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Weekly Health Digest: Empathy Overload, Covid-19 Vaccine Timeline & Tracker, Healthy Lifestyle, Miscarriage Grief

How to Care for Yourself While Supporting Others

By: Juli Fraga and Kelsey Crowe

Feelings of burn out and emotional exhaustion are very common, and even more common during stressful times such as a pandemic. These feelings, referred to as ‘compassion fatigue’ by mental health professionals, are common among psychological therapists and other healthcare workers, but anyone who continuously offers care or witnesses trauma can experience this. Research shows that symptoms of compassion fatigue such as anxiety, sadness, and low self-worth can be alleviated through stress-reduction practices and therapy. The key is learning how to recognize these symptoms so you can get help early.

Try the following exercises to help you replenish your empathy reservoir: shift your perspective, show up in small ways, practice self-compassion, and enlist the help of others.


Why it’s still unlikely we’ll have a Covid-19 vaccine before Election Day

By: Umair Irfan

Trump has repeatedly claimed that a Covid-19 vaccine could be ready soon after the presidential elections. Yet even his own health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that a November deadline is nearly possible. Even Moderna, one of the companies furthest ahead in clinical trials, have publicly stated that their vaccine would not be ready for widespread distribution until spring 2021. Many scientists are worried that Trump’s baseless claims of a November vaccine could negatively impact the public’s confidence in the success of the vaccine. Trust between health officials and the public will be critical in getting enough people to take the vaccine to achieve herd immunity. And with so many Americans saying that they won’t get vaccinated, trust will play an even larger role for successful deployment of a Covid-19 vaccine.


Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker

By: Jonathan Corum, Sui-Lee Wee and Carl Zimmer 

As of October 16, 2020, there are currently 6 vaccines that are in the last phase of testing awaiting approval. 31 are in the first phase, 15 are in the second, and 3 in the third phase. The first phase tests the vaccine on animals, the second to a small group of individuals, and the third phase involves hundreds of individuals from different age groups. In order to expedite the process, many trials are combined, for example the first batch of human testing is given to a large group of individuals. Currently, China and Russia have both approved vaccines without waiting for the final results from the last phase of trials. Not taking the precautions seriously may lead to serious risks- the vaccine could potentially give rise to the worse cases of Covid-19, for example. 


Using the Pandemic as an Opportunity to Lose Weight and Get in Shape

By: Abby Ellin

Covid 19 has abruptly altered the routine of many people. Most people are working from home and gyms and recreational facilities are either closed or limited capacity. Former exercise routines were disrupted and for many, this led to a decline in health and fitness levels. The pandemic has also brought on a lot of stress, leading to unhealthy coping mechanisms. However, some used the pandemic to fuel change and make a positive impact on their well-being. Susan Abrams Torney, a 62 year old dental office manager, decided to use the time off from work to live a more active life. 


Recognizing Miscarriage as an Occasion for Grief

By Perri Klass M.D.

With the highly publicized miscarriage of Chrissy Teigan and John Legend, the couple has brought a highly stigmatized concept to light for the millions of followers and fans they have together. The experience of pregnancy loss, and the grief that comes along with it, is experienced differently for every individual. About 10-20 percent of known pregnancies end in the first trimester due to a problem with fetal development. Some couples may not grieve along the same time period and struggle to reconcile their own relationship. Many physicians, as well as friends and family members, often do not recognize miscarriages as the complete loss of a life for the family, and expect the couple to simply “try again”. The story highlights that this would not be said about a 5-year old’s passing, and this discrepancy between losses may not feel so different for couples. The article describes how miscarriages, although very common throughout history, are often forgotten and stigmatized. Klass calls for miscarriages to be openly discussed so couples experiencing the loss do not feel isolated; as a society we can recognize the complexity of miscarriages better.