Experts Disagree with Lockdowns: The Great Barrington Declaration

On October 4, 2020, the Great Barrington Declaration was authored and signed by three world-renowned physicians and scientists, Dr. Martin Kulldorff, Dr. Sunetra Gupta, and Dr. Jay Bhattacharya.   This declaration has since been signed by nearly 40,000 medical practitioners, and an additional 13,000 medical and public-health scientists.  It outlines their grave concerns about the side-effects of the lockdowns.  These lockdowns  are having an alarming effect on short- and long-term public health, including “lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings, and deteriorating mental health.”  There has been…

How to Avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Have you noticed feeling more tired or sluggish, losing or gaining weight, feeling more depressed, or losing interest in normal activities?  (This is, of course, in addition to all the other feelings you might have right now regarding the pandemic and the lockdown.) Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression usually seen in late fall or early winter due to shortened days and lack of sunlight, can affect your mood and energy.  It’s similar to wanting to hibernate: oversleeping, overeating, and avoiding other people. Researchers don’t know exactly what…

COVID Deaths: A Closer Look at U.S. Data

The number of deaths from COVID-19 in our nation is of great concern.  Looking at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website in order to decipher the death rates is like decoding impossible encryption.  This data, however, was deciphered by Dr. Genevieve Briand, assistant program director of the Applied Economics master’s degree program at Johns Hopkins University in her webinar titled “COVID-19 Deaths: A Look at U.S. Data” on November 11, 2020. Dr. Briand consolidated the COVID-19 death data from mid-March to mid-September 2020.  The data reported shows…

How do you Handle Your Stress

“If you know the point of balance, you can settle the details.  If you can settle the details, you can stop running around.  Your mind will become calm.  If your mind becomes calm, you can think in front of a tiger.  If you can think in front of a tiger, then you will surely succeed.”  Mencius, Chinese philosopher. Stress happens. These past seven months have probably been the most stressful we, as a nation, have seen in our lifetimes.  The fear of the coronavirus, the shutdown of our world, the…

Relationship Talk: Q and A #3

Q:  Help!  Some of my closest friends and family members are choosing to vote for another candidate than I am.  I don’t want to lose close relationships.  How do I handle this?    —Samantha from Westlake Village A:  Sometimes it can be very challenging to talk with others who hold differing political views, especially when those views are expressed in, shall we say, passionate ways.  We’ve all seen discussions turn personal and ugly when it comes to politics, whether it be on the nightly news or on social media sites.  …

Relationship Talk: Q and A #2

Q: It’s upsetting to me that I keep losing friends because we differ in our political stance and our views of the upcoming election.  How do I handle this? —June in Westlake Village. A: It can be very painful to see people who we have called friends turn away from us just because we don’t agree on certain things.  There was a time when friends could “agree to disagree” and yet still hold mutual respect and care for each other.  Issues that we are facing today societally are emotionally charged,…

Relationship Talk: Q and A #1

Q:  With my husband working remotely from home, we are always together.  Even though I love my husband and we have a good relationship, I feel frustrated that I don’t have the alone time that I used to.  What do I do?  —Terry from Thousand Oaks A: It can be a big adjustment to have both spouses spending all day, every day together.  What we have found in our therapy practice during this pandemic is that marital relationships that were successful and had good communication prior to COVID are currently…

Your Posture Says A Lot About You

How many times have you looked down at your phone today? How many hours have you sat at the computer or leaned over the counter or slouched in the seat of your car today? All these postures put you into flexion, which creates unnecessary pressure on your spine and excess stress on your muscles and connective tissue. This forward-leaning posture can, and will, make you look like an old man or woman before your time. It may cause undue strain and stress even on your child’s body, leading to early…

Pandemic of loneliness

We have all been experiencing the effects of COVID-19 on our freedoms and the loss of what we consider normal.  This virus pandemic has created the need for social distancing, quarantine, and self-isolation. However, COVID-19 is not the only pandemic with which we are dealing. In America and in many other countries, we are facing perhaps an even larger threat to our mental and physical health—the Pandemic of Loneliness. According to research, many people, even though they might have “hundreds” of friends through social media, have never felt more isolated…

The Psychological Effect of Face Masks–Perpetuating and Reinforcing Fear

 Purse. Keys. Wallet. Mask.  For many of us in this “new normal,” even a trip to the grocery store has become an ordeal.  We wonder if we will be judged for standing too close to the person in front of us.  We wonder if our children will be affected by breathing recycled air.  We wonder if we should disinfect for a second time the cart we are using.  Our noses itch, and our glasses fog up as we wait to check out.  Once we are in our own cars, we…