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How to get unstuck from your anxiety

Struggling with chronic worry gets in the way of effectively managing your emotions. Unfortunately, many people who experience distress try to escape their unpleasant emotions by distracting themselves in ways that ultimately backfire.

If you suspect you might be one of them, ask yourself whether you have a tendency to judge your emotions — it’s a common thing to do. But it can fuel a vicious loop of feeling, then avoiding the feelings and feeling even worse. Pushing away feelings is like trying to force a beach ball underwater: They will pop back up. Instead, notice and normalize difficult emotions; ideally, negative feelings, including fear, can motivate us to solve problems.

How to get unstuck from your anxiety
By Jenny Taitz
New York Times

Avery Row, Mayfair

Unschooling - don’t be afraid of wasted time

“Many children’s lives are so busy with school journeys, subject changes, after-school clubs and homework that they have little time to think, or to take ownership of the life they are leading,” she says. “They spend an awful lot of time being ‘processed’ by well-intentioned adults.”

“What home schoolers want for their children is space to grow, space to develop themselves, discover the world, find out what they are interested in, who they really are and what they want to do in life and then the academic qualifications that will get them there,” she says. “There are lots of parents who already home educate and you don’t have to be supermum or dad to do it,”

The teacher who decided to 'unschool' her own children
Anna Dusseau felt her son and daughter were being ‘processed’ in school. Now she has advice for those thinking of home educating in September
The Guardian 

Pedestrian Zone, Old Compton Street, Soho

Reckless Records, 30 Berwick Street, Soho

Financial Times . Coronavirus Articles

Coronavirus: free to read A note from Roula Khalaf, Editor: The Financial Times is making key coronavirus coverage free to read to keep everyone informed during this extraordinary crisis. Please share the stories on this page using #FTfreetoread. 

Coronavirus Articles . Financial Times

Understanding how Covid-19 spreads

and the golden rules of the pandemic remain: keep your distance, wear a mask and avoid crowds 

In the race to understand the coronavirus and how it is transmitted, scientists still have much to learn. But two new studies shed some light on two of the biggest question marks: the roles played by young children and aerosols.

Though infected children have not been considered vectors of the virus, a small study released on Thursday found that kids under the age of 5 have as much viral material in their noses and throats as adults, and perhaps as much as 100 times more. The research doesn’t prove that children spread the virus, but experts say it’s highly suggestive that they might.

Aerosols — microscopic droplets that people produce when exhaling or talking — have also captivated scientists, many of whom sounded alarm bells long before the World Health Organization acknowledged this month that the virus can be airborne. A new study looked at how the virus exploded onboard the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship where 700 of the 3,711 passengers and crew members tested positive for the virus in January. The researchers concluded that 60 percent of infections were spread via aerosols.

Yes, the Coronavirus Is in the Air
New York Times
By Linsey C. Marr - Dr. Marr is a professor of engineering 

Coronavirus Briefing . New Your Times

Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time

“Masks, social distancing, and moving activities outdoors. That’s it. That’s how we protect ourselves.”

In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines to clarify that while COVID-19 spreads easily among speakers and sneezers in close encounters, touching a surface “isn’t thought to be the main way the virus spreads.” Other scientists have reached a more forceful conclusion. “Surface transmission of COVID-19 is not justified at all by the science,” Emanuel Goldman, a microbiology professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told me. He also emphasized the primacy of airborne person-to-person transmission.

Hygiene Theater Is a Huge Waste of Time

Breathe Better

To clear congestion try this breathing exercise: Sit up straight, gently inhale and exhale through the nose, then pinch both nostrils shut. Shake your head up and down or from side to side until you feel the need to breathe. Take a slow breath in through the nose, or through pursed lips if the nose is still congested. Breathe calmly for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat five more times. 

We do it roughly 25,000 times a day, but until recently few of us gave much thought to this automatic bodily function.

“If there’s some good to come out of Covid, it’s that people are paying more attention to how they’re breathing,” said James Nestor, author of “Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art,” which explores how we breathe, how that’s changed and how to do it properly. “You can’t be truly healthy unless you’re breathing correctly.”

How we breathe affects us at a cellular level. Research shows changing the way we breathe can influence weight, athletic performance, allergies, asthma, snoring, mood, stress, focus and so much more. You can learn to breathe better and these exercises can help.

Shut your mouth.

About half of us are chronic mouth breathers, a practice that can irritate the lungs, increase the risk of respiratory infection and sap the body of moisture, and has been linked to bad breath, sleep apnea and other health conditions.

Breathing in and out of the nose filters, heats and treats the air. It helps us takes fuller, deeper breaths. It also allows us to absorb more oxygen and raises the intake of nitric oxide, a molecule that opens the blood vessels, which increases circulation and allows oxygen, blood and nutrients to travel to every part of the body. Immune function, weight, mood and sexual function are all influenced by nitric oxide.

For the nearly 40 percent of people who suffer from chronic nasal obstruction because of allergies, sinusitis, a deviated septum or any of the other many causes, shutting the mouth can be a challenge.

The first step is to clear congestion. “There are sprays and neti pots,” Mr. Nestor said. “I put eucalyptus oil under my nose.

CONGESTION CLEARING An exercise in “The Oxygen Advantage,” by Patrick McKeown, may help decongest the nose: Sit up straight, gently inhale and exhale through the nose, then pinch both nostrils shut. Shake your head up and down or from side to side until you feel the need to breathe. Take a slow breath in through the nose, or through pursed lips if the nose is still congested. Breathe calmly for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat five more times.

Take some deep breaths.

The average adult engages as little as 10 percent of the diaphragm, the jellyfish-shaped muscle under the lungs primarily responsible for respiration. Shallow, chest breathing can overburden the heart, strain the neck and shoulder muscles and keep you in a constant state of low-grade stress. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, can retrain you to breathe more deeply, allow the lungs to soak up more oxygen and reduce stress.

BELLY BREATHING To begin, lie flat on your back with your knees bent. Place one hand on your chest and the other on your belly, just below your rib cage. Breathe in slowly through the nose so your stomach expands against your hand. The hand on your chest should not move. Slowly exhale through the nose or pursed lips and feel the belly move down to its original position. Repeat for five to 10 minutes. As you get more comfortable with the technique, practice sitting or standing.

You can’t be truly healthy unless you’re breathing correctly
By Kelly DiNardo 
New York Times 

Goodge Street and Charlotte Street

Bricklayers Arms, Gresse Street, W1

28 Charlotte Street

VanMoof X3 Electric, Waterloo Bridge

VanMoof, Shorts Gardens, WC2

VanMoof, Shorts Gardens, WC2

St John's Wood High Street

America Should Prepare for a Double Pandemic

Seven years ago, the White House was bracing itself for not one pandemic, but two. In the spring of 2013, several people in China fell sick with a new and lethal strain of H7N9 bird flu, while an outbreak of MERS—a disease caused by a coronavirus—had spread from Saudi Arabia to several other countries. “We were dealing with the potential for both of those things to become a pandemic,” says Beth Cameron, who was on the National Security Council at the time.

I first worried about the possibility of a double pandemic in March. Four months ago, it felt needlessly alarmist to fret about two rare events happening simultaneously. But since then, federal fecklessness and rushed reopenings have wasted the benefits of months of social distancing. About 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 are being confirmed every day, and death rates are rising. My worry from March feels less far-fetched. If America could underperform so badly against one rapidly spreading virus, how would it fare against two? 

COVID-19 has made clear what happens when even powerful, wealthy countries are inadequately prepared for rare but ruinous events. Months into the pandemic, international alliances are strained, resources are diminished, and experts are demoralized. The longer this fiasco drags on, the more vulnerable America becomes to further disasters: inbound hurricanes, wildfires, and many other viruses that lie in wait. 

COVID-19 has steamrolled the country. What happens if another pandemic starts before this one is over?
The Atlantic 

Belsize Park

Doomism - moving past scientism

As members of Extinction Rebellion and other climate movements, we have been overjoyed at the success of our movement in ringing the alarm about climate and ecological breakdown, and in applying pressure to the UK government, as well as other governments worldwide. As members of the science community, we have also found comfort in a movement dedicated to telling a truth that has for decades been obscured by corporate public relations campaigns and misinformation.

This knowledge is far from comfortable because it requires real work: not just nonviolent disobedience, but educating and training others, and gaining political power. As an argument and a philosophy Deep Adaptation ultimately requires none of these things. By rejecting Deep Adaptation we recommit ourselves to understanding how we can live well within planetary limits, imparting that knowledge to others, and excising the rot and paralysis from our politics.

The faulty science, doomism, and flawed conclusions of Deep Adaptation


Thomas Nicholas

Cogs in the climate machine

Comfort and security are the past, if you ever had them. Many people never did. The Holocene is behind us. What lies in front is still undetermined, and can still be changed. But it will take the fight of our lives, for all of our lives, to change this. This will not be fun, or fulfilling, or a worthy adventure of self-discovery, or a cute feel-good movie, or a task of personal validation. I mean, maybe from time to time there will be those things, who knows. Who cares. This is a fight for life itself. We get to be depressed, despondent, little creatures against the crushing change of geological epochs and mighty economic systems. But we need to be little creatures who are learning to fight very very very fast and very very very well together against the brutal forces of domination which steer our current course.

Cogs in the climate machine 

Four New Insights About the Coronavirus

Our colleague Donald G. McNeil Jr., who covers science for The Times, told The Daily podcast that when people talk or laugh, they create an “invisible mist” or a “droplet cloud” of tiny particles that floats around near their head. That fog can hold enough virus to transmit the disease; walking into it is akin to someone “spitting on your face.”

Indoors, without a breeze, the cloud can drift across a room, like in a bar or at a cocktail party, at more or less head level, he said, to be inhaled by revelers until 20, 30 or 40 people are infected.

Evidence is also mounting, Donald said, that Covid-19 is more of a blood vessel disease than a respiratory disease. While the virus enters the body through the lungs, it seems to do its damage by attaching to the insides of blood vessels, infecting organs, like the kidneys and the brain, with lots of fine blood vessels.

“When they do autopsies, they find thousands of tiny little blood clots all over the body,” Donald said. That explains why some patients may experience strokes, dementia and disorientation — and why children and young adults have experienced so-called Covid toe.

Four New Insights About the Coronavirus - Transcript

Maresfield Gardens

The Coronavirus Is Airborne

The coronavirus is finding new victims worldwide, in bars and restaurants, offices, markets and casinos, giving rise to frightening clusters of infection that increasingly confirm what many scientists have been saying for months: The virus lingers in the air indoors, infecting those nearby.

If airborne transmission is a significant factor in the pandemic, especially in crowded spaces with poor ventilation, the consequences for containment will be significant. Masks may be needed indoors, even in socially-distant settings. Health care workers may need N95 masks that filter out even the smallest respiratory droplets as they care for coronavirus patients.

Ventilation systems in schools, nursing homes, residences and businesses may need to minimize recirculating air and add powerful new filters. Ultraviolet lights may be needed to kill viral particles floating in tiny droplets indoors.

The World Health Organisation has long held that the coronavirus is spread primarily by large respiratory droplets that, once expelled by infected people in coughs and sneezes, fall quickly to the floor.

But in an open letter to the W.H.O., 239 scientists in 32 countries have outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people, and are calling for the agency to revise its recommendations.