Killing the Undead. The villain of this story, COVID-19, isn't really alive. And yet to defend ourselves we have to kill it. How do you kill something that isn't alive? It’s more chemistry than biology, as one expert put it. It isn't simply a question of loading up the AK-47s or other cartoon-like hardware and blasting away at this monster, like some video game gone wild. This time it's going to take more than brute force. Sorry, folks, but Rambo will be of absolutely no use. This one is going to take brains. We're going to need plenty of scientists, working together, to figure it out before we can disable this not-really-alive but deadly adversary. … [Read more...] about Social Distancing: Why It Feels Like a Zombie Invasion Movie
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Varying cultures have explained this frightening experience in various ways. In Brazilian folklore, a crone with long fingernails skulks on roofs and tramples on sleepers’ chests. In Japanese mythology, vengeful spirits come to suffocate their enemies while they sleep. In contemporary American culture, sleep paralysis has taken on the mythology of alien abductions—sleepers wake up feeling the presence of aliens in the room while experiencing zapping sensations and a feeling of suffocation. … [Read more...] about Why Sleep Paralysis Happens (and How to Prevent It)
Stress hormone release is inhibited by oxytocin. To reduce sympathetic nervous system activation, we link an oxytocin-producing memory to the situations and thoughts that release the stress hormones that activate the sympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated by the face, voice quality, and touch/body-language of a person who is no threat physically or emotionally. To activate the parasympathetic nervous system, we link the memory of such a person to the situations and thoughts that cause stress hormone release. My book Panic Free includes detailed instructions for establishing protective links to elevators, bridges, tunnels, high places, and MRIs, as well as social situations and an additional book, Panic Free Pandemic Workbook provides linking instructions for pandemic issues. … [Read more...] about Want to Stop Pandemic Claustrophobia, Anxiety, and Panic?
3. The benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, including the digital or online versions, are long-lasting and can help improve sleep for over a year. One study found that nine weeks of fully-automated, internet-based CBT-I was able to help with daytime functioning up to 18 months after finishing the online program. … [Read more...] about Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Can Improve Sleep
The political calculations that led to this dramatic event were doubtless complex and have been disputed. It seems likely, for example, that President Figueres was painfully aware that Costa Rica’s military – like that of other Central American states – had been used in the past both to suppress domestic uprisings and to undertake coups, especially against governments perceived to be left-leaning. And Figueres himself had come to power following a brief civil war. But at the same time, President Figueres was clearly aware of the “opportunity costs” associated with military spending, the simple arithmetic fact that resources expended on the military cannot be used to support domestic needs. Then as now, his decision to demilitarize created opportunities for Costa Rica to invest in butter instead of guns. … [Read more...] about A Country Without a Military? You Bet!