Showing posts with label Coronovirus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coronovirus. Show all posts

Global Transition Amidst COVID-19 Crisis

Is it possible to imagine a new common, particularly in these trying times of pandemic and big socioeconomic crisis? 

What will it look like, and how will we get there when maintaining the best features of the old common? 

The new common will and should, of course, be a positive reflection of the old common. 

It will have to be more egalitarian, diverse, and less limited, provide more leeway for younger generations, be founded on precautionary standards, leave no one behind, and consider the larger world in which we as a species are inextricably linked.  

One positive hope is that, having learnt our lessons well, we as humans will draw lessons from this massive trauma, come to our senses, and change our ways of thinking and acting. 

Most analysts are pessimistic and point to the recent financial crash, which lasted from 2008 to 2014 and saw some changes but many aspects remain the same.

 Nonetheless, there are high expectations for the situation in which the ongoing crisis would provide a boost to projects that were already underway, such as energy transformation efforts. 

In general, the transition from the old to the new traditional is referred to as the "Second Deep Transition," while the "First Deep Transition" is referred to as industrialization. 

According to Schot et al. (2020), We need a massive shift in our systems toward a low-carbon, circular economy, built on a stronger mix between local and global demand, modern peer-to-peer distribution systems, a social economy, and the emergence of new types of utilities (and commons) to replace mass production, such as mobility as a commodity rather than more cars. 

Clearly, making this transformation requires flexibility, and can be interpreted not only as the ability to “bounce back” to a previous condition, but also as the ability to predict improvements and, in particular, to invent (Wilthagen and Bongers 2020). 

The road to the next standard beyond the coronavirus epidemic, according to a recent McKinsey study (Sneader and Singhal 2020), is divided into five phases: 

  1. resolution, 
  2. resilience, 
  3. return, 
  4. reimagination, 
  5. and change. 

A long-term process of reimagination and reform is needed to define a new common. It's not a slam-dunk situation. 

The next move will be complicated by vested interests and power dynamics. Various philosophical, ethical, and sociological perspectives have attempted to define the ideal of a society founded on shared ideals. 

One example is “communitarianism,” which was popularized at the turn of the millennium by writers such as Etzioni (2003), who claimed that “communitarianism is a social theory that holds that culture can express what is good–that such articulations are both essential and legitimate.” 

Classic liberalism, a philosophical stance that holds that each person can formulate the good on his or her own, is often contrasted with communitarianism... 

The forms in which common conceptions of the good (values) are created, communicated, justified, and applied are examined by communitarians. 

So, where do we bet in terms of forming a new common, and what are the game changers? 

Certainly, one of the most intriguing solution fields is the digital transformation's future. 

Benkler (2006) asserted in his book The Wealth of Networks more than a decade ago that, with the rise of the Internet and the upcoming digitalization, a new economic system based on commons will become possible again, as cheap computing power combined with global communication networks will allow people to produce valuable products through non-commercial processes of interaction: 

“As human beings being HUMANS being Humane" 

The concept "networked knowledge economy" was coined by Blenkler to describe a "method of output, delivery, and consumption of information products defined by decentralized individual action carried out by widely dispersed, nonmarket methods that are not reliant on market strategies." 

He also coined the phrase "commons-oriented peer development" to describe collective projects based on knowledge sharing. 

Free and open source software platforms are current examples of commons-based peer productions. 

We contend that the digital revolution in the modern popular would be driven by the networked knowledge economy. 

  • The opportunity to accelerate the creation of a modern and unparalleled type of artificial intelligence, which will transform the new common, is enabled by the pervasive abundance of data combined with the limitless potential of smart algorithms. 
  • According to Mayer-Schönberger and Cukier (2013) and Kolb (2013), the "Big Data Revolution" represents a hope that could help us as humans overcome our limitations. 

Observing slow and longitudinal transition, rather than abrupt shocks, has significant drawbacks. SARS and coronaviruses have made significant inroads, for example. 

Furthermore, our capacity to consider and understand interaction effects among a large number of variables, as well as our calculation speed, is limited. 

This has become abundantly obvious thanks to Watson, the IBM supercomputer, and the gaming machines Deep Blue and AlphaGo. 

Instead of the drastic ex-post evaluations that we are doing now, big data and smart technology could help us escape the catastrophe of the commons by telling us in real time, or even ex-ante, what the collective—say common—impact of our individual desires and behavior is. 

Because with all the smart devices, apps, and networks that modern technology allows, we are increasingly becoming a digital world. 

We work from home using shared working environments such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, and other similar programs. 

  • Smart smartphone applications with mapping and tracing capabilities are being rolled out. 
  • Predictive analytics is used to forecast future scenarios and predict local breakouts.
  •  To monitor people's temperatures, robots are currently stationed at airports and hospitals. 
  • Wearable sensors are being used to alert staff whether they are approaching each other too closely. 
  • Face-to-face and direct touch are being replaced by innovative ways to communicate our emotions and thoughts with our loved ones as well as a wider, mostly anonymous crowd via social media. 

The coronavirus epidemic is hastening the digital evolution of people, our culture, and also our world. 

  • In his most recent book, Homo Deus, Harari (2017) convincingly argues that the forces of big data and smart algorithms are already at work, shaping the twenty-first century into an all-encompassing knowledge society. 
  • Lovelock (2019) expands on the concepts of a hypothetical knowledge world, implying the importance of digital transformation on a global scale. 
  • Artificial intelligence, with its supreme power and knowledge, has the potential to usher us out of the current Anthropocene and into the “Novacene.” 
  • For the time being, “cyborgs” will work alongside us humans—a new and very uncommon occurrence—but at some point, they will take over our tasks in order to best serve our old planet's ecosystem, “keeping Earth cool to fend for itself.” 
  • According to Lovelock, the cyborg will eventually take over the world and depart because living on Earth is no longer viable due to the rising heat of the sun's evolution as a dying star. 

Both of these visions of a new popular are both convincing and terrifying, as all-encompassing artificial superintelligence does not prove to be a "blessing in device," but rather a "devil in device" (Wilthagen and Schoots 2019). 

We must make sure that the digital revolution enhances our well-being and welfare for as long as possible. 

  • Bostrom (2014) expands on the risks of this human-made superintelligence from an ethical, legal, and social viewpoint in his groundbreaking book, in order to promote discussion on a human-centric artificial intelligence. 
  • The convergence between technology and human ideals, culminating in "responsible AI," is a necessary precondition for a new popular that can outperform the old common, even in a world that faces extreme constraints due to the existing or new viruses (Dignum 2019). 
  • For the time being, the only remaining question is how to start from here. While there is no readily accessible blueprint for the new common, we may want to use the United Nations' seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (2020) as a baseline and guideline. 
  • The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a blueprint for a greater, more sustainable world for allThey discuss global issues such as poverty, malnutrition, water management, injustice, climate change, environmental pollution, unity, and justice, among others. 

They are all intertwined, and it is important that we complete them all by 2030 in order to leave no one behind. 

These objectives clearly have the potential to provide humanity with a viable path into the future (O'Connor 2018). 

To ensure the likelihood of a meaningful commitment to a new common, the metrics associated with the SDGs should be turned into strategic program and response perspectives for all related societal organizations. 

  • The SDGs have the potential to accelerate transformation by providing a narrative and an opportunity for everyone to talk in one voice about sustainability in its broadest context. 
  • By adhering to the SDGs, businesses and investors will gain access to markets with limitless opportunity for profit and development while still contributing to a more prosperous future. 

These objectives clearly have the potential to provide humanity with a viable path into the future. 

  • To ensure the likelihood of a meaningful commitment to a new common, the metrics associated with the SDGs should be turned into strategic program and response perspectives for all related societal organizations. 
  • The SDGs have the potential to accelerate transformation by providing a narrative and an opportunity for everyone to talk in one voice about sustainability in its broadest context. 
  • By adhering to the SDGs, businesses and investors will gain access to markets with limitless opportunity for profit and development while still contributing to a more prosperous future. Hoek (2018) explains how to accomplish this much-needed "Trillion Dollar Change." 
  • The importance of human-centric artificial intelligence in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals is discussed by Vinuesa et al. (2020). 

Such non-exhaustive solutions for the road to a new popular include a greater emphasis on the role of the region in society's political, economic, and social governance (“glocalization”), starting with the human measure and size, and understanding that fractured and non-integral processes are currently unable to meet people's needs. 

These systems overlook the fact that an individual serves several roles—as a resident of an area, but also as a worker, a parent, a patient, a client, and so on—but is fundamentally indivisible (de Sousa Santos 2002). 

Universities play a unique role in Target 17 "Partnerships for the Targets," as they can serve as catalysts for regional innovation networks that link local governments, business, individuals, and information institutions in so-called quadruple or multi-helix configurations (Etzkowitz and Zhou 2013; Peris-Ortiz et al. 2016). 

In comparison to the current three primary functions of schooling, science research, and effect development, we see this as a fifth primary function of so-called "fourth generation universities."

You may also want to read more about COVID-19 here.

How COVID-19 Disrupts the Status Quo

COVID-19, and the ensuing crisis, has clearly shown a host of flaws and cracks in the old common. The following are the most important ones.

To begin with, our culture is lacking in diversity and inclusion. Many minority groups are underrepresented, viewed unfairly, or even discriminated toward. Women, people of migrant origin, disabled people, and people of certain sexual orientations are also affected. A pandemic is often seen since a great "equalizer," since everyone could become ill. In fact, however, the burden of a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic is not evenly distributed and falls mostly on the poorer classes. It works in a very selective manner.

Despite the government's support for businesses and staff, groups of migrant workers were vulnerable to high risks of COVID-19 infections due to unsafe working conditions and a shortage of opportunities to avoid working or work from home. This was shockingly obvious in the beef industry and slaughterhouses in the Netherlands and Germany, for example. Following the lifting of many of the lockdown restrictions in Spain, the Ségria area near Barcelona, which has 200,000 residents, was forced to close again due to a new outbreak in sectors with many migrant workers.

Second, our culture continues to be generational in nature. For the first time in history, a sociological transition is underway, which began before the Corona crisis and in which new generations do not have better futures than their parents or grandparents. This is true for job security, debt, insurance, the right to purchase or rent a home, and, as a result, the effect all of this has on the formation of partnerships and families. COVID-19 struck the elderly the hardest, without a doubt. The limitations on going out and being together, the lockdown of their schools and jobs, and the economic changes all had a significant impact on young people's welfare, morbidity, and isolation. Young jobs on short contracts are seeing a surge in unemployment, as they are the first to be laid off. As a result, a "corona generation," "Generation C," or a group of "Coronials" could emerge. During one of the crisis press conferences, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte urged the youth to speak up.

Finally, when it comes to universal unity, our modern culture is lacking.

According to the UNHCR, almost 70.8 million people were internally displaced worldwide by the end of 2018 due to persecution, war, abuse, or human rights abuses, a new peak. According to the most updated statistics on global poverty, 690 million people go to bed hungry every night.

Migrants are at the hands of Western states, which are ambiguous, disorganized, and self-centered.

Refugees are sometimes used as political props. Many countries and regions are unable to combat the spread of the coronavirus due to a lack of resources and infrastructure, especially among certain populations, such as refugees. Simultaneously, Western nations are unable to find an agreement on assistance mechanisms and rules, and others are attempting to stockpile medicinal supplies, including potential drugs and vaccines.

Finally, the old common is, to a large extent, human-centered, lacking the planet's larger ecological environment, of which we humans are a member. Humankind has entered the modern revolution after Thomas Newcomen's commercial invention of the first prototypes of the steam engine that could transfer continuous power to a machine in 1712. Much has been accomplished in the following man-dominated Anthropocene, but much has also been lost, discarded, and irreversibly harmed. The concepts of "externalities" and "ecological fingerprints" of human activity and the environmental infrastructure we have built are relatively new and still in their infancy.

This is why, considering all of the information that has been created, the old popular is incredibly fragile. COVID-19 tends to be a zoonotic disease that begins in animals and then spreads to humans under certain conditions. A virus, according to various virologists, restores an ecosystem.

In other words, the COVID-19 crisis is a "systemic" crisis underpinned by a capitalist, neo-classical economic system in which, according to economist Mazzucato, "anything that fetches a price is of worth," while "anything that has value used to fetch a price" in classical economics.

Many of these flaws stem from two seemingly opposing desires or beliefs, which can be defined as global vs. local and group vs. individual problems, respectively. Indeed, Krastev recently argued that the COVID-19 pandemic is distinct from previous global catastrophes due to the unprecedented degree of globalization that has been achieved by the year 2020, as well as the unprecedented level of political influence that many nations, including China, have placed on their people. Furthermore, according to Krastev, the crises amplify a number of paradoxes, including the looming inter-generational conflicts, the dilemmas states face in deciding whether to stimulate the economy or contain the spread of the virus in order to protect people's health, and the national government's tendency to control its citizens versus the fundamental right to privacy.

Krastev organizes his observations into the seven lessons below, all of which are focused on a European perspective.

1. The return of "large governments": people want the government to mobilize a national defense against the pandemic.

2. The importance of boundaries is growing: the nation state's position in securing national interests is becoming more significant.

3. A growing faith in scientific expertise: while their own lives are on the line, people are more willing to trust scientists and listen to evidence.

4. The capacity for big data authoritarianism: to combat the crisis, governments can use information media to quickly and easily regulate people's mobility and actions.

5. The message that politicians must spread: in order to contain the pandemic, people must radically change their lifestyles, because advice to "be cool" and "get on with life" is incorrect.

6. The significant effect on intergenerational dynamics, when older members of society are far more vulnerable to COVID-19 and feel endangered by millennials' apparent inability to change their lifestyles.

7. At this stage, policymakers would be forced to choose between halting the pandemic's progression at the expense of the economy's destruction or tolerating a greater human cost in order to save the economy.

You may also want to read more about COVID-19 here.


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COVID-19: 7 Ways to Stay Healthy during the Pandemic

In no time, an invisible germ flipped our lives upside down. We had a career one day and didn't the next. Our children were at school and then came home, cut off from their peers and hobbies, and expected to spend 24 hours a day with us. The streets went from busy to deserted. Each adult and child looked at their homes' doors, unsure if life had changed permanently or if this upheaval was just temporary. In addition to the fear of the COVID-19 virus affecting our physical health, many people have suffered emotional and mental distress. Was this going to be the new normal? Can we have our work back, will our kids go back to school, or will we have to live like this for another year?

If life hadn't been so wonderful before, the abrupt transition wouldn't have been so unsettling. Healthy jobs, good schools, and low unemployment were all available to us. Parents spent enough time with their children and enough time away from us that we were eager to see each other as we returned home. We never counted how many toilet paper rolls or Purell® sanitizer tubes we had. Any people have never used hand sanitizer until COVID-19. It was now a valuable asset on par with gold.

The strange thing of life is that it is very delicate. We know this in our heads when life is healthy, but we never quite believe it. Disruption, work destruction, and pandemics are concepts that have occurred in previous eras and continents. But it's happening today, in our own moment, in our own homes. We had no warning, unlike previous conflicts. The COVID-19 outbreak hit us like an earthquake, destroying homes and crushing people while they were sleeping.

Now it's up to and of us to figure out how to survive this pandemic. Should we really do that? Many people are concerned that they will not make it out alive, and I appreciate their concern. Any people do not agree. However, the truth is that the vast majority of us cannot. Nobody knows who will survive and who will perish, and this is when the frightening fragility of life becomes apparent. The reality is that coronavirus will not be the last disturbance of our lives, so now is the time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on living with courage rather than dread. And we have no doubts about our ability to accomplish this. However, we must be deliberate in order to stand up straight in the face of terror. We must implement new habits and tactics that are unfamiliar to us. We believe we will and we are confident individuals. Every single one of us has the ability to dig deep and succeed rather than only get by through this period. We will discover amazing things about ourselves and our loved ones. We'll get to see aspects of our characters we didn't know existed, which is really interesting. Make life changes to fight sickness, anxiety, and destruction, as I previously said, does not come without effort. Here are seven improvements that all of us can make to make life easier and lessen the pressures that COVID-19 has put on us.

1. Stick to a normal routine for yourself and your children.

We are creatures of habit, and we need a daily routine. Through our mealtimes, work schedules, and sleep schedules, most of us subconsciously create these routines. We'll have to start anew now that these are broken. We used to get up at 7:00 a.m. to go to work, but now that we work from home, we can start as early as 10:00 a.m. And that will help you maintain your sanity. We used to wake up at 8:00 a.m., serve before 12:00 p.m. for lunch, and then attempt to get some exercise before dinner. Kids went to kindergarten, played until lunchtime, and then then returned home or went to soccer practice at 3:00 p.m. These everyday rituals, however, are no longer present. There will be no reading, math, or scientific wars. There will be no school lunches or games. Only open days at home with Mom or Dad. Can you think how a senior in high school who is about to graduate would feel?

Moving from predictable tasks to barren days, for whatever reason, throws us all—adults and children—off balance physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Cortisol, neurohormones, and the numerous other hormones our bodies are used to producing at certain periods work on a cycle. They've worked out how to get us through our days, but now they're being thrown off as well.

We are the adults in control of ourselves and our children, and we must lead by example. To restore equilibrium, we must first create regular routines for ourselves and our children. Of course, they may be flexible, but there are certain aspects that our bodies and minds need to survive. As a result, we need time to consider, exercise, and work in some way. The distinction between caving in and surviving would be quiet time in which we can read or gather our ideas, workout to sort out the kinks, and work to keep us feeling optimistic. So, if the days have been a shambles, get some help at home. You don't have to be too strict about keeping track of the minutes of your and your children's days, but you do need to know what will happen the next day in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

2. Make weekly Skype calls with friends and family and schedule them in your calendar.

The most painful aspect of quarantine is dealing with the isolation we feel when we are separated from our friends and families. Friends and outsiders cling to one another to get through hurricanes, explosions, and other natural disasters. It's human nature to get assistance from others and to try to assist others. We can't cling or lean while we're apart, though. We can't talk about our problems with our kids, our spouses, or our jobs at work. It is not permissible for children to gather in the corridor to vent about their guardians. While these releases can seem insignificant, they are important for us to remain emotionally intact. Humans were created to be in partnerships. It is because of our interactions with God and others that we are alive. We aren't all here to excel at our careers, athletics, or other pursuits. We were created to love, connect, disagree, and console one another. As a result, when our relationship with others is taken apart, we must try to recreate it as closely as possible.

Here's when the wonder of screens comes into play. We complained about how screens had interrupted our lives and ruined our marriages a month earlier, but now we enjoy them. They're here to save us. Screens allow people to see each other. We may not be able to hug our loved ones, but we can see their smiles. Disappointment, love, or sorrow can both be heard. We will help one another while we face the challenges ahead. We felt encouraged and understood throughout the conversation. If one of us starts to feel anxious or depressed, we can intervene before he succumbs to despair. We might not be able to do it as well as we should if we were in person, but it's better than nothing. We should seek assistance and support from those who are flourishing more than we are.

Screens cannot provide us with true affection, but they do provide us with useful connection in the short term. We would be overwhelmed by depression and our emotional fragility would develop if we didn't have the trade. If we are separated from our friends or relatives for a long time, we will become despondent. We may believe we are self-sufficient, self-reliant, and completely autonomous (as we should be), but we aren't. This reality strikes us square in the face in a crisis. It's difficult to admit, but if we do, we're free of all of the pressures we've placed on ourselves. We feel fragile and helpless while we are experiencing genuine depression and the desire to communicate with others. This is due to the fact that we are. One of the best gifts in a disaster might be realizing how much we need each other.

3. Get everybody involved.

The need for families to work as families is one of the most valuable gifts we have given up over the last thirty years. We have put an unhealthy sovereignty on each family member as we work to provide resources for development and self-discovery for our children. Parents care for their children, while children are provided for by their parents. Life is about finding out who and individual is apart from the others, not about supporting one another as a collective, interdependent entity. No one felt that way until the 1950s, if we go back far enough in history. Parents were needed by mothers, fathers were needed by mothers, and children were needed by their parents. It wasn't all about money; the interdependence went even deeper. For everyday stuff like chores—cleaning, mowing lawns, cooking, you name it—each family member relied on the others. And they lived out the fact that they were physically dependent on one another. Family members became the go-to individuals for problem-solving (or at least tried).

Since we have cut family members off from one another, these dependencies have vanished. We may hire people to mow lawns, sweep, cook, and take care of any other household chores. Of course, there's nothing wrong with it, but if it leads to family members living isolated, private lives, as it always does, relationships suffer.

All of this changes after a disaster strikes, such as a pandemic. Outside of the family, no one mows the yard, cleans the home, or prepares meals. This is such a good thing. It forces us to work together and support one another. So that one person (usually Mom) does not collapse with fatigue, chores must be divided up. Of course, children will complain vehemently at being forced to do work they have never done before, but the beauty is that if they are working with their parents and siblings, they will realize how vital they are to the entire family. They are important. Since the family operates as a unit, each family member is essential. This is a crucial lesson because it brings us all together. It alters our personalities. We are no longer self-sufficient, but more reliant. For the first time, children see themselves as important members of the household. This is all that children yearn for. When they think they aren't wanted or that they aren't a part of the family, they struggle. The change of personality that can arise when children are told they are required for the family's wellbeing is one of the most life-changing consequences of tragedy for children.

Since we have cut family members off from one another, these dependencies have vanished. We may hire people to mow lawns, sweep, cook, and take care of any other household chores. Of course, there's nothing wrong with it, but if it leads to family members living isolated, private lives, as it always does, relationships suffer.

All of this changes after a disaster strikes, such as a pandemic. Outside of the family, no one mows the yard, cleans the home, or prepares meals. This is such a good thing. It forces us to work together and support one another. So that one person (usually Mom) does not collapse with fatigue, chores must be divided up. Of course, children will complain vehemently at being forced to do work they have never done before, but the beauty is that if they are working with their parents and siblings, they will realize how vital they are to the entire family. They are important. Since the family operates as a unit, each family member is essential. This is a crucial lesson because it brings us all together. It alters our personalities. We are no longer self-sufficient, but more reliant. For the first time, children see themselves as important members of the household. This is all that children yearn for. When they think they aren't wanted or that they aren't a part of the family, they struggle. The change of personality that can arise when children are told they are required for the family's wellbeing is one of the most life-changing consequences of tragedy for children.

For everybody in the family to chip in and contribute will lead to something positive—helping people outside the household. Serving others is the only cure for selfishness, moaning, and crying. We see businesses around the world producing gloves, hand sanitizers, and other medical equipment solely to assist those on the front lines. Trying to support and inspire one's neighbor brings great pleasure in the face of adversity, from big corporations to lines of kids in communities reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in unison. Challenge your kids to find someone who wants a note, a bag of groceries, a Skype message, or even silent prayers after they've started pitching in around the house. When children do this on a daily basis, you will see a difference in them.

4. Identify real stressors and devise a strategy for dealing with them.

Everyone is stressed out by a sudden lifestyle transition. When life is twisted on its head, every man, woman, and infant experiences an internal unsettledness, regardless of personality style. Recognizing a failure is an essential part of the inherent human mechanism of transition. We lose control of our everyday lives as disaster strikes. When restaurants and schools close, kids miss out on time with their peers, and parents miss out on social opportunities. There are also defeats that are exclusive to each individual's life. Our souls are wired to process failure, which makes them uncomfortable. Some, as we've seen, argue that there has been any loss. Some argue that COVID-19 isn't really a concern. Others argue that we overreacted out of irrational anxiety. They do this to combat the fact that it has arrived and is wreaking havoc on our lives as we know it.

Others despise the infection. It has no legal authority to bring us down. After all, Americans live in the world's most technologically advanced country. How does an unseen microbe cause such havoc with so many people's lives? Doctors, children, parents, and singles are all furious at the virus.

Then we lament the improvements and losses that have occurred. Some people are adept at dealing with depression. The vast majority do not. Sadness is something that many adults and children have learnt to tuck deep in the recesses of their hearts and minds and never let out. Others are bereft of hope, and this does not benefit them. The feeling of denial, frustration, or failure, regardless of how it is handled, is stressful. Many of our feelings are expressed in a negative manner, and we scream at our children, spouses, or friends. Anxiety and depression are difficult to manage, but there are certain steps that each of us can do to reduce their severity.

First and foremost, it is important to identify the specific causes of the trauma that a disaster causes. Any people believe they are out of balance. Others lament the life they had just two weeks before. Others are afraid of not being able to afford their bills because they have lost their work. If a person can pinpoint the cause of his tension, he may be able to relieve it more easily. For example, if a mother is worried that one of her children will die, she can tell herself, "I am afraid that the coronavirus will kill one of my children." Then she will rationalize that, scientifically, this is very unlikely to occur, and her anxiety can subside. When she is merely upset and does not know what is causing it, her agitation will intensify and she will criticize and scream at loved ones.

You will find a way to relieve tension after you've pinpointed particular fears caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A person's situation is unique. Exercising has been shown to reduce depression in some people. Some people need alone time, while some need music and even others require a physical outlet for their anger. Fit that into your day until you've figured out what relieves your tension the most.

Spend thirty minutes listening to music, talking with a friend about your pressures, hitting the wall with a Nerf bat, or sitting in a silent room. If you don't make a stress-relieving strategy, you'll have to carry it out on your mates, which isn't reasonable. You'll find that finding a particular task to alleviate stress will be very beneficial.

5. Engage in a kind of prayer or meditation.

For certain people, being alone with themselves is frightening. Most people don't like to see their darkest feelings, so silence encourages them to come to the fore. We don't have to be scared, though. In reality, we can anticipate spending time alone with our thoughts. We will do this by prayer and meditation.

It's possible that prayer and meditation are the same thing, or that they're somewhat different. It all depends on how focused you are. When we calm ourselves while remembering God's presence, we become settled in a way that is not possible when we settle into silence without Him. Prayer takes us into the arms of Someone Who will help us rebuild our lives, inspire us, and give us a safe place to share our grievances. Prayer is a conversation between two people in which one person expresses his or her thoughts and feelings to the other. It's perplexing that you can still feel God's presence and other times you can't. But that's not a problem since God is still here. His existence is unaffected by our emotions. It's a fact that we should either accept or reject.

Mother Teresa talked movingly of her prayer memories. When a gentleman asked, "What do you say to God when you pray?" she said, "I listen," with her usual meekness. “What does God speak to you as you listen?” he continued. “He listens,” she replied. This response eloquently captures the mystique of prayer. We are free to say whatever we want to God. We have complete freedom to wait for Him and listen to Him. Nonetheless, we have the choice of saying nothing to Him. God simply needs us in His presence, Mother Teresa says, sometimes asking for something, sometimes thanking Him for what we have, and sometimes just sitting still.

We come before God knowingly in prayer, and we let Him know that we are listening. We're there, hoping and desiring something from Him. God, according to the Bible, adores it. “Come to me, all you who are tired and burdened, and I will grant you rest,” Jesus said in Matthew's Gospel. Rest is what God desires for us, and it also comes from being quiet in front of him.

He is patiently waiting for us to arrive and take a seat. He's like the unseen visitor who sits silently and peacefully in our houses, waiting for us to notice and enjoy Him. I really advise you to spend time in prayer if you have never done so. It isn't sorcery, and you aren't needed to say the exact right thing. True prayer entails approaching God and declaring that you think He exists and that you want to communicate with Him. There's no way around that. Being there with a loved one is a curious desire we have. Have you ever been to see a movie by yourself and only invited a loved one to visit you? You have, of course. We've just done it. But we don't want to converse with him; what we want is for him to stay with us and tell us that we are not alone. It would be a very different feeling to watch a movie without him.

Prayer can be life-changing or seem to do little at all when you first do it. But I can assure you that what Blaise Pascal, C. S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and countless others have said is correct: Prayer has a profound effect on us over time. The most profound consequence of tragedy is that it teaches one to pray in order to grow closer to God.

Meditation, on the other hand, may be very similar to prayer or very distinct. Meditation, which calms the mind and heart, aids in the relief of tension and pain. It slows breathing and reduces heart rate. Since it accomplishes these goals, prayer may be considered a form of meditation. When you meditate on someone other than yourself, you get better outcomes than when you meditate on yourself. Certain sounds or phrases are repeated by certain meditators. This ritual calms them down, but it has very different consequences than praying when God is not drawn in. Those meditators are on their own. His answer to them isn't included.

Others can benefit from meditation because it allows them to examine themselves and determine what causes them the most pain. What are the patterns, emotions, or feelings that they must overcome? Prayer would have the same impact. In worship, God will reveal what we need to do. That's nice because after meditation, we can return to the rat race and make the requisite improvements.

As you can see, the distinction between prayer and meditation is dependent on the person on whom the emphasis is placed. Yes, some people will question themselves in self-reflection, but the main distinction between prayer and meditation is that prayer often reflects on God, while meditation does not.

I urge you to begin praying if you have never done so before. Keep it easy and start conversing with God. 

Others can benefit from meditation because it allows them to examine themselves and determine what causes them the most pain. What are the patterns, emotions, or feelings that they must overcome? Prayer would have the same impact. In worship, God will reveal what we need to do. That's nice because after meditation, we can return to the rat race and make the requisite improvements.

As you can see, the distinction between prayer and meditation is dependent on the person on whom the emphasis is placed. Yes, some people will question themselves in self-reflection, but the main distinction between prayer and meditation is that prayer often reflects on God, while meditation does not.

I urge you to begin praying if you have never done so before. Keep it easy and start conversing with God. But there's one thing to remember: don't just pray once and then forget about it. Make a one-month commitment to fasting. Then keep an eye out for changes in your heart and life.

6. Make time for each family member to be alone every day.

Based on the state of their relationships prior to the transition, being pulled into tight quarters will either bring family members together or tear them away. I love seeing parents spend more time with their children. I've seen kids get more depressed and anxious over the years, and a large part of the equation is a lack of time with their parents. Kids who see their parents for just a few minutes per day—and there are a lot of them—have a hard time forming their identities and maturing. The irony is that most children yearn for more parental care. They are looking for a sense of belonging, love, and focus. There are things that children as young as three and as old as twenty feel they like. Many people are too self-conscious to question their parents, and others are afraid of being refused if they do. These are comments I often learn from children of all ages.

Tragic events force parents to spend more time with their children, which is one of the greatest benefits of disaster. Some parents claim that the time is exhausting, and that their children are often irritable and misbehaving. We must keep in mind that they are adapting as well. And if they had issues with their parents prior to the move, those issues would be amplified when they are under tension. Hold on if this is happening in your house. This is excellent. When children and parents confront their relationship's tensions, they will work out a solution. If they are never with their parents, most children do not experience resolution with them.

I want to emphasize that if your child is exploding right now, keep quiet. Don't take it too seriously. Your child is clearly being pushed to face challenges that were previously covered. Take a deep breath and get closer to him, even though you're tempted to remain far away. Remember that this challenge will give you and your partner the opportunity to work on any long-standing issues. Find a good psychiatrist whether you have legitimate questions about your child or your relationship with him or her. The majority of counsellors are able to conduct screening sessions for their clients.

What does this have to do with everybody being separated for a while? When a schedule is disrupted, it is normal for people to feel depressed. When you live in cramped conditions and are unable to communicate with others from the outside, this tension is amplified. Even if your relationships with your children and partner are still strong, scheduling small time away from each other, even if you live in the same home, will strengthen them all. Also the healthiest marriages can be harmed by so much togetherness.

Finding a moment during the day—preferably at the same time of day—when everybody will go to a different room for thirty minutes to an hour is the easiest way to do this. Lay the toddlers down for a nap if you have any. If your children are still young and do not sleep, advise them to be quiet in their rooms for the same length of time. If they refuse, advise them that they should accompany you to your bedroom (if that's when you have your alone time), but they must remain silent. They will be sent to their own room if they do not comply. Let it clear that this isn't a penalty. It's an opportunity for everyone to relax, and even adults like you need some downtime.

Allowing teens to watch a television or play a video game is appropriate. Just make sure to let them know what they can and cannot play or watch. This is a difficult time to start limiting what they will play if you haven't already done so, but do it anyway. Encourage them to listen to music, collaborate on a job they like, or socialize with their peers. The argument is that you must maintain physical and emotional distance from one another. Tell your older children why you are introducing alone time for these purposes. They would understand the explanations if you send them to them.

Do something that relaxes you during your alone time. Listen to music, listen, sleep, or work on a project—do whatever relaxes you. Thirty to sixty minutes of alone time may sound insignificant relative to what you're used to, but that's fine. Take what you can to tell yourself that the closeness is just fleeting.

7. Be kind to yourself.

Mothers, in particular, place way too many demands on themselves on a regular basis. They create a mental checklist of things they can do in order to be a good mother, and the vast majority of the things on the list are totally needless. Having nutritious meals on a regular basis, ensuring that children have something exciting or enjoyable to do at all times of the day, ensuring that they are introduced to sports, the arts, and something else that might pique their interest. The list becomes longer and more demanding as their lives are turned upside down. Mothers (and fathers) believe that they should still be able to protect their children from fighting, that they should never be bored, that they should maintain the same learning pace as before the life transition, and that they should not have more screen time than before.

There are admirable objectives, but the majority of them are unattainable. Since parents are unable to go to the grocery store as much as they used to, meals can suffer. There will be monetary difficulties. Kids will vent their annoyances on their siblings. They will be bored and even the most energetic and imaginative parent will not be able to keep their children entertained for twelve hours a day. They will more likely watch more shows or movies, which is fine. Their schoolwork would almost certainly suffer as a result. Most parents have little idea what they're doing when it comes to homeschooling, and asking them to realise all right away is unrealistic.

The argument is that parents should give themselves a break. These are difficult days. They may not have any days as they have in the past. Before COVID-19, we need to let go of the goals we set for ourselves and calm others. Now isn't the time to double focus on the tasks at hand.

In difficult times, we must all note that survival is the name of the game. Simple life is not the same as difficult times. Parents won't be able to do what they used to, so they must let go of their shame when they feel insufficient. When you don't feel like you can make your home life something you want it to be, be kind to yourself.

The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the economy, putting parents under additional strain. Any people have lost their careers, and others have been laid off temporarily. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you're dealing with financial problems on top of mental and emotional ones. That is why, now more than ever, having a roadmap to get through these trying times is important. Being kind to oneself is perhaps one of the most critical aspects of that program. Treat yourself in the same respect as you will your closest friend. Can you advise her to strike a better balance between living at home, entertaining, teaching, and stopping the kids from fighting? You wouldn't, of course. Then why are you being harsher on yourself than your friend?

We try to repair problems as life stressors come out of nowhere. However, we are unable to do so. We must endure the crisis with the knowledge that we are not alone. Our neighbors, friends, and relatives are all having problems. That is why we must look past our own domestic strife and see if we can assist others. We may be strengthened by tragedy, so we can't get there on our own. Not only do we need each other and God to live, but we still need them to succeed.

We've got this. God bless each and every one of you.

You may also want to read more about COVID-19 here.

Social Connections during COVID-19 Pandemic

The current Coronavirus pandemic has confined many people to their homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many cities around the world have implemented quarantine protocols, including curfews, making getting out a non-option.

On the surface, this seems to be a negative thing because it restricts our behaviors and options, but it isn't entirely true. In reality, spending time indoors can be beneficial. Connecting better with yourself and others is a fantastic way to spend this time.


Getting to know yourself

The standard setup for someone's spare time is to do something outside, whether it's attending a function, participating in a sport, or even going to a bar at the end of the day. Spending time outdoors with others is the most popular way for people to spend their spare time.

However, the present situation has made this difficult (if not impossible), as most people are unable to leave their homes until absolutely necessary. We've had a lot of time to ourselves thanks to the Coronavirus.

This is a positive development. We will really communicate with ourselves as we spend time alone with ourselves. Few people really spend much time alone. They are frequently surrounded by others and/or occupied with other activities. Spending time alone has been an unusual occurrence.

Spending more time alone will help us bond with ourselves more deeply. This allows one to think more about ourselves (yes, you can learn about yourself because a lack of self-awareness makes life more difficult).

Here's a perfect way to get started: spend at least ten minutes per day alone and quietly. This means there would be no television, screen, phone, humans, or anything else. You have your own business and no one else's. Using it can be difficult at first. But if you stick with it, it will get better over time. It will also help you improve your ability to communicate and think about yourself over time.

Consider how much better your self-awareness will be by the time the Coronavirus crisis has calmed down and the quarantine has been removed if you do this on a daily basis.

Start with 5, or even fewer, if 10 minutes is too difficult. What matters is that you do this on a daily basis. That, along with gradually and the amount of time you spend on your own, is what really makes you see the results. So, if you start with 5 minutes, work your way up to 10 minutes, and so on.

Of course, these aren't the only ways to communicate with yourself. Journaling and mindfulness therapy will also help you communicate with yourself more. Reading is another excellent way to do this, especially when it comes to personal development and self-awareness.

Make an attempt to improve your relationship with yourself. This discipline has the potential to make a huge difference in your life.

On that note, if you're looking for a fast way to get started, try this 1-minute guided meditation.

Making connections with other people

This time spent indoors is beneficial not just for enhancing your self-awareness and intelligence and for better communicating with yourself, but it is also beneficial for better connecting with others.

You'll have a lot of time to spend with those around you, particularly those you care for, and you won't be worrying about doing things outside. So why not take advantage of this moment to strengthen your ties with them and boost your relationship with them?

Making stuff together is a simple way to get started. So maybe you should cook or do housework together. Alternatively, you should play indoor games with your mates.

Or any other indoor events that you must complete. Doing chores together will not only make them simpler, but it will also allow you to strengthen your bonds with the people you care for.

Distraction-free conversations improve the chances of having real heart-to-heart conversations. So, for at least 10-15 minutes, strive to have conversations without watching TV or anything else. This will help you understand things about the other person you didn't know before, which is a perfect way to strengthen your relationship with them.

Spending more time with people will be extremely beneficial to your friendship. When someone familiar to you is exhibiting signs of Coronavirus, it's a smart idea to get as far away from them as possible.

A ray of hope

The extra time we are having to understand how to communicate more with ourselves and others is a silver lining to this Coronavirus quarantine. This creates a distraction-free environment in which we can better understand ourselves and others we care for. So take advantage of this opportunity to really communicate with yourself. Also, improve your relationships with those around you. Indoor sports, for example, can help with this.

Distraction-free periods like these, where we aren't actively worrying about what we can do in our free time outdoors, are rare. And it has the potential to be really successful. But only when properly applied.

So think about how you're going to spend this time. Make use of it to improve your life.

You may also want to read more about COVID-19 here.

COVID-19 : Vitamin D Is Necessary for 9 Reasons

Vitamins are important, as we all know. Some are more important than others. Vitamin D is one of the most essential vitamins for our wellbeing out of all the vitamins. But do you get that it matters to you? Don't worry if you don't; that's the point of this part. Continue reading to learn more about Vitamin D and its significance to our wellbeing.

Here are nine main reasons why you need Vitamin D:

1. Bone health is essential. For a long time, health scientists thought that Vitamin D's primary, if not only, role was to keep our bones intact.

That is no longer the case, as new research has shown that Vitamin D is vital for a lot more than just keeping our bones healthy. Nonetheless, this is one of the most critical functions of Vitamin C. Our bodies will struggle to digest calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone health, if we don't get enough Vitamin D. Simply stated, inadequate Vitamin D results in insufficient calcium and phosphorus absorption, which has a negative effect on our bones. Consider if your fitness can be negatively impacted whether your bones are fragile or brittle...

2. Immune system – Vitamin D also helps to strengthen our immune system, which is a vital role of our bodies. Our immune system becomes weakened because we don't get enough of it, which raises our risk of being sick. Vitamin D is also important if you want to be healthy and reduce the risk of getting sick.

3. Mood – A lack of Vitamin D has an effect on our wellbeing and emotional wellbeing in addition to our bone health and immune system.

In Western countries where there isn't much sunshine during the winter months, a lack of this vitamin has been attributed to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Vitamin D also has a significant effect on our capacity to control our mood, according to research. Both of these factors have a significant effect on our mental health, especially depression and anxiety.

4. Falls – As you already know, a shortage of Vitamin D has an effect on our bone health. What you do not realise, though, is that this has a significant effect on our ability to maintain calm. Stronger bones indicate better balance, while poorer bones indicate worse balance. This is particularly true for the elderly, and as a result, Vitamin D becomes more essential as you age.

5. Diabetes – Vitamin D reduces the risk of diabetes, especially in children and people who live at high altitudes.

6.Cancer – Vitamin D has been shown to help prevent cancer, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colon cancer.

7. Heart disease – Vitamin D tends to lower the risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, as well as associated conditions such as strokes and heart attacks.

8. Lung function – Vitamin D also aids in the healthy functioning of our lungs.

9. Weight loss – Whether you're overweight, Vitamin D will help you shed pounds and it has been shown to have a direct effect on weight loss.

This is most likely due to Vitamin D's appetite-suppressing properties, which ensures you won't be as hungry. This is a fantastic bonus of Vitamin D, in addition to its heart-healthy benefits. Obesity is a major cause of a variety of health problems, so this effect on weight loss is important.

Vitamin D is necessary for a variety of purposes, as you have heard. Even though obtaining it from the sun (the most popular source) seems to be easy, it isn't. The fact that we now spend the majority of our time indoors does not help matters. However, you should focus on increasing your Vitamin D intake by spending more time outside and/or in the sun. Supplements may also be beneficial.

You may also want to read more about COVID-19 here.

COVID-19: Alternatives of Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizers are a great way to keep bacteria and germs at bay, but they're not the only way to keep your hands clean. There are other options, and here are a few suggestions for keeping your hands clean without using hand sanitizers (particularly useful when hand sanitizers aren't readily available):

Soaps are a great addition to hand sanitizer.

Soap and water aren't enough for washing your hands in the shower; they're also perfect for cleaning your body.

About any soap is intended to be a disinfectant. So, if you're looking for an alternative to hand sanitizer, this is a simple one. Also, hand washing is particularly necessary right now, but even though you use hand sanitizers, you can wash your hands.

True, soaps aren't as easy as hand sanitizers, but they do the job.

In reality, soaps could be more effective than hand sanitizers in the fight against Coronavirus (according to the CDC). So, why do soaps work so well against Coronavirus? It's because the virus has a fat-based skin, which the soap dissolves, rendering the virus inactive.

More information on soaps and why they are so successful against Coronavirus can be found here.

Alternative #2 of hand sanitizer is rubbing alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol, can be a powerful disinfectant (source). There's an explanation hospitals and health providers have been disinfecting with it for millennia.

They're available at most pharmacies. It is important, though, to check the contents of the bottle you get to ensure that it contains at least 60% alcohol, as otherwise it will not be very successful.

Alternative #3 of hand sanitizers is antiseptic liquids.

Hand sanitizers may be replaced by antiseptic liquids like Dettol (and other related products) (source). You should dilute them in water to weaken them and make them more gentle on the skin.

While the majority of them are now fairly skin-friendly, double-check before using.

Gloves are an alternative to hand sanitizer # 4.

Wearing gloves is an alternative to hand sanitizers. Wearing gloves in the summer can sound strange, but they reduce the risk of coming into contact with pathogens. Since your skin does not come into contact with bacteria when you use gloves to clean objects, you don't need to use hand sanitizers. After all, the aim of hand sanitizers is to destroy germs that come into contact with your hands, so if you aren't actually touching something, you shouldn't need to use/sanitize them.

Since woollen or cloth gloves have pores, plastic or rubber gloves are preferable to woollen or fabric gloves.

Gloves have long been used by doctors and other health workers to minimise their exposure to viruses and germs, so this is obviously a safe way to do so.

However, don't use it all the time, and don't use the gloves to touch your face or any other uncovered body part – it will serve the purpose. If you brush your skin with gloved hands, you won't be able to reduce your skin's exposure to pathogens. So wearing gloves will help you minimise your sensitivity, but only if you don't use them to touch your face or skin. Consider the options carefully.

Alternative # 5 of hand sanitizer is plastic containers.

What if you need to go to the store for any necessities but don't have some hand sanitizers or even gloves? Perhaps you've found yourself in a store and are looking for a way to reduce the chance of being exposed... Try using a plastic shopping bag as a mask, or at the very least to touch objects. This is exactly what I did lately when I forgot my gloves at the store. So, if you're in a hurry, these can come in handy, particularly because they're available in most supermarkets.

Ziplock bags will work as well.

Plastic bags are safer than nothing if you're in a pinch because they reduce your susceptibility to surfaces and viruses. Hand sanitizers are used to disinfect your hands after touching something. Since the touch would be limited by plastic bags, you won't need to sanitise your palms. Nonetheless, you can. Often wash your hands after returning home, particularly during this period of increased risk.

Why not use vinegar to clean your home?

Here's a bonus tip: don't use vinegar as a substitute for hand sanitizer.

Vinegar has long been used as a disinfectant, but our study revealed that, although it has many applications, vinegar isn't very effective as a virus disinfectant.

If you're going to mess with viruses with chlorine, you're best off doing something safer like bleach or proper disinfectants. It's much better to be safe than sorry.

Make sure you don't have any sensory issues with the choice you want. After all, different people are open to different things. Consult the doctor if you're confused.

You may also want to read more about COVID-19 here.