The Truth About Vitamin D, Zinc, and Other Coronavirus Rumors was written by Dana G. Smith for Medium/Elemental, 26 March 2020. She discusses what might work, what probably doesn’t, and what’s flat-out wrong.
There’s a lot of misinformation and half-truths going around right now about the novel coronavirus. That’s understandable — the virus is very new and doctors and scientists are still learning about how the infection works and best ways to treat it. The news being reported about tests, symptoms, and treatments is conflicting at times, which is confusing. Plus, everyone wants to protect themselves as best they can, so it makes sense that people will try anything to stave off the virus, proven or not.
Here, Elemental breaks down fact from fiction.
Along these lines, another article on Healthline.com, 24 March 2020 by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD …The 15 Best Supplements to Boost Your Immune System Right Now. It starts with a large disclaimer:
And finishes, after a long article about supplements, “remember that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that any of them can protect against COVID-19 — even though some of them may have antiviral properties.”
‘A tool of the devil’: The dark history of the humble fork was written by Amy Azzarito for FastCompany.com, 25 March 2020. It might surprise you to learn that the utensil you eat with every day was once considered immoral, unhygienic, and a tool of the devil. In fact, the word “fork” is derived from the Latin furca, meaning “pitchfork.”
The first dining forks were used by the ruling class in the Middle East and the Byzantine Empire. The utensils moved west in 1004 c.e., when Maria Argyropoulina, niece of the Byzantine emperor, was married to the son of the Doge of Venice. Maria brought a little case of two-pronged golden forks to Italy, which she used at her wedding feast. The Venetians, used to eating with their hands, were shocked, and when Maria died two years later of the plague, Saint Peter Damian proclaimed it was God’s punishment: Nor did she deign to touch her food with her fingers, but would command her eunuchs to cut it up into small pieces, which she would impale on a certain golden instrument with two prongs and thus carry to her mouth . . . this woman’s vanity was hateful to Almighty God; and so, unmistakably, did He take his revenge.
And with that, Saint Peter Damian closed the book on the fork in Europe for the next 400 years.
For the next few centuries, the only utensils most Europeans used were spoons to eat their soupy stews or knives for stabbing meat dishes. Many people, even aristocrats, preferred to eat with their hands. This was actually a rather civilized practice, and handwashing was a ritualized part of the meal.
It was the craze for candied fruits, beginning in the 15th century, that brought the fork to Italian tables. The sticky, syrupy treat stained fingers, slipped off spoons, and was unwieldy and messy to eat with a knife. The solution? The fork. As it turned out, there were more people with a sweet tooth than there were forks to go around. Custom dictated that a guest wipe the utensil off before passing it to the next person. Gradually the implement gained acceptance throughout Italy, and by the 15th century, using a fork had become a mark of good manners in Italy, rather than an instrument of the devil.
It would take another 100 years and another royal marriage for the rest of Europe to catch on.
Empathy Is the New Mindfulness … It’s a skill and a practice, according to Kelli Maria Korducki for Medium/Forge, 13 March 2020.
“Empathy — at its most basic, the ability to imagine the feelings of another — is often described as a salve for divisions in American culture,” writes the author Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips in her new book The Future of Feeling. “In recent years, it has come to also be seen as a skill that can — and arguably must — be learned and practiced. It’s not just about social harmony; empathy makes us better people.”
“If my kids want to build strong friendships, empathy is the most important thing I can teach them,” Kuzmič writes. “If they want to be political leaders or powerful CEOs? Again, empathy, because the best leaders connect with people and make them feel seen.”
Study shows medical clowning may lower hospital expenses was published by Abigail Klein Leichman for Israel21c.org, 24 March 2020. A survey of one Israeli hospital’s oncology staff on the impact of Dream Doctors medical clowns reveals some eye-opening insights.
Dream Doctor Amnon Raviv, aka “Professor Doctor,” the first practitioner in the world to be awarded a PhD in medical clowning, works with Israeli cancer patients
Studies have shown that Dream Doctors — professional medical clowns in Israel — have a significant positive impact on patients’ anxiety, pain and in vitro fertilization treatment effectiveness. Published in the journal Clinical Medicine Insights: Pediatrics, results reveal that staffers believe medical clowns improve patient outcomes, increase staff efficiency, lower staff stress and even help hospitals cut costs. The decreased cost comes primarily from the decreased need for anesthesia or sedation before and during imaging or radiotherapy procedures – in both children and adults.