room. Can we and our fellow Americans be trusted to adhere to voluntary social distancing rules? Or must these rules be legally mandated to be followed? 

Unfortunately, for a sizable number of people, “voluntary” means that these rules don’t apply to me. Let’s try to be apolitical here. With blue and red state examples. In New York City, some people continued to go to parks, play outdoor basketball, etc. This lasted until rules were more strictly enforced. In Florida, some people do not practice social distancing while going to reopened beaches. That state is leaving it up to residents to self-regulate themselves.

Now, let’s outline just some of those who are making decisions that affect our health and livelihoods:

    • Federal government and agencies
    • State governments and agencies
    • Local governments and agencies
    • Specific authorities (such as mass transit)
    • Public institutions (such as libraries and schools)
    • Private institutions (such as banks) 
    • Employers (both public and private)
    • US [intentionally listed last]

At this juncture, the preceding mix of responsibilities and authority seem rather disjointed. That is why interesting times are ahead.

 

Tools for a Calmer YOU

FREE tools to help you relax.

Today, we look at tools for a calmer YOU. And we focus on the Calm.com Web site. [Please note: Calm.com offers both free and premium access to its site. As a nonprofit blog, we emphasize free materials. And Calm’s free features offer a lot of tools.]

But first, review this comment from GCC Exchange:

“Keeping calm is a bliss that most of us don’t realize in life. When you keep calm in the most dreadful conditions of life, you open up the avenues for solutions. Thus, it is important to sort out even the major crises of your life. Everyone deals with the harsh challenges our lives give to us. And to survive into this busy world, we need to be patient. There are times when you need to stay mum instead of quibbling over a thing. Yes, sometimes we face circumstances where it is difficult to keep calm. Nonetheless, you still need to try!”

Free Calm.com Tools for a Calmer YOU

According to Calm.com:

“We’re the #1 app for Sleep, Meditation and Relaxation, with over 50 million downloads and over 700,000 5-star reviews. We’re honored to be an Apple BEST OF 2018 award winner, Apple’s App of the Year 2017, Google Play Editor’s Choice 2018, and to be named by the Center for Humane Technology as ‘the world’s happiest app’.”

Free Vs. Premium Access to Calm.com

The distinction appears in the help section of Calm.com. As highlighted here.

Free from Calm.com

As Calm.com notes at its blog:

“These challenging times remind us that it’s never enough to just look after ourselves. We must look after each other too. This is what it means to Calm Together. In that spirit, we’ve handpicked some of our favorite meditations, sleep stories, movement exercises, journals, and music. All of the resources on this page are free to use, and to share. May they bring you, and those around you, peace.”

Click the image to access these free programs.

Tools for a Calmer YOU

 

Happiness While Self-Quarantining

Several keys for being happier NOW.

Yes, we know that self-quarantining is tough on us. Both physically and psychologically. But, we need to fight our way through COVID-19. Today, we consider the keys to happiness in any situation.

First, take a look at these prior posts:

Keys to Happiness While Self-Quarantining

In doing research for this post, we visited a number of online sources. The following observations synthesize our research, as articulated by two of those sources.

From Wanderlust Worker

Emotional Well-Being: 7 Keys to Happiness:

  1. Practice mindfulness — Meditate and concentrate on the here and now. Discard negative thoughts. Learn to connect body and mind and see the positive side of your daily life situations. Do not live in the future, do not worry about things that have not yet happened, and live the moment.
  2. Exercise Exercising regularly makes you feel better about yourself. Not only does it increase your energy levels, but it also reduces stress.
  3. Surround yourself with positive people Spend time with family and friends [even if remotely], so you’ll never regret not having spent time with them. Your relationships with others are fundamental to your being happy. That is why you should cherish them.
  4. Listen to music —  This provides many psychological benefits, and, moreover, we can control our mood depending on the type of music we listen to.
  5. Get outdoors and enjoy the good weather — The sun is a powerful natural antidepressant. So, get off the sofa and switch off the TV. 
  6. Accept yourself as you are We all go through bad times and it’s not good for you to keep your feelings to yourself. Pretending that everything is going well will only frustrate you and make you even more miserable.
  7. Find time for yourself — You must always find a moment during each day to dedicate to yourself.

From Red Online

The 10 Keys to Happiness That Are Scientifically Proven:

Happiness While Self-Quarantining
 

Encore – Surviving Cancer: Personal Glimpses of Resilience

Hear from three cancer survivors.

Another aspect of my personal good fortune is the continuing popularity of interviews I have done.

Thus, it is with great pride that I present the most recent airing (October 24, 2019) of Surviving Cancer: Personal Glimpses of Resilience. Hosted by Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips:

“In this episode Professor Joel Evans, Patricia Malone, and Dave Berger will share personal glimpses of their diagnosis, treatment and survival from cancer. You will hear about the impact of diagnosis, the role of family and friends. The question of stigma and the response of colleagues. You will hear about the expected and unexpected, the trust in medical teams and the personal factors that each drew upon to keep on going at the roughest of times. These are stories of pain, persistence, fear, gratitude and possibility. These are stories of people who were helped by the wisdom of others who had faced cancer. In this episode, Joel Evans, Patricia Malone and Dave Berger want to pass on their experiences to benefit others. You will not forget them or the resilience they share.”

 

 

Small Calorie Cuts Can Yield Big Benefits

Interesting new findings.

Many of us have worked hard to reduce our caloric intake and improve our health. Both short-run and long-run. BUT, how many calories must we cut to see benefits? It depends on our weight at the time that we diet.

As reported by Samiha Khanna-Duke for Futurity.org:

“Adults already at a healthy weight or carrying just a few extra pounds, can benefit from cutting around 300 calories a day, new research shows.”

Click this image to read her article.

Small Calorie Cuts Can Yield Big Benefits
(Credit: Chasing Donguri/Flickr)