Are We Losing the Battle against the COVID-19 Virus?

Are We Losing the Battle against the COVID-19 Virus?

The battle against the covid-19 virus was from the beginning not centered on the problems of the people really suffering. Everybody hoped a vaccine would solve their personal problems. Such as not being able to go to work or to school or the theater or a bar or restaurant.

The way the virus behaved though puzzled me: Why do we concentrate on a vaccine when most people do not suffer from the virus, even when they are infected? Why vaccinate everybody, when most people do not suffer from the virus? Why close all businesses, schools and public gatherings? Why wear masks? Why wreck the economy?

Nobody seemed to ponder about the most fundamental question. Why don’t we focus on the perspective of the end of the pipeline? This end being that only a limited number of affected people suffer proportionally much more than the majority. Nobody suggested the end of the pipeline as the strategic focus of pandemic policies.

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10 Remarkable Health Benefits of Laughing and a Sense of Humor

10 Remarkable Health Benefits of Laughing and a Sense of Humor

The first time I heard about the health benefits of laughing was at a health seminar. The story went like this:

A man heard from his doctor that further treatment of his cancer was of no use and that his life prospects were about 3 months. He had a lot of money and no heirs, so he decided to spend his last days as pleasant as possible. 

He took up residence in a penthouse of a hotel with full board and access to the Humor Channel and watched funny movies and stand up comedians all day long.

After 3 months he was still alive. And also the next 3 months passed by without anything of importance happening. So he ran out of money, was kindly asked to pay the bill or else to leave the hotel, and returned to the hospital for a check-up.

His cancer was gone.

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Does our Identity Change when we Age?

Does our identity change when we age?

Does our identity change when we age? Why is this a relevant question? The sympathetic Belgian psychiatrist Paul Verhaeghe is very precise about this (from his book The end of psychotherapy): “Without identity we are no more than our body.”

What is the core of our identity? What makes our identity so important? The answer Verhaeghe gives is very surprising: we have an identity because we share an enormous amount of human traits with other humans. The Latin identitas means: similarity.

Identitas

We share our identity with the group, with the many groups, to which we belong. We belong to these groups because we share the same symbolic expressions. Assisted by those symbols our identity nurses self-awareness, stability and continuity. That’s why it is so important.

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Unexpected Secrets for a Happy Marriage

Unexpected Secrets for a Happy Marriage

Tom and I celebrated our 45th anniversary last Saturday. For a long time we hardly celebrated our anniversaries, which isn’t very smart. Because if we don’t celebrate our successes and acknowledge them, we diminish them. That’s one of the secrets for a happy marriage: celebrate!

Being together for such a long time and still being curious about each other and love and respecting each other can be marked as quite an accomplishment.

This year was special, because we had to deal with a Fase 1 Flexibilizada lockdown and its restrictions. We used to eat out on our wedding anniversary day, but during the lockdown the restaurants are partly closed. They are only allowed to open the terrace, not the inside, and we don’t want to be on the terrace with smokers all around us.

We did go out though – we went to the bakery for bread and en passant we took tea with cake in a corner.

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What is the Meaning of a Personal Legacy? Being remembered for . . .

What is the Meaning of a Personal Legacy?

In the past I have been a caregiver. The last 10 years of my father’s life for both my parents. And after his passing another 10 years for my mother. The periods after their deaths were intensive times of reflection. 

What is the meaning of a personal legacy? What do I remember most about my parents? And as a consequence: what do I want to be remembered for later?

We probably all want to be remembered for great deeds, but are we actually setting anything in motion that indeed is great? How big are our dreams and what efforts do we take to accomplish them?

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How to organize neighborhood care?

How to organize neighborhood care - shopping together

Neighborhood care is booming in The Netherlands and Germany. More and more citizens participate in social networks in their neighborhoods to ensure care support. Such shared support compensates for the rise of social, physical, psychological and cognitive shortcomings when aging. Neighborhood care is a clever choice when aging.

With this type of self-organization citizens compensate for the shortcomings of aging and for the shortcomings of public and commercial care services. Particularly given the current health crisis, these initiatives are more than welcome. However, how do you organize neighborhood care?

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Healthy Lifestyle: Exercising without the Gym is not Difficult

Healthy Lifestyle: Exercising without the Gym is not Difficult

This good advice is constantly thrown at you: make sure you exercise. At least half an hour a day. Tom and I say it regularly on this website as well. Exercising is good for your health, for your brain and for your overall well-being.

If you only link exercising to ‘the gym’, this message can overwhelm you. Because do you want to be at the gym every day? Or do you even have a gym in your surroundings?

But it’s not that hard. Exercising without the gym is a piece of cake. Really. Even if you are housebound, like during a lockdown because of the virus.

You don’t have to exhaust yourself to the point of collapse. Just make sure to make a move that you are already doing with a little more force or effort. Until the moment when talking becomes difficult because of the panting.

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Review: The two defining Moments of Raymond Chandler

Review: The two defining moments of Raymond Chandler

The two defining moments of Raymond Chandler are the encounter with his muse and his invention of the private eye Philip Marlowe. Pearl (Cissy) Eugenie Hurlburt was the stepmother of Chandler’s First World War companion Gordon Pascal. During the thirty years Cissy and Chandler were together he was utterly devoted to her.

His next defining moment was his invention of Philip Marlowe. Marlowe featured as the protagonist in the 7 novels Raymond Chandler wrote. Moreover, Marlowe made him very rich and very famous. Raymond Chandler published his first novel, featuring Philip Marlowe, in 1939 at the age of 50, and the last one in 1958, a year before he died at the age of 70.

Late in 1944 Raymond Chandler portrayed the core of his writing skills as follows: “Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the ability to think in terms of emotions and sensations.”

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Effective Communication between Couples, Young or Aging

Effective Communication between Couples, Young or Aging

I guess everybody does it; sitting on a terrace and watching other people’s behavior? I love it, especially when something happens of which you know the outcome before it occurs. 🙂

I knew when I heard the elderly couple arguing about which way to go, he would have it his way and she would be right in the end. So she reluctantly followed him and after 100 meter plus another argument they turned around and passed us again going in the opposite direction. 

It wasn’t a very effective communication between couples. He didn’t want to listen to her and was only focused on having it his way. She was obviously not capable of talking to him in a way that would convince him without giving him the idea he was stupid.

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To prevent health risks you need your social circle

To prevent health risks you need your social circle

When you’re aging and want to prevent health risks, you have to motivate your social circle as much as yourself. Even when you’re over 60, prevention of health risks pays off. However, such prevention does not come easy.

Prevention is a lifestyle intervention tool. For most of us our lifestyle is the consequence of a long and repetitive social process. That’s why it’s very hard to try to change your lifestyle on your own.

As much as yourself, you will have to motivate the social circles in which you participate. In this article I explain why, and offer some suggestions on how you can motivate your social circle to help you.

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