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

 

More COVID-19 Resources

Valuable sites for you to visit.

During the last few weeks, we have made several posts related to COVID-19.  Given the ongoing nature of the virus, today we offer more COVID-19 resources. 

Click the links:

And, if you know someone you think feels overly stressed or anxious, please refer them to the following site. Just click on the image.

More COVID-19 Resources

 

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

 

Better Food Shopping with Apps

How to pick more nutritious food.

Are you picking the right food in the supermarket? Do you know that there are now apps to help you do better food shopping?

For more info, check out these prior food-related posts:

Better Food Shopping with Apps

First, we look at the example of Kroger’s OptUP:

In a world of nearly endless food options, it can be challenging to make healthy choices. Introducing OptUP, a NEW Kroger app, that makes better for you shopping so much easier! We simplify healthy shopping by providing easy to use nutrition scoring and food recommendations based on what YOU buy. We’ll also track your nutritional progress overtime, and allow to you make wholesome choices for the entire family, right at your fingertips.

Review the short video overview.

For further information about the app, visit its home page shown here. Then, click each of the appropriate “learn more” boxes. Remember, this is a mobile app.

Second, the above is only ONE example of a nutritional food shopping app For other highly-rated apps, click the two images below.

Better Food Shopping with Apps

Better Food Shopping with Apps
 

We REALLY Hope This Device Works

For just $300 in parts, Rice University is devising an automated ApolloBVM device.

As we all know, there is a worldwide shortage of ventilators for those stricken with COVID-19. While there are finally multiple efforts underway to produce more ventilators, the time to and costs of converting factories has caused a real  lag.

In the mean time, many innovative and entrepreneurial efforts are taking place.

According to Rice University:

“The ApolloBVM is a controllable, automated add-on solution to the existing and widely available Bag Valve Mask (BVM). The device compresses the BVM with a mechanical system that is able to provide consistent and accurate ventilation with positive-pressure.”

“This solution exists within the top range of high-acuity limited-operability (HALO) ventilator solutions with an a priori design to produce volume and pressure cycled ventilation that includes positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) and enriched oxygen sources.”

“The ApolloBVM is a rapidly scalable solution with a clinician-informed end-to-end design that repurposes the existing BVM global inventory toward widespread and safe access of hospital-grade mechanical ventilation.”

The video below highlights the promising, inexpensive, and simple-to-scale-up inhaler that would help those who are not in critical condition. 

For much more information on this exciting project, click here.

 

Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times

Information about anxiety and loneliness. With tips.

Recently, we published three articles on COVID-19 (the coronavirus). Today, we conclude our series with a look at handling anxiety in difficult times. Tomorrow, we return to our regular topics.

Please look at this post for links to important sites on COVID-19. About the Coronavirus.

Author’s comment: Just a few days ago, my 37-year-old daughter asked me if I had ever seen anything like this pandemic in my lifetime. My response was an emphatic NO!!  This is  the most widespread and anxiety-provoking health crisis that I have ever seen.  Most of us could never imagine a worldwide crisis that has put many of us in stay-at-home status. And threatens the world’s economies.

Observations About Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times

As a high-risk person, I know from my own situation how anxiety-provoking this pandemic can be. Especially now that millions of us are in isolation — either totally alone or staying with a limited number of family members. And  with little outside contact, given all of the business, school, entertainment venue, and other shutdowns.  Unfortunately, this looks like our living arrangements for a while.

For information on anxiety and loneliness during these stressful times, we turn to Business Insider and Futurity.

Insights from Business Insider (BI)

BI published an article titled How Increased Social Distancing for the Coronavirus Could spur a Loneliness Epidemic.” Here are a few highlights:

“While the implementation of social distancing — avoiding large gatherings and maintaining a distance from others — is crucial to preventing the coronavirus pandemic from intensifying, the practice could also cause a ‘social recession,’ or a collapse in social contact that especially affects populations who are most susceptible to loneliness and isolation, like the elderly, according to Vox.”

“And loneliness has proven to exacerbate health complications among the elderly: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently released a report suggesting seniors who experience social isolation or loneliness may face a higher risk of conditions including heart disease, depression, and mortality.”

Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times
Tips For Handling Loneliness from Futurity

Elissa Kozlov, a licensed clinical psychologist and instructor at Rutgers University, discusses strategies for taking care of your mental health while staying at home (at Futurity.org):

“Use technology! For example, schedule regular video chat and phone dates with friends and family. Get creative. Watch movies, play online games,  or participate in virtual book clubs.”

“Reach out to friends and relatives who are especially at risk during this time. Call older adults and people with chronic health conditions to give them meaningful social contact during these trying times.”

“A good strategy is distraction. If you find yourself thinking continuously about risk of illness, try to distract yourself by getting involved in an engaging activity. Or by picking up the phone to talk with a friend. Take advantage of nice weather and go for a walk in an open space. Get outside as much as possible if it’s safe to do so.”

“You can also try mindfulness meditation. There are several excellent mobile apps that can teach you how to practice meditation, such as the free app Mindfulness Coach, which was developed by a team of psychologists at the Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD research. It walks users through the basics of mindfulness meditation.”

“If you have trouble sleeping, check out the Veterans Affairs’ app CBT-I Coach (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia), which takes you through different strategies to help quiet your mind at night. If you find that anxiety or insomnia interferes with your ability to function during the day, seek professional help to reduce the impact of anxiety.”

Click the image to read more.

Handling Anxiety in Difficult Times
(Credit: Getty Images)

At-Home Activities to Stimulate Us

Engage your body and mind. Think positive.

On Tuesday, we looked  at what we should do now – cleanliness. Today, we look at in-home activities to stimulate us.

Food for Thought: At-Home Activities to Stimulate Us

As we seek to find our own routine, we turn to the Automobile Association of America (AAA) for suggestions. According to the AAA:.

“News of the COVID-19 is everywhere. And many people try their best to stay healthy and help slow the virus’s spread. Due to high transferability, acts like social distancing, working remotely ,and self-quarantining are used as precautionary measures. Stuck inside the house for a while? Make make the most of it. Here’s how to stay busy, entertained, productive and healthy at home.”

        • Home maintenance — Start with home projects you’ve been meaning to get to, like small repairs or organizing a junk drawer, closet, and so on.. Go through your fridge, pantry, and cabinets, getting rid of anything expired.
        • Self-maintenance —  Take care of your physical and mental health, and know how to keep your mind busy,
        • Use technology — Watch movies. Play video games. Listen to music. 
        • Connect with others — Text. Face Time. Call..
        • Get creative — Do something artistic, like drawing, painting, scrapbooking, crafts, or writing. 
        • Engage your brain — If you enjoy learning, take online classes, quizzes or try watching some how-to videos/tutorials. Do crossword puzzles and/or Sudoku. Read a good book.
        • Connect with others — Text. Face Time. Call..

To conclude, click the image to read more.

What We Should Do Now - Activities to Stay Occupied