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How effective is the ‘listen to your body’ diet?

Many experts oppose fasting or extreme weight loss, saying that people should listen to their bodies to find a balanced and suitable diet.

Caroline Dooner, a 34-year-old writer, now in Philadelphia, USA, spent her teenage years and early 20s trying to lose weight.

She was diagnosed with an endocrine disorder by a doctor and must control her weight if she does not want the disease to become more serious. Dooner tried the famous Atkins diet: low carbohydrate, high fat.

All the while, she kept thinking about her food and favorites. Dooner fell into a vicious cycle of weight loss, binge eating, weight gain, and then trying to lose weight again. She also tried other diets but to no avail.

“I obsess over my weight and what I put in,” she says.

In 2019, Dooner decided to stop dieting. She published a book about her struggles, diet, and cultural obsession with “having to be thin”. Now, she is happier than ever with her body, the female writer shared.

Dooner is not the only one exhausted and stressed with weight loss, having to limit his favorite foods and try to achieve a certain figure. They question whether the diet should be completely abandoned.

Some have found that the “diet like no diet” movement could flourish in the future, when people aren’t trying to control their weight. Instead of relying on weight and body mass index, recent groups of nutritionists advocating for weight loss focus more on other indicators such as physical endurance, sleep quality and mental health.

Experts support New dietary trends think that everyone should listen to signals from the body, approach nutrition, exercise with purpose “take care of yourself” rather than “self-control”.

Experts also warn that forms of rapid weight loss, weight loss in a short time have bad effects on health. A study that analyzed medical data from 9,500 volunteers found that those who lost or gained weight suddenly over five years had a significantly higher risk of heart attack, stroke or death than those of a healthy weight. determined.

Extreme dieting can also predispose many people to eating disorders, especially young adults or teenagers.

Most doctors and medical experts say maintaining a specific weight within a specific range is also important for general health. The risk of morbidity and mortality is higher in people with a BMI of 30 or higher.

Steven Heymsfield, director of the Nutrition-Metabolism Laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, advocates for weight loss that doesn’t focus on body weight, but doesn’t eliminate the weight factor entirely. According to him, instead of emphasizing body mass index, the medical community should encourage people to treat problems such as cholesterol, high blood pressure, exercise and smoke less.

In fact, maintaining a certain weight is more difficult than losing it. A meta-review of 12 different studies on the diet found that volunteers mostly lost weight after 6 months. But within the next year, they returned to their original weight.

Christy Harrison, nutritionist advocates intuitive eating, weight loss based on the body’s biological signals. Photo: WSJ

In addition, dietary guidelines often overlook the psychological effects of having to limit the intake of certain foods. According to registered dietitian Christy Harrison, this can cause people to fear and become obsessed with that food, leading to eating disorders or binge eating habits.

Instead, many advocate listening to the body’s innate cues, satiety, hunger, and food preferences. The heart of this approach is to abandon weight tracking and categorize food as “good or bad”. The idea is that the less restrictive you are on certain foods, the less cravings you will have. Dieters can eat a variety of foods from french fries and fried chicken to vegetables and fruits. This is called “visual eating”.

A meta-review of 24 studies published in 2016 found that intuitive eating improves motivation to exercise and overall life satisfaction. Another study, published in 2014 found this approach to help control blood sugar in young adults.

“In my opinion, obesity is a medical disease. But we have to abandon preconceptions and find a more effective approach, so that weight loss does not become an invincible battle between the two. mind and body,” said David Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

He advocates biological weight management, focusing on the underlying causes of hunger rather than calorie restriction. This, he thinks, could overcome the problems of conventional diets.

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Doctors struggle when Delta and Omicron circulate simultaneously

American doctors are facing a dilemma when they cannot distinguish F0 infected with Delta or Omicron mutations, which can cause patients to miss the golden time of treatment.

In F0s belonging to the high-risk group for Delta variant infection, monoclonal antibody treatment can reduce morbidity and mortality. But this method is less effective in people infected with Omicron.

US officials have advocated using a test kit that can distinguish Omicron infections based on the genetic characteristics of the mutation. But experts say this is not enough for large health systems, which are receiving huge numbers of patients.

The condition makes it difficult to get treatment in hot spots like Maryland. Here, Omicron infections account for about 58%. Meanwhile, the Delta variant is also thriving in the Great Plains and the Western Territories, including California.

Although there are no global studies on individual mutation rates, national networks and laboratories are still able to sequence genomes to track Omicron infections in the community. The local health system then uses this data to decide what treatment each patient should receive.

Many experts believe that the majority of patients infected with the Delta variant are suitable for monoclonal antibodies produced by Regeneron and Eli Lilly. Meanwhile, Omicron-infected F0s will improve health more quickly if using therapy from GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology.

Federal officials are also adapting drug distribution strategies based on this recommendation. On December 23, the government halted shipments of Lilly and Regeneron’s antibody drugs after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 73% of the country’s infections were Omicrons.

This decision was strongly opposed by some political leaders in the Republican Party because the number of people infected with Delta remained high. On December 28, the CDC announced that the number of Omicron infections was only 53%. Federal authorities resumed distribution of the antibody drug from all drugmakers.

A ward for F0s treated with monoclonal antibodies at Pembroke Pines City Hospital, USA. Photo: NY Times

In the coming weeks, as the country grapples with two types of mutations that circulate unevenly in many regions, according to Dr. Alex Greninger, assistant director of the virology lab at the University of Washington Medical Center, Categorizing treatments for individual patients would be “extremely difficult”.

Dr. Greninger and colleagues have developed a test kit that distinguishes between nCoV strains. But he worries the health system cannot adapt quickly and categorize patients. Mass reporting is also quite difficult.

Furthermore, sequencing the gene took almost a week, well past the ideal time for treatment with antibody methods that reduce the risk of hospitalization in the first place. This makes it difficult for doctors and nurses, said Dr. Mark Siedner, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital.

In Massachusetts and surrounding states, an estimated 44.5% of infections are Omicrons. Dr. Siedner said his medical system has stopped using the monoclonal antibodies of Regeneron and Eli Lilly because they are not effective against the new strain.

A promising solution to this situation is Covid-19 drugs such as Paxlovid and molnupiravir, which can be easily used at home at the onset of symptoms. However, the supply of oral drugs is extremely limited.

Health officials and doctors across the country have a difficult time deciding which patients to take the drug. Some people who are at high risk for severe disease after nCoV infection are overlooked because they have been vaccinated.

Many hospitals run out of certain drugs, others only have a few dozen courses available. Medical staff must dispense vitamins to patients instead of therapeutic drugs. Others raced to establish patient selection criteria.

Dr Natasha Bagdasarian, director of the Michigan Department of Health, said: “We simply don’t have enough medication to distribute to people with Covid-19 in the coming weeks, including patients at risk of complications. severe illness. There’s no way to guarantee getting the drug to the right people at this time.”

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Americans ‘undercover’ the 4th and 5th dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Stacey Ricks, 49 years old, living in the US, has three different immunization green cards for not declaring her vaccination status to the doctor.

As a kidney transplant recipient and on immunosuppressive drugs, Ricks did not develop antibodies after the first two doses of the Moderna vaccine.

In June 2021, when health authorities had not yet approved the booster shot, she went to a hospital to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine without reporting the previous two doses. Therefore, she was granted an additional vaccination green card.

A month later, the doctor said that Ricks had not yet developed enough antibodies. She persuaded a pharmacist she knew to give her a dose of Pfizer – the fourth dose of the vaccine and received an additional injection certificate.

“Pharmacists kept saying, ‘I don’t have enough clinical data to do that.’ But I said ‘I’m the clinical data,'” she recalls.

Stacey Ricks is one of many immunocompromised people in the US who have ignored government guidelines and actively injected the 4th and 5th doses of vaccines against the regulations.

Normally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are responsible for determining who gets the booster vaccine. But some patients and their doctors feel federal officials are acting too slowly.

Stacey Ricks, 49, received four doses of the vaccine before the CDC’s recommended deadline. Photo: NY Times

Israel began administering a fourth dose of the vaccine from December 29 to health workers and people aged 60 and over, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said. Meanwhile, the CDC updated its vaccination guidelines for the last time in October, stating that immunocompromised people are eligible for a fourth dose six months after the third. Thus, at least until the end of February 2022, this population group will be allowed to inject additional doses.

In the context of the emergence of the Omicron strain, vaccination rates in many areas remain low, and immunocompromised patients become anxious. Many people are unsure whether three shots of the vaccine are safe and effective enough.

It is generally the discretion of the physician to prescribe approved medications beyond their recommended use. Therefore, some people still inject the Pfizer vaccine to patients if it is appropriate.

However, injection units must sign a legal agreement with the CDC. If they break agency rules, they could be removed from the vaccination program, putting them at risk of prosecution. The CDC has also previously warned that if a doctor injects a patient with an unapproved vaccine and something goes wrong, they won’t be legally exempt. However, according to experts, government regulations are not enough deterrent.

It is not illegal for the person who goes to inject the fourth and fifth dose of vaccine. They could be subject to civil prosecution if the doctor decides to file a lawsuit for fraud, but this is rarely the case, according to Govind Persad, an assistant professor at Denver Sturm College of Law. Therefore, many Americans are still trying to get the 4th and 5th dose of the vaccine even though it is not yet 6 months old. After four shots of the vaccine, Ms Ricks developed “moderate” levels of antibodies, but not a “standard immune response”. She continued to take the same precautions as before receiving the vaccine.

According to medical experts, depending on the status of drug use, some immunocompromised patients never create a sufficient immune response, no matter how many shots of the vaccine are given.

The CDC has not yet commented on the illegal injection. But in October, the agency said moderate and severely immunocompromised people, ages 18 and older, could get a third dose of the vaccine at least six months after the first two. People with moderate and severe immunodeficiency can receive 4 doses of the vaccine by the end of February this year, depending on their doctor’s prescription. The agency cautions people to distinguish between “supplementary” and “booster” doses.

“Additional dose is used in people with moderate to severe immunodeficiency, to improve antibody response. A booster dose (booster) given when a person has completed the first two doses, potentially protective. of vaccines decreases naturally over time,” the CDC said.

Stacey Ricks' three different vaccinations followed two doses of Moderna, one J&J and one Pfizer.  Photo: NY Times

Stacey Ricks’ three different vaccinations followed two doses of Moderna, one J&J and one Pfizer. Photo: NY Times

The agency does not recommend that immunocompromised people receive both booster and booster doses, nor do they recommend vaccination before 6 months.

According to Shane Crotty, professor at the La Jolla Institute for Vaccines and Infectious Diseases, injecting a booster dose too soon can be counterproductive. The immune system’s long-term memory works better if there is a break between two doses of the vaccine, he explained. The body also takes many months to perfect the process of making antibodies after the first vaccination.

Dr. Lianne S. Gensler, a specialist at the University of California, San Francisco, said that if you do not want to receive too many vaccines, patients can choose to use monoclonal antibodies. The FDA in December approved antibody therapy specifically for vulnerable populations.

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The lottery ticket seller hesitantly walked out onto the street on the first day

Ho Chi Minh CityMs. Le carefully stuffed the negative test paper along with the certificate of having had two vaccines in her hip bag, took a bunch of lottery tickets and walked out into the street, on the morning of October 21.

All morning, she sold only 30 sheets. At midday, a 52-year-old woman crouched under the shade of a tree on Nguyen Van Tang Street, Thu Duc City, holding a stack of lottery tickets and waving to the crowd, but for 30 minutes, none of them were sold. She got on her bicycle to move to another point.

“On the 22nd, the lottery tickets were just dialed, but I went to sell them secretly from today. I knew there was a risk of infection, but I tried to earn a few tens of thousands to go to the market,” Ms. Tran Thi Le said.

More than 12,000 lottery ticket sellers in Ho Chi Minh City have been unemployed since July 9 until now. When the epidemic cooled down, there were many suggestions that the southern provinces should soon restore the lottery service because this is the livelihood of many people. On October 22, lottery tickets of Binh Duong, Vinh Long and Tra Vinh lottery companies will draw the first prize and Ho Chi Minh City will open the prize on October 23.

In many western provinces, lottery ticket sellers who have been vaccinated are allowed to reopen. If not injected, priority will be given. However, in Ho Chi Minh City, lottery tickets are only sold at fixed points, and lottery tickets continue to be temporarily suspended.

Ms. Le stands selling lottery tickets on Le Van Viet Street, Thu Duc City at noon on October 21. Photo: Diep Phan.

Le and her two children stayed in the city during the stormy days of the Covid-19 epidemic. With no money in reserve, her family overcame social distancing with rice and charitable donations. On the days when there was no one to give, her parents ate rice with soy sauce over the course of a meal.

In a few months of the epidemic, she was reduced by the landlord for half of the rent, but from October, she will recover the old price. Although three have received the city’s allowance, but with three mouths, the amount of money is “nothing”.

Hearing the news that the lottery was back in operation, Ms. Le was “happy I couldn’t sleep”. Three days ago, she went to the hospital near her home to pay for a Covid-19 test and then rummaged through the papers to find the certificate of having had two vaccines to prove that she was allowed to go out. All ready for sale.

On the afternoon of October 20, she went to an agent near her house to receive lottery tickets, only to find out that this service is only available at fixed points, street vendors like her are still not allowed to go. Calculating for a while, she decided to take 150 sheets, half less than before the translation to “sell it secretly”. “Well, just take the risk, go anywhere or go there. Many of my lottery friends have not dared to sell them again because they are afraid,” Ms. Le said.

Lottery ticket sellers are classified as one of the four groups most affected by the epidemic and social distancing. On October 19, in a meeting with Thu Duc City and districts, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee Phan Van Mai proposed to study and sell lottery tickets again, because it will open jobs and increase income opportunities for people. more people, reducing the burden on social security.

Ms. Nhon (checkered shirt) shared that she was very attentive to epidemic prevention, every time she finished selling to customers, she washed her hands with water to dry.  Photo: Diep Phan.

Ms. Nhung (checkered shirt) shared that Photo: Diep Phan.

Experiencing the fourth wave of Covid-19, lottery workers feel the risk of infection or infection. No one told her, but Ms. Tran Thi Nhuong, 60, also knew how to insert the certificate of two vaccinations into her coat pocket from the night before.

The biggest difficulty of Ms. Nhon is that she has no money to make capital. Unable to borrow anywhere, on the afternoon of October 20, she went to a familiar agent to ask for 200 sheets of credit, every day after selling, she will contribute 200,000 VND until the debt is gone.

On the morning of October 21, Mrs. Nhuong put a small chair on the sidewalk of Le Van Viet Street, Thu Duc City to sell. She is very attentive to epidemic prevention, every time she sells to customers, she washes her hands with water to dry. But just a moment, the urban derailment force came to remind and said that lottery tickets were not allowed to operate.

“I know it’s not legal, but without retailers like us, there wouldn’t be many people to buy lottery tickets. Now, if you want to sit in one place, you can only rent the space, but if you don’t have the money to get the ticket, you won’t have any money. rent,” she said. Then, she dialed the phone to ask the dealer to take only 100 sheets tomorrow for fear of not being able to sell.

“Going to sell so low, I’m not happy but more worried”, she sighed.

Agreeing with Ms. Nhung, Ms. Nguyen Hoa, a customer who just bought 2 lottery tickets, added: “I have had the habit of buying lottery tickets for many years, but I have never taken the initiative to go to the dealer to buy them. Going on the road. If you see someone selling or casually inviting someone, just buy it.”

Ms. Thy sold out all lottery tickets from noon on October 21.  However, the woman felt sad because many people saw her coming to invite lottery tickets and chased them away, the business was not as favorable as before the epidemic.  Photo: Diep Phan.

Ms. Thy sold out all lottery tickets from noon on October 21. However, the woman felt sad because many people saw her coming to invite lottery tickets and chased them away, the business was not as favorable as before the epidemic. Photo: Diep Phan.

Ms. Hoa, the owner of a lottery ticket agent on Xo Viet Nghe Tinh Street, Binh Thanh District, said that after calling her acquaintances, most of them had returned to their hometown. The few that remained did not dare to sell again, so she did not dare to take as many tickets as before. “Sit in one place, so retail customers come to buy rai in the morning,” Hoa said.

Also took lottery tickets from agents from the afternoon of October 20, like Mrs. Le and Ms. Nhuong, but Ms. Xuan Thy, 50, in Binh Thanh district took advantage of the night to sell them, so the next afternoon, 150 sheets were sold out. Ms. Thy also had two injections, when she went to sell, she only dared to stand from afar to invite customers and always have a bottle of hand sanitizer with her. Her husband also works as a lottery ticket seller, and is disabled, so the family has not had any income for many months.

Early in the morning, she went to the markets, found the restaurants and shops that were former customers to invite to buy lottery tickets. “Someone saw me from afar and waved their hands first, some said they stopped buying lottery tickets today because they couldn’t make money. Some people said that they won’t invite again tomorrow if they sold out, I’m happy. But I don’t know what tomorrow will bring,” she sighed.

Diep Phan


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Why prolong the trial of Covid-19 vaccine for children?

AmericaThe US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires drug companies to monitor young volunteers for 6 months, instead of the two months as adults.

To date, hundreds of millions of adults have been vaccinated, proving that the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective. But these results cannot replace studies in children. For the childhood version of the vaccine, the scientists used data on both adults and separate trials in children.

Research in adults helps speed this process up. For people under the age of 12, the company doesn’t need to recruit up to 30,000 volunteers like previous large-scale trials. This is based on a mechanism called “immunomodulation”, whereby data show that for this age group, the immune response is comparable to that of adults.

This is how vaccine companies reach children. But in early August, the FDA required drug companies to monitor young volunteers for six months, instead of two months as adults. The agency also recommended that Pfizer and Moderna double the number of children ages 5 to 11 in the clinical trial.

In June, the CDC’s vaccine adviser reported a rare risk of heart inflammation following mRNA vaccination in adolescents. Symptoms are relatively mild, resolve quickly, and do not require too much treatment.

At Texas Children’s Hospital, pediatrician James Versalovic had no problem recruiting more volunteers for the Pfizer and Moderna study. The registration list on the website is very long. However, the extension of the test made the whole process take another month.

“We all agree that this is necessary, making the data stronger and building the confidence of parents across the country. It makes the test time longer, but only a little,” he said.

Tacori Taylor, 12 years old, vaccinated against Covid-19 in the city of Albuquerque, USA. Photo: NY Times

The trials of vaccines for children actually start with older volunteers. Dr Kari Simonsen, Pfizer’s head of research at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha, explains: “Typically, every vaccine candidate for a child, even with another disease, is injected in humans. But we cannot conclude about safety or tolerability in children based on results from adults.”

This is a biological mechanism. According to Dr. Versalovic, “children are not miniature versions of adults”, they are completely separate individuals.

“Their bodies are developing, they will react differently (when vaccinated). We need to handle it in our own way,” added Versalovic.

By the time of testing in children, scientists will predict a dose that is safe enough to induce an immune response. Time and extent depend on each stage of development.

“In general, children have sensitive immune systems, so we think smaller doses will trigger the appropriate response,” Ms Chapman said.

As with any study, the pediatric dose of the Covid-19 vaccine goes through three phases of clinical trials before it is submitted to the FDA for approval.

The first phase, to check if the vaccine is safe, takes place in about 20 to 100 people.

Since this is an accelerated test, the scientists combined stages two and three so that multiple steps can be performed in parallel, Versalovic explained. At this time, experts monitor the safety and check whether the child’s immune system responds to the vaccine. They need hundreds or even thousands of young volunteers. Some injected the vaccine, others used a placebo as a control.

This stage is complete, the new pharmaceutical company can request FDA review and approval. After regulatory approval, the vaccine continues to be overseen by the CDC’s Advisory Council on Immunization Practices. The committee also makes recommendations on distribution, storage, shelf life and directions for use.

According to experts, during this time, adults need to protect children against Covid-19 by proactively immunizing themselves and wearing masks.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner and now a member of Pfizer’s board of directors, said the company will release the results of the trial in September, and is expected to submit an application to the regulator in October.

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Shipper – the unsung hero in the US Covid-19

Emma Carpenter started her busy day as a delivery driver for Uber Eats in Denton, Texas at 7 a.m.

Carpenter got into his little gray van, turned on the Uber Eats app on his phone and navigation system, to start taking orders. The phone quickly reported a new order. It’s part McDonald’s.

“I have an Uber order for Jack,” Carpenter told the employee as he pulled into the passenger lane.

The employee handed her a paper bag with the customer’s order inside. Carpenter quickly drove to the customer’s address.

Outside Jack’s house, Carpenter wears a mask and presses a button on his phone to announce the order has arrived. She went to Jack’s door and placed the order right at the door, then went back to the car and waited for the customer to pick up the item.

She waved and didn’t forget to say “thank you, have a nice day” to Jack as she closed the car door and took off her mask afterwards. She felt a bit sad, wishing she could shake hands and smile at customers without wearing a mask.

“This is the new normal,” she sighed.

Emma Carpenter delivers groceries in Denton, Texas. Photo: Denton Record-Chronicle.

Becoming a shipper came to Carpenter quite suddenly, when Covid-19 swept the US in early March. With restrictions tightened, her work at Complete Health and Wellness, a chiropractic center in the city of Lewisville, had to close.

Shippers have become an attractive part-time option for those in need, especially college students, but they face many challenges to keep themselves and their customers safe amid Covid- 19.

The phrase “essential labor” has been used frequently during the pandemic. With so many people now afraid to go out or unable to go out due to health reasons, their only option is to order food delivered to their home. And shippers have become unsung heroes in the midst of the pandemic.

Even grocery stores and pharmacies like Walmart or CVS are connected to delivery services so people can have their personal needs met without having to go out, reducing the risk of exposure and infection. sick.

“I was quite cautious when I went out and delivered during the first blockade, because I was not sure if I would get the virus. But then I had no other choice because my main source of income was no longer,” Carpenter said. speak.

Shipper is not an easy job. With Uber Eats and DoorDash, drivers can earn an average of $5 per order, plus a tip when the order is completed. Depending on pickup time and travel time, drivers can earn around $12 per hour.

“Some people can be very generous in tipping, but that’s rare,” Carpenter said.

Over the past few months, although many restaurants have reopened and control measures have been relaxed, shippers have not been less busy.

“I think shippers are going to be an important part of staying in business until the pandemic is over,” said Mattea Edmonson, bartender at West Oak Cafe in Denton.

Because of Covid-19, delivery service companies must also increase many safety measures for both drivers and customers. Contactless delivery is now the first choice, where drivers place orders at the door and send customers pictures of the order to confirm delivery. The regulation of wearing masks also applies to drivers during pickup and delivery.

In the Uber Eats app, drivers are also asked to take a photo of themselves wearing a mask to ensure that both they and their customers are safe. Drivers also regularly have to answer a survey about Covid-19 so that the company can promptly detect if there are symptoms of illness.

Carpenter receives deliveries from employees of McDonald's in Denton.  Photo: Denton Record-Chronicle.

Carpenter receives food from store employees to deliver to customers in the city of Denton. Photo: Denton Record-Chronicle.

Carpenter recommends that customers wash their hands thoroughly before eating and dispose of food containers and bags immediately after finishing a meal.

“These are simple actions that yield big results,” she says.

As soon as the McDonald’s order was completed at 7:36 a.m., Carpenter’s phone announced a new order. It was a breakfast order from the Panera restaurant.

Carpenter continued his work while watching the sun slowly rise over the horizon.

Thanh Tam (Follow Denton Record-Chronicle)


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UK – the world’s test of reopening

After the decision to reopen completely, the UK became a “test” for the world in terms of easing the blockade when the Delta variant was spreading strongly.

The situation in this country is being closely monitored by many countries. The question is, can the major economies, with their high vaccination rates, return to normal life at this point? Will Covid-19 become a seasonal pathogen like the flu – easy to control and have little impact on social functioning?

In the UK, most of the restrictions on epidemic prevention were lifted on July 19. People can choose for themselves whether to wear masks at nightclubs or crowded gatherings.

The change caused the number of infections to increase rapidly. Britain records about 50,000 positive cases a day, more than Brazil, India, Indonesia or South Africa. However, the government says hospitalization and death rates are much lower than in previous outbreaks.

This strategy is in contrast to neighboring European countries, or other high-vaccination countries such as the US or Israel. Here, the government implemented a parallel vaccine program and public health measures, such as wearing masks or social distancing to prevent Delta variant.

Many countries are closely monitoring the development trend of Covid-19 in the UK to make the right decisions.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Delta accounted for 83% of the virus samples sequenced. Ran Balicer, head of the Covid-19 advisory board in Israel, on July 20 recommended that the government act cautiously over the next few weeks to study the situation.

“We can learn many lessons (from the UK) and whether the way to respond,” said Professor Balicer.

Londoners are vaccinated against Covid-19 in July 2021. Photo: AFP

Experts say that if hospital admissions in the UK remain steady at low levels for weeks to come, developed countries could learn and move closer to a new normal. But in the event of a resurgence of the disease, this goal is still far away.

Behind Britain’s groundbreaking decision is hope that a vaccine and public prudence will prevent a repeat of last summer’s scenario, when hospitalizations and deaths soared.

Europe prioritizes increasing vaccination coverage, trying to keep Delta under control by wearing masks and social distancing. France and Italy are considering requiring people who want to enter museums, restaurants and participate in community activities to present a certificate of vaccination, negative for nCoV or having recovered from Covid-19 within 6 months.

In Russia, authorities in at least 41 regions, including Moscow, have mandated vaccination of service sector workers, including restaurants, bars, transport, shops, houses, etc.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his scientific advisers believe vaccination will bring the country closer to herd immunity, when the virus is no longer a threat. Currently two-thirds of the adult population is fully immunized, up from 60% in the US. Statistics UK estimates that 92% of adults are partially immune, or have been infected with nCoV in the past.

In fact, the reopening plan has drawn criticism from public health experts. Dozens of people signed open letters to medical journals, calling the government’s strategy reckless and inhumane. They argue that the authorities let many people get infected unnecessarily, risking the emergence of new variants, reducing the effectiveness of the vaccine.

Professor Hendrik Streeck, a virologist from the University of Bonn, said: “I believe this is quite a dangerous test.”

Responding to criticism, the UK government said the vaccination program was enough to keep hospitalizations and deaths much lower than in previous outbreaks.

Children in Binyamina, Israel, are vaccinated against Covid-19 in July 2021.  Photo: AP

Children in Binyamina, Israel, are vaccinated against Covid-19 in July 2021. Photo: AP

The country currently records about 600 hospitalizations and 40 deaths per day. In January, the deadliest period, daily cases peaked at around 60,000. The number of people hospitalized reached 4,000 and deaths reached 1,200.

The doctor said most of the people hospitalized are now young, unvaccinated or waiting for a second dose. About 14% of people over the age of 50 are fully immunized. This is a sign that even after vaccination, many elderly people are still infected with nCoV.

The average number of cases in seven days in the UK is around 47,700, twice as many as at the end of June, 14 times more than at the end of May. Health Minister Sajid Javid warned the number could reach 100,000 a day in a few days. week.

David Strain, a doctor at the University of Exeter in the UK, who has treated Covid-19 patients, said he brought a person in his 30s into the intensive care unit this week, it is unclear whether the patient will survive or not. are not.

“I am very worried about the British approach. We depend too much on vaccines, but vaccines alone are not enough,” he said.

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Life after 2 years of retirees at the age of 30

Together with ‘retirement’ in 2019, so far Minh Vu in Dong Nai, Thanh Trung in Da Nang still see his decision as the right one, and Kim Ngan in Ho Chi Minh City has returned to work.

In the days of Bien Hoa distance, every morning Mr. Hoang Minh Vu just sat fishing in the river and released it into the pond, next to his laptop. “Sitting in one place allows me to have a clearer view of everything around me,” said the 37-year-old.

Mr. Vu fished on the morning of July 15, with his luggage always a backpack, pen and laptop. Image: Character provided.

Vu said, two months ago when he was fishing, Vu predicted that rubber wood embryos would increase by 10-15% in the coming time. He immediately picked up the phone and called the owner of a wood company – where he was a shareholder – the two sides agreed to invest and less than a month later, the price increased by 12%. Also while fishing on the morning of July 14, he predicted that with the distance from Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai and Binh Duong… the factories would run out of embryos, so he invested an amount to import a new batch of embryos that exceeded demand. production, in order to supply more for neighboring factories.

And although only sitting in one place – where one side is a branch of the Dong Nai river, with the other side being his garden, Vu can grasp what is happening in many different places, thanks to about 10 “satellites” – the who provides you with all information about land, vehicles… then you will decide to invest money or not.

“For me, now earning a few dozen or a few hundred million dong is as fun as catching a few fish, or like this morning suddenly discovering a nest of duck eggs in the grass in the garden,” Hoang Minh Vu shared about retired life earlier than the past 2 years.

Before retiring at the age of 30, Minh Vu was a bank employee. He bought his own house before the age of 30, the latest phone, and when he was single, he owned a car and two expensive motorbikes by himself. But inside he had a lot of different pressures. “I don’t like drinking, but I have to drink with customers 2-3 times a week. I woke up the next morning to find my car broke, my hands and feet were scratched, but I can’t remember where or how I fell. home,” he said.

The more he promoted, the more insecurity he had, many nights having to ask himself “should or shouldn’t”. “My university class has 50 people working in the banking industry, 30 people working in securities companies, but now there are only 3 people working in banks, 5 people working in securities, enough to see how this industry is under pressure.” , Vu revealed.

This father of two considers himself luckier than his friends in that three years before he retired, he had a predestined relationship with real estate investment. For him, this job is like “a walk”. Twice a month, he takes his wife and children to “go on a trip” from Dong Nai to Lam Dong, Dak Nong, and Dak Lak to visit, which land to invest in.

In the past two years, he spent the most time in the garden 2 km from home, feeding the chickens, fishing and playing with the children. He also learned a lot of new knowledge. His wife is an office worker who also wants to quit her job to pursue her hobby of cooking. Seeing that his wife still hesitated, Vu encouraged: “Life only lives once. Step through the safe zone to do what you like”.

According to Vu, the definition of early retirement is still controversial with two distinctly opposing opinions, but reality shows that This trend is getting bigger and more personalized. A person can retire when he is old or unable to work, and can also retire by reducing working hours, reducing workload, or starting a forte or passion business.

The early retirement movement (English name is FIRE, short for Financial Independence, Retire Early – Financial Independence, Retirement Early), originated from the best-selling book in the US in 1992 Your money or your life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, which urges readers to rethink their relationship with work and money, arguing that spending less to work less helps maintain “energy” life” of a person. Originating from the US and European countries, this trend is now spreading to Asian countries.

In Vietnam, there are many online groups where people share knowledge and financial plans and use money. Tips for early retirement or not, but should financial independence soon.

In the world famous book on early retirement “Work less, Live more“(Working less, living more), author Bob Clyatt (USA) introduced the concept of ‘half-retirement’, closer to reality: “Given the level of income from the jobs you have done in the past, half-retirement early will not face shortfalls in spending, avoiding a life based solely on savings and pensions. Half-retirement is associated with some work, even unpaid ones, that keep you energized, motivated and strong.”

For Nguyen Thanh Trung (Da Nang), early retirement is to “normalize” life before it’s too late. A series of sad stories and health problems forced the boy to come to this decision at the age of 31.

Trung graduated in biotechnology in 2013, then left Ho Chi Minh City to return to his hometown to work to support his mother and raise three younger brothers. Trung’s father and a younger brother passed away a few years ago. Since then, Trung has worked in dozens of jobs, ranging from a mechanic, selling coffee, bolting screws, running a coffee shop, repairing and assembling computers, designing and programming. web, even make a motorbike taxi or sell electronics on a commerce site…

At the age of 29, Trung achieved his goal of building his own house. At that time, he was a supervisory manager of two paint companies and a food company. At 7 am, he must go to this company to timekeeping, at 7:30 am to go through the other company, and the food company does not need to go up often but must send reports via email. “Sometimes at 9:30, my brother called for a coffee, but I drove to Hue to take care of the food company. That day I was like three heads and six hands, very hard, especially when the work went wrong,” Trung said. to speak.

One day in 2019, Trung received news that his boss suddenly died. Both the boss and Trung have sacrificed too much work and poor health. At the same time, the 10-year relationship broke down, making all the boy’s efforts meaningless. He completely fell.

At that time, Trung remembered the Buddha’s words: “When you are happy, think that this joy is not eternal. When you are in pain, think that this pain is not permanent.” The boy decided to let go of all feelings, work, friendship relationships … and change the goal of life. From working hard to earn money, even working in many companies to earn a lot of money, gradually shifting the goal to the direction of “If you know enough, you will be happy”.

“Retiring early at a very young age like me will make many people disagree. They are not wrong, it’s just not right for me. Everyone has the right to choose life. Retirement literally means ‘no longer bothering about making money’, I have a lot of free time to enjoy a peaceful life in the way I have chosen,” he confided.

Work pressure causes more and more people to retire early - 1

Thanh Trung said the secret to maintaining a retirement life is saving. His spending is down 90% compared to before. Image: Character provided.

Currently, Trung’s day starts with meditating, taking care of ornamental plants, vegetable gardens and spending a few hours working online in the IT field to earn income. For Trung, this is not really a job, but also a passion, because he was so passionate that he taught himself and was respected in the industry. Every afternoon, Trung still plays football with his juniors in middle and high school, and even goes camping with them.

Although he only works about 15 hours a week, Trung says his life is comfortable. Minimal spending level up to 90% compared to before retirement. Because his mother is still working, he only needs to help his youngest brother study occasionally, while the other two are married.

Also starting to retire in 2019, Phung Kim Ngan lives in Ho Chi Minh City, spending the past 2 years entirely for himself. Her schedule is pretty simple: Go to bed at 8 p.m. and wake up at 2:45 a.m. She meditates at home, then goes to the park to exercise. From 7-8am she cooks or eats out, then spends an hour on yoga. After lunch, she only listens to music, reads books, takes care of plants and cleans the house.

Before retiring, Ngan was an assistant manager for a factory of a European vintage and luxury furniture group. The job is quite busy because of concurrently holding many positions from production, product development, training, customer service, outsourcing, factory management… The work intensity is high but with young energy, Ngan still feel interested.

“Suddenly one day I had the thought of wanting to live a life without any pressure on time, deadlines, no meetings, no smartphone dependence, so I took a break,” the 33-year-old girl shared. Because she has savings and investment channels, she doesn’t mind the cost of living, when not working.

After two years of rest and contemplation, Ngan said that she had “completed her internal problems”, from here she could see more clearly the way to go. “If you want to love and give love, you have to be strong. First is your own happiness, raising a large heart capacity to give love and not just giving by words but actions and material things. is practical,” she said.

Therefore, two months ago, Ngan returned to work. For a week now, the girl has joined her friends in providing food relief for the people of Saigon.

* Names of some characters have been changed

Phan Duong


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Love on the Mong village of the couple with the same date of birth

Son LaLoving the young teacher who accepted the assignment to go to the remote village, Mr. Cuong accepted to take him away. That trip made two teachers sow words in the border area of ​​Song Ma district.

To go from the central school to a few odd spots of Muong Cai Primary School (Muong Cai commune, Song Ma district), motorbikes have to cross rocky streams and deeply eroded soil slopes into the city. hole, there is only one road that can fit motorbike wheels, stretching for twenty kilometers. It is also the place where the love story of Mr. Vu Van Cuong and Ms. Nguyen Thi Thu Huyen begins – a married couple from these very streets.

The dirt road to the point of Huoi Hua school (Muong Cai). In the rainy season, teachers cannot go to school alone. Video: Phan Duong.

More than twenty years ago, they were 18-year-old boys and girls, finishing middle school and primary school together to work in border communes. There are 7 people in the same course, 4 girls and 3 boys. In the first year, teachers are given priority to teach in lowland areas, and teachers go to remote villages. Cuong and Huyen sometimes meet each other at briefings or on weekends, crossing the mountain and returning to their families. “Back then, every Sunday we and our colleagues cycled more than 20 kilometers to school, then walked another half a day to the odd spot. The road was bumpy, hungry, it was dark, we kept racing each other. let’s go”, Miss Huyen, 39 years old, recall

In the second year, Ms. Huyen and Mr. Cuong were accidentally assigned to teach in two villages about two kilometers apart. Because the school is alone, Mr. Cuong often goes to school outside to play with his colleagues.

One day, Huyen shared in worry: “Next year I will go to Meo (Huoi Khe village)”. Cuong immediately replied: “Don’t worry, I will take it”. The story in a misty afternoon was like a promise, somehow crept into the hearts of both of them, making them pay more attention to each other than other colleagues. To prepare for her friend, Mr. Cuong daily passed on his experience and taught some Hmong sentences so that the young teacher could communicate with the people and children.

The site of Huoi Khe school was about ten years ago.  Classrooms that day were thatched roofs and fibro-cement roofs, ground floors.  Currently, the school site has rooms for students, but there is still no teacher's house, so teachers have to stay at people's houses.  Photo: Thanh Huyen.

The site of Huoi Khe school was about ten years ago. Classrooms that day were thatched roofs and fibro-cement roofs, ground floors. Currently, the school site has rooms for students, but there is no teacher’s house yet, so teachers have to stay at people’s houses. Image: Bar suspension.

Before the back-to-school season in 2002, Ms. Huyen entered the village a week early to get acquainted. Mr. Cuong now bought a motorbike and volunteered to carry the girl he liked, and another teacher in the school carried a box of clothes. The distance of 18 km, it rained for half a day. When returning, the teachers had to wear tires to get down the mountain.

Saying goodbye to two colleagues, Ms. Huyen suddenly felt scared and embarrassed. This is the first year the school has a female teacher. I don’t know anyone around, I don’t know the language, I don’t have electricity or water, and it’s far from people’s houses. The way back is far away, knowing when to meet family and colleagues. The more Huyen thought, the more worried she became, then burst into tears, and finally… fainted.

It was evening when Mr. Cuong heard the news. He was impatient all night, so early the next morning he drove up. Huyen sitting in front of the door saw a familiar figure from afar, never before she felt “so happy and surprised”. On this trip, Mr. Cuong asked to pull electricity from a local house to the teacher’s house for Huyen to reduce the poles. For teachers like him, connecting to electricity was quite familiar, but on that day, he was electrocuted for the first time. When the children saw the teacher fainted, they immediately shouted to the adults, a group of children ran up to the school to pull the teacher’s hand. Down to where Huyen found him lying on the ground, the villagers gathered around. Huyen panicked, crying “as if I wanted to collapse the house”. After the incident, the boy and the girl expressed their feelings to each other.

Since then, Ms. Huyen is no longer a stranger to the villagers. In the afternoon, after finishing work, the teachers pulled each other over to the people’s house to talk. People and students in Huoi Khe village also appreciate teachers more and more. When they come back from the fields, they give bundles of vegetables, bundles of firewood, and every house that fishes in a pond or has wild game meat spends their share on school. There is a shop in the village, but when the teacher went to buy it, no one would sell it but give it all away. “The belly of the H’mong is very good. One year of teaching here, I was completely raised”, Ms. Huyen shared.

The young teacher can adapt to life in the village, only the way home is still “difficult to go with the years”. The road at that time was just a small path, less than a meter wide, on both sides were trees. In the rainy season, erosion and landslides separate, in the winter it is slippery, constantly “catching frogs”.

There was a time when it rained heavily, and Mr. Cuong had to leave his car in the middle of the road and escort his girlfriend up. Arriving at 10 o’clock at night, the four sides were dark, the firewood was wet, and the kitchen could not be set, they had to take each other to a house to ask for a bed, and the owner provided a bowl of rice and vegetable soup to fight hunger. The next day at 4am, the teacher had to go down the mountain in time to teach. Another time, the car went through a bad road and fell, Huyen was stabbed in the eye by a thorn, when there were only 10 days left to the wedding.

“Love each other, we can only try. At that time, everyone had such difficulties,” said Mr. Cuong.

Mr. Cuong and Ms. Huyen became a husband and wife because they loved each other when they worked as a village teacher.  Photo: Phan Duong.

Mr. Cuong and Ms. Huyen became a husband and wife from their love for each other when they worked as village teachers. Image: Phan Duong.

In March 2003, the two teachers held a wedding. At this time, Huyen was pregnant and continued to cling to the village. Mr. Cuong goes up with his wife every Wednesday and Friday, which means traveling is more difficult. From the following school year, Ms. Huyen was transferred to teach at the center to take care of her children. Mr. Cuong still teaches at high schools. By the fifth year after marriage, they were able to work in the same place.

Sitting down to review the memories, the couple said that there were many predestined relationships between them. When they first fell in love, the two people went to get information on Huoi Khe village, when they returned through a dense road, they were caught by a group of people to perform a ghost worshiping ceremony and forced to act as foster parents for their son according to the custom of the people. Butt. Huyen and Cuong celebrated the ceremony together, ate the same chicken and wore a string to accept the boy as their son.

Interestingly, a few years ago, colleagues discovered that the date of birth on Huyen’s papers was calculated according to the lunar calendar as February 5, 1982, equivalent to February 28 of the solar calendar. Coincidentally, this is the date of birth of Mr. Cuong. Since then, the story of the couple with the same date of birth has been spread throughout the education sector in Song Ma district.

Mr. Cuong and Ms. Huyen have been in love with each other ever since they became a village teacher

Mr. Cuong and Ms. Huyen at their wedding in 2003 and their recent birthday together. Image: Character provided.

The site of Huoi Khe school – where the two used to plug in the old village – currently has 5 classrooms for high school students, but there is no teacher’s house. The village masters have to stay at people’s houses. Since his wife used to live in Huoi Khe, Mr. Cuong understands that female teachers will face more difficulties than men. In the last few years he has not assigned teachers to this point.

“However, some male teachers shared that they also have wives and children, and families also need a man’s hand. I also understand this suffering, so I promise that when the new school is built, there will be a solid room for teachers. then teachers and teachers will alternate,” said Mr. Cuong.

In order for teachers and students in remote areas to have better conditions for teaching and learning, the Hope Fund – VnExpress newspaper continues to receive donations with the goal of building at least 4 new schools in disadvantaged communes in Song Ma district. , Son La.

Each reader’s cooperation will contribute one more brick to build new schools. All support please send to the programhere.

Phan Duong


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How is Australia’s ‘stronghold’ responding to the Covid-19 wave?

Dealing with severe Covid-19 outbreaks, each Australian state has a different approach to isolating and treating cases.

Australia, once considered a “stronghold” against the epidemic in Asia, is struggling to cope with a new outbreak, which has forced four major cities including Sydney, Darwin, Perth and Brisbane to be on lockdown since the end of last month.

Sydney has just announced an extension of restrictive measures for one more week until the night of July 16, instead of lifting them on July 9. The decision was made by New South Wales state officials after a meeting on July 6 on the Covid-19 situation in Australia. Many epidemiologists also believe that Sydney has no choice but to continue the blockade, when new infections still appear in the community, although not many.

“If you open the door and these people come into the community, you can quickly see higher numbers,” said Professor Catherine Bennett, chair of epidemiology at Deakin University.

Nearly 31,000 infections and 910 deaths have been reported in Australia since the outbreak. Professor Bennet said it was important to ensure all new infections were isolated during their infection cycle.

People wait in line for vaccinations at the Olympic Park in Sydney on July 7. Image: AAP.

Australia has general national guidance on handling Covid-19 cases, and this guidance has been updated several times throughout the pandemic. However, each state will have a different approach to Covid-19 positive cases.

Queensland does not allow home isolation, even for mild cases and people living alone. If a person tests positive for the virus, they will be taken by ambulance to the Covid-19 treatment unit of one of the state’s five hospitals.

However, children with Covid-19 are the exception. In that case, the parent or carer will receive a call from the community health unit with instructions for next steps. The child will need to self-isolate at home until he or she recovers or is hospitalized if his condition worsens.

Like Queensland, Western Australia also does not allow home isolation with Covid-19 cases and they must isolate in hotels according to regulations.

However, New South Wales (NSW) has a different approach. State health authorities will interview and evaluate positive cases to decide whether they will be treated at home or in a hospital. The infected person will be regularly monitored by a member of public health authorities, even at home.

Some states have also set up medihotels, providing accommodation for people who cannot be isolated at home, who are at risk or need a lot of support.

In Victoria, with the exception of severe cases requiring hospitalization, health officials say the most ideal option is for those infected to be treated at home through telemedicine.

General Australian government guidance says state health authorities should decide on the symptoms of infected people whether they can be treated at home, in hospitals or in facilities such as the medihotel.

Cases should only be treated at home if they live in a low-risk area and must see if they live at home with vulnerable people. State health authorities may allow infected people to self-isolate at home if they find they can live separately from the rest of the family, such as having a bedroom, a separate bathroom and not using a shared kitchen. .

In this case, both the infected person and the person living in the same household are counseled about the risk of infection and preventive measures. Local health officials must also make sure everyone in the home follows the instructions.

In each state, local community health workers will regularly call, text and check on the status of positive cases, providing medical services, including mental health support.

States and territories also offer other assistance to people who live alone or who have difficulty working because of quarantine. As in Victoria, people who are quarantined and do not have enough food for themselves and their families can receive an emergency relief package that includes basic support. Residents can apply for benefits through the state’s Covid-19 information line.

“After a person has tested positive, they will receive a call from the local health authority to be provided with information on the route of case care. This ensures that all residents can continue to continue their care. access support and high-quality care at the right place at the right time,” said a spokesperson for Victoria’s health agency.

There is no approved treatment for mild infections, and in most cases, symptoms go away on their own. If other medical treatment is needed while in isolation, an infected person can still schedule a quick appointment with a personal doctor. Many pharmacies can also assist with home delivery.

People comply with social distancing regulations at Circular Quay in Sydney on June 22.  Photo: Reuters.

People comply with social distancing regulations at Circular Quay in Sydney on June 22. Image: Reuters.

So when can people with nCoV end isolation? Australia has made many modifications regarding the end of isolation due to the worrying increase in the number of people infected with virus strains, including Delta.

According to guidelines from Australian health authorities, an infected person must meet some of the following conditions: it has been at least 14 days since the last positive test and there have been no symptoms during this period, has experienced at least 14 days from symptom onset, no longer having fever and significant improvement in respiratory symptoms in the previous 72 hours, or still having symptoms but at least 20 days have passed since onset disease, and at the same time do not have a worrisome immunodeficiency.

Those who are immunocompromised must meet stricter conditions to end their quarantine. In addition to the first two criteria, they must have had two consecutive negative Covid-19 test results 24 hours apart.

“Before the end of the quarantine, the agency will check to see if the person has had any symptoms in the previous 72 hours. If so, the quarantine will be extended. If not, can they could completely end the quarantine,” a Victorian health agency spokesman said.

In NSW, health officials say a person can return to a normal life after self-isolation is over, but must continue to adhere to social distancing and safe hygiene regulations. “If they develop symptoms at any point after isolation, they should immediately be tested and isolated again until a negative result,” a NSW health spokesman said.

Thanh Tam (According to the Guardian)