Are video calls a loneliness cure?

Doctors say connecting with loved ones and friends via video calls may help people feel less lonely and isolated. Video calls are made using applications ("apps") on a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. These apps enable users to reach people anywhere in the world. As of the spring of 2020, apps commonly used to make video calls included FaceTime, Google Duo, Snapchat, Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp. Video calls can also be used to engage in book clubs, support groups, or exercise instruction. (Locked) More »

COVID-19’s effect on care and research

The COVID-19 outbreak in the late winter and spring of 2020 had a big effect on the medical industry. Hospitals became like armed forces hospitals during wartime: doctors, nurses, therapists, laboratory technicians (and everyone helping them, from secretaries to janitors) cared for extremely sick patients—while putting their own health at risk. Many doctors and scientists who were busy studying other illnesses had to redirect their efforts to study COVID-19. And many people with illnesses other than COVID-19 chose to stay away from hospitals to avoid getting the virus. (Locked) More »

Should you use an antidepressant to get through a difficult time?

Taking an antidepressant is not something to jump into in order to cope with a difficult time. The medications may take up to six weeks to start working, and it can be tricky to get the dose just right. In addition, antidepressants may have side effects such as nausea, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, or sleep problems. And it can be very difficult to wean off antidepressants. For all of those reasons, antidepressants are typically not prescribed unless someone has a moderate-to-severe case of depression. (Locked) More »

Learn new things without leaving home

There are many ways to learn something new while at home. Tools include smartphone apps, books, online classes, project kits, podcasts, and even YouTube videos. Learning something new brings invaluable health benefits, such as sharper thinking and maybe even better brain health. The reason behind better thinking skills that result from learning could be new brain cell connections, which may lead to more paths for information to get where it needs to go. More »

Living room workouts

There are many ways to exercise when stuck indoors. Just stepping in place is a simple and effective aerobic workout: one should lift the knees high and raise and lower the arms to get to get the heart and lungs pumping harder. For a home strength training workout, one can lift household objects such as soup cans, or do body weight exercises such as standing planks and bridges. To stretch while at home, one can practice yoga or tai chi, or follow a list of stretches. (Locked) More »

What’s the healthiest way to brew coffee?

A study published online April 22, 2020, by the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that drinking filtered coffee was better for health than drinking unfiltered coffee, particularly for older people. More »