Nowadays, any discussion around healthcare for your employees will inevitably center around Covid. At a time when the pandemic and its challenges are still making headlines as outbreaks, infection rates and vaccines flood every news bulletin, it’s easy to overlook the impact on other areas of healthcare. Many of these involve complex or life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer. Global Benefits Vision recently spoke to Further Group CEO Frank Ahedo about the impact that Covid is having on the treatment of serious medical conditions, and how this changing landscape will affect the way employees have access to treatment.
COVID-19 has hijacked people’s lives, families and work. And, it has hijacked their bodies and minds in ways that they may not even be aware of. As we see it, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a sort of zombie virus, turning people not into the undead but rather into the unsick. By interfering with our bodies’ normal immune response and blocking pain, the virus keeps the infected on their feet, spreading the virus.
As we pass the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a global pandemic, its impact on the mental health and well-being of children is undeniable. Indeed, news headlines on whether “the kids are alright” have frequently surfaced, bringing to light the immense challenges for kids, and their families, as they cope with ongoing changes during COVID-19, including online schooling and social distancing from friends..
Predicting Severe COVID Big data can help doctors predict which COVID patients will become seriously ill
The pandemic continues to pose huge challenges to health services worldwide. Hospitals are in crisis as the pace of new COVID-19 cases outstrips their capacity. What makes things particularly difficult is that the coronavirus doesn’t affect everyone in the same way.
Whether or not a person with COVID-19 develops severe disease depends a lot on how their immune system reacts to the coronavirus. But scientists still don’t know why some people develop severe disease while others suffer only mild symptoms – or no symptoms at all. Now, a new study from Yale University sheds some light on the issue.
After a year of toxic stress ignited by so much fear and uncertainty, now is a good time to reset, pay attention to your mental health and develop some healthy ways to manage the pressures going forward. Brain science has led to some drug-free techniques that you can put to use right now. I am health psychologist who developed a method that harnesses our rip-roaring emotions to rapidly switch off stress and activate positive emotions instead. This technique from emotional brain training is not perfect for everyone, but it can help many people break free of stress when they get stuck on negative thoughts.
For most people, infection with SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19 – leads to mild, short-term symptoms, acute respiratory illness, or possibly no symptoms at all. But some people have long-lasting symptoms after their infection – this has been dubbed “long COVID”.
Over the past nine months, the word “uncertainty” has cropped up time and time again across the news and social media worldwide. The pandemic has created uncertainty in nearly every aspect of daily life. This is not only down to worries over exposure to COVID-19 and access to medical care, but also concerns about the stability of the economy, job security, the availability of food and household supplies – and even when to book a holiday. We have needed to adjust and readjust our behaviour continually in response to changing risks and government guidelines.
As the weather cools, the number of infections of the COVID-19 pandemic are rising sharply. Hamstrung by pandemic fatigue, economic constraints and political discord, public health officials have struggled to control the surging pandemic. But now, a rush of interim analyses from pharmaceutical companies Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have spurred optimism that a novel type of vaccine made from messenger RNA, known as mRNA, can offer high levels of protection by preventing COVID-19 among people who are vaccinated.
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust the obesity epidemic once again into the spotlight, revealing that obesity is no longer a disease that harms just in the long run but one that can have acutely devastating effects. New studies and information confirm doctors’ suspicion that this virus takes advantage of a disease that our current U.S. health care system is unable to get under control.
We are currently seeing a lot of interest around managing burnout within teams. The difficulty employees face in trying to maintain a good balance in life, carry very heavy loads (work, mental and emotional) – especially in companies that have had to maintain normal productivity, and the lack of effective social support largely explain the phenomenon. Preparing these people for a return to work cannot be improvised. That’s why
Troubled times give birth to individuals with valuable personality profiles: the “positive deviants”. They are known to transgress the rules and push past established norms for the good of all. They contribute enormously to innovation by deviating from existing habits without knowing much about why they were so ineffective. The period we are going through gives us the opportunity to innovate around our approach to work. But we don’t
I’ve often been asked if I have any advice on how to structure the psychological approach to post-lockdown. I hereby invite you to utilise the “RARE” method: – Recognize: sensitize teams to be able to detect weak signs shown by people in psychological distress (a secondary prevention technique) – Act: teach teams how to start a conversation with someone showing signs of distress – using the right tone –
Many people will be experiencing painful emotions in the times to come. For some this will manifest as fear and guilt; for others, shame at not being able to meet performance expectations. Asking these people to “make an effort” or “smile a little” has a name in psychology: surface acting. Very damaging, this request to act “as if” everything was going well creates emotional dissonance and weakens commitment, well-being
At the end of a webinar a manager told me: “Some of my employees feel guilty for not being able to manage everything at once: teleworking, their children, household tasks… I would like to help them, but I don’t know how”. Guilt is an emotion that is as unpleasant as it is useful: it appears when we feel we have caused harm and urges us to remedy it. However,
We haven’t all experienced lockdown in the same way. Some have felt indispensable, others useless. And others have lacked recognition because teleworking has rendered their contribution invisible. These differences naturally give rise to tensions like mutual stereotyping, disintegration of teams and declining performance. How can these be avoided? Psychology’s solution is the “superordinate goal”, i.e. a goal that can only be achieved through the active participation of each member
Have you ever heard of the “bystander effect”? In psychology it is the phenomenon that the more people there are in a place, the less likely any one individual is to help someone in trouble. It is basically due to a dilution of responsibility (there are lots of people; someone else is bound to help on my behalf). When coming out of lockdown, many employees will experience bouts of
Are you familiar with the concept “locus of control”? In psychology, it’s the way we determine the cause of what happens to us. We can divide ourselves into two categories: – The “internals”: what happens to me depends on me… if I fail it’s my fault. These people progress more quickly in their careers but go through intense phases of guilt and self-questioning. – The “externals”: what happens to
The current situation is exceptional for everyone and that includes managers. Assuming one’s managerial responsibility means explaining the reasoning behind decisions that are misunderstood or poorly received by one’s colleagues whenever possible, and apologizing wherever mistakes have been made. While it is normally legitimate to expect exemplary behaviour from managers, calls for excellence in the current crisis are as futile as examples of leniency are essential.
We’re not all going to come back with the same emotional charge at the end of lockdown. Some will have spent their time enjoying the first rays of spring sunshine while others will have been cooped up with their children and stifling workload. Still others will have been exposed on the front-line on a daily basis. Taking time out at the end of lockdown to ensure a coordinated response
Imagining life after Covid-19 is not easy. One may feel rather stuck in this exceptional period and emotionally depleted. The situation calls for us to forgo a cognitive bias called “availability heuristics”; that is our tendency to have our thoughts consumed by which is directly in front of us. Indulging our availability heuristic inhibits both present-day creativity and positive future projections. The good news is that you just have
One of the most common causes of smell loss is a viral infection, such as the common cold, sinus or other upper respiratory tract infections. Those coronaviruses that don’t cause deadly diseases, such as COVID-19, Sars and Mers, are one of the causes of the common cold and have been known to cause smell loss. In most of these cases, sense of smell returns when symptoms clear, as smell loss is simply the result of a blocked nose, which prevents aroma molecules reaching olfactory receptors in the nose. In some cases, smell loss can persist for months and years.
Do you know what it means to have a “sense of coherence”? In psychology, it is a characteristic of people who are healthy, live longer, are happier in the different spheres of their lives and perform better at work. People with this characteristic are defined as follows: – they perceive the world as understandable – they have confidence in their resources (physical, psychological, social…) to cope with difficulties –
Are you familiar with “toxic handlers”? These are people who have the ability to “absorb” the stress triggered by crises and limit the impact of it on their colleagues. These empathetic qualities will prove essential in the transition out of lock-down, enabling these people to: – quickly identify colleagues in difficulty – listen and soothe with compassion and respect – take action around finding effective solutions How do you
Do you know what anticipatory anxiety is? In psychology it is the pervasive fear of an event to come. At the moment, many employees are apprehensive about coming out of isolation and returning to work because of the risks of contamination. Avoidance behaviours will appear such as refusal to shake hands, refusal to take the elevator together, self-isolation in open spaces etc. These are all essential subjects to raise