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  1. Last 7 days
    1. Maybe it’s time we talk about it?

      Yes, long overdue!

      Coming to terms with potential near term extinction of our species, and many others along with it, is a macro-level reflection of the personal and inescapable, existential crisis that all human, and other living beings have to contend with, our own personal, individual mortality. Our personal death can also be interpreted as an extinction event - all appearances are extinguished.

      The self-created eco-crisis, with accelerating degradation of nature cannot help but touch a nerve because it is now becoming a daily reminder of our collective vulnerability, Mortality salience of this scale can create enormous amounts of anxiety. We can no longer hide from our mortality when the news is blaring large scale changes every few weeks. It leaves us feeling helpless...just like we are at the time of our own personal death.

      In a world that is in denial of death, as pointed out by Ernest Becker in his 1973 Pulitzer-prize winning book of the same title, the signs of a climate system and biosphere in collapse is a frightening reminder of our own death.

      Straying from the natural wonderment each human being is born with, we already condition ourselves to live with an existential dread as Becker pointed out:

      "Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet he goes back into the ground a few feet in order to blindly and dumbly rot and disappear forever."

      Beckerian writer Glenn Hughes explores a way to authentically confront this dread, citing Socrates as an example. Three paragraphs from Hughes article point this out, citing Socrates as exemplary:

      "Now Becker doesn’t always emphasize this second possibility of authentic faith. One can get the impression from much of his work that any affirmation of enduring meaning is simply a denial of death and the embrace of a lie. But I believe the view expressed in the fifth chapter of The Denial of Death is his more nuanced and genuine position. And I think it will be worthwhile to develop his idea of a courageous breaking away from culturally-supported immortality systems by looking back in history to a character who many people have thought of as an epitome of a self-realized person, someone who neither accepts his culture’s standardized hero-systems, nor fears death: the philosopher Socrates."

      "Death is a mystery. Maybe it is annihilation. One simply can’t know otherwise. Socrates is psychologically open to his physical death and possible utter annihilation. But still this does not unnerve him. And if we pursue the question: why not?–we do not have to look far in Plato’s portrait of Socrates for some answers. Plato understood, and captured in his Dialogues, a crucial element in the shaping of Socrates’ character: his willingness to let the fact of death fully penetrate his consciousness. This experience of being fully open to death is so important to Socrates that he makes a point of using it to define his way of life, the life of a philosophos–a “lover of wisdom.” " "So we have come to the crucial point. The Socratic catharsis is a matter of letting death penetrate the self. It is the acceptance of the perishing of everything that will perish. In this acceptance a person imaginatively experiences the death of the body and the possibility of complete annihilation. This is “to ‘taste” death with the lips of your living body [so] that you … know emotionally that you are a creature who will die; “it is the passage into nothing” in which “a corner is turned within one.” And it is this very experience, and no other, that enables a person to act with genuine moral freedom and autonomy, guided by morals and not just attraction and impulses."

      https://ernestbecker.org/lecture-6-denial/

  2. May 2022
    1. Second, acknowledging increased affective insecurity and that heightened vulnerability and fear will be a factor, great efforts must be made to bolster the care, support and protection provided to people.      

      Mortality salience for the masses - operationalizing terror management theory (TMT) and Deep Humanity BEing Journeys that take individuals to explore the depths of their humanity to make sense of the times we are in will play a critical role in contextualizing fear of death triggered by unstable circumstances and ameliorating these fears with the wisdom that comes from a living comprehension of the sacredness of our life and eventual death.

  3. Apr 2022
  4. Mar 2022
    1. Unwin, H. J. T., Hillis, S., Cluver, L., Flaxman, S., Goldman, P. S., Butchart, A., Bachman, G., Rawlings, L., Donnelly, C. A., Ratmann, O., Green, P., Nelson, C. A., Blenkinsop, A., Bhatt, S., Desmond, C., Villaveces, A., & Sherr, L. (2022). Global, regional, and national minimum estimates of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death, by age and family circumstance up to Oct 31, 2021: An updated modelling study. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, 6(4), 249–259. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00005-0

    1. Eric Topol. (2022, February 28). A multimodal #AI study of ~54 million blood cells from Covid patients @YaleMedicine for predicting mortality risk highlights protective T cell role (not TH17), poor outcomes of granulocytes, monocytes, and has 83% accuracy https://nature.com/articles/s41587-021-01186-x @NatureBiotech @KrishnaswamyLab https://t.co/V32Kq0Q5ez [Tweet]. @EricTopol. https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1498373229097799680

  5. Feb 2022
    1. Altarawneh, H. N., Chemaitelly, H., Hasan, M. R., Ayoub, H. H., Qassim, S., AlMukdad, S., Coyle, P., Yassine, H. M., Al-Khatib, H. A., Benslimane, F. M., Al-Kanaani, Z., Al-Kuwari, E., Jeremijenko, A., Kaleeckal, A. H., Latif, A. N., Shaik, R. M., Abdul-Rahim, H. F., Nasrallah, G. K., Al-Kuwari, M. G., … Abu-Raddad, L. J. (2022). Protection against the Omicron Variant from Previous SARS-CoV-2 Infection. New England Journal of Medicine, 0(0), null. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMc2200133

    1. Eric Feigl-Ding. (2022, January 17). Pandemic leadership matters. #COVID19 mortality per capita by state. 📍Public health is policy, policy is politics. 📍Human behavior is often driven by misinformation. 📍Misinformation is often driven by politics. 📍Politics can be changed by voting—Unless voters can’t. Https://t.co/pFkndQZrfr [Tweet]. @DrEricDing. https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1483181226815012867

    1. Ana Mardoll. (2022, February 12). I used to be a history major, with a focus on social history. And I remember reading about WW2 in a very fascinating book about the evolution of courtship and dating dynamics in America. (I’m going somewhere with this, bear with me.) [Tweet]. @AnaMardoll. https://twitter.com/AnaMardoll/status/1492398681303261184

    1. Nick Mark MD. (2022, January 21). This FLCCC COVID protocol gets nuttier with each version. Now hydroxychloroquine is “preferred for omicron”? What?!🤯 Stuff that actually works (monoclonals & fluvoxamine) are 2nd line And steroids, which increased mortality in people NOT on O2 in RECOVERY, are recommended?😱 https://t.co/XXfn1eMTJt [Tweet]. @nickmmark. https://twitter.com/nickmmark/status/1484382662517137410

    1. Tyler Black, MD. (2022, January 4). /1 =-=-=-=-=-=-=- Thread: Mortality in 2020 and myths =-=-=-=-=-=-=- 2020, unsurprisingly, came with excess death. There was an 18% increase in overall mortality, year on year. But let’s dive in a little bit deeper. The @CDCgov has updated WONDER, its mortality database. Https://t.co/DbbvvbTAZQ [Tweet]. @tylerblack32. https://twitter.com/tylerblack32/status/1478501508132048901

    1. Adele Groyer. (2022, January 8). Friday report is now out. Https://covidactuaries.org/2022/01/07/the-friday-report-issue-58/ I am struck that perception of a “mild” Covid situation is relative. In SA natural deaths were >30% higher than predicted in Dec. The last time weekly death rates in E&W were more than 30% above 2015-19 levels was in Jan 2021. Https://t.co/S9fkn2WFVk [Tweet]. @AdeleGroyer. https://twitter.com/AdeleGroyer/status/1479760460589191170

    1. Craig Spencer MD MPH. (2022, January 22). In the U.S. more people died of Covid in the past week than died of Ebola during the whole 2014-2016 West Africa epidemic. Maybe it’s me, but the slew of ‘the pandemic is essentially over’ articles seem a bit premature. [Tweet]. @Craig_A_Spencer. https://twitter.com/Craig_A_Spencer/status/1484739130055696387

    1. (((Howard Forman))). (2022, January 21). NYC update (GREAT news heading into weekend) Cases down 43% with positive rate 7.3% (Manhattan 6.2%). Lowest rate since December 15. Hospital census down 13% back to levels of January 2. All trends (except deaths) favorable. Thanks to everyone who has helped get us here. Https://t.co/MLmptWLxKv [Tweet]. @thehowie. https://twitter.com/thehowie/status/1484608013885480962

    1. BNO Newsroom. (2022, January 28). U.S. COVID update: Daily cases drop 13 days in a row, deaths still rising—New cases: 546,598—Average: 600,789 (-29,966)—States reporting: 46/50—In hospital: 143,574 (-2,881)—In ICU: 25,099 (-254)—New deaths: 3,061—Average: 2,525 (+88) Data: Https://newsnodes.com/us [Tweet]. @BNODesk. https://twitter.com/BNODesk/status/1486860664291446787

    1. Timothy Caulfield. (2022, January 31). How Do You Respond When an #AntiVaxxer Dies of Covid? Https://nytimes.com/2022/01/30/opinion/culture/covid-death-mental-health.html?smid=tw-share by @JamesMartinSJ “Indulged in regularly, #schadenfreude ends up warping the soul.” “Don’t find another person’s misery the subject of mirth, glee or satisfaction.” Good reminder. One I needed. [Tweet]. @CaulfieldTim. https://twitter.com/CaulfieldTim/status/1488183630056755205

  6. Jan 2022
    1. Deanna Behrens, MD (she/her). (2022, January 30). One U.S. child loses a parent or caregiver for every four COVID-19-associated deaths I’m not discounting mental health effects of the pandemic on children. That is real. But the risks associated with #COVID19 for children and its affects on them aren’t always obvious [Tweet]. @DeannaMarie208. https://twitter.com/DeannaMarie208/status/1487607849664581634

    1. Dr. Melvin Sanicas, #GetVaccinated. (2022, January 24). Smart people change their minds. They reconsider things they thought they’d already figure out when offered compelling data contradicting their previous understanding. Last week we saw the Swiss data. This is from #USA. #scicomm #dataviz #VaccinesSaveLives (h/t @OurWorldInData) https://t.co/Z5ONLNXr2u [Tweet]. @Vaccinologist. https://twitter.com/Vaccinologist/status/1485704680550412303

    1. James 💙 Neill - 😷 🇪🇺🇮🇪🇬🇧🔶. (2022, January 23). Of 51,141 deaths due to ischaemic heart diseases 32,872 (64.3%) had pre-existing conditions.💔 Do those 33k heart disease deaths not count? Or is an absence of pre-existing conditions only required for Covid deaths...😡⁉️ Source: ONS England 2019 [Tweet]. @jneill. https://twitter.com/jneill/status/1485327886164844546

    1. Edouard Mathieu. (2022, January 17). Update: Switzerland now reports deaths by booster status. Compared to unvaccinated people, the COVID mortality rate is: • 9x lower after full vaccination • 48x lower after a booster [From our post with @maxcroser on death rates by vaccination status: Http://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths-by-vaccination] https://t.co/ozWueyHO2k [Tweet]. @redouad. https://twitter.com/redouad/status/1482991873190936576

    1. Prof. Christina Pagel. (2022, January 19). This makes it so clear that the release of all measures right now (esp masks, esp schools) is only to protect himself & his job. Boris has zero interest in protecting others from getting sick, needing hospital or dying. Or protecting businesses, schools, NHS from disruption. [Tweet]. @chrischirp. https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1483884632651313152